Sudden problems that impact fish but not coral or inverts

Mr Hughes

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I woke up to half my fish lethargic and sitting on the sand bed but all inverts and corals are doing fine. I did a quick 50% water change that had no effect. Any ideas on what could be causing the sudden issues?

Salinity is right at 35, pH is at 7.9, ammonia and nitrite are still zero, nitrate at 16 and all other parameters seem to be in line. I did make a few changes this past weekend but am not sure it’s those since the fish were fine for 3 days prior.

On Saturday I stopped dosing Polyplab Medic, performed a 25% WC and added carbon. I did not start the skimmer as it instantly overflowed, so I did another 25% on Monday. On Saturday, I also installed my UV sterilizer with braided poly hose, set up my auto water change with versa pumps, connected a buddie booster RODI pump to the ATO with RODI tubing from BRS. All was flushed prior to hooking up so not sure if these would cause it.

The only thing I did yesterday was glue pvc to eventually hard plumb the UV but this was done at the other end of the basement, approximately 70 feet away with a window open. Would the PVC glue emit enough VOCs as it dries to cause trouble with the fish 70ft away and not the corals/inverts?
 

Lavey29

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Had what I think was ich and no qt setup so dosed to knock it down until I could get UV to manage the populations. Hadn’t seen spots in about 5 days when I stopped.
Maybe it's not ich. Have you added non QT fish recently?
 

Lavey29

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Not for a few weeks, maybe about a month.
Well therein lies your problem most likely. You probably introduced a disease into your tank and now your fish are beginning to show symptoms. Fish will get sick but your corals and inverts will be fine. It is best to post all the symptoms you have observed and pictures of your sick fish.
 
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Mr Hughes

Mr Hughes

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Well therein lies your problem most likely. You probably introduced a disease into your tank and now your fish are beginning to show symptoms. Fish will get sick but your corals and inverts will be fine. It is best to post all the symptoms you have observed and pictures of your sick fish.
Definitely could be. I’ll try to get some pictures but looking at them, there’s nothing that sticks out. Doesn’t mean it’s not there, I just can’t see it.

As far as symptoms, 4 spot wrasse had that scoliosis question mark look when trying to swim, but would otherwise lay on its side on the sand and gasp for air (I just noticed this one is dead now).

Blue eye bristle tooth started off just sitting in one spot gasping for air but has now begun just laying on its side gasping and not moving otherwise. I did notice the fish hitting up the cleaner shrimp the last couple weeks, the correlation of which could be the earliest signs or not.

Diamond watchman has been sitting on the sand gasping as well and now is trying to swim around but has no control and is more flopping like a fish out of water than swimming. Sometimes it can right itself though so perhaps all hope isn’t lost. It has been yawning since I got it so I thought maybe flukes and would treat with prazipro in a month or so. They also do that a ton anyway so wasn’t too concerned at that. He is shimmying into a little hidey hole now too.

Tailspot blenny was laying on its side gasping in the sand earlier but has improved and is now acting normal and aware.

Flame angel has been fine all day but isn’t eating as vigorously. I did notice him hit up the cleaner shrimp earlier.

Falco hawk has just been perched in the same spot all day. Eyes are still moving and seemingly aware, but not eating or moving really.

Haven’t seen the splendid dottyback or dusky wrasse today but I’ll assume they are SOL as well.

Due to them gasping and no issues with the coral/inverts I did think it could be an oxygen related issue so opened some windows and moved the returns above the waterline to get more agitation. I don’t believe it did anything, but hopefully it at least increased the amount of oxygen per gasp. ‍

Edit: I just remembered I also added about 40 frags from WWC last week too. Nothing that would nuke a tank if it died though, but definitely could’ve brought something in with that if it made it past the dips.
 
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Mr Hughes

Mr Hughes

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Here’s the tang.
 

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TortillaMan

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Wanted to go the management technique vs the eradication method since I won’t be QTing corals or inverts.
One day it’ll catch up to you which this looks like. My sohal did this right before he died. Is it already dead?
 
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One day it’ll catch up to you which this looks like. My sohal did this right before he died. Is it already dead?
Tanks only been up for three months so it didn’t take long if it is a parasite. Did give the tang and diamond goby a freshwater bath to hopefully give them enough reprieve to continue the fight if it is.

The tang isn’t dead as of right now, but we both have enough experience to know it’s only a matter of time and it would be considered lucky if it lives through the night.
 

Ross

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No visible symptoms and all the fish suddenly gasping points towards 1. a contiminate in the water, which is unlikely if the inverts are doing fine. Or 2. a lack of oxygen in the water. Is the water cloudy?

I would get an air stone going ASAP, and run carbon if you aren’t already.
 

fishyjoes

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Would the PVC glue emit enough VOCs as it dries to cause trouble with the fish 70ft away and not the corals/inverts?
Not likely
I was gluing PVC at my desk 4 feet from my tank last week and had no ill effects on fish or corals
 
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Mr Hughes

Mr Hughes

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One day it’ll catch up to you which this looks like. My sohal did this right before he died. Is it already dead?
Got myself a 10 gallon tank and some copper power this morning early. Was able to get the tang, hawkish, dottyback and diamond goby out and into a freshwater bath then the hospital tank. 8 hours in and everything appears to be doing better. Tang was still laying on the bottom but reacted when I walked up and got itself vertical and backed into a corner so definitely improvement.

Two questions:
1) Any good diy fish traps so I can get the angel and blenny out? They still are fine and eating but I need to get them out if I’m going fallow and starting my QT journey.
2) Any good recommendations on QT other than keeping copper at 2.5 and those air bubbles goin? I think I saw 30 days at therapeutic level is best or I can do an observation tank after two weeks of no symptoms.
 

TortillaMan

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Got myself a 10 gallon tank and some copper power this morning early. Was able to get the tang, hawkish, dottyback and diamond goby out and into a freshwater bath then the hospital tank. 8 hours in and everything appears to be doing better. Tang was still laying on the bottom but reacted when I walked up and got itself vertical and backed into a corner so definitely improvement.

Two questions:
1) Any good diy fish traps so I can get the angel and blenny out? They still are fine and eating but I need to get them out if I’m going fallow and starting my QT journey.
2) Any good recommendations on QT other than keeping copper at 2.5 and those air bubbles goin? I think I saw 30 days at therapeutic level is best or I can do an observation tank after two weeks of no symptoms.
Hey how is everything doing? I just saw your reply. Nyos fish trap is good but I had to catch my sixline out but I had to take out all rocks to do it. Tank transfer method seems to be good too. You just need 2 of your whole QT setup. Thanks for taking peoples advice because a lot of people, myself included didn’t listen the first time someone told us to QT.
 
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Mr Hughes

Mr Hughes

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Hey how is everything doing? I just saw your reply. Nyos fish trap is good but I had to catch my sixline out but I had to take out all rocks to do it. Tank transfer method seems to be good too. You just need 2 of your whole QT setup. Thanks for taking peoples advice because a lot of people, myself included didn’t listen the first time someone told us to QT.
No worries! There are plenty of answers out there if you look long enough. Haven’t lost any fish since the last post and the Nyos fish trap arrives tomorrow lol. As I research velvet, I am pretty sure my dusky wrasse had it when it came in. It buried itself in the sand so I couldn’t observe it right away. I figure the spots I saw on the other fish later on were the first cysts of velvet spreading and not ich like I thought so dosing the Polyplab Medic only slowed the spread. Fish were struggling 2-3 days after I stopped dosing Medic so that would check I think.

Do you know if velvet can feed on dead fish? Reason I ask is I assume the dusky wrasse has met its demise but can’t find it in the sand. My protein skimmer has been going nuts even after two 50% water changes and a continuous AWC of 10 gal per day on my roughly 90-100 gal water volume so assume the fish is decomposing in there somewhere. Been running carbon so not sure what else it could be.
 

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