Why are my fish dying?

shadynate

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I have no idea. Ammonia is zero. All levels are in check. Phosphate 0.08. Nitrate less than 10. Last year around this time I had around 4 different fish come and go. I wasn’t acclimating them correctly. So I thought it was that. I let the tank run dry for 8 months. Tried to get some new fish in again. They’ve both died. I acclimated them. I don’t know why they’re dying. Maybe the fish store I got them from? Other than ammonia, is there something else that could be killing them? Perhaps the RODI water I use from a local store has metals in it or something? I really am lost. The fish will live for 2 weeks or less and then die. Before that, they look happy and healthy. I really don’t know what’s going on. I had tanks in high school about a decade ago and never saw this happen with FAR worse tanks. The tanks parameters currently are great, I am just lost and don’t know where to start looking. Thanks in advance.
 

fishface NJ

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What fish? What size tank? Are you using a Refractometer? Which brand of testing are you using? Any signs of disease?

Photo of your tank
 
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shadynate

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A bicolor blenny, a lawnmower blenny, and a royal gramma are the recent deaths. No sign of disease that I’m aware of. No ich.

Here’s a couple pics. It’s a Redsea max nano peninsula tank so 26g I’m not sure the dimensions.
I attached a video instead of pictures hope it works…


 

Idech

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A bicolor blenny, a lawnmower blenny, and a royal gramma are the recent deaths. No sign of disease that I’m aware of. No ich.

Here’s a couple pics. It’s a Redsea max nano peninsula tank so 26g I’m not sure the dimensions.
I attached a video instead of pictures hope it works…


Video doesn’t work. Post it on Youtube then link it.
 
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shadynate

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Genius

Also I am using a refractometer. 1.026 solid and has been solid at that for some time
 

vetteguy53081

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I have no idea. Ammonia is zero. All levels are in check. Phosphate 0.08. Nitrate less than 10. Last year around this time I had around 4 different fish come and go. I wasn’t acclimating them correctly. So I thought it was that. I let the tank run dry for 8 months. Tried to get some new fish in again. They’ve both died. I acclimated them. I don’t know why they’re dying. Maybe the fish store I got them from? Other than ammonia, is there something else that could be killing them? Perhaps the RODI water I use from a local store has metals in it or something? I really am lost. The fish will live for 2 weeks or less and then die. Before that, they look happy and healthy. I really don’t know what’s going on. I had tanks in high school about a decade ago and never saw this happen with FAR worse tanks. The tanks parameters currently are great, I am just lost and don’t know where to start looking. Thanks in advance.
How did you acclimate and for how long?
How are you testing water and are you using RODI water or tap water from the faucet?
Prior to death were fish eating and breathing normal or loss of appetite and increased breathing rate ?
 

Idech

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Thanks for the video. What is your cover made of ? Is it metal ? If it is, it could be leeching in the water and causing problems.

Surface agitation looks okay. I like a little more personally but that’s just paranoid me.
 
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shadynate

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How did you acclimate and for how long?
How are you testing water and are you using RODI water or tap water from the faucet?
Prior to death were fish eating and breathing normal or loss of appetite and increased breathing rate ?
I acclimated them for about 20 minutes, adding half a cup of water every 3 min or so. Using RODI water. They were eating normally breathing and swimming fine until about a day before they died, and they stopped eating then found them dead within 24 hours.
 
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shadynate

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Thanks for the video. What is your cover made of ? Is it metal ? If it is, it could be leeching in the water and causing problems.

Surface agitation looks okay. I like a little more personally but that’s just paranoid me.
Ooh that could be it maybe. It’s made of chicken wire but I spray painted it black. And I definitely have poured water over the tank through the grate. That seems Wild though that the spray paint would leech out and kill the fish tho no? Is there a way to test for metals and such?
 

vetteguy53081

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I acclimated them for about 20 minutes, adding half a cup of water every 3 min or so. Using RODI water. They were eating normally breathing and swimming fine until about a day before they died, and they stopped eating then found them dead within 24 hours.
Way too short. You want to float 15-20 mins and empty fish and water into a clean container adding water every 10-15 minutes until salinity is equalized. This is how I acclimate my fish as an example:

I generally:
Float for 20-30 minutes
Transfer fish and water into a clean bucket
Then . . . .
Measure the Ph, salinity and temperature of the bag water. If you can, make up some water in a container that has exactly the same measurements as the bag readings and move the fish right over, then you can add a cup of tank water to bucket every 15 mins 6 times (almost 1.5 hours)
Then check salinity in bucket and compare to tank. If no match or very close, add a cup of water every few mins until youve reached salinity and trap fish in same cup and pour off water and release into display. Release under LOW light before lights out. Fish in shipped bags produce carbon dioxide and ammonia. The carbon dioxide lowers the pH of the water in the bag, That in turn makes the ammonia non-toxic to the fish. When you acclimate them, if not done just right, you drive off the carbon dioxide faster than you are diluting the ammonia. That raises the pH of the water in the bag, and that in turn, makes the residual ammonia very toxic to the fish.
 

Idech

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Ooh that could be it maybe. It’s made of chicken wire but I spray painted it black. And I definitely have poured water over the tank through the grate. That seems Wild though that the spray paint would leech out and kill the fish tho no? Is there a way to test for metals and such?
Do an ICP test. I use Fauna Marin but there are others. It takes a few weeks so in the meantime, stop using the lid and do regular water changes.

It wouldn’t happen in a few days, but maybe over weeks and months there would be a build-up.

It’s just a possibility. Maybe not the direct cause, but not helping.
 

Lionfish hunter

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Double check your salinity and ammonia with a different test kit and test for nitrite. The metal lid could harm coral but not fish. Unless the paint is leaching toxins. Test kits are often totally wrong. Either buy new ones or take the water to your local fish store. And do a water change. How old is the tank?
 
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shadynate

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Haven’t ruled out electrical current. Would think they’d die sooner than a couple weeks tho. I just realized tho, the water I’ve been using is RO but not RO/DI. Could this be the issue? Chlorine and other metals because it’s not deionized?
 

Lionfish hunter

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Haven’t ruled out electrical current. Would think they’d die sooner than a couple weeks tho. I just realized tho, the water I’ve been using is RO but not RO/DI. Could this be the issue? Chlorine and other metals because it’s not deionized?
You can have a 110 volt live wire in your water that will electrocute you if you put your hand in the tank and not harm your fish. The fish are not grounded swimming in water. You can find examples of this from people on reef2reef. The chances of stray voltage killing your fish is at the bottom of the possible reasons.

If you are not using a declorinator then yes it is very possibly killing your fish. I would always use something to declorinate no mater what. It is super cheap and takes one second. A very easy insurance policy.

How old is your tank.
 
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shadynate

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thanks for this. It’s about a year old now. Been using the RO water from a water store since it began. I’m hoping it is that to be quite frank because if not, I’m not sure what it is…
 
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shadynate

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Got water test results back. Could any of this be the cause of the fish deaths ?
 

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