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Whats killing my fish?


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#1
Blennynano

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Hi All,

I'm after some advice as I'm running out of options and loosing fish. I'm running an Aquamedic Blenny standard setup with a Radion XR30, MP10 which has been running since November 11. There's Live rock and a mixture of corals which are all thriving and doing well.

After cycling, I originally stocked with two common clowns, 6 line wrass and two scooter blennys. Over the course of a few months the fish started to die off, the clowns showed some signs of whitespot which was treated with nt labs marine treatment, this brought them back to life and cleared it up really well. Then the other fish died over a couple of days and after a few weeks one of the clowns disappeared completely (not jumped) the other got it's white spot back and later died. I re-treated the tank and left it without any live stock for a couple of weeks carrying out my weekly 20% water changes.

Since then, I've recently introduced a single domino, from a completely different supplier who source their fish from a different wholesaler as someone suggested supplier could the problem. This has now, after a few days, developed white spot!

The most puzzling part is my water has been tested by myself religiously (two different test kits) with all results coming back spot on, the odd PH buffer is needed from time to time but nothing major. I've had two independent LFS test all parameters who have also found nothing to be wrong with the water quality. :unsure:

I'm feeding a mixture of frozen and pellet base food.

Other points to note; I've never lost a coral and these range from the hardy Zoas to Australian Spider Sponges, Dendrophyllia, Acropora's and xenias. They are all growing and looking very healthy. I also have a bubble tip in there, perhaps introduced too early to an immature tank but it was given to me by someone who had to shut down. It's also doing well, growing and eating. For me the anemone should be the first to go if water quality be an issue.

Any ideas, from you guys would be much appreciated as I've run out of options other than having a fish free reef :|

#2
Skywarp

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It's a difficult one. I personally would remove all substrate and run it as bare bottomed tank. I'd probably remove all macro algae which would most likely be not needed but would ensure that a completely sterile tank. Run it for a month and add a cheap goby and see. I'm assuming that you use RO water and all parameters are stable at night time etc.

#3
Blennynano

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It's a difficult one. I personally would remove all substrate and run it as bare bottomed tank. I'd probably remove all macro algae which would most likely be not needed but would ensure that a completely sterile tank. Run it for a month and add a cheap goby and see. I'm assuming that you use RO water and all parameters are stable at night time etc.


I thought substrate too as the fish that died, with exception to the clowns, do bottom feed and that seemed to be the only common element in this all. I have done random night tests, the PH moves a little as you would expect but nothing else is moving. RO water all the way.

Any tips for the least disruptive substrate removal?

#4
JamesHL88

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Sounds like this is the obvious culprit, ich. Any fish u add is going to become infected. Read up on the life cycle of ich and u will understand why the dominoe got it. It has three stages (free swimming, atatched to substrate, and attatched to host) this also explains why your bottom dwellers caught it faster. The longest stage of life for ich is n the substrate. I would recomend running fishless for a month or so wich would give all ich in the substrate time seek out a host. When it cant find one it will die. Frequent water changes will help eliminate free swimming ich but isnt nessicary as they die within a few days of not finding a host. Hyposanity treatment could work to but u would have to relocate your corals in the mean time.

#5
Reefmaster1996

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I thought substrate too as the fish that died, with exception to the clowns, do bottom feed and that seemed to be the only common element in this all. I have done random night tests, the PH moves a little as you would expect but nothing else is moving. RO water all the way.

Any tips for the least disruptive substrate removal?

Okay, if your water quality is up to par and corals are fine this is a disease problem if you have ich, which you do then you need to keep your tank fallow or fish less for at least 8 weeks MINIMUM! Corals are a indicator of water quality if they are fine don't even bother testing water quality. I went through the same exact problem with ich(white spot sickness) I left the tank fallow for 8 weeks then QUARINTINED NEW FISH AND SLOWLY ADDED THEM ONE BY ONE, OVER A SIX WEEK PERIOD I NOW HAVE THREE FISH IN MY TWEENTY GALLON LONG TANK HEALTHY AS CAN BE AND HAVE NO ILLNESS!QUARITINE FISH NEXT TIME ARROUND IT IS MORE THAN WORTH IF YOU HAVE ANY MORE QUESTIONS PM ME.GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY REEFING!

#6
JamesHL88

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Oh and the medications are mostly useless. They treat sympoms and kill free swimmers but the real problem is the ones in the substrate. Wich is why people "clear up" an ich problem only to find that a month down the road it returns.

#7
Blennynano

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Oh and the medications are mostly useless. They treat sympoms and kill free swimmers but the real problem is the ones in the substrate. Wich is why people "clear up" an ich problem only to find that a month down the road it returns.


Awesome replies, thanks very much guys. It does make sense to be Ich now that you spell it out. I had no idea and wasn't advised of the life stages.

What should i do with the bubble tip, is this a potential host?

#8
JamesHL88

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I dont know.... i wouldnt think so. I would leave it in

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Reefmaster1996

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Awesome replies, thanks very much guys. It does make sense to be Ich now that you spell it out. I had no idea and wasn't advised of the life stages.

What should i do with the bubble tip, is this a potential host?

No, fish parasites can only live on fish and the same with coral and inverts, which don't get parasites very much at all. The parasites can not affect both creatures only one.

Oh and the medications are mostly useless. They treat sympoms and kill free swimmers but the real problem is the ones in the substrate. Wich is why people "clear up" an ich problem only to find that a month down the road it returns.

Yes ich can live in the substrate, but If you leave the system fishless for 8 weeks the ich will die of without a host to feed on aka mr. Fish.

#10
Skywarp

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To remove your substrate I recommend turning off all pumps and doing it a little bit at a time very slowly with a yogurt pot. Remove as much as you can but stop as soon as your water gets too cloudy and repeat the next evening. There is no point in upsetting your corals and since you have no fish it's not really a race against time. After the bulk of the substrate is removed get at the troublesome remainder with a turkey baster. But take your time. It could take a couple of weeks before you are happy that all substrate is removed.

#11
JoelRHale

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As others have said, there was most likely disease in your tank. I lost all of my fish in about 48-72 hours. I let the tank go without fish for 10 weeks to allow the disease to run its course and now I have 4 fish that are completely happy and healthy.

Just go fish less for 8-10 weeks and try again.

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#12
Reefmaster1996

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As others have said, there was most likely disease in your tank. I lost all of my fish in about 48-72 hours. I let the tank go without fish for 10 weeks to allow the disease to run its course and now I have 4 fish that are completely happy and healthy.

Just go fish less for 8-10 weeks and try again.

+1 it's the easiest and most effective way to do it, no hassle involved just patience.