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 Post subject: help my fish are dying!
PostPosted: Jun 19th, '07, 20:32 
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So, you have some crook looking fish, and are about to enter HSM.

Scenario 1: you have just put the fish in within the last couple of days and they have started kicking the bucket.

There are a few things that could be causing this:

1 Temps are a lot different than where you got them from. Sudden temp changes will affect fish health much greater than slow changes in either direction.
2 pH is a lot different than where you got them from. It may take a couple of days for fish to be upset by a pH different in your tank to the one they are used to.
3 Something nasty has made its way into the water. This could be as simple as a sealant you used or some little rascal dropping something in your tank. Spray drift, contaminated rainwater, inappropriate garden sprays used on your plants are a few suggestions.
4 There is not enough Dissolved Oxygen in the water (signified by gulping fish at the surface)
5 You are having an ammonia spike, which would result from feeding the fish whilst not having the necessary bacteria present to convert to nitrites and nitrates.
6 They have ich or fungus or some such like disease. Look for spots, marks, coating on the fish that are white, furry etc. Mostly this is caused by stress so have a look back at the first few suggestions. Fungus is present in the water at any given time and will tend to affect a fish when its immune system is depressed, not unlike ourselves when we are tired etc we get sick more easily.


IMHO, in a new system, the biggest killer of fish is ammonia levels going sky high without realising. Especially in cooler climates, it takes a long while to cycle up your system, so much patience is required.

How to deal with these problems?

1 Ask the hatchery what temp they have their tanks at, and research ideal temps for the species you have chosen. Don't jump the gun getting fish into your tank if you are not ready.
2 Use shell grit or calcium carbonate powder to raise pH and buffer your water from violent pH swings.
3 Get the fish out of the tank asap if you suspect this to be the case. Any clean water with a bubbler will do in the first instance. Add around 3 parts per thousand salt ie 3kg's in 1000 ltrs to help reduce the stress to the fish. Salt is a pretty good AP cure-all as we don't use antibiotics and the like.
4 Increase water flow, add bubblers.
5 Do a water change to get your ammonia closer to 1 ppm. You need some ammonia to get the cycling happening, so look at the ammonia toxicity chart in the useful info section on this board. remember to use rainwater or dechlorinated system water. And remember if you have chloramine as your treatment base, if there is 2 parts chloramine in your water, neutraliser will leave you with a 2 parts ammonia reading, and thus not help your situation.
6 Add 3 - 5 parts per thousand salt to your tank. Raise the temp to increase the speed of the life cycle of the ich.

And if there are any dramas, feel free to yell out and we'll try and get them back on the road to recovery!

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PostPosted: Jun 20th, '07, 21:03 
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Good one Monya, heres another;

Scenario 2: Your fish are dissapearing without a trace

There are a few things that could be causing this:
1 The fish are being eaten by larger fish it in the tank
2 The fish is being eaten by an bird or animal (pesky Kookuburas)
3 Someone is sneaking in and stealing them

(did i miss any?)

How to deal with these problems?
1 Grade the fish, and seperate the larger ones from the smaller ones (this will result in the little ones growing better too as less competition for food, and less bullying)
2 Cover the tank with something that will exclude the predator (eg bird netting to keep out the kookuburas) Idealy enclose the tank in a nice greenhouse
3 Hide and wait till the person strikes and catch them in the act

Hope i didn't steal your next installment...


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PostPosted: Nov 4th, '07, 10:04 
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The nitrite spike part of the cycle often lasts for longer than the ammonia. Signs of nitrite poisoning are often similar to symptoms of ammonia or even cold water. For many fish they get sluggish, don't eat and sit on gravel.
If you wish to know whats wrong with your fish you may need an ammonia and nitrite test kit, a microscope, digital camera and the internet to begin with.
A good fish disease book is an investment. They are not many fish vets around, so it's often worth getting a few skills in necropsy and disease ID.
If in doubt partial water change.
Remember prioritys, fish need biologically clean (no ammonia or nitrite) water at a stable comfortable temperature and pH and a diet of quality suitable food. The big challenge with sick fish is not in curing them but identifying the 'trigger'. The trigger is the event that led to the fish letting down it's guard and a letting the problem disease get a toe hold.
Fungus may kill a fish but it's usually the very last nail in the coffin at the very end of the ordeal.
FIND the trigger, fix it so it never happens again. Then ID the disease and hit that with a specific treatment.

Some common combos.
Uneaten rotting food in water and increase in water temperatures = flex outbreak (columnaris)
Ammonia/nitrite in water and a decrease in temperature = whitespot outbreak.
High temperature and low oxygen levels in water = Largest fish dies at peak of health as needs most oxygen.
Many fish disease treatments involve a lot of water changes, prevention is much less work in the end. Once you have a good number of fish don't risk them all just adding new fish willy nilly. Quarantine first and observe carefully.
If you don't have test kits and fish are acting strange...... gasping/sluggish/not hungry
Do a partial water change.
When all fish are effected it's something to do with their environment, so water change to dilute any toxins and check temperature.
If it's one fish thats dead aggression or disease is more likely.


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PostPosted: Apr 3rd, '08, 23:00 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Another place (other than eaten by other fish, predator, or human) that small fish can go missing is a over large pump intake or even the fishy waterslide (gravity plumbing to sump or grow beds.) Make sure your fish are protected from your plumbing.

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PostPosted: Oct 19th, '08, 21:48 
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:shock: Have you check your water, with a dip strip, second are you using tap water. Tap water should be airatted for 48 hours due to chlorine. This will kill the fish and sometimes does not show up on a dip test.. You should run a your system for 10 days with cheap fish in it. To get your Bacteria going.

I ran in to the problem with tilapai, on my first batch, 500 fish 2.5LBS each all my test were fine, Then I had a spike in nirate. Here the water was filled with CO2 even though I had been pumping air, when fish eat they give back waste, urine, and co2. If they are gulping on top you need to do a water change1/3 and check your biofilter you may not have enough area covage for the size or amount of fish. I know that tilapia need 5. gallons per fish at 2.5 lbs but some are using 3.1 gallons per fish

When stating area in the bio filter, You need the good bacteria to process to nirite then to Nitrate after adding O2 after the Bio filter to turn nirate to nitrate..

Good luck if you need a manual email me and I will give you what I have.

Keith Murphy
H.A. Ponics Aqua Farms USA
TransLandSvc@gmail.com


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PostPosted: Oct 19th, '08, 21:55 
Hypothetical thread Keith.... but welcome to the forum...

Lots of free information available here... but we're always looking for more... post your manual up... we're all about sharing knowledge...

Maybe start a thread of your own in the "members" section (with pics of course :wink:)... and show us what you do...


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PostPosted: Apr 10th, '09, 08:43 
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I was wondering if anyone has an up and running system that I could have a look at, North of the river?

I am a beginner and obviously a novice because my fish aren't fetching too well at the moment. I have added salt, declorinator, and ph reduction, and a disease liquid for white fur.


Daz


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PostPosted: Apr 10th, '09, 09:18 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Hi Daz and welcome. Sorry you are having difficulty with your fish right now. Might be worth it for you to start your own thread to post your troubles in and people can get real in depth on the details in trying to help you find the problem and the solutions to the problem (often that should be plural when fish start dieing.)

This we will want to know to help you out.
1- Size and functioning of your system. How much fish tank, how much grow bed, are they flood and drain, is there a sump tank if so how big? What is your media. Do you have extra aeration?
2- Age of system have you cycled up (is your bio-filter well able to handle your fish) did you see clean ammonia and nitrite spikes and then did they fall to 0 while the nitrate rose? Was the system kept fed between initial cycle up and getting the fish?
3- how long you have had the fish? How was their transport? (Lots of stress diseases come on due to transporting fish and less than optimal conditions of transport make it much worse.)
4- Source water readings (you did mention dechlorinator)
5- test results pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and also what are the temps like? Is there an algae problem?
6- have you salted
7- any chemicals used, beware that most aquarium medications are not safe for food fish and probably not meant for a system growing food plants either. Some medications will also knock out your bio-filter bacteria.

Hopefully some one near you can pop up and tell you where to visit, I think I'm a little far away.

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PostPosted: Apr 10th, '09, 16:33 
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I lost a few fish (dead floating on the surface) to start with. I think that time has weeded out the ones that didn't like the pellets that I use and they starved to death. My next problem was that my fish were growing at differant rates and the big ones were trying to eat the smaller ones. I think that I have fixed the problem by putting an artifical reef made of plactic trellis. Somewhere for the little ones to hide. I haven't found any more like the ones in the photo so I,m assuming that all is OK.


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PostPosted: Apr 26th, '11, 06:44 
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Help My cat fish are getting fungus. I started the system about 3 to 4 weeks ago I think. I did not do it right either. I put fish in the tank before I even had grow beds but the fish were there so off I went. 200 cat fish fingerlings and 100 blue gills and a pound of minnows. Part of the cats and the minnows will go into the big pond that is yet to be built. I have a Master fresh water test kit and have watched the process of the water cycle. First the water turned green so I could not see the cat fish at all after the first day. Slowly the ammonia came up a little but not as much as I expected. It nearly got to a 0.5. Then the Nitrite came up to 0.25 and the Nitrate came up to about 5.0 with the ph at 7.8. I had major problems with leaks and spills which amounted to 50% water changes and such till I got it fixed. Now a week or so with no water leaks or problems and the. The ammonia came down about 3 days ago to a little over 0.0. Two days ago both the rites and rates came almost to 0 also. The water started clearing up. This morning I could almost see the bottom of the tank where the fish were swimming. Last night and today we have had about 4 inches or more of rain and over flowed the FT. Now I am finding dead fish with fungus on them. What do I do now? I have strawberries so I dont want to really salt had on the fish but will it i must.

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PostPosted: Apr 26th, '11, 07:12 
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Strawberries will be ok with salt up to about 3 ppm (3kg of salt for every 1000L of water).

If you still dont want to have salt in your system then you will need another tank which you can put salt into and then transfer the fish into it.

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PostPosted: Apr 26th, '11, 20:46 
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Ok last night I put in about 8 to 10 pounds of salt and it raised the hydrometer up to 0.01 so I am going to town to find more salt. That was all I had. Only one fish looking bad floating this morning.

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PostPosted: Apr 27th, '11, 01:48 
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I moved the shade and found all my catfish are dead. when I scooped them out they were not floating but in a pile on the bottom with the uneaten food. I put in 16 pounds of salt this morning before I found they were dead already. Still the hydrometer says that it is around 1.0. That makes about 30 pounds of salt in 12 hours for 1100gallons of water. Wonder why it does not register any change at all. My blue gills seem to be ok tho. havent found any of them dead yet. A dozen or so minnows died but most are moving around good.

Freeking disgusted. Is there any thing else to do to kill the fungus that kill the cats?

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PostPosted: Apr 27th, '11, 02:04 
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ugh! sorry you lost your cat's.. but if you don't know what fungus it is, it's a pretty hard call on how to cure it..
they may have been stressed by something else, which may have allowed them to succumb to the fungus..did they go through a major ph change or temp change going into your system?
what were your water tests like?
i haven't raised cf, maybe others will have some ideas, besides the salt..
might want to set up a hospital tank with 6ppm salt

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PostPosted: Apr 27th, '11, 02:40 
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What did the rainwater contact before going into the tank?

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