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Losing a Lambchop Rasbora a Day...eeek!


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Hi friends!!

I got a little herd of 10 lambchop rasboras in the mail on Tuesday.  My husband floated the bag and then plopped them in the tank almost as soon as they arrived on my doorstep.

I lost one on Thursday (it was looking suspect on Wednesday...pale, not eating, not schooling...no other visible signs of illness).

I lost one on Friday (it was looking similarly suspect...so, I moved it to a quarantine tank and started to treat with Maracyn...it died ~ 15 minutes after the move).

I've got a funny looking one today (Saturday)...he's sticking with the group sometimes, and sometimes I lose him, only to find him by the filter by himself later.  He did eat the krill flakes with the crew this morning and will randomly pick back up with the school.

I did a 20% water change today after checking the water parameters because the nitrite tube wasn't perfectly blue (it was close...but not perfect) and seeing the funny acting rasbora.  Prior to that, I did a 25% water change on Wednesday after the death of the first rasbora.

I added 15 mL of BB (Fluval's BioCycle) on Friday after I pulled the second sick rasbora and 10 mL of BB today after the water change because my tank is so new and I was worried it could be an issue with the cycle.

My water parameters before my water change today were:

  • Tank size = 20 gallon long - started on March 13th (1 month, 4 days ago)
  • pH = 7.4 (steady)
  • Nitrates = 10 ppm
  • Hardness = 9 dGH (steady)
  • Nitrite = less than 0.25 ppm (this prompted the water change)
  • Ammonia = 0 ppm
  • Alkalinity = 4 dKH (steady)
  • Water Temperature = 78 degrees Fahrenheit (steady)

I will happily accept any and all advice!!  I am a newbie and I know it! 😜 

I didn't quarantine because the source is a trusted source and they were the first non-invertebrate additions to my new tank (well...them and my new corydoras...the corys are doing great!  I love those little water puppies!).

Edited by Betsy
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Well that sucks! The worst fish deaths are the ones where you don't know whats happening, but they keep on dropping dead. 

@Colu has some excellent advice, but maybe instead of doing just Maracyn I would add in Paraclense. They could have some sort of parasites which is why there isnt really any significant signs. I recently had an angelfish pass who showed no signs of parasites till he was dying. 

It seems that your tank is cycled, due to the fact that you had shrimp in the tank for a few weeks before adding the other fish. And the corydoras are completley fine.

It would also help if you post pictures of the fish.

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Posted (edited)

I have the full med trio (Maracyn, Paracleanse, and Ich-X)...so, I could follow everyone's advice, haha!  I SHOULD have followed the advice of the wise and quarantined...but, I didn't want to buy a bigger quarantine tank and they were my first non-invertebrate additions...and, here we are! 🤦‍♀️

@James Black - I am not the best photographer...and rasboras are speedy!  Plus, the current sick guy is hiding under the driftwood.  I've got a picture of the first loss...you can't really tell anything from it.  My shrimp are twice the size of these little guys!  Guess I need to get a magnifier! 🔍

@Cory - There are a good number of live plants...since I have the full med trio, if you were me...would you go all in and dose all three?

I'm going to go ahead with the first dose of Maracyn (as @Colu advised) and Paracleanse...getting up the nerve to put meds in this tank is taking a minute, haha! 

Thank you all for all of your help!!!

1699463519_Screenshot2021-04-1712_54_20PM.png.93f721023584c79e319aeaab5c2b93a7.png

Edited by Betsy
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3 minutes ago, Betsy said:

I have the full med trio (Maracyn, Paracleanse, and Ich-X)...so, I could follow everyone's advice, haha!  I SHOULD have followed the advice of the wise and quarantined...but, I didn't want to buy a bigger quarantine tank and they were my first non-invertebrate additions...and, here we are! 🤦‍♀️

@James Black - I am not the best photographer...and rasboras are speedy!  Plus, the current sick guy is hiding under the driftwood.  I've got a picture of the first loss...you can't really tell anything from it.  My shrimp are twice the size of these little guys!  Guess I need to get a magnifier! 🔍

@Cory - There are a good number of live plants...since I have the full med trio, if you were me...would you go all in and dose all three?

I'm going to go ahead with the first dose of Maracyn (as @Colu advised) and Paracleanse...getting up the nerve to put meds in this tank is taking a minute, haha! 

Thank you all for all of your help!!!

If I were you would I dose all 3? No, i'd dose the 2. I think at this point, if you aren't seeing ich. You could likely not do the ich x at this time. You'd also see fungus if they had it. So I'd be treating the bacteria and the internal parasites. Also they may be weak as you've been losing them one by one.

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7 minutes ago, Cory said:

If I were you would I dose all 3? No, i'd dose the 2. I think at this point, if you aren't seeing ich. You could likely not do the ich x at this time. You'd also see fungus if they had it. So I'd be treating the bacteria and the internal parasites. Also they may be weak as you've been losing them one by one.

10-4!!!  Maracyn and paracleanse are dosed! 🤞🤞🤞

Thank you for your time and help!!

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Lost the third rasbora some time last night...and I have a fourth looking pale, not eating, not schooling.

I think I am going to do the full course of both the maracyn and paracleanse...I want to wait out the soak, but they're going so fast!

Thank goodness for the corydoras!!  That crew is loving life!

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My first guess would be TDS/ Osmotic shock. My second guess would be temperature shock. You mentioned your husband basically put them in after arriving. My third guess is an internal bacterial infection. I would follow all the advice above, but more losses could come as osmotic shock can kill over several days.

Turn all lights off or way down.

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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, Mmiller2001 said:

My first guess would be TDS/ Osmotic shock. My second guess would be temperature shock. You mentioned your husband basically put them in after arriving. My third guess is an internal bacterial infection. I would follow all the advice above, but more losses could come as osmotic shock can kill over several days.

Turn all lights off or way down.

Interesting!!  Do you think that TDS/Osmotic shock would knock them out one by one?  They're all about the same size...so, I feel like if it were an osmotic or temperature issue...wouldn't I have multiple losses at the same time?

I didn't mention that my husband floated the bag for ~20 minutes and then dropped and plopped.  He said the bag was around 70 degrees Fahrenheit when he took it out of the box.  So, I don't thiiiiiink it's a temperature thing?  But, I don't really know.

I hadn't even considered those options.

We're on day 2 of treatment with Maracyn and Paracleanse, so hopefully if it's your third guess, it'll be knocked out!  The lights currently max out at 20%. 

We will see!! 🤞🤞🤞

Thank you for your help!!!

 

Edited by Betsy
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33 minutes ago, Betsy said:

Interesting!!  Do you think that TDS/Osmotic shock would knock them out one by one?  They're all about the same size...so, I feel like if it were an osmotic or temperature issue...wouldn't I have multiple losses at the same time?

I didn't mention that my husband floated the back for ~20 minutes and then dropped and plopped.  He said the bag was around 70 degrees Fahrenheit when he took it out of the box.  So, I don't thiiiiiink it's a temperature thing?  But, I don't really know.

I hadn't even considered those options.

We're on day 2 of treatment with Maracyn and Paracleanse, so hopefully if it's your third guess, it'll be knocked out!  The lights currently max out at 20%. 

We will see!! 🤞🤞🤞

Thank you for your help!!!

 

I would just have to consider it in my decision on what to do. Temperature shock and osmotic shock usually occurs immediately, but death can stagger over time. The weakest fish going first and so on. But they could certainly all go at once. 

20 minutes is probably fine. I once, accidentally, did a 50% water change with a 10 degree difference with no deaths. So I would think temperature shock could be eliminated from your case. 

This is a more challenging scenario, and treating for bacterial and parasites is 100% what I would do. 

When fish are shipped, they are constantly increasing TDS via respiration and defecation, to a degree. They are also osmo regulating to compensate. 

One thing I do with shipped fish, is to add 1 drop of Prime the second I open the bag. As ammonia increases, and as CO² increases, the bag water becomes more acidic. Ammonia is less toxic with a pH below 7. When the bag is opened, CO² will gass off and the ammonia can take on the more toxic form quickly. I then float the bag and put a bit of tank water in. I then dump a small amount and replace that amount with tank water and repeat. This temperature acclimates and TDS acclimates over time. About an hour or 45 mins.

Edited by Mmiller2001
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1 minute ago, Mmiller2001 said:

One thing I do with shipped fish, is to add 1 drop of Prime the second I open the bag. As ammonia increases, and as CO² increases, the bag water becomes more acidic. Ammonia is less toxic with a pH below 7. When the bag is opened, CO² will gass off and the ammonia can take on the more toxic form quickly. I then float the bag and put a bit of tank water in. I then dump a small amount and replace that amount with tank water and repeat. This temperature acclimates and TDS over time. About an hour or 45 mins.

I will have to try that next time...I wanted to do something similar, but I don't have any Prime at home (I use Fluval's AquaPlus) and trying to figure out how to explain that to my husband seemed tricky...haha!

As Alanis Morissette says, "You live, you learn!" 😜👍

I'm feeling optimistic about the meds...the fourth sickly rasbora has regained some of its color!  Hopefully, I didn't just jinx myself!

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4 minutes ago, Betsy said:

I will have to try that next time...I wanted to do something similar, but I don't have any Prime at home (I use Fluval's AquaPlus) and trying to figure out how to explain that to my husband seemed tricky...haha!

As Alanis Morissette says, "You live, you learn!" 😜👍

I'm feeling optimistic about the meds...the fourth sickly rasbora has regained some of its color!  Hopefully, I didn't just jinx myself!

Excellent!

Any brand that detoxifies ammonia will work. Doesn't have to be prime.

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1 minute ago, Mmiller2001 said:

Any brand that detoxifies ammonia will work. Doesn't have to be prime.

This one promises to detoxify chlorine and chloramines and metal toxins...but doesn't say anything about detoxifying ammonia. 🤔 So, I didn't want to risk it.

I do have a bottle of Prime at school...so I could have done it!  The brain just wasn't operating, apparently!  I will have to bring some home next time, for sure! 👍👍

@James Black - the water in the bag was about 10 degrees cooler than the water in the tank...so, that's comforting!!  Thank ya! 😊

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Quick update: About to start day 3 of treatment...all remaining rasboras are colored up and schooling!  Woohoo!! 🥳

I did FINALLY spy a symptom on one of the rasboras - a small white-ish patch on the body near the dorsal fin.  So...looks like Maracyn might be the hero of the week!  I am still going to continue treating with the full course of both meds.

Thank you all for all of your help!!!  Y'all are reason #15234 why the forum is so awesome!! 😆👍

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Posted (edited)

I think I've got the final answer...and it's definitely my error...specifically, pH.  (I'm pretty sure @Mmiller2001 was right the whole time, haha!)

The pH range for the lambchop rasbora tops out at 7.0.  At 7.4, my pH is 4x higher than the top end of that range.  My temperature was also high (still in the range, but honestly...too high).  I don't know what convinced me that 78 degrees Fahrenheit was THE temperature that I had to keep my tank...but I've knocked it down to 76.  I probably could knock it down further.

Anyway!  I think my tank conditions stressed them out, which allowed a bacterial infection to move in. Maybe there wasn't a bacterial infection at all...but the maracyn and/or paracleanse seem to be helping...so, that's something.

I ordered some catappa leaves from the Co-Op to try to lower the pH (out of the tap, my water is close to 8.5...apparently great for brewing beer, not so great for keeping rasboras!).  I think it's a Christmas miracle that my tank sits at 7.4 consistently...maybe it's the driftwood? 

Hopefully, I can make this tank more ideal for all of its inhabitants and I can convince these guys to stick around.  We're still 7 for 10 on the rasboras, 7 for 7 on the julii corydoras, 2 for 2 on the nerites, and 13 for 13 on the short nose algae shrimp (two of the females have eggs...I think)...may the odds be ever in their favor!

PS - A surprise bladder snail has appeared!!!  So metallic. 🐌

 

Edited by Betsy
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21 minutes ago, Betsy said:

I think I've got the final answer...and it's definitely my error...specifically, pH.  (I'm pretty sure @Mmiller2001 was right the whole time, haha!)

The pH range for the lambchop rasbora tops out at 7.0.  At 7.4, my pH is 4x higher than the top end of that range.  My temperature was also high (still in the range, but honestly...too high).  I don't know what convinced me that 78 degrees Fahrenheit was THE temperature that I had to keep my tank...but I've knocked it down to 76.  I probably could knock it down further.

Anyway!  I think my tank conditions stressed them out, which allowed a bacterial infection to move in. Maybe there wasn't a bacterial infection at all...but the maracyn and/or paracleanse seem to be helping...so, that's something.

I ordered some catappa leaves from the Co-Op to try to lower the pH (out of the tap, my water is close to 8.5...apparently great for brewing beer, not so great for keeping rasboras!).  I think it's a Christmas miracle that my tank sits at 7.4 consistently...maybe it's the driftwood? 

Hopefully, I can make this tank more ideal for all of its inhabitants and I can convince these guys to stick around.  We're still 7 for 10 on the rasboras, 7 for 7 on the julii corydoras, 2 for 2 on the nerites, and 13 for 13 on the short nose algae shrimp (two of the females have eggs...I think)...may the odds be ever in their favor!

PS - A surprise bladder snail has appeared!!!  So metallic. 🐌

 

I'm glad things are stabilizing! TDS pens are cheap on Amazon. Personally, I feel a TDS checker is one the most beneficial tools to have. You might want to grab one and try it out.

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  • 3 weeks later...

So...I have to come clean.  I am pretty sure I figured out what happened...and it's definitely embarrassing! 😅

I noticed that whenever I did a water change, I'd have at least one rasbora death.  It's not a big leap to say: there's something wrong with the new water!  

I thought it was a disease...then I thought the rasboras just hated me...then I thought it was pH/osmotic stress...

Then I was pumping myself up to do a water change, and I reread the back of my dechlorinator (Fluval's Aquaplus).  I had been dosing just to remove Chlorine and I thought to myself, "Self, it can't hurt to dose at the second level."  And so, I did.  And no rasboras died.  And none have died since.

Moral of my story:  Dose high on dechlorinator.  Everyone likes protected scales and fins anyway! 😩

2089602494_Screenshot2021-05-098_51_49AM.png.dddac37625fda9c173d6095a8e911c6d.png

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3 minutes ago, Betsy said:

So...I have to come clean.  I am pretty sure I figured out what happened...and it's definitely embarrassing! 😅

I noticed that whenever I did a water change, I'd have at least one rasbora death.  It's not a big leap to say: there's something wrong with the new water!  

I thought it was a disease...then I thought the rasboras just hated me...then I thought it was pH/osmotic stress...

Then I was pumping myself up to do a water change, and I reread the back of my dechlorinator (Fluval's Aquaplus).  I had been dosing just to remove Chlorine and I thought to myself, "Self, it can't hurt to dose at the second level."  And so, I did.  And no rasboras died.  And none have died since.

Moral of my story:  Dose high on dechlorinator.  Everyone likes protected scales and fins anyway! 😩

2089602494_Screenshot2021-05-098_51_49AM.png.dddac37625fda9c173d6095a8e911c6d.png

What the heck??? You have to double dose to remove chloramine??? That's nuts.

I've never used this product, I usually stick to Seachem Prime. I guess it's double doses from here on out.

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