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Endlers dying. Can't tell why.


CalmedByFish
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Trying to prevent more deaths here. Maybe you see a problem I don't see.

I got 9 young endlers by mail 8 weeks ago. All 9 stayed healthy and active for 6 weeks, then I did an oopsie. ūüė쬆

I needed to put my 1 angelfish in the endlers' 20 gallon. Knowing he might be a chump, I moved 2 girls and 1 boy over to a 5 gallon first for safe-keeping. Then I added a few extra plants to the 20 as hiding places, and put the angel in with the 6 remaining endlers. 1 immediately disappeared, and I quickly stuffed about 1/3 of the tank with hornwort. The 5 endlers stayed in the hornwort, hiding almost motionless, for a week. I was carefully feeding them twice a day, making sure they could eat while hiding. But even so, 1 of the healthiest became very thin, and that's when I gave up, set the angel aside in a bucket, and got all the endlers into the 5 gallon.

So that puts us at a week ago. 8 endlers in a 5 gallon, 5 of whom are scared and hungry, but eating. Good water parameters. 

Not surprisingly, the 1 that had become very thin soon died.

But from that point forward, I'm baffled and need help:

The remaining 7 were doing well - active, eating, and all 4 females looked like they might be pregnant. So we're back to healthy and stabilizing, right?

Yesterday, a girl that was active started staying at the bottom, and soon died. Today, a boy that was active yesterday is staying at the bottom, like yesterday's girl did.

Current parameters are: Ammonia 0-0.1, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 5, pH 7.8-8.0, GH 14-15, KH 4-5, Temp 76. (The ranges are because it's hard to distinguish color.) 

5 of the 6 remaining are active, and none of the 6 show signs of infection like spots, fuzz, split fins, red areas... nothing. But the boy on the bottom looked great yesterday, and the girl that died yesterday looked great the previous day. So... what could be going on? 

 

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I don't have much help...but I did a similar thing with my endlers, I put a few females and juveniles in my amazon puffer tank.  The puffers didn't bother them at all but they all hid in the subwassertang...so well hidden that I thought they were all dead until I cleaned the tank later that week and disturbed them out of their hiding places.  I felt terrible and took them all out.  Mine survived the ordeal, but I imagine it was a lot of stress on the fish, so it could be, depending on how line-bred yours are (mine are just endler mutts), that they are a little more delicate and succombed to stress.  

Alternatively, is it possible they contracted a bacterial infection from the angelfish?  In my limited experience and what I've been told by fish store managers when I've had sudden/quick deaths, is that bacterial infection is the kind of thing that can take a fish down really quickly (as opposed to parasitic infection)

Hope things turn around and the rest are ok! 

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@SWilson  I appreciate the understanding.

I don't know much about how inbred they may be, but I do know they're not mutts.

I've wondered about their time hiding from the angel causing too much stress. The only catch is that I'm not sure if all the dead/sick ones were the same ones that were in the tank. The dead female might be one that had stayed in the 5 gallon all along. 

I just went and stared carefully at the angel, looking for signs of infection. I'm about 99% sure nothing is wrong with him. (Except that he got mad at my staring and lunged at me for it. Ha!) 

 

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