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90 gallon tank collapse


Eagle92546
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I set up this 90 gallon tank about 3-4 months ago.  I took GCory's lead and progressed slowly.  Established an undergravel filter, added cryptocene plants (dozen or so), a couple of amazon swords, etc.  NO fish yet!  Added some biological filtration via a "seasoned" sponge filter.  I let the tank "mature" for a couple of months, finally adding some white skirt tetras (5) and did nothing for another couple of weeks.  More white skirts.  More patience.   Two weeks later I added two 3" discus and let them enjoy their new environment.  

Meanwhile, I was monitoring water parameters, etc...All good.  I couple of small water changes (10-15 gallons)  All is well.

Couple of weeks later, two more Discus.  Slow and steady.  I even measured out the flake food (1/4 teaspoon) so I would not be overfeeding them.

Two weeks later,  Cory catfish, about 6 or so, followed by 6 more two weeks later.  All is well.

Waited two weeks before I added my Blue Diamond (5") Discus and kept a close eye on everything.  Water was clear, fish were thriving and besides a couple of 25% water changes it looks a though my "display tank" was becoming a reality.

Now in the fourth month, tragedy struck this week.  The discus were huddled at the top of the aquarium, but not grasping for air.  Just huddled together.  Next day, a dead white skirt, then another that evening...

I did a 35-40% water change with some fish "improvement" but the white skirt deaths continued, then the catfish, one by one.  Another water change (35-40%).  Some General Cure meds.  Now, a dead discus (3" ones)  then another,  

White skirts all gone.  No more catfish.  Three more 3" discus.  Just the 5" and a couple of 3" discus are left.  I expect a total collapse by the weekend.

WHAT HAPPENED?????  I am at a loss.  Blue Diamonds look as though their skin is falling off, except there is no ammonia indicated nor a pH crash.  All test "normal".  I have had these Discus for over two years, raising them from a quarter size only to kill them in my 90 gallon "dream tank"

As a footnote, considering with this tragedy, I had a outbreak of black hair algae.  Any thoughts will greatly appreciated.

Blue Diamond Discus 2.jpg

Blue Diamond Discus 3.jpg

Blue Diamond Discus.jpg

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I set up this 90 gallon tank about 3-4 months ago.  I took GCory's lead and progressed slowly.  Established an undergravel filter, added cryptocene plants (dozen or so), a couple of amazon swords, etc.  NO fish yet!  Added some biological filtration via a "seasoned" sponge filter.  I let the tank "mature" for a couple of months, finally adding some white skirt tetras (5) and did nothing for another couple of weeks.  More white skirts.  More patience.   Two weeks later I added two 3" discus and let them enjoy their new environment.  

Meanwhile, I was monitoring water parameters, etc...All good.  I couple of small water changes (10-15 gallons)  All is well.

Couple of weeks later, two more Discus.  Slow and steady.  I even measured out the flake food (1/4 teaspoon) so I would not be overfeeding them.

Two weeks later,  Cory catfish, about 6 or so, followed by 6 more two weeks later.  All is well.

Waited two weeks before I added my Blue Diamond (5") Discus and kept a close eye on everything.  Water was clear, fish were thriving and besides a couple of 25% water changes it looks a though my "display tank" was becoming a reality.

Now in the fourth month, tragedy struck this week.  The discus were huddled at the top of the aquarium, but not grasping for air.  Just huddled together.  Next day, a dead white skirt, then another that evening...

I did a 35-40% water change with some fish "improvement" but the white skirt deaths continued, then the catfish, one by one.  Another water change (35-40%).  Some General Cure meds.  Now, a dead discus (3" ones)  then another,  

White skirts all gone.  No more catfish.  Three more 3" discus.  Just the 5" and a couple of 3" discus are left.  I expect a total collapse by the weekend.

WHAT HAPPENED?????  I am at a loss.  Blue Diamonds look as though their skin is falling off, except there is no ammonia indicated nor a pH crash.  All test "normal".  I have had these Discus for over two years, raising them from a quarter size only to kill them in my 90 gallon "dream tank"

As a footnote, considering with this tragedy, I had a outbreak of black hair algae.  Any thoughts will greatly appreciated.

Blue Diamond Discus 2.jpg

Blue Diamond Discus 3.jpg

Blue Diamond Discus.jpg

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Which test kit are you using? This certainly looks like ammonia burn and possibly even bullying. Skirt tetras can be pretty nippy at times. In any case, to be safe I recommend dosing an ammonia locking dechlorinator (like prime) and removing any potential bullies. Make sure your water is warm, discus like it really warm at like 82°f. Some extra aeration and tannins might help stave off fungus naturally, but until you know what's going on I'd stay away from meds because it could stress them more. What's your pH and TDS look like? Is it possible it could have crashed, causing a cycle crash? 

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That is a quick crash after 4 months.  I'm not a discus guy but keep plenty of tetra and Cory. 

My first question is could anything foreign have made it into the tank?  Cleaning solutions being sprayed nearby, sun screen on your skin when you netted something out, etc, etc?

How about Nitrates?  You mentioned Ammonia and PH but what are your other parameters? Did your nitrates finally creep up high enough to start causing issues with a few fish that cascaded from there?

You mentioned Black Beard Algae.  Did you use something to try to treat this?  Was something added to the tank that could have brought it with along with other contaminates?

Just trying to get a better picture so you can gain control again and so that others dont run into the same issues.


Thank you

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I’m so sorry for your losses here, especially the discus you’ve lost. 😞 

I don’t have a whole lot to add, other than there are some diseases that can show up after months of everything looking healthy. I can’t remember what they are of course but they do exist. I wonder if other people will be able to chime in about that. (I see you’ve used General Cure already.)

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1 minute ago, DSH OUTDOORS said:

That is a quick crash after 4 months.  I'm not a discus guy but keep plenty of tetra and Cory. 

My first question is could anything foreign have made it into the tank?  Cleaning solutions being sprayed nearby, sun screen on your skin when you netted something out, etc, etc?

How about Nitrates?  You mentioned Ammonia and PH but what are your other parameters? Did your nitrates finally creep up high enough to start causing issues with a few fish that cascaded from there?

You mentioned Black Beard Algae.  Did you use something to try to treat this?  Was something added to the tank that could have brought it with along with other contaminates?

Just trying to get a better picture so you can gain control again and so that others dont run into the same issues.


Thank you

Nothing foreign, except some driftwood that I have used before.  I did have some plastic plants that were just covering in the black beard algae.  I removed those and spayed them with hydrogen peroxide and have not returned them to the tank.  My nitrates (as I remember) when I tested yesterday in the middle of the crisis   I just tested again and my nitrites are 0 ppm, however, ammonia shows 0.25

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15 minutes ago, Hobbit said:

I’m so sorry for your losses here, especially the discus you’ve lost. 😞 

I don’t have a whole lot to add, other than there are some diseases that can show up after months of everything looking healthy. I can’t remember what they are of course but they do exist. I wonder if other people will be able to chime in about that. (I see you’ve used General Cure already.)

Thanks.  Everything seems normal and healthy, but then all heck broke loose.  Down to four Discus, out of 9 and the ones left don't look so great.  I just don't know what happened.  I thought I was doing everything right.  

Thanks for the support.  I appreciate it.

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26 minutes ago, DSH OUTDOORS said:

That is a quick crash after 4 months.  I'm not a discus guy but keep plenty of tetra and Cory. 

My first question is could anything foreign have made it into the tank?  Cleaning solutions being sprayed nearby, sun screen on your skin when you netted something out, etc, etc?

How about Nitrates?  You mentioned Ammonia and PH but what are your other parameters? Did your nitrates finally creep up high enough to start causing issues with a few fish that cascaded from there?

You mentioned Black Beard Algae.  Did you use something to try to treat this?  Was something added to the tank that could have brought it with along with other contaminates?

Just trying to get a better picture so you can gain control again and so that others dont run into the same issues.


Thank you

Nitrates were zero.  I tested again today.

Plastic plants removed.  This is what is left.

plants in 90 gallon.jpg

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Wow, that is a very sad story. I am sorry that is happening to you and your fish. I had a problem a few months ago when my power went out and the bacteria in my filters died from lack of flow. When the power came back on I had a nitrite spike, which killed several fish before I figured out what was happening and did some major water changes. Either I missed the ammonia spike before the nitrite spike or the bacteria that change ammonia to nitrite survived better than the bacteria that change nitrite to nitrate. At any rate, when I started seeing signs of distress ammonia was zero and nitrites were 2-3 ppm. After a couple of days of large water changes and no feeding the bacteria recovered.

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1 minute ago, HH Morant said:

Wow, that is a very sad story. I am sorry that is happening to you and your fish. I had a problem a few months ago when my power went out and the bacteria in my filters died from lack of flow. When the power came back on I had a nitrite spike, which killed several fish before I figured out what was happening and did some major water changes. Either I missed the ammonia spike before the nitrite spike or the bacteria that change ammonia to nitrite survived better than the bacteria that change nitrite to nitrate. At any rate, when I started seeing signs of distress ammonia was zero and nitrites were 2-3 ppm. After a couple of days of large water changes and no feeding the bacteria recovered.

Thanks for the update.  That is exactly what happened to me.  I may have over fed them, but I believe I was careful with that (I believe).  The appearance of the black beard algae should have been a red flag for me.  

Going to do another water change right now as I still have some ammonia (0.25) still being detected.  

Thanks again for your input.

Ron

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Sorry about your losses.  I had the same issue  in my 75 gallon tank recently.  My discus and corydoras looked the same as in your pictures.  In my tank were:  discus; clown loaches; cardinal tetras; corydoras; and rams horn snails. To treat the problem, I used Mardel Maracyn Bacterial Medication Powder as directed for 5 days.  The fish looked better within 24 hours of the first dose.  It was not visible on any of the fish after the third dose.  None of the fish died.  I ordered the medicine from the coop and as usual the medicine arrived quickly.  Good luck and hope the above was helpful.

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This looks to me, with little doubt, to be a massive case of “Velvet” (sometimes referred to as Gold Dust Disease).

The peeling skin is the giveaway to me, I know of no other malady that has this as a symptom.

Velvet is caused by a tiny parasite known as Oodinium, which could have been brought into the environment by an improperly quarantined fish, or added plants that were not disinfected.

The parasite needs light.  Recommended treatment is cutting the lights and copper sulfate.

Edited by tonyjuliano
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I had  this happen to me after I did a water change and for got to treat the water with a decholorinator.

My fish looked exactly like yours, not matter what I did I could not save none of them. The damage had already been done. I lost all my cichlids in that tank within days.....it was a hard taught leasson for me

So sorry your going through this situation.....

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In addition, I had this happen last year when my local water supplier upped the amount of chlorine without consumer notice. I didn't dose enough dechlorinator and lost some beautiful cichlids. After the fact they informed me they raise the agent 3 to 4 times a year due to problems with the source water. Nowadays I assume its always high and use more conditioner and watch carefully for the first 24h after a water change.

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