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Please help! Don't know why my fish are dying!


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Hi All:

I have problems with my tank, cant figure it out. LFS doesn't know, planted tank forum no help.. Maybe you can help. Might be a bit long to describe....

Tank is 14 months old. Cycled fast. Dirted, planted tank. 32 gal but a bit shallower so say 27 gal. Generally looks beautiful. Fluval plant 3.0 light.

fluval 207, heavily planted, aerator, generally stays 77F, slight bit of fluctuation. 

Have had a bunch of different fish, mostly Scarlet badis, and returned some fish due to incompatibility issues (I returned halfbeaks, bumblebee gobies, peacock gudgeons). Now have a few silver kuli loaches (3), one Annandale loach, 4 ember tetra (just lost one to the weird sudden bloat), about 8-9 exclamation point rasboras, and now down to only 4 scarlet badis. 

Had up to 13-14 badis, breeding successfully many times over, now Ive lost almost all, all my females gone, my big male has a poor pale color rather than the super bright red they normally had.

A few months ago bought 11 (wild caught didn't know at the time) green rasboras (Sundadanio). They were amazingly healthy, got fat, then precipitously died in a matter of weeks. Possibly for them it was the hard water.. They had a bit of ich but that cleared up fast.

The badis are my biggest concern. Bumblebee gobies were tail nipping so I got them out. Still, randomly they decline. Some get bloated, many others start by getting raised whitish patches, but not as bright as ich, typically they lose much color, then die. Usually still aggressively feed up till they get bad. My last big female badis was too bloated for several weeks or more.. tried to get her to eat frozen daphnia but she wasn't too into it, then she vanished and a shrimp was eating her the next day. 

One occasional symptom is the fish will flick as if rubbing their sides.. not common but has happened. My last female badis was doing this a bit at the end ..

I feed live black worms that I keep in a separate tank, in RO water and feed them boiled organic broccoli, squash, which they devour. Some sediment in that worm tank gets in during feeding.. I also feed live or fresh dead baby brine almost daily, frozen adult brine and frozen daphnia. Hikari micro pellets for those that take it (tetras and rasboras and loaches only). LFS people say my fish are "spoiled"...

Suddenly in the last month or two Ive lost a ton of badis. Always had a slow trickle but many breeding so they were replaced...

Ill attach a current badis with a spot on face, and water test result. Water always has zero N so dont ask, no I dont have Chlorine or ammonia or Nitrate or anything.  

I also have Neocardinia shrimp doing well and Amano shrimp, many snails.. all good.

My thoughts:

-I put a rock or rocks in there that is leaching something I cant test for.. Tested most with vinegar first, so not sure that it.

-I have a piece of wood that is leaching something.. Mostly manzanita but some is mystery driftwood (mostly small pcs) that I previously boiled for hours. I do have a fair bit of tannin build up either from soil or wood.

-Ive introduced a disease, bacteria, or parasite by feeding live mosquito larvae or live daphnia I get from local ponds.. Dont really do this often at all but used to a bit more often (still rare, haven't in a while so its odd the die off has increased).

-My organic potting soil is too deep and is gassing something; I do *still* get bubbles if I prod the soil with tweezers.

LFS recommended I put carbon in the fluval, so I did, chemi-pure elite. That seems to take some of the tannin out but its only been a couple weeks in there. 


current little male with a spot.


Last female shortly before dying, Aug 23. Bloated.1766819546_ScreenShot2021-09-03at3_00_57PM.png.5ac70888339be53eb8f582cee306a84f.png

Death of a male shortly before that... got bloated fast.1703475620_ScreenShot2021-09-03at3_01_10PM.png.5c5f712321b4b88bf0cc590e36f8c1cc.png

General tank look


typical water test


Thank you for any wisdom and for reading


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Too many variables to really diagnose. I would remove anything and stop introducing anything from the wild. I would restart lives foods from scratch using sterile equipment and clean sources.

I would treat for parasites and bacterial infections. I would do an external round for parasites and then orally treat for bacterial infections. After that I would treat for parasites internally.

Paracleanse or PraziPro for external.

Kanaplex for bacterial infection via food.

Metroplex for internal parasites via food.

Personally, and I mean I would not recommend this, but I would do it myself. I would dose PraziPro and feed Kanaplex simultaneously. Rest them for a week and then hit with metroplex. I would watch, if I saw any flashing, I would do a 4 week course of PraziPro. But again, that's me.

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