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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
35 gallon hex tank
Fluval 404
Nitrates under 10-30ppm, no ammonia or nitrites
pH 6.6 (6.4-6.6), Alk 20-60, Hardness 25
(we have 4 angel fish in the tank, they love this water)

about 3 weeks ago we found the honey sunset gourami that was blown up like a balloon. Removed and isolated. So far so good. Not feeding it, assuming bloat. It's not getting much skinnier, but it's not dead yet.

Since then we've had die:
Dec 15: Odessa barb, no signs of any issues (1st of 4)
Dec 23: 4" Krib, no signs (just didnt come out to eat, then started floating all funny about 24 hours before death), could have looked a little "full"
Dec 26: Odessa barb dead, bloated (2nd of 4)
Dec 29: neon blue ram dead, no signs of any issues; could see regular color poop in digestive tract.
Dec 29: odessa barb dead (3rd of 4), no sign of issue; great coloration.

No fish in the tank have any unusual excrement.

Any help would be greatly appreciated; this is the wife's tank and she's really upset about these losses.

(meanwhile I have a my other tanks listed below and no issues)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Feed:
Tetra Color Tropical Crisps (for killies, angelfish, tetras)
African Cichlid Attack! (for the rams, krib, loaches)
Bloodworms alternating with Mysis Shrimp (worms, skip, shrimp, skip, works, skip)
(since the bloat she's switched to 1/week, alternating)

Upon asking my wife we both went.. oh oh... we just started adding some Hakari Algae Wafers about 2 weeks ago (1 every 3 or 4 days). (ie, I dont think it's related to the gourami issue, (s)he's still alive...)

Fish have been around for months (give or take depending on which fish).
All the fish that died have been in at least a month, maybe 6 weeks on the neon blue. The odessa barbs we've had for at least 8 months. The kribensis, probably 3-4 months.

Tank's been running / filtered for about 6 months.

Thanks.

(Tank profile may have a little more info)
 

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Seems like the first sign was 'bloat' - but not the typical malawi bloat since the infected fish are not cichlids. So that seems to indicate some sort of bacterial infection because the kidneys were not functioning at 100% (hence the bloat). Not sure where the bacteria might have come from - have you added any new fish or been feeding a live food?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We did add a few new fish on: (Marked with a +; deaths marked with a - )

- Dec 15: Odessa barb, no signs of any issues (1st of 4)
+ Dec 17: Add 2 neon blue rams
- Dec 23: 4" Krib, no signs (just didnt come out to eat, then started floating all funny about 24 hours before death), could have looked a little "full"
- Dec 26: Odessa barb dead, bloated (2nd of 4)
+ Dec 27: Add small krib (1.5") and bolivian ram (2")
+ Dec 28: Add frog (medium, 1.5")
- Dec 29: neon blue ram dead, no signs of any issues; could see regular color poop in digestive tract.
- Dec 29: odessa barb dead (3rd of 4), no sign of issue; great coloration.

Thinking I should treat the entire tank with Maracyn II or some other medicine you recommend?
(it's a 35, and no sense moving all to a hospital tank).

I guess I just don't know we're not seeing any issues with most of the dead fish (3 of 5?).

Thanks for the attention Tim. Let me know if I can answer any more questions.
 

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You're welcome.

At this point it seems to be a case of pick your poison. The odessa's are the a recurring problem, the ram was new and not sure about the krib. So you can treat the entire tank and kill the biofilter which may cause more problems or let it go, don't add anything new for at least a month and see if the losses stop. How do the remaining fish look and act? Are they eating or lethargic?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Everyone (fish) has been acting normal. Were they not, I'd never introduce new fish. The wife doesn't take losses very well.

The neon blue ram that died wasn't new... it was in the tank since... Nov 8 (7 1/2 weeks). The living ones are the new ones. Sorry, wasn't clear before.

By "kill the bio filter", you mean start over on the bio-media? I can use some other tanks I have - heck, half of either my 305 (enough for 70 gallons) or my FX5 (enough for 125 gallons) will be plenty suffcient.

Or did you mean remove the carbon when treating with antibiotics? (Anything you'd recommend?)

Not sure I follow your logic on the odessa barbs, but only 1 was bloated, the other 2 looked fine.
 

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Maracyn II and many other antibiotics are bacteriacides (versus some antibiotics that are bacteriastats). Bacteriacides will kill all bacteria - even the good ones in the biofilter. So when you treat with Maracyn II chances are good that you will kill you biofilter which means you will probably have to cycle your tank again. Many people do not realize this and so after a treatment don't test for ammonia or nitrite which can become high because the nitrifiers in the biofilter were killed by the antibiotic. So you run the risk of making things worse as the healthy fish are not exposed to high concentrations of ammonia/nitrite, get stressed and may die.

Regarding the odessa barbs - the bloat is an extreme case but it seems for sure (since the others died) that they were more susceptible to the problem than the others. At this point it is hard to tell what exactly happened. If they are eating you might try a medicated feed and not treat the tank.

No wrong way to proceed just trying to give you the options and the possible chain of events for the different options.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ahh. The maracyn II (not sure about I), says it's designed to not kill the nitrifying bacteria.

I have all the appropriate testing bottles so I'll be sure to watch that.

Thanks again.

Having stopped the algae wafers (so far no more deaths), think I should wait & see?
 

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I am inclined to say wait and see.

The active ingredient in maracyn II seems to be minocycline which is a bacteriostat. This means it does not kill the bacteria but inhibits their reproduction. So in theory should be ok with the biofilter but that depends on dosing and other factors and if the nitrifiers can't reproduce they don't remove the ammonia/nitrite as efficiently. So if you decide to dose monitor water quality and be prepared to do water changes.

Have any more fish died?
 

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When I have used Maracyn2 my biofilter has been OK. That's not to say you should not check, but you also should not just throw away your media either. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I decided to wait - given the entire tank

We stopped feeding the algae wafers after your initial question.

We did have the last odessa barb die yesterday; however, given they're a schooling fish, I think it was probably stressed out being the only one - which probably accelerated whatever was "eating" it.

So far no other fish have shown any issues or abnormal behavior.

Thanks for the follow-up.

I'll post back if the situation changes.
 
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