Coincidence?

Discussion in 'Reef Fishes' started by FishyReef, Sep 11, 2014.

  1. FishyReef

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    Hi,

    So, my tanks are all mature and have been stable for quite some time. In the last 3 days I've lost 3 fish, one from each tank - my yellow-flanked fairy wrasse (big 5+" fish) that I'd had for 2 years, my leopard wrasse that I've had for 8+ months, and my firefish that I've had for a year and a half. The only common denominator across the 3 tanks is the top off water. Nitrates are a bit up but not to the point that it should affect my fish. Is this a coincidence or is something going on?
     
    FishyReef, Sep 11, 2014
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  2. FishyReef

    salt_for_brains Alabama Reefer VIP Member

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    Unless your top off was somehow contaminated with something? Even then you would think it would have affected more fish. Coincidence is hard to explain too. Food could possibly be another source for the problem unless you feed each tank with different stuff? There again you would think more fish would have had problems.
     
    salt_for_brains, Sep 11, 2014
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  3. FishyReef

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    The two tanks at home get the same food, but the one at work gets food from different packs (and at this point totally different food since I have Rod's at work). I can't explain it. I too would have thought that more fish would be affected if it was a contaminant - or at the very least I would have seen my corals and inverts affected, which I haven't. Yet 3 fish who were healthy the day before suddenly show up dead in a matter of days? Hard to believe its random. And there have been absolutely no signs of illness or behavioral changes. The two wrasses I wondered if it was the brittlestars in their tanks, but now with the firefish also dead and no possibly predators in that tank I just don't know. Odd for sure! I just hope I don't lose any more....
     
    FishyReef, Sep 11, 2014
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  4. FishyReef

    ReeferRob

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    Put some carbon or Chemipure on the tanks just to rule out some heavy metal contaminate.
     
    ReeferRob, Sep 12, 2014
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  5. FishyReef

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    Good thought Rob!

    So a bit of an update...

    I now have 2 more fish who aren't doing so hot in my 90g - my male lyretail anthias and my orange-back fairy wrasse. Both have been in hiding for the last few days rather than out in the open, though have come to check out food when I feed them.

    My latest theory is that I think my mimic lemonpeel tang might be bullying them. I added a whitetailed bristletooth tang about 3-4 months ago, bringing my tank to 3 tangs - a 5-6" mimic lemonpeel (still in juvenile coloration), a small 2 1/2" kole tang, and the 4-5" WTB. I was pretty nervous adding a 3rd tang and a second bristletooth, but couldn't pass up the opportunity to get it when my local store found one for me (been looking for years). And I was very pleasantly surprised that all three tangs got along, no problems (and I still don't see any fighting between them!). Then, about 6 weeks ago, my red velvet wrasse started acting shyer and not eating as much. I saw the mimic chase it a few times when it started to hide, though never saw any nipped fins or injuries. It died a week later. Then I lost the yellow-flanked fairy last week, and now I'm seeing both the male anthias and orange-back hiding, and the male anthias had nipped fins two days ago. I have noticed the mimic tang splaying her fins a lot more and at least yesterday the orange-back would dart away any time she would come near him. I also saw her chase the male anthias once or twice the day before. It seems so unusual to me that she would be bullying such peaceful and well-established fish whom she's never before paid any attention to, as opposed to the new tang in the tank. Anyone seen this type of dynamic before? Any advice? I'm already feeding nori daily and have a mirror hanging on the outside of the tank, though she doesn't seem to care much about the mirror.
     
    FishyReef, Sep 17, 2014
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  6. FishyReef

    Marinne13 Northern Reefer

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    sounds like it's the tang...I had a Kole tang and hippo in my 180, the hippo was literally biting my clowns for no reason. The clowns started looking bad so I got rid of the hippo and they are doing better, however I added a coral beauty yesterday and now the Kole tang is being incredibly aggressive

    I love tangs but man you would think that one small one in a 180 would be a little chill but not so much...The Kole won't let the Angle out of a corner so now I have another decision to make
     
    Marinne13, Sep 17, 2014
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  7. FishyReef

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    It's crazy how they will be chill for so long and then all of a sudden just turn on everyone else! Have you tried hanging a mirror to distract the Kole from the angel? I'm debating whether to sell my mimic or to add another fish who might put her in her place so that she stops harrassing the other fish because she's too busy watching her own back. Of course that idea could backfire too. Hard to know what to do!
     
    FishyReef, Sep 17, 2014
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  8. FishyReef

    Marinne13 Northern Reefer

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    I feel you...no I haven't tried a mirror, the angel seems to just kind of ignore the Tang for now so we will see

    I do love tangs and now have a tank big enough to keep them but I am thinking tangs just belong in the ocean...I think they get way to territorial and would prefer their own tank and my 180 just isn't big enough even for a small Kole Tang
     
    Marinne13, Sep 17, 2014
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  9. FishyReef

    ReeferRob

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    The mirror trick works for a good while. I used to use that for Purple Tangs when they would misbehave. They get along for me with PB tangs, but put any other tang in there with them and it's like gasoline and a match, sooner or later you're gonna have trouble.
     
    ReeferRob, Sep 20, 2014
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  10. FishyReef

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    So I've now lost a few more fish, including my flame wrasse that was not in the same tank as the tang. What the heck is going on? I moved into a new place a few months ago and even though I'm using the my ro/di could there be some sort of contaminant getting through? What sort of contaminant would affect fish, and wrasses in particular, but not affect corals or inverts? This is making me sick watching my fish die off :(
     
    FishyReef, Sep 20, 2014
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  11. FishyReef

    mariobrothersleeve squirrel

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    Electrical short?
     
    mariobrothersleeve, Sep 20, 2014
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  12. FishyReef

    Aquarian

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    Peracite?
     
    Aquarian, Sep 21, 2014
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  13. FishyReef

    ReeferRob

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    You wanna run that by us again in American?

    Test for copper, ammonia, nitrite and phosphate. Look for odd colourations on rocks, especially red, blue or green.
     
    ReeferRob, Sep 21, 2014
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  14. FishyReef

    ErinCahir Sausage Wrangler

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    ... Parasite is maybe what he meant? But that doesn't make sense for separate tanks.
     
    ErinCahir, Sep 21, 2014
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  15. FishyReef

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    I've wondered about the parasite option as well, particularly if some single celled organism got through the rodi since my top off/salt water is the only common denominator across all 3 tanks (and the buckets/bottles that I use for the water). The one really interesting thing that I've noticed with the fish in the 90g who have died is that they start becoming shy and hiding a few days before. The anthias looked like it was swimming funny and while still interested in food it didn't seem to be able to capture any, and two of the wrasses were almost acting like they were blind jamming their snouts into a rock. All have still shown interest in food right up to the day before they die. The deaths at home happened very quickly - fine the night before and dead the next day, 1 at work happened that way too, but the others at the office I've seen the pattern of becoming shy and hiding and then dying a few days later. Last night I watched two of tangs beat up on a dying wrasse. The mimic did a lot of tail slapping and then the white-tail came along and just started ramming the poor thing with its snout into a rock. I tried to capture it to put it in the sump but no luck.

    I spent some time last night talking to one of my LFS owners and he wonders about cloramine or arsenic in my source water. I moved into a new place in a different town about 6 weeks ago. My filters on the rodi are admittedly in need of changing and so it is possible that something from the source water is getting through. I think this is the strongest possibility that I've heard so far, especially since one of my cats got sick with a GI thing a few weeks after we moved into the new place for seeming no reason - again, change in water and something bad in the water seems like a strong possibility.

    I bought a couple of polyfilters, one for each tank, and bought 5g of saltwater from him in a new bucket to do a 50% change on my 10g tank. I also arranged for him to come to my office on Monday after work to bring enough water to do a 50% change on the 90g. I ordered new filters yesterday that should be here some time this week. Going to go buy all new buckets today and use only distilled from the store for top off until the new filters come. One thing the LFS guy said was that if it is cloramine that is getting through then it will have destroyed my ro membrane and I'll need to replace that too - anyone heard of that before?

    Thank you guys for all of your thoughts and advice. It is so sad to see my fish die. Right now my primary goal is to keep my red sea mimic blenny in my 10g from dying and my white tail bristletooth in my 90g from dying. While I obviously don't want to lose any of my fish, these are my two most prized fish and will be hard to replace.
     
    FishyReef, Sep 21, 2014
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  16. FishyReef

    ReeferRob

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    When I have an issue I will usually bleach a bucket just to be sure nothing is transferred from tank to tank. 3 cups of bleach in them and let them sit, full to the top, for 48 hours will kill 99% of the pathogens out there.

    I wish I could be of more help to you, if you were closer, I'd grab a sample and run it through the mass spec at university. I was having algae blooms here and there so I ran a test on the water coming out of and going into the RO/DI unit. I found the water going into it was loaded with phosphates and some was making it past the DI filtre so I added GFO to the water tank, no more issues. Poly filtres are great if there is a suspected heavy metal contaminate in the water as is Chemipure.
     
    ReeferRob, Sep 21, 2014
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  17. FishyReef

    Aquarian

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    Lol
    Yep stupid iPad lol

    It would if there's cross contamination some how.
     
    Aquarian, Sep 21, 2014
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  18. FishyReef

    Marinne13 Northern Reefer

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    what's odd is it is not harming corals or inverts...they are the most sensitive animals in our tanks

    I was thinking metal but your corals would be toast if that was the case
     
    Marinne13, Sep 21, 2014
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  19. FishyReef

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    Yes. this is exactly why it is such a mystery to me! I haven't seen any problems with corals or inverts, which to me rules out copper, stray voltage, and all of the other usual suspects. But for something to be happening in all 3 tanks, which are not even in the same location, it also can't be something preying on the fish like a mantis shrimp. I've been trying to figure out what kind of contaminant would affect fish but not corals or inverts. I haven't come up with an answer yet. But we'll hope the large water changes at least stop the deaths.
     
    FishyReef, Sep 22, 2014
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  20. FishyReef

    Marinne13 Northern Reefer

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    maybe look in the gills of the dead fish? or really examine them to see if there are any similar traits?
     
    Marinne13, Sep 22, 2014
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