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Fish all laying on side gasping

Discussion in 'Fish Only Tanks' started by rudyfish321, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. rudyfish321

    rudyfish321 New Member

    My son has a 140 gallon saltwater tank that has been up and running for 3 months with no problems. He does weekly water changes. Did one last night and all parameters were great. This morning all fish (naso tang, large emperor angel, clown, damsel, filefish, and blue wrasse) were on their sides on bottom of tank gasping. Moved all but wrasse who buried himself to a a 10 gal. qt tank and they perked up quickly. Wrasse popped out of gravel dead after 30 minutes. Any ideas what could possibly have happened? Removed fish are all swimming and eating now in other tank. Thank you!!!
  2. jay0705

    jay0705 Active Member

    Was the water he added properly mixed? Same temp as tank? For it to affect all the fish that fast it was something major? How big of a water change was it? Was anything forgotten to b turned on?
  3. rudyfish321

    rudyfish321 New Member

    I know he added about 3 large jugs of water. I saw him mixing the salt and he said the salinity reading was perfect. He did say that after the second jug went in there were some salt chunks so
    he made sure to mix the 3rd jug more thoroughly. He checked salinity, chlorine, ammonia, nitrate, etc. this morning and said all was fine. We plan to take a sample in to the aquarium store tonight and hope they can figure it out because I'm not sure how long all those fish can last in a 10 gallon tank!
  4. flower

    flower Well-Known Member

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rudyfish321
    My son has a 140 gallon saltwater tank that has been up and running for 3 months with no problems. He does weekly water changes. Did one last night and all parameters were great. This morning all fish (naso tang, large emperor angel, clown, damsel, filefish, and blue wrasse) were on their sides on bottom of tank gasping. Moved all but wrasse who buried himself to a a 10 gal. qt tank and they perked up quickly. Wrasse popped out of gravel dead after 30 minutes. Any ideas what could possibly have happened? Removed fish are all swimming and eating now in other tank. Thank you!!!
    Hi, welcome to the site...sorry it's under such bad circumstances. Those fish can't possibly be kept in a 10g altogether...are you saying that you put each in their own 10g tank? Obviously there was something wrong with the display tank for certain we just need to figure out what it is.
    In order for us to help you, we need some more info:

    • Could anything such as soap or other cleaning supply materials contaminate the mixing water?

    • What do you use for a mixing container?

    • Are you using RO (Reverse Osmosis) or tape water?

    • Tell us about your system equipment.
      The actual number results of your water tests, and what brand of kit you use.
      How fast did you add all of those fish into the tank?
      Do you have live rock, and how much?
    Sorry..it looks like you posted just before me.
  5. rudyfish321

    rudyfish321 New Member

    I just remembered, he did lose a grouper last week so maybe something was brewing already back then? It's just amazing how quickly they all perked up once removed and how quickly the wrasse who we couldn't get to died.
  6. rudyfish321

    rudyfish321 New Member

    He is pretty careful to avoid any cleaning materials, he's been doing saltwater tanks for several years now but I was wondering that too. Our cleaning ladies were at the house yesterday but I can't imagine they touched his water jug that he uses and fish seemed fine last night. He uses tap water with dechorinator/conditioner. I'm afraid I don't know what test kits or numbers he uses but will get him on here later as we sure appreciate the help! He has a uv sterlilizer and a large canister filter. It's a drilled tank. Bought the whole tank and system from a guy who had it running for years and was moving and he hooked it up same way about 3 months ago. My son bought a hang-on protein skimmer but hasn't been able to get it working yet. The only recent addition was the large emperor angel added on Sunday. Other fish have all been in there for over 6 weeks. No live rock in the tank. Thank you again!
  7. 2quills

    2quills Active Member

    Check the tank temperature. Maybe a malfunctioning piece of equipment heating up the tank which lowers oxygen levels.
    Test for ammonia....could be somethinh dead thats poluting the tank.
    Tell your housekeepers not to use any kind of aerosol sprays anywhere near the vacinity of the tank cause it can poison the system.
  8. mjtech12

    mjtech12 New Member

    I had a similar problem 2 months ago lost an angel and 2 clowns I don't have an R/O unit( as of Yet) but I do buy premixed water from the LFS but getting back to your situation you said the tank is only 3 months old WAY to soon to do water changes anyway he's not letting the biological to setup and the amount of fish described is WAY to early to add that many fish Give us your equipment list and Realtime parameters and we can figre it out
    PS You might want to add some live rock depending on the size of the tank at least 150 Lbs ( Not All At Once) Don't add the skimmer yet wait at least 6-8 months for the bio to setup good also how large are these fish if their to big for the tank size that could be a problem along with what I said not enough bio yet in the tank to hold the load
    Sorry for your Sons Loss, But Don't Rush It.
  9. mr. limpid

    mr. limpid New Member

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rudyfish321
    My son has a 140 gallon saltwater tank that has been up and running for 3 months with no problems. He does weekly water changes. Did one last night and all parameters were great. This morning all fish (naso tang, large emperor angel, clown, damsel, filefish, and blue wrasse) were on their sides on bottom of tank gasping. Moved all but wrasse who buried himself to a a 10 gal. qt tank and they perked up quickly. Wrasse popped out of gravel dead after 30 minutes. Any ideas what could possibly have happened? Removed fish are all swimming and eating now in other tank. Thank you!!!
    The problem is what I have highlighted in red. That is way to many fish for 3 month old tank. Did you test your water prams. I see no indication what the prams. are. Sounds like ammonia poisoning, high ammonia burns the gills and fish can't breath
  10. rudyfish321

    rudyfish321 New Member

    Thank you all for your advice, I will follow-up with aquarium store as soon as I can get over there to have them test the water and will post the answer to the mystery if they find one. The good news is that so far the rescued fish are still looking fine in the quarantine tank!
  11. mr. limpid

    mr. limpid New Member

    While you are there pick up a bottle of Amquil+ or Prime, this will help control the ammonia in the QT. Also its a good idea to get your own ammonia test kit very important to test ammonia daily will there are in QT.
  12. mjtech12

    mjtech12 New Member

    That's good news Just a suggestion get a good test kit API is ok for starters also when you find out the problem and correct it in the DT tank add the fish slowly back to it I suggest 1 a month or more leaving the others still in the QT Tank,
    I also just realized what you posted first you bought the tank from a friend it may be possible that remotely could be the problem also when you and your son set it up was it cleaned really good and what did you clean it with( Used tanks should be cleaned really good with Kosher Salt NO DETERGENTS(or Soap) I say Kosher Salt cause an old time Aquarist told me that years ago it has no reactive ingredients in it and it lightly scrubs to clean glass you just cant use it on acrylic tanks) Just another suggestion to help diagnosing the problem Good Luck Bro
  13. saxman

    saxman Guest

    Which water conditioner does he use? Does is neutralize chloramine as well as chlorine? Most municipalities use chloramine rather than chlorine, and if your conditioner doesn't handle chloramine, you may as well not use it, as it does not neutralize it.
    If not poisoned, as mentioned by others, the tank may have gone into severe oxygen deficit.
    Does your son aerate the water before adding it to the tank? How long?
    This may sound silly, but I also have to ask if the flow was restored to the tank after maintenance (I've seen it happen to folks)?
    Also, you mentioned "chunks" of salt...was the salt he used clumped up?
    Did he change salt brands by any chance?

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