4 Purple Firefish all disappeared at once?

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Ds38

New Member
#1
Tonight was the first time I noticed all 4 of my purple firefish were missing.

All 4 of my red white firefish are visible.

For 2 months, all 8 were co-existing in their packs of 4. . . .

I know how a firefish can go into hiding when you first get it. That happened with a few of them. But that was months ago. They were all visible for the past 2 months.

All posts related to their firefish missing was just about 1 firefish.

The fact all 4 of my purple firefish went missing, while all 4 of my white red are not missing, means what? Can my small snowflake eel have ate them? First few months of snowflake eel he would make himself visible and I would feed him krill every few days. For past 2 months, he's changed his behavior and I never see him but for a few times and when I do I feed him a krill or two before he refuses. He's always hiding in the rocks. He's not that big, just 12 inches. I don't know what he eats anymore but my maintenance guy says most eels just eat a few times a month.

Can they have got trapped in their sleeping hole?

I have a 300 gallon and while my phosphate and nitrate were kind of high 2 months ago, the firefish and everyone else has been fine and the parameters have improved with my maintenance guy doing 50 gallon water changes.

He says it's normal for firefish to hide for a few days, and told me how his disappeared when he first got them.

But it seems extremely weird for me to not see any of my 4 purple firefish all of a sudden, all evening when the lights are on.

Any theories? Likely dead ? Likely hiding?
Pic tonight, you can see the white red firefish...

Used to seeing 4 purple firefish as well. Not tonight :( no sign of them

IMG_20191028_2145235.jpg
 

lmforbis

Administrator
Staff member
#2
I had 4 similar fish (blue grudgeon dart fish a few years ago. They would just disappear then come back A couple days to a couple weeks later. eventually they just stopped coming out. They were very shy and I figured the stress got to them. It could be the reds were bully them.
 

Ds38

New Member
#3
Thanks for your experience....

https://ibb.co/F0p3mj0

Here is a pic I took just 5 days ago... You can see 2 of the purple firefish mingling with everyone. A few of the 4 purple firefish were big... bigger than the 4 red white firefish....

The 4 purple firefish and 4 red firefish have been together for 2 months..... Since then, bought a bunch of chromis , and 8 nemo clowns (down to 5 now) and 3 skunk clowns (down to 2 now). Other than that, nothing but some shrimp, crabs and snails have been added. Was about to add 4 helfrichi firefish and have a cool trio of firefish groups, but not if a whole group of firefish just disappear without explanation and no way to know how to prevent it again.

About ready to quit this hobby , too many unexplainable things that even my maintenance guy doesn't answer. This one topps them all though....that an entire group of firefish all disappear within days after being totally adjusted and used to the tank for 2 months... the reds are left, and the purples are taken. Why. How. Ugh.

I hope they reappear tomorrow
 

Ds38

New Member
#4
If that image link doesn't work, try this


You can see THREE of the purple firefish from a few days ago. 2 clearly, one of them curled/turning

I can't keep buying fish and maintaining an aquarium if it's literally just throwing money away because entire groups of fish disappear despite paying $200 a week to a maintenance guy . My water levels are good, but still this kind of thing can happen, which seems to be too easy to happen without any explanation
 

lmforbis

Administrator
Staff member
#5
based on that pic you are doomed to have issues. Your fish aren’t compatible. You have at least 2 species of clowns, you have at least 3 species of damsels, you have a harlequin sweet lips which will eat your smaller fish.

I’d do some rethinking of your stock. Do some serious research on compatibilities. Don’t let your maintenance guy suggest fish. there is a good chance the fish were very stressed, and bullied. This will cause them to die. The red ones are usually hardier than the purple ones.
general rule only one species within a type of fish.
Either oscelaris or skunk not both. With clowns not more than 2 total and both should be small males When you get them.
only one type of dart fish, red or purple not both.
Only one type of damsel (I wouldn’t do any because they will harass everything else to death) I see blue, yellow tail and chromis (yes chromis are damsels).
none of the fish should be able to eat the others. Sweet lips get huge and eat other fish.
Based on your pics I’m surprised you haven’t lost more fish.

do you quarantine your fish?
 

Ds38

New Member
#6
You sound like the product pages of saltwaterfish.com and ***********. I joke with the maintenance guy about how these disclaimers on every fish page is just to cover their ass in the 1% chance. Compatibility?

Yea yeah. Wasn't my snow flake eel supposed to eat all my inverts? Why do I still have a pair of harlequin shrimp, and cleaner shrimp, and a ton of feeder shrimp and sexy shrimp? Neither the eel or the harlequin sweetlips doesn't touch any invert, but these product pages would have you believe that my aquarium would be wiped out... I've had my eel and sweetlips for 4+ months.

Similarly, I had a dogface puffer for 6 months, he died, but supposedly he was supposed to eat all my inverts too. Never touched one. Only ate the crabs when I dropped them in for him.

My harlequin sweetlips hasn't touched any of my fish, and surely you aren't suggesting he targeted the 4 purple firefish for some reason, all of a sudden. Why would my big purple firefish have been bullied and not my 4 smaller red firefish? And I have tons of rock for them to hide in if they wanted time out.

I have the owner of Crystal Dynamics aquarium that does maintenance here. He hasn't seen a problem with my fish selection.
 

Ds38

New Member
#7
And no, I don't have a quarantine area set up.
Have no room for it in my living room and maintenance guy has never suggested it.
 

Ds38

New Member
#8
Dude, I've had the 4 bully blue damsels for 8 months. Yeah they chase everyone and each other. They are all having fun. I have a group of Springer damsel and some kung pow damsel yellow tails. They are $6 each. Not a big deal. The chromis aren't bothered by the blue damsel.

You make an aquarium sound completely pointless. Who wants an aquarium just to have 2 nemos???? I want 3-4 kinds of clowns. Who wants just 2 clowns in a 300 gallon tank?

My maintenance guy said he's never seen a problem mixing the purple and red firefish. And I do plan on getting 4 helfrichi as well. Again I have a 300 gallon tank. People want to see nemos. Not 1-2 nemos somewhere in the tank. I want them visibly everywhere. I want 4 4 4 of the 3 kinds of firefish. And I'm going to get a maroon clown and a school of clowns. Yes I've read the school of clowns is hard in an aquarium, but I'll try myself.

I think until you can answer me why my dogface puffer never ate an invert, why my snowflake eel never ate an invert, why my sweetlips ate frozen food from day 1 and did not ever touch a feeder shrimp even though I went out and bought 100 feeder shrimp for him because the product page said how they will starve without feeder shrimp or worms for the first week, etc etc then your product page like advice doesn't seem reasonable.

I have a gang of 7 sexy shrimp that hangout together, and nobody has messed with them. Not the eel or harlequin sweetlips. Why?

My 4 purple firefish did not decide all at once like a cult to drink some Kool-Aid and die together..... You say they got bullied by the red firefish. After 2 months of bullying, they all died together? From seeing all 8 every night, to suddenly, sometime in the last 3 days, I just noticed tonight no purple firefish. You seem so sure of lack of compatibility but do not explain how ridiculous of timing it is for the 4 to disappear at once..... And compatibility can be flexible depending on tank size right? So isn't everything your saying way more strict when it's someone with a 50 gallon tank mixing multiple clowns, firefish, sweetlips, damsels/chromis??? But a 300 gallon tank???? Admit it, right!?
 
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Ds38

New Member
#9
Currently I have 4 sunburst anthias (had 1, but added 3 last week), and about 6 chromis and 4 Fiji chromis..... 4 pajama cardinal..... 4 purple firefish (missing), 4 red firefish, a handful of yellow tail damsel, 4 blue damsel, and a few springer damsel........ And 1 orange anthias (had a group, 1 male and the rest female, but they all died except 1 female, maintenance guy says tank needs to be really established for those anthias).......and harlequin sweetlips, along with 3 cleaner shrimp, and the blood red shrimp, and some other shrimp, and harlequin shrimp pair.

I wanted to add 4 helfrichi but if $400 of them disappears I'll freak out..... ... and a group of anthias, and Royal gamma basset, and of course need 3-4 tangs..... And a few flame fish.....And I want to get a new dogface puffer but a 3 inch one, not a 7+ inch one that my maintenance guy put in earlier this year...

If you have any suggestions of what is compatible I'll hear it but Id rather quit this aquarium before I agree to only have 1-2 of things. I want to be able to have a school of chromis (which I have), a school of Springer and yellow tail damsels (which I have but they are dwindling down it seems from 2 months ago, because probably of the fat blue damsels bullying). But it's neat and fun seeing the little springs and yellow tails tricking the bully damsels, and not being able to chase them through the small areas that the springers and yellow damsels go..... If I can't have friendly chasing then that sucks..... and a school of clowns.....at least a small group. And a group of each of the firefish, and cardinals, etc etc and then get a few big fish like a puffer, Angel fish, and tangs

When is harlequin sweetlips supposed to be eating fish? Because he's the last in the tank, so he seems chill with everyone. And no, I'm not going to keep him if he's going to get 3 feet long. If he's going to turn into a bass, I'll let him be free in the ocean. I haven't seen him get any bigger yet, but I am aware he supposedly can grow 36 inches??? If he even gets to 8 inches I'll set him free in the ocean. He seems fine with everyone, but he gulps down 50% of the food I put in the tank so that's annoying for everyone else, and I've never seen him stop swimming to sleep. He doesn't sleep!
 
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#10
Here is my dogface puffer (before he died in May), scared of my harlequin shrimp

youtube.com/watch?v=6HiDQmqKUGY

So I take compatibility and disclaimers with a grain of salt. I'll consider it, but so far, I've seen no experience of anything that were supposed to eat my inverts actually eat my inverts. I haven't lost 1 cleaner shrimp and I have had a harlequin tusk, a dogface puffer, and snowflake eel. It's the tusk and puffer that have died while all inverts have remained since February day 1!!!!
 

lmforbis

Administrator
Staff member
#11
I don’t work for SWF. This is a volunteer position. I don’t even get a discount at their store. I do have over 25 years experience keeping a salt water tank. I have probably made every mistake that can be made. if you don’t want help don‘t ask.
 
#12
I don’t work for SWF. This is a volunteer position. I don’t even get a discount at their store. I do have over 25 years experience keeping a salt water tank. I have probably made every mistake that can be made. if you don’t want help don‘t ask.
I wasn't saying you were endorsing SWF. I had also wrote L.A. site but they censored it. I was just saying you sound like those disclaimers on any sites product page for a fish, when they rarely come true.

I don't know why you ignored my legitimate questions. Don't just say that's not compatible, and not even take into account the size of the tank. Obviously if it's a 10,000 gallon tank, everything I have in the numbers I have is compatible. 4 purple and 4 red firefish, and 5 springer damsel and 4 fat bully damsel and 10 chromis aren't going to bother each other in a 10,000 gallon tank, but yeah your more accurate if your talking about a 50 gallon tank.
 
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lmforbis

Administrator
Staff member
#13
I wouldn’t put that many damsels in a 300. the number and adult size of the fish you can have increases with tank size. The compatibility doesn’t change. I’ve see damsels fight not just each other but attack larger fish including divers (me) In the ocean, both Caribbean and the pacific in the Philippines. They have billions of gallons to swim in. They still fight for their territory. It is the nature of most salt water fish. The compatibility rules are the same in a big tank as a small tank. You asked why your fish disappeared. I told you the likely reason, Aggression and stress. I’d also invest in a 20 gallon qt. With that many fish you will eventually bring in a disease That wipes out your entire tank.
 
#14
I wouldn’t put that many damsels in a 300. the number and adult size of the fish you can have increases with tank size. The compatibility doesn’t change. I’ve see damsels fight not just each other but attack larger fish including divers (me) In the ocean, both Caribbean and the pacific in the Philippines. They have billions of gallons to swim in. They still fight for their territory. It is the nature of most salt water fish. The compatibility rules are the same in a big tank as a small tank. You asked why your fish disappeared. I told you the likely reason, Aggression and stress. I’d also invest in a 20 gallon qt. With that many fish you will eventually bring in a disease That wipes out your entire tank.
I hear ya! When I put the claw into the tank to retrieve something, one bully damsel in particular keeps circling my claw stick when it's in his area and keeps darting at it. So silly it wants to fight my claw stick for being in its area but can't do anything!

How do I prevent a fish that's already in the aquarium from making everyone else sick? Half the fish can't be caught, they dart into the rocks. If it's sick enough for me to catch, it's going to die anyways, but is that when you are saying to quarantine a fish?

I just don't understand how aggression and stress killed off all 4 purple firefish at the same time, after being established for 2 months, and having no new fish besides 5 remaining nemo type clowns and 2 skunk clowns that have been very docile and just floating in one spot. Yes there is a harlequin sweetlips but he seems so focused on scavenging the sand non-stop for food, he hasn't bothered any fish, or firefish in all the hours I've watched them.

Appreciate your feedback.
 

lmforbis

Administrator
Staff member
#15
You want to quarantine new fish for min 30 days before adding them. longer if they need treatment. If you already have a disease in the tank there isn’t much you can do except remove and treat them all. Then leave the tank fishless long enough for the parasites to die off (Typically 72 days). Otherwise you will keep losing fish to the diseases, especially new ones. This works for everything but uronema marinum which doesn’t need a fish to survive , it can’t be eradicated with out a total reboot. That disease is common in chromis (the reason I will never buy them) and anthia.
 
#16
Wow, so acclimating a fish from SWF to its quarantine tank, and then acclimating again a month later to the regular tank? All while maintaining good parameters for a 2nd tank.....

I was under the impression the bacteria / crabs / all the small creatures that eat stuff will kill parasites.

You are obviously hardcore into this. Guess having an aquarium isn't for anyone but someone willing to be a fish doctor / vet 24/7. OR I would expect my $800 a month maintenance guy to be handling all this right!?!? What the hell am I paying for? Just for him to do small water changes (extra $100 each time) and test water parameters??? I lowered to every other week for $400 month, but still feel like I'm just throwing money away.

You've convinced me further to get rid of my massive investment. Insanity.
 
#19
$200 per visit isn't standard?
What is a reasonable amount for a maintenance visit?

And I like cleaning the glass myself with the magnets, and I change the skimmer out myself because I don't want it to drip on my floor. So he comes and tests my levels, sometimes has made fixes to the teeth / overflow box, installed the phosphate reducer equipment, set up my carbon activated media, set up my rodi water system to automatically refill water levels when it drops, set up the calcium 2 component system for the apex 2 dosing, etc etc.... Going to have me switching to triton 4 doses instead of the b-ionic 2 step once my last 2 jugs run out.....And lately done 50 gallon water changes because had a tank crash in May from me adding too many fish to the new tank (february). Only a few visits has been under an hour, usually it's 1-2 hours he's here, a few times 3 hours. All this equipment has been spread out.

But yeah moving forward, I don't want to keep paying $200 a visit. What's fair, for gas, etc? To do small water changes and test the parameters and just check my phosphate reducer and carbon filters etc
 
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#20

2 pics, slide above

The maintenance visits have mostly been to set up everything - not just testing water parameters. Also to put original coral and fish in, etc... June / July no maintenance visits. Took a break since had no fish after tank crash , except for my 4 bully damsel and cleaner shrimp which will never die it seems
 
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