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Fry Tank Crash #2, Give Eggs a Shot?

Discussion in 'Food, Water & Health' started by WendyFish, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. WendyFish

    WendyFish Members

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    We have a plagued 5 gallon tank. Story follows, but main question is the following: After stripping a combo of fry and eggs, all the fry have died. Don't know why (more on that below). We moved the eggs to the display tank where we knew the water would be safe (did not move any water to avoid any cross contamination). Is it worth giving them a shot to hatch? Or would the eggs be more delicate than the fry such that they are unlikely to make it?

    The tank the fry were in was initially used as hospital tank for one sick adult fish, dosed with erythro, fish died. Cleaned (water only) and tank idled dry for weeks.

    About a month ago, stripped about 30 demasoni fry into it. Fry died in under 24 hours. We caught it with 8-10 dead, changed water, and when fish kept dying we moved them to another tank. 100% mortality within hours. We guessed we overdosed the nitrifying bacteria, caused algae bloom, algae used all the oxygen and damage to fish was done before we got home and started trying to fix it. Huge bummer. Cleaned (water only) and tank idled dry for the last 3-4 weeks.

    Sunday we stripped some eggs into a tumbler and some fry into the tank. Again washed it out with water before using it. Set it up 24 hours beforehand. Running with sponge filter from a seasoned tank. No nitrifying this time, so oxygen levels should have been fine. In a day and a half, again dead fry. We got a few of the still-feisty ones into another tank this morning and will see if they make it. Based on last time, I don't expect them to. As I mentioned, the tumbler is also in another tank now.

    The solution here is easy enough, get rid of the tank, buy new food and don't look back. New 5 or 10gall and some NLS fry starter aren't a big investment to not lose any more fish.

    Of course I'm wracking my brain as to what is going wrong though:

    - Biological contaminant seems unlikely -- I'm sure there is some crazy organism out there that can survive as much washing as we did, and being dried out multiple times, but feels like long odds.

    - Chemical contaminant -- something got in there somehow. This was my gut because it just seems like limited other explanation. Might explain why it took longer this time to start killing fish: diluted by last round of cleaning. Worth nothing, we got the tank from ACA, so show fish lived in it for a short period of time (i.e. probably not anything leaching from the tank itself). Adult fish were in it for a short time while stripping with no obvious ill effects.

    - Water quality -- despite seasoned filter, ammonia tested 0.5ppm this morning. At our pH and temp, even for fry, seems like it shouldn't kill them outright in that amount of time.

    - Food is bad. I don't see a date on the container. We probably bought it a year or so ago, but who knows how long it was on a shelf before that.

    - Other???


    I'm happy to give the eggs some time to see what happens, unless it's pointless. The solution is clear for next time. But, anything else I need to learn here?
     
  2. verbal

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    Are you using new water or tank water?

    I wonder is something is a little funny in the water recently. On Saturday I bagged a peacock in new water and it died in a few hours. There are other possible explanations(like wrong dose of dechlor or a dramatic change from the tank water).

    Other fish bagged in tank water did fine.

    If you want some Brown BN fry to try your tank of death out on, you are welcome to some.
     
  3. Avatar

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    Always try...

    Generally any changes to water chemistry/condition once eggs hatch not good. Generally no feeding necessary for 2-3 days while yolk sacs are absorbed.

    Nothing wrong with your tank/substrate that bleach (or strong extended sunlight) can't fix if that is indeed the problem. That leaves water quality, temperature and oxygen levels as the only real variables barring genetically flawed progeny (unlikely) - last two are easy, did not note any mention of pH values in your post.

    Luck. Expect you will prevail.
     
  4. fischfan13

    fischfan13 Banned

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    Excuse me for my answers being all over the place...

    Nitrifying bacteria.
    Personally I am against using this.
    In a tank as small as 5g, there is no saying what this is doing to your water.

    Changing water that the fry or eggs are in.
    Only if the water levels are all pretty accurate amongst the tanks that the fry/eggs are going to.

    Stripping.
    When you say eggs, are they wrigglers or eggs?
    You could be stripping too soon. When stripping too soon there are many variables that can lead to death...including fungus which could spread to other eggs.

    Food.
    Year old?
    I only keep food that long if it is kept in the freezer.

    Breeder traps.
    How about after you strip your fry keeping them in the tank that their parents are in, but just in a breeder trap.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  5. WendyFish

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    Hmm, okay, seems like we might optimize by siphoning some main tank water over into the fry tank. Since the fry tank was up for a bit before it had fry in it, the temp should have been ok. I suppose the pH could be different since we typically buffer the main tanks to slightly higher (7.8-8.0 while the tap water is more like 7.4-7.6). Still, it's not that we haven't raised or stripped fry before into other tanks. We've never otherwise had a problem. Granted, we've usually used an established 20L, so small system chemistry/cycling problems are a possibility.

    In this case, we stripped one yellow lab and these were fry. They died. We also stripped 4 demasoni, and they were eggs. Not wigglers, really eggs. We've successfully tumbled eggs before in other tanks without any issues and at least initially, they were looking good -- head-to-tail was visible on a number of the eggs 24 hours after stripping, so they were clearly developing. I like stripping especially where either the fish are aggressive (demasoni case) or getting scrawny (lab case, as she went a shockingly short time between her last hold and this one).

    Is food age really that big an issue? Seems like NLS pellets and the like should last forever-ish. What's to go bad? I just don't actually know how that stuff is made.

    We have a breeder box but I've never put a fish into it that didn't get out. Including the fullsize kenyi we stashed in there briefly, who somehow made it through the ~1cm open air gap between the lip of it and the top of the tank. She looked quite delighted with herself when I found her back in the tank. That's another story, but thanks for the smile. ;)
     
  6. mscichlid

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    Use water from parent tank only when moving fry or eggs. Keep a seeded sponge in the parent tank to move to fry tank.
     
  7. ltrepeter2000

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    +1
     
  8. mscichlid

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    Large containers of food keep for years if kept in the freezer. Just take out an amount that would serve for a short period and store the rest.
     
  9. ezrk

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    That was my initial assumption on the first batch of fry death. So the second time we used a long time seeded sponge filter from another (healthy) tank.

    We didn't change water on teh first batch of fry until they were obviously in distress. The second batch died in the water they were in initially.

    A mix. mostly eggs, all went into a tumbler. We have successfully hatched eggs from that point before. In any case the free swimming fry are all dead, some of the wriggler look to still be kicking actually...They are currently in a bubbler in their parents tank.

    I am reasonably sure there was enough O2 in the water, the sponge filter and bubbler were both in a 5g which should be plenty of water movement, the sponge filter alone should be enough.
     
  10. ezrk

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    This is FFX county and they use chloramines, but the I am certain Prime went into the tank (1/4 tsp in a 5g) so that shouldn't have been an issue. We often test positive for NH3 because of the chloramines...
     
  11. ezrk

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    at least some of the wrigglers are still kicking
     
  12. ddavila06

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    i would use all parent tank water...even when doing a water change i would bring water from the parent tank. i did that a few years back when i was breeding angels and it worked lik e acharm =)
     
  13. verbal

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    With my livingstonii fry I had them in a big kritter keeper and used water from the original tank. I only used a airstone, but pretty much changed the water every day.
     
  14. mscichlid

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    If you need more critter containers... I have a few for cheap. All of them. Not individually
     
  15. Tony

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    Sorry to hear this, Wendy and Ethan.

    Not really sure what's going on. I'd say make sure you're using established tank water, good oxygenation and have a decent amount of movement in the tank, especially for hoppers or eggs.

    I doubt that the tank could have something chemical on it.
     
  16. dogofwar

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    I like to use a chunk of polyfilter in fry tanks to absorb anything bad. It's extra insurance and you can see that it's working (turns colors)...

    Matt
     
  17. ezrk

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    We pulled out a couple of obviously failed eggs, but it looks like we have about 15-20 fry still kicking with eggs attached.

    So it looks like whatever killed the free-swimming fry left the eggs and early stage wrigglers viable.
     

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