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I have a fully cycled 80 gallon planted tank. You can see what I've got in it in my signature at the bottom. Ammonia and nitrite are at zero and nitrate is 5 ppm. I do weekly 20% water changes religiously and treat new water with Prime and small amount of aquarium salt and let sit overnight. I live in Phoenix, where the water is hard and has a high ph. I don't mess with that. I'm running 2 Eheim Ecco canisters and 2 bubble wands continuously. Treat plants with underground ferts as well as Florin-K and Flourish Excel every other day per the directions on the bottles.

So here's the deal. I ordered 6 denison barbs to add to my tank last week from a place in Tucson, AZ which is about a 2 hour drive from where I live. I had them overnighted and got home about 10 minutes after they were delivered so they weren't outside very long. I had one DOA, which I guess can be expected. I acclimated the 5 survivors and placed them in my tank. I can tell they're juveniles because of their size and lack of coloration. That night, one of them was not doing well at all. He could not keep his equilibrium. He floated with the current and banged into plants, rocks, other fish, etc. He went upside down, sideways, and every other direction imaginable. After watching this horror show for about 30 minutes, he died. All the other fish seemed fine for the next few days. Then, a few mornings later I woke up to find a dead cardinal out of the blue. And it was one of my large fat healthy ones too. Again, all the other fish seemed fine and the 4 remaining barbs were doing great as well. Yesterday, I lost my female ram, which I posted about in another post. She was also fine the night before so this was also a surprise. OK, so today I get my replacement barb from the DOA I had. To my surprise, they shipped me a mature one. I acclimated him and placed him in the tank late this morning. I turned the light off. I turned the light on about 7 hours later and fed everybody. Now the new barb is doing the same thing that the other one did. Just floating around in every direction and orientation and "panting" heavily. What is going on? Is it the tank or the fish? I understand fish just die sometimes for no apparent reason. The remaining 8 cardinals, 4 yoyos, and my male ram are showing no signs of illness at all and the 4 juvenile barbs are happily swimming around and eating heartily. And, my water params seem optimal. I just don't get it. I'm still new to the hobby so is there something I'm missing? :confused:
 

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Sorry for your losses. Anyone that says keeping an aquarium is a stress reducer hasn't lived through these problems recently. It can be frustrating when you are doing everything you should and things still don't work out right.

You said that you acclimated the fish before adding them to your tank. How exactly did you do this? Did you float the bag in the tank? Normally, what I do with new fish is place them in a small tank with their bag water. Then I take a piece of tubing, tie a loose knot in it and siphon aquarium water slowly into the small tank. I then leave the fish in this tank for a few days to make sure they are OK.

Doing this serves two purposes. First, it makes sure the new fish is not shocked when added to the main aquarium. Second, if the new fish is sick it does not harm the rest of the main tank.

Now I'm sure a lot of people are going to disagree with me on this point...Stop adding Prime when you do your water changes. On an 80 gallon tank you probably have about 70 gallons of water after considering substrate and decorations. If you're pulling out about 15 gallons out when you do a change you are still leaving 55 gallons of "aged" water in the tank. This amount of aged water and all the pourous surfaces in the tank should hold enough beneficial bacteria that Prime is not needed. I use a plain old Dechlorinator. Much cheaper too.

I also seem remember one of your posts say you have a brown algae problem. I would suggest reducing the Florin-K and Flourish Excel you are using. I know you're following the directions on the bottle, but the bottle can not look into your tank. If your plants aren't using all the nutrients you are adding you will get algae growth.

Honestly, try to add as few chemicals to your tank as possible. You don't have a tremendous amount of plants so ferts shouldn't be needed very often or in large quanities. Clean, dechlorinated water is all you really need at water changes. The more natural you can keep things the better your aquarium will be.

Good luck.
 

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did you try stress zyme it reduces the stress on the fish when they are situated in a new tank i use it religiously with water changes also are all the fish the same agressiveness factor you should google i know if you have non aggresive and semi aggresive and agressive fish it makes too much stress with the other fish.
i know when i put a pore eel in my shark tank i woke up to find one of my bettas fin cut a few days later he died and i had that betta for over a year .. I then just took the rope eel to a smaller tank but he ended up dying too but good thing i caught the problem before i lost my whole tank
 

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My first reaction is also - how are you acclimating? The slower the better. When I get home with fish, I turn the lights off and float the bag to get the temp equal. While thats going on I get a bucket ready. I take a piece of airline tubing with a knot in one end. I take a paper clip, the big black clamp-style one, and take the bag from the tank, take the rubberbands off, put the bag with the fish and store water in the bucket, clamp the top of the bag to the top of the bucket (should it be a large enough bag to do this) - this stops it from falling over in the bucket. Then start a siphon from the tank into the bag, and adjust the drip rate with the knot. At first just let it drip drip drip drip like that, then after a few minutes, if all seems fine, increase the rate slowly. The longer it takes to acclimate the fish the better. Also if you have a holding tank you can quarantine the new fish in thats far superior than putting it right into your display.
I personally like Prime very much as a dechlorinator. It breaks the bond of chloramines and is very good at that. It does nothing as far as adding bacteria but it does neutralize the ammonia (because of breaking chloramine bonds, the now free ammonia would be a bad thing).
Prime does not adjust your pH either, so try and prevent your pH from swinging when doing water changes by testing both source and destination water and adjusting source water accordingly to match the pH of its destination. Your alkalinity will determine how much or how little of up or down you will need... but thats a different lesson! Just follow the directions, and retest before adding to the tank to make sure it did its job as desired.
In some areas, such as parts of Florida, the pH out of the tap is very high. And remember the lesson you may have learned - in fish tanks, the higher the pH, the more toxic the same amount of ammonia becomes. Thats why I am concerned with pH as much as I am, because its a big concern around this area.

Another thing you can do to ensure the fish are good is pick the exact fish you want. Watch the tank in the store for a few moments, watch the fish interact, and pick a good mixture of personalities. The clerk might not like it so much but pick the fish you want them to catch, usually they are happy to do it. If you dont, their net might catch the slowest fish, and you might not want that fish for obvious reasons. Of course, if you are doing mail order as you stated, thats not possible. The different size fish they are shipping might indicate their turnover is very high. Places with a high turnover might not have the fish long enough to let the die off occur there instead of at your house.

When I worked at the fish store (~ a year at one place, and ~ 4 at another), we went around the store every hour to collect the dead fish from the tanks. So just keep that in mind, the fish might have had their destiny set before you took over caring for them. They had a long journey to make it to your tank and they are small, delicate creatures.

Just realize sometimes thats a part of the hobby, but we try and prevent it as best we can. All the hard parts of the hobby perhaps make the good times more cherished, too, right?
 

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Thank you all for your input. Gosh, where to start? I will start off saying that I won't mail order fish anymore. Yes, I like the idea of seeing them at the store and hand-selecting them. I live in a big enough city where there's plenty of LFS's around. The place just had a smoking deal on the denison barbs and the shipping was cheap since I'm in the same state as them. Never again.

For acclimation, I poured a cup of my aquarium water into the bag, waited 5 to 10 minutes, poured another cup of aquarium water, etc. etc. After doing that about 3 times, I then put the fish in. I've seen the whole airline tubing drip procedure, which looks great, but I was doing this on my lunch hour from work and I didn't have the luxury of a lot of time. I did the best I could with the time allowed.

I am also not a fan of putting a lot of "extras" in the water. The less chemicals, the better. I use the Florin-K and Flourish Excel because the employee at the LFS suggested it since I'm not running CO2. I will down the dosage and see if it helps with the algae. Yes, that's me with the brown algae issue. And now I've seen a few sprouts of hair algae as well. Ugh! I've seen that stress-zyme, but once again I'm reticent on adding anything.

All my fish seem to get along fine. The yoyos are extremely active, and that's an understatement. They get a little rowdy and boisterous, especially at feeding time, but I've never seen them seriously go after anybody. The cardinals are very mellow and my remaining male ram is fine but sometimes gets irritated with the yoyos. The barbs are too new to tell but they seem quite peaceful. If there's any commotion going on, I can be assured the yoyos are in the thick of it.

roc, I like your comment about aquariums being so-called stress reducers. I totally know what you're talking about. I am finding this hobby extremely rewarding, but any time I have a loss, it bugs me. Sometimes a lot. I just want to provide these guys with the best home possible. :fish5:
 
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