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Fish are dying one after the other please help


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Hi Guys, as per the subject line my fish are dying one after the other...

I had one Electric yellow female which stopped eating all of a sudden and then started hiding, then died after about 3-4 days,

then one of my Eletcric Blue female was attacked by the male, she held twice and swallowed twice, had the same symptons then died about 3 days ago...

Done a water change yesterday, added some epsom salt because my red rubin which also held before started showing the same symptons but was eating slightly with very heavy breathing and trying to spit which seemed like she was choking on something , died today :( :( :( , and now my larger Electric Blue female also held before is doing the same eating slightly and breathing heavily and choking...

Can I do anything to resolve this dilemma in the tank.. the water condition is all good...

What is the cause of such sudden death?

Your help and experience are much appreciated.



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I don't think the fact the fish are holding has anything to do with why they are dying.

I would be looking at the aggression levels, I also dont know why you would be adding epsom salts to the tank after the last water change unless its something you always do.

I don't think that fish dying over three days is a sudden death and when three fish die over nine days it also isn't sudden.

Is the same tank you had all the troubles with before? How many fish do you have in it?

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It is the same tank, I have a now a pair of Electric blues, a trio of Crimson Tides, now a trio of red rubins, 1 male Electric Yellow, a pair of Brichardi, a trio of Horiis, 1 female calvus.. the biggest in the tank is the male blue at 12 cm, followed by the red rubin male at 10cm, and then the male crimson at also 10....

There is some aggression in the tank as the dominant male always chases the sub dominant and the females, so as the case with the male blue and the male crimson, they all chase the females around from time to time... as for the Epsom salt I always add it when making the monthly water change.

I had this tank now for about 5 months with no trouble, since I first started..

What I meant by the sudden death is that the heavy breathing appeared for 2 days and then dead the 3rd day....

I have had some problems with the horii before as I took this trio of a friend of mine and was treated and now like a charm...

What else can be the cause other then aggression and how can I resolve this?

Thanks for all the replies.

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Lets get some basics .. what is the tank size all these fish are in? What filtration are you running? When doing WC's are you adding dechlorinator etc buffers etc? if so, in what quantities? Do you test the PH/KH/GH before and after a WC? Can you test for Ammonia, Nitrite? if so, what are these levels. How much water movement do you have in the tank? What is the temp of the tank?

What sort of rocks do you have in the tank? Were they sourced from a clean environment?

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heavy breathing appeared for 2 days and then dead the 3rd day....

eating slightly and breathing heavily and choking...

You have given little to no information, apart from the above, and my best guess would be bloat. Metro is the med of choice for this, Clout also can fix this but it is harder to get hold of.

Remember though that with the scant info given, it is very hard to work out what is wrong, so my guess may be wrong, but at least it's a place to start.

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Didn't you treat for bloat a month or so ago?

Are the symptoms similar? same?

If it is bloat, I would be pretty concerned about water quality and diet. Especially given bloat is usually confined to "vegetarian" leaning species. Open water haps are a bit more predatory and don't usually do so badly.

Could any of your foods or something you are using in the tank be contaminated? ie do you fill your tank with a hose/bucket that is used for general household chores?

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Hi Guys,

Sorry for not providing much details, here we go..

WC is done on weekly basis using a specific hose purchased from bunnings to refill the tank and another to syphon the substrate which is the coral sand mixed with Play sand, which was cleaned and washed thoroughly..

Rocks are of the beach but were boiled twice for 20 minutes, then washed thoroughly, then dried under the sun....

After each water change volume of emptied water is calculated then the required amount of Prime is added, with some seachem salt...

Now for the food, I am currently feeding all my fish the 8 veggies formula in the morning not too much just a pinch a a bit..

and when I get back from work I feed the Ocra 1 mm Pellets...

The sumptons are totally different then what I experienced previously, which were sticky white poo and no apettite at all, the 2 fish were treated and now eating fine.. but with this one always hiding, sometimes comes out to eat and it does eat, but then gets attacked by the male Blue and when going to the other corner attacked by the Male Crimson and sometimes the male rubin.

The tank is an Aquaone 220Ltr which is a 4FOOT...

I have the standard trickle filter, an eheim pro for filtration as for the water cycle I have a power head inside the tank which keeps the water moving....

also a DIY sponge filter inside the tank.

All the fish wastes is cleaned during the weekly water change....

The tank temp is around 27-28, when doing the W/C it normally drops to 26...

Do I need to create any other details which may help...


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You haven't given any real water parameters to work off.

pH, kH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate. It could be a poisoning due to some naturally occuring substance (ie. ammonia not being converted quickly enough)

The only thing that sticks out in my mind as a problem is when you are refilling a tank, directly from a hose, I believe you should dose the prime as if you are treating the entire tank volume.

But only the conditioner should be added like that - not buffers or salts.

Not everyone would agree with this but I have always done this when filling directly from taps. (Obviously it is different if you're aging water in drums.)

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Thank you heaps guys for all the assistance...

I ended up separating the Female Blue into the 2 foot fry tank since they are approx 5cm now... she is doing alright for the time being...


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Aymen, do you actually own test kits? Everytime you have a problem with your tanks people ask for the parameters, but the only answer you give is that they are perfect. Obviously with the problems you are having, this mabe as simple as getting your water right.

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I do have a test kit, I always test for Ph, kH, Nitrate after each water change which is every week...

The reading are as follows:

pH: 8.2


Nitrite 0

Nitrate 0.5

Amonia 0

I believe the readings are in the safe range... the only thing that changes during the water change since I do it weekly is the kH as I always try to keep the rest in the same range....


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Hi Elapid, the DIY Filter is made out of a water 300ml water bottle, a black sponge, some noodles and carbon inside the bottle.

Here is a Picture:


Hope this helps...

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