NANFA-- Holocaust 2003... Update

Todd Crail (
Fri, 29 Aug 2003 16:58:19 -0400

A while back in July, I posted to the list about some simultaneous tank
nukings I was experiencing. My main objective for posting it all was to
keep myself honest with myself, but feedback is always a good thing too :)
The greatest problem I created for myself was I changed too many things at
once, which made troubleshooting difficult. I moved three systems
downstairs into the basement to make life better, and it seemed, all this
did was make life deadly.

I lost all but three of my "exhibit" sized rainbowfish, loaches, etc... Over
the last month, slowly I've lost natives as well, but only from the system
that was fed, what I'm now 100% sure, was horribly spoiled freeze dried
plankton. What's convincing about the food as culprit, I moved a redside
dace and an orangespot sunfish into a 30 gallon that initially had issues
(from stray voltage), but incurred no losses and all disease disappeared
and/or healed once corrected. My diagnostic regime was over the top too ;)
Certainly none of the same symptoms appeared in those fish like the other
two systems. However both moved fish are either dead or on their way out.

The only real difference in this system... It never was fed any of this food
(losses also occurred in a pond that received it). Once I stopped feeding
it (the only real change made... I put everything back as it were except for
the nominal nitrates I found and waterchanged), the 3 rainbows I salvaged
healed right back up. New additions one week after the mass dieoff are fine
and flourishing, as are some _sick_ rainbows I picked up just to prove a
point (healing and growth evident in a month). They're all fine and
dandy... I wouldn't be suprised if the surviving trio has had thier lives
severely shortened tho. And the one that lost his eye to exopthalamus that
developed as a secondary infection... Man I wish it would just rot out and
be a socket. That left over eye is creepy! ;)

The way the natives have gone.... The orangespots and a pumpkinseed withered
away and got a nasty white film all over their bodies, with severe fin rot
as a final stage, and perished about three weeks ago... The same is
currently happening to a warmouth. Their immune systems are just _gone_
when they go down. The remaining redside dace would be best euthanized at
this point. He's not showing any ectoparasites, but even while eating just
like everyone else (who're getting fat and sassy.. **footnote**) in the 30,
he's lost all tissue along his dorsal and is looks like one of those dragon
kites you see... All head and paper thin the rest of the way down. It's
really sad to watch. I'm impressed tho with the sturdiness of this fish.
I'm wondering why their wild capture is so traumatic and usually, from what
I understand, deadly... We'll just save that for later. ;)

I'm guessing that whatever toxin the food was providing (synthesized from
bacteria on it or just some component of rotting) overwhelms the fish's
livers, and the moment they can't keep up any longer... It all immediately
goes downhill from there. Other organ systems go into failure and poof, the
fish becomes the living dead. Wild stuff.

So I guess the lessons in the story are...
1) Try to avoid changing too many things at one time to limit the scope of
what could be wrong
2) If feeding freeze dried foods, the foods items should separate and appear
fluffy, with only minimal odor... Instead of carmelized together and
absolutely rancid. My other observation was that the spoiled food turned
it's soaking water colors... That should be red flag number one. If it
taints the water, throw it out. It ain't worth it, no matter what you paid
for it, or who'll honor a refund or warranty on it.

So hopefully there's some good in all of this for each of us.

I began adding HBH Soft n Moist spirulina to my minnow diet. I've always
used this for color enhancement with my rainbowfish, I figured, "hey, why
not". The southern redbellied dace are not only in solid crimson red, but
two of the males and one female are beginning to show yellow again in the
fins. The blackstripe topminnows have _solid_ lateral lines and
accompanying spots with a sort of purplish pearlescent sheen thing going on.
Way out of season, 76 degree water. Can't wait for it to cool down! :)


It's never too late to have a happy childhood.
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