The Reef Tank banner
1 - 20 of 223 Posts

·
Administrator
Joined
·
34,435 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
over the years here at TRT. there always seem to be a few threads a month or so about mass deaths in systems that are under a year old. these mass deaths seem to affect the fish more than the inverts, but still some inverts are affected. the corals for some reason do not seem to be affected.

what i am hoping is we can discuss any experiences with this, if you have encountered it. also any ideas people may have on why this is occurring. i wave a WAG, but not enough real data points to think it is more than a WAG.

i will see if i can hunt down some threads in the past year and link them here to see if we can discuss what might be going on.

i know, not the normal Current Discussion, but why be normal. :D

G~
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
I think one of the biggest causes of a mass die off is just inexperience over the course of that first year as someone learns the ins and outs of the hobby. This could be anything from not cleaning out detritus and eventually a big bloom to someone adding a chemical inadvertently not realizing what they have done or the classic single point of failure with some vital piece of hardware.
 

·
C'est la vie
Joined
·
4,118 Posts
A few months ago I had a "sudden mass death". It killed my tang and anthias overnight and my 2 clowns and goby the next day. After a lot of research I thought I had narrowed it down to velvet, but after talking to my LFS who is extremely knowledgeable about fish diseases believes it is brookylnella.

Both of these diseases have a rapid onset and are nearly always fatal. They are both caused by protozoan parasites that are asexual, unlike the ich parasite. They reproduce extremely rapidly and create a thick mucus that attacks the gills first and usually causes the fish to suffocate within a few hours to a day or two.

I believe that the disease came in on a tang I introduced. I never had ich until I put the tang in and then there was an outbreak, but all of the fish fought it off easily. Im sure that the tang was carrying whichever disease it was, and once it incubated it attacked the tank. Quarantining would have been the only way to avoid this.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
34,435 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
i also hear Brookylnella blamed a lot for this also. the thing that is weird is that all of these deaths only seem to happen in the first year of the tanks existence. it could be a knowledge thing. a bad water change, to much of a supplement, or something like that. it seems that these die offs occur at night though. that seems to be the largest common factor i have seen.

defining the Mass Die off is a good start. i would say more than two critters in a single instance. two sounds small, but maybe 20%+ of the tanks livestock in a single instance?

i hope to have more time today to do some searches for examples.

G~
 

·
Chasing Stability
Joined
·
9,244 Posts
when I first started my 55g I had no idea about sw. My lfs sold me anything I thought looked cool, no questions asked. A couple months in I had corals, a yellow tang, yellow eye kole tang, two false percs, RBTA, six line wrasse, and two psuedo something or other...Everything was doing well until one day I came home from work and found my yellow tang dead. the next day everything was dead except the six line and the corals. Lfs told me it was velvet. I didnt add anything else for a month or so. I still dont know what killed them, of course this was before I knew anthing at all...not that I know so much now. Just thought Id share my mass death experience...:bawling:
 

·
Lost At Sea
Joined
·
1,505 Posts
I was just about to post my own thread, but I've recently encountered a bizzare die off - only it affected my inverts and nothing else.

About 3 days ago I noticed 2 hermits had died. I figured perhaps it was due to fighting as other hermits, my emerald crab and snails quickly devoured them. However 2 days ago, another hermit and my emerald was dead and so was one of my snails. Yesterday morning, I discovered 2 dead snails and my pistol shrimp was also dead.

At this point over 75% of my inverts have died in about 3 days. I've checked the water levels after day 2 and there was a tiny spike in ammonia (from the decaying bodies I presume) of about .25ppm. Nitrites were 0 and nitrates were under 5ppm.

I did a 50% water change last night. But I am at a total loss. My oscellaris appears happy and healthy. My corals seem a little stressed as most have remained partially or fully closed. After the water change last night, they seem to be calming down.

I am taking a sample of my water to my LFS later today. I cannot really pinpoint the cause. I do a 20% wc every week, do not dose or supplement, and use the same food I have been for over a year. I replaced my PC bulbs 4 months ago with newer bulbs of the same kind. Hopefully I can discover something I can share with everyone regarding this incident.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
34,435 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·

·
Administrator
Joined
·
34,435 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
thank you, those are great examples.

LFS and everyone else like to point the blame at Velvet and Brookynella. i will do some research on those and post what i find to see how probably they are. my guess is not very. people are reaching. the problem i have with Velvet and Brookynella is that it should happen at any point in the tank existence. these die-offs all seem to happen in the beginning. if Velvet and Brookynella were that powerful, then it should also be able to hit an established tank.

G~
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,446 Posts
I am taking a sample of my water to my LFS later today. I cannot really pinpoint the cause. I do a 20% wc every week, do not dose or supplement, and use the same food I have been for over a year. I replaced my PC bulbs 4 months ago with newer bulbs of the same kind. Hopefully I can discover something I can share with everyone regarding this incident.
Did you save any of the water from the water change? It would be nice to know what it "was" versus what it "is now"

That may be some valuable info. Remember, the water right now has been diluted by 50% from what it was.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,446 Posts
I have read a couple of articles lately about how much "stuff" is actually in NSW and how little is in our tanks. All kinds of stuff that we try to remove like copper and other metals.....even gold
I wonder if in our attempts or rid our water of these things we have diluted the trace minerals out so much that our fish can't handle it? Then after the tank is established for a long time these minerals are finally built up again and then able to sustain life in the tank. I don't know and I'm just guessing here but I bet some of those metals and other minerals leach back out of the rock that we have in the tank. Other minerals such as zinc etc are added slowly over time from the food we feed. I know the Ocean has a lot more "stuff" in it that we don't have in our tank.

Just a thought....


*****EDIT*****
.....Of course, the more I think about it, that wouldn't cause a sudded death. It would be more of a problem from the start........
 

·
Lost At Sea
Joined
·
1,505 Posts
Did you save any of the water from the water change? It would be nice to know what it "was" versus what it "is now"

That may be some valuable info. Remember, the water right now has been diluted by 50% from what it was.

The sample I have for the LFS was taken from the tank before the water change. It is some of the water removed as part of the change. It is my hope that perhaps some other test they perform may yield abnormal values for something I am not currently testing for. I was thinking I should invest in a Reef testing kit vs a Marine test kit(which I currently own), but I would assume if the "reef" values were out of whack, then my corals would be suffering more than inverts. I could be wrong.
 

·
Aquatic Philosopher
Joined
·
15,434 Posts
I often suggest that user error is the most likely cause of sudden death. Reading through the other threads, it seems that sometimes it is difficult to pinpoint the exact cause since there is another commonality.... the hobbyist is also less than a year keeping a tank. Getting accurate information from an inexperienced hobbyist is difficult, and the individuals reporting the issues are not able to explain the causes/process to other or themselves, and they often react in a very extreme manner (dosing anything and everything, dips, etc). So you have blind folks rushing into a dark room filled with landmines. It is the perfect storm for sudden death.
 
1 - 20 of 223 Posts
Top