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Sudden Fish Death

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Hey all,

So I have recently had 3 fish die randomly (no ich, velvet, etc). Two were Flasher Wrasse's (one Blue Flasher, one McCoskers Flasher), and one was a Copperband Butterfly. They all came from the same LFS. They lasted about 2 weeks, and were doing really great before their sudden deaths.

In both cases, after about 2 weeks, they stopped eating one night during feeding (after eating well the whole time) and by the next morning are on the sandbed dead and I can't explain it. 

No other fish in my tank have any issues (2 DaVinci Clowns, 2 Bangaii Cardinals, 1 Yellow Watchman Goby). 

I've read on various forums that it could be the collection method. Some vendors use cyanide and that can cause random sudden death of fish a few weeks after they are collected, anybody know if any of the local shops here purchase from vendors using this method? I know its unlikely, but just trying to cover any possible issue it could be. 

I have no clue otherwise, anyone with another idea?


Current tank Parameters:

pH: 8.2
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate : 5
Phosphate: 0.19 (this is higher than I'd like)
Alkalinity: 8.8 dKH
Calcium: 440

Magnesium: 1470  


I appreciate any advice


Edited by jvalentine83

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Very sorry to hear your loss, it is very frustrating and disappointing to loose fish at any point in their lives.   Having been around in the 80's and 90's when cyanide was a common problem I'm pretty sure it wasn't cyanide which strips the lining from a from a fish's intestines so it basicely dies from starvation which can take a couple months.   I also would not rule out your fish dying from separate issues, especially as the Copperband is not known for being a very hardy fish.   It is possible you have a disease in your system your current fish are immune or resistant to.  You don't mention if you have a quarantine tank but if not it's time to set one up.  To help ascertain if you do have a problem with your display tank I would QT a few fish like Royal Grammas or flasher/fairy wrasses (not damsels).  If any fish die in QT I would reset the QT clock waiting for 4 weeks to add them to your system.  I know this equates to a fairly long process but it's going to be a tremendous help identifying where your problem is.  It will  also be a lot less frustrating than constantly losing fish in your dislpay tank.

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