losing a lot of fish...

jjohnwm

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Mar 29, 2019
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Manitoba, Canada
Okay, I have never claimed that I "love" my fish, but I do feel strongly about providing them with good conditions and care. I have sold off a bunch lately...my Ameca splendens and Skiffia francesae breeding colonies, mainly...because they were taking up a bit too much space and time and detracting from other fish. I'll be doing that again in future with other fish, and that doesn't bother me at all.

But there are few things that upset me more than losing fish to mysterious or, worse yet, careless causes. And I have had a bad run lately. This past spring, I moved 6 Hoplo cats outside into a stock tank hoping for them to breed. Within days I found one...the only positively guaranteed male!...floating at the surface. Huh? These fish are as tough as nails; what happened? Today, I went out to check the tanks, and found another dead one, an obvious female this time! I have no idea what happened. The water is good, plants are luxurious, and the remaining live ones (and the dead one) have grown astronomically since going outside. I am lost for an explanation.

I have lost a few female Goodeids as well, but I think that it can be traced to excessive protein in their diets. They give birth to very large fry, and apparently too much protein encourages the fry to grow even larger than normal inside the female. So, when mixed with fish that eat a more omnivorous diet, the Goodies get too much protein and occasionally a pregnant female dies, either without warning or sometimes with signs of a prolapsed anus in her last days. It's one of the reasons why I rid myself of many of them.

A few weeks ago, I was doing some tank maintenance and re-organization, and removed the driftwood from one tank. As always, I carefully inspected it for hitchhikers before setting it on the concrete basement floor. Several hours later...there was my largest male Bristlenose Pleco, easily 5 inches, dead and dry. Utter carelessness, and very disturbing.

A few minutes ago, I went to feed my Red Wolf...and as I lifted the corner of the lid to drop in a grasshopper, the fish launched itself through the small opening, bounced off my chest and landed on the table top! I quickly replaced him and I expect he will be fine...but, again, carelessness on my part. Same thing with a couple of other fish, lost to jumping through unclosed feeding holes: a couple Green Swordtails, one or two Endlers, that sort of thing. Not financial disasters, nor environmental ones...but irritations. The wolffish thing is what got me on this depressing train of thought.

I don't own huge quantities of fish at any one time; I don't have dozens of tanks; I keep the number manageable so that it remains an enjoyable chore to maintain them well, rather than an onerous task to barely keep much larger numbers of fish "just alive". So, this number of losses may seem laughably small to some folks, but they piss me off nevertheless.

The way I look at it, when a fish dies in your care...it's your fault. You did something wrong, or didn't do something right, or got careless, or...something. It's common to hear many of these instances described as "bad luck" or "beyond our control" or some such...but the plain and simple fact is that the fish is only there because you brought him into your home, so after that, you are ultimately responsible.
 

duanes

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All of us, all aquarists are going to somehow kill "all" of our fish (unless we give them away of sell them) at some time or other.
Some may die of old age, but that's seldom the case, we can try, but more times than not, we , if we keep them in a tank, we will kill them.
Most medium to large cichlids (including oscars) can reach a lifespan of 10 or 15 years, or more, and if we keep them long (or short enough) we eventually will be the cause of their death.
Whereas most small fish, like tetras, live bearers, and bettas barely make 3 years old even in nature, so if we get them past that point, that should be considered a major accomplishment, especially if we aren't educated, and persistent in adhering to the water parameters, temperatures, proper tank mates, they have evolved to live in.
 

esoxlucius

Alligator Gar
MFK Member
Dec 30, 2015
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Even the most careful and experienced hobbyists have their unfortunate "moments". You feel crap about it and you're mad as hell at yourself. We've all been there.

You think you've got all the bases covered, you think you've got the hobby nailed down to perfection, you despair when you read tales of neglect and stupidity on the forum where people have lost fish, and you think, "that would never happen to me, how could they be so careless".

And then you take your eye off the ball for one minute, and before you know it, it has happened to you!!

I don't believe anybody can be in this hobby, no matter who they are, and not lose fish through there own fault at one time or another.

It's easy to say, "well you'll know next time, you'll learn from this setback," but there's that many aspects of this hobby to juggle about simultaneously it's inevitable that something else will bite you on the arse sooner or later.

Have a beer my friend, don't be so hard on yourself.
 

Backfromthedead

Potamotrygon
MFK Member
Jul 12, 2017
3,852
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Fredericksburg va
Gah. Sacred losses. As the others have said, they are inevitable for most of us. I definitely think some of us lose more than we intend to and more than the next keeper. Chalk it up to inexperience or bad luck or even carelessness or negligence, I'm definitely as guilty as anyone.

But then it seems like there's those kindred spirits of the fishkeeping world who always have the happiest healthiest fish and tanks and avoid every obstacle seemingly by virtuous harmony with nature....I try to learn as much as I can from these people lol.
 

Fishman Dave

Potamotrygon
MFK Member
Nov 14, 2015
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But then it seems like there's those kindred spirits of the fishkeeping world who always have the happiest healthiest fish and tanks and avoid every obstacle seemingly by virtuous harmony with nature....I try to learn as much as I can from these people lol.
😁
You can try…….. but unfortunately these are just other humans who have not been keeping fish long enough (no matter how long it has been) to do something stupid or careless themselves or to own an inventive escape artist, own a carnivorous herbivore or an opportunistic omnivore………….. or more likely they never posted something good - cos that’s when all the bad things happen!!!!!!!! Honest!
 

Backfromthedead

Potamotrygon
MFK Member
Jul 12, 2017
3,852
4,924
164
Fredericksburg va
😁
You can try…….. but unfortunately these are just other humans who have not been keeping fish long enough (no matter how long it has been) to do something stupid or careless themselves or to own an inventive escape artist, own a carnivorous herbivore or an opportunistic omnivore………….. or more likely they never posted something good - cos that’s when all the bad things happen!!!!!!!! Honest!
Haha...I was getting around to that--fair weather posters lol.
 
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FINWIN

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Dec 21, 2018
3,587
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Washington DC
Okay, I have never claimed that I "love" my fish, but I do feel strongly about providing them with good conditions and care. I have sold off a bunch lately...my Ameca splendens and Skiffia francesae breeding colonies, mainly...because they were taking up a bit too much space and time and detracting from other fish. I'll be doing that again in future with other fish, and that doesn't bother me at all.

But there are few things that upset me more than losing fish to mysterious or, worse yet, careless causes. And I have had a bad run lately. This past spring, I moved 6 Hoplo cats outside into a stock tank hoping for them to breed. Within days I found one...the only positively guaranteed male!...floating at the surface. Huh? These fish are as tough as nails; what happened? Today, I went out to check the tanks, and found another dead one, an obvious female this time! I have no idea what happened. The water is good, plants are luxurious, and the remaining live ones (and the dead one) have grown astronomically since going outside. I am lost for an explanation.

I have lost a few female Goodeids as well, but I think that it can be traced to excessive protein in their diets. They give birth to very large fry, and apparently too much protein encourages the fry to grow even larger than normal inside the female. So, when mixed with fish that eat a more omnivorous diet, the Goodies get too much protein and occasionally a pregnant female dies, either without warning or sometimes with signs of a prolapsed anus in her last days. It's one of the reasons why I rid myself of many of them.

A few weeks ago, I was doing some tank maintenance and re-organization, and removed the driftwood from one tank. As always, I carefully inspected it for hitchhikers before setting it on the concrete basement floor. Several hours later...there was my largest male Bristlenose Pleco, easily 5 inches, dead and dry. Utter carelessness, and very disturbing.

A few minutes ago, I went to feed my Red Wolf...and as I lifted the corner of the lid to drop in a grasshopper, the fish launched itself through the small opening, bounced off my chest and landed on the table top! I quickly replaced him and I expect he will be fine...but, again, carelessness on my part. Same thing with a couple of other fish, lost to jumping through unclosed feeding holes: a couple Green Swordtails, one or two Endlers, that sort of thing. Not financial disasters, nor environmental ones...but irritations. The wolffish thing is what got me on this depressing train of thought.

I don't own huge quantities of fish at any one time; I don't have dozens of tanks; I keep the number manageable so that it remains an enjoyable chore to maintain them well, rather than an onerous task to barely keep much larger numbers of fish "just alive". So, this number of losses may seem laughably small to some folks, but they piss me off nevertheless.

The way I look at it, when a fish dies in your care...it's your fault. You did something wrong, or didn't do something right, or got careless, or...something. It's common to hear many of these instances described as "bad luck" or "beyond our control" or some such...but the plain and simple fact is that the fish is only there because you brought him into your home, so after that, you are ultimately responsible.
Sorry to hear about your bad run. And it's okay to care about your fish. Anyone that doesn't 'get it' well...that's THEIR problem.
 

latapy10

Piranha
MFK Member
Nov 9, 2019
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my biggest mistake was an addition channa stewarti with eel goby.A snakehead after a year killed an eel goby....On the bottom is freshwater eel goby.In Europe eel goby is quite rare fish.
 

FJB

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Dec 15, 2017
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Philadelphia, PA
Sorry for your losses, jjohnwm jjohnwm . It sucks big time, everytime.
The most frustrating thing for me is when it is just by mistake, not when we do something we know better not to do, or are just learning a new concept. Just let it happen while knowing better. It hurts and irks. I am just recovering from my own loss of last week.
 

jjohnwm

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Mar 29, 2019
2,174
5,150
154
Manitoba, Canada
All losses are irritants, some more than others and for different reasons...but they all suck. I appreciate the "snap out of it!" sentiments. :)

I must say, I went out to the stock tanks this morning, and as I approached the first one I saw the unmistakeable form of a dead fish floating on the surface. You just know that there is some serious swearing on the horizon when you actually start to draw a deep breath just so you can do the profanity justice...and then, I got a bit closer and identified the floating shape as a feather. I let the breath out...I felt like I had just narrowly avoided a major collision on a high-speed highway: you have about a pint of adrenaline that was just dumped into your bloodstream, and now the danger and excitement has passed without incident...but you're still adrenalized...

I just went back to read your unfortunate tale of woe, F FJB , and it is indeed much worse with a favourite fish you have had for an extended period like that. I can imagine how you feel. :(
 
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