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#511359 - 09/10/19 12:38 AM Cause of death in growth tank?
Ryan M Offline

Registered: 08/10/19
Posts: 25
Loc: Western NY
Ok I have a 300 gallon stock tank that I put to use this summer to grow some channel cats. Where I live buying larger channels is kind of expensive so I thought it might be fun to buy small stock and grow them for release this fall. I run a small bio filter in the tank. I do periodic water changes and pellet feed daily. I had a mess on my hands when I started. The fish had ick and I treated them with a product I shouldn’t have used (but was recommended by the supplier I bought them from). I don’t need to get into the details but I lost fish in the early stages of this due to some bad advice. Anyway. Fish have been healthy and growing well for about two months. Many are larger enough now to be released in my pond without fear of lmb predation. After the initial losses due to the poor advice I received for the treatment of ick - things have gone well. However I do still lose an occasional fish. I saw one tonight that will clearly be dead tomorrow. He was spinning and on his last legs. I believe I lost one last week as well. Everyone else seems healthy. And this is out of a population of about 50 fish. My question is whether it is normal to lose the occasional fish for no apparent reason? I’ve probably lost four or five total since I got the initial mess straightened out. Just curious if you have any thoughts.

#511362 - 09/10/19 01:02 AM Re: Cause of death in growth tank? [Re: Ryan M]
Alen jones Offline

Registered: 09/04/19
Posts: 5
Loc: USA
Fish can be very delightful pets due to their bright and colorful body structure. But it can be very disappointing when your fish die for no apparent reason.
Fish are generally healthy and it is very rare for a tank to the subject of mass death without any reason. There is a variety of object that could reason tank die-offs, such as:

1. New Tank Syndrome
2. Rapid water changes
3. Water quality
4. Temperature Changes
5. Overfeeding

This is some common point that could reason tank die off. If you visit any Fishkeeping website such as https://fisharoma.com/ they also write the same which I mention here.

#511375 - 09/10/19 08:15 AM Re: Cause of death in growth tank? [Re: Ryan M]
Quarter Acre Offline

Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1637
Loc: West Central Missouri
300 gallons seems like very little water for 50 CC. With that kind of fish to water ratio, water quality could change on a dime and require constant maintenance. As the fish grow larger, the pounds of fish to gallons of water ratio gets even more dangerous...bigger fish means more food which means more waste which means more water conditioning is required.

An old rule of thumb for tropical aquarium fish is to have 1 inch of fish for every gallon of water. This rule is probably not that applicable for larger fish and could easily be reduced by half for CC. If your fish are around 6 inches long then you are at the 1"/gal rule's limits. Typically, weekly water changes of up to 20% (60 gallons for your tank) would be required along with temperature control, ph & ammonia checks/balances, and de-chlorinator if using city water.

All in all, I'd say you are doing real good only losing a few fish. The occasion death can be expected with that many fish, but up your game, if need be, as your fish grow the tank environment gets more polluted and you may be seeing the weaker fish succumbing to worsening water conditions.
Fish on!,

#511420 - 09/10/19 11:45 PM Re: Cause of death in growth tank? [Re: Ryan M]
Ryan M Offline

Registered: 08/10/19
Posts: 25
Loc: Western NY
There are actually quite a few different articles online about raising channel cats in small holding tanks. 300 gallons can support almost one fish per gallon provided ammonia levels are kept in check. My levels have been fine and I only do water changes about twice a week now - I did more in the beginning but once I checked ammonia levels I backed off as I felt it was unnecessary to change so frequently. It has been a fun little summer project. Made some mistakes but will do it again each year. It’s my evening ritual now - sun setting - I walk over to the tank and feed my cats. I don’t have exact data on growth rates but if I had to guess I would say they’ve gone from “LMB snack size (3”)’ to about 6” or a bit larger for some of the real pigs. I suspect most of them are large enough to survive predation. I plan to release them sometime in the next two weeks or so. I ran a bio filter and additional aeration just to keep the water
moving. I also added a large mass of lily pads because I thought it might help with water clarity. And as it turned out about a week after adding the lily pads the water became gin clear and has been ever since. That could have been that my bio filter finally hit capacity with the good bacteria too - so I can’t say for sure it was the lily pads.

Thanks for the above input on mortality. I guess fish just expire sometimes. I probably over think things - just always curious what caused it.


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