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Bill D. Offline OP
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I ran a little experiment. I will preface this post with the statement that I did this test once with FHM from one baitshop located near me...

I have a 20 gallon aquarium setup with a cycled filter. I started with 8 Rosey Reds (RR) and had them in there for two months or so. They were growing well and seemed very healthy. (I monitored ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels. Ammonia and nitrite were 0 and nitrate climbed to 10 ppm during this test.) Two weeks ago I introduced a dozen FHM from the baitshop and they were feisty and appeared healthy. Roll the clock forward two weeks. All the FHM from the baitshop are now dead. The symptoms prior to death included lethargic behavior and a dulling of color the back half of their bodies. Some got a slight fuzzy growth. It could be argued they died because of stress but, three of my originally healthy RR have now died with the same symptoms. I don't think stress is contagious.

My advice, get your stockers from a reputable supplier, regardless of species.

I am continuing the test for a few weeks more. It will be interesting to see if any of the RRs survive the contamination from the baitshop fish.

Last edited by Bill D.; 04/26/16 10:19 PM.

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BTW, at the end of the test, I will nuke the tank with Chlorine before I empty it and start it back up.


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Like I said before baitfish from bait stores are a who's who of pathogens and the baitstore owner's only concern is the angler getting them out the door alive. They are usually scuffed up from seining and handling many times. I'm not aware of any baitstore that knows anything about biofiltration so they don't use it.

Stress is not contagious in itself but bacterial pathogens and fungus can be in close quarters.

Did you feed the fish?

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 04/26/16 10:15 PM.

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Bill D. Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Cecil Baird1
Like I said before baitfish from bait stores are a who's who of pathogens and the baitstore owner's only concern is the angler getting them out the door alive. They are usually scuffed up from seining and handling many times. I'm not aware of any baitstore that knows anything about biofiltration so they don't use it.

Stress is not contagious in itself but bacterial pathogens and fungus can be in close quarters.

Did you feed the fish?


Yes, no change in diet for the RRs. 46% flakes. The FHM from the shop loved it too until they stopped eating and became skinny as a rail. Should have stated that as a symptom...they stop eating about 2 days before they die.


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Diseases are much more prevalent in an aquarium setting than in a pond. A typical forage pond will have hundreds to thousands of times the volume of the aquarium, diluting possible pathogens, which are always present in some quantity, however minute. Typically, bait shops get their fatheads from the same minnow farms that we buy them from, and only hold them a few to several days.

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Bill D. Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: John F
Diseases are much more prevalent in an aquarium setting than in a pond. A typical forage pond will have hundreds to thousands of times the volume of the aquarium, diluting possible pathogens, which are always present in some quantity, however minute. Typically, bait shops get their fatheads from the same minnow farms that we buy them from, and only hold them a few to several days.


In my little test, the RRs were used as a control. They were healthy living in the aquarium. The FHM brought whatever killed them with them. (I only added the FHM to the tank, not the baitshop water.) I suspect, in most cases, you are correct about the baitshop fish coming from the same place as those we buy to stock our ponds. That tends to make me suspect either the baitshop supply truck tanks or the baitshop tanks as the source of the contamination of the FHM. The subsequent death of the RRs later on suggests it is contagious but takes a few days to develop and kill the fish.

An interesting second test might be to sterilize the aquarium, reset with new RRs and then add FHM direct from the fish farm.

Last edited by Bill D.; 04/27/16 07:55 AM.

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Bill, I think you are probably right in your assumption.

However, could your ammonia have spiked and they stopped eating from that, then perished from a bacteria because of being weakend? With adding more fish(more food) it's possible your biofilter couldn't keep up.

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I monitored ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels. Ammonia and nitrite stayed at 0 but nitrate climbed from an initial 5 ppm to 10 ppm during this test.


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Hey Bill, what about a salt bath prior to adding them to the tank? I think I would still buy from a reputable deal based on your observations but more curious how effective it is.



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Originally Posted By: Bill D.
The symptoms prior to death included lethargic behavior and a dulling of color the back half of their bodies. Some got a slight fuzzy growth.


Sounds kinda of like "ick", some other type of parasite, or maybe a fish fungus. Any idea what you aquarium water temps are?



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Bill I assume the fish did not die of old age? Were they full size and in spawning colors? They get legarthic after their last spawn and weak. Never notice this where there are other fish to eat them, but in a pond with mostly FHM and few predators I see it.

The little buggers only live about 18 months I'm told.


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Ben,

I like the salt water bath idea or maybe some other treatment used by the aquaponics guys to treat various ailments?

Shorty,

Aquarium temp is a pretty constant 68 F. I don't think it was ick as I saw no tiny specs on the fish and there was no rubbing on objects observed. Might have been some other parasite though.

Snrub,

The FHM were mixed small to medium size. The RRs were all smaller. In general, the smaller FHMs were the first to die.

Probably should have added this in my original post but I was focused on the larger 20 gallon test. I also had 4 small RRs in a 5.5 gallon tank and I added 4 small FHM to that tank as well. The FHM all died and so did 1 of the RRs. I did not monitor water quality in the 5.5.

Last edited by Bill D.; 04/27/16 11:03 AM.

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Keep in mind, this little test I ran is not intended to "prove" anything. It is a one off test with lots of variables. I did it out of curiosity. Another member posted not long ago about most of the FHM he stocked in his 250 gallon bait pond dying within a couple weeks. He got his fish from a Baitshop. I just wanted to see what would happen if I tried the same thing in an established aquarium.

Last edited by Bill D.; 04/27/16 03:41 PM.

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Just closing the loop.....

3 Rosey Reds survived in each aquarium and seem to be healthy and doing well. All FHM died. I started with 11 RRs so lost roughly 50% after introducing the FHM to the tanks.


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I keep fish tanks and the size of the tank may have a little to do with it. Although I don't trust bait shops to properly take care of their tanks and disease is probably prevalent, a general rule of thumb on fish tanks is one inch of fish per gallon. The biology of the tank/filter can't keep up with much more than that and rapid changes occur that can kill most of the fish. I did a similar experiment with some leftover crawfish from a boil in my 125 gallon tank. Most of them died within a few weeks, but they were very stressed in that bag before that and very overcrowded in my tank (there were 50 or so). I did have a few hearty ones last much longer once they established their territory, but they still ultimately died within a few months.

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Sounds like maybe Saprolegnia fungus.

I while back I had 5 RES in a 75 gallon aquarium that I fed baitshop minnows to every day, they would eat 15-25 small FHM a day. I would get minnows from different bait shops 2 or 3 times a week and never had any problems with my RES, I did this for six or seven months straight before turning the RES loose in my pond.




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