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System is fully cycled and I have about 40 small goldfish.  The ammonia/nitrite/nitrate are all where they should be.  The PH is about 7.6.  The tank is 150gal and is about 100 gallons full w/ two 50gal grow beds.   Lots of aeration with 4 stones. The only extra thing I add extra besides fish flakes is some maxicrop at about 2 oz per day.  I have 2-6 dead per day and have to keep adding more goldfish although a handful are doing fine and seem to have grown some.  I should also add that although I first filled the system from the city water, that was 3 months ago or so and I top off a few times per week with 5-10 gal of rain barrel or well water.

My only thought of how they could die would be from the pump but I have yet to see one stuck to the side of the pump and it never stops. If they were dying from the pump I don't know that they would always be floating. They also don't look like they suffered trauma. I want to figure it out before I invest in Talapia.

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2 oz a day of maxicrop is probably a bit much in a system that size I might be using about that much maybe every couple of weeks tops.

 

The Small cheap goldfish are often "feeder fish" which are usually not the most robust fish since they are often sold to be fed to larger fish and not expected to live long anyway.  It might be worth taking a sample of water to the pet store to see if they can run some water tests, including checking the salt levels in case you heavy use of maxicrop has increased the salt level beyond what goldfish are tolerant to.  Now some types of tilapia can survive sea water so if your issue is a high salt level it might not be bad for the tilapia but you probably don't want to keep using quite so much maxicrop long term.

 

I would stop adding new fish and see if your hand full of survivors will survive for you longer term while you get more in depth water tests done.

 

Some times the cheapest goldfish do great but other times they are the sickly feeder fish and you are lucky if they last at all.

 

Uh, how bout some details about the rain barrel or well water?  What sort of surface is the water in the rain barrel collected from?  Asphault shingles, zincalum or galvanized roofing would be bad for fish and an aquaponics system and a metal or galvanized rain barrel would also likely put too much zinc in the water for most fish.

Food grade barrels and the water is shingle runoff to aluminum gutters.  I did not know that maxicrop could increase the salt levels.  They are the cheap petsmart 27c feeder fish.

I expect then most of the fish deaths are just because they are feeder fish.

 

 

 

I agree with TCLynx it also could be a PH shock, what was the ph of the water they came from????  About the tilapia I am experimenting with some babies right now and they seem to be very hardy and can take a licking going from one ph of 8.0 to a 7.5 and still going strong. I can say for sure the lager taplia are bullet proof I have been cast netting some medium to large size ones out of my brother in-laws pond and I haven’t lost a single one, even while the system was still doing the cycle startup with nitrites of 5.0 and ammonia at 3.0 they passed with living colors.

Where can you cast net them? Are you in FL?

wes said:

 

I agree with TCLynx it also could be a PH shock, what was the ph of the water they came from????  About the tilapia I am experimenting with some babies right now and they seem to be very hardy and can take a licking going from one ph of 8.0 to a 7.5 and still going strong. I can say for sure the lager taplia are bullet proof I have been cast netting some medium to large size ones out of my brother in-laws pond and I haven’t lost a single one, even while the system was still doing the cycle startup with nitrites of 5.0 and ammonia at 3.0 they passed with living colors.

Yes I am in Fla. They are in most of the brackish water areas and in the canals but you take a bigger chance of getting some other disease issue's with getting out in the wild. I have a brother inlaw that has a very nicely stocked lake in the back of his home that has allot of tilapia, catfish, bass and bluegill in it. So I got my start from that with the fish and now I am working on setting up a tank for some breeders. Other than that you can purchase them all over but it is pricey.

 

Find the right people with aquaponics systems and they may be willing to give away some fry to get you started.

I used to work in a privately owned  fish store and when we got  a new shipment of feeder goldfish in, about 10% would die within the first 3 days.

And after that it would be 1 small netfull of feeder gold fish that would die per day,but after 1 week only a few would die.

Petsmart has very poor quality on all of there pets. Most of there pets have inherited deceases and they will not reach adulthood ( rats getting fungus on 1 eye after 30-60 days etc..and die 1 month later).

You may want to get your fish from a privately owned fish store or do like TCL told you not to get new fish and see how the rest will do.

Years back I cycled a few fish tanks with feeder gold fish and about 1 out of 10 feeder gold fish would die while I would cycle the tank, goldfish are hardy.

It may be a good idea to do a 20% water change.

I would not use maxicrop or any seaweed based fertiliser in the system, as I was taught any seaweed based fertiliser has a level of sodium, continual use will just increase the sodium levels and that’s not good for the fish or the plants. 

 

I agree it would be as good idea to do a 20% water change and not introduce any more fish until the water conditions are corrected.

 

Also I found that when you go to add fish its best to adjust them gradually to the conditions of your tank as they might not be the same as from where you got them.  I have an interchange tank where I put the fish before adding them to my AP system.  Then every day I add water from the AP system to the interchange tank for 3 to 4 days and adjust the temperature to slowly match my AP system from the temperature of the system that came from.  This is to reduce the shock to the fish.

 

Hope this helps.

 

You are so right.

When I worked at the fish store and we got a new shipment in....

First we would float the closed baggies for 15-20 minutes or more( dependent of the size of the baggies), so the temperature would be the same.

Winter time the shipper would add heat packs, but sometimes the temps would go so far down in the baggies that we just let it sit with the lid partialy  open so it would get at least room temerature before we would float them im the fish tank.

 

Second we open the baggies and we hook up a small airhose to the  water pump system and we would let trickle water into the baggies until they would overflow and then we would continue to let it overflow for another 15-20 minutes with the fish still in the baggies. After that we would release the fish, altogether it would take about 2 hrs for the fish to be released into the fish tank, after arrival in our store.

Since we got the fish in the evening/night, after stocking the fish the lights would go out. this would keep the 'would be jumpers' in the fish tanks.

Alfio Contarino said:

I would not use maxicrop or any seaweed based fertiliser in the system, as I was taught any seaweed based fertiliser has a level of sodium, continual use will just increase the sodium levels and that’s not good for the fish or the plants. 

 

I agree it would be as good idea to do a 20% water change and not introduce any more fish until the water conditions are corrected.

 

Also I found that when you go to add fish its best to adjust them gradually to the conditions of your tank as they might not be the same as from where you got them.  I have an interchange tank where I put the fish before adding them to my AP system.  Then every day I add water from the AP system to the interchange tank for 3 to 4 days and adjust the temperature to slowly match my AP system from the temperature of the system that came from.  This is to reduce the shock to the fish.

 

Hope this helps.

 

I have a similar problem... I have some hold over gold fish among my HI Golden Tilapia.  Over the last week to week and a half, I had about 6 gold fish dieing, then the last 3 days, a tilapia a day have been joining that club. 

I immediately tested my water and results as follows:  ph = 7.4, NH3/Nh4 = 0, NO2=0,  & NO3 = 0.  I don't use that maxicrop as mentioned above.  Weather here in So Cal (LA) has been warm ~ 75-80° or so and my water temp has been 80-86°.  No new fish has been added to my 110 gal system.  I do plan to do a 20% water change today.

A water change is pointless if your levels are 0.  Water changes are to dilute high TAN and Nitrite. 

As some of you mentioned, shipping and moving fish can be stressful.  Stress leads to disease.  Some disease issues you can not see as they are internal.  Sometimes if you see a fish on its last legs, it helps to catch and cut it open and look at the internals for red or brown areas.

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