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Stonecat madtom dying for unknown reason.


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#1 Fleendar the Magnificent

Fleendar the Magnificent
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Posted 17 November 2018 - 03:30 PM

For some reason unknown, my stonecat madtom catfish is dying. He's about 4" long and as of yesterday was eating and seemed to be fine. Now he's pale and mottled, almost not breathing and from time to time his body is wracked with contortions as he takes a massive gulp. My water parameters are all great. 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, Ph and water alkalinity/neutrality is perfect, nitrates are well below the 20 PPM safe levels and have done regular weekly partial water changes with the native water he came from. Any ideas what might have caused his demise? All of the other fish I have are perfectly fine with no signs of illness, parasites or disease. Saddened to lose him as I caught him myself and really liked this little catfish.


Edited by Fleendar the Magnificent, 17 November 2018 - 03:30 PM.


#2 Matt DeLaVega

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Posted 17 November 2018 - 11:44 PM

Sometimes it just happens. Everything dies. If you cant put a finger on it, and all else seems right, chock it up to old age, nature, bad genetics? These aren't the first fish you have kept, so this isn't the first time you are losing or have lost a fish. If it were a goldfish, you would get a replacement. Same deal.


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#3 Fleendar the Magnificent

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Posted 18 November 2018 - 01:08 PM

Thank you for your reply.

 

I'll tell you this, my son and I *watched* this fish die down to it's last breath. We watched it convulse, go into death throes, take massive gulps and then die. It turned translucent gray within a minute. So I decided to eat dinner before dipping it out and dispose of. When I returned 30 minutes later to net it out, he was alive and had just started breathing. He had just begun breathing again and his color returning. Within an hour he was swimming again. I have never in all of my 30 years of keeping wild and domestic fish ever seen a fish die and then come back alive all by itself like this. He's doing what he always has done as of today. Hide behind the filter and come out to eat. Have you ever seen or heard of anything like this before? My son and I are both just blown away. Glad he's still alive tho!



#4 Matt DeLaVega

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Posted 18 November 2018 - 07:53 PM

Nope. Have seen a greenside darter go into death roll from apparent handling stress in cold weather, to find that it was fine soon after, but that was outdoors in water that was barely above freezing. Still a puzzle.


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#5 bullhead

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Posted 19 November 2018 - 01:10 PM

I have seen this in Finding Nemo.  This was an elaborate escape plan.



#6 Fleendar the Magnificent

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Posted 19 November 2018 - 01:59 PM

Yup, he's still alive and ok. Very unusual. This will go down as a first for me.



#7 Fleendar the Magnificent

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Posted 19 November 2018 - 04:59 PM

@Bullhead, and that elaborate escape plan might have worked. He was headed for the commode. All rivers lead to the ocean, that quote was??? :biggrin:



#8 gerald

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Posted 19 November 2018 - 07:00 PM

Weird - almost sounds like he got poisoned and then recovered.  One possible wild guess is that a wasp or bee fell in the tank, he ate it and got stung, and was neurologically impaired for awhile by the venom.  Any better guesses out there?  (assuming he hasn't seen Nemo).


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Hangin' on the Neuse
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#9 Doug_Dame

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Posted 19 November 2018 - 08:15 PM

What are the symptoms of intermittent stray voltage in a fish tank?


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#10 JasonL

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Posted 19 November 2018 - 08:30 PM

My thought was your stonecat bit off more than he could chew and nearly choked to death before recovering. Wonder if you are missing one of your smaller darters or other fish.

#11 Matt DeLaVega

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 04:55 PM

My thought was your stonecat bit off more than he could chew and nearly choked to death before recovering. Wonder if you are missing one of your smaller darters or other fish.

That is a decent theory.


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#12 Fleendar the Magnificent

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 05:20 PM

That's a distinct possibility. I have no way of finding out unless I catch all of the darters and count them. No way that is, until my darter population dwindles to just a few.... Right now(and at the time he died) I have feeder guppies in the tank to keep him and the green sunfish preoccupied, but he might have had a hankering for darter.



#13 Josh Blaylock

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Posted 21 November 2018 - 11:08 AM

What are the symptoms of intermittent stray voltage in a fish tank?

 

This could be a real possibility.  I watched my Coosa Bass freak out one day like he was being electrocuted.  I thought it was going to die, but recovered after a few hours..... I was too scared to stick my hand in the water.


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#14 Matt DeLaVega

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Posted 21 November 2018 - 06:38 PM

 

This could be a real possibility.  I watched my Coosa Bass freak out one day like he was being electrocuted.  I thought it was going to die, but recovered after a few hours..... I was too scared to stick my hand in the water.

Been there. Didn't know 100 percent until I stuck hand in barefoot on concrete. Stray voltage is super hard on fish. Obviously.


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#15 Fleendar the Magnificent

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Posted 21 November 2018 - 06:55 PM

Where did this stray voltage come from? In my case I do not think that it was stray voltage as all of the other fish were fine and very active. The biggest of my sunfish was hovering there overtop of the cat looking at him as if saying, "Dude...what's this cat strung out on?"



#16 Michael Wolfe

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Posted 21 November 2018 - 07:01 PM

Where did this stray voltage come from? In my case I do not think that it was stray voltage ...

 

power heads or other submerged pumps are the main culprits... but if you changed nothing and he got better, I'm liking the "I ate too much and might choke to death" theory... would not be the first kitty to eat himself to death... and certainly not the first one to get really close to throwing it all up... and then feeling better.


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#17 Fleendar the Magnificent

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Posted 25 November 2018 - 12:29 PM

I think I would go with the gluttonous pig catfish theory and say he choked. I didn't change anything or do anything different in the tank and now he's perfectly fine. I am willing to bet that if I caught them all and counted, I am now down to 14 darters....



#18 LepomisAuritus

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 09:34 AM

I don't know if this would relate, but it is really common for me to find dead or dying madtoms in the local creek (more than any other species). Could madtoms be especially sensitive to environmental conditions? 



#19 Matt DeLaVega

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 07:43 PM

I don't know if this would relate, but it is really common for me to find dead or dying madtoms in the local creek (more than any other species). Could madtoms be especially sensitive to environmental conditions? 

Well that sucks. I have nothing to offer other than they are scaleless and live on or in the substrate.


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#20 gerald

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 12:53 PM

Definitely more susceptible to being stepped on!


Gerald Pottern
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Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel




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