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Cause of death?


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#1 Darter keeper

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Posted 13 August 2019 - 12:01 AM

I just got back from a mini 3 day vacation from home so I go to check on everyone, I go to check the Shiner Aquarium first & see something white floating in the back(internals). I get closer to see that it was hanging from this guy :( https://imgur.com/a/vPt6pm2what do you think the cause of death was, natural, parasitic, or stress related?

#2 gerald

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Posted 13 August 2019 - 10:25 PM

The body is too far gone to tell whether he was killled by other fish, or died of other causes and was then eaten.  If it was parasite or infection, let's hope whoever feasted on the body isn't harmed by it.  If a fish looks like it's probably going to die, I move it to a separate tank or bucket before its tankmates begin nibbling on it.


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


#3 Darter keeper

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Posted 13 August 2019 - 10:51 PM

If a fish looks like it's probably going to die, I move it to a separate tank or bucket before its tankmates begin nibbling on it.



Everyone was looking completely healthy when I left so that's one of the reasons why I thought it might be natural, the fact that only his internals are missing makes me wonder if he didn't explode from bloating? (Can dead fish bloat?) Or some kind of gut parasite, OR are his tank mates so gluttonous they ripped into his internals?

Note: everyone else is fine as of 24 hours since the discovery

#4 swampfish

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 08:47 AM

I commonly find dead fish with their organs gone, apparently eaten by other fish. Dead fish in aquaria frequently sink to the bottom, and then rise to the top after decomposition produces gas buoyancy. I suppose the cause of death has something to do with whether the cadaver initially floats or sinks. With this fish floating, it could have died a couple of days earlier, giving time for the gut area to decompose, break open, and be attractive to other fish. However, I have also seen fish sequentially tearing and eating their dead companion apart every bit as ferociously as a ball being kicked in a soccer match. Nature ain't always pretty.

 

Phil Nixon



#5 Darter keeper

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 01:41 PM

I commonly find dead fish with their organs gone


Seriously? Because I've been keeping darters for about 5 years now & small native prairie (Red Shiners, small sunfish, ect) ((not constantly)) for about a decade, none of them ever had any of there internals missing when I found them "belly up".

Dead fish in aquaria frequently sink to the bottom, and then rise to the top after decomposition produces gas buoyancy. I suppose the cause of death has something to do with whether the cadaver initially floats or sinks. With this fish floating, it could have died a couple of days earlier, giving time for the gut area to decompose, break open, and be attractive to other fish. However, I have also seen fish sequentially tearing and eating their dead companion apart every bit as ferociously as a ball being kicked in a soccer match. Nature ain't always pretty.
 
Phil Nixon


Well then hopefully next time I'm around when one starts to go belly up again.

#6 Matt DeLaVega

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 06:37 PM

Could a filter intake have contributed? I have found some nasty carcasses stuck to intakes over the years.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#7 mattknepley

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 06:38 AM

I'll second Phil's observation about fishes disemboweling other, dead, fishes.  I sometimes wonder if other fish know there is good stuff in the cadaver's stomach.  Kind of like large mammalian predators are known to eat the internal organs of prey more quickly than the rest of the carcass as there is stuff in the guts (upper region anyway  :blink: ) that they don't get in their diet otherwise...

 

Eyes seem very popular targets, too. 


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#8 littlen

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 07:18 AM

Seriously? Because I've been keeping darters for about 5 years now & small native prairie (Red Shiners, small sunfish, ect) ((not constantly)) for about a decade, none of them ever had any of there internals missing when I found them "belly up".


Well then hopefully next time I'm around when one starts to go belly up again.

 

All. the. time.

 

You are perhaps quicker to remove dead fish than some of the rest of us.  But given a few days (as you experienced) they will be picked over.

There is no way to determine the cause of death with the amount of decomposition and missing pieces.  

 

Little shiners can go from healthy appearing to dead very quickly for no apparent reason.  You'll notice an aging fish become thinner, despite a 'healthy' appetite, and buoyancy issues as they get near the end/geriatric.  If you say that they all looked fine before you left, something happened.  Occasionally they hit the side of the tank and die.  Let's hope that was the case and not a parasite that could possibly spread.

Shiners come and go.  No biggie.
 


Nick L.

#9 Matt DeLaVega

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 05:15 PM

That's spot on Nick. If I lose a shiner, darter or other small type fish I don't give it a second thought unless I see obvious symptoms or it isn't the first death in a row. Early days were different, for a spell I was a sort of fish hypochondriac, I am sure I treated many perfectly healthy fish.

 

Dater Keeper, I also didn't find the state of your fish remarkable. Many similar looking fish have been found floating in my waters. Nick might be onto something, maybe you are extra observant and thus far have missed out on the nasty two day old floaty things. Welcome to the club.

 

I hope that was the end and there have been no additional deaths.


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#10 Darter keeper

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 10:47 PM

All. the. time.
 
You are perhaps quicker to remove dead fish than some of the rest of us.  But given a few days (as you experienced) they will be picked over.

There is no way to determine the cause of death with the amount of decomposition and missing pieces.  
 
Little shiners can go from healthy appearing to dead very quickly for no apparent reason.  You'll notice an aging fish become thinner, despite a 'healthy' appetite, and buoyancy issues as they get near the end/geriatric.  If you say that they all looked fine before you left, something happened.  Occasionally they hit the side of the tank and die.  Let's hope that was the case and not a parasite that could possibly spread.

Shiners come and go.  No biggie.

That's spot on Nick. If I lose a shiner, darter or other small type fish I don't give it a second thought unless I see obvious symptoms or it isn't the first death in a row. Early days were different, for a spell I was a sort of fish hypochondriac, I am sure I treated many perfectly healthy fish.
 
Dater Keeper, I also didn't find the state of your fish remarkable. Many similar looking fish have been found floating in my waters. Nick might be onto something, maybe you are extra observant and thus far have missed out on the nasty two day old floaty things. Welcome to the club.
 
I hope that was the end and there have been no additional deaths.


At this point I'm positive it was natural. Everyone else's doing great. It can be hard to tell when some of these guys start slimming down. (The one that died was already pretty slim when I collected them a year ago) I'm not sure if that's feeding, or sex related (I feed them quite a bit so I doubt it's related to that) But I can tell my male Ozark darter is probably going to "kick the bucket" soon due to how skinny/slim he has gotten.(I've had him for 6 years now & he was at least a young adolescent when I got him)
Also yeah thankfully I've mainly found my fish while they are still firm before they would've got mushy and dirtied my water.




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