The story: Two days ago, I picked up 100 assorted sturgeon, no bigger than 10" each, most around 5".
I picked them up in a van, with a small pond setup in the back. Aerated by a 45L/ph airpump.
When I arrived home, the pond in the van was at 10 degrees, the ponds they were going to be quarantined in were at 12.
I transferred these sturgeon into their new tanks, the water used for transportation was the same water from the ponds.
The sturgeon seemed hungry at the dealer's location as there were many that were swimming at the top of the water with their noses pointing out. The rest were very very docile and not moving very much, and a few swimming around the tank.
When I moved the fish from the van to the pond, a few of them twirled a little. Later, a few of the fish started staying at the top of the water, then they started tilting on their side with their fin sticking out the water. Shortly after, I started to find them upside down at the bottom of the ponds.
Initially the ones at the bottom would randomly swim to the top of the water, then sink back down.
Of the 100, 64 have perished on the first night. Another 3 today.
Information: water parameters are fine, the ponds were gradually fully replenished with fresh water a few days prior. pH 7.5 Ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 10ppm temp 12C 5000L per hour filtration 45L/H air pump with 6 large air stones
Gills, some of the others have redish hues to their gills.
Blood coming from some of the fish along with waste.
Blood red fins on the underside.
Floats at top, gills and mouth moving.
PS: also added a few drops of pimafix and melafix when I started to see them dropping, and I am currently buying what I need to salt bath them, and will give that a shot later today if anyone suggests it.
Thanks for reading, Hope I can learn a lot from this experience, as I've never had a disaster of this proportion with any other fish or livestock I have handled, and quite frankly I'm devastated.
When were those tests taken and what test kit did you use? How big is the tank or tanks they are in and how many fish per tank (initially)? Are there mature filters running in the tanks? How long before the fish arrived did you change the water in the tanks and did you dechlorinate it? How long was the journey from the dealer back to your place (i.e how long were the fish in the transport pond)? Are they sturgeon or sterlets?
If you don't mind my asking, what do you want 100 sterlets/sturgeon for - have you got a lake? (Not being funny, but that's a huge number of fish).
API master test kit 1m x 1.1m x 1.8m x 2 The filters are mature. 2 days prior to the arrival of the fish, and yes it was dechlorinated. 2 hour journey back from the dealers. By assorted sturgeon I mean Acipenser ruthenus (albino and regular), Acipenser baerii and Acipenser Gueldenstaedtii.
Haha I don't see whats funny about that? I am currently building the lake, have another 18000L pond which will soon be mature and ready for the survivors.
I want to learn about them, I've always thought they were remarkable creatures. End goal is to own a beluga!
If ammonia and nitrite have been at zero throughout (in transit and since transfer to tanks) then my other suggestion is simple oxygen deprivation. Given the large number of fish and restricted space I would think what has happened is that they have been starved of oxygen - too little entering the water and too much CO2 being expelled into water from their respiration.
Severe oxygen deprivation can cause the symptoms you've seen - much as nitrite poisoning does. Nitrite binds to the red cells in the bloodstream and prevents oxygen being taken up and transported an produces symptoms of hypoxia even when there is plentiful O2 available. In the absence of nitrite, then a straightforward lack of oxygen is most likely.
With the reduced number you now have and additional aeration I would expect most of those remaining to survive, but there may still be some further losses.
The survivors are looking good indeed. All swimming around, nobody on their back.
However, now I've discovered another problem. They are only feeding on bloodworm, they wont touch any other food.
I have purchased specific sturgeon sinking food from the dealer, the same food he uses infact, and they wont touch it! Any food I drop in that isnt live blood worm I have to scoop back out as they wont touch it.
Any feeding tips would be splendid. Also, in future while im upping my numbers, what would you suggest I do differently?
So far Ive got:
-Bring ammolock with me to dealers -Fill water from dealers -Tonnes of air stones, roughly any idea how big of an air pump I need to transport say 50 5" sturgeon? 2 hour journey as I mentioned before from the dealers. -Slow acclimation when I get back to my house.
As far as I understand, apart from that, I've done everything as I should?
And thanks for the concern Khan, but the money isn't really a worry. As long as I learn from the experience, I consider it well spent.
Before you added the Sturgeon to your pond/holding tank had it been treated with anything that contains copper? Sturgeon can be quite sensitive to copper it might be worth getting hold of an API Copper test kit and checking the results?
One who cannot love her smallest creations, cannot claim to stand before Nature - Takashi Amano