Post Mortem Please!

Hey all,

I was hoping to maybe get an ID on why my file fish suddenly died. The night before he was feeding fine (as best as I can recall) and I didn't notice any odd behavior. However, the next morning I found on his side struggling to breathe. I tried to get him into my hospital tank with an air-stone and some Seachem Prime to see if that if that could provide him with some relief. Unfortunately , I was too late, and he died 2 hours after putting him into QT.

  • I haven't introduced corals or fish for 2 years (because of the pandemic)
  • Last water change was a month ago
  • All other fish and corals seem fine
  • He was doing well for over 5 years
  • I haven't changed anything about my system (not dosing anything new, ect.)
  • He seemed to have have white patches around his pectoral fins and gills towards when he died that weren't there before
    • These white patches were on both sides of his body too
I've attached some photos if that helps. These were the best I could take with the camera equipment I have. In the closeup pic you can see his gills are in bad shape. I know it's a long shot, but I guess I'm hoping to be reassured it's not some obvious disease that is going to take the rest of his tank mates out soon...

Any help would be greatly appreciate!

- Reefdiculous


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Crab Free Zone
Premium Member
You have not introduced anything new to your system in 2 years and is stable.
That significantly reduces the chance of parasite.
Maybe just his time….5 years….eats well…..dies overnight……old age….

Struggling to breath on the other hand is a least, one symptom of parasite infection or a spike in ammonia.

Watch carefully for scratching, flashing, breathing, no eating issues in others.
Thanks for the reply. I agree, it could be old age. After all, I have no idea how old he was when I first got him five years ago. I think your right about just monitoring the other fish. That's probably all that can be done without an ID on his cause of death.

Thanks again!