Ammonia posioning leads to three Denisons deaths? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 44 Old 08-23-2010, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Ammonia posioning leads to three Denisons deaths?

Yesterday I did my standard water change of 50% on my 75 gl. I wake up this morning to a tank full of fish, all gasping at the surface for air. Upon closer look I see three dead Dension barbs floating amongst the plants. I do a water test and see that I've got a reading for ammonia of 0.50. I immediately do a 75% water change. After the water change, I test for ammonia and see that I have a reading for 1.0.
I add an extra dose of Prime, test the water and then have a reading of 0.50. What the heck is happening? I don't understand this, as this tank has been set up for a month (stuffed full of plants) and a week ago after the last water change test results yielded a zero reading for ammonia and nitrites, and a 10ppm reading for nitrates.
I decide to check my tapwater for ammonia...it reads 1.0! How and why does this happen? I've tested my tap water before in the past and it's always tested a big fat zero for ammonia. I'm so bummed about losing three of my barbs. Any advice? Do I call the water company? What will I do in a week's time when it's time for water changes and my tapwater is still reading 1.0 for ammonia?
I suppose now I'll go outside and bury the three barbs under my rose bushes. No sense in wasting their bodies, today's dead fish will be next week's blooms.

Not to be morbid but here's a picture, all three fish look exactly the same, with their mouths wide open, color is totally grayed out on all fish, no body bloating. I can only assume ammonia poisoning caused their death?
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File Type: jpg Dead Denisons.JPG (97.3 KB, 53 views)

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post #2 of 44 Old 08-23-2010, 01:29 PM
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Kym, this is so sad. I would definitely call the water company for sure. Since you're using Prime, I'm not sure why the ammonia would affect them since Prime is supposed to turn Ammonia into Ammonium. Maybe the change in parameters, none the less? It is quite confusing. I hope someone comes along soon more knowledgable than me. Didn't you do your water change on all 5 of your tanks yesterday? How are the rest of the fish looking?

What odd too is that you have Cardinals and other more sensitive fish in this tank. None of them were found dead?
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post #3 of 44 Old 08-23-2010, 01:31 PM
Pictures kind of freak me out.

I would call the water company. D: Accuse them of fish homicide.
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post #4 of 44 Old 08-23-2010, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by LisaC144 View Post
Kym, this is so sad. I would definitely call the water company for sure. Since you're using Prime, I'm not sure why the ammonia would affect them since Prime is supposed to turn Ammonia into Ammonium. Maybe the change in parameters, none the less? It is quite confusing. I hope someone comes along soon more knowledgable than me. Didn't you do your water change on all 5 of your tanks yesterday? How are the rest of the fish looking?

What odd too is that you have Cardinals and other more sensitive fish in this tank. None of them were found dead?
Yes, you are right, normally I do water changes on all five tanks at once. This time I got too tired after doing four on Saturday so I waited until Sunday to do the 75. (The Cardinals are in my Discus tank).

In the 75 are adult Denisons, juvenile Congos and Columbian Tetras, Dwarf Chain loaches, True Siamese Algae Eaters, an Albino Bristlenose and a Whiptail Cat. Right before the emergency water change I had an SAE at the surface of the water, completely vertical, barely moving and his mouth was wide open. I thought for sure he was dead.
He is now swimming around just fine, as are all the other fish in the tank. Not to say I don't care for all my fish equally but had this been my Discus tank I would have been gutted.
Should I hold off on feeding this tank for awhile? They've all been through such trama, does feeding make their bodies work hard at digesting food?

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post #5 of 44 Old 08-23-2010, 02:07 PM
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all other tanks are fine, correct? So something happened between Saturday and Sunday that is unexplainable. did you happen to use a new bottle of water conditioner? I would hold off. In my opinion, there is no need to get them worked up over feeding at this time. They won't starve. Maybe also turn the light off to give them some time to relax? I'm not really sure at this point, but I hope we can get to the bottom of this quickly. This is so devistating.
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post #6 of 44 Old 08-23-2010, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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all other tanks are fine, correct? So something happened between Saturday and Sunday that is unexplainable. did you happen to use a new bottle of water conditioner? I would hold off. In my opinion, there is no need to get them worked up over feeding at this time. They won't starve. Maybe also turn the light off to give them some time to relax? I'm not really sure at this point, but I hope we can get to the bottom of this quickly. This is so devistating.
Yep, all other tanks are fine. Not a new bottle of Prime, nor an old one either. It still has that nice "smell" to it when I uncap the lid. Still on hold with the water company...

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post #7 of 44 Old 08-23-2010, 02:26 PM
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The only thing I can think of is the actual water supply. I hope they can give you some answers, Kym. I'm so sorry that this happened. I know you love your Denisons. Hopefully someone else can come along that can be of more help than I am.
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post #8 of 44 Old 08-23-2010, 04:56 PM
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So, so sorry to hear about your beautiful Dennisons. This makes me nervous because my tap water also always reads zero for ammonia. But I may start testing it before water changes just to make sure nothing's changed. Call the water company and ask them why ammonia is in your tap water. Hopefully they will fix the problem before your next water change is due. Lisa's suggestion of skipping a feeding and leaving the lights off for the fish to de-stress is a good one.

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post #9 of 44 Old 08-23-2010, 05:08 PM
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My Goodness that picture is tragic, it breaks my heart the poor little dears. I hope you get an answer on the water situation. My guess is they changed something or shocked the water treatment center or something. Prime says you can safely use up to 5 times the normal dose in case of an emergency. I guess if it were me I would at least double it and try testing again. Then maybe hit it with one more dose if it isn't down. Maybe test your source water again before doing an additional water changes and if it is still high, use a larger dose of Prime at the water change. Keep us posted. I am sorry you lost your sweet little fish, Kymmie.
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post #10 of 44 Old 08-23-2010, 05:13 PM
loos like im gonna have nightmares for a while

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otto,WMM,2 types of celebes rainbows,rcs,amano, bamboo,red ramhorns,MTS
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