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Very Sad Fish Massacre

This is a discussion on Very Sad Fish Massacre within the Freshwater and Tropical Fish forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> On the air/gas in the tap water, I have seen this from time to time. I ignore it, and in 20 years have never ...

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Very Sad Fish Massacre
Old 11-09-2011, 12:10 PM   #21
 
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On the air/gas in the tap water, I have seen this from time to time. I ignore it, and in 20 years have never been aware of any issues. I can't say if it may be trouble if severe. Perhaps other members who have more experience in this can comment.

Water changes must be weekly. There is considerable evidence now with respect to the benefits. We have had threads elsewhere on this forum about this, and I am not going to repeat. In your situation, it is even more critical. You admit your tank is overstocked, and nitrates at 100ppm prove it. I realize some people ignore their fish and have crowded small tanks and the fish somehow manage to survive with high nitrates. But that does not mean they are healthy. You can keep a dog in a 3x3 foot cage in the back yard and never let it out; it will live for many years probably, but is it healthy? I doubt it. I do 50% water changes on all my tanks every week, and have done for more than 15 years. This is just responsible husbandry; it's part of the requirement for maintaining healthy aquaria.
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:47 PM   #22
 
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Very well put Byron.
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Old 11-09-2011, 02:00 PM   #23
 
Byron, I'm not disagreeing with anything you are saying about tank maintenance, but I just don't see that it addresses the point of this thread, which is how my fish died.

I'm feeling battered with this proper maintenance advice, when what I was hoping for was advice on how not to kill my whole tank again. If I was one of those tank owners that seldom changes the water then there are lots of reasons for the fish deaths, but that just isnt the case. Okay, I stretched this change out a couple more weeks than I usually do, but I dont see that doing it. If you could point me to any evidence that a drop in nitrates kills fish then I could see the link.
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Old 11-09-2011, 05:23 PM   #24
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curiousburke View Post
Byron, I'm not disagreeing with anything you are saying about tank maintenance, but I just don't see that it addresses the point of this thread, which is how my fish died.

I'm feeling battered with this proper maintenance advice, when what I was hoping for was advice on how not to kill my whole tank again. If I was one of those tank owners that seldom changes the water then there are lots of reasons for the fish deaths, but that just isnt the case. Okay, I stretched this change out a couple more weeks than I usually do, but I dont see that doing it. If you could point me to any evidence that a drop in nitrates kills fish then I could see the link.
I believe you are missing the crucial point in all this. Throughout I have said that several things could be responsible, and most likely collectively. From your description, there was obviously something in the water--and this could have been either a substance in the tap water, or a result of the tap/tank water mixing, or both--that affected the fish. No one of us is going to be able to put their finger on "the" issue, since we cannot take water tests, we wouldn't know what to test for, and most likely it was a combination of things.

We have no way of knowing if it it was something toxic in the tap water. I would assume not. A significant shift in pH in the tap water might have caused it; a significant level of ammonia or nitrite [one of our members experienced this, after a water change fish began dying and a test of the tap water indicated nitrite which had never been detected before]; an increase of chlorine or chloramine, though this would have been handled by the conditioner unless it was under-dosed [which I experienced once]. And the other external source possibility is something like soap, which was mentioned.

If the above was not the cause, then it had to be a reaction within the tank caused by the water change. I mentioned a pH shift and I am still leaning to this. If the tank was acidic, and given you subsequently said the substrate was recently replaced, which I noted would have killed a significant level of bacteria, the excess of ammonia caused by this would be ammonium [in acidic water] which is basically harmless. But as soon as the pH rose above 7 with the water change, all that ammonium changes back into ammonia. And the fish reaction you mentioned could be from ammonia, nitrite or a significant pH change. Chlorine also causes such reactions, though usually with excessive hanging at the surface.

To avoid this, weekly water changes are essential. That is most likely why this occurred. The high nitrates and probable lower pH is indicative of deteriorating water conditions. I believe this is directly answering your question:

Quote:
I'm feeling battered with this proper maintenance advice, when what I was hoping for was advice on how not to kill my whole tank again
I'm sorry if this isn't clear. It is my view as to what occurred, in the absence of any other possible cause. And the only way to avoid repetition is regular maintenance via water changes.

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 11-09-2011 at 05:25 PM..
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Old 11-10-2011, 08:58 PM   #25
 
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I believe you are missing the crucial point in all this. Throughout I have said that several things could be responsible, and most likely collectively. From your description, there was obviously something in the water--and this could have been either a substance in the tap water, or a result of the tap/tank water mixing, or both--that affected the fish. No one of us is going to be able to put their finger on "the" issue, since we cannot take water tests, we wouldn't know what to test for, and most likely it was a combination of things.
I see this as a puzzle and with enough information (even without measurements) and reasoning someone could actually put their finger on it. For example, I did not mention the bubbles on the fishes fins at first, until I came across gas disease mentioned online.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
We have no way of knowing if it it was something toxic in the tap water. I would assume not. A significant shift in pH in the tap water might have caused it; a significant level of ammonia or nitrite [one of our members experienced this, after a water change fish began dying and a test of the tap water indicated nitrite which had never been detected before]; an increase of chlorine or chloramine, though this would have been handled by the conditioner unless it was under-dosed [which I experienced once]. And the other external source possibility is something like soap, which was mentioned.

If the above was not the cause, then it had to be a reaction within the tank caused by the water change. I mentioned a pH shift and I am still leaning to this. If the tank was acidic, and given you subsequently said the substrate was recently replaced, which I noted would have killed a significant level of bacteria, the excess of ammonia caused by this would be ammonium [in acidic water] which is basically harmless. But as soon as the pH rose above 7 with the water change, all that ammonium changes back into ammonia. And the fish reaction you mentioned could be from ammonia, nitrite or a significant pH change. Chlorine also causes such reactions, though usually with excessive hanging at the surface.
I know that nobody is going to say conclusively how this happened, but I was hoping someone would have experienced something similar. From my own experience, which is not long, but I have dealt with a number of problems, it just doesn't match pH or ammonia. Early on you helped me with mysome tank problems one of which was that my ammonia was through the roof, well I certainly diped into ph > 7 without having an instant fish die off or any for that matter. Ive also swung the pH more with baking soda then it would have swung this time without any fish death.

Excepting temp and pH changes, has anyone reading lost all or part of their populations of several species of fish within an hour or changing their water and do you know why? Does out-gassing behave like this, and has anyone here experienced it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I'm sorry if this isn't clear. It is my view as to what occurred, in the absence of any other possible cause. And the only way to avoid repetition is regular maintenance via water changes.
Byron.
The problem is that regular maintenance will not avoid this happening again if regular maintenance is not the problem, that is why I keep looking for conclusive possible causes.

I thought of another piece of the puzzle, Gourami can breath air, so maybe she didnt suffer as much from the out-gasing because she resorted to air breathing. She is the only big fish I didnt loose.

another thing that strikes me is that if poor initial health was a factor, then I would think fish would continue to die after the event due to the shock of it, but it seems that the fish that survived the hour survived.

Last edited by curiousburke; 11-10-2011 at 09:03 PM..
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:15 PM   #26
 
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ohhhhhhhhh so sorry to hear that, you need put coral reef and small fish inside tank, so the fish will not easy to die, don't always change water, it is not good for fish,
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