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motaro 01-26-2009 11:58 AM

My Gouramis died and I can't determine the cause.
I am a new 10 gal. aquarium owner. I performed tests on my water for a few days before stocking it with fish and found all levels to be normal, aside from hard water and a bit of alkalinity. I purchased 6 fish, one of which was a gouramis. Within 6 hours it had died, not only that, but it's body was lodged in the bottom corner of the tank next to the heater (which seemed strange to me and made it wonder if it had gotten stuck somehow which could have attributed to it's death). It's been a few days and my other fish seem fine. I would like to purchase another gouramis, but would first like to determine the cause of death for my first fish. Is it possible it was just a "dud?" or sick in some way? It didn't really eat anything before it died and strayed away from the other fish (a guppy, 3 tetras, and an algae eater). Any help is much appreciated.

catfishtabbi 01-26-2009 12:51 PM

Did you acclimate your fish and do you know your ph and what it should be? How long have you had your fish, could it be that your still in cycling after all? It sounds like the fish are not doing well,which could be a sign of fluctuating water parameters.

motaro 01-26-2009 01:26 PM

If by acclimate you mean float their bags in water for 15 minutes to allow them to adjust to the temperature, then yes I did. Apparently Gouramis prefer a lower pH than my tank, which is like an 8. I suppose that is much too high! It didn't appear this high until I just tested in now. Would that cause the fish to die that fast? Why have the others survived?

catfishtabbi 01-26-2009 03:34 PM

Yes for the gourami. A safe way to lower ph is by .2 each 24 hours.Your other fish have a better tolerance to a higher ph is all. Since i don't know how you ;ower your ph now i can only tell you that a darker driftwood will gradually lower your ph.Is your tank planted? Oh the safest way to acclimate a fish is to place in a container add your tank water by one fourth the aolume of the petstore water and keep doing this till the waters 1/2 &1/2. Take your time about one hour. This is sense you have a high ph.Temp has to be drasticly changed to kill a common fish.

motaro 01-26-2009 04:02 PM

Thanks for the tips

iamntbatman 01-31-2009 06:10 PM

Agreed - temperature is only one of the factors you have to let equalize during acclimation. If there was a significant difference in pH between the water at the store and the water in your tank, the fish could have died from pH shock. A better way is to acclimate using the method catfishtabbi described. Or, you could open the bag, roll down the top so that the bag floats, and float it in the tank. Every five or ten minutes, add about a shot glass full of tank water to the bag until the volume at least doubles. Either method will help prevent pH shock. It is also quite likely that the fish was already sick or stressed to begin with and that the acclimation process was enough to do him in.

How long has the tank been set up, and do you know about cycling an aquarium? If the tank wasn't cycled before adding fish, you will have to do water changes just about daily in order to keep ammonia and nitrite in check until the tank can cycle.

One more question: do you know what type of fish this "algae eater" is? The two most common fish sold as such are the common plecostomus, which reaches lengths of 18" and needs an absolutely huge tank, and the Chinese algae eater, which reaches up to 6" but can become very aggressive as it ages (plus, it will stop eating algae as it gets older).

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