Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Meltdown (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/meltdown-7996/)

jones57742 09-01-2007 11:46 AM

Meltdown
 
Folks:

Several months ago (as best as I remember now) I lost a Gold Nugget, a Yoyo and 4 angels (one of which was my 5"-6" black angel which I had raised from a juvie) due to, what I believe was, an off-breed fertilizer.
A portion of this was odd in that Queen Pleco's are very, very sensitive fish and they did not seem to be affected.

Now to the topic at hand.

This past Wednesday I awoke at midnight "played on my computer" while "enjoying my fishies" via room lighting only and went back to bed at 1 a.m.

I turned on the aquarium lights at approximately 6:00 a.m. and disaster!!!

Two Yoyo's and one Queen were dead;
Only one sterbai in sight and it would not move when I tapped the side of the aquarium that it was nearest to;
The remainder of the Yoyo' were laying still on the bottom with their lips and tails turning red;
One gold nugget was hanging on the back of the tank which he has not done since he was a juvie;
the SAE's were sedentary on the bottom but
none of the other fish seem to be affected by "whatever it was".

All! water parameters were normal!

I:
Removed the fish which I "knew were dead";
Did a 30% WC with dechlorinated tap water which I induced into the sump in order to not cause an instantaneous change in the water temperature;
"Sucked most of the water out of the sump" in order to allow replacement with RO water.

I unfortunately did not "think of" activated carbon filtration until that afternoon (I presume that this was because I am "so adverse" to chemical filtration).
I had two "big jugs" of Black Diamond activated carbon in the garage.
I placed the carbon in one of the large jug into a media bag and the media bag into my sump.
At this "point in time" I am still removing tank water from my sump and replacing with RO water and continued to do so throughout the night.

I also thought about H2S and CH4 gases even though no odors were perceptible emanating from the surface of the tank water.
I pythoned out the surface and first layer of substrate as best I could (ie. working around the plants and obviously not being able to get underneath the rocks and wood).

The next morning when I turned on the aquarium lights one GN was dead.

I cannot remember what "else I did" but there were several other actions.

Does anyone:

1) have any other ideas as to why this meltdown may have occurred or
2) have had experience in this type situation and implemented remediation other than that which I have set forth.

TR

fish_4_all 09-01-2007 12:11 PM

You hit the main topics that are possible. A mass relase of gas that the fish just happened to get caught in that poisoned them almost instantly. Is there and "dead spots" in the tank where this could have happened? Under a large plant or a cave? As for not smelling anything, it could have happened so quickly that it dispersed before it could be detected.

The other thought is a possible electrical surge that causes a spike of electricity into the tank. If the redness showed so fast it could have been some kind of eletrical burn even though water isn't a very good conductor. A possible short in a heater? The lighting?

Do you have any pets? Did you spray any pesticides in the house? I know you know about these things but sometimes we overlook something obvious so I have to ask.

beetlebz 09-01-2007 12:24 PM

I'm so very sorry to hear about your loss :(

I'm afraid I cant be of much help if any at all, but I was curious if there were (or if you thought to look for) any other physical inconsistencies on the fish.. legions, white patches, any signs of infection.. that kind of thing

willow 09-01-2007 05:54 PM

that's awfull. :(
the only thing i thought of was maybe a problem
with the filter,however you did say all perams were ok.
so i'm sorry,i am unable to help.

jones57742 09-01-2007 07:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fish_4_all
A mass relase of gas that the fish just happened to get caught in that poisoned them almost instantly. Is there and "dead spots" in the tank where this could have happened? Under a large plant or a cave? As for not smelling anything, it could have happened so quickly that it dispersed before it could be detected.
This the most likely one as I indicated I could not get under the rocks and wood and had to work around the plants.
Two yoyo's were dead and the others, although sedentary, exhibited no signs of the red showing up on the mouth and in the tail.
When I say sedentary I am "not woofing". Can you imagine Yoyo's laying on the surface of the gravel very near to the tank walls, tapping of the walls and no motion from the Yoyo's.
I was not "real certain" that they were alive as I could detect no gill motion.
From viewing the fish during the day I believe that I could have saved the GN if I would have induced the carbon into the filtration process "1st thing". (This is "gut reaction" and I cannot really verbalize why I believe this.)
I do not believe that this is it as a substantial portion of the substrate would have "had to have burped" simultaneously in order to affect the bottom dwellers and dissipated immediately as the other fish did not seem to be affected.
BUT
as I indicated above this is most probable cause and I am "thinking of some way" (ie. small vertical tubes hidden by plants, etc) in order to ventilate the substrate as the probability of this being the source of the meltdown is very, very small.
Having said that I believe that a UGF is in my future (set up in "suck mode" with the output released directly to the atmosphere) due to your post.


The other thought is a possible electrical surge that causes a spike of electricity into the tank. If the redness showed so fast it could have been some kind of eletrical burn even though water isn't a very good conductor. A possible short in a heater? The lighting?
Yep: thought about this one also and even contemplated getting the electrician whose office is across from my office to bring over some of his high end equipment. He is "deep into" remote sensing and control and as such has very, very sensitive meters.
My tank is acrylic, the thermostats and heaters are in the sump, nothing in the tank which would allow "grounding" and hence I cannot see any way that a potential difference could have been generated.
Having said that due your post I will
1) get the electrician over here and
2) provide spacers for wiring contiguous to the tank, sump and sump enclosure walls.


Do you have any pets? Did you spray any pesticides in the house? I know you know about these things but sometimes we overlook something obvious so I have to ask.
Thanks for asking but nope.

Quote:

Originally Posted by beetlebz
I'm so very sorry to hear about your loss :(
Thank you.
I'm afraid I cant be of much help if any at all, but I was curious if there were (or if you thought to look for) any other physical inconsistencies on the fish.. legions, white patches, any signs of infection.. that kind of thing
Possible but probability is very, very low.
Typically once a day I observe the fish which are visible and did not note any of the above.


Quote:

Originally Posted by willow
that's awfull.
Yep and thanks. This happening "sure does" "take some of the joy" out of fish keeping.

the only thing i thought of was maybe a problem
with the filter,however you did say all perams were ok.

Who knows but due to your post:
I am, as we speak, preparing a large bucket of RO water in order that, once the I am relatively certain that the tank has stabilized, my staff can remove the biological filtration media (not the bioballs, but the various ceramic and sintered glass media), thoroughly wash and replace in the filtration process.

One other item folks:

As much as I dislike chemical filtration
(although it has it's uses which are very, very rare such as in this condition)
I am anticipating that after 20 days I will discard the media bag with the carbon filtration and replace with a media bag with new carbon filtration.

Folks:
I very much appreciate the time which yall spent in preparing your posts and accordingly have attempted to respond in detail.


TR

Falina 09-01-2007 07:28 PM

The best guess I can come up with is a mass release of gas like F4A mentioned. Don't know how likely it is but it still seems the most likely cause to me.

So sorry to hear that this has happened to you, especially for a second time round. :(

jones57742 09-03-2007 12:48 AM

Bump:

A meltdown really takes a lot of the enjoyment out of fish keeping.

Does anyone else have a response to my original post or anyone to my post which responded the posts of F4A, BZ & WW.

Any valid input would be very much appreciated.

TR

jones57742 09-05-2007 04:43 AM

Folks:

Had some of my help over yesterday morning to perform a phase 1 search.

The finally tally of dead fish is:
2 Queens
2 Gold Nuggets
2 Yoyos
2 Sterbai

The 2 Queens do not surprise me as they are very, very sensitive fish.
The 2 Sterbai do surprise me because they are very, very hardy fish.

TR

beetlebz 09-05-2007 09:13 AM

Oh no :(

still no clues as to what caused it?

Mating Slinkys 09-05-2007 11:03 AM

Man, that's pretty awful. Sorry i can't be much help, i'm still only a newbie, but just wanted to say i sympatise for your loss.

Only possible suggestion, do you use tap water or RO for your W/C usually. have you tested your tap water, there may have been a change in the supply and a sudden quality change that had stabelised shortly after killing your fish? Having said that, if it was a leak into the pipework leading up to your house, or a mistake at the treatment works it would likely be a temorary thing and not show up in the testing now.

If you use RO, then all the previous is, of course, rubbish...

Hope you solve the mystery and manage to stop any more deaths, sorry again.


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