Fish Acting Half-Dead After Water Change - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Fish Acting Half-Dead After Water Change

Like the title says, I was just changing the water in the tank like I always do and all of a sudden all my CPDs are floating around like they're about to die. Specifically, not being able to stay balanced upright, infrequent bursts of swimming, hard time fighting the slightest current, and laying on the bottom of the tank. Some are back to normal, relatively, but what the hell cause it?!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 09:44 PM
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Well, without knowing any specifics, a few random things it could be:

Are you SURE you dechlorinated the new water?
What was the temperature of the replacement water compared to the tank?
How long has it been since your last water change?
How much of the tank water did you change?

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 09:47 PM
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thats pretty much exactly the questions i could think to ask too...
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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Dechlorinated - check
Temp - same as tank, room temp
a week since last water change (as usual)
30-40% water change
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 10:02 PM
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Sounds like shock - temperature, pH; or chlorine poisoning. I have a piece of fake driftwood in my tank that I bleached to get the algae off, and I guess I didn't rinse/dechlorinate it well enough because everyone in the tank was doing exactly what you described. I took it out and soaked it in a solution of AquaSafe conditioner while I did a water change. Everyone survived, luckily.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 10:05 PM
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I had this happen randomly once a few weeks back. I added the water back to the tank a bit faster than usual, and the fish didn't appreciate it one bit. My guess was that the fish were O2 deprived(perhaps CO2 overloaded??), since water straight out of the tap has a high level of CO2 in it.

A way to remedy this is to either age the water in a barrel of some kind (not an option for apartment dwellers), or to make sure the newly added water is put back in slowly, and is agitated while it is going into the tank. I put the garden hose that I fill with into the tank so that the end is pointing straight up, with the hose resting on the substrate. This "U" shape allows some of the gas to escape as it flows up to the surface, reducing drastic CO2 increases in the water.

This is only my theory, but it works well for me. Hope you figure out what works for you!
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyebeatbadgers View Post
...(not an option for apartment dwellers)...
Depending on how big your tank is, you can store and age water in gallon milk jugs, or 5-gallon buckets. And even aged water should be conditioned with AquaSafe or Prime...

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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I'm attributing this all to shock, probably a pH shift. I generally replace the water with aged water from milk jugs but I've done it straight from the tap without any problems many times before, for some reason today was different though. Anyways the damage has been done, I've found 9 dead fish so far, the rest seem to be fine now.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 11:15 PM
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PH shock is kind of a mythical thing for fish. In most planted tanks with good CO2 ph can swing a lot over 24 hours due to injection of CO2 and then O2 consumption by plants at night and yet we don't see any fish health problems. That being said most of these issues are related to the salts in the water or KH especially when we are changing the PH of the tank with CO2. I've seen this in practice and Tom seems to support this idea....http://www.barrreport.com/fish-plant...light=ph+shock.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 11:37 PM
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I have heard reports of water companies "flushing" the water lines with extra chlorine/chloramine which may mean you need more dechlorinator to deal with it.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 02:13 AM
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Exactly. I usually use more dechlorinator than required.

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 03:41 AM
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check if your dechlore handles chloramine as well...Check your local waterworks if they add chloramine. You can google the water report.

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 06:36 AM Thread Starter
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It does, and they probably do. A lot of people have moved back into town since college has started again so I wouldn't be surprised if it was the water company adapting to the new water load. Either way the water a changed significantly; so I will be more paranoid/careful than I was before, with the water, from now on.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 03:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Rion View Post
It does, and they probably do. A lot of people have moved back into town since college has started again so I wouldn't be surprised if it was the water company adapting to the new water load. Either way the water a changed significantly; so I will be more paranoid/careful than I was before, with the water, from now on.
Try to change your dechlore brand, i think Amquel+plus works better.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 04:28 AM
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The one time this happened to me (fish acting EXACTLY as you describe) was when I forgot to drop in the two capfuls of Prime when the water was being refilled during a water change. I quickly realized what I did, put in the Prime and within a few minutes all symptoms stopped.

What do you use, and how much, to dechlorinate?

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