Coronavirus killed my Fish, what to do now? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-30-2020, 04:56 AM Thread Starter
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Coronavirus killed my Fish, what to do now?

I will try and keep this short. I did a 20% water change 2 weeks ago. Unfortunately, I didn't test the tap water (has been fine for 20 years). The utilities department flooded the lines with chloramine due to coronavirus fears. My fish started suffocating, so I did 2 more emergency water changes trying to fix it...furthering the problems. All my fish died, my shrimp lived to my surprise.

My current problem: The last two weeks, my tank has been recycling. Ammonia has dropped to almost nothing (<0.25). Nitrates and nitrites spiked a little, but have decreased now somewhat (Nitrite 0.25-0.5, Nitrate 0.5). My Amazon sword is wilting, yellow, and turning transparent...and now I am starting to see a bunch of seed shrimp everywhere and the little spiraling worms.

Trying to get my tank back to normal, I am considering doing a really deep cleaning and gravel vac. I want to remove all the shrimp that are left, take out the driftwood and rocks, then vacuum the crap out of the substrate, but not disturbing the roots, to get rid of the bugs. Then refill the tank with RO water with minerals added.

Thoughts??

10 gallon Fluval Flex
2 Amano
2 dozen dwarf orange rili
5 orange eye blue tigers
1 mystery snail
3 nerite

Ammonia <0.25
Nitrate 0.5
Nitrite 0.25 - 0.5

12 hours of light with 2 hour warm up and cooldown
Fluval nano 7500K 15 watts
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-30-2020, 05:47 AM
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What dechlorinator did you use?
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-30-2020, 06:09 AM Thread Starter
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I used Fluval's aqua plus.

When I did the first water changed that rocked the tank, I was adding the new shrimp safe Thrive fertilizer for the first time. Originally, I thought it was that. I set up a test in a 5 gallon bucket to test the water pre and post fertilizer. On the pre, the ammonia was sky high. I then tested the water directly from the tap, and it was sky high. Then I took tank samples and tap samples to the LFS and had it tested. They confirmed it was the tap water.

I have been adding prime at half dose twice a week to try and keep the ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites in not toxic form.

Bump: Also, the day after everything went bad. I got RO water and minerals from the LFS. I did partial water changes twice (now 5 gallons) with the RO water. I also added start smart complete with the RO water change to boost the bacteria in the tank to eat start eating the ammonia.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-15-2020, 12:21 AM
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Really late to this. Just wanted to say sorry this happened to you.

I've heard of utilities flooding water systems in the summer to prevent bacterial outbreaks. This is the first time I've heard of them doing it as a response to a virus. I mean...are they thinking it lives in the water?

Hurts to lose fish. :/

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-15-2020, 12:44 AM
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Bummer...

Things happen fast in a 10 gallon tank!

I live in Washington DC and they periodically put so much chloramine in the water that I can smell it when I flush the toilet. I never drink tap water here due to adverse digestive effects. I use RO for drinking.

That said, I use tap water for my tank changes and add Seachem Prime every time, even for top-offs. AFAIK I have not lost any livestock from this yet. I err on the high side for dosing.

Hope that this can work for you...
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-22-2020, 06:57 AM
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Did the water company tell you they added extra chloramine because of the virus? Normally they do that if there have been heavy rains or a bacteria bloom in the water supply.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-22-2020, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishly View Post
Did the water company tell you they added extra chloramine because of the virus? Normally they do that if there have been heavy rains or a bacteria bloom in the water supply.
I can't answer for OP but in DC they do this periodically, and often, to keep the city pipes "safe". In my case they do not notify, unless they are putting it on their web site which I admit to not monitoring. I usually just add a bit more prime with every water change as a precaution. If I had space I would set up a 30 gallon barrel to let the water off-gas. Fish, shrimp and snails all seem healthy so far.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-22-2020, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishly View Post
Did the water company tell you they added extra chloramine because of the virus? Normally they do that if there have been heavy rains or a bacteria bloom in the water supply.
I have the same question. Virus is more infectious by inhalation than ingestion and it is unlikely over chlorination is needed.

If the water source is surface water, higher chlorination is often triggered by major storm events. If there is water pipe broke and replacement, there is sanitary requirement to super chlorinate the new section of pipe resulting in higher chlorination affecting downstream users.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-22-2020, 11:14 PM
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I deem this to be part of the current wave of total nonsense folks are putting out!! The op and those who believe this story will not change their minds, nor look for the truth, so it matters little what logic is used. They are part of the "cult" who want to blame most anybody for their failures.
The Op lists his pollutant level on ammonia, nitrite and nitrate and them blames the water company with some "conspiracy" info for killing their fish?
Whatever happened to looking at why YOU killed your fish?
Step one to keeping fish alive is to look for the truth and part of that is how water treatment is done. The chlorine or chloramine content is strictly controlled and not just a case of "dumping" some in. It is done through testing and science but these days we are led to believe all the science we've used is now just a case of "fake news" for the folks who are in the cult!
HINT:
One way to really kill off the fish is to go through a process which kills ALL the good bacteria! But most of you already knew that, right?
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-26-2020, 01:18 PM
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@PlantedRich This is a hobby forum, not twitter. There's no need to be rude. People are already super stressed and seeing their fish die is going to make that worse. I understand people jumping to conclusions when they're angry and sad. I do it too. That doesn't mean I have no sense of personal responsibility or I don't care about facts. Even if it did, that doesn't mean you should make accusations of stupidity or immorality.

The best way to change people's minds is to listen to their argument and then refute their points without being condescending. Does it always work? No, but it works a lot better than insulting them.

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Last edited by Fishly; 10-26-2020 at 01:53 PM. Reason: typo
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-26-2020, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishly View Post
@PlantedRich

The best way to change people's minds is to listen to their argument and then refute their points without being condescending. Does it always work? No, but it works a lot better than insulting them.
When a post has this amount of nonsense involved, there is little point in trying to refute each item. We each have a certain amount of responsibility for checking before accepting what we read and very few of these posts have done any checking on the way water treatment is done.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-26-2020, 11:57 PM
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"The utilities department flooded the lines with chloramine due to coronavirus fears."

Where did you get this information?
Several sources including the NIH and the EPA specifically state on their websites that transmission via the public water supply is extremely low, and when chloromines are added it's only to stabilize (prolong the effects of) chlorine.

The reason you're getting a tough backlash is because half the problem with this pandemic is the misinformation, much of it intentional and sourced to the White House via Twitter, and we as a country deperately need accurate information. That's not a "political" statement, it's simply a fact.

So, what convinces you that the 'utility department flooded your lines with chloramine' and killed your fish?
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-27-2020, 04:37 AM
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One reason that I tend to react quite quickly when folks pass bad info on water treatment is that I once had the job of treating water for a community well serving about 100 houses and it was a constant struggle to get people to read and try to understand what was done. We had several of us who did the schools and training to be licensed , so that if there was a problem with the water system we had people on hand to adjust things and those folks were legally licensed by the state to do the work.
But that was not good enough for the complainers in the neighborhood and we got all kinds of totally bogus claims that were almost laughably impossible if one knew anything about the system. Complaints like they saw a guy working at the well and when they got home his wife was in the shower and got burned by the chlorine they added to the water? A bit of thinking and knowing what's up and you find the water comes out of the well, gets chlorine added and then goes into an 18,000 gallon tank before ever going two blocks down the street to the guys house! Most anybody who has used bleach can tell you it does burn if you get it on a torn fingernail but not just pouring it on your hands!
The truth is that there are samples taken at set points all through the system and those samples have to have residuals of chlorine between very carefully tested levels, both high and low or you get a mark on your monthly state report!
If you have a broken pipe to replace, there are specific requirements for cleaning those new pipes and it certainly doesn't allow you to send strong chlorine content on to the customers! One method is to put it in at one fire hydrant and take it out at another before passing it on down the line.
There are times when the levels may vary from 4PPM up to 10PPM if I remember the numbers correctly and there are people who do notice the change in the smell but that doesn't mean it is dangerous nor that it is unsafe for fish if we do the water treatment. Prime is set to cover up to the top level of allowed residual! Double dosing any treatment is a good way to kill fish!
The truth is that we do often kill our fish and we do often blame somebody else but it works out much better if we actually try to figure out what we did wrong. And a good place to start is in reading the directions on the bottle!
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-27-2020, 05:08 PM
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Can we stop worrying about why they are flushing the lines and help the OP with their tank?

It is my understanding that the process of removing chlorine from a tank by a dechlorinator utilizes oxygen. So if there's a ton of chlorine/chloramine to remove then it can rid the tank of oxygen and cause the fish to suffocate. Shrimp having a smaller oxygen demand were probably not affected.

When I worked at an aquarium the county would send us a notice when they were adding extra chlorine and we would simply not do water changes for the 2 weeks while it occurred, and then continue once it was finished.

I don't think there is anything you need to do to your aquarium, but I would wait until they are finished before doing anymore water changes.

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-27-2020, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okapizebra View Post
Can we stop worrying about why they are flushing the lines and help the OP with their tank?

It is my understanding that the process of removing chlorine from a tank by a dechlorinator utilizes oxygen. So if there's a ton of chlorine/chloramine to remove then it can rid the tank of oxygen and cause the fish to suffocate. Shrimp having a smaller oxygen demand were probably not affected.

When I worked at an aquarium the county would send us a notice when they were adding extra chlorine and we would simply not do water changes for the 2 weeks while it occurred, and then continue once it was finished.

I don't think there is anything you need to do to your aquarium, but I would wait until they are finished before doing anymore water changes.

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It is my understanding that it's not the interaction with Prime and chlorine/chloramine that uses oxygen, but that though it preferentially binds to chlorine/chloramine, it can also bind with oxygen which can reduce oxygen levels temporarily. This is the mechanism for a Prime overdose - there's too much Prime without enough business to take care of (that's the technical term), so it can interact with less favorable molecules.

But to relate to the OP's situation, additional chlorine/chloramine in the water would reduce this effect, not make oxygenation levels worse. At that point you need to worry if you are putting enough Prime in to begin with - Seachem says you can double the dose to deal with increased chlorine and can use up to 5x the recommended amount to detoxify ammonia.
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