Mysterious deaths of fish and plants looking terrible - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-14-2007, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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Mysterious deaths of fish and plants looking terrible

My Dad has tried to join me in my love of aquariums and has had a 40g freshwater tank set up for 2 years. He had about (3) Gouramis, about (7) very small Tetras, and a few bottom feeders. Overstocked a bit, but I gotta say they were thriving for about 18 months.

It's also a beautifully planted aquarium.

A few months ago his plants started looking terrible, and he lost (3) fish. The plants eventually sprung back to life.

All of a sudden his plants seemed to start to look awful again, and he's had another rash of fish deaths. He lost about (6) fish over the last week, and there are a couple others that don't seem to be eating.

We tested for all of the basics. pH he keeps around 6.7 using a CO2 tank, Ammonia is 0, Nitrites are 0, Nitrates are in an acceptable range. Temperature is around 76-77.

I don't remember what his lighting is, but it's sufficent, and wouldn't have an affect on the fish deaths anyway.

Should he be worried that something is suddenly in his municipal tap water that he hasn't tested for?

He changes 50% of the water each week because it's right next to a sink and easy to do. He's going to scale back to a normal 20% and start using a stresscoat.

He doesn't clean the tank glass with anything but a wet cloth, so he's not getting any cleaner in the tank.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-14-2007, 04:27 PM
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If he really believes it's something in the tap water- he should try R/O water for a few weeks. I recently heard (keep in mind i've never had an issue with it personally- and have used it plenty in the past) that stress coat and anything else that puts a "slime coat on fish is actually made with synthetic polymers that are very bad for fish. Again-I've never had a problem with it- jsut something to think about and look into.

The fish dying off is one thing - the plants going as well makes it a bit confusing. For example- I had a problem with mysterious fish deaths for MONTHS a while back. It ended up I had a roundworm infestation. Just about all the fish had got it, and slowly one by one died. But this did not affect my plants.

What type of ferts is he using?
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-14-2007, 04:47 PM
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this might sound stupid but he is de-chlorinating the water first right?

chlorine can kill fish & plants.
Just to be safe I dechlorinate water 24hours before I put it in the tank.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-14-2007, 08:05 PM
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I can't think of anything, but that doesn't sound overstocked at all.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-14-2007, 11:51 PM
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The basic water parameters look ok, what about hardness, chlorine, food, ferts, light?

Something changing tank position from time to time!

Pay attention to every detail, including substrate. Have you vacuumed recently? Is there a gas buildup in the substrate?

If you have a choice, you have a problem, till you elect your choice. No choice, no problem, only consequences, learn to live with them.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-15-2007, 04:29 AM
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i also keep a small tank by a sink, and my greatest fear is that some kind of soap, detergent, or toxic chemical finds it's way into the tank. the sink is always getting cleaned, people use it to wash their hands, etc. fortunately, the tank has a nice hood/cover, and i've had no issues to date. it's always been a lingering concern. it is possible something like that might have been introduced into the tank?
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