deadly water change? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy deadly water change?

Just did an ordinary w/c, added Prime, nothing unusual. I sit here and see my fish are dying. At least 2 are gone. This has happened before, a while ago, and it turned out the water company was working on the water pipes. This time no clue. One of the fish is a big Rose-lined barb aka Denison's Barb. This has me so, so upset. What can I do in the future to prevent this when I have no clue as to what is wrong? What should I look for?
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 07:15 PM
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This is weird. Somehow test the water.
Can u test ammonia, nitrate, nitrite and see if any of those are high.
Other testing that could identify something:
Taste
TDS meter, cheap purchase and if they are fixing a pipe, i can imagine sediment is disturbed in the pipe, along with potentially soil, metal particles.

Of course there is always going the remineralized RO/DI water route and bypassing the issue.
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 08:19 PM
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This is a time when there are so many things that could happen that we really can't list them all. But the ones we do most think about are not the type which typically kill quickly. Metal, sediment and PH changes are what I call stressful but not really something that kills a healthy fish right away without the fish first showing signs of stress. Over time, many things can drive a fish over the edge but quick deaths are not what I find from most of the things listed unless the fish is already in some trouble.

Things that I find that kill quickly are things that interfere with gills and breathing. Too much CO2, a film on the water so that O2 is low are some I think of as quick killers.

For preventing these things in the future, I feel watching fish and maybe having a semi-formed plan in mind for action seem to be the way I go. Many don't have the time I do, just to set and watch fish. But if we can get down what is normal and then spot when they begin to act just a bit "off", we can put our action plan in motion before things get to the crisis stage. Easier said than done but something to work on??
For when things do act a bit weird, My first action is often a water change. There are few things that clean new water will not make somewhat better. Not a cure-all but somewhat better?
I also admit to doing something that may not fit others. I find there are sturdy fish and fish that are not so sturdy. I love cichlids for their ability to live through things that will often kill a weaker fish.
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Total now at 4 fish have died. Terrified to do another water change, I did add some more Prime. The fish, I thought were healthy. I don't think the water values were bad, I didn't test before hand, it was just time for a water change which I do every week to 10 days. We are in spring thaw, frost still in the ground and some snow on the ground. The water tables are high too right now. I am so, so upset. I really do get attached to my fish as I had them for years.
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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Another fish died. Total fish death is now 5, at least. Doing an emergency water change. Very weird. Has me freaking out, don't know why.....
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 09:49 PM
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Got a friend or lfs who you can take a bunch of water from (out of a healthy tank) to do a large water change? Sorry about your losses.
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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More dead fish. I did a 2nd water change and this time the water was clearer then the first time. Weird. But my 75 gallon is looking really empty. I need to look for more dead fish ....This this now the worst disaster my tanks ever had in 40+ years. Back when tanks were the Metaframe tanks. Fish I had for years and years .....wow. ......Still shaking from this....I will call the Town on Monday and ask about the water. See what they say.
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 11:12 PM
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I did my usual 50% water change last week. Inside of 30 minutes, every fish was dead.
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brwaldbaum View Post
I did my usual 50% water change last week. Inside of 30 minutes, every fish was dead.
That is basically what happened to me. What the hell happened, I'll never know. If there are any fish alive right now, they are hiding. I have already netted a pail full of dead fish out. How and what can I do to prevent this in the future? I am very careful when I work on my tank too as to not accidentally contaminate it too. I can't even look at the tank now. My heart is broken
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-22-2014, 12:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hopeforthebest View Post
That is basically what happened to me. What the hell happened, I'll never know. If there are any fish alive right now, they are hiding. I have already netted a pail full of dead fish out. How and what can I do to prevent this in the future? I am very careful when I work on my tank too as to not accidentally contaminate it too. I can't even look at the tank now. My heart is broken
Some people suggest that this phenomenon is most likely to occur in the spring.
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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-22-2014, 12:22 AM
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This is terrible news, hopeforthebest. My heart goes out to you. I really don't have any advice to give, except that you might want to fill a clean gallon jug with water out of your tap right now so you can have it tested later if need be. At least that way, you may be able to prove a problem with the water supply if you want to try to have the utility pay for replacement fish or something. (Not that your beloved long-time pets can be "replaced," but that's how a municipality would see it.)

Also, if the water is this dangerous for fish, might it not be dangerous to area residents? You might want to contact other aquarists in the area to see if they are having problems, and follow up with calls to family and friends to see if any people are being affected. If you uncover a problem, you might not want to wait until Monday to contact your water company; if you can't reach them directly, perhaps you could call a local tv station or newspaper? I bet the media would be able to reach the water people even if their offices are closed. (I'm not trying to be alarmist, but your experience is worrisome.)

Deborah
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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-22-2014, 01:08 AM
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+1 if it can kill your fish that quickly I wonder how safe is it to drink? Something I'd be worried about for sure. Sorry for your loss and hope you have no other casualties.

Quote:
Originally Posted by H2Ogal View Post
This is terrible news, hopeforthebest. My heart goes out to you. I really don't have any advice to give, except that you might want to fill a clean gallon jug with water out of your tap right now so you can have it tested later if need be. At least that way, you may be able to prove a problem with the water supply if you want to try to have the utility pay for replacement fish or something. (Not that your beloved long-time pets can be "replaced," but that's how a municipality would see it.)

Also, if the water is this dangerous for fish, might it not be dangerous to area residents? You might want to contact other aquarists in the area to see if they are having problems, and follow up with calls to family and friends to see if any people are being affected. If you uncover a problem, you might not want to wait until Monday to contact your water company; if you can't reach them directly, perhaps you could call a local tv station or newspaper? I bet the media would be able to reach the water people even if their offices are closed. (I'm not trying to be alarmist, but your experience is worrisome.)
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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-22-2014, 02:54 AM
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Sorry for your loss , man I'm greatfull to ge drinking and using ro water in my tanks

125g,75g,50g,40g,27g,10g
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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-22-2014, 02:58 AM
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Is there a lot of fraking going on in your area?
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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-22-2014, 03:00 AM
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Can you tell us more about the fish before they die? Are they gasping at the top, hiding in corners or acting strange? Does there seem to be any type or size who dies first? Check the gills for signs of extra redness or sometimes the gill plate will begin to turn out as if it is curling up. What happens as it progresses is often a sign of what the problem might be.
Just checking some things that might be overlooked might make me want to check how the water change is done but really the way they die would be a good place to start looking for clues. Any chance of something as simple as a water change bucket getting used for other things around the house?

Without test results that you can trust, you really are just left in the dark. Without routine test results to compare the current with, there are too many things to begin to count that could cause death. Good clean water is normally good but not always if they are used to a high level of pollution which suddenly changes with new water.
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