fish are dying during water changing - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-10-2008, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation fish are dying during water changing

Recently I've been having a problem after I fill up my tank with water and add prime; my fish slow down and move to the surface of the water. Some fish even die (I currently have 2 tiger barbs sitting at the bottom of the tank). I really would not like to loose fish every time I do a water change. What can I do to solve this problem?

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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-10-2008, 09:36 PM
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Are you controlling the temp of the water that your putting back in?


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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-10-2008, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Temperature is perftect, it may change only 1- 1.5 degrees but thats it.

My water changes are 75%-80%, I don't know if that's a factor or not. Also, the only fish that are dying after water changes are my tiger barbs. All the other fish and shrimp are fine.

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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-10-2008, 09:46 PM
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Do you add the prime BEFORE you add the water (like you should)?
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-10-2008, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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no... I add it after i fill the tank up...

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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-10-2008, 09:56 PM
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You should always add prime before to dechlorinate the water. Your fish probably have chlorine poisoning. Your tiger barbs are probably dying faster bc they are scaleless fish and are damaged by the chlorine faster. Also, why are you changing so much water? Most people only change 30-50% of their water during a water change, not 80%. You have two options:

For a large tank, or if you have no buckets:


-siphon out old water
-add enough prime to treat the ENTIRE tank. For example, if your tank holds 50 gallons and you removed 20 gallons, add enough prime for 50 gallons of water, NOT 20!
-add the new water of the same temperature/PH etc.

For a small tank or if you have buckets:

-siphon out old water
-put new water of the same temperature/PH into a bucket
-add enough prime to treat the contents of the bucket
-let the bucket sit for a few minutes
-add the bucket water to the tank
-repeat until the tank has been refilled

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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-10-2008, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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I think I found my problem thanks!

So could I siphon out 30-50% then add prime to the tank then fill with new water? Or would adding that much prime to the half empty tank hurt the fish?

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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-10-2008, 10:23 PM
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No. 50% water change. Add prime. Add water.
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-10-2008, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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do i add prime to the tank before adding water or do i add prime to the new water ??

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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-10-2008, 10:32 PM
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See the above post. If you're adding the new water directly to the tank, add the prime to the tank before adding new water. If you're adding the new water to a bucket and then to the tank, add the prime to the new water in the bucket, let it sit, and then add the bucket of water to the tank.

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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-10-2008, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ir0n_ma1den View Post
do i add prime to the tank before adding water or do i add prime to the new water ??
? That was English, not Arabic. Left>right & Top>down. Here it is again:

Quote:
Originally Posted by macclellan View Post
No. 50% water change. Add prime. Add water.
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 12:20 AM
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Honestly, you could get by by doing 20% changes every two weeks. That is the exact amount I do on all my tanks, planted, African Cichlid, everyone. I have found it's alot easier on the fish and plants at that. Since less water from the established tank is being removed they are not nearly as stressed out as larger changes over longer periods of time. When you siphon out the water in the tank you are removing alot of the minerals and properties of the water (temp, phosphates, beneficial bacteria, ect) and when you add the new water, yes it's dechlorinated/right ph/right temp, but it does not usually contain all the other stuff that the tank needs to sucessfully thrive. Another thing that happens when you do bigger changes is the distrubance within the tank. Depending on how fast you add the water it might throw the fish around by the force of the water being added to the tank which might cause just enough stress for other minor factors within the tank to thus activate.

So in the end, I would suggest doing a smaller change. Like I said, unless you are having a breakout of algae, bacteria, or diseases, 20% water change every 1-2 weeks is plenty enough to keep everything fresh. Honestly if the tank is not having problems and everything is thriving well, you could just
"top off the tank" which is just adding enough treated water to the tank every few days to a week to compensate for the amount of water that has evaporated. If you do this water changes still need to happen but you could do it even less often like once every 3 weeks. The reason you would still need to do the changes is because when the water evaporates, essentially thats all that is dissappearing. The minerals and such that are in said water that evaporates is being left behind when the water evaporates. For example (by no means this to be accurate, just numbers to use as an example), if your tank has 50ppm of calcium, and say one gallon evaporates, there is still 50 ppm of calcium in the tank. Now when you add say one gallon of water from your tap that has 5ppm of calcium in the bucket, you now have 55ppm of calcium in the tank. The problem that results from this is a buildup of said minerals to a deadly point. But as long as you test your water frequently you will be able to catch the levels before they get too high.

So here are the basics on what might help your tank go smoother in times of water changes


-20% water changes every 2 weeks
- Top off with treated water, 20-35% water change every 3 weeks
-Be easy when adding the water to the tank, less disturbance, less stress on inhabitants

Hope this helps!
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 12:24 AM
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Ok let me tell you how i do it.

Drain however much water you are going to from the tank.

Add Prime to Empty Bucket

Fill empty bucket with water

Add water to tank

Repeat till tank is full.

I use the Dose for the Full tank Volume PER Bucket of water. I know its more than needed but my fish never die during a water change.
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 12:28 AM
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yikes, 75-80%.. what on earth for?
You can add your prime in the tank or the bucket.. The quantity changes depending which one your do. It's in the instructions.


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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 12:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquatic_Jungle View Post
Honestly, you could get by by doing 20% changes every two weeks.
50% water change, if done properly, is better than "getting by." Nice and slow, with dechlor before.

There we go: Dechlor B4! It rhymes, how could anyone forget?
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