The Planted Tank Forum banner

1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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?:confused: :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,412 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
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.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
+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.

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.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,412 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
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.
In my case, the fish were gasping at the surface. Transferring them to another tank failed to save them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,412 Posts
When I lose fish and don't have a handy idea, I take some time to look the fish over more carefully. If I have not noted any unusual activity and they are showing signs of gasping or an O2 problem, I look first at what might have changed in the water, then go further to look carefully at both the live and the dead fish for anything showing on the gills. While it is always easy to blame the dechlor product of whatever brand we use or say the water had too much of this or that, it is also easy for us to miss something. Maybe the water I add is just a bit too high temperature or the hose slips down and I stir up a bunch of muck off the bottom. Things that are normally not a problem can kill a fish that is a little bit on the weak side from other issues.
I now keep dedicated containers for anything tank related. It's just too easy to mess up if you share ccontainers for other uses like mixing insecticide, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
I had this happen to me here in FL, twice, and I go back to the days of Metaframe tanks and Dynaflow filters in the 60s. This obsession with massive water changes is, in my humble opinion, counter-productive. I have always stuck with 20-25% weekly water changes with Prime and never had a problem till I did a 50% one time a month ago. Others will disagree, but if you are showing good parameters with an API test kit, and especially if you have plants, go easy on the water-change volume. It may well limit disasters in an increasingly polluted world. Just my two cents, and I am truly sorry for your loss. One last thing; once I put a carbon pad in my Eheim 2217 (5r5 gal. tank), my replacement fish were fine. Carbon is out of fashion in many forum circles, but it can do wonders to prevent unwanted spikes in impurities. Just be sure to change it often.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I did another water change yesterday evening because I found more dead fish. I do have some that are MIA too. Lost all my adult SAE, Denison's Barbs, Harlequin Rasboras, Longfin leopard danios, Clown loaches. 1 Pleco MIA. 2 zebras still alive and look OK. Did a API water test and Ammonia and Nitrite are 0. Nitrate is between 0 and 5.0. The tank is heavily planted with an assortment of swords, various fast-growing stems, and Anubias. Plants are doing well. I am crying ....tears about this. Had these fish for years and years. It was a very stable tank. How do I even begin to start over?.........A neighbor said that she thought there was a rather strong chlorine smell to the water, in her opinion. The small fish did go to the surface and the bigger fish disappeared into the plants and died, fast. So....is it possible that even though I added the recommended amount of Prime, it was not enough to remove the higher amount of chlorine/chloramine if that was the case? I do plan on calling the Town Water Department first thing Monday morning!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
What size tank do you have? What type filter? Do you run water through a softener? I still recommend using some carbon to guard against impurities. I know this is disheartening. Zebras are very hardy, which is why they are often used for in-fish cycling, but it appears as if you are completely cycled to begin with. Do call the water dept., as they probably have heard from other aquarists by now if there was indeed a problem.
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top