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Old 07-16-2012, 05:12 PM   #1
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Unhappy Deadly water change?

Okay, first a story then some stats.

1:30pm July 15th-Performing normal water change, (Previous water change 7/12/12 went on vacation the fish decided to poop up the place. did a 9 gallon water change, I know funny # but it needed it) I sand vac first then, I left the gravel vacuum hanging inside the tank, well err I became distracted for a period of time. and came back to find the hose had slipped even though I secured it. and well it now became a 75 percent change 15 gallons worth. I started my normal rotation, add TETRA SAFE PLUS to each gallon, then into the tank. We drink water by the gallon and I save them, so I know exactly how many gallons go in. I have been doing this for months, this way no casualties.
11:30-midnight pm July 15th- I find 2 neon tetras floating, then notice Black neons twirling and looks to have buoyancy issues with rapid breathing gaping mouth. I inspect the dead fish, no dicoloration of body or gills, no redness around the gills, no parasites, very healthy and active. No bulging eyes, no red anus. no signs of ammonia poisoning. Just stiff as a board dead.
Well, I move everyone over to my 3 gallon QT tank just till the morning. And leave the few remaining NEON tetras in MAIN I couldn't figure out what happended, so since I figured it must be something coming on. dosed with PIMAFIX in main tank. REMOVED MY FILTER and stuck in the QT tank, to keep alive. No access to internet because it was all unplugged and the lights would wake my hubby.
QT TANK water is a mixture of 1 part mature tank from earlier drain and 2 parts new dechlo water.

2:30 AM July 16-I have a nightmare of fish not breathing, I wake up and turn a light on. 2 Black neons are twirling at the surface of the QT tank, The Neons in the main tank are dead. I do another 50 water change. When in doubt do a water change! I moved the Black neons back into the tank, and run out of my apt in my pjs, to my outside garage. I fetch a filter for my tank with active carbon, place that in tank, the black neons settle down and other than rapid breathing. they swim a little straighter and seem to be coming down. I observe Mr. Orange (red platy) rapid breathing and circling the surface of the tank


Fall asleep on couch, wake 1 dead panda cory in the QT tank, 1 dead Mr. orange in the QT tank as well. black neons all dead in main tank.
Survivors 2 panda corys 2 bronze corys and 2 black molly fry (1 month old)

Now before everyone shoots me, I didn't have a test kit. But am less then half a block from Petco. As soon as awake and dressed(kinda) went and had it tested.
Perfect my water was perfect! ok...So they did not have a API Master kit, so another store walked out with it. Went home, put my aged filter back in the tank! had a nice long cry about my fish, then broke open the test kit. (dang that was expensive!)

And here we are now

Test results

Ph 7.6
High PH 7.8
ammonia 0pmm
Nitrite 0 pmm
Nitrate 0 pmm

taken 1 hour ago.

Filter penguin 150
with just a piece of filter material for solids, but currently both filter pad and a filter full of carbon

Tank 20 gallon high tank this tank replace my other 10 gallon, my tank gallon up 2 yearish? This 20 gallon fully cycled, sand bottom for my cories petco brand blue.

Fish ages
Molly fry 2 months
1 Black neon 8 years, other guys since last November I believe
Neons aquired in Jan '12
Platy mature -had 1 month
1 Panda cory died- 4 days, he looked a little white, but ate and shoaled
2 panda cories -2 weeks, didn't even blink through all this craziness!
2 Bronze cories -3 weeks no change, just went zipping around

plants
Money wort
1 amazon sword that took off while on vacation due to me letting natural light in and thats all
4 small javas, 1 medium java mom plant
No food during vacation, they need to lose a little.

No new additions that weren't QT 1st, What happened?
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Old 07-16-2012, 05:15 PM   #2
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I've done really large water changes with no bad results. Was it Tetra Safe Start you threw in there? What's Tetra Safe Plus? Never heard of it.

What had your last readings been?

Did you overfeed your fish prior to leaving for those few days? Why so much poop?

I'm sorry but your post was incredibly lengthy and I couldn't read it all. In a nutshell, did you change filters out or what?

Also, since you're not used to using the test kit, with the nitrate reagent, you have to bang and smack and bash that bottle against a hard surface prior to use, to break up the crystals inside. Otherwise, you won't get true readings.
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Old 07-16-2012, 05:31 PM   #3
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Its called tetra aquasafe plus water conditioner, the plus is a stress coat

I did not have a test kit prior to today, but had it tested at the local petco 1/2 block from my house, every week, kept water changes on sunday like clock work

I might suggest you read the post, perhaps you can find a flaw. but no filter change and water change at the same time ever in my book. The filter pad in there currently seeded 2 weeks, behind the old one.

I did infact bang almost all the chemicals prior to using them, I assumed they had sat on the shelf for a while. my hubby was wondering what the heck I was doing.
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:03 AM   #4
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I read your whole post, and there are only a couple things I'm wondering about.

First, all your readings were zero. Zero nitrates are an indication of a non-cycled tank, and I don't believe the number of plants you have would offset that.

From your post, I can't tell if your "new" 20 gallon is 2 years old, or if that was your 10. How old is the 20?

What kind of water do you use? Are you on a well? The problem is without past measurements, we can't tell if say.... a pH swing is what did it.

How often do you clean the sand? I heard stirring up aged sand can release toxins or co2 trapped in the sand bed that can kill fish. Hopefully someone else can give more information on that.
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Old 07-18-2012, 11:17 AM   #5
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I did a little research

I used tap water from the city and there was a possiblity that they flushed the drains with chlorine. or whatever they call it. The day of my 1st water change, so I'm thinking I didn't use enough dechlonator, to counter it. then did another change, adding extra and the Ph swing was too much. tested again today and had a slight color to my ammonia reading not enough to be .25 pmm, but not 0 either. I will be doing daily 10%, till my readings firm up and to save my remaining fish. Still can't believe the fish I was told were sensitive are the ones alive and the ones that were my hardiest are dead
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Old 07-19-2012, 01:17 PM   #6
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wow. I am so sorry. No advice as I am a newbie but how frustrated and sad you must be. hope things straighten out now
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Old 07-19-2012, 02:59 PM   #7
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Neons (black or normal) honestly tend to be the most sensitive in my experience unless they're full grown. It really depends on the stock you get them from. If they came from any of the big chain stores, they tend to drop at the slightest chemistry change. I've only had success when I get my neons from my LFS instead, since they tend to have higher quality stock.

A few things that come to mind that could be possible culprits...
1) Did you check your water temperature before adding it to the tank? Temperature shock could easily be a factor when changing that much water at once.
2) Exactly how many fish did you put into the 3 gallon QT? I counted at least the platy, 5 corys, a molly fry and an unknown amount of black neons... It sounds like it was pretty overstocked, which can throw off the water parameters super fast when you're dealing with such a small amount of water. Add that to the stress from a possible temperature shock and it's not a good scenario...
3) Did you use any lotion or chemicals on your hands at some point during the day before doing the water change? Were all of the equipment used in the water change stored away from potential contamination before being used? There may have been something in the water that was poisoning them.
4) Any chance of electrical discharge from some of your equipment? Heaters are notorious for acting up if they were running while above the water during the larger than normal water change.

As soon as you had the first fish die, the ammonia released started you on a downward spiral that stressed/poisoned the other fish, etc. Combine that with any of those things above alongside potentially under-treating the chlorine the first time could have started a chain reaction. Small tanks are notoriously prone to crashes if something goes wrong since you have less water to buffer you against changes
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:46 PM   #8
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Really don't know really what happened, but going forward I make sure to use a little more than normal Aquasafe, I have a liquid test kit, and a little more knowledge. Right now my main tank is evening out and my Qt has 2 sick fishes. The main tank gets a 5-8 gallon water change everyday, except the last 24 hours. I did a 50 % last nite because I had an early shift. The Qt was scrubbed today, refilled, and has 2 panda cories and a one less than half an inch molly fry with fin rot/ body fungus. Hopefully I can get everyone back on track and healthy. long road ahead.
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:48 AM   #9
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please close thread
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