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Old 12-12-2002, 09:43 AM   #1
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HELP. sudden death of rainbow fish!!!

All of a sudden my 37 gallon tank went bad.
Here are a couple of possibilities:
1. overfeeding. I have a bad habit of doing this from time to time. The nitrates were .25 ammonia 0 the ph is 7.2
2. my husband was feeding them seaweed select and each time he did, he clipped it to the side of the tank in a veggie clip, he stuck his arm way down in the water and he had lotion on his arm. Maybe this poisoned the fish.

the rainbows are hanging at the top of the tank Thier color isn't red, it's kind of brown. One started swimming all wobbely and then started floating. one of her flipper fins wasn't working right. I had to put her in the freezer. This happened suddenly. They were ok just a couple of days ago. The one that died was acting wierd however. The other fish are ok I think. My gudgeon isn't as lively as usual but he is still ok. No fish are eating that well now.
The water was starting to look cloudy. I did a water change and cleaned the filter. It was totally filthey!!!!!! Please help, someone.
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Old 12-12-2002, 10:09 AM   #2
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sick fish

Probably the lotion. It's best, although I think none of us adhere to it, to never put your hands in the tank. But definitely never when you have lotion, perfume, or any other chemical on your hands/arms. The cloudy water was likely a heterotrophic bacterial bloom which, although unsightly, is harmless and will go away. I would do several large water changes over the next few days and see if the rainbows don't improve. Rainbows are pretty tough fish. With a nitrate reading of .25 and 0 ammonia (I'm assuming nitrites were 0 as well), I don't think you have a water quality problem due to overfeeding. This is a very low nitrate concentration for a FW tank. I would be watchful for an outbreak of ich also due to the stress the fish have been subjected to. Also, if you're using activated carbon, change it. If you're not, add some for a few weeks.
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Old 12-12-2002, 11:44 AM   #3
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Water change...

I would do atleast a 20% water change as soon as possible and maybe follow up with another water change a few days from now.

Its a good idea to make sure your hands and arms are as clean as possible before you put them in the tank. Now I would not run to the sink and wash them real well before you put your hands in either as the soap residue could also hurt.

When in doubt just wipe your arms with a good clean towl that has been reserved for tank use.
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Old 12-12-2002, 11:55 AM   #4
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Yeah, no soap or lotion. Before putting my hands in, i just scrubb them under hot water (of course dont scald your self) with no soap. Dry with old towel (like freek said), or clean paper towel.

Hope your fishies recover.
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Old 12-12-2002, 12:25 PM   #5
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Thanks

I thought he had the sense to wash the lotion off before sticking his hand in the tank but he kind of admitted that he didn't . we always put the seaweed salad at the bottom of the tank for the pleco. I will change more water tonight and I just hope that the remaining rainbows recover. Do you think they can?
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Old 12-12-2002, 01:34 PM   #6
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rainbows

I would think they have a very good chance of recovery. Next time you're at the grocery store, buy a large trout. Go home and beat the hubby with it...he won't do it again.
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Old 12-12-2002, 02:53 PM   #7
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I think you've got a good chance of saving the rest of your rainbows. A few months ago I had a similiar death in my bosemani rainbowfish tank. I got the tank undercontrol by using water changes and cleaning out my canister filter. IMHO the advice others have given you is right on the money!
My lfs suggested I regularly change 20-30% water every 3-4 days. I try to stick to that schedule and so far my rainbowfish are more colorful and seem healthier.
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Old 12-12-2002, 03:06 PM   #8
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I had been doing a water change every week, about 15%. I think when I go home today I will change another 15 or 20% of the water. I feel really bad that that one died. I thought by this morning she would be better but she was worse. It happened so quick I never even relized there was a problem.
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Old 12-13-2002, 08:28 AM   #9
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They have a disease.

The rainbows now have a disease. It wasn't really obvious yesterday morning but last night I see thier fins are starting to rot and they have a film of grayish stuff on thier skin. The other fish seem ok except for my gudgeon, who was totally listless. I did a water change and he perked up a bit.
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Old 12-14-2002, 09:29 AM   #10
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they are dead

They had ick. I never saw a disease progress so fast in my life. I tried maracide out of desparation but they didn't make it. My purple stripe gudgeon is having trouble breathing too. I don't know what to do.
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Old 12-14-2002, 10:12 AM   #11
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Oh man, you have my sympathy. To lose a tank of fish so fast. I'm not familiar with gudgeons but wanted to reply. Rainbows are usually tough so you must have a really wicked strain. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 12-14-2002, 09:14 PM   #12
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Thanks for caring.

I hope my gudgeon makes it. he's really stressed. He did eat some bloodworms though. If he dies I will get rid of every aquarium I own. he was my favorite.
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