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Old 03-11-2009, 06:34 PM   #1
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Exclamation Temperature Shock

All of the freshwater aquarium books I have read have advised against temperature shock. That whenever moving a fish to a diffrent body of water to make sure that the new water is the same temperature as the old water. It makes sense.

The books warn of temperature shock, but never explain what it is. They never explain that temperature shock can kill your beloved fish in less than a minute. Temperature shock is serious.

I lost my betta today. I moved it to a fishbowl to break up some serious territory issues between it and three platies. I didn't check to see what the temperature diffrence was between the tank and the bowl. I caught the betta without much of a hastle and put him in the bowl. He started acting strangely almost immedately, darting around the bowl. I thought he was upset about being netted. Then he swam to the bottom and began swimming upside down for about fifteen seconds. At this point I was concerned, I had never seen this behavior before. He swam to the surface as if to take a breath and went belly up and died.

I put the betta back into the tank, fearing temperature shock at this point... He wasn't paralyzed, simply dead. I removed him and placed him in a plastic bag to be burried. It's hard not to blame myself for killing the fish.

I removed the aquarium themometer and checked the bowl temperature. The bowl was 11 degrees F warmer than the tank. A temperature diffrence that seems small to a human was fatal to my fish.

I wrote this partally to help me grieve, but I also wrote it to warn others of the dangers of temperature shock. If you have had an experience with temperature shock, please share it. If this thread can help you save the life of someone's fish, then it is worth the time.

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Old 03-11-2009, 07:07 PM   #2
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Sorry for your loss sadly, I've made the same mistake with a betta back when I was younger. It is important to make sure the water is within a few degrees of the other. 11 deg is a big hike and may have just been too hot for the fish depending on what the temp of the tank is kept at. I keep mine at about 78 F so an 11 deg difference would be 99 deg! Poor fishie!

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Old 03-11-2009, 07:51 PM   #3
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I always match the temp and try to match the PH of the water
Like I said in this post, I'm old fashioned.

I won't use a Python to do a water change.
I use heavy duty one gallon jugs to store and age my water.
When I need to WC, I put the required amount in the bathrub and
put warm or hot water in the tub (around the jugs) in order to match the water temp.

I read where a cold shot of water will imitate a sudden rainstorm in a lake
but I don't buy that.

Always match at least the temp of the water. When fish are moved or
when you do a WC, they are stressed out - PERIOD.

I have a bette, 4 dd black angels that are very picky about the water they are in, two LF ABN's, 2 Buenos Aires Tetras, 3 Sunset Honey gouramis,
7 Neons and the only fish I've lost recently was a neon.

Good luck in the future

BTW - all of the above fish are NOT in the same aquarium.
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:17 PM   #4
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Back from the dead?

I put off burying the fish for at least two hours. When my dad got home I was telling him about it and to keep from crying I affectionately stroked the Betta through the plastic bag. I felt it kick.

I was very shocked by this and touched the fish again. It kicked. I ran upstairs and filled the bag with aged water from my bucket. Within a minute it was swiming around in the bag as if nothing had happened. I put it into my water aging bucket and let it swim for a few hours. It appears to be fine.

That fish had been completely lifeless. It would sink to the bottom of the tank, I could hold it and touch it without any response, I laid limp wherever it was. I thought it was dead. I put it in the plastic bag with no water and virtually no air. It survived without either for over two hours. I can't believe my eyes. It's incredible.
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Old 03-12-2009, 12:51 AM   #5
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WOW! That is quite the story ....

Betta can breath air so is known to be able to survive out of water for some time. But I am amazed that it will come back to life when there was no sign of life an hour before!

I am happy that you have your fishy friend back!
80 gal FW with 30 gal DIY wet/dry/sump.
9 fancy golds, 1 hillstream loaches, 1 rubber-lip pleco (C. thomasi), 3 SAEs, small school of white cloud minnows, planted.
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