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Old 11-24-2012, 11:44 AM   #1
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Armegedon??

As odd as it may sound I just joined this site last night (was going to ask about small snails in my 50gal cichlids tank and I woke up this morning and they are all dead!? There are literally 13 full grown cichlids all dead. The tank is well established - 6 years old- and I am in shock and not sure where I should look too first. It did seem like the water was warmer than usual 85 degrees so I'm assuming my thermometer malfunctioned - is there something else I should check? The only survivors are two small "babies" that we're born about a month ago...please
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:48 AM   #2
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Why is the tank 85 degrees? I would get that down to around 79 or so... If it was always at 85 and then you think it went higher that could certainly kill a few.
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:51 AM   #3
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It was always at 78, but when I saw everyone dead the first thing I checked was the temp and it was 85- I just pulled the plug on the thermometer. If it has been 85 for an extended period could that have killed them? To be honest the water temp is something I rarely check anymore.
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:52 AM   #4
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What are your water parameters? (Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate) Has anything changed recently like any new additions to the tank? Where the fish showing any signs of strange behaviour or appearance (spots, swollen belly, red gills, etc)? Also did you do a water change last night or add anything to the water?

Sorry for your loss. Hopefully we can help get to the bottom of this.
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:56 AM   #5
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If the temperature was at 85 for an extended period of time I doubt that would kill them all at once. If the heater malfunctioned last night and the temperature suddenly shot up from 78 where it should be to 85 that could do it. 7 degrees is a big change if it happenned over only an hour or 2
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:59 AM   #6
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Thanks twestacot... No changes, no new additions, everyone looked well amd my last water change was 2 weeks ago. I am going to check the parameters now - of course I need to get a new test kit as ran out of strips
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:03 PM   #7
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test strips are worthless, get yourself a liquid test kit
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:04 PM   #8
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The one thing you will find on this forum is that a lot of the most experienced posters will recommend not using strips as they are known to be inaccurate. If you can get your hands on an API Freshwater Master Test Kit that is pretty much recognized as the most accurate on the market and pretty much the gold standard on these forums.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:09 PM   #9
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Thanks rocksor - the strips were my back up and am going to get the liquid kit now. By the strips it looks like my nitrates are thru the roof. How can this be from a tank that has been so established and I've had multiple "litters" over the past 6 months - wouldnt that be a testament to the water quality being good?
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:18 PM   #10
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Yes but nitrates are the end product of the cycle. This could be somewhat elevated by all the dead fish but I would also suggest upping water changes to at least once per week. Water changes are the best way to keep nitrate levels under control. I do a 50% water change weekly for example.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocksor
test strips are worthless, get yourself a liquid test kit
I wouldnt call it worthless. They just arent as accurate.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:22 PM   #12
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That's true. I guess I should start to remove the deceased before I test the water with the liquid test kit
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:31 PM   #13
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Just removing the deceased unfortunately will not lower your nitrates. It will only prevent them from rising further. As the fish start decomposing they will elevate your nitrates even more. I would remove the deceased and then do a big water change. Before testing again.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I wouldnt call it worthless.
I certainly would.

To the original poster I would be shocked if the water parameters had any effect on the fish dying, the likely culprit is a heater malfunction.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:50 PM   #15
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This is what I think too HUKIT but the point I am trying to make is that this is a good opportunity to get his Nitrate levels back down and ensure all his parameters are in good order so he can start restocking.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:53 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HUKIT

I certainly would.

To the original poster I would be shocked if the water parameters had any effect on the fish dying, the likely culprit is a heater malfunction.
So your saying that if you couldnt have a liquid test kit, and you could either have the test strips or no test strips at all you would go without them? I would certainly take them over nothing at all.
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:00 PM   #17
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So your saying that if you couldnt have a liquid test kit, and you could either have the test strips or no test strips at all you would go without them? I would certainly take them over nothing at all.
Not to divert from the purpose of this thread, yes I would certainly take nothing over test strips. They are so far from accurate what's the point of wasting money on something that doesn't work.

This happened a few weeks ago at a local store, I was returning a dead fish that required a water sample, the kid breaks out the strips and tries to tell me that my ammonia levels were at 4ppm which caused the death. Of course I call shenanigans and forced them to test with a liquid kit and low and behold 0ppm. So again I'll reiterate... they're worthless.

I'd encourage you if want to pursue this topic do some back to back comparisons between the two and you'll be amazed of the results.

@SALNYG it truly sucks and being I've been in this hobby for a couple of decades and I've been right where you are now on a couple of occasions, so I truly understand your pain and frustration. But on the brightside you get to go buy more fish!
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:04 PM   #18
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Thanks twestacot (and everyone who responded) I just removed the deceased 13 in all - only the two small fry remain. I will do the water change now, get the test kit today and see where I'm at. I agree that is must have been the thermometer to have killed them all so fast. I'll have to take this "opportunity" to rebuild the tank and make some changes. I will let you know where I am later today and may be asking for advice on a few other issues I have had.
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:59 PM   #19
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Best of luck
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:17 AM   #20
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that really sucks. I do believe you heater was the culprit. if it stuck on (the closed position) it could kill all your fish. Plus if it did this and burned out its contacts it will seem like it just doesnt work anymore. Thus it is only 85 degrees when you wake up but it was higher through the night while you slept.
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