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Old 01-16-2006, 01:52 PM   #1
waynephinney
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My filter, and dead fishies

I have the standard water filter that came with my tank and it's got two speeds, hi and low. I keep it on high to not only filter as much as it can, but to help keep the level of oxygen up for the tank. I don't want any of my poor fishies to drown.

Well, I woke up this morning and two of my fish were stuck to it. They are little silvery colored tetras with a little red mark over their eyes. Anyhow, one was literally wrapped halfway around the intake tube, so clearly he got stuck somehow. Well, the other one was pressed against it vertically. I shook them loose hoping one of them might still be alive, but nothing. One floated to the top, and the other sank. My guess is that one got stuck and the other tried to find a way to help free it. If they weren't of the same species, I wouldn't have even thought of this.

But I guess here's my problem. I don't want any more fish dying that way. It's one thing if I screw something up and they die, but they shouldn't get stuck to the filter intake. I don't know if it's just that species or what. My red tail sharks play around it all the time and even lay up against it and eat stuff off of it, then they swim away like it's nothing.

I guess my question is, can I keep the filter on low, or will the tank get too dirty too quick? Will it not get enough oxygen? Should I just put it back on high? Was it really the fault of the fish that got stuck? Was this a fluke thing that's unlikely to happen?

I just don't want to wake up and see any more fish pinned against that. I felt really bad.
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Old 01-16-2006, 03:13 PM   #2
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Chances are that they were already dead before they got stuck to the filter.

Do you know what your Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate levels are? This is a new tank and since it's not cycled, they probably died from Ammonia poisoning or aggression from the sharks.
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Old 01-16-2006, 03:31 PM   #3
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Ditto on what Ashley said.

A healthy fish should be able to swim away from the filter. My guess is that they were either dead, or not well to begin with.

Definitely try to post back with your water params. There are some great folks here who can get you on the right track.
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Old 01-16-2006, 03:33 PM   #4
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I suppose they could have been. I have no idea what my levels are, nor how to find out, and for that matter, I don't know what's normal. I suppose them being of the same species would be a good indicator that there was something that that particular species is more sensitive to in the tank. I hope that doesn't mean the other ones will be dead when I get home tonight.

I don't think it was aggression from the sharks, but it could have been. I didn't see any nipped fins or anything that indicated that they were injured, but admittedly, it was early so I hadn't fully woken up to give a good inspection.
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Old 01-16-2006, 03:39 PM   #5
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You will want to read the sticky on cycling a tank before you do anything else or add any more fish.

Pick up a test kit for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH (liquid not strips) and then post back your numbers here.

Also, did you use dechlor when you set up your tank?
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Old 01-16-2006, 03:46 PM   #6
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Dechlor? Is that the liquid stuff that's supposed to treat tap water and in higher doses can be used to help heal minor fish injuries and illnesses? I can't remember the name, but if that's it, I have used that as instructed.

Liquid test kit? I'll try to find one. I can't imagine they wouldn't have one. If I have no other option, will I be ok with strips?
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Old 01-16-2006, 03:54 PM   #7
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They might have sold you something like stress coat? But general consensus is that you don't need a product with aloe in it to use with each water change as it will affect the fishes' gills.

You will want a test kit like this. http://aquariumpharm.com/aqtest.html
I guess strips would be better than no test at all, but in the long run the liquid tests are more accurate.
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Old 01-16-2006, 04:28 PM   #8
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They might have sold you something like stress coat? But general consensus is that you don't need a product with aloe in it to use with each water change as it will affect the fishes' gills.
Yeah! That's the stuff. So if I don't need to do it with every water change, how often should I do it? If I change the water every week, would it be a good idea to use it once a month or something?

I'll see what I can pick up at the pet store.
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Old 01-16-2006, 05:30 PM   #9
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I only use stress coat when I move fish from one tank to another or when I am introducing a new fish. I have been using Aquarium Phar's 'tap water conditioner' and I have been very happy with it. Everybody seems to have their favorite though. Maybe someone can chime in with other examples. Anything without aloe or conditioners that aid the slime coat should be fine. Just take a few minutes and read the labels.
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Old 01-16-2006, 05:42 PM   #10
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Ditto on what Ashley said.
Ashley?

I have never used stress coat, don't really see the need. As long as the fish are healthy and the tanks are properly stocked, no need for it. A good dechlorinator is Prime. It's concentrated so it goes a LONG way. The Aquarium Pharmecuticals Freshwater Master Test Kit is an awesome liquid reagent kit. The best IMO. The strips are ok for temporary readings, but they really shouldn't be relied on for accurate results for too long. The longer that they have been opened, the less accurate they are. www.bigalsonline.com sells the AP kit for something like $20 after shipping. In the lfs around here they run about $40. But in the long run, it is cheaper than the strips.
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Old 01-16-2006, 05:46 PM   #11
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Ashley?
LOL Sorry. That is what I get for trying to answer a post whilst at work.
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Old 01-16-2006, 05:48 PM   #12
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I keep hearing mention of a dechlorinator. I'm on well water, so would there still be chlorine issues with that?
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Old 01-16-2006, 05:56 PM   #13
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It's ok. LOL I thought to myself "Did Ashley post in here and I not see her message? Am I BLIND?"

Since you're on well water you shouldn't have any issues with chlorine or chloramines. That is of course unless you have a water plant in your house. Products like Prime remove heavy metals from the water also.
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Old 01-16-2006, 06:55 PM   #14
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If you have no other choice, see if the lfs will test your water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrates until you can get your own test kit. In the meantime a water change can't hurt.
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Old 01-16-2006, 08:37 PM   #15
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I just did a 25% pwc last night. Is it really neccessary to do another tonight or can it at least wait another day?
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Old 01-16-2006, 09:03 PM   #16
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With the bio-load that you have, it would be wise to do 25% every day until you can get a test kit.
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Old 01-16-2006, 10:52 PM   #17
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eeek sounds like you're going through what I did.... unfortunately, I peeled many a dead neon tetra off my filter when my tank was new and I was still trying to get a handle on the chemical balances of the water and getting my tank to cycle. And when the little guys were alive, I saw them swim right by the filter without any problem so I knew they were dying from other causes. I was just too eager at the beginning and had too many fishies in there all at once.

Water changes are a pain but necessary until everything calms down... and they really do help.

Hang in there and keep posting. These people know what they are talking about! I never would've made it through without them. My tank is almost 2 months old now and doing fine thanks to these folks.
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