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Old 02-19-2005, 10:37 PM   #1
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Need some help...

Ok, I know I am going to get some comments from people who read my beer cans thread and told me that drinking/aquariums are a bad mix, but I have a problem and I would rather get yelled at and save my fish than have them all die. Last night a roommate of mine spilled some beer into my tank. It wasnt that much but it has definately caused some problems and Im afraid if I dont do something my fish will die.

The water has gotten incredibly cloudy, and one of my dwarf frogs has turned from dark grey to a very light grey, almost white color. My blue rams, rasboras, and white clouds all sit up at the top of the surface barely moving with their heads pointed towards the surface. They arent gulping for air though, and I have a steady stream of bubbles going through the tank so Im not sure what they are doing.

The only thing I have done so far is done a 30-40% water change, which cleared it up for a few hours but its back to its cloudiness. Also I tried to put some food int eh tank and only a few fish attempted to eat. There was a lot of leftover food on the surface so I took it out and threw it away.

Does anyone have any advice on what to do at this point? I think I will do another 20% water change tomorrow and the next day and see what happens. Oh, the tank I have is a 37 gallon with a UGF. There are about 13 fish and 2 frogs in it so its not overloaded at all. The tank has been running perfectly with no problems and crystal clear water since day 1, about 5-6 months ago.

Thanks for any help.
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Old 02-19-2005, 10:47 PM   #2
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Didn't I warn you to just get a dog?

Now would there be any problems if you just blew pot in the dogs face instead?

Geez you kids now a days have so much to learn, where would you be without us semi intelligent parents?

I hope you banned your friend from drinking at your house for a few weeks. By the way where do you live at I'm always up for a frat party. Can you baby sit my kids next weekend?

Chilly you are out of your skull nut, wtf are you ramblin' on about?
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Old 02-19-2005, 10:52 PM   #3
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Can't say you weren't warned...
Major water change ASAP, 50-80%, heck I might even do 100%...
And add fresh carbon to your filtration.

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Old 02-19-2005, 10:55 PM   #4
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If you can set up a QT tank as soon as possible!!
Get a 20gal tank, fill it up with water, dechlor and add LOTS of stress coat stuff to it (most dechlors have a stress coat in it), put your fish in there.. change the cartridge to your filter and hook it to the 20gal (make sure the temp. is that of their old,beer soaked tank)

You might want to completely dump the other tank, and get some bio spira to start a new cycle
I honestly can't think of what you can do other than starting that tank over and keeping a suitable QT for your other fish until you get bio spira or start a new cycle... because I don't know if water changes will get rid of all the beer... and if you are going ot do that many water changes, you might as well put em in a QT

if you do choose to do that, make sure to clean the tank through and through!
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Old 02-19-2005, 11:00 PM   #5
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well ... as you know beer is a fermented product. To ferment you need bacteria. The problem being that beer doesn't have a high enough alcohol content to kill off the active bacteria needed to ferment it. (bacteria dies at apx 14% to 15% alcohol). That being said, most beers in North America have an alcohol content of 0.5% to 8.5%. Now, beer is one of those things that is a controlled sugar item. The amount of sugar is controlled when it is fermented and because the alcohol content is low enough, the yeast that is needed to create alcohol is merely dormant. NOW there is one exception, and that is if the beer is PASTURIZED. If it is pasturized, the yeast in the beer is killed off.

So here is the thing. If the beer you had spilt into your tank is pasturized, then it is mainly the alcohol causing problems in your tank and you will have to do PWC to keep it low and eventually have it completely removed. The thing is, you should expect loss of fish. The small amount of alcohol in the tank will have killed off bacteria in your tank. To help with the clean up, i would get a HOB filter and have that running as well (the extra filteration can't hurt)

Now ... for the bad news. IF the beer was not pasturized, then that means that the yeast is dormant in the beer from lack of sugars to process ... and it can potentially get worse. Because most tanks are in the "tropical temperatures" of 77F - 84F (depending ont he fish) this is PERFECT conditions for the yeast to go haywire. If there is any sort of sugars in your tank then the yeast could in essence start to turn the sugars into CO2 and alcohol (plus MANY other by-products). I am not fully sure on if there could be sugars in your tank, but i am almost certain that there very well could be as they could be natural sugars. Again, the yeast will only continue to eat and process sugars so long as there is still sugars within the tank for it to eat. If there is no more sugar it will go dormant again. Again, the alcohol produced can kill off the good bacteria in your tank.

I do believe that all bacteria is killed off at different alcohol percentages. I would do daily PWC's of about 50% or more and again i would get a HOB filter to help out. Load it up with lots of carbon.

I hope this helps some and best of luck to you.

**edit** i agree ... setup an emergency QT tank if at all possible
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Old 02-19-2005, 11:18 PM   #6
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I suppose you dont have a way to QT the fish? I may be out of my element here, because Im not sure what the chemical effects the beer might have on the tank are. You say it wasnt much...how much is not much? I would probably have done at least a 50 percent water change and then do large water changes for a few days or so afterward. You say you have a UGF...Is this airpowered and the only filtration your tank has? If this is the case, the water changes are going to be your best, and probably only option. Beer is consumeable, so I dont know if there is anything that would do a lot of harm other than the alcohol, but if it wasnt much, then large water changes should dillute that quickly. The cloudiness could be from a number of things...yeast or other ingredients in the beer may cause this. I would think this would go away soon with your water changes and filtration. I recently had a mishap with an entire bottle of rubbing alcohol dumped into my small 15 gallon community tank. I was able to QT all of the fish very quickly afterward, but I didnt lose a single fish. There was even a single guppy fry that I didnt notice for many hours afterward. He made it as well, although he got eaten when I put him in the tank with the rest of the fish

In my case, I had to completely drain, clean and refill the tank. This would be your worst case scenario and the only problem here is that your fish will have to endure the cycle process. This might be a better alternative than letting them die in the polluted water...if it looks like that might happen. Keep an eye on the fish and monitor their activity. Take note if they look like they are gasping for oxygen near the surface or not. I would think the large water changes would help dillute things in a few days to acceptable levels. Even a small 5 or ten gallon tank would make for a QT for a short time...you might look into getting one. Even a rubbermaid container or something. It might be cramped for them, but keep in mind that this is temporary and might be better than the alternative. I wouldnt be too concerned with getting them to eat right away. Fish will be fine for a while with no food. Even if this doesnt prove to be toxic, they are more than likely going to be a bit stressed. Just try to alleviate that with your water changes and maybe raise the temp a tad and go on a lights out schedule for a little while. Thats been known to help some fish with stress, although I dont know what you keep in your tank as far as livestock goes. Keep us informed how things are going and good luck! Sorry for the mishap..I know that silly things can happen when you least expect it. We arent here to judge you, just to give advice when it is needed. We'll save the judging for another thread in a different forum
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Old 02-19-2005, 11:24 PM   #7
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Geez Chile! 8O Be careful with the girlfreind comments man! I hate to see the powers that be reprimand you for that one, but I see your point!
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Old 02-19-2005, 11:35 PM   #8
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Get a new tank add biospira and stick the fish in with lots of stress coat-and prime.

See how easy it owuld be for this to happen with your "bar tank"


JMHO
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Old 02-19-2005, 11:38 PM   #9
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hahaha fishlover, you said ezakly what i said, but it was more condensed!! good job hehe
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Old 02-19-2005, 11:43 PM   #10
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oops i didnt read your post. I just read th beggine one and skimmed over the others. Well great minds think alike. LOL


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Old 02-19-2005, 11:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lyquidphyre
ezakly

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Old 02-19-2005, 11:55 PM   #12
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haha its kosher fishlover... i just thought it was funny
I guess it proves that I use more words than necessary to get a point across =o)

don't roll ur eyes at me youronlysin!! *pppppbttt*
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Old 02-20-2005, 12:07 AM   #13
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Ohhhh...I was simply expressing what I thought might be going on inside your head when you wrote "ezakly". Let me re-phrase my previous post:

lyquidphyre wrote:
ezakly




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Old 02-20-2005, 12:18 AM   #14
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Let's keep it on topic please.

Thanks.
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Old 02-20-2005, 12:19 AM   #15
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Actually you need to get that bar finished, with the locks over the tank, and this won't happen again.
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Old 02-20-2005, 12:20 AM   #16
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youronlysin- not yet

and revhtree, you are right- stay on topic people!!



I wonder what wizfiz decided to do
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Old 02-20-2005, 12:26 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by revhtree
Let's keep it on topic please.

Thanks.

Sorry Rev! Your right. Thanks for being a great admin, btw.





Liquidphyre.....
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Old 02-20-2005, 01:08 AM   #18
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Yeah, thanks for the comments.. A QT tank is not possible, I will keep up with the 50% water changes and let you all know how it goes. So far no one has died and its been 24 hours or so. And yes I think this means I will be getting locks so it doesnt happen again. The guy feels incredibly bad and he is helping out with whatever needs to be done. Would getting an additional HOB filter help out? What would a decent one cost? Like I said, all I have is the UGF..
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Old 02-20-2005, 01:15 AM   #19
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you can get an aquaclear for pretty cheap and they do an excellent job. Extra filteration is always a help ... that is why i have 3 filters on my tank.
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Old 02-20-2005, 01:19 AM   #20
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wizfiz: as i posted earlier: find out if the beer was pasturized or not. That will really make all the difference in the world.
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