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Old 08-12-2007, 12:29 PM   #1
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New Sterba Catfish Died within 24 hours--Why?

I bought 3 Sterba Catfish from my LFS yesterday...this morning they were all dead. At the store they have them in RO water and seem to be doing fine. My tank is more on the hard water side but acclimated the new Sterba's a little over time by pouring water from tank into the bag before releasing them over a 30 minute period. Everything I have read about Sterba's is they are not to be in extremely soft water because it can damage thier barbels. I have never had new fish die like that ever...I even put them in my most successful tank with other cory catfish, 4 danios, and 1 borneo sucker fish. Any idea what could have happened to cause them to die? Was is the RO to harder water that did it? By the way, the fish store gave me store credit to reimburse me for the loss.

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Old 08-12-2007, 12:49 PM   #2
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If they came from RO to standard water, I would do an acclimation period of much longer. I don't think there's a way to prove that is what killed them, but to be on the safe side, drastic water changes should be done slowly.
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Old 08-12-2007, 03:45 PM   #3
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If they came from RO to standard water, I would do an acclimation period of much longer. I don't think there's a way to prove that is what killed them, but to be on the safe side, drastic water changes should be done slowly.
Thanks for the feedback!
They did come from RO and I was told to only acclimate them for 20 minutes but I did it for 30 - 35 minutes. Live and learn...unfortunately the beautiful fish died in the process. Sterbas are one of my favorite catfish. I have two other ones in my 37 gal that I have had for several years & they are doing great.
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Old 08-12-2007, 03:49 PM   #4
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I would venture a guess that it was the water parameter change that did it. Many people think that PH and temperature is what is involved in acclimation, but I feel it is a bit more complex, involving TDS (total dissolved solids) of which RO water basically has none and hard water has a lot of... I am surprised that a LFS would have fish in water that is not like what most people have at home, knowing that most folks probably just use treated tap water. They risk making lots of people angry when things like this happen, not to mention the catfish's well being!

I am in agreement that a much long drip acclimation would have helped your catfish here.
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Old 08-12-2007, 06:19 PM   #5
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I'm also surprised your lfs keeps the fish in straight RO water.

I also agree a slow drip over maybe two hours would have been better.
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Old 08-18-2007, 06:59 PM   #6
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You just did'nt acclimatize the fish so that they could go from RO to fresh water. There is a big differance from RO and normal water and they probably died from shock. if you have fresh water your LFS should have explained the differance from RO to freshwater.
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Old 08-18-2007, 08:11 PM   #7
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I can't believe the store is keeping all their fish in RO. Wow. expensive, and risky. I am suprised. people must come back a lot with dead fish.
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