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Old 02-01-2011, 06:08 PM   #1
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Mystery Killer

Hello, I'm new here... in a way. Haha (if you'd like to learn about THAT you could go read my introduction in the new member forum) But I was wondering if I could get some opinions... First however, I'll need to provide a bit of back-story.

So, I have this stupid 30g hex tank right? Well I inherited it from a family member (trust me, that's the only reason I own it) and from the day I got it, it's had problems with leaking, and when I set it up here in my dorm I thought "I should really make sure that this thing doesn't spring a leak, it would be really bad to flood my floor, and I'm certain that wouldn't make my RAs happy, especially when they weren't supposed to let me have the tank in the first place" So I did my best to ensure the seals were good, but since the beginning of Winter quarter I've had the front seal break twice... The second time it happened I decided I would completely drain the tank so that I could COMPLETELY redo the silicon seals... So, my fiance comes up with the idea of putting the fish into a 15g Sterilite storage container. I thought it was brilliant, and promptly ran to the shower, gave it a quick rinse, and then filled it with 10g of water, and essentially transferred the entire Malawi rift into this tiny storage container. While I realized that the space would be cramped, I figured that if I gave them sufficient hiding places (which there were ample) that they would be fine. So my 3 Johannis, 3 Dwarf Auratas, and 3 Kenyis (there was 1 male of each species) all made the transfer into the storage container fine, and I began work on the drying and siliconing of the hex tank. That night before going to bed, I used a 5-in-1 test strip to make sure that the water chemistry was doing alright, and they were without incident. My hardness and pH were normal for my water here in Columbus, and there were no traces of nitrate nor nitrite. Over the next two days however... (with periodic testing to make sure there weren't spikes in nitrates/nitrites) I managed to lose 5 of my 9 fish...
To make a long story well, longer... haha (I'm no good at being concise) I was wondering if anyone had any input on what may have killed them? I realize that there is the possibility that the plastic was leaching something toxic, but I didn't know if there might have been something else? Something I missed? I know it matters very little now, but it just bothers me... Because seeing as I'm here at Ohio State studying FISHERIES I feel like I should have been able to keep them alive... and it really bugs me that I don't know why they died.

Other information that might be of interest
The only thing (other than mysterious toxins leached from the plastic) that I can come up with that may have killed the fish, is that I use a small amount of API Aquarium Salt in my tanks, and until now, I just always dumped in the measured amount straight into the tank, but I had noticed that the male Kenyi (also the first to die) seemed to have an obsession with eating the salt as quickly as he could... I didn't really think that this could cause him any problems, being a fish, he has plenty of water around to flush the salt from his system, but I'm still not sure... Additionally, I never saw any of the other fish exhibit this behavior, so I'm not sure how to explain the other 4 fish's deaths. Another thing to consider is that none of the fish ever exhibited any sort of behaviors relating to illness at all before death. Of course they were a bit discolored from the stress, and the lack of their accustomed lighting, but there were no clamped fins, no "drifting" around the tank, or anything. The ONLY strange behavior I saw at all was a slightly increased rate of respiration, but still nothing indicative of suffocation.

I guess I'm done with my emotional rant. I hope someone has the patience to deal with the exorbitant amount of reading here... and has something to say! Thanks so much in advance!

~Kaden
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:32 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by kholton View Post
Hello, I'm new here... in a way. Haha (if you'd like to learn about THAT you could go read my introduction in the new member forum) But I was wondering if I could get some opinions... First however, I'll need to provide a bit of back-story.

So, I have this stupid 30g hex tank right? Well I inherited it from a family member (trust me, that's the only reason I own it) and from the day I got it, it's had problems with leaking, and when I set it up here in my dorm I thought "I should really make sure that this thing doesn't spring a leak, it would be really bad to flood my floor, and I'm certain that wouldn't make my RAs happy, especially when they weren't supposed to let me have the tank in the first place" So I did my best to ensure the seals were good, but since the beginning of Winter quarter I've had the front seal break twice... The second time it happened I decided I would completely drain the tank so that I could COMPLETELY redo the silicon seals... So, my fiance comes up with the idea of putting the fish into a 15g Sterilite storage container. I thought it was brilliant, and promptly ran to the shower, gave it a quick rinse, and then filled it with 10g of water, and essentially transferred the entire Malawi rift into this tiny storage container. While I realized that the space would be cramped, I figured that if I gave them sufficient hiding places (which there were ample) that they would be fine. So my 3 Johannis, 3 Dwarf Auratas, and 3 Kenyis (there was 1 male of each species) all made the transfer into the storage container fine, and I began work on the drying and siliconing of the hex tank. That night before going to bed, I used a 5-in-1 test strip (get a liquid test kit. it will pay for itself in saved fish costs) to make sure that the water chemistry was doing alright, and they were without incident. My hardness and pH were normal for my water here in Columbus, and there were no traces of nitrate nor nitrite. Over the next two days however... (with periodic testing to make sure there weren't spikes in nitrates/nitrites) I managed to lose 5 of my 9 fish...
To make a long story well, longer... haha (I'm no good at being concise) I was wondering if anyone had any input on what may have killed them? Ammonia and nitrite kill at small amounts, nitrate has to accumulate higher. You should test all three routinely. I realize that there is the possibility that the plastic was leaching something toxic doubtful, but possible, but I didn't know if there might have been something else? Something I missed? I know it matters very little now, but it just bothers me... Because seeing as I'm here at Ohio State studying FISHERIES I feel like I should have been able to keep them alive... and it really bugs me that I don't know why they died. No worries... most of us have started off badly or wish we could have done something better. Good on you for caring to get it right.

Other information that might be of interest
The only thing (other than mysterious toxins leached from the plastic) that I can come up with that may have killed the fish, is that I use a small amount of API Aquarium Salt I use a lot of salt on my fries. in my tanks, and until now, I just always dumped in the measured amount straight into the tank, but I had noticed that the male Kenyi (also the first to die) seemed to have an obsession with eating the salt as quickly as he could... I didn't really think that this could cause him any problems, being a fish, he has plenty of water around to flush the salt from his system, but I'm still not sure... Additionally, I never saw any of the other fish exhibit this behavior, so I'm not sure how to explain the other 4 fish's deaths. Another thing to consider is that none of the fish ever exhibited any sort of behaviors relating to illness at all before death. Of course they were a bit discolored from the stress, and the lack of their accustomed lighting, but there were no clamped fins, no "drifting" around the tank, or anything. The ONLY strange behavior I saw at all was a slightly increased rate of respiration, but still nothing indicative of suffocation. Ammonia will do that.

I guess I'm done with my emotional rant. I hope someone has the patience to deal with the exorbitant amount of reading here... and has something to say! Thanks so much in advance!

~Kaden
My random thoughts in blue.
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:58 PM   #3
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Haha, well thank your for taking the time to read all of that! As for the liquid test kit, yes I have liquid kits for Ammonia, pH, Nitrate, and Nitrite, I was just using up my test strips that I bought until I could get my hands on my liquid kits (from home). AND thanks for the comment on the salt... haha. I realize that ammonia will burn the gills, and cause an increase in rate of respiration, but although I didn't test for Ammonia during that time period (for lack of an ammonia test kit) I did test for it shortly after transfering the remaining fish back into the hex tank, and got a reading below 0.25ppm.

Sorry I didn't mention it before, but I did transfer the substrate and filter directly from the hex tank into the plastic storage container. So I shouldn't have ran into any "new tank syndrome"
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