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Old 08-20-2012, 08:50 AM   #1
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Unhappy sudden death

I've had my 35 gal hex for 8 years. For the past 5 years I've had angel fish - five of them. When I bought them they were as big as a quarter and had grown to almost 4" each.

10 days ago I donated my "sucker" fish (bottom feeder) to the pet store because it had grown to almost 8" long and was a poop machine. I got a small chinese sucker fish and decided to get three bright red fish - swordtails, i think. One of the swordtails died a few days after I brought them home. That wasn't surprising since often new fish die.

Yesterday I went out for two hours and came home to find all of my angel fish either dead or near death. They have a red edge to them, like they suddenly started to bleed everywhere.

I am heartbroken. I know that they are fish and aren't as cuddly as our cats or dog, but they "knew" me and would follow me around when I was in the room.

Does anyone have any idea what could have happened? My husband suggested that when I removed the large bottom feeder I messed up the tank. And I know new fish can be trouble, but these angelswere healthy and large and I followed all the rules.

I've never tested my water, so I can't answer questions about that, but, again, I've had this tank for a long time and nothing like this has ever happened.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:14 AM   #2
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Depending on your cleaning habits you may have stired things up creating a spike in ammonia
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:44 PM   #3
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I didn't change anything about how I clean the tank. Ammonia makes sense, though, because it would explain how it happened to all of them so suddenly. Do you think the removal of the bottom feeder might have caused this? Do they alter the ammonia in the water?
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Old 08-20-2012, 03:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthless
I've had my 35 gal hex for 8 years. For the past 5 years I've had angel fish - five of them. When I bought them they were as big as a quarter and had grown to almost 4" each.

10 days ago I donated my "sucker" fish (bottom feeder) to the pet store because it had grown to almost 8" long and was a poop machine. I got a small chinese sucker fish and decided to get three bright red fish - swordtails, i think. One of the swordtails died a few days after I brought them home. That wasn't surprising since often new fish die.

Yesterday I went out for two hours and came home to find all of my angel fish either dead or near death. They have a red edge to them, like they suddenly started to bleed everywhere.

I am heartbroken. I know that they are fish and aren't as cuddly as our cats or dog, but they "knew" me and would follow me around when I was in the room.

Does anyone have any idea what could have happened? My husband suggested that when I removed the large bottom feeder I messed up the tank. And I know new fish can be trouble, but these angelswere healthy and large and I followed all the rules.

I've never tested my water, so I can't answer questions about that, but, again, I've had this tank for a long time and nothing like this has ever happened.

How often did you vacuum and do water changes? Where was the red edge? Also where did your angels come from?
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Old 08-20-2012, 06:46 PM   #5
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I got them at a pet store (Burton's Total Pet) many years ago. The red was around the edge of their bodies and their eyes were red around them.

I vacuum and change at least one-third of the water every month. I haven't changed anything that I do to maintain the tank in 8 years.
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Old 08-20-2012, 07:04 PM   #6
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Did you quarintiene the new fish 1st? If not it could be internal parasites, or I would say bacterial infection but I'm not sure if it's contagious between fish :/ was the swordtails bullying them? I have heared they can be a bit aggressive
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:47 AM   #7
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No, I didn't quarantine them - just acclimated them. No, I didn't see any bullying - either way - and the angels were much larger. Yesterday I changed half the water. This morning the last two red fish are dead and the little frog (who has been in there for almost 8 years) is having a feast. He has the whole place to himself now.

What else could have raised the ammonia level?
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:53 AM   #8
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You should always quarentine to be safe but from the symptoms I would say maybe the water got contaminated? Have you used any new cleaners or soaps? Or cleaned something before cleaning the tank, anything like that?
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:54 AM   #9
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Assuming it is ammonia, can you take a water sample to a lfs and ask them to test it?
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:23 AM   #10
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That's a good idea. I don't know what an "lfs" is - a pet store?
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:25 AM   #11
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No, nothing new and I don't know how anything could have gotten in there. I'm the only one who touches the tank.
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:47 AM   #12
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Yea lfs means local fish store, I would ask them to test your water and then you will know more.
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:52 AM   #13
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Your tank was overstocked with the fish and the pleco. Most likely, the existing species all acclimated themselves to living in this tank, which undoubtedly had high nitrates due to the bioload and your low level of tank maintenance. So, although this worked for you in the past, once you got new fish, that were being kept in "kinder" water parameters, the presumed toxicity level of your tank killed them.

You may want to consider getting the API master kit and learning how to take your own readings so that you can always know what your parameters are. This is especially helpful when adding new fish.

I'm sorry for your loss.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:01 AM   #14
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This happened to in my guppy tank there seemed to be a red mist coming from most of my females' anal fin
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:16 AM   #15
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I will get a testing kit. I was told that you can have 1" of fish for every gallon of water. Is that not correct? And cleaning it once a month isn't enough? I really appreciate your feedback - If the scenario you describe is what happened, why would the "native" fish die first and the new ones die last?
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:57 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthless
I will get a testing kit. I was told that you can have 1" of fish for every gallon of water. Is that not correct? And cleaning it once a month isn't enough? I really appreciate your feedback - If the scenario you describe is what happened, why would the "native" fish die first and the new ones die last?
The 1" rule isn't a good rule of thumb. You should be cleaning and doing water changes weekly.
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:02 AM   #17
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Your WC are depending on your test results. Some people with smaller fish can go from weekly to monthly. You have to research the.fish you get, some like prestine water other are poop machines. Everyone agrees that it ia best to do weekly WC just to be on the aafe side
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:16 AM   #18
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We do 50% water changes on our tanks, no matter the stock. It's just a good idea to stick to a regular tank maintenance schedule.
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:33 AM   #19
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We do 50% water changes on our tanks, no matter the stock. It's just a good idea to stick to a regular tank maintenance schedule.
I agree Lynda, I do my changes on Sunday. I've got 8 tanks and it takes me all day.
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