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Dying fish

Badmans Tropical Fish Message Center: Tank health and maintenance: Dying fish

Mondie V.

Saturday, January 19, 2002 - 07:33 pm
I have a problem with my tank- It's a 55 gallon, fresh water tank. I Started tank out with all new water, used chlorine remover, and some other chemical to remove harmful stuff from the water. Every week I changed about 8 gallons of water in the tank. Have had no problems with nitrates, ammonia, or any other thing harmful. Since the PH at the fish store is high (About 8) that's what I kept my tank at. For months, all of the fish in the tank were fine, healthy appetite, swam around, and seemed in good health. One day, I come home to find 4 angel fish, 2 Raphael catfish, 2 black mollys, and 3 other catfish(don't remember the type) all dead. (Within an 8 hour period.)The rest of the fish have been dying off by the day since. I have had this problem a couple of times with this tank, each time getting frustrated when all the fish die, and eventually starting up the tank again at a later date. I have tested my water and have taken it to Petsmart to be tested- and each time, it appears to be ok. There is something that is killing these fish! Can anyone offer any suggestions as to what is killing these fish?



Sunday, January 20, 2002 - 12:29 am
Mondie, very sorry to hear of your troubles. If you are absolutely positive that your water quality didn't abruptly change, such as a large jump or decline of the pH, and you are certain that you didn't have a spike in your ammonia/nitrIte levels, it may be very hard for us to determine what might have caused this. Were there any visible signs on the fish, such as ich or flukes? Has your water company added something else to the water to make is safe for drinking that might have caused the problem? You might call them to ask. Also, do you have a water softener? If you do, maybe it has malfunctioned at one point adding excessive amounts of sodium or other chemicals that you use for softening the water.

Jeff might be able to better give you possible causes for this mass death, but to have them all expire at the same time, I would still tend to lean towards a water quality issue. I cannot think of any disease that would wipe out this many fish so quickly, especially if there were no visible signs on the fish beforehand.

I do know of a friend that had this happen to once. We never did quite determine the cause, but after leaving the tank empty of fish for about a month (and using the same water, etc....she did not break her tank down completely) and keeping a close eye on her water, she tried again, adding fish very slowly with successful results. The more details you can give us the better to maybe come up with a reason this happened.



Sunday, January 20, 2002 - 12:23 pm
What about tank decorations it could be a bad rock, shell, ect.



Sunday, January 20, 2002 - 12:26 pm
If all the fish died suddenly I would almost suspect chemical posioning. Did you paint the room recently or use any kind of chemical aerasol that could have been sucked into your filtration? Bug sprays and paint fumes will affect the tank, but will not show up in any of your water tests.



Monday, January 21, 2002 - 12:12 am
Also, what about metal poisoning? Metal clips on the lights, with condensation dripping into the tank from them, over time could cause heavy metal poisoning...or other exposure to metal. Just another possibility to look for..



Monday, January 21, 2002 - 11:57 am
Mondie, do you change the pH of your tank water just to match Petsmart's?


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