All of my bro's fish died!!

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by BennyB, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. BennyBValued MemberMember

    I'm typing this on an iPod right now, So I can't put up pics, but I can describe in full what happened. To start things off, my brother had three comet goldfish that had grown quite large in a 10gallon tank(I know that's a lot, but that's nt the problem) three longfinned zebra danios, and a mystery snail. Now, yesterday he went to petsmart and bought three neon tetras, two more snails, new gravel, new oraments and a new plant. He didn't wash the gravel, or the plant. He had just replaced all the water in the tank and everyhing seemed fine. Then his three tetras died. Did I mention that he also added four lake minnows from our lake house, two of which died, then he moved them withoit permission to my betta's tank? Anyway, the three tetras died, he was bummed, but everything was still okay at the time. This morning we awoke to the horror of the video game "dead space" in fish tank form. The water was cloudy as milk, dead fish floated along the top, stuck to the filter, or sat at the bottom gasping. I have pictures, but I'm on an iPod and can't upload them just yet. The fish have this white fungus-like all over the dead and the only live commet gold. Their eyes are cloudy, it's just plain sickening...Really not sure what happened, but any advice would be helpful. I HATE PETSMART!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2010
  2. pepetjWell Known MemberMember

    My main suspect is ammonia poisoning. Without testing it we just don't know.

    Thing with overstocking is more than providing enough swimming space to the specimens living there. It has to do also with the capacity of the biological filtration to keep the nitrogen cycle going without disruptions. Adding fish might have triggered a chain of events that ultimately show us, in a painful way, that it couldn't handle that bioload.

    Of course there could be others explanations. A lethal strain of pathogens could have entered the tank.

    Santo Domingo

  3. LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    I don't really think you can blame Petsmart for this one. It sounds like this tank was severely overstocked, with wild as well as store bought fish. The cloudy water could be from a bacterial bloom. There was most likely a high concentration of ammonia in the water, too.

    Did you do readings?

  4. ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    wow ...that really is sad :(
    its probably a combo of severe ammonia/nitrites (the new fish couldnt take the poisions and the current fish probably got use to it) or something parasitic from adding wild fish to tropical tanks...which is another big no no.....I hope your betta is ok? id do a real good cleaning on his tank as well..(your bettas) and give a stern lecture to your bro about adding anything to your very sad for all those fish in such a small tank :(

  5. Prince PowderWell Known MemberMember

    I'm sorry about all your fish loss. With so may fish in the tank it was most likely ammonia poisoning that did them in. That combined with stress from just having so many fish in such a tiny space where they can't get away from each other. The cloudy water is most likely a bacterial bloom. The already present high levels of ammonia from so many fish combined with the additional ammonia caused by all the dead fish would have sent the bacteria into overdrive trying desperately to keep up. The tank was already overstocked with just one goldfish, with the initial three it was severely overstocked. Adding all the other fish was really just a disaster waiting to happen. There's no way that any 10 gallon filter could have held enough media for the bio filtration so many fish would require.

    I agree you can't really blame Petsmart for this. Yes they sold him too many fish for his tank, but it is ultimately up to the fishkeeper to decide what to add. Blaming the fish store for overstocking is like blaming a restaurant for overeating. They may sell you more than you can handle, but they don't sell you what you don't order and they don't force feed you. It is a very unfortunate way to learn a hard lesson for both the fishkeeper and the fish. The best advice I can give is to learn from this mistake and ensure that more care is taken when choosing stock the next time around. Just remember, just because a tank doesn't look full doesn't mean that it isn't.

    Once again, I'm sorry for your losses.
  6. Disc10New MemberMember

    Man that sucks for the fish, sorry hear about that. :(

    However as others have said that tank sounded way overstocked, and putting wild fish in the tank wasn't a good idea either. Some things will need answering before anybody can really look into this IMO;

    How long did your brother have this tank? Did he let it cycle fully (very important as I learnt the hard way)?
    What does water testing reveal about the conditions of the water? Ammonia poisoning could be a cause, as could Nitrate/Nitrite poisoning.
    You mentioned fungus so that could be a side effect of lousy water quality and stress. This is for your Betta more than anything but have you made sure nothing's spread to that tank too? You'll want to deal with that if has.
    The cloudy water could be the result of bacteria as others have mentioned, that and you said the gravel wasn't cleaned at all. Where did you get this gravel anyway? Was it specifically for aquariums or just plain old gravel for using in the garden?
    Forgive me for the obviousness of the question but you've got a heater and filter in the tank right? I know as questions go it's right up there with "Is it plugged in?" but sometimes you have to ask these things.

    Again, I'm sorry the both of you have had to experience this, it doesn't sound pleasant. Dead Space levels of unpleasant too! :eek: I just hope your Betta doesn't suffer as well.
  7. BennyBValued MemberMember

    I'll take the minnows out, acorn the tank, try and talk to my bro. But if you knew him you would know I'd have more luck talking to the wall. And, he always starts crying and tells on me. Says I hit him or something, which I never do, but my parents always side with him. I really believe it's something the tetras had then released when they died. But I could be wrong... None the less, I HATE PETSMART!!!!!
  8. LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    Maybe you can sit down with your parents and your brother and have a discussion about the fish. If the tanks are your sole responsibility, then you need to be the best fishkeeper you can and keep them safe from harm. Tell your parents you're having trouble doing that because your brother is doing things that aren't safe at all for the fish.

    I have found that family discussions go a long way to helping resolve things. :)
  9. BennyBValued MemberMember

    You all forget that the water was brand new. He did a 100% wc to move the tank around his room and add the new gravel. Can that much ammonia really build up in the tank overnight?
  10. Prince PowderWell Known MemberMember

    I understand about little brothers. If that is the case with him then I would recommend speaking with your parents. Explain to them how helpful it would be if they would take a more active role in your brother's fishkeeping. I'm sure your brother is heartbroken over his losses and they can help prevent him going through that again if they would be willing to help him keep his tank in order. Who knows, as they learn more about fishkeeping they could wind up becoming fish lovers themselves.

    With that many fish, yes it is possible that so much ammonia built up so quickly. Especially with three goldfish in the mix. Also he replaced the gravel with new correct? That would mean that he also lost a portion of his beneficial bacteria when the old gravel was removed.
  11. LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    Did you treat the water with conditioner after filling it?

    BTW, I just re-read your original post and see that this is your brother's tank, which leads me to believe that the tank is his responsibility. True?

    If so, then revise what I said about the family discussion so that your parents will instruct your brother to not meddle with your betta tank.

    Prince, excellent advice on how to get the parents involved.
  12. leeishomValued MemberMember

    filtration exceeds the pleasuring nature of fish keeping.
    Must keep the tank clean with proper care.
  13. BennyBValued MemberMember

    I understand, I don't think this will be happening again. Thank you all.
  14. konstargirlWell Known MemberMember

    I'm sorry about your losses. The tank is extremely overcrowded. I sgesst like everyone else here says and take all the fish back to the petstore.
  15. harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    The existing fish can become accustomed to poor water quality, and any big change can shock them enough to kill them. The huge water change wasn't a good thing for them.

    The new fish probably died from ammonia poisoning. With that many fish living (or dying) in a small tank, ammonia can shoot up quite rapidly.

    I don't shop at chain stores, but I agree that you can't really blame Petsmart for this... caveat emptor. ;)

    Sorry about the losses.
  16. marina3Valued MemberMember

    I think that blaming Petsmart for an overstock tank is very irresponsible. How old is your brother? I am sorry, but when we decide to take care of a living, breathing creature, does not matter if is a dog, a horse, a snake or a fish, we have to be responsible to provide AT LEAST basic care, meaning quality water and least! I am glad that you are trying to do your part.
  17. BennyBValued MemberMember

    I'm not blaming Petsmart for letting my brother overstock his tank, that's his fault, I'm blaming Petsmart for the same reason I always do...for selling low quality, sick fish that usually always die.
    Your Petsmart might be nice, but mine sucks!...So does my Petco, I hate big chains...and commies.
    Besides, all the fish are dead now. He had to euthanize the last, and biggest goldfish because it was being pushed around by the current, suffering. He just took it out of the water, it died pretty quick. :(
    Yeah, so he thinks now he wants to try some barbs. :eek:
    Here we go again!
  18. ShineWell Known MemberMember

    Unless you want laws like Britian has where a petshop is NOT ALLOWED to sell a pet to anyone under the age of 16, you (and your brother) can't blame petsmart for selling too many fish. That is their job. it would be nice if the staff was always knowledgable and concerned for the animal's wellbeing; but we know that is not the case.

    As a pet owner it was your brother's job to know enough about the animals to be sure of providing them a good home. And if he didn't have the knowledge then to put in the effort to learn!

    Which you are clearly willing to do; even if he is not. So good on you :)
  19. FlufeehValued MemberMember

    I've gotten loads of high quality fish from every big chain store, you can't generalize everything like that.

    Sorry to say but the gold fish had a horrible death, that is not proper euthanasia. :-[
  20. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    I say let's not be so rough on benjamin. He has a right to feel that chain stores don't have good quality stock - many members here buy from locally-owned stores. Each person has their own experience, and each store/city is different.

    As far as euthanasia, Ben, I am sorry you guys had to do that. It must have been very hard. I hope you don't have to ever do it again, but if you do, search humane methods of euthanasia. The method considered most humane involves vodka, and I know you guys are underage, but maybe there's a better way than just taking the fish out of the tank...

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