Bought Some New Fish, And Fire Eel Died Two Days Later

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by Mizzom, Jul 21, 2017.

  1. Mizzom

    MizzomNew MemberMember

    I have a 65G tall tank. Last Sunday I bought six rummy nose tetras, one tiny cory cat and a fire eel that was 5-6 inches long. I bought three clown loaches a few weeks back, and they are fine. The eel was pretty much dead Wednesday morning. He never ate for me, but I know that that can be common. I'm wondering what it is about my water that it didn't like. I posted a pic of all my water tests. I don't really understand the GH/KH, but I did the tests and posted how many drops it took to change to the right color.
    I do about a 30-40 percent water change every week. I am struggling a little bit with diatom algae, so I also clean off all the plants and rocks (outside of the tank). It's getting better. I started feeding mostly pellets now instead of flakes.
    Back on topic, a few months back I bought two dwarf gouramis, and five small rainbow fish (not sure of type, but they were tiny like danios with a pretty blue stripe down the length of their sides. The rainbows were all dead within 3-4 days, and the gouramis died within two weeks.
    I don't get it, because I have had three angels, 4 bosemani rainbows, 3 cory cats since last November when I started up my tank, and am thankful they have always been fine and healthy. I check my water all the time.
    Do you think its a ph problem or a water problem (too soft or too hard)?
    I just feel so bad for the eel. He suffered before he passed, and I don't know if there was anything I could do about it. He was healthy.
    I keep the tank temperature at 77 degrees.
    Sorry this post is very long - it's my first post, so won't have to explain everything again in the future.

    Attached Files:

  2. Onewolf

    OnewolfNew MemberMember

    What do you think the PH is? Based on the photo it looks very high? Your KH/GH numbers look fine for the type of fish.
  3. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome to FishLore! I hope you enjoy the site.

  4. California L33

    California L33Well Known MemberMember

    While your pH looks too high for just about any fish, when a new fish dies you have to consider the possibility that it was bred or collected in poor conditions, injured in transit to the pet store, and highly stressed on that a trip that may have been thousands of miles, and subject to conditions that might have included extremely high and/or low temperatures in heavily polluted water.

    I'd repeat the test with a different test kit, though- because it looks incredibly high and everything else looks fairly normal. Have you tested your tap water? What's the pH in it?

    Your tank is probably large enough to adjust the pH, but if you've never done it, take care to do it _slowly_.
  5. AngelTheGypsy

    AngelTheGypsyFishlore VIPMember

    I would say the ph is your issue. When you read the test does it match any of the colors? In the photo it looks almost pink? (High range) (Ignore the regular ph test, it will never help you.
    I have a pH of 8.4 in my tap, which lowers to 8.2 in my tank. So I have some experience with high pH and how to handle it. I don't adjust mine, it wouldn't do any good, and with your kH, you would probably have the same issue.
    So test your tap, also take a cup of your tap water and sit it out overnight, then test it as well, and your tank all with the high range ph test and post your results here and we can go from there.
    I'm going to guess that the issue you had with losing new fish is acclimating them to your water-ph. If you take fish in 7 ph, and drop them in a 8.6 ph, they are very likely to go through osmotic shock and die. I use a very lengthy process to acclimate new fish to my water. It usually takes me between 1-4 hours, depending on the source water.
  6. fissh

    fisshWell Known MemberMember

    The place your buying your fish from most likely has the same ph as you, they're not going to bother to adjust the ph! So if it's ph shock, the fish your buying already have it when you buy them. Fire eels come from Bangkok and the ride over is tough, with lots of mortality. My guess is most of your fish that died were in trouble before you got them. I would change where I buy fish, or if you use the same place wait until the fish have been in the store's tanks for a week or two.
  7. AngelTheGypsy

    AngelTheGypsyFishlore VIPMember

    This could be true, but it could be not true. I'm on a rural water system, and my water could be drastically different from the city water system less than 5 miles away, and my in laws down the road a mile are on well water. So distance does not equal the same water. It's still a possibility that the water is very different.
    I would guess it was weak/dressed fish combined with the possibility of a ph difference.
    I do agree to let them adjust and recover for a week or two at the store before you purchase. I test the ph of the water they come in, just to know a starting point (because my ph is so high. If my ph was mid 7s, I probably wouldn't.)
  8. OP

    MizzomNew MemberMember

    Hi everyone - Thanks for the nice welcome. I've been a lurker for several months. The place where I got the eel, tiny cory cat and six rummy nose tetras is a huge place here in Southern CA, so I'm sure they get fish in all the time that come from everywhere. The eel I bough had probably been through a lot by the time I got it. All of the other fish are still fine. I found a new fish store where I got the clown loaches, and the guy said he has had them for 6 weeks. I was so hoping they wouldn't die on me, and thankfully they are doing well.
    So, as I suspected, my problem has to be the PH. I have been told many time not to mess with the PH, as it would be very hard to keep stable.
    Can someone recommend to me how to naturally lower it? I have put three pieces of driftwood in the tank, the third one just when I bought the eel.
    Is there something else I can do? I have plants in the tank, however, until I completely get rid of the diatom, I don't want to add any new ones.
    I have gravel substrate and dose with Seachem Flourish once a week at water change. I have both an aquaclear 110 and an aquaclear70 on the tank, as I was afraid my tank was getting too full. I forgot to mention I have about 16 neon tetras (that I bought at the same place as the eel many months ago).
    So, tonight I have taken some tank water out and put it aside. I will test it tomorrow afternoon and post my results tomorrow night. I'll try and get another PH Test kit at PetSmart tomorrow.
    Also, I have heard about drip acclimating your fish to your tank. Can someone tell me the best method to do that, as I think I should be doing that from now on since my PH is so high.
    Thanks so much for all of the replies and great advice - I really do appreciate it. I'll be back tomorrow night with my PH test results. :)
  9. Redshark1

    Redshark1Well Known MemberMember

    I have read through all this. My feeling is that you are being too impatient and trying to cram too much into this tank.

    Just enjoy keeping the healthy fish you have and don't add any more for a while.

    Spend some time researching your fish. Clown Loaches and Fire Eels grow too big for this tank anyway.

    In my experience keeping a few healthy fish beats packing them in and having problems anyday and keeps you in the hobby.

    You're obviously well capable of succeeding and I don't mean to sound mean.
  10. AllieSten

    AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    I agree that it is probably your pH. It is very high. You could try a couple of things. One thing is adding some natural driftwood to your tank. It will tend to drop your pH some. Also using Almond Leaves or peat moss in the tank will help with lowering your pH. @AngelTheGypsy may have more suggestions. I have the exact opposite problem, so just suggesting things I have head work.

    Good luck and Welcome to Fishlore!
  11. fissh

    fisshWell Known MemberMember

    You should ask the store if you can test the ph of the water in the tank that you buying a fish from, use your own kit and see if your tests are the same as your tank. Most stores know the ph of the water from the tap, and don't adjust ph Your ph is on the high end, but most of Cal. has a high ph. If you start adjusting ph, you'll most likely kill more fish that leaving the ph alone.
  12. jmaldo

    jmaldoWell Known MemberMember

    I make sure I ask the pH when I make a purchase, but when I get them home I test the pH myself. In fact I just did it. This helps in my acclimation process.
  13. OP

    MizzomNew MemberMember

    Thank you all so much for your advice. I don't think anyone is being mean. I agree with all that has been said. I certainly have enough fish in the tank, and will not be buying anymore. You're right - I want to keep the fish I have healthy and happy! It is my plan to get a 125G later this year when they go on sale at PetSmart. My son and I went to the huge fish store by where he lives because he needed to get some fish for his 125G. He already has an eel and wanted me to get one too. It was one of those purchases that I didn't plan on making, but since I did and he died so quickly, it prompted me to pursue getting down to the bottom of the problem of why some of my fish die right after I get them.
    I am not going to mess with my PH at all. Like it was said, I will most likely do more harm than good. I am very capable of of succeeding in this hobby, as I love the fish so much. I have learned so much already, and it seems the more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. LOL
    I did take some tank water from the tank last night as was suggested, and let it sit out overnight. I tested it this morning for High Range PH. I then again tested my tank water and posted both results here. It appears to not be as high today. I took a photo of this test right after I took the tests, whereas the first photo posted I took the photo 'a while' after taking the test. I wonder if that made the test color darker? It's still real high, but I think it's at least measurable on the color chart.
    Thanks guys, so much for your input. :)

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