Broken Heater-HELP

cherryrose
  • #1
I was checking my water and noticed that the heater in Benji's tank is broken. The glass at the bottom was completely broke off and the heater was flashing on and off. I removed it and threw it away but I also had 3 dead otos and one dead platy in the tank. BenjI and the other platy seem fine, but I'm worried that I shouldn't leave BenjI or Polly in the tank. I don't know where to put them though as I have no heater in my QT yet. Do I need to restart the entire tank after a through cleaning? Why would a broken heater kill my fish?

CherryRose
 
chickadee
  • #2
Can you tell me the brand name and model of the heater? It should have been under a warranty and you could probably have turned it in for another one if you have the ticket or if it was one of the ones with a long warranty. Was it GLASS? If so then maybe some of the glass got on the gravel and the otos devoured it. Or was there some part of the heater that was exposed that could have maybe burned the fish? I am having a little trouble seeing the heater as I have never seen a glass one. Yes the other fish need to come out of the tank as you do not know if the heater broke some slivers off that could hurt the two little ones. They can live in an unheated tank for a day until you can find another heater. The filter will not like it but it will be okay as long as it is not turned off and out of the water for more than 20 - 30 minutes. You will at most have a mini-cycle when you start out but you will not start over entirely. I would get rid of the gravel unless you are positive that there is no glass in it.

I am sorry I do not have anymore answers for you. I am so sorry that you are having such rotten luck. Why do these things always happen on the weekends when there is not anyone around?

Please keep us informed on the progress but other than having a divider to put in another tank I do not have an answer for you.

Rose
 
cherryrose
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
This is so hard. I loved my fish and to lose 4 of them all at once like that.... Yes the heater was glass. About 2 inches broke off the bottom leaving the heater coils exposed. Looking at the broken glass it is possible that some of the glass shattered into the tank. *sigh* I guess I have my work cut out for me this evening. Do you think that I could save some of the gravel that is in the front of the tank and a long ways away from the heater? I don't see how it could have shattered that far since the water should have slowed it down.

CherryRose
 
chickadee
  • #4
I am so sorry about your fish. I cry like crazy when I lose one, to lose 4 at once.... :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(

I think that you could probably save the part that was a distance from the heater...I just wouldn't use anything that is within a short distance.  In a tank that big though I would say that most of it could probably be saved since you would probably know about how far to discard.  It is okay, I am just so sorry that this happened..  This night has been the pits all over the place..

I would help if I were closer... ...wanna call me a cab?

Rose
 
cherryrose
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
That would be nice, but very expensive. You did make me smile though. Fish are supposed to be good therapy for me, but at the moment, I think not. I just hope BenjI and Polly remain healthy. They are now safe in the QT, with no heat. I can't get a heater until Tuesday, when I can get to Petco, since my LFS is not open until the end of the month.
 
chickadee
  • #6
I think they will be okay. Are you going to be able to keep the filter running? When BenjI and Polly go back to their home just watch for signs of any cool water problem that they may have developed...but we will deal with the problem when we see it. Those kinds of things we know how to handle.

Once again, my sympathies are sent to you. I cannot imagine a harder day. If I can do anything please do not hesitate to ask.

Rose
:'(
 
0morrokh
  • #7
I am so sorry about your fish. :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(
I wonder what happened to them. Could it be that the heater gave them an electric shock when it broke? Maybe just strong enough to kill the more delicate ones but not all the fish? Yeah probably not...
If you can find one I'd recommend a Marineland Stealth heater. They have a lifetime warranty and they work really well...and they're not glass. That's awful yours broke...I've never heard of a heater doing that.
Let us know how BenjI and Polly are doing.
 
cherryrose
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Thank you Chickadee.  I know that Phloxface is also going through a rough time now, and my heart goes out to her.

Yes, I have that ugly filter that wants to float, in the QT with BenjI and Polly.  I may have to put Polly in a different tank though.  BenjI seems to be blaming her for the move, or else he doesn't like to be in such close quarters with her.  He keeps chasing her and there's no place for her to go.  

My husband told me that I am not to save any of the gravel.  He wants me to get new gravel instead.  He worries about my emotional state and doesn't want me to take any chances.  It really helps to know that so many others care so much.

I wish I knew what happened Omorrokh. I can't make any sense of it. Maybe the ones that died bumped into the broken heater and got hurt. I do see my otos go up to the heaters in their tanks and clean them up a little. Its so hard to say what actually killed them.

CherryRose
 
0morrokh
  • #9
Now that you mention it I see my Otos on my heater a lot. Maybe they like the warmth. I suppose the heater could have hurt them.

Anyway, once again I'm so sorry about your losses and I hope your remaining fishies do ok.
 
cherryrose
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Thanks again, Omorrokh.

I am acclimating Polly to Belle's tank because I was afraid Polly wouldn't make it with BenjI picking on her in my little 2.5 gallon. Once she is acclimated, I will release her and turn out the lights, hoping that they will go to sleep.

CherryRose
 
shollia
  • #11
Awww, I'm so sorry to hear about your fishies
I hope Polly and Belle are going to be ok.

If I were in your shoes, I'd think about getting rid of all the gravel. I'd just be too paranoid that tiny shards made it across the tank and hiding.
 
LZ Floyd
  • #12
Cherryrose,

So sorry to read about your losing your four fish.  Losing one is bad enough.  I hope the others will be okay.

I had a glass heater a long time ago.  It was a pain to keep properly positioned and often would bang up against the side of the tank.  Luckily mine never broke.

It's hard to say what caused the injuries to your fish.  But it seems sensible to change all of the gravel.  I suspect that slivers of glass can float through the water like leaves fall through the air.  The water won't slow them, per se, but keep them suspended longer allowing them to end up in areas of the tank you might not expect them to land. 

We bought a Marineland Visi-Stealth heater from PetSmart, PetCo didn't have any (either they were out of stock, or don't carry them).  The heater we did get from PetCo was no good.  May I suggest that you try to verify that the new heater works before leaving the store.  Guarantees are nice, but you've been through enough without having to keep going back and forth to get a functioning  heater.

We wish you good luck getting your aquarium back together.  And we offer our thoughts and prayers to you and the four fish you lost.

Mike
 
AesSedai
  • #13
Man, so many lil ones have left in such a short time.

((CherryRose)) I feel for you so much.

Last night death was alive and well, even here. I lost my husband to cancer 3/17/04 and was going through the boxes of his things last night and crying.

Last night was just horrible and I wasn't alone it seems. (((Phloxface and you)))

Death just sucks so much.

Ya know, that we grieve so much for our loved ones, finned or not, says a lot about us. WE CARE SO MUCH. That's a GOOD thing, a beautiful thing.

You're beautiful.

You care and it is right. The suffering is testament to your/our hearts and I am soo proud.

Namaste
 
chickadee
  • #14
I think instead of Phloxface we are talking about Natalie losing Mr. Red. Phloxface has a little sick girl and now CherryRose has lost 4 fish and her little ones are confused and unhappy because they do not understand what happened. Oh, gosh what a night it was.

I am glad you decided (or your husband did) not to save any gravel. I thought it might work with the size of your tank but just to be safe, I think you are doing the right thing..

It always heartens me to see the way this Board pulls together.. you were all there for each other immediately and it makes me very proud to know each of you. Even those having troubles of their own helped with the others in trouble. You are such a fine group of people, I am proud to know each and every one of you.

Rose
 
AesSedai
  • #15
Oh god yes....Natalie and Mr. Red. I knew that too, absolutely. I'm sorry. <sigh> I'm soo tired, didn't sleep much. TY ((Rose)) for helping me clear that up. I know too it's Karma, the lil girl Phloxface rescued for the 50 some odd degree water, that isn't well.

I am soo proud of everyone here as well and feel so privileged to be a part of this incredible forum with the incredible people here.

(((Everyone)))
 
cherryrose
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
Hello everyone, and thank you so much for all of your encouraging comments.  BenjI is doing fine in the quarantine tank, and Polly is getting along great with Belle.  I just now got home after working all day then going to a doctor's appointment.  So far there don't seem to be any problems with either one of my 2 fish that survived.  Tomorrow I have to go with my husband for a DR. appointment, so I will be getting new gravel and a new heater for the tank at PetSmart.

It has been so hard for so many of us on this forum lately.  I sure hope we are finished with the disasters.  This is a wonderful group of caring individuals.  All I can say is a warm and grateful thank you to all for your support. I will keep you updated on the progress of my little ones as well as on the restart of the tank.

CherryRose
 
0morrokh
  • #17
I'm so glad BenjI and Polly are doing well. Keep us updated.
 
chickadee
  • #18
Yes, we are so glad to get some really good news. It has indeed been a challenge for this board of folks the last little while.

Rose
 
cherryrose
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
Just wanted to let you all know that BenjI and Polly still seem to be fine.  Benji, as well as Polly and Pepper, the only platies I have left, are now back in the ten gallon tank with a new heater and new gravel.  I put Pepper in there, from the tank he was in with Bessie, as I felt it would be best to add him at the same time. About 4 gallons of water from the old tank was put back into it and I added new water for the rest.  I have the same filter in there as was there before, so it is a cycled filtered.  I also put some of the old gravel in some cheese cloth and put it into the tank.  I'm not sure how the cycling will go, so do not know if I can expect any spikes or not.  I will keep an eye on the water parameters and let you know how it goes.  Am I doing everything right?  If I forgot something, please let me know.

CherryRose
 
LZ Floyd
  • #20
It's nice to see you've got your tank back up and running, cherryrose.  It's really sad, though, that you lost four fish due to a broken part.

I hope the cycling goes well.  If your water parameters start to get out of whack and you can catch Drs. Foster and Smith at the right time of the week, there's always Bio-Spira.

Mike
 
chickadee
  • #21
The cycle is usually determined by the filter and since your filter is already cycled, I would say it is just like you did a major tank cleaning and are just carrying on. you should not have a mini-cycle for any reason I can see. While it is true that the gravel holds a bacteria bed, the filter is cycled and can take care of the tank until the new gravel gets its bacterial blanket. So glad all is back to normal at your house....I will bet that the fish think they have been on vacation.

Rose
 
sylviepld
  • #22
Ok so my heater in my 10 gallon tank malfunctioned and I almost had fish soup. The temperature got up into the 90's! I lost my two Peppered Cories but my Glowlight Danios are surviving so far. I brought the temperature down slowly by doing a big water change then got a new heater right away. Then I got two more Cories the next day. When I got up this morning to check on them one of my new Cories had died so I checked my parameters. My ammonia was up to 8ppm!! Yikes. What I didn't realize is that the heat killed off my beneficial bacteria as well and this caused a huge ammonia spike. My pH also went down to 6. I did a 50% water change right away and added some BB and some Seacham Prime. I'll keep my fingers crossed and check my levels again tomorrow. I may have to do more water changes for a few days. I hope my fish can hang in there until things settle down. Wish me luck. If you have any other suggestions to help solve this problem faster please let me know.
 
mclemente06
  • #23
Dang. What type of heater is it so I can steer clear?
 
sylviepld
  • #24
Dang. What type of heater is it so I can steer clear?
This was an ancient heater that you couldn't even set a specific temperature. You just turned the dial until the light just went off at the temperature you wanted. Somehow I think I may have accidentally turned the dial during a cleaning or it just died on it's own. I think it was an old Hagen.
 
AllieSten
  • #25
So sorry for your fish loss. I can just imagine the panic once you discovered it. Geesh.

The increased temp should not have killed off your cycle. I have had my tanks up to 90 treating ich without a single issue. Your pH dropping to 6 is probably the cause. This is called a pH crash and is most likely caused by your tap water hardness level.

I can help you resolve this if you want some help. The first thing you need to do is test your tap water pH straight out of the tap, and then leave a cup of water out for 24 hours and test the pH then. Then also test your tank pH. If there is a huge difference between tap and tank, you most likely have soft water. Which will eventually cause a pH crash. Since you are having to do a bunch of water changes right now, your tank pH isn't going to be too accurate. I would wait until after your tank stabilizes to address all this. You want tank water that has been in the tank at least a few days without being changed.


You need to do a 75% water change. Right away. With a 50% water change you dropped your 8ppm to 4ppm. Seachem Prime only protects up to 1ppm. So doing a 75% will get you to 1ppm. You can even do another 50% change the same day to get it even lower. (This is probably what I would do)

Good luck.
 
FishFish221
  • #26
Guess I have to go replace my heater on my 5 gallon now. Its exactly the same thing you described, made by Hagen and has a knob but no temperature.
 
TwoHedWlf
  • #27
Guess I have to go replace my heater on my 5 gallon now. Its exactly the same thing you described, made by Hagen and has a knob but no temperature.
Given that the temp reading on heaters is almost always inaccurate most heaters should be treated like that anyway. You should be using a thermometer to read the temp. It's not a significant negative.
 
sylviepld
  • #28
So sorry for your fish loss. I can just imagine the panic once you discovered it. Geesh.

The increased temp should not have killed off your cycle. I have had my tanks up to 90 treating ich without a single issue. Your pH dropping to 6 is probably the cause. This is called a pH crash and is most likely caused by your tap water hardness level.

I can help you resolve this if you want some help. The first thing you need to do is test your tap water pH straight out of the tap, and then leave a cup of water out for 24 hours and test the pH then. Then also test your tank pH. If there is a huge difference between tap and tank, you most likely have soft water. Which will eventually cause a pH crash. Since you are having to do a bunch of water changes right now, your tank pH isn't going to be too accurate. I would wait until after your tank stabilizes to address all this. You want tank water that has been in the tank at least a few days without being changed.


You need to do a 75% water change. Right away. With a 50% water change you dropped your 8ppm to 4ppm. Seachem Prime only protects up to 1ppm. So doing a 75% will get you to 1ppm. You can even do another 50% change the same day to get it even lower. (This is probably what I would do)

Good luck.
Thanks for the great advice.

Woo hoo! I just did another 50% water change (1st one a few hours earlier) and tested again after a little while. My pH is back at 7.4 and my ammonia is 0.25ppm! Now I just hope it stays that way.
Given that the temp reading on heaters is almost always inaccurate most heaters should be treated like that anyway. You should be using a thermometer to read the temp. It's not a significant negative.
I definitely agree. I always calibrate my heaters. However, the problem with this one is that the knob turns so easily I could have done so accidentally.
 
darthyeoj
  • #29
Most likely the high temperature caused the bacteria to multiply exponentially and used the mineral content in your water which subsequently caused the pH drop. The drastic change in pH is probably what killed your fish.

Good to hear your ammonia has dropped back down.
 
jl_1005
  • #30
Woo hoo! I just did another 50% water change (1st one a few hours earlier) and tested again after a little while. My pH is back at 7.4 and my ammonia is 0.25ppm! Now I just hope it stays that way.

Good to hear!
 
smee82
  • #31
Sorry to hear about your fishies.
 

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