Came Home To All Fish Dead In Both My Tanks...

dcocinci
  • #1
10 Gallon with:
4 Neon Tetras
3 Zebra Danios

65 Gallon with:
7 Rummy Nose Tetras
8 Cardinal Tetras
5 Panda Cory
1 BN Pleco
2 Bolivian Ram

65 Gallon has been running for like 3 months and the water has been fine. 7.5 ish PH, 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrite, 10-20 Nitrate.

10 Gallon has been running for 2 weeks, I started it using filter media from the 65 gallon and the water levels have been the same other than the Nitrates are lower, like 5ish.

I got home and noticed as soon as I saw the 65 gallon it was a little cloudy then when I got closer I could see all the dead fish and a lot of bubbles at the top of the tank as if there were soap in it. Went and checked the 10 gallon and it was literally overflowing with bubbles and all fish dead.

I added new fish to both tanks on Saturday. One in each tank died in like the first 24 hours, both looked a little deformed and to be honest I didnt check them that well when I first bought them and put them in. 2 more died in the 10 gallon yesterday. I tested the water and it was fine.

I did a water change on both of them on Sunday, yesterday everything seemed/looked fine. It almost smells like a lot of chlorine. I tried testing the water but I think the bubbles or whatever is in it is messing with the tests because the results are all over the place. I dosed both with Prime as I always do during water changes.

The 10 gallon I changed water with a normal gravel vac and 5 gallon bucket that I've used all this time to drain and fill the tanks.

The 65 gallon I changed water with the same gravel vac, but I filled it with the Python and from a different sink. Not sure what the heck happened here unless there was something going on with our tap water that day?

Sorry that was kind of all over the place.... I assume any good BB I had in the filters is gone now and I'll need to clean both these tanks and start all over?
 
psalm18.2
  • #2
Sorry for your losses. Hope someone can help here.
 
Jenoli42
  • #3
I'm mystified. ring your council/ city water supplier or treatment plant and ask if they flushed the pipes or changed treatment. check their website too... they're usually meant to notify the public but if they only do it on their website or the paper people can miss it.
 
Mazeus
  • #4
Oh my gosh. I am so sorry! I don't know what it could have been but I think it would be advisable to sterilise both tanks and start over. I wouldn't risk transfering anything nasty.
 
dcocinci
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
The PH looks off the charts if you I can trust the results right now, like the darkest color purple on the test kit. My daughter thinks it was the new fish, but we have bought all of the fish from this same store and never had problems. It is an actual aquarium store with fish only, not a big chain pet store so I trust them. Granted I'm new, but I can't imagine if one or more of the new fish was the problem it was cause the bubbles all over both tanks. I'm positive that I did not use any of the cleaning supplies/buckets on anything other than the 2 tanks or had any of it near soap.

I also have live plants in both tanks. Are they a lost cause now as well?
 
Mazeus
  • #6
High PH and chlorine smell, could bleach have gotten in the tank?
 
dcocinci
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
High PH and chlorine smell, could bleach have gotten in the tank?
That's what I thought at first was it smelled like bleach but it is kept no where near either tank or the tank cleaning supplies. Also it was 2 different tanks in 2 different rooms. Unless one of my kids sabotaged the tanks, no way that happened. One of the tanks is my daughters and she is pretty upset right now.

Now that someone mentioned contacting the city/utilities, we did receive a call on Thursday last week that they were doing their annual flushing of the fire hydrants in our area. They said that we could notice some discoloration of the water and to just flush it out for a few minutes. Nothing about boiling it or anything else. I'm not sure what all that entails but possibly its related. That was 3 whole days before I would have done the water changes though.
 
Jenoli42
  • #8
Now that someone mentioned contacting the city/utilities, we did receive a call on Thursday last week that they were doing their annual flushing of the fire hydrants in our area. They said that we could notice some discoloration of the water and to just flush it out for a few minutes. Nothing about boiling it or anything else. I'm not sure what all that entails but possibly its related. That was 3 whole days before I would have done the water changes though.

I suggest checking the relevant website for details because I suspect this may be the culprit...
 
Mom2some
  • #9
Ugh so sorry. I have no idea what happened but if the B.B. is still warm & wet you could keep it going by feeding it pure. ammonia - unless whatever killed your tanks has affected it, until you are ready to restock. However, I assume soap would be very bad for the filter & not rinse well/at all. I hope someone else can help you.
 
dcocinci
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
I suggest checking the relevant website for details because I suspect this may be the culprit...

The strange part is 2 of the fish in the 10 gallon died yesterday, so I tested that water yesterday when I got home and it was fine. So if that water was "bad", I'd assume I should have caught this yesterday when I tested that water. I'm at a loss
 
Jenoli42
  • #11
The strange part is 2 of the fish in the 10 gallon died yesterday, so I tested that water yesterday when I got home and it was fine. So if that water was "bad", I'd assume I should have caught this yesterday when I tested that water. I'm at a loss

I tend to agree that if the water was the problem you should have seen or smelt issues during your water change. there is a possibility that the dead fish weren't healthy from your LFS and the water change issue is separate.

honestly, if the water flush from your local supplier isn't the issue, it is so bizarre that I actually suspect an accidental poisoning from the kids? bubbles and chlorine/bleach smell doesn't just happen. and it's not caused by any fish disease that may have come with your new fish. it must be either from the water change or someone added something to the tank directly. I can't think of any other possibility...
 
dcocinci
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
I attached a picture of the 10 gallon when I got home. You can see the bubbles overflowing out of the back .my tank was doing the same thing but not nearly as bad.

I got fish from 4 different tanks at the pet store I believe and no fish from any one of those tanks went into both of mine. They told me that their tanks are all filtered separately so that would mean they had issues in multiple tanks at the store .
 

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Jenoli42
  • #13
I attached a picture of the 10 gallon when I got home. You can see the bubbles overflowing out of the back .my tank was doing the same thing but not nearly as bad.

I got fish from 4 different tanks at the pet store I believe and no fish from any one of those tanks went into both of mine. They told me that their tanks are all filtered separately so that would mean they had issues in multiple tanks at the store .

that almost looks like dishwashing liquid bubbles!!!

yeah, let's rule out the new fish I reckon. as I said, there's no way the fish brought you this nightmare unless i'm seriously missing something.
 
bitseriously
  • #14
Did u empty either tank yet? Does the water feel at all slippery or slimy between your fingers?
 
Dawn Michele
  • #15
Sorry for your loss.
 
dcocinci
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
I just emptied the 10 gallon, it smells like a swimming pool. The water feels normal to me, its just the odor and the bubbles.

My tank I have everything running on still until I figure out what I'm going to do. I removed all the dead fish and what bubbles I could get rid of. There were not nearly as many in this tank.

My kids are 10 and 14 so I'd like to assume they would not have put soap or bleach in the tanks. One of the tanks belongs to my 10 year old who loves the fish so I can't see her doing anything to it. But I'm not sure how to explain whatever just happened. When I fed my fish last night they all seemed to be just fine. I did not check on them this morning. Probably close to $200 in fish and plants between the two of them and I'm hesitant to restart them if I don't know what happened. On the other hand I've put way to much money into them to not start them again.
 
InsanityShard
  • #17
I know a very probable cause- I've seen this before... When I accidentally spilled bubble mix in a goldfish pond. Luckily the fish were saved within 15 minutes, very hardy big goldfish in a half wine barrel... It did those exact bubbles. Unless there was dishwashing liquid or something else still in the sink at the python, I'd say it was an accident. Even just bubbles popping into the water would be enough with an open hood, if a few got in...
 
RedLoredAmazon
  • #18
I am so sorry to hear about all your fish dying. I'm going to agree with Jenoli42 It does look like soap bubbles in the tank. Maybe someone was trying to be helpful and wanted to clean the filter with soap or the tank?
 
dcocinci
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
I know a very probable cause- I've seen this before... When I accidentally spilled bubble mix in a goldfish pond. Luckily the fish were saved within 15 minutes, very hardy big goldfish in a half wine barrel... It did those exact bubbles. Unless there was dishwashing liquid or something else still in the sink at the python, I'd say it was an accident. Even just bubbles popping into the water would be enough with an open hood, if a few got in...

That's the thing though, I filled them from 2 different sinks using 2 different methods. I used the Python on one and a bucket on the other. And I did them like 12 hours apart. And that was 48 hours ago.
 
Mom2some
  • #20
Did either of your siphons get used by someone else for anything? And then they cleaned them to help you? Did your kids have any friends over?

TexasDomer, jdhef, Lucy any of you (or others) have ideas?
 
dcocinci
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
I am so sorry to hear about all your fish dying. I'm going to agree with Jenoli42 It does look like soap bubbles in the tank. Maybe someone was trying to be helpful and wanted to clean the filter with soap or the tank?

My son has zero interest in the tanks and cleaning it would mean he'd have to get off of his Xbox and work for a change so not likely My daughter helps me clean them and knows we don't use soap or bleach. I can't think of anything else though other than something was put in the water. It smells strongly of chlorine though not Soap
 
Gypsy13
  • #22
I attached a picture of the 10 gallon when I got home. You can see the bubbles overflowing out of the back .my tank was doing the same thing but not nearly as bad.

I got fish from 4 different tanks at the pet store I believe and no fish from any one of those tanks went into both of mine. They told me that their tanks are all filtered separately so that would mean they had issues in multiple tanks at the store .

Question. Could someone have used your gravel vac in soapy water? I ask because that seems to be the only common denominator other than a few fish. It would also explain why it was worse in the big tank than the little one. Just a thought. So sorry for your loss and if it was me, I’d dismantle and completely clean everything. Get new media and start over. Mainly because you don’t KNOW for certain.

Did either of your siphons get used by someone else for anything? And then they cleaned them to help you? Did your kids have any friends over?

TexasDomer, @jdef, Lucy any of you (or others) have ideas?

I just asked the same question. Because he used the gravel vac on both. First the ten then the other.
 
dcocinci
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
I can't imagine what anyone would have used it for, but either way nobody says they did. It just seems weird that if there was soap in them it took this long to happen. You'd think they would have started bubbling right away .

It was worse on the 10 gallon which I cleaned second . The 65 wasn't nearly as bad but the results are the same . Attached picture of the 65. I removed some when removing the fish but not a lot when compared to the 10

I think most of those are from the airstone/air pump though I forgot to turn it off.
 

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TexasGuppy
  • #24
Did you use any containers when you acclimated the fish? Do you have a cleaning service?
 
dcocinci
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
Did you use any containers when you acclimated the fish? Do you have a cleaning service?

Nope, I float the bags for 15 minutes then add a little tank water to them every 10 minutes or so after that a few times. Then dump the fish into a net and into my tank, none of the water from the bags into the tanks. No cleaning service.
 
TexasGuppy
  • #26
Could somebody have sprayed air freshener into the air? Although with that many bubbles and chlorine smell, I'd have to guess something got added directly to the tank.
 
MikeRad89
  • #27
This looks like the water company's fault. The smell is from high chlorine levels and the foam indicates they used an algaecide for either the water mains or a specific area and it got through to the main lines.

I knew of a angelfish breeder who had about 1000 dime sized fry ready to sell, he did a typical water change and all of them died. The water contained 10x the amount of safe chlorine. The municipality paid for the worth of the fish.

I would highly suggest you have someone come out and test the water from the hydrants near you and the water in your tanks if you haven't dumped it yet.
 
dcocinci
  • Thread Starter
  • #28
Could somebody have sprayed air freshener into the air? Although with that many bubbles and chlorine smell, I'd have to guess something got added directly to the tank.
Different rooms on different floors in the house, not near each other and everyone was at work/school all day. My son was home for about 2 hours before I got here and noticed it but he doesn't pay any attention to them so not sure what they looked like when he got home. I'd feel better about it if I at least knew what happened so I don't make that mistake again, but right now I just wanna puke.

Moving forward, what do I need to do to sterilize everything? What is and what is not salvageable?

I assume all the filter media is trash. Not sure how to go about cleaning the sand, gravel, and driftwood. If possible I'd like to get one of them up and running again quickly to try and save all my plants if possible.

This looks like the water company's fault. The smell is from high chlorine levels and the foam indicates they used an algaecide for either the water mains or a specific area and it got through to the main lines.

I knew of a angelfish breeder who had about 1000 dime sized fry ready to sell, he did a typical water change and all of them died. The water contained 10x the amount of safe chlorine. The municipality paid for the worth of the fish.

I would highly suggest you have someone come out and test the water from the hydrants near you and the water in your tanks if you haven't dumped it yet.
They are closed now, but I emailed them. I already dumped the 10 gallon, I'm draining the 65 now but I was thinking of only doing partial water change in it to at least try and keep my plants alive.
 
Dave125g
  • #29
This is horrible. So sorry this happened to you.As far as testing now... Your no doubt gonna get of the wall readings due to all the dead fish. Is it possible someone did this deliberately? An accident like this can happen to 1 tank with a spill of a cleaning solution, but 2 is suspicious.
 
Wraithen
  • #30
I might ask the kids if anyone helped "clean" the fish tanks in any way. This sounds an awful lot like good intentions gone awry
 
Niaa
  • #31
The pool smell makes me think it was a chlorine problem from the city water. Apparently pools only get that smell when there is waste in the water, so you wouldn't have noticed when you changed the water, only after fish had pooped in it.
 
ralph113
  • #32
does someone hate ur fish in ur house?
 
Lucy
  • #33
I'm so sorry about your fish. How heartbreaking.

This looks like the water company's fault. The smell is from high chlorine levels and the foam indicates they used an algaecide for either the water mains or a specific area and it got through to the main lines.

This would be my guess as well. It makes the most sense given the lines were recently flushed.
 
ljg
  • #34
Do you have lids on either of the tanks?
 
dcocinci
  • Thread Starter
  • #35
Nobody hates the fish. Both have lids on them.

10 gallon is completely broken down. I moved the plants from it to the 65 gallon for now and did 75% wc and restarted everything just to try and keep the plants alive until I figure out what to do next.
 
Gypsy13
  • #36
Hubby asks if you have pics of your fish when they were happy?
 
endlercollector
  • #37
I'm so sorry to hear about your losses. Were there any kids visiting recently? Something similar happened to a woman I knew. Her kids' friends thought it'd be funny to be dishwashing soap in the tank, and all the fish died
 
Mcasella
  • #38
I have been near a new pipe that was being flushed, my nose burned from the amount of chlorine they flush through it, you could whiten trees with the strength they used.
I am going with the water companies fault, sudden changes or even them flushing the hydrants (which they would use a massive amount of chlorine for) can be dangerous even for pond snails (and those things are tank cockroaches). I would have them come test it, get the results (prime can take out a normal amount of chlorine, but I wouldn't trust it with the amount they use to flush with), if they are way out of line I would have them refund you for the cost of the fish, chemicals will cause water to bubble up when agitated, even stress coat or bacteria additives can cause bubbles.
 
dcocinci
  • Thread Starter
  • #39
Hubby asks if you have pics of your fish when they were happy?

Not really, just of the 2 rams.

I'm so sorry to hear about your losses. Were there any kids visiting recently? Something similar happened to a woman I knew. Her kids' friends thought it'd be funny to be dishwashing soap in the tank, and all the fish died

Just on Saturday, but that was before the water changes and if there were soap in them then it would have bubbled up big time when I filled them back up.
 

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TexasGuppy
  • #40
Very cute fish! I wonder if the massive amount of chlorine reacted with something in the tank to cause the bubbles.. so it could have taken awhile to build up.
 

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