First Aquarium Disaster

  1. Willed

    Willed Valued Member Member

    In a pretty bad mood after just losing half my Cardinal tetra and maybe more to come. I know they are very sensitive to any changes in water parameters and a more maturely established tank is preferred. That being said over 48 hours they had acclimated very well to the tank.
    Then, yesterday, I gave them some hikari tubifex worms in a freeze dried cube. As soon worms were coming lose, I pulled the cube out. Probably removed 90% of the worms. Didn't realize how many were compacted in there!
    Still though, a feeding frenzy ensued. It was a cute thing to watch the tetras go after them. However I knew this was over feeding as some had to have stuffed themselves with at least 4 worms plus.
    The next day (today) I come home from work to see several are dead while others are struggling to swim upright, tipping to their side or upside down with expanded abdomens. Meanwhile my Rams are doing wonderfully and colors are starting to come in. They did not participate in the worm frenzy as they were still unfamiliar with the tank.
    I check parameters with API every 8-10 hours religiously. 0-0- 5 to 10 nitrates.
    I haven't had the heart to research anything yet but I thought I'd start by sharing my experience here.
     
  2. Bradley Moles

    Bradley Moles Valued Member Member

    What is the water temp? Is the tank cycled? Did you add any decorations that could be toxic or any water without enough conditioner?

    It is hard to pinpoint the issue but the same thing happened to my brother. Killed every fish in his 40 gallon. We then took out and boiled everything(decorations, gravel...ect.), added fresh water and conditioner, put some bio balls and ceramic rings in the filter and let it get to temp/cycle. Restocked the tank and it is thriving.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Willed

    Willed Valued Member Member

    Tank is fully cycled. 82F/27.8C
    Water changes (2 done) have added perfectly matched water temperature with prime pre added to tank. Decorations have been in tank for the full duration of the cycle. This was so sudden I don't think it was related to decorations.
    I'm looking at the timing of a beyond excessive feeding and the symptoms of bloat and upside down swimming (but still at the bottom of the tank). Gases in their abdomen from too much food?
    Thank you for the reply, I want to continue to narrow this down.
     


  4. Bradley Moles

    Bradley Moles Valued Member Member

    Yeah the problem with feeding fish a lot is that they are opportunists that will eat any chance they get because in the wild they don’t know when their next meal may be. Once a fish eats a lot of dry food that food absorbs water and expands in their stomachs. That could’ve been the case. Don’t be discouraged
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Willed

    Willed Valued Member Member

    I have one who still has energy but his belly keeps bring him upside down. He fights it vigorously but now he’s getting exhausted. Is there anything at all I can do to help the remaining tetra?
     
  6. Fashooga

    Fashooga Fishlore VIP Member

    I guess water changes and fasting might help. That's really all you can do thus far.
     


  7. OP
    OP
    Willed

    Willed Valued Member Member

    It’s so sad that when they finally had a meal after being so shy, got outgoing and adventurous to get a snack, that it may be what killed them.
    So Fash, this is that easy and acute to do?
    The most frequent mantra is don’t overfeed. And I still did.... I’m going to feed so sparingly now. And presoak most everything in tank water.

    I’m so sad guys. :confused:
    Is it without precedent to kill half a school of 15 tetra with a single overfeeding of freeze dried tubifex?
     
  8. Fashooga

    Fashooga Fishlore VIP Member

    Yeah this is the easiest thing I can think of. There’s not cure for over feeding.

    People try boiled deshelled peas but I think fasting for a week might be the nest thing to do.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Willed

    Willed Valued Member Member

    But what I’m saying is, I’ve been reading these beginner posts for over a month. Is it really possible after everything fish died from simply eating too many worms? It’s the simplest but most frustrating explanation. I’m sorry, they are my first fish since a young child and I’m taking this loss very personally. Lesson is fish are far better with no food than too much.
    I’m still dead body watch before I work in the morning...
    They aren’t even in a proper school anymore.... I just don’t know for sure it was the overfeeding! The fact that notoriously sensitive GBRs who didn’t eat seem completely unaffected and happy is my only reassurance.
     
  10. Goldiemom

    Goldiemom Well Known Member Member

    She gave the parameters so tank is cycled. A pea is used if the overfeeding caused constipation or swim bladder. Otherwise, fasting a few days is a good suggestion.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Willed

    Willed Valued Member Member

    Hi Goldiemom, long time reader first time commenter : )
    Actually male for what it’s worth ;)
    Ever heard of lethally overfeeding tetra in a single session? I’m a bit traumatized.
    Gimme your thoughts whatever they are!

    Edit: I’ll remember the pea tip for the future. Current candidates can’t even get there to eat it
     
  12. Goldiemom

    Goldiemom Well Known Member Member

    You aren't the first one to ever do it (me). Because the one tetra is going belly up, I would try feeding him just one pea. He’s probably constipated, causing swim bladder issues. After that, fast a few days. Good luck, I hope all works out. Oh, sometimes tetras will school with other tetras of another breed. My green Neons school with my regular Neons.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Willed

    Willed Valued Member Member

    I respect that. It is the one, but there have been several who had these symptoms and have past away in the last 6 hours. I plan on getting more cardinals, but I pity them in the short term. Calling the LFS tomorrow morning in lieu of another online order.
    Edit: so struggle swimming in normal orientation, getting flipped upside down or at least on its side involuntarily, is consistent with swim bladder issues?
     
  14. Goldiemom

    Goldiemom Well Known Member Member

    Apologies for assuming you were of the female gender. Duh!
     
  15. Hunter1

    Hunter1 Well Known Member Member

    I’m sorry for your losses.

    I have fed freeze dried worms occasionally/rarely. They need to be soaked in a cup of tank water for 10 minutes.

    A better “live” food is frozen brine shrimp. Soak them in a cup of tank water for 5-10 minutes too.

    My fish love live blood worms but I have read they don’t have that much nutrition.

    A quality flake food is enough for most fishes unless you are getting them ready to breed.
     
  16. OP
    OP
    Willed

    Willed Valued Member Member

    Yeah. I'm starting to think it's not just the excessive food but the lack of a proper soaking through. While they sank, I think it was more a result of my strong filter out put. Still, how it creates gases that cause the fish to struggle swimming upright puzzles me but may just be beyond my knowledge. I thought like gas or indigestion I know of, I had given my fish some of the same. As I've said maybe ad nauseum in this and private conversations, I'm holding onto my 3 GBR as canaries in the coal mine, waiting on them to tip me off to something more global if they die or show symptoms.
     
  17. SegiDream

    SegiDream Well Known Member Member

    I'm fairly certain it was the non presoaked freeze dried food that killed them, as previously mentioned from expanding in their stomachs.You're not the first one to make that mistake so don't feel alone. Next time chop the worms into small pieces and presoak them.
     
  18. snowballPLECO

    snowballPLECO Valued Member Member

    I give my fish Hikari freeze dried blood worms once a day coupled with pellets and all my fish have immense coloration and health.. I’ve never “presoaked” freeze dried blood worms, I highly doubt it’s what killed your fish. I’ve been giving my fish Hikari freeze dried worms forever and a good pellet and they are all healthy and show vibrant coloration. I have oscars blood parrots green terrors angels rainbow shark pleco firemouths and not a single one has ever exhibited a sign of sickness after eating freeze dried blood worms
     
  19. mattgirl

    mattgirl Well Known Member Member

    First off, I am so sorry to hear that you are losing your fish. I know how hard you have worked to get everything just right. This has to be devastating for you :(

    I am not so sure that this was caused by feeding tubifex worms. I often feed mine the same thing and they have never had a problem with them. I don't put a cube in there now but I used to. Now I use my cheese grater and grind them up so I can easily feed them smaller portions. I usually dip my finger in the tank to call them to dinner and then use that wet finger to feed the worms. I even feed my molly fry this way and although their bellies will look like it is going to bust it has never hurt them.

    Had you just gotten these fish? Was this their first meal? I am leaning more to bad stock if in fact you just got them.
     
  20. Adriifu

    Adriifu Well Known Member Member

    I would perform a 3-5-day fast and maybe feed some peas at the end if they're showing signs of constipation afterwards. Good luck and sorry for your losses.