Fish Died During Vacation

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Animalfriend26

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Hello guys! My 13 gallon tank had 4 guppies inside, 2 platies and I had more recently added 5 neon tetras. Two weeks ago I had to leave for one week, so I changed the water and fed them the day before. One week later I returned to find 2 of my guppies and 1 of my platies dead. The other fish looked fine and the ammonia was zero.The next day after that I had to leave again for another week. When I returned the other platy was dead as well. I changed the water yesterday and checked the paremeters today and everything looks fine! I don’t understand what went wrong. Could it have happened out of hunger? I was told that fish can do fine without food for a week. Do you have any suggestions as to what I can do to prevent this in the future? And what seems even stranger to me is that the guppies and platies who are generally considered hardier than tetras died and the tetras look just fine!
 

trainandfishguy

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How ling have you had your tank? How long ago did you add the neons? Could be a mini cycle took place when you added the new fish..
 
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Animalfriend26

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I’ve had the tank since January and added the tetras around 3 weeks ago.
 

xloe

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This happened to me like a month ago. We left for just three days and I came back to a dead platy....I could not find any reason at all for her death and it seemed very weird that she would just happen to die during those three days.
Maybe they miss us too much when we are gone.
 

trainandfishguy

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It wasn't out of hunger. I think it was just a case of bad luck. We all hate when fish die but its part of the hobby.
 

Ryan P

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also are you doing the test before or after the water change? I seem to have missed that part.
 
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Animalfriend26

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I have done tests both before and after water changes and all seemed fine!
 

FishFish221

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What are you using to test the water? If they are strips, then they can get contaminated by the air and not give an accurate reading.
 
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Animalfriend26

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Nope! I use liquid tests. :/
 

Sam2671

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It does sound like it was just bad luck, especially taking into account the tetras were fine and the guppies and platy wasn’t
 

Abby565

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Thats really weird! If the parameters were fine and they were fed before you left, I don't see why they would have died. Maybe just bad stock that didn't die till now.
 
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Animalfriend26

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Yeah and the weird thing is the other two guppies are just fine! If it was some illness wouldn’t it have affected them as well? The last thing I can think of is maybe aggressiveness? There was always some nipping and some chasing around but never to the point of fin ripping! I can’t believe that in just one week they got that aggressive!
 

Mcasella

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Animalfriend26 said:
Yeah and the weird thing is the other two guppies are just fine! If it was some illness wouldn’t it have affected them as well? The last thing I can think of is maybe aggressiveness? There was always some nipping and some chasing around but never to the point of fin ripping! I can’t believe that in just one week they got that aggressive!
It can be those specific fish got the dose of bad genes needed to make them weaker, while your current guppies have better genes and aren't as weak.
 

Madeline Peterson

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When you say you changed the water, do you mean a full water change? A full water change removes all the beneficial bacteria, which basically restarts your tank at stage 1 of cycling.
Also, you mention ammonia, but did you check your nitrites? Those are dangerous, too.
 

Alaina Leigh

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Madeline Peterson said:
When you say you changed the water, do you mean a full water change? A full water change removes all the beneficial bacteria, which basically restarts your tank at stage 1 of cycling.
Also, you mention ammonia, but did you check your nitrites? Those are dangerous, too.
I dont think the BB is in the water column. A full water change, for example, would not effect the BB. It's in the filter media, substrate and decor/plants.
 
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Animalfriend26

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No, after the cycle was established I have never done a full water change. I only do around 30% water changes once a week, as instructed by AqAdvisor. Also, yes I have checked both nitrites and nitrates and their levels are completely normal.
 

FriarThomasIII

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Madeline Peterson said:
When you say you changed the water, do you mean a full water change? A full water change removes all the beneficial bacteria, which basically restarts your tank at stage 1 of cycling.
Also, you mention ammonia, but did you check your nitrites? Those are dangerous, too.
Make sure your information is correct next time before you comment, that way someone doesn't do the wrong thing. Almost all the bacteria is in the substrate, the filter media and any plants. Hardly any is in the water column.
 
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Animalfriend26

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Since you mentioned it, a quick question out of the subject, I’m going to be moving next month. Will draining the aquarium and just keeping enough water for the substrate, decorations and filter disrupt the cycle?
 

dwarfpufferlover

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You mention fin nipping which is important.

You leave for a week, and the aggressors get more aggressive because they are hungry then bully the others to death.
Do you have any pics of the dead ones?
 
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Animalfriend26

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dwarfpufferlover said:
You mention fin nipping which is important.

You leave for a week, and the aggressors get more aggressive because they are hungry then bully the others to death.
Do you have any pics of the dead ones?
No, unfortunately I don’t have any pictures but almost all of their bodies were half when I found them. They seemed rotten or eaten away maybe? But the thing is the fish that died were the most “aggressive” ones in the aquarium.
 
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