Fish Were Over Fed

Tristen

I went on vacation and the person watching my fish extremely over fed them. There was food everywhere. I changed 50 per cent of the water and pumped the gravel. What should I do next. One fish is already dying. The temperature was extremely low because they did not monitor it and then when I came back and turned of my AC the temperature shot up again from 74 to 79 degrees. How long should I wait to feed the fish? What should I do about the temperature?
 

Morpheus1967

What size tank? You can throw some ice in the tank to get the temp lowered. Just make sure to add a small amount of dechlorinator at the same time.

Have you tested your water parameters?
 

CheshireKat

How long should I wait to feed the fish?
Depends on the situation. But you should test your water; you probably have an ammonia and/or nitrite spike that is creating a poisonous environment. Feeding probably won't be an issue or concern for at least a few days and you don't want to add to the problem. Daily water changes probably would be a good idea.
As for the temperature, which one do you want it to stay at?
 

Tristen

What size tank? You can throw some ice in the tank to get the temp lowered. Just make sure to add a small amount of dechlorinator at the same time.

Have you tested your water parameters?
No I am doing a test right now. I want the temperature to stay at about 78 degrees so I don’t want to make it any colder. It’s a 40 gallon breeder.
 

Morpheus1967

I don't think the temp had anything to do with the issues you are having, as it would have been a gradual rise/drop. I would just try and maintain the temp (78) you have now, if that is where you normally keep it.
 

Gone

This is a common situation. A hobbyist goes on vacation and finds someone to feed the fish while they're gone. They come back and the water conditions are foul because the person trying to help overfed the tank.

The fishkeeper is the person to ensure that doesn't happen, not the person who agrees to help out. They're usually given a jar of fish food and little else to guide them.

Same thing with vacation feeder cones.

If you're going away for a week or 10 days, I suggest you don't feed the fish at all. They'll be just fine when you get back. If I'm going to be gone for a week or so, I vacuum the gravel, do a water change, and turn off the lights. I don't feed heavily before I leave, because that just increases ammonia. If you're going to be gone a couple weeks or more, and you have to have someone step in and do some feeding, portion out each day's feeding so the person doesn't have to use their inexperienced judgement to determine how much food to add. Another option is an automatic feeder. Take the guesswork out of it for the person who's stepping in to help.

In the current situation, test every day and be aggressive with water changes.
 

e_watson09

I agree with others, I rarely have people feed my fish while I'm gone. I've gone 14 days before with no issues.

I would do some 50-75% water changes daily and test your water before you do each time. Once your parameters look good you can back off to a normal water change cycle.

As far as feeding, if they were that over fed I'd probably fast them at least a few days. Once you start feeding again just be careful not to over feed at all.

The temp also doesn't really concern me to the point I'd do anything drastic to reduce the temp. I'd just turn down the heater and let it resolve itself. Ice can cause a cold spot in the water which can stress the already struggling fish. 79 degrees is not honestly that hot, I keep most of my tanks between 76-78 degrees regardless.
 

Morpheus1967

I really don't see how ice can cause a cold spot, unless you do not have sufficient water movement in your tank.
 

e_watson09

I really don't see how ice can cause a cold spot, unless you do not have sufficient water movement in your tank.

As the ice is melting there will be a concentrated spot until it filters through the tank. In cases where tanks need cooled off immediately where the heat is dangerous to the fish yes that is an option. But even then I'd look into safer alternatives that cool water at a slower temp versus a big temp change all at once from the ice.

The best option for lowering the tank temp would be a fan on the top, water movement, water change with SLIGHTLY (not much cooler at all) cooler water, etc. Gradual changes are key, quick solutions are often what can kill fish from stress or shock.

Unless its an emergency situation needing to cool down an excessively high temp tank I really do not see a need to risk the fish.
 

Thedudeiam94

First off... What are your water parameters?
 

Tristen

First off... What are your water parameters?
I just finished testing I had to change the water in my smaller tank. 0 ammonia 0 nitrites 5 nitrates.

Depends on the situation. But you should test your water; you probably have an ammonia and/or nitrite spike that is creating a poisonous environment. Feeding probably won't be an issue or concern for at least a few days and you don't want to add to the problem. Daily water changes probably would be a good idea.
As for the temperature, which one do you want it to stay at?
There is no spike in the water everything is good.

This is a common situation. A hobbyist goes on vacation and finds someone to feed the fish while they're gone. They come back and the water conditions are foul because the person trying to help overfed the tank.

The fishkeeper is the person to ensure that doesn't happen, not the person who agrees to help out. They're usually given a jar of fish food and little else to guide them.

Same thing with vacation feeder cones.

If you're going away for a week or 10 days, I suggest you don't feed the fish at all. They'll be just fine when you get back. If I'm going to be gone for a week or so, I vacuum the gravel, do a water change, and turn off the lights. I don't feed heavily before I leave, because that just increases ammonia. If you're going to be gone a couple weeks or more, and you have to have someone step in and do some feeding, portion out each day's feeding so the person doesn't have to use their inexperienced judgement to determine how much food to add. Another option is an automatic feeder. Take the guesswork out of it for the person who's stepping in to help.

In the current situation, test every day and be aggressive with water changes.
My water conditions are fine there is still very small amounts of food in the gravel that I could not get while vacuuming.
 

CheshireKat

There is no spike in the water everything is good.
Hm, that's surprising but good. Then I don't know if you need to do anything as far as treatment. Are any fish acting odd or sick?
 

Tristen

Hm, that's surprising but good. Then I don't know if you need to do anything as far as treatment. Are any fish acting odd or sick?
Yes I have one honey gourami who looked really lethargic. The next day he wasn’t lying on the floor almost lifeless. I’ve scooped him out and put him in a bowl cause it doesn’t look like he has much longer
 

e_watson09

Oh yes that is very good actually! If there is no spike then honestly I'd probably go back to business as usual just keep testing parameters the next few days just to be safe Lucky you! Usually situations like this don't end as well in terms of water quality.
 

Tristen

Oh yes that is very good actually! If there is no spike then honestly I'd probably go back to business as usual just keep testing parameters the next few days just to be safe Lucky you! Usually situations like this don't end as well in terms of water quality.
In your opinion what should I keep the temperature at. I have 1 honey gourami and 7 ember tetras.
 

e_watson09

In your opinion what should I keep the temperature at. I have 1 honey gourami and 7 ember tetras.

I usually keep all my tanks in the 76-78 range, I'd have to look up those specific fish but I don't recall them being ones that need higher or lower temp off the top of my head. Most of mine stay in that range except my bettas which have warmer water I hope that helps!
 

Momgoose56

I went on vacation and the person watching my fish extremely over fed them. There was food everywhere. I changed 50 per cent of the water and pumped the gravel. What should I do next. One fish is already dying. The temperature was extremely low because they did not monitor it and then when I came back and turned of my AC the temperature shot up again from 74 to 79 degrees. How long should I wait to feed the fish? What should I do about the temperature?
An adjustable heater with a thermostat shouldn't allow your tank temp to drop like that. Even if your ambient temp (the air temp around the tank) is consistent, without a heater tank temps can still fluctuate a few degrees due to: direct sunlight on the tank (overheating), changes in air movement across the water (evaporation), movement of the water itself (filter/ airstone) etc. My suggestions: check your parameters (pH, ammonia, nitrites and nitrates), do big water changes to correct those, thoroughly vacuum substrate to remove old rotting food and detritus, thoroughly rinse filter media in dechlorinated water, get a new, competent adjustable, thermostat controlled heater and set it to maintain the desired temperature (and monitor it for a couple days with a decent tank thermometer). In the future, as GuppyDazzle suggested, portion out feedings for your fish keeper, make those feedings only once a day and much smaller than what you normally feed if you'll be gone more than a week (small pill dispensers work well and are marked with the days of the week to eliminate guessing). All you can do now is correct the problems already there.
 

Tristen

An adjustable heater with a thermostat shouldn't allow your tank temp to drop like that. Even if your ambient temp (the air temp around the tank) is consistent, without a heater tank temps can fluctuate a few degrees due to: direct sunlight on the tank (overheating), changes in air movement across the water (evaporation), movement of the water itself (filter/ airstone) etc. My suggestions: check your parameters (pH, ammonia, nitrites and nitrates), do big water changes to correct those, thoroughly vacuum substrate to remove old rotting food and detritus, thoroughly rinse filter media in dechlorinated water, get a new, competent adjustable, thermostat controlled heater and set it to maintain the desired temperature (and monitor it for a couple days with a decent tank thermometer). In the future, as GuppyDazzle suggested, portion out feedings for your fish keeper, make those feedings only once a day and much smaller than what you normally feed if you'll be gone more than a week (small pill dispensers work well and are marked with the days of the week to eliminate guessing). All you can do now is correct the problems already there.
My water parameters are fine. I just have some food left in the substrate. I have an adjustable heater but my room is upstairs in my house and I live in New York. It gets extremely hot in my room and I’m talking like 95 degrees. To stop that I had to leave my ac on at 73 degrees to keep the room cool. Eventually the room was so cold that the heaters couldn’t compete with it for 7 days. While I’m at my house I’m able to monitor it so that doesn’t happen.
 

Morpheus1967

As the ice is melting there will be a concentrated spot until it filters through the tank. In cases where tanks need cooled off immediately where the heat is dangerous to the fish yes that is an option. But even then I'd look into safer alternatives that cool water at a slower temp versus a big temp change all at once from the ice.

The best option for lowering the tank temp would be a fan on the top, water movement, water change with SLIGHTLY (not much cooler at all) cooler water, etc. Gradual changes are key, quick solutions are often what can kill fish from stress or shock.

Unless its an emergency situation needing to cool down an excessively high temp tank I really do not see a need to risk the fish.

Interesting. When I lived in Florida, during the summer months, the water I got from my hose to change the water on my oscar tank was too warm out of the spigot. I alleviated this by freezing empty 2 liter bottles of water, and placing them in the tank. I would then fill the tank, letting the water from my hose flow directly over the frozen two liter bottles. And that was with filters off, and no water flow. Never had an issue in 4 years of doing it this way. I would think a properly filtered tank, with adequate water circulation, would stop any cold spots from happening. (Especially since they would be at the top of the tank, where the ice would be floating, and where most filters empty into the tank).
 

Tristen

Interesting. When I lived in Florida, during the summer months, the water I got from my hose to change the water on my oscar tank was too warm out of the spigot. I alleviated this by freezing empty 2 liter bottles of water, and placing them in the tank. I would then fill the tank, letting the water from my hose flow directly over the frozen two liter bottles. And that was with filters off, and no water flow. Never had an issue in 4 years of doing it this way. I would think a properly filtered tank, with adequate water circulation, would stop any cold spots from happening. (Especially since they would be at the top of the tank, where the ice would be floating, and where most filters empty into the tank).
Well luckily my tank doesn’t need to be cold now
 

Momgoose56

My water parameters are fine. I just have some food left in the substrate. I have an adjustable heater but my room is upstairs in my house and I live in New York. It gets extremely hot in my room and I’m talking like 95 degrees. To stop that I had to leave my ac on at 73 degrees to keep the room cool. Eventually the room was so cold that the heaters couldn’t compete with it for 7 days. While I’m at my house I’m able to monitor it so that doesn’t happen.
What size is your tank and what wattage is your heater? If the heater is not the appropriate wattage for the tank volume, it won't be able to "keep up". We can advise you on the wattage/type heater that would work best for your tank. I have a single heater in my 125 gallon tank that keeps the tank at a consistent 78 degrees even when our house temp drops into the 60's in the winter (we live in the desert and rarely need to heat our home in the winter).

Interesting. When I lived in Florida, during the summer months, the water I got from my hose to change the water on my oscar tank was too warm out of the spigot. I alleviated this by freezing empty 2 liter bottles of water, and placing them in the tank. I would then fill the tank, letting the water from my hose flow directly over the frozen two liter bottles. And that was with filters off, and no water flow. Never had an issue in 4 years of doing it this way. I would think a properly filtered tank, with adequate water circulation, would stop any cold spots from happening. (Especially since they would be at the top of the tank, where the ice would be floating, and where most filters empty into the tank).
I hear ya! My hose water (in the Sonoran desert) comes out at 84 degrees in the summer so I turn my tank heater to 82 during the hot months of summer and 78 during the colder months just to prevent that temperature shock during water changes.
 

TheFishmonger

I went on vacation and the person watching my fish extremely over fed them.

You know, this happened to me twice. And the outcome was bad. Ironically the fish all died a few days before I came back. So I feel for you.
 

Islandvic

Be on the lookout for bloated or constipated fish if they over indulged themselves.

Be diligent with the next couple of vacs of the substrate with your siphon. As more of the food breaks down, you may get some spikes.

Morpheus1967 , ha , I thought I was the only one with that problem!
 

Thedudeiam94

Just try fasting them for a few days if you’re worried. They should be fine.
 

Tristen

What size is your tank and what wattage is your heater? If the heater is not the appropriate wattage for the tank volume, it won't be able to "keep up". We can advise you on the wattage/type heater that would work best for your tank. I have a single heater in my 125 gallon tank that keeps the tank at a consistent 78 degrees even when our house temp drops into the 60's in the winter (we live in the desert and rarely need to heat our home in the winter).


I hear ya! My hose water (in the Sonoran desert) comes out at 84 degrees in the summer so I turn my tank heater to 82 during the hot months of summer and 78 during the colder months just to prevent that temperature shock during water changes.
My tank is a 40 gallon breeder
You know, this happened to me twice. And the outcome was bad. Ironically the fish all died a few days before I came back. So I feel for you.
So far I’m only at 1 loss so hopefully that’s the worst to come.

Just try fasting them for a few days if you’re worried. They should be fine.
That’s exactly what I wasn’t planning on

What size is your tank and what wattage is your heater? If the heater is not the appropriate wattage for the tank volume, it won't be able to "keep up". We can advise you on the wattage/type heater that would work best for your tank. I have a single heater in my 125 gallon tank that keeps the tank at a consistent 78 degrees even when our house temp drops into the 60's in the winter (we live in the desert and rarely need to heat our home in the winter).


I hear ya! My hose water (in the Sonoran desert) comes out at 84 degrees in the summer so I turn my tank heater to 82 during the hot months of summer and 78 during the colder months just to prevent that temperature shock during water changes.
It’s a 40 gallon breeder. It has a 100W heater.
 

Momgoose56

It’s a 40 gallon breeder. It has a 100W heater.
That's why it can't keep up in the cold. You'd probably need a 150 watt or bigger for a 40 gallon tank to keep the temp. constant at 78° in a room that's 73°. Personally, I'd go with a 200 watt for a 40 gallon. If you're having trouble keeping your tank temperature 5 degrees warmer than your room temp in the summer, you're really going to have problems this winter. Especially if you're a person that prefers cooler sleeping temps. Besides, it's cheaper to heat a tank than a whole room.
 

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