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Lost Fish Due To Heater Problem; Cycling/bioload?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by lhwelch, Dec 25, 2018.

  1. lhwelch New Member Member

    I am devastated. I accidentally set the heater in my 27-gallons freshwater tank too high before leaving for vacation. When I returned last night, all of my fish (silver hatchets, albino Cory cats, & glow tetras) are dead. My nerite snails are alive because they were able to crawl above the water line. I have had this tank for over 4 years, always maintained good parameters with water changes, and I’m grieving the loss of my beautiful fish because of my carelessness.

    Here is my question: The fish most likely died six days ago. The tank has been set at 90 degrees for that long. After I remove the carcasses, will the tank need to be reestablished for bioload? Has the high heat killed the bioload/cycle in the tank? Thank you for any help you can give me.
  2. DuaneV Well Known Member Member

    Sorry to hear about your tank.

    Ive always heard bacteria doesnt die off until 95+ degrees.

    Bioload and cycle arent the same. Bioload is the amount of waste your tank produces, the cycle is the beneficial bacteria that converts your ammonia to nitrites to nitrates. Id say at 90 youre probably okay and your beneficial bacteria, aka cycle, is still alive.
  3. lhwelch New Member Member

    Thanks for the clarification and the encouragement. I have an API test kit so I’ll test the water before restocking. Do you recommend that I restock the tank gradually?
  4. DuaneV Well Known Member Member

    I probably wouldnt just dump 50 fish in if thats what you had before JUST in case. Also, its pretty stressful and can cause issues. Id probably do it in thirds, you know, just to be safe.