Major catastrophe

Nanjo4

Member
I am so angry and sad at the same time. I can't believe I was this stupid! You see, I purchased 8 Cardinal tetras and acclimated them for 3hours and put them in my tank. 29 gal, 79 degrees, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 20, PH 8.0. For a week they ate, swam, hung out in the plants, I was so proud of them! Their other tank mates were
1 platy
1 swordtail
1 GloFish tetra
5 danios
Just to be sure the little guys didn't get sucked in by the filter, I had put a piece of pantyhose on the filter intake tube of the Aquaclear 50 and fastened it with a rubber band. For about a week everything was fine. I thought. What I didn't realize was that the filter flow was slowing down. I got up one morning and the flow had reduced to a trickle and the cardinals were dying. I started an air stone and immediately cleaned the filter but it really wasn't that dirty. Started it up again and still a trickle. In a panic, I ordered a new filter from Amazon next day delivery. They had lost their color and during the course of the day, all 8 died. The other fish were all fine. So in between netting dead fish, I took the filter apart again. Same result. That night, since there were no more little guys, I took the little piece of pantyhose off the filter intake. And the output came back full force. That little piece of nylon was responsible! The very thing I did to try to keep them safe actually killed them! I'm pretty new to this hobby (since May) and this has hit hard. I am giving myself a vote of no confidence. Thanks for listening.
 

BornThisWayBettas

Member
Aw, I'm sorry. You meant well, it wasn't your fault. I'm very sorry for your losses, though.
 

Adam55

Member
I'm sorry to hear that, but I would not be so quick to blame yourself for the tetras dying. You may want to round out your stock with some more of what you already have.
 

aliray

Member
We all make mistakes. Unfortunately it is part of the learning process. Sorry you lost you fish.. It also could be just bad stock. I would wait a while and try it again but maybe get 4 then wait a couple of weeks and if they're okay than get 4 more. Alison
 

BigXor

Member
These
fit the Aquaclear 50 perfectly. They are what I use.
 
  • Thread Starter

Nanjo4

Member
Thanks, bigXor! Those look like they would really do the job, and the reviews say to rinse them often, so now I know.


 

lbonini1

Member
Some guidance for the future.

If your fish are healthy then the filter shouldn't suck them up.

Sorry for your loss, it could very well be bad stock because it is a little strange to me that they all died at the same time like that due to the filters not working properly.
 

BigXor

Member
It could be possible that there was an ammonia spike. The filter may not have had time to adjust to the new bioload before it failed.
 

alink

Member
The bioload increase of 8 cardinal tetras that are likely less than an inch long in a couple hours, would be so small, it wouldnt have much effect, if any on the ammonia level.

I am with @lboninI because even with the filter going out or not working right, they shouldnt have all died so suddenly.

I run through a few possible causes in my head like low O2, high pH, bullying, etc but none of them really are a valid cause in this situation. Possibly your hardness is too high for them, but just like the pH, the acclimation process should allow them to adapt to that just fine.

Sorry for your loss, but don't think it was your fault entirely. Nobody will never know what would have happened if you didn't do what you did, but I strongly suspect that had a very small impact, if any. Think about the people who have power outages for hours, or even a day or 2. A lot of times they don't lose any fish, or just one or 2 if they do. To lose all 8 of the new fish, sounds like they were bad stock, or heavily stressed. Maybe they had just arrived at the store that day and all the moving around between bags and tanks did them in.

EDIT: I did not see the part about the fish eating and swimming normally for a week. I thought they were in there for less than a day when all the fish died. My apologies to the OP and anyone else who felt offended by this post.

If the fish were eating and swimming normally for a week, then it is a very real possibility that the ammonia had spiked during that time and was a contributing factor in their death. I still find it suspicious that all 8 died at the same time and no other fish were effected.
 
  • Thread Starter

Nanjo4

Member
Thanks so much for your input. I was testing for ammonia spikes and didn't find one, but it could have sneaked in there I guess. What you're saying about how strange it was that they all died at once makes me think...maybe there were other factors other than the filter...maybe they were bad stock. This is an experience I will learn from. I now have 2battery powered air pumps that come on automatically. And I ordered the pre-filter sponge that was recommended. Thank you so much for taking the time to write.


 

superawesome

Member
Nanjo4, what type of acclimation method you used? When I started this hobby I was using the bag method. I then learned about the drip method and have been using it in lieu of the bag method. I recommend or should say, suggest you try the drip method next time if you're not already doing that. Cardinal tetras as well as neon tetras are sensitive fish compared to mollies, danios, swordtails. I think that could've been one reason for their deaths. Like you, I purchased about eight neon tetras when I started and in a few weeks, half of them died, no reason. I did all I could at the time to find diseases and found none. I started more frequent water changes, monitoring other fish behavior towards them, etc. In the end, only the strongest survived and still alive to this day. I agree with the other people that all eight of them died suddenly and the others didn't is a bit odd and leads to a bad batch or as I said they are too sensitive to quick changes. The drip method should minimize those issues.
 
  • Thread Starter

Nanjo4

Member
Thanks, Josel. I appreciate your comments. I have never used the drip method before. I don't know how yet, but after reading your post I have decided to learn. Do you need a 5 gallon bucket or would a 1 gallon be OK? I will have to research how to do this. Thanks again.


 

superawesome

Member
Nanjo4 said:
Thanks, Josel. I appreciate your comments. I have never used the drip method before. I don't know how yet, but after reading your post I have decided to learn. Do you need a 5 gallon bucket or would a 1 gallon be OK? I will have to research how to do this. Thanks again.
Well that depends on the fish size. But for small fish a 2 gallon or more bucket is fine. Just make sure is deep enough so the fish don't jump out and also you have good reach to net the fish gently.
The problem with the bag method is that you could introduce diseases to your tank. The drip method avoids that to 99%. Good luck with your fish.
 

FishDreamer

Member
Neons aren't very hardy and that's why they died first. I have an Aqueon Quiet Flow 20 and it works fine with a sponge to slow the flow. Once the water level was so low the filter stopped but the fish didn't die. Also, if you want to lower your pH, spring water works great! Most freshwater fish like their pH from 6-7.8. Mine went form 8.4 to 7.2(without any fish!!!). I'm really sorry to hear your fish loss! I've killed 19 fish just in my 20 gallon since June!! Anyway don't give up!! That's my motto. I've been broke had many fish deaths and water quality problems, and I've even had to empty it twice, but I haven't given up. I've been down the road you were just on. If you want to, I suggest you do a water change and in a couple days, go and get a few Harlequins. They're great schooling fish and it's the only fish that hasn't died within 2 weeks! They can also go with many different freshwater fish. I have 6 of them with 3 male guppies and they're amazing fish!! I hope you decide to continue the hobby!!
 
  • Thread Starter

Nanjo4

Member
Thanks, FishDreamer, for your reply. I'm not giving up, that's for sure. I like the look of the harlequin rasboras so I will try them next! What a good suggestion.


 

Redshark1

Member
If it's any consolation, you will always make mistakes, everyone does.

I have been keeping fish for over 40 years and I still make mistakes, though thankfully fewer than when I started.

The worst thing is, though, I will start to make more and more mistakes again when I've been keeping fish for 80 years.
 
  • Thread Starter

Nanjo4

Member
Thank you for sharing, redshark1! I've been keeping fish for 6 months so I guess I need to realize there will be mistakes made. 40 years! Wow! And when you've been in the hobby for 80 years, write a book!


 

bizaliz3

Member
Nanjo4 said:
I like the look of the harlequin rasboras so I will try them next! What a good suggestion.
I definitely suggest that too! The harlequin rasboras are beautiful fish. Especially when they get full grown and have all their color. And they are super hearty. I cycled my first tank using rasboras...that was 4 years ago and they are still alive and healthy today! They are always my first choice for schooling fish!
 

lbonini1

Member
Just to confirm. After your fish had been removed, you have been feeding your cycle with pure Ammonia right?

If not, then you may need to start from scratch.
 
  • Thread Starter

Nanjo4

Member
After the cardinals died, I still have 1 platy, 1 swordtail, and 4 danios. So that's good, right? So far I have no ammonia, no nitrite, and 20 nitrate.


 

lbonini1

Member
Nanjo4 said:
After the cardinals died, I still have 1 platy, 1 swordtail, and 4 danios. So that's good, right? So far I have no ammonia, no nitrite, and 20 nitrate.
Oh! I was under the impression that ALL your fish had died. Yeah you're fine.
 

Redshark1

Member
Its important to have a steady maintenance regime. Find something that works and keep up with it. That's how I have 22 year old Clown Loaches, not because I have special equipment. I still have the undergravel system I started with in 1989.

I rinse my internal filter media weekly in the old aquarium water when I do the water change (I don't have any disposable media). Its better than waiting until it blocks up and stops the flow.
 

shadowfish

Member
Redshark1 said:
Its important to have a steady maintenance regime. Find something that works and keep up with it. That's how I have 22 year old Clown Loaches, not because I have special equipment.
could you define "something"?
 
  • Thread Starter

Nanjo4

Member
Thanks, Redshark 1, I agree completely. My lesson from this experience is that I didn't know that piece of nylon stocking on the intake would clog and stop the flow. As soon as I took it off the flow returned to normal. Then I lost one of the danios because he got sucked into the intake tube. So I put on a "pre-filter sponge" and am watching it like a hawk to make sure the flow doesn't diminish. I know it will get gunked up and I will clean it and the filter regularly. Thanks for your advice!


 

Blk69

Member
Losing fish happens to all of us. Even the little old guy who has been keeping fish for over 100 years with state of the art equipment. It part of the hobby.

Suggest you use this as a learning experience and thank you for sharing with everyone. As a side note, see you have not been in the hobby too long. Have you gotten the itch yet for a larger tank or multiple tanks. That is the real scary part of the hobby...lol.
 
  • Thread Starter

Nanjo4

Member
Thanks for your post! And yes I have! I'm planning on upgrading to a 40 soon. And it's good to remember that losing fish occasionally sort of goes with the territory. Part of my aquarium education I guess.


 

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