Mass fish death...

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mishykinz

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So, I did a 50% water change yesterday because I was vacuuming the sand in my tropical community. I do this every time I'm cleaning the sand, and figured this time would be no different. I went out of town last night and came back tonight. ALL of my fish, save one cory and the female betta, were dead. While the cory actually looks pretty good (good color and activity), the female betta is in bad shape; stress lines and clamped fins. She did eat for me tonight.

I can't get any test kits until tomorrow. What should I do until then? And what happened? I did another 10% water change and added Maracyn to the tank in the meantime.
 

redlessi

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Sorry about the loss of your fish. Why did you add maracyn to the tank?
 

click

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Sorry about the loss. Could you have forgotten the declorinator? I know it happend to me once, but I realized right away.
 

bubblefish

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How often do you do the 50% water change? Is your tap ph quite different from your tank's ph?
 
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Lucy

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I'm so sorry! That's terrible

Which tank was this?
How many and what kind of fish did you lose?

Knowing the parameters, as mentioned above would help figure things out.
 
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mishykinz

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I only do a big water change like that when I clean the sand, which is about once a month or so. I've never had such an adverse reaction to it, and usually I have kits and when I test the levels are normal. The guy at the fish store tested my regular tap water and said it was very hard, so prop a big difference from tank pH (which I keep at 7). I did add the water conditioner during the change. As for the maracyn, at first I didn't know what the heck had killed them so I tossed it in there for the remaining fish, then realized it was probably the water change.

The fish I lost were a black molly, an angelicus botia, 3 platys and 2 zebra danios.

And yeah, first thing tomorrow, I'm off to buy test kits. x_x No more putting it off.
 

bubblefish

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If you tap ph is quite different from your tank's ph, it could have caused ph shock with that big of a water change. Smaller water changes wouldn't have this effect. Sorry for your loss. It must have been awful to find your tank in this shape.
 
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mishykinz

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Yeah, definitely unpleasant. I know better for the future, but I'm really upset my fish had to suffer for my mistake.

What should I do for my tank now? Just wait til I test it before doing anything?
 

click

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Not sure if there is anything you can do until you know your exact water parameters. Can't solve a problem without knowing the cause.
 

Tigerfishy

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I'm sorry to hear this mishykinz. It must have been awful for you.
We can take a look at the parameters and start from there when you have them.
 
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mishykinz

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Alright, I did my tests earlier and everything was pretty normal. pH was 7, nitrites 0, nitrates 30-40. However, the ammonia was high; it was .5...could that have come from the dead fish being in there so long? I can't imagine it being that high after doing the huge water change. Anyway, I did another 10% water change. What else should I do?
 
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