Odd Red-Tail Shark Deaths?!

tanksalot

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Hello everyone! I am new to FishLore today (yay) and I thought I would ask a question.

Before I start: I have a 38 gallon tank with an Angelfish (not aggressive AT ALL), an African Spotted Leaf Fish, four tetras. At the time of the death, I was using an algae liquid to help get rid of some of the algae.

So, I went to the store yesterday and bought two Red-Tail Sharks. I know, I know. People all over the internet strongly suggest to only get one because if you have more tan one, one of them will become dominant, but the employee who was helping me strongly suggested I get two. Anyway, I put them in the tank and they were fine for a couple of hours (I acclimated them and did everyone perfectly) but they both died during the night. I was able to return them (well actually the store gave me two new ones instead- and the new ones are doing fine) and I had my tank water tested and everything was perfect- no irregularities.

So..... does anyone happen to know what might have happened? Thanks so much guys!
 

alink

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Welcome to Fishlore!

Unfortunately, without pictures of the fish, any statement about what happened would be purely speculation.

Let me just say that a 38 gallon tank is too small for 1 red tail shark, let alone 2. People with 150 gallon tanks have had issues trying to keep 2 of these fish together. I have 1 in my 55 gallon and it is doing great! 55 gallon is the most commonly suggested minimum size for these fish, because they are 4 foot long and provide enough horizontal swimming space.
 
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tanksalot

tanksalot

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Okay. I suspected so. Thanks so much!
 
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tanksalot

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Hello! Thank you for replying. So, I had my water tested again, and it had different results. My pH was low. Soo..... I was going to try to water cycle and use a chemical. Does that sound okay?
 

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Can you provide actual numbers for the water test? Was it tested with strips or liquid test?
 
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tanksalot

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In strips, on the pH scale it was probably a 5. Besides that I do not have any numbers. Sorry.
 

BornThisWayBettas

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The test strips are inaccurate, I'm afraid. You'd be much better off getting your own API Freshwater Master Test Kit, it'll save a ton of money in the long run.

I'm not so much concerned about pH as I am about ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates, those readings would be very helpful.

What do you mean by "water cycle and add a chemical"?

Also, can you answer the question about the bodies of the dead sharks? Did they have any injuries?
 
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tanksalot

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Oh yeah I'm sorry about that question. The bodies had no injuries. And I have Prime which has always helped me regulate pH and ammonia and that kinda stuff. And thanks for the suggestion about the kit!!


Thanks, tanksalot.
 
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tanksalot

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The Sharks? As I had mentioned- they had no injuries.


Thanks, tanksalot.
 

alink

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If your pH was 5.0 that is a big concern. I would suggest getting a test for GH and KH. Also get a test on your tap water that has aged for 24 hours (with an airstone would be best). I agree with BornThisWayBettas that an API freshwater master test kit would be a great investment. It seems expensive up front, but gives you a LOT more tests per dollar when compared to strips.
 
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tanksalot

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Yeah... It has gotten better. I got it tested at the store and it might have been wrong but it is now getting more orange (the color it should be).


Thanks, tanksalot.

Water change by like cycle the water and using a chemical called Prime which has always helped me. Sorry about the confusion. :/


Thanks, tanksalot.
 
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tanksalot

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It probably is. I don't know- all of my fish are happy looking and have been eating normally and acting normally.


Thanks, tanksalot.
 

BornThisWayBettas

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tanksalot said:
Water change by like cycle the water and using a chemical called Prime which has always helped me. Sorry about the confusion. :/


Thanks, tanksalot. 
Are you aware of the nitrogen cycle? I'm sorry, but I'm still a bit confused by this. Are you saying you're going to do a water change by taking out some of the water and replacing it with Prime?
 
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tanksalot

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No- I'm sorry I'm confused as well. I truly think it will be fine. The employee I worked with might have misread it idk. She said it was a little low and it should be fine in a day or two with Prime.


Thanks, tanksalot.
 

BornThisWayBettas

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Haha, okay, let's get this straightened out lol!

1. Do you know about the nitrogen cycle?

2. How often are you removing some of the water from the tank and replacing it with water treated with Prime?

3. Can you get your exact water parameter readings?
 

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