Help Soap In Tank

oodelally

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I have a fish tank at work and I took some time off and when I got back the tank was “cleaned” by someone, and a bunch of fish died quickly afterwards. I brought everyone else home and put them in my QT. I tested the water and all readings are normal but there was a light film or something at the top of the water. I hope it was only soap and not one of cleaning supplies we have since no one will admit to doing it, but a bunch of people noticed right away it was messed with so I know it’s not just me being paranoid.

So what do I do? Do I have to take everything apart and rinse everything off really well? I have plants in there as well as driftwood and decorations.
 

Tinytail

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Oh no that’s so frustrating! I’ve had coworkers not fess up before but it’s only been stupid things like a broken mug.
If it was soap I’d be surprised there were survivors so I’m trying to think of what else it could have been.... I get foam at the top sometimes when I add medication like primafix that keeps the bubbles from popping as easily. But I doubt someone who doesn’t know about fish would use fish meds.... maybe something was sprayed near the tank? It always blows my mind what some people think is okay to use to “clean” a tank.... I hope the other fish make it! That definitely changes my mind about bringing a nanotank to my office.....
 
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oodelally

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Oh no that’s so frustrating! I’ve had coworkers not fess up before but it’s only been stupid things like a broken mug.
If it was soap I’d be surprised there were survivors so I’m trying to think of what else it could have been.... I get foam at the top sometimes when I add medication like primafix that keeps the bubbles from popping as easily. But I doubt someone who doesn’t know about fish would use fish meds.... maybe something was sprayed near the tank? It always blows my mind what some people think is okay to use to “clean” a tank.... I hope the other fish make it! That definitely changes my mind about bringing a nanotank to my office.....
Yeah I get questions all the time how often I change all the water and I have to explain I don’t.

Maybe it’s was very little soap, but it’s the kind oily look soap has but also very thin. It’s a covered so I don’t think it could have gotten anything in it accidentally.
 

Crimson_687

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Yeah I get questions all the time how often I change all the water and I have to explain I don’t.

Maybe it’s was very little soap, but it’s the kind oily look soap has but also very thin. It’s a covered so I don’t think it could have gotten anything in it accidentally.
Sounds like actual oil to me... like someone ate greasy food then put their hand in the tank
 
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oodelally

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Sounds like actual oil to me... like someone ate greasy food then put their hand in the tank
No I don’t think so... I guess you would have to see it. Since the decor have obviously been moved and cleaned I’m pretty sure it has to do something with that even if it’s not soap.
 

Crimson_687

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No I don’t think so... I guess you would have to see it. Since the decor have obviously been moved and cleaned I’m pretty sure it has to do something with that even if it’s not soap.
Do you know if the tank was drained? Maybe someone drained the tank, refilled it, causing a temp & parameter spike that killed most of your fish but still spared a few.

If whatever is in your tank spared some fish, it’s probably not a cleaning solution. Maybe someone used a sponge or wet wipe on your tank glass?

Im just going with maybes here, but I feel like the two most common cliches for tank cleaning is emptying tank and wiping glass
 

AquaticJ

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If you lack surface agitation especially, fish food can give an oily film on the surface. Soap residue from your hands can also do that.
 
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oodelally

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I just want to make it safe again. I know it’s hard because I don’t exactly know what happened. But if it is something that leeched in I don’t know what to do besides ditch the driftwood.
 

Tinytail

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Not to be morbid but maybe the oil was from the dead fish
You can try boiling anything that’s boilable. If it makes more bubbles it could be soap. Then you can soak it in water with activated charcoal for a week or so. Sometimes though it’s worth the peace of mind to just buy knew things. Depends on you.
I still can’t wrap my head around people.... why in the world would someone who doesn’t know about fish be possessed to clean a coworker’s tank when they’re away for a little while. I doubt you needed an intervention! But then again I guess lay people see algae as gross and dangerous ‍♀ Idk....
 
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oodelally

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Not to be morbid but maybe the oil was from the dead fish
You can try boiling anything that’s boilable. If it makes more bubbles it could be soap. Then you can soak it in water with activated charcoal for a week or so. Sometimes though it’s worth the peace of mind to just buy knew things. Depends on you.
I still can’t wrap my head around people.... why in the world would someone who doesn’t know about fish be possessed to clean a coworker’s tank when they’re away for a little while. I doubt you needed an intervention! But then again I guess lay people see algae as gross and dangerous ‍♀ Idk....
Thanks! I’ll try that.

We all think we know who did it, but there is no proof and they would never fess up to it. But they were one of the few people who would be there alone, and it’s also something they would do in a “well if she’s not going to clean it I will” way since it had algae on it, which was for the nerite snail I had just bought...
 

Crimson_687

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Scaleless?

Pygmy cories and chili rasboras and I’m pretty sure they have scales, but they are so small I wouldn’t be able to tell.
Catfish are scaleless, but rasbora do have scales as you said.

Scaleless fish are known to be more sensitive to certain contaminants, such as salts and metals, because they don’t have scales to protect their skin
 
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oodelally

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Catfish are scaleless, but rasbora do have scales as you said.

Scaleless fish are known to be more sensitive to certain contaminants, such as salts and metals, because they don’t have scales to protect their skin
AH. That makes sense, all but one of the cories died, and just two rasboras died.

I think it might not have been soap, but definitely something it was cleaned with. I did a very large water change yesterday and will probably do another Monday. I haven’t ditched the driftwood yet because it has Anubis on it but I will before I put the fish back in.

Do you think the substrate and filter cartridge need to be replaced too? I don’t want cycle all over again.
 
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