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Old 11-01-2011, 03:13 AM   #1
Dee03
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Water change = dead fish?


Hello out there,

i am deeply saddened to state that i had a fairly large fish loss after doing my second water change last night. I thought i did everything right but boy was i wrong. A few days ago a bought a big garbage pail and filled it with 10 gallons of RO/DI water and i added salt and heater. The water sat for a couple days and just yesterday i began cleaning the grey waste that was accumulating on the sand.

Prior to this water change i had purchased a valentini puffer fish, a striped damsel, a starfish, a coral banded shrimp, a few snails and a former green chromis i had used to initially cycle my tank.

My water change was peaceful and the fish didn't seem to mind. They even ate afterwards. The next morning my puffer, damsel and shrimp were dead yet my starfish and chromis were doing just fine. what happened!??! i immediately started checking my water paremters (nitrate, nitrite, pH, salinity, ammonia - and everything was perfect....)

Anyone have any ideas or precautions for next time?
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:26 AM   #2
Parker2520
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I can't say exactly why this happened but a powerhead needs to be in that trash can if your going to let mixed salt water sit in it for any period of time or else the water will spoil
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:29 AM   #3
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This may be a little difficult to pinpoint. You state the parameters were 'perfect' when you checked AFTER adding the water. Assuming this means all levels are within agreed acceptable ranges, were you able to test the params prior to the water change for comparison? Even though the end result parameters might be OK, if some were marginally different than your pre-water change readings this could account for the problem. Sudden swings in salinity and pH can be a shock to fish.

Also, what brand of pail did you buy? The only other thing I can think of is that perhaps some chemical used in the making of the pail leeched into the water. Can't say for sure, but if others have used the same type of pail without issue then at least you can rule this out.
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:40 PM   #4
Dee03
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Yeah i have no idea what happened... Perhaps the lack of a powerhead did spoil the water... Today my chromis died as well, yet the starfish is busy crawling all over along with the snails... I just figured that the snail+starfish were the most sensitive, so if they are still alive that boggles my mind as to why they are still alive. In terms of the pail i used, it was a white garbage bin from walmart - rubbermaid i believe. The salt i use is instantocean. I do not know what to do now because my tank is fairly empty but i would like to wait before adding more fish to this potential toxic environment. The chromis died an interesting death it seems.. He was hard to the touch and his mouth was open in the shape of an O? Does that mean anything?. The temperature has dropped to 76 but has not climbed back up yet.
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:57 PM   #5
sha_ggy13
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Not having a powerhead in there would not of allowed the salt to dissolve properly. That could have been the issue. Another thing is a white trash rubbermaid tub might not be food grade and could potentially leach nasty chemicals into the water. I would replace with a brute trash can or something else that is made out of a food grade material.

Sorry for your losses. Why is the temperature swing that great in the tank? Or to rephrase, why has it dropped to 76?

Oh, and welcome to TRT!

Last edited by sha_ggy13; 11-01-2011 at 02:04 PM.. Reason: added welcome.
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Old 11-01-2011, 02:20 PM   #6
Dee03
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I am not too sure why the temperature is dropping actually... It was fairly stable upon adding the new water. Also, i have to still top off my tank and i have some water sitting in the same pail but i dont think it is smart to use it agagain?
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Old 11-01-2011, 04:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee03 View Post
I am not too sure why the temperature is dropping actually... It was fairly stable upon adding the new water. Also, i have to still top off my tank and i have some water sitting in the same pail but i dont think it is smart to use it agagain?

Just to be clear are you topping off your tank with salt water? Or is this just plain Ro/DI water you've put in the pail? Some new to the hobby top off with salt water and end up raising their salinity too high.
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Old 11-01-2011, 05:00 PM   #8
Dee03
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Apologies for the horrible spelling, forums are hard to type on with your mobile phone lol
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:17 PM   #9
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So it has been a couple days since the disaster... the only survivors include my serpent sea star and a couple of snails.... so far i have kept the lights off (courtesy to my star who likes to hide), but he has been crawling all over the rocks and being extremely active. I was just wondering if anyone has any ideas as to when/if i should start restocking? Also, i just got a new skimmer that i need to set up so should i wait a few days after doing so?
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Old 11-12-2011, 06:34 AM   #10
jalexuk
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Hi, please post your parameters..
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