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New filter, dead fish


sara10

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Yesterday I got a new canister filter in my 200L. Before I had 3 internal filters, but I wanted to switch them into a big canister filter, so I got a am top 3338. The three internal filters have been running for several years, so I left two of them in the tank. The third one I used to kickstart the canister filter, I took out the filter media and put it inside the new filter. And I thought that would be fine since I had the two other ones.

Apparently not.. I woke up to my 5 goldfish gulping air in the surface. One of them died a few minutes later, and another one is struggling. I did a big water change and got a air stone in addition to the two internal filters and the canister filter.

 

So I guess I messed up the cycle and had nitrite or ammonia poisoning. I'm going to do daily water changes for a few weeks. What else can I do to make the situation better?

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Hi, I'm sorry that this happened to you.  If you left your original filters into the tank, it shouldn't have caused a swing in the cycle big enough to hurt the fish overnight.  Did you rinse all of the canister components before using it?

Can you go ahead and give us all of your water parameters, including kH/gH/pH for both the tank, and your tap water?  Also, I have a checklist link in my signature, if you could fill that out thoroughly,  it could go a long way in helping us figure out what happened. 

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Thank you.

 

No. I didn't rinse anything. I took the filter media from the old filter, so I thought it wasn't necessary to rinse that. And I never rinsed sponges before using them before.. So maybe that's the reason why the fish died :(

 

 

  • Test Results for the Following:
    • * Ammonia Level(Tank)
    • * Nitrite Level(Tank) >0,3
    • * Nitrate level(Tank) 15
    • * Ammonia Level(Tap)
    • * Nitrite Level(Tap) 0
    • * Nitrate level(Tap)
    • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 7,2
    • * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)
    • Other Required Info:
      • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? Tetra/JBL drops
      • * Water temperature? 24c
      • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 200L. Been running for several years. Except the new filter
      • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? am top 2000f, eheim biopower 240, atop 3338
      • * How often do you change the water and how much? twice a week. 50-80%
  • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? Yesterday. 50%
  • * How many fish in the tank and their size? 5 (yesterday). The biggest is the size of my hand 
  • * What kind of water additives or conditioners? No. I live in Norway so thats not necessary.
  • * What do you feed your fish and how often? Hikari, NSL, blood worms, earth worm pellets, JBL novetab, JBL plecotab, gel food ++ 2-3 times a day
  • * Any new fish added to the tank? No
  • * Any medications added to the tank? No
  • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment.
  • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Bloody streaks today, after the poisoning.
  • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? Gulping air. One go them is a bit floaty. The others seems ok
Edited by sara10
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That tank is quite overstocked but I don't see any ammonia numbers listed... ????

I wouldn't consider it overstocked... now with 4 fish in 52 gallons of water, that is fine to me. She does twice weekly water changes as well.

 

Sara, would you be able to get the tap levels for us as well, please? And I am so sorry for your loss :hug

 

Would you be able to get a video of their behavior and some pictures of the fish?

Edited by Mikey
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Mikey, 5 fish in 200L is overstocked.  I know you're trying to "get me" and look smart but the problem occured when the tank was heavily overstocked. 

Edited by DieselPlower
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Mikey, 5 fish in 200L is overstocked. I know you're trying to "get me" and look smart but the problem occured when the tank was heavily overstocked.

im not trying to get you jay... 5 fish in a 55 is doable just lots of maintenance and it looks like Sara is keeping up with it. I don't see how being overstocked would randomly cause fish to gulp and one pass away overnight unless something was put in the tap water source affecting the water that was put in the tank or something that is in the filter.
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Thanks you guys :)

 

Unfortunately I noticed that most of my tests went out of date a while ago, so I can't get the ammonia level and the tap level until monday. Also, the water parameters has been fine for many years, so I haven't really needed the tests either.

 

And the tank might be a bit overstocked, but as Mickey says, I have done a lot of maintenance every week. I do big water changes every week and the filtration was plenty. That's also the reason why I decided to get the new filter, as it in theory should be good for a 600L tank.

 

Actually, the problem occurred when I got the new canister filter. Overnight. It has been as heavily stocked since october or so.

 

 

Yesterday I did two big water changes and the fish seems fine now. They are swimming around like nothing happened. Thankfully I only lost one, but of course it had to be my favorite blue oranda..:(  If they start acting weird again I will put up a video. But for now I think I'm just gonna keep up with daily water changes for a while and keep an eye on the parameters when I get the tests.

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I'm glad the others are feeling better :hug I'm sorry your favorite one passed :bighug if it were me, I would not get anymore and keep it at four. That's just me though.

Definitely get a new test kit. Would you be able to post the new levels please? I am still curious to see them. Expired chemicals are no good and give you very false readings.

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Just a guess, but did you rinse the new filter components and media very, very well? There may have been a lubricant or substance on a component of the filter that contaminated the water. It sounds a bit like acute poisoning to my amateur ears.

I'm so sorry for your loss and hope one of our helpful and competent moderators is along to assist you soon. In the meantime I'd definitrly recommend doing daily, extremely large water changes (think 95-100%) to keep the fish as healthy as possible while you await better advice. Fresh, appropriately treated water is the best thing for them.

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Nothing was rinsed as stated in post 3.

I would only do 50% daily until we know your tank and tap pH with fresh chemicals to see if there is a big difference in the levels or not.

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If you're buying a new drop test kit Monday, I urge you to also pick up kits to test the pH, the kH, and the gH.  These are important parameters also, and can help us see a more complete picture of what exactly is going on there.  

 

I suspect that since everyone was totally fine, until the morning after adding the unrinsed canister, that there may have been something in there that's bothering them.

 

Hang in there!

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I don't believe your problem was filtration.  The only thing that explains what happened is, as you have said, poisoning.  That is very much what would happen if you used chlorinated water for a large water change.  I'm not saying it was chlorine, just that something toxic somehow got into your tank.   

 

 

Would you explain your statement that you don't need a water conditioner because you live in Norway?  I know Norway has abundant, high quality water, and superior water treatment facilities, but do they not use chlorine or other disinfectants in drinking water?

Edited by shakaho
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just sharing a thought, since i had a problem when i first used canister filters. i stocked too much filter media in the trays and this prevented the canister from performing as it should. ie, the result had my tank being under-filtered. my fish became unwell for a short time.

 

but sudden death, gulping at the surface and all fish affected seems like it could have to do with toxicity as sharon and others have suggested.

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  • 1 month later...
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Just a quick update, as I forgot to give you guys one when this all went down (and thank you so much for the answers!! :) )

 

I still don't know what happened but the fish was fine the day after, and has been ever since. And both the tap water and the tank water was fine. So I guess it was some kind of poisoning caused by me not rinsing the filter media before using it. Thankfully 4 of 5 fish survived and they are still going strong :)

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