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Can a full water change cause sudden death of fish?


bagh

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Today, everything was fine in my 120 Gallon tank, until I changed the water 90%. After a few hours, Avery died. He was perfectly fine for a month in my home! I have no clue how this happened. Sudden as a bolt from the blue!

 

Test Results for the Following:
* Ammonia Level(Tank): 0
* Nitrite Level(Tank): 0
* Nitrate level(Tank): 0
* Ammonia Level(Tap):0
* Nitrite Level(Tap): 0
* Nitrate level(Tap): 0
* Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines): 7.3, Chlorine not sure. No test kit.
* Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines): 7.5. At least I do not smell any chlorine, you know. This tap water, as the city's plant claims, is taken from river water and purified. Not sure if they chlorine (and/or dechlorinate.)
Other Required Info:
* Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? Prodac drops test.
* Water temperature? 27C
* Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 120. Cleaned up, disinfected and restarted a month ago, after an ich epizootic.
* What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? RS Electricals, 1100 litres per hour.
* How often do you change the water and how much? 80-90% every week. (for now, as the bio setup hasn't established yet)



* How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? Today afternoon, 90%
* How many fish in the tank and their size? 7 small fishes.
* What kind of water additives or conditioners? None.
* What do you feed your fish and how often? Twice-Thrice 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. Acriflavin and salt for ich, a month ago. Duration: 1 week in gradually reducing doses. He fully recovered.
* Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? No.
* Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? No. Just sudden death in an hour!

Edited by bagho
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It sounds like poisoning of something in the water. I'm so sorry for your loss. :(

Definitely consider using some sort of additive like prime. :no::(

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I think it is crucial that you find out if there is chlorine and/or chloramines in your tap water and how it is purified.

 

I'm guessing that you matched the temperature of the new water to that of the water holding the fish?

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I think it is crucial that you find out if there is chlorine and/or chloramines in your tap water and how it is purified.

 

I'm guessing that you matched the temperature of the new water to that of the water holding the fish?

Yes, the temps are exactly the same.

 

I couldn't smell any chlorine, though, I think I'll need to buy a chlorine test kit. I add something similar to Prime, which contains EDTA and Sodium Thiosulphate. It's very costly though, so I add less than the required dose.

 

Is there a way to detect any toxins in the water?

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Thank you for your comforting words.

 

 

Is there a way to detect poison in the water?

Can you contact your local water treatment facility and ask them?

 

Thank you for the suggestion! I'll take help of a contact I have with the municipality. :)

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Sorry, Bagho.  I suspect that either there was something in the water that the one fish was sensitive to or that it was a coincidence (or some sort of physical injury that occurred during the water change - the fish banged against something while the water came in??). Any sort of serious poison would have affected more than one fish, but perhaps poor Avery was just vulnerable for some reason to something in the new water. 

 

Sudden deaths are hard, and it may not be possible to determine what happened :(

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Sorry for your loss Bagho.  :hug

Thank you for sharing the pain, hun.

 

Sorry, Bagho.  I suspect that either there was something in the water that the one fish was sensitive to or that it was a coincidence (or some sort of physical injury that occurred during the water change - the fish banged against something while the water came in??). Any sort of serious poison would have affected more than one fish, but perhaps poor Avery was just vulnerable for some reason to something in the new water. 

 

Sudden deaths are hard, and it may not be possible to determine what happened :(

Thank you for your support.

 

About the physical injury, I doubt it could have happened during water change because I always let the water flow in a trickle, so as to give the fishes time to adjust to the new chemical composition.

 

I think some infection remained within him from the pet store. He brought with him ich, but it was completely destroyed. Is it possible he brought some other latent infection?

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Unfortunately it is not unlikely that he had something else. You can't know for sure what it was (if anything) unless you have access to a microscope (that goes 400x and higher), which is also the only way to confirm the ich was completely eradicated. Most aquarium pests lie dormant until the fish is vulnerable. :scared

As for the tests, you can always try purchasing tests on your own.. But I do believe most countries are willing to send someone to test your water or have labs where you can mail in your water. It's usually not free, but it's worth the cost for peace of mind,

Edited by Chai
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Sorry for your loss. RIP Avery.

Bagho, I just wanted to add my condolences. It is so hard to lose a beloved pet.

 

Thank you very much for comforting me, Heidi, Mary! :heart

 

 

Unfortunately it is not unlikely that he had something else. You can't know for sure what it was (if anything) unless you have access to a microscope (that goes 400x and higher), which is also the only way to confirm the ich was completely eradicated. Most aquarium pests lie dormant until the fish is vulnerable. :scared

As for the tests, you can always try purchasing tests on your own.. But I do believe most countries are willing to send someone to test your water or have labs where you can mail in your water. It's usually not free, but it's worth the cost for peace of mind,

Thanks for the reply, Chai! :) That's swell an information that we can see and confirm ich and other parasites! I have a light microscope from my college days, which goes upto 900X. How do I see the ich in a living fish? Taking his blood or fin scrape or something?

 

You are right on the tests. I guess I can have it tested in a lab for toxins. Thanks again!

 

EDIT: By the way, in Indian language, Chai means 'tea!' :D

Edited by bagho
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Yup, I love Chai! :teehee

Recently found some pumpkin and spice chai... Sounds intriguing.

The best way would be to take scrapes or swabs from multiple locations. Inside the mouth, lateral line, around the pectoral fins, inside the gills, etc. It would take some effort to find the different nasties, but I think I have a link saved of what magnification is best for each one.

Very lucky to have a scope on hand, I'd love to have access to one as I please. :D I have to hope my lab class is using them that day and sneak in some mounts with permission from my professor.

Here's the link, includes types of mounts that work best for the sample as well.

http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/exotic_and_laboratory_animals/fish/parasitic_diseases_of_fish.html#v4630710

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa041

Edited by Chai
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Could be one of the following:

 

Ammonia Spike:

-An ammonia spike from your declorinator reacting with the chlorine- releasing NH3 in to your water.  

http://www.seachem.com/Products/product_pages/Prime.html 

 

Not enough dechlorinator:

This source states that sodium thiosulphate should be double dosed for water sources that contain chloramine.  Not clear if your water supply has this in it or not- but safe to say that it probably does as that is the trend with municipalities.  I definitely not use less than what the directions tell me.

http://www.skepticalaquarist.com/chlorine-chloramine

 

Sudden death after water changes also can result from PH drops and Nitrate drops (dropping Nitrate suddenly can kill fish).  But it does not sound like these were the culprit based on your tank parameters.

 

My novice advice is to use Seachem Prime for these really large water changes.  It takes care of the two C's in the water and locks up any NH3 released during the dechlorination process.

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Could be one of the following:

 

Ammonia Spike:

-An ammonia spike from your declorinator reacting with the chlorine- releasing NH3 in to your water.  

http://www.seachem.com/Products/product_pages/Prime.html 

 

Not enough dechlorinator:

This source states that sodium thiosulphate should be double dosed for water sources that contain chloramine.  Not clear if your water supply has this in it or not- but safe to say that it probably does as that is the trend with municipalities.  I definitely not use less than what the directions tell me.

http://www.skepticalaquarist.com/chlorine-chloramine

 

Sudden death after water changes also can result from PH drops and Nitrate drops (dropping Nitrate suddenly can kill fish).  But it does not sound like these were the culprit based on your tank parameters.

 

My novice advice is to use Seachem Prime for these really large water changes.  It takes care of the two C's in the water and locks up any NH3 released during the dechlorination process.

Thank you so much for the valuable advice! Yup, you are right. There could be these possibilities too. Maybe Avery was weak and he got affected by the things.

 

I'm afraid, Seachem Prime isn't available here, and people who sell it import it and pay a heavy import tax. So the price of Prime here is like liquid gold! I use Rid All Anti Chlorine, which claims to remove gaseous ammonia too. Would it work? It contains Sodium Thiosulphate and EDTA. You are right. I should use the required dose. And I'm off to find a Chlorine and Chloramine test kit.

 

Yup, I love Chai! :teehee

Recently found some pumpkin and spice chai... Sounds intriguing.

The best way would be to take scrapes or swabs from multiple locations. Inside the mouth, lateral line, around the pectoral fins, inside the gills, etc. It would take some effort to find the different nasties, but I think I have a link saved of what magnification is best for each one.

Very lucky to have a scope on hand, I'd love to have access to one as I please. :D I have to hope my lab class is using them that day and sneak in some mounts with permission from my professor.

Here's the link, includes types of mounts that work best for the sample as well.

http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/exotic_and_laboratory_animals/fish/parasitic_diseases_of_fish.html#v4630710

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa041

Really! :D Have you tried green tea with cardamom and honey/lots of sugar? It tastes amazing! By the way, how did you know tea translates to Chai in most Indian languages? :D

 

And thanks a bunch for the precious suggestions and link. I'll have to try that whenever a fish bottom sits. :) I feel so scared when I find one bottom sitting.

Edited by bagho
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I was feeling so down since morning. I feel better now. You people at Kokos are simply amazing to say the least! :heart Love you all!

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The probability that the water change had anything to do with the fish death is virtually nil.  Any toxin that would kill one fish would have some effect on the others.  Fish that have had previous serious illness can just die without the slightest warning.  That it happened after the water change was almost certainly coincidence.

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The probability that the water change had anything to do with the fish death is virtually nil.  Any toxin that would kill one fish would have some effect on the others.  Fish that have had previous serious illness can just die without the slightest warning.  That it happened after the water change was almost certainly coincidence.

Right, right. That takes away some weight off my shoulders! Thanks a bunch!

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That is the problem. The illness was so latent. He was jumping around, he ate, and the next hour, he died. This is the tragedy. I wish fish grimaced so we could know something was ailing them.

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