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Thread: Mass Casualty In My Tank This Morning

  1. #16
    Registered Member Pet Detective's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mass Casualty In My Tank This Morning

    Second Hand Pat I think you may be right (I have read of people leaving canisters closed and not running for as little as two hours and the closed system kills the BB which can be toxic when turned on) and D'Bunk you too! (the ammonia spike as well, but it takes bacteria longer to process nitrite than ammonia, so it's more likely that nitrite would be the problem.)
    The day after Thanksgiving we left for a weeklong vacation in the Virgin Islands. I left the tank running as if fish were in it. When we returned Sunday, the aquarium was completely covered with an algae bloom as if the tank was cycling for the first time. Prior to relocating the new canister and doing the water change, the water was clean and fish were healthy. Do you think if the bacteria died during the two-three hour period while we moved the canister and set everything up, coupled with the low oxygen due to the aged water in the holding tank plus low-zero aeration would have caused a massive rise in nitrite which turned toxic? Please respond if this would all make sense, or not. I really need to know so that I don't do something like this again.
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  2. #17
    Administrator and MVP Dec.2015 Second Hand Pat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mass Casualty In My Tank This Morning

    Not sure Bernie, best to test when in doubt. You can add salt to assist the fish when nitrites are present. The salt prevents the fish from taking the nitrate internally. Look up brown blood disease.
    Pat
    Your discus are talking to you....are you listening


  3. #18
    Silver Member Iminit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mass Casualty In My Tank This Morning

    I don’t know about the die off in the canister. I shut mine off for every water change and have forgotten many times to turn it back on. As long as 12hr and never had a problem when turning it back on. Bacteria takes time to start dying off. I even left it for 2+ days once and only realized when the water started getting cloudy. That time I cleaned the filter before turning it back on. When turned back on all was fine. I’m with the distance was just too far and the flow drastically decreased. Or something in the new water going in.

  4. #19
    Registered Member Pet Detective's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mass Casualty In My Tank This Morning

    Quote Originally Posted by Second Hand Pat View Post
    Hi Bernie, did the canister sit idle for a while with no water running thru it and closed? I have read of people leaving canisters closed and not running for as little as two hours and the closed system kills the BB which can be toxic when turned on.
    Pat
    Just days after the catastrophe in my tank we left for a trip and didn't return until December 5th. Upon our return, my empty tank that only had the pleco in it,had an enormous algae bloom. This was a clear sign that the tank was lacking bacteria and needed to recycle. This supports your suggestion that during the switch over, which took two-three hours, the bacteria died. The low oxygen in the water from the aging tank only added to the problem since I removed the air bubbler and had no spray bar. The idea that a toxic reaction occurred in the canister from the depleted and stagnant water all makes sense. After I added bacteria to the tank, and some fish, everything cleared up and the tetras have been doing fine for about 4 weeks now. I am in the process of cycling a quarantine tank for new discus arrivals, hopefully in a few weeks. So, I am thankful for your input, it helped me eliminate all the other thoughts, especially when I came home from our trip to see the tank experiencing the algae bloom. I never thought for one minute that the bacteria would die in my canister and then cause so many problems. Thank you for helping me figure this out. I will post a new thread when I get the quarantine tank cycled and expect the newbies.
    Pet Detective

  5. #20
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    Default Re: Mass Casualty In My Tank This Morning

    As others have noted 7' is a long run. The filter should have specs on pump head volume at different heights. Did you feel the output flow to the tank? Can you tell the difference from before? You could hold a bucket where the water returns to the tank, time how long it takes to fill one gallon and get an estimate of the gph. Also did you test water params after the incident?

  6. #21
    Registered Member Pet Detective's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mass Casualty In My Tank This Morning

    Thanks Jim, I agree that the 7' is long, that is what lead me to replacing the Penn Plax Cascade filter, it was only pumping 265 GPH. The new marineland C530 pumps 530 GPH and is rated for a 180 gallon tank. My tank is 65 gallons. Since this all happened I have been running the tank with about 10 -15 tetras that I added about 3 1/2 weeks ago. I would like to restock it with Discus again, and I am currently cycling a 36 gallon quarantine tank for that. The main tank is doing well, with crystal clear water and healthy fish. I realize the set up I am using may not be what everyone is using, but I think by replacing the smaller PennPlax filter with the larger marineland would not cause a mass casualty again. The PennPlax was working fine at the same distance for the four months that I had the discus, I was just dissatisfied with food particles not filtering, and building up in the canister. I really think the catastrophe was triggered by the stagnant water in the aging tank that caused a toxic reaction in the canister filter that sat idle for about 3 hours. Then not having any aeration in the tank after the water change, the fish suffocated. I can't relocate the canister closer to the tank, so I will just need to monitor it very closely with frequent water changes and cleaning the canister regularly. I can also try the gph test you suggested for peace of mind. I can't remember what the water readings were when it happened, I may have put that on the post when I first started this thread.
    Pet Detective

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    Default Re: Mass Casualty In My Tank This Morning

    There have been numerous published studies performed, that prove BB do not die in a matter of hours. In fact, they can survive for several years under those conditions. As Iminit has stated, I have also turned off my filter several times while doing water changes, and subsequently forgotten to turn it back on. Hours later, when I remembered, I turned the filter back on with no ill effect. Also, several weeks ago, we had a power outage in the middle of the night, It only lasted an hour, but when It came back on, My Eheim 2215 failed to restart. I found it the next morning (at least 5 hours later) and was able to restart it. Again with no ill effect.

    I know this isn't helpful, but I believe something else is to blame. I would suspect the tubing, the rock, or the artificial wood.

    Robert

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