Sister's Fish - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 13 Old 05-08-2012, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Sister's Fish

My sister had 5 fish, and 3 died. We have no idea why they died. Any ideas?
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post #2 of 13 Old 05-08-2012, 05:47 PM
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You're too vague for anything to be found out. You'd have to list details, changes to environment (decorations (copper is like poison for fish, did you maybe drop pennies in the tank to look pretty?), new flooring, different cleaners for the tank), what kind of fish they even were in the first place, the type of tank they were in, the type of care they received and foods they were fed.

For all I know a giant sunbeam of fish killing magic hit them and they were fried dead on the spot.


Please provide more information so some help can be offered up
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post #3 of 13 Old 05-08-2012, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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There was one goldfish, an algae eater, and a small striped fish. They died after we cleaned their tank. We put them in a smaller bowl, and left for awhile. Later they were lying at the bottom. We only put a little bit of the old water in the smaller bowl. They were taken good care of, and fed well. The food they were given was TetraFin Goldfish flakes.
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post #4 of 13 Old 05-08-2012, 06:08 PM
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It is actually a big no-no to remove fish from the tank to clean it. It stresses them out to much. They probably died from shock.
I know lots of people do remove the fish to clean the tank, I did for years, but once you start losing fish that way, you learn not to do it.
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post #5 of 13 Old 05-08-2012, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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ok, my sister is wondering, how do you clean the tank with the fish in it?
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post #6 of 13 Old 05-08-2012, 08:25 PM
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Do you have well water or treated city water? If you are using city water, it has chlorine and/or chloramines in it. You have to buy some liquid ate the pet store than neutralizes this stuff. If you don't.....dead fish.
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post #7 of 13 Old 05-08-2012, 08:32 PM
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You can't remove all the water from the tank when you clean it. You take out 30% once a week and then add new water. If you take out too much water, it shocks their systems and they die.

You also need to dechlorinate the water before adding it into the tank. High levels of chlorine will kill fish.

What size tank is it?
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post #8 of 13 Old 05-08-2012, 08:46 PM
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It sounds as though you may have a compatibility issue at play in the species she is keeping - the striped fish could be anything from a danio to a tetra (ie neon, cardinal, glowlight) -- what color(s) was the striped fish? It also sounds like you are feeding all of the fish the same food - goldfish diet - while you actually have some small tropical fish.
Your reference to the "smaller bowl" would imply that they are normally kept in a larger bowl, rather than an actual tank - is that the case? Is the normal habitat filtered? What is the water volume of their normal habitat? How long has she had the fish?
There are a lot of possible factors at play here.
Goldfish are notoriously "dirty" fish - while they are commonly thought of as bowl fish, they are not - they are best kept in a well filtered habitat maintained by frequent partial water changes (30% or so on a weekly/bi-weekly basis). Honestly, very few of the common pet fish are "bowl" fish - a stagnant container of water is not going to remain healthy and supportive of good life. They, goldfish, also are "cold water" fish and do not make good tankmates for tropical fish who require higher water temperatures. While it is true that fish can survive in less than optimal keepings, the goal should be to have them all thrive by providing the best habitats you can (for comparison you might understand - a horse can survive if kept alone, in a stall and fed the absolute bare minimum of feed and water -- but to truly thrive the horse needs to be allowed turn-out, fed quality feed, offered good clean water and - best case scenario - provided appropriate companionship to fill their need for a "herd").
Knowing what species one is keeping is very important, as that is the only way to know what each fish's needs are - even withing the same grouping (ie tropical) there is a wide range of temperature, hardness, salinity, etc parameters that meet the needs of each species.
I would suggest finding a good LFS (Local Fish Store - this is not your local Walmart or big box pet shop - a good, local shop) where you are going to find staff that has years of experience and knowledge to share with you in identifying the remaining fish, educating you as to their needs and helping you to provide the best possible keeping for them and any other fish you might acquire.
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post #9 of 13 Old 05-09-2012, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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themacpack- they were in a big tank. The striped fish are grey and black. She has had the fish for about 3 months. Normal habitat is filtered.
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post #10 of 13 Old 05-09-2012, 10:40 AM
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If they are in a tank that is filtered and full set-up, there is no reason to remove the fish for maintenance. You simply use a siphon to remove the portion of the water to be replaced (best to use this vs. a scoop as you are able to get down into the substrate to remove any waste that has become trapped and "vacuum" the tank's bottom for a cleaner appearance). Be sure to unplug the heater and filter at this time (also, wait about 15-20 minutes after replacing the water before you plug the heater back in) - this is an excellent time to do your regular maintenance on the filter. Changing the entire water content interrupts the cycling of the tank, another reason use of PARTIAL water changes is the proper course of action.
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