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Unexplained Dead Fish!

Discussion in 'Help *General*' started by Thalatte, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Hello everyone! I know I haven't been on at all lately but I have an emergency! I just moved and set up Tai's cage today. This morning I put all the fish in and the water heater. Came home a few hours later and all the fish are dead or dying. Found the water heater had the glass casing break in half so the wire coils had been exposed. Do the aquarium heaters have any kind of poisonous element in them that would poison tai the water dragon or is it just possible electric shocks coupled with a heat shock that killed about 40-50 fish in a few hours? image.jpg image.jpg
    Of the dozen or so still alive most are on the bottom of the cage not swimming or getting any sort of elevation, some are swimming on their sides and can't right themselves, then a few are at the very very top of the water line.
    The plecostomas is in a cave and seems to be fine but can't say for sure.
    Oh here's the broken heater (I don't know the brand name just that it's very very old) image.jpg
     
  2. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    Ok, you need to change all that water right away. not sure how this holds in fresh water, but I know dissolved copper in a saltwater tank is toxic to everything, and I cant imagine it would be much better for freshwater. No idea on what specific kind of toxicity issues you might be facing, but I wouldn't chance it.
     
  3. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    Copper is still used in fresh water to control plants... I have NO idea why but it is bad for everything in the water. My guess is that when the heater tube broke it basically electrocuted everything in the tank. Some more hearty or physically stronger fish may not have died immediately but are suffering neurological issues from the electric blast. Electric currents run everything in a fish and they are more susceptible to currents in the water.

    That is my guess to what has happened. Some of the fish may recover, only time will tell at this point. I would start water changes to get the stress hormones out of the water and any metals that may have leached off the old heater coil.
     
  4. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I am going with the shock theory. Yes copper in high concentrations would be toxic but I can't see it dissolving THAT fast!
     
  5. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    I would have thought the shock would be minimal, unless there was a secondary pathway to ground in the tank. The short would only have been localized at the heater and very short lived I would think. It's only when we stick our hands in that the current has somewhere to go. I guess I could be wrong about the whole thing though. And your right about the copper probably not being the issue, but I still lean towards something being released from the heater as the issue more than the shock.
     
  6. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    I've been blown across the room from lights and a heater breaking on aquariums so It has to be enough to screw up fish.

    But I wouldn't rule out many other possibilities. If you still have some of the water I'd have it tested if you can.
     
  7. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    Of course you were blown across the room, you provided the path to ground by sticking your hand in. I've had heaters break or leak to the point of shorting out before and never had it effect the fish, which is what had me leaning away from the shock theory.
     
  8. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    It's never just one thing, shock of transport, condition of water, heater malfunction, and who knows what else could have gotten in there. I've seen tanks go south in less than 24 hours of set up and some that never had a hic-up.

    Hint, if you find yourself around older saltwater aquariums... ground that light hood.... trust me the fried watch on your wrist will be the least of your worries (after you wake up) :p
     

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