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BenA
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Over the weekend we bought new fish.

17 Celestial Pearl Danio (Galaxy Rasbora).

6 Indian Glass fish

3 Adolpho Corydoras

6 Agasizi Corydoras

To date all danios, Adolpho and X1 Agasizi are dead. The strange thing is that the Danios were in a tank that few minutes earlier had 15 Fork Tail Blue Eye fish that were moved to a larger tank with other fish, I didn't change the water and left all shrimps for company. The tank that the Fork tails were moved to is the one that the Corys were introduced to, this tank had 3 Adolpho that were moved into it 2 weeks earlier. The Glass fish are in another container and seems to be ok. All original fish and all shrimps are doing well, only the new comers died. Went today to the shop and all the remaining fish there are doing well (other than the Danios as I bought them all). 

I have tested the water and Ammonia and Nitrite are '0', PH '8' and Nitrate '50' KH and GH were not tested, regardless I have changed water.

Any ideas?

Thanks

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So sorry for your loss.  That's really frustrating with a big purchase like that. 

Without knowing more, I would agree with @Colu and @GameCzar.  The owner of a highly respected/beloved LFS in my area (has been featured in an AC tour video) calls sudden pH changes a "silent killer" and sends every new customer home with a drip acclimating cup and instructions to very slowly introduce fish and not to add the new fish to your tank until the pH is the same in your tank and the water your new fish are in. 

hope your survivors do ok. 

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Yeah so from a biological perspective fish use the pH of the water to adjust their sodium ion channels. When a fish is suddenly introduced to much higher pH than they are accustomed to as a response the membrane over the fish's gills thicken making it harder to breath and to regulate their sodium channels. Sodium is used in everything in a fish's life from osmotic pressure to synaptic firing of nerve cells. 

 

Sorry for your losses though! It is really not a great feeling losing your whole group😢

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On 9/3/2021 at 12:59 AM, Guppysnail said:

I have read a few things on old tank syndrome. I have not read much as I have not experienced this but it’s something you may wish to look into. Fish in tank are adapted to things that negatively impact new comers is the just of it. 

Thanks. Will do some reading. However, the tank that the Fork Tails were moved to and the Corys were introduced was set up only 2-3 weeks ago so all the 'old fish' are inside for not longer than 2-3 weeks, therefore I don't think that old tank syndrome is the reason. As for the other tank I have changed water one week earlier. 

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On 9/3/2021 at 4:46 PM, BenA said:

Floating them for 30min. The shop has the same water as me as they are only 5 miles away.

I generally skip the logic of if a store has the same water as me since I don't know their process of how they treat their water prior to adding it to the tank. I've known a few stores who use giant prefilters and DI canisters for their water prior to it coming out their fill line or into their systems. The only people I base this off of are club members who generally provide this information in their sales listings or putting fish up on meeting auctions. 

When it comes to fish I always try to drip acclimate, even if I know the source. Something might be going on that I overlooked or for sensitive species I just want to make sure I don't shock them more than what they already had gone through. 

My process is a little bit OCD, but I've never had drastic die offs after implementing it. 

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On 9/3/2021 at 6:14 PM, SWilson said:

So sorry for your loss.  That's really frustrating with a big purchase like that. 

Without knowing more, I would agree with @Colu and @GameCzar.  The owner of a highly respected/beloved LFS in my area (has been featured in an AC tour video) calls sudden pH changes a "silent killer" and sends every new customer home with a drip acclimating cup and instructions to very slowly introduce fish and not to add the new fish to your tank until the pH is the same in your tank and the water your new fish are in. 

hope your survivors do ok. 

 

On 9/3/2021 at 6:27 PM, Biotope Biologist said:

Yeah so from a biological perspective fish use the pH of the water to adjust their sodium ion channels. When a fish is suddenly introduced to much higher pH than they are accustomed to as a response the membrane over the fish's gills thicken making it harder to breath and to regulate their sodium channels. Sodium is used in everything in a fish's life from osmotic pressure to synaptic firing of nerve cells. 

 

Sorry for your losses though! It is really not a great feeling losing your whole group😢

First, thank you all for taking the time to reply.

Reading Aquarium Science ( 4. Water Parameters Index (aquariumscience.org )

There are many myths about the water in which aquarium fish live. Some of these myths are:

 

  • Rapid changes (in seconds) in water parameters (pH, hardness and/or temperature) can damage or kill freshwater fish.

And...

The water fish swim in is very important, obviously. But it is not nearly as important as people give it credit for. The chemistry of the water, the pH, the hardness and the salts contained in the water, are just not very important to the well-being of the fish. Most tap water between a pH of 6.5 and 8.5 is fine for all fish. Add conditioner if the water had chlorine in it and you’re good to go.

And...

The hobbyist should not “chase” pH with chemicals. It is not dangerous, contrary to popular myth. But chasing pH will just frustrate the hobbyist. The pH in an aquarium changes all the time quite unpredictably. A swing as large as 6.5 pH to 8.0 pH in ten hours is quite common in aquariums. Also the test kits for pH are simply not very accurate. Indeed the electronic meters for testing pH are sometimes more inaccurate that the test kits as they need careful storage and calibration.

And...

4.4.1. Aquarium pH is Not Important (aquariumscience.org)

 

From this guy articles it is clear that PH does not mean much but your answers somewhat contradict it. Also, the shop owner told me that all he does when he introduce new fish to his tanks is floating them for 15min. and then into the water. I usually float them and slowly mix the water in the bag with water from the tank.

So assuming that the website is incorrect then the question should be asked; Is a slow change (say over 40min.) of water in the fish bag is enough time for it to adjust to new water parameters? Also, per the shop, they don't do it and their fish are well and alive, also, on a separate thread (can't remember which) many said that all they do is "throwing the fish into the tank" and that this is what is done to the fish during their journey to us...and all/most of these fish are well and alive.

So who is right and who is wrong? Or, both are right and wrong at the same time? I know, many question marks and very confused. 

The shop tested my water and were happy with it and gave me a full credit, will have more fish in a week or two once I am sure that there is nothing funny happening to the water.

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The issue with comparing what a shop does vs. what you do at home can be summed up simply with 'volume.' If you have fish that are stressed, and say 25% of them are on the edge and will not handle quick transitions you'll notice it more with smaller volumes. When I had orders that came in, I went through different processes based on how long they had been in the bag, what species it was, and what I would do as a precautionary dose for meds. 

When and LFS get's say 1000 of say one species of tetras in, and they lose 250 (the 25% hypothetical I used above) that's a lot to pull but when you look at the tank they are in it still looks packed. Out of the 75% left some of them are still going to have issues due to shipping or the conditions they were kept in at the wholesaler. This is what I meant by volume. As a consumer, you're not buying by that volume generally. Unless the shop does something to pre QT fish prior to selling them (props to AC for that), or you're in there multiple times a week and keep track of what is new vs. how long it has been there you don't know what you're getting. I hate to say it, but some LFS's put fish out for sale as soon as they get in, or they might have just been put in the tank the night before. 

I always will tell people:

1) Ask the LFS how long something has been in, unless they do something like AC and QT prior to having fish for sale. By QT I don't mean just keeping fish in isolation and medicating them if necessary, but keeping them isolated in a low stress environment where they are pre medicated and have a good week or so of healthy meals where it's obvious they have put on weight since arriving to the store.

2) Drip acclimate something that is new. Unless you know the person you're dealing with (and I mean hobbyist not the LFS person) take the time to get things adjusted. 

3) QT yourself. Regardless of part 1 above, do your own QT. This allows you to control what's coming into your display tanks. When LFS's deal with thousands and thousands of lives, somethings accidently do get overlooked. This allows you to buy fish from almost anywhere and still be successful. In this QT process you don't have to have a med cocktail, but what Cory has labeled his '3 Step' meds isn't a bad thing to do. Not only that, in a QT (as long as it's a real QT and minimalistic) you can see each the fish a lot better without having to figure out if they are hiding in plants or where ever. If something not right, debug the problem there.

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I have never drip-acclimated a fish, but I usually float them a little while just for temperature adjustment.

The plop and drop method is based on the assumption that, after shipping, anything you drop the fish into will be healthier than the water that has been in that bag with the fish for 48 hours.

Bringing fish home from the LFS is different. It's not an emergency to get the fish out of the bag because they have been in there less than an hour. Still I have a hard time believing that the fish died from the shock of a different water condition, since it seems unlikely that your water is drastically different from the water they were in before. 

It is not clear from what I read on this thread whether there were symptoms before death or how long it took the fish to die after they were put in the new tank. It looks like it was 4 or 5 days between the time the fish were brought home from the LFS on the weekend and the time when the last fish died.

The apparent health of the remaining fish at the store tends to indicate a lack of disease, but, as Tihshho points out, dozens of fish from that tank may have died, we just don't know.

I like the aquariumscience.org site. The author has changed the way I approach filtration and I tend to consult his site when I need to know something. I think he is right about most things.

In this case, I don't know how we can ascertain why the fish died. They died after being introduced to a new tank, but post hoc ergo propter hoc is a famous fallacy.

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On 9/3/2021 at 11:31 PM, HH Morant said:

It is not clear from what I read on this thread whether there were symptoms before death or how long it took the fish to die after they were put in the new tank. It looks like it was 4 or 5 days between the time the fish were brought home from the LFS on the weekend and the time when the last fish died.

The fish were bought on Sunday, first to go was a Cory on Monday/Tuesday night (saw it in the morning) with another 2 missing, 15 Danios died during the same period while the remaining 2 Danios during Tuesday/Wednesday night. The shrimps have eaten them (the Danios) all.

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On 9/3/2021 at 11:47 PM, Tihshho said:

Did you not pull the bodies? If you didn't the ammonia from the dead bodies could have been a factor. I ask since you said the shrimp ate them all.

I found the Danios only at the afternoon when came back from work, by then not much was left. I sampled the water and all was good. All shrimps are fine so I don't think that ammonia was a factor.

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On 9/3/2021 at 2:44 PM, BenA said:

 

First, thank you all for taking the time to reply.

Reading Aquarium Science ( 4. Water Parameters Index (aquariumscience.org )

There are many myths about the water in which aquarium fish live. Some of these myths are:

 

  • Rapid changes (in seconds) in water parameters (pH, hardness and/or temperature) can damage or kill freshwater fish.

And...

The water fish swim in is very important, obviously. But it is not nearly as important as people give it credit for. The chemistry of the water, the pH, the hardness and the salts contained in the water, are just not very important to the well-being of the fish. Most tap water between a pH of 6.5 and 8.5 is fine for all fish. Add conditioner if the water had chlorine in it and you’re good to go.

And...

The hobbyist should not “chase” pH with chemicals. It is not dangerous, contrary to popular myth. But chasing pH will just frustrate the hobbyist. The pH in an aquarium changes all the time quite unpredictably. A swing as large as 6.5 pH to 8.0 pH in ten hours is quite common in aquariums. Also the test kits for pH are simply not very accurate. Indeed the electronic meters for testing pH are sometimes more inaccurate that the test kits as they need careful storage and calibration.

And...

4.4.1. Aquarium pH is Not Important (aquariumscience.org)

 

From this guy articles it is clear that PH does not mean much but your answers somewhat contradict it. Also, the shop owner told me that all he does when he introduce new fish to his tanks is floating them for 15min. and then into the water. I usually float them and slowly mix the water in the bag with water from the tank.

So assuming that the website is incorrect then the question should be asked; Is a slow change (say over 40min.) of water in the fish bag is enough time for it to adjust to new water parameters? Also, per the shop, they don't do it and their fish are well and alive, also, on a separate thread (can't remember which) many said that all they do is "throwing the fish into the tank" and that this is what is done to the fish during their journey to us...and all/most of these fish are well and alive.

So who is right and who is wrong? Or, both are right and wrong at the same time? I know, many question marks and very confused. 

The shop tested my water and were happy with it and gave me a full credit, will have more fish in a week or two once I am sure that there is nothing funny happening to the water.

So the short answer is, it depends. My statements were based off of scientific articles that have been peer reviewed. A swing in pH of about +- 0.5 is not enough to pose any long term harm as fish are quite adaptable and can contradict the change of ion flow across their gills in a matter of sometimes as little as 30 minutes. When you notice high mortality is with pH differentials of at least 1.0. It can shock the gills and make it harder to breathe and for ion exchange. 

 

I will not debate the merit of plop and drop vs drip acclimation as that seems to be contentious and there are just far too many variables to account for to make solid assumptions. I myself prefer drip acclimation.

 

My assumption as well as others was that your pH and your shops pH were different to a high degree. Here in Seattle water comes out of the tap at darn close to 7.0 so it's weird seeing other numbers. That assumption proved to be incorrect.

 

So really I'm at a loss there must be some other variable unaccounted for I don't see how a mass die off could happen without a contributing factor

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On 9/3/2021 at 10:39 PM, Biotope Biologist said:

A swing in pH of about +- 0.5 is not enough to pose any long term harm as fish are quite adaptable and can contradict the change of ion flow across their gills in a matter of sometimes as little as 30 minutes. When you notice high mortality is with pH differentials of at least 1.0. It can shock the gills and make it harder to breathe and for ion exchange. 

I'm trying to make sure I'm seeing the numbers right in my head. So, a fish could probably adapt to a change like pH 8.0 to 7.5, or 6.5 to 7.0. But they probably could not adapt to a change like 8.0 to 7.0, or 6.5 to 7.5. Is that accurate?  

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On 9/3/2021 at 9:00 PM, CalmedByFish said:

I'm trying to make sure I'm seeing the numbers right in my head. So, a fish could probably adapt to a change like pH 8.0 to 7.5, or 6.5 to 7.0. But they probably could not adapt to a change like 8.0 to 7.0, or 6.5 to 7.5. Is that accurate?  

That's another "depends" don't you just love science! 

 

So one of the studies I looked at actually held angelfish and discus at a constant 6.0pH and introduced them to extreme acute stress by putting them into water as low as 3.8. They were studying how fish adapted to blackwater actually adapt to life in acid pools. And they are actually able to inhibit their sodium uptake and excretion almost entirely to combat drastically low pH. 

 

I have a video in the works that I'm in the process of editing on how chemistry works and interacts with fish physiology since it's a niche that has not been occupied yet. Life has just been getting in the way lately.

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On 9/3/2021 at 11:09 PM, Biotope Biologist said:

 

I have a video in the works that I'm in the process of editing on how chemistry works and interacts with fish physiology since it's a niche that has not been occupied yet. Life has just been getting in the way lately.

Now I’m on pins and needles waiting for this!  No, really!  It’s true!  I’m that nerd!

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On 9/3/2021 at 11:09 PM, Biotope Biologist said:

That's another "depends" don't you just love science! 

 

So one of the studies I looked at actually held angelfish and discus at a constant 6.0pH and introduced them to extreme acute stress by putting them into water as low as 3.8. They were studying how fish adapted to blackwater actually adapt to life in acid pools. And they are actually able to inhibit their sodium uptake and excretion almost entirely to combat drastically low pH. 

 

I have a video in the works that I'm in the process of editing on how chemistry works and interacts with fish physiology since it's a niche that has not been occupied yet. Life has just been getting in the way lately.

I DO love science! 

That helps explain how my angelfish has continued to do well in my care. He's 4-5 years old, and I learned that nitrates exist less than 2 years ago. (No really, I do love science. I swear. 😂 )

What is this about fish living in acid pools? I've heard of bacteria living in acidic goop, but there are fish that can take a very low pH? 

I'm intrigued with fish living in unique conditions - particularly the endangered species isolated to only a cave or two. (Movile Cave is cool, but it needs a species of fish to be *really* cool.) 

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