Common causes for death or illness of fish - Fish for the Planted Aquarium - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 10-14-2005, 05:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Common causes for death or illness of fish

This was brought up in the welcome forum, and it's a very important topic, so here it goes.

I've put together a list of things off the top of my head, in no particular order, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

1. Trying to alter the pH, hardness or some other natural elements of your tap water. While these things can be done, it usually leads to huge swings, which is very hard on your fish.

2. Not adjusting the temp of your water when doing a water change. It needs to be as close as possible to the water in the tank.

3. Not putting newly acquired fish in a quarantine tank. Even the highest quality fish can bring new diseases or ailments into your tank.

4. Not adding dechlorinator to the tank (if you have municipal water).

5. Sticking contaminated hands into the tank. This can include a broad variety of things on your hands; including hand lotion, soap, nicotine, or many other toxins.

6. Adding too big a fish load. Even though they are small when you purchase them, you have to look at the adult size before bringing them into your home.

7. Over cleaning a newly set up tank. Bacteria needs a chance to build up on all of the tank surfaces, so if you keep scrubbing it down, it's not going to happen.

8. Over feeding. Add only as much as your fish can eat in a 5 minute period. Additional food is just adding more of a load to your tank.

9. Putting incompatible fish together. The tiny glass cube we keep our fish in are only a fraction of the space they have in the wild, and if they have issues, there's no where to run.

10. Exposure to airborne toxins. If someone sprays insecticides, cleaning solutions, or anything toxic, it can enter your tank and kill the inhabitants in an instant.

The nitrogen cycle is a whole issue in itself, so here a link about that.
Understanding the nitrogen cycle

I hope that everyone else will contribute to this list, and help make all of our tanks as fish/plant friendly as we can.

Last edited by JanS; 10-14-2005 at 05:10 PM..
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Old 10-15-2005, 01:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Great post Jan !!

Where were you 30 years ago when I got my first aquarium and thought I was going to be dubbed the LFS Serial Killer !!!

André
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Old 10-15-2005, 04:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Not doing water changes once a week.....
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Old 10-15-2005, 08:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Here's another - Adding a ton of medication to your tank before addressing water quality.
A lot of fish ailments, notably ich can be remedied by taking care of the water in your tank. If your tank is dirty, all the goo and tablets in the world won't help anything.
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Old 10-15-2005, 10:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hsteve
...
A lot of fish ailments, notably ich can be remedied by taking care of the water in your tank. If your tank is dirty, all the goo and tablets in the world won't help anything.
Yes definitely. But even better is to take good care of the plants. I concentrate my energies on making sure the plants are healthy and growing well as well as making sure there are enough of them.

I've found that healthy plants = healthy fish. I don't even have any fish medications and haven't had a sick fish (outside of quarantine) in I don't know how long...
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Old 10-15-2005, 12:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Jan, that's a great list... The only thing I can think of at the moment is: Do not impulse buy, do research first before purchasing fish. Make sure you know the fish needs: Environment, feeding, compatibility etc..



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Old 10-20-2005, 10:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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But what is the best way to get your hands clean before putting them into your tank? I've always just tried to rinse them off really well and have avoided getting in there when I know something's been on them that's potentially harmful.
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Old 10-20-2005, 11:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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One more that is mainly an issue in planted tanks, CO2 overdose!

A lot of new folks adjust their CO2 by bubble rate since that is what someone (LFS, Aquarist on the other side of the country, etc) told them to do. They do this without paying much attention to the KH of their water and can easily "gas" their fish to death. I've seen this a couple of times locally!

It can also be an issue for those of us using CO2. New fish sometimes stay at the surface gasping for air after I acclimate them. It usually doesn't last very long but is another thing to keep an eye on when introducing new fish to a CO2 injected tank.
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Old 10-20-2005, 04:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laith
Yes definitely. But even better is to take good care of the plants. I concentrate my energies on making sure the plants are healthy and growing well as well as making sure there are enough of them.

I've found that healthy plants = healthy fish. I don't even have any fish medications and haven't had a sick fish (outside of quarantine) in I don't know how long...
Excellent response... I guess my point is that if you are conscienous about water changes, testing, etc, that you are probably maintaining your water (and the organisms that live in your aquarium) well. Aquatic plants AND animals do best when the water is maintained at a high level.
My main experience is with sealife, notably reef tanks. Most of the people I talk to in this aquatic genre complain and/or are ignorant of the fact that the pretty little pink spongy looking thing in their tank DOES NOT tolerate anything but the most optimum water conditions... I beleleive the same thing goes for planted tanks, reef tanks, or any tank for that matter. Quarantining procedures, testing, and monitoring probably would save the average aquarist a bunch of money on medications in the long term
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Old 03-05-2006, 01:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Great list!!! I might as well contribute to the list since I made a huge major mistake....

-Not using an quarantine tank. I was stupid...I lost all of my 10 angelfish just because of one hardy new angelfish that had hexamita...
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