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Can anyone help me make sense of this?

I had two killie fish and then I transferred them to a glass flower vase. The next morning both fish had died. When the water was tested it was very high in ammonia, nitrate, and nitrites. The petshop guy said the pH was a little low and kept insisting that there must have been windex or something in the vase and thats what killed the fish. I rinsed the vase out thoroughly with clean tap water. Additionally I hadn't changed the water that the fish were in at all from the petshop's water - I took water from their tank and that is what the fish were living in. The only thing that changed was I transferred the fish from the plastic bag (that I had them overnight in) to the rinsed vase.

I don't understand how the readings could be so skewed. The fish were in the bag of water that was used to test for about 30 minutes (they were freshly dead - I saw the male stop breathing just before I put him and the female in the bag to take to the pet store).

Doesn't windex have ammonia in it? Wouldn't ammonia raise the pH instead of lower it since it is a weak base? Do you think the petshop is to blame or me?
 

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Without assigning blame, a flower vase, tall relative to volume and with a small surface area, is not a good place to keep fish. Gas exchange takes place at the surface. Oxygen comes in, bad stuff goes out.

Most killie tanks are shallow with a large surface area.

And, Windex contains ammonia.

I hope you try again, but with a different shaped aquarium and no Windex.

Good luck!

Bill
 

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Yea the vase wasn't the best place for them, it was supposed to be a temporary home (2-3 days) until I could get my tanks from home.

Also just want to clarify - I didn't put windex in it, I borrowed the vase from by girlfriend who didn't know what had been in it before so I washed it out very well.

I was worried about the fish jumping out since the killies I've had before are practically look for a crack to jump out. I had a plastic lid on the tank with a small gap on the side to allow gas exchange. There were also quite a few plants in the tank so that should have helped a bit with the O2 I think - unless it was too dark for the plants to be producing O2...
 

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There were also quite a few plants in the tank so that should have helped a bit with the O2 I think - unless it was too dark for the plants to be producing O2...
Sorry to hear of your loss Zapins, but that may be your answer. :( And yes, if ammonia (NH3) were present, your pH would go up, not down.
 
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