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Had to move tank to new house - lost many tetras in process

Discussion in 'Fish' started by bsnyder921, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. bsnyder921

    bsnyder921 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Likes Received:
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    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Hi everyone,

    I just moved my 29 gallon aquarium from my old house to my new house over the weekend. Since it was only a 29 gallon (110 liter) it wasn't a major deal. Plus I'd been neglecting my tank for the last month or so so I didn't have much in the way of plants to transport. Mostly just some ferns and anubias.

    My fish didn't do so well in the transition. I have three clown loaches (which I've almost killed by overdosing CO2 multiple times), and about a 14 or 15 cardinal tetras. I also have one small pleco and one otocinclus. Here was my method of transporting them:

    1. Drain most of the aquarium water out to make it easier to capture the fish in a net. Fill a 5-gal bucket about 3/4 of the way with aquarium water.
    2. Take heater out of aquarium and put in bucket (it's getting very cold here).
    3. Add fish as quickly and as carefully as possible to the bucket.
    4. Carefully add a few small pieces of driftwood with plants attached to the bucket to make the fish feel more "at home".
    5. Tear down rest of tank as quickly as possible.
    6. Transport... this took about 45 minutes. Once I got to the new location, I plugged their heater back in to make sure the temp of the water in the bucket never dropped.
    7. Setup new tank using about half of the old substrate but also adding a new bag of eco-complete as well.
    8. Fill tank with new water, adding Flourish Excel (I don't have my pressurized CO2 setup yet) and a declorinator.
    9. Setup filter in new tank (still the aquaclear -- I'll be receiving and setting up my Eheim Classic 2215 today so I can set that up tonight).
    10. Add fish to new tank once new tank temp has stabilized.

    Right off the bat two of the tetras died while they were still in the bucket. I have no idea why. They were in the exact same water that they were in in my old aquarium, and the temp never should've changed very much.

    Within the next 24 hours I tragically lost eight more tetras. Most of them just seemed to start drifting around the tank.. not swimming well.. then they'd get sucked up against the filter intake until I noticed them, and by that point they were dead or very nearly dead. The filter is the exact same filter that I've been using for the last year.

    My clown loaches seem fine, so far. The water started to look a little bit cloudy after 24 hours, so I did a 40% water change which helped a lot. There could've been a temp change between the temp of the bucket and the temp of the aquarium, but I don't see how that could've killed off almost all of my tetras. The water parameters of my new water might be different from the old, but remember that two of the tetras died in the bucket on the way over, and they were in the old water that they were used to.

    I also realize that ammonia could be a problem since I admittedly didn't do a very good job of bringing over a lot of old water from the aquarium and dumping it into the new setup to maintain healthy bacteria levels. However, most of the fish died within the first 12 hours or so of setup, and I don't see how ammonia could reach toxic levels that fast. Also, if ammonia was to blame, that doesn't explain the two that died during transport.

    I'm going to get a water test kit to test for ammonia, acidity, and hardness so I can compare the old water they were used to to my new water. Does anyone have any other ideas as to why I've lost nearly all of my cardinal tetras?

    Thanks!
    -Brian
     
  2. Garuf

    Garuf Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
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    360
    Location:
    Leeds, England.
    It reads like a bacterial bloom suffocating the fish but I do agree it seems strange and there's nothing in there that I'd do differently.

    Very strange indeed. I'd like some insight onto this myself as i've moved my tanks many a time well over the 45 minutes you've mentioned and never had a similar issue.
     
  3. bsnyder921

    bsnyder921 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    The four tetras that remained when I wrote the original post are doing fine. So I lost about a dozen - still not sure why. However, two days ago I bought a few test kits, one of them being for ammonia. The ammonia test showed the lowest level of ammonia on the card, just above the zero mark. So it did have some, but like I said - the lowest amount possible on the card before being absolute zero. I also realized that during the move, I must have bumped the temp setting on my heater, because it was down to about 72/74. I normally keep it at about 76/78. I readjusted it back up the normal temperature, but I know fish can be sensitive to temperature change, so maybe that had something to do with it. At the very least, I'm sure it didn't help during this already stressful transition.

    I'll check the ammonia levels again today and do a water change if necessary. I also just got my new Eheim filter setup, and that seems to be running well. The 2215 seems adequate for my tank, especially with the extra Korilia Nano for some added flow.

    I got a refill on my CO2 tank, but had a problem with my bubble counter leaking fluid. I'm sending it back to GLA for service or a replacement, so once I get that back I'll hook the CO2 up using a new in-line diffuser (also from GLA).
     
  4. Garuf

    Garuf Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Likes Received:
    360
    Location:
    Leeds, England.
    They're more sensitive to lack of oxygen which if you upped the temp at the same time as you had a bacterial bloom could well have been the cause since warm water holds a lot less gasses than warm.

    Those inline diffusers are brilliant but you do need to be careful they're very efficient so you need to take setting up nice and slow.
     

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