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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is just a long tale of a mishap I had yesterday.

I had to work yesterday 11am-7pm. Before I left the house I fed the fish and turned up the heater on the 55g. tank because I was going to turn on the window unit AC that is near the tank. This is a heater that came with the used tank and it's very hard to adjust. I think it's actully been off for a while (or set pretty low) because the water has been a little on the cooler side lately.

I only turned the knob of it until I saw the light blink on for a second. I figured that would be enough and when the AC started cooling it off the heater would kick on in there. Trouble was, I forgot to turn on the AC before I left the house.

When I got home from work I would have normally went straight to the fish and fed them but some of our "grown" kids were there visiting with their dad and started on me right away to bake shortcake for the strawberries they had brought with them. Which I did :x .

After I fed the people I went straight to the fish tanks and started feeding them. When I got to the 55g. and opened the lid I could feel the heat coming off the water. I checked the thermometer but didn't have my reading glasses on so the best I could tell it was in the 90's. I grabbed the gravel vac and trash can I use for cleaning the tank and began the sypon. At the same time I was filling one of the gallon containers I use for filling with cold water and adding it to the tank, stirring it in with my hand and arm.

I knew I shouldn't lower the temp of the water to quick but I could tell that one of the 2 little brichardi's was in destress so I was in a panick. I kept taking out water and adding cold & stirring it with my hand and arm to mix it in.

The little brichardi was behind the filter intake hiding and his fins looked a little nipped. I moved him with my hand and he swam into the covered bridge ornament where the other brichardi was. Then I noticed my prettiest cobalt and only female cobalt down by the big bubbler wand and could tell she was really bad off too. I nudged her but she didn't move. Some other fish started picking on her so I knew I had to get her out.

I put some tank water in a big bowl with just a tad of cooler water and put her in it down on the floor beside the tank adding a pinch of salt and grabbing a small airstone out of thank and plopping it in the bowl too. I was running around grabbing this and that pouring cold water into the tank plopping other things in a bowl looking like a chicken with it's head cut off running around.

My kids decided they'd better get the heck out of the way and out of the house so they thanked me, wished me luck, said they loved me and left.
:popcorn: Intermisson:

When I'd decided there was enough cool water in the tank to lower the temp a bit but not to much, I turned my attention to the cobalt in the bowl that was now laying on it's side. I remembered reading on the bottle of Start Right dechlorinator that it had eletrolytes in it so I put some of that in the bowl. Elecrolytes are good for kids that are dehydrated maybe the high temp. dehydrated this fish? Anyway I didn't think it could hurt. I remembered my mother doing a proceedure on my big gold fish when I was a kid and he looked like he was on his last leg, that brought him around, so I tried it. I took the fish lightly in my hand and moved it face forward through the water back and forth in a figure 8 pattern always keeping it facing forward. I had noticed that the fish felt a little stiff so when my arm got tired I stopped that and tried gently and ever so slightly bending his tail end a little first to the left and then to the right (I don't remembering my mother doing this but the fish felt like it needed limbered up :? ). I put another pinch of salt in the water (dissolved in my hand first) then went back to the figure 8 movement.

It WORKED ! The fish gave a tiny wiggle like it was trying to get out of my hand but was to weak to do so even though I was holding it very loosely(before there was no movement at all except for the mouth and gills). I figured leave it alone a bit and watch.

I went back to the brichardi, picked up the ornament it was hiding in and saw it was going down hill fast so I got it out of the tank too and tried the same proceedure on it but it didn't work for him/her RIP :(

The cobalt went on it's side again and again I did the figure 8 movement with it until it could stay upright then I added some Melafix to the water for it's tatterd fins, a piece of pvc pipe for a cave, a few stones for comfort, and went to bed because I was exhausted and my back was killing me. I didn't know what to expect when I got up this morning. Really wouldn't have been surprised if the cobalt was dead but amazingly enough it's in the pvc pipe and alive.

I guess I was very lucky to have only lost one or maybe eventually 2 (still not positive about the cobalt). Some of the fish are holding and I wonder if it will effect the eggs :-? As far as I can tell, the rest of the fish in this tank are acting as if nothing happened....
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oh I forgot to add...as a lesson learned...don't adjust a heater, especially one that you're unsure of, if you aren't going to be home to watch it.
 

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The heater should be set to a temp, so you don't need to adjust it for ac. The heater should just run more. I wouldn't mess with that again...

Set your heaters and forget them. The water should take a very long time to cool down, but for some reason will heat up much quicker.

I'd also strongly recomend a stealth heater.
 

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Sounds like your thermostat stuck on the heater...If you just turned it until the light came on, that shouldn't have given you that big of a jump in temp.

I'm gonna start calling you "Dewdrop, the fish whisperer" if the Cobalt pulls through. :wink:

If the females didn't spit the eggs, the fry should be fine. If anything, the heat would speed up their growth process.
 

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Dewdrop said:
Elecrolytes are good for kids that are dehydrated maybe the high temp. dehydrated this fish? Anyway I didn't think it could hurt. I remembered my mother doing a proceedure on my big gold fish when I was a kid and he looked like he was on his last leg, that brought him around, so I tried it. I took the fish lightly in my hand and moved it face forward through the water back and forth in a figure 8 pattern always keeping it facing forward. I had noticed that the fish felt a little stiff so when my arm got tired I stopped that and tried gently and ever so slightly bending his tail end a little first to the left and then to the right (I don't remembering my mother doing this but the fish felt like it needed limbered up :? ). I put another pinch of salt in the water (dissolved in my hand first) then went back to the figure 8 movement.
you crack me up

i always enjoy your posts
 

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About 4 years ago I "boiled" some beautiful albino red top psuedos - my heater / thermostat malfunctioned and got the water to 95 degrees...worst feeling in the world.

Word to those of us who have heaters - instead of buying one big heater - buy two smaller heaters. If a smaller heater malfunctions it won't heat the tank as quickly nor as high, and you've always got redundancy if needed.

Glad you posted the information - I hope it helps someone in the future!
 

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slimbolen99 said:
Word to those of us who have heaters - instead of buying one big heater - buy two smaller heaters. If a smaller heater malfunctions it won't heat the tank as quickly nor as high, and you've always got redundancy if needed.
It's happened to many of us! I boiled a tank of blood parrots once. They survived, but I've never seen such a horrible case of ich in my life, so Dewdrop, watch out for that!

I replaced all my larger heaters with two smaller ones after this happened!

And TheeMon, Dewdrop's posts make my day! It's like a never ending saga...I can't wait to see what she does next! :lol:
 

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I had a similar, although not a boiling situation years ago. I did a water change and filled the tank a little higher than I would normally have. In fact it was filled to the top and when I put the lid on, there was no air space. OK.. sounds obvious now and incredibly dumb, but it simply did not occur to me that moment and so I left it. The next morning they were fine and I went to work. Unfortunately I had a to take call that night at the hospital and so did not return home until late the following day. I lost more than half my fish due to lack of oxygen. I will never make such a stupid mistake again and could not believe I did something so stupid in the first place...

In any case, my condolences for your loss.... At least you found it in time to save most of them.
 

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i boiled a tank too once, it went from 80 to 100+ in a half hour, killed a whole tank execpt 4 yellow labs. like 30fish dead
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Copasetic, I dunno if I'd call it the worst luck, I have a little good luck once in a while, but I sure do have my fair share of bad luck too.

The cobalt was transfered from the bowl to the tall waste basket I use for water changes to give her a little more room. I thought she was belly up yesterday because she looked very pale but when I bent over and put my hand in to touch her, she got away quick so she's still doing ok (I guess) except for her color. The first time I changed the bowl water, it looked liked a person that's had a sunburn and is pealing. I don't know if it was something that came out of the tank because the first water was some tank water or if she actually was sheading a layer of skin. She still looks blue but a much lighter shade. She hasn't eat yet. I put a piece of algea wafer in with her and she hasn't touched it.

I think I will ditch this heater. It isn't the first time it's over heated but before I was at home watching it because it's soooo hard to adjust. I agree with Kim, I didn't have to turn the knob very far at all for the light to blink on for a split second and that's where I stopped turning it at. As cool as the water was that shouldn't have heated it up that hot.

Thanks for the sympathy and for showing me I'm not the only one it's happened too, also for the info about heaters and the eggs.

Is there anything I can do to try to prevent an outbreak of ick? (that might happen as a result of this)
 

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Dewdrop, you just have to watch the tank carefully, and you might throw in some extra water changes, as well. When that happened with my blood parrots, they were covered in ich within 24 hours after the heater malfunction.

My daughter just had the same thing happen in her tank over the week, and she's now dealing with ich. (Again, blood parrots, so maybe they are more sensitive to higher temps???)
 

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I had a heater accident years ago. I have a heater that I have not seen for sale in a while, it has a separate temperature probe, and an outside digital readout w/ adjustment dial. I probably don't even need it, it never is on, and the water stays at about 80 degrees...
It works great if used properly.
Anyway, what happened was, my husband was moving some electrical plugs around and somehow must have turned the control dial way up... next day the water was 96 degrees in there... oh my did I have some boiled fish! I lost some beautiful German red peococks, all my cyprichromis, a C. azureus, and I can't remember what else. Now, I am very leery with heaters, luckily we live in a warm climate, so no danger of getting really cold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Extra water changes it will be. So far no signs of ich. The little brichardi that is left stays in the bridge ornament and only peeks out at feeding time and even then doesn't eat. I don't know if it misses the other one or if the temp effected it. I might put it in the 10g. fry tank so I can obseve it better. I'm keeping the water very clean on the cobalt and keeping Melafix in the water with it. Haven't noticed it eating yet either.

If those 2 don't eat soon I might try some Epsome salt. I assume bloat could be a side effect too since stress can cause bloat?
 

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under_control said:
The heater should be set to a temp, so you don't need to adjust it for ac. The heater should just run more. I wouldn't mess with that again...

Set your heaters and forget them. The water should take a very long time to cool down, but for some reason will heat up much quicker.

I'd also strongly recomend a stealth heater.
In my reason heat wave i discovered this same thing....I always keep my tank at 80 degrees and with the heat wave i have seen it get up to 86. The house cools down to 70 degrees at night and in the morning still 86. I think because with the lid heat gets trapped and has no choice but to stay in the tank and cant leave so it heats up and wont cool down. Sometimes during a heat wake i will open the lid and keep the lights off.

Also dew im glad to see u didnt lose to many fish!
 

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Every glass heater I've ever had eventually got water it in. Sometimes they malfunctioned and sometimes I just saw water inside them (droplets, fogged up glass, or pooled up water in the bottom). I switched to heaters with separate thermostats so that the element is just an element. This way the thermostat isn't exposed to the moisture and heat. I've had 3 of them for 5 years (so 15 thermostat-years if there is such thing as a thermostat-year :D ) and haven't had any problems since.
 
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