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I had a horrible experience yesterday while doing a routine water change of my 6 month old 75 gallon tank....Within minutes (5-10 to be exact) I lost an entire tank of healthy adult cichlids and catfish (23 total fish).

Fish were healthy and thriving....Even had a few yellow lab fry that survived and were starting to mingle with the larger fish.....Only losses before yesterday were aggression related when i began stocking.

Here are the steps I took and what I have done every week since the tank was established and stocked...

I normally do a 30% water change once a week but missed last week so I decided to do a 50% change (which i've done previously w/ no problems)
1) I removed 50% of the water
2) Added a capful and a half of Prime
3) Began to refill tank directly from tap (city water)
4) Walked away for 2-3 minutes and came back to notice the water was a lot more milky cloudy than normal
I immediately stopped the refill and added another cap of prime
At this point I started to panic as the fish were obviously stressed and gasping, began darting around and jumping out of the water
Within 5 minutes every single fish turned pale and deceased falling to the bottom of the tank.
MASSACRE....EVERY SINGLE FISH DIED RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY EYES!!!!
Didn't know what to think at this point but started to notice the strong smell of chlorine....After checking with my neighbors they were experiencing the strong smell of chlorine from their taps also.

I plan on calling my local public works tomorrow to find out exactly, but there was obviously some kind of spike in chlorine levels at the time I did the water change.

Has anyone experienced a tragedy like this?....I will definitely be starting over but I'm not sure what my next steps should be.

Should I assume the beneficial bacteria on the decor and bio media has also been killed?

Can anyone recommend a filter or dechlorination method that can be added to my tap water so this cannot happen again?

Any advise on what to do next is greatly appreciated.
 

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Sounds like the water company added something to the water. I believe that they do this occasionally for some reason or other.
Changing from Prime won't help at all (it, and Safe are the best you can buy IMO). The only thing I can suggest (and it's something that I do) is run the water for a minute or so before a water change and see if you notice a strong smell of chlorine. If you think it smells different than usual, put off the w/c for a day or two.
Sorry that you lost so many fish.
 

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I am so sorry for your loss and the experience you went through.

I do agree with noddy's comments that the water company probably changed their dosage for whatever reason.

I do suggest that you buy a chlorine test kit so you can test your tap water PRIOR to a water change for the future. I would also test for ammonia in your tap water at this same time in case your local water company does use chloramine regularly or decides to change over during emergencies or in the future.

For now, just be sure any dead fish are removed and monitor your aquarium water parameters for a week or so to figure out IF the beneficial bacteria have been affected. Do not change out or clean any filter media at this time as it is possible that the BB will recover. DO NOT add any fish until you are sure the tank is ready for fish by monitoring the water parameters.
 

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Sorry to hear about this. Same thing happened to me once in my 180gal Discus tank. Once I noticed my fish gasping for air at the top I dumped a hand full of Safe (Prime in powder form). This might have been equivalent to like half gallon, maybe more, of Prime. Water companies will flush the pipes with a much higher concentration of chlorine after they've completed work in the area. My fish were ok after about a week.
 
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