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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I woke up this morning to a tank full of dead fish. I have no idea what happened. It is an established tank with all adult fish of different species. I am devastated, I don't know what went wrong. I did a water change yesterday just like normal and the only thing that I can think of is that there was something abnormal in the city water that killed them. I always use Stress Coat and yesterday was no different. The only fish that survived is the pleco. He is not very big but I was wondering if anyone has ever had a pleco go crazy and kill all of their fish? I don't know, I am just trying to fathom what could have happened. Does anyone have any ideas? By the way, the fish were an assortment of African cichlids. A peacock, a large male venustus, a dolphin, an ahli, and a couple mbuna. There was never any aggression shown other than normal cichlid stuff. I just can't figure out what would kill all of my fish except a pleco. Any ideas would be appreciated.
 

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What are the water properties? Plecos are typically cold water fish so if your heater stoopped working and water got too cold that could be a reason. No way your pleco killed those fish. I would bet on water conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The temps are fine, about 78 degrees, but I haven't tested the other stuff for the last couple weeks. I changed over to a canister filter about three weeks ago and when I tested then everything was fine. What kind of conditions could kill some of the toughest fish out there and leave the pleco alone?
 

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High nitrites. You switched to a canister filter did you continue to use your established filter as well? If you didn't you may have sent your tank into a mini cycle resulting in high ammonia and nitrites. This is my idea anyway, can you test the water right now and give us the numbers?
 

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yep, it's not the pleco's fault.

Test your water, I also suspect high ammonia or nitrites. This will need immediate water changes, or the pleco is doomed too.

Could also be an electrical failure - check your fittings and such to make sure no electricity is getting into your water
 

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Chunkanese said:
High nitrites. You switched to a canister filter did you continue to use your established filter as well? If you didn't you may have sent your tank into a mini cycle resulting in high ammonia and nitrites. This is my idea anyway, can you test the water right now and give us the numbers?
That'd be my guess too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well I tried to test the water but apparently the sheet that I compare the test sticks to got wet and is worthless now, so I need to get a new test kit. I did not continue to use my old filter so now that I think about it, I'll bet thats what it was. It seems odd though because that was several weeks ago that I changed. Why would they be good and the day I do a water change they die? My cousin thought it might be my heater that cracked and electrocuted them. I have the same heater that he has and it happened to him. If there was a current running through the water wouldn't it kill everything? And wouldn't I have gotten shocked when I reached in the water? Thanks for your replies everyone, hopefully I can figure this out. It still sucks though because I lost some really cool fish. It will suck to start over.
 

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Without the water testing, it'll be hard to say for sure. You could have had a situation where pH was low before the water change, and elevated after. Ammonia/nitrite are more toxic at higher pH. Get a good kit and run some tests to get a feel for where things are. It may not explain what happened, but you can set some baselines for going forward, and may help prevent a recurrence.

Was your heater cracked?

Hard to start over, but maybe just think about all the cool fish that you can get now.
 
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