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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 150 gallon SA community tank with 5 Geophagus, 1 Uaru, 2 Turquoise Severums, and 4 Silver Dollars. My water is soft, slightly acidic, 0 nitrite, <20 nitrate.

I have had some strange deaths of my Geophagus in this tank. I had a large G. Surinamensis several years ago who suddenly went wild and rocketed around the tank and hitting the canopy. I witnessed 2 G. Jurupari die the same way. I heard some crashing tonight and my remaining Jurupari was bruised and floating upside down, but seems to be recovering.

What is going on? Could it be hole in the head disease, even though no pitting is evident?

I perform 40% water changes each week, usually on Saturdays.

I sometimes see the fish rubbing against the sand, but haven't seen any other problems.

My fish are fed on a diet of NLS and occasional feedings of frozen bloodworms.

Any suggestions?

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
My Jurupari didn't make it.

Also, is it normal to get a static shot when I touch the water. If not, could there be a stray voltage issue?

My fish seem jumpy and frequently dash to the surface to gulp air.
 

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I'm sorry for your loss =(

It's a good idea to inspect your heater- and anything else that has a cord in the water. It's not unheard of for static electricity to build up in the winter, but check your equipment for damage just in case. If you are not sure. release the static electricity once in the tank, then without moving your feet or brushing against anything, touch the water again. If there is no static, then it's not a malfunction.

I don't know much about the fish you are keeping, but when there's blunt force injuries, I suspect aggression from a tank mate. How big are the silver dollars?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have actually witnessed several times where individual fish have gone berzerk and have repeatedly crashed into the hood for no reason. The Geos are pretty big and I have never noticed any aggression with the Silver Dollars.

My Uaru was crashing about this morning, so I unplugged the heater as a precaution. I run 2 canisters and a HOB, so the heater is the only electrical component in the water. I am going to replace it.

My only other concern is that there is something in the water. I use Prime to dechlorinate and do 40% water changes every Saturday morning. We are having a bad winter in the Northeast, and I worry if road salts are finding there way into the watershed. I have also read that gas bubbles are a problem in cold weather.

One other thing, I replaced a Fluval G6 filter with an Eheim 2080 about 8 months ago and cleaned it for the first time on Saturday. I was expecting a lot of crud, but the media was pretty clean except for lots of white crud floating in the water inside the canister.
 

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Hi mambee,

This is strange. Geos do tend to be more skittish, and mine dose get scared of loud noises or someone approaching the tank quickly. I have seen mine frantically ram into things as well. However, doing so to the point of deaths is of concern; mine dose not even injure itself.

Good decision on checking the heater; seems like it could be a culprit. I would also continue to watch to see if it is aggression causing this, jumping into the hood is usually a sign of trying to get away from aggression.

Can you test your tap water before and after conditioner and share the readings?

Keep us updated if things settle down after replacing the heater.

I am sorry for the loss of your Geos and I hope your Uaru is ok.

Thanks,
Matt
 

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Flashing against the sand and being aggitated are sometimes nitrite poisoning when was the last time you tested your water?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I tested right after the water change, and there was 0 nitrite and nitrates under 20.
 

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this is tough, maybe they don't like a chemical that you are putting in the tank, are you adding salt? If so do half the normal amount next water change. Maybe it is temp as well I have seen fish freak out when they get too hot.
 

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Literally ten minutes ago I had a geophagus splash/crash incident. I heard it from upstairs, ran down, and watched the fish spasm and die in front of me.

Very odd. This was in a brand new tank of clean water that I had just set up for them because this morning the fish had been clamping (a new development).

The only thing keeping me from suspecting some sort of new toxin or additive in the water is that the discus she shared a tank with (until the move to the new 30 a few hours ago) are fine.

The other geos seem mildly unhappy but not unhealthy the way she was as of this morning. In 8 hours she went from fine to dead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I added one tablespoon of salt per gallon the other day. Everyone seems ok for now.

I lost a bunch of large and old Clown Loaches several years ago. They rocketed around the tank like they were on fire and then expired. This was right after a water change.

I don't add anything to the water except for Prime.
 

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Hi mambee,

When you do water changes to you unplug your heater and let it cool down first? I am not certain this is the problem.

Glad things seem ok for now.

Thanks,
Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Matt,

I unplug my heater before I start my water change. It takes a while for the water level to drop, but I will take that into consideration when my new heater arrives.

Mike
 

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Not sure what your heater was, but they did recall Marineland heaters. I don't know all the types but I'm sure you could look it up. They did not explain what the problem was in the recall, just to immediately unplug and remove the heater. Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'll check tonight. It was either a Stealth or a Visi-therm.

I'm using an old heater until the new one arrives. The fish seem much happier, so I think that there was a problem with the other heater.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I definitely had the heater which was recalled and I believe that it was the cause of my problems.
 

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Sounds like metal poisoning, in some ways.
Glad to hear the new heater seems to be helping.
 
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