Tragic situation turns bizarre....

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Tragic situation turns bizarre....

Post by football mom on Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:19 pm

OK, here's the story:
Saturday night my "Happy Tank" (labs, Rustys, juvie latifasciata and lithobates) with breeding BN's, the BN's always out and about, hence "the happy tank",
I noticed the fish looking lethargic and "breathing" heavy. I had put off usual water change due to the puppy invasion, so i immediately did a 50% WC, and fish looked better the next day, so I did another about 30%, and also did a 40% on the dem tank and the 90 gallon. Last night the "stressed" fish were looking better, so I went to bed. This morning I woke to a whole lot of dead fish, about half of my yellow labs, juvie Rustys and ALL the juvie lithobates I got from the Capt!! Couldn't have been the water change, the other tanks are fine. I did not forget the Prime.
So, I moved the fish out of my 29 gallon and placed the remaining fish: 4 Rusties, 4 labs, the male latifasciata in there. They seem fine, not beathing heavily at all. The BN's seem OK, too. So, I completely emptied the tank, all but the sand, took out filters, hoses, plants, rocks and they are in a washtub on the deck. The sand I took the garden hose to, and kept siphoning water till it looks pretty clear, but.......I found these little thin reddish WORMS in the substrate.. 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches long.... they look kind of like the baby earhworms you sometimes find in the garden.
What the H@LL are they, and where did they come from?
I took a picuture, I will try to post it later.
J

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Re: Tragic situation turns bizarre....

Post by iceblue on Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:43 pm

I am so sorry J. That is bizarre. I'm sure you read Chris's account of how he lost so many fish under much the same circumstance.

I'm off to look up common and not so common aquarium worms now. Question
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Re: Tragic situation turns bizarre....

Post by football mom on Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:13 pm

I certainly can sympathize with Chris now! I guess his loss was worse, since none of the fish I lost were rare or wild-caught fish. I had been up-grading my lab colony for a while, and had some nice ones I hated to lose.
I wish I had moved those fish yesterday, but they were looking better after the water change.
I don't think it was the new water I changed with, the other 55 and th 90 gallon I changed also are fine today.
I'm wondering what I should soak all the rocks and filter parts with? Salt?
Clout?

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Re: Tragic situation turns bizarre....

Post by cancichfan on Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:30 pm

That's terrible. I am sorry to hear you had such a bad time. I hope you can get good replacements but I know even if you do, it doesn't lessen the blow any.
As for the worms...I have no idea. I would think that even if you had picked up earthworm eggs from sand/rocks or whatever that they would have drowned.
Personally, I'd fill the tank with water and give it a big shot of bleach and let everything run for a while. Kill everything that could be in there and start again. Rinse it out and hit it was a double shot of Prime and start to cycle again.
I just don't know what else to tell you that would kill everything in there, especially since you don't know for sure what killed them in the first place. I doubt it was the worms but who knows.

I know that there are those who would fault me for being a bad fish-keeper but sometimes I don't get water changes done right as scheduled and I haven't had any major disasters yet. I don't know when you did the last one but I am guessing you keep your tanks pretty well maintained so I wouldn't think that being a bit late would cause this big a problem this fast. You are right, it seems bizarre.
Good luck and keep us posted. I feel for you.
Graham

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Re: Tragic situation turns bizarre....

Post by bulldogg7 on Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:08 pm

if they were segmented they may have been tubifex worms, but they're supposed to be harmless and fish eat them
sorry for your spout of bad luck

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Re: Tragic situation turns bizarre....

Post by football mom on Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:51 pm

No, they didn't look segmented, just thin and whip-like, sort of.
As it happened, I was thinking of taking this tank down pretty soon anyway.
I have 2 55's in the bedroom, and want to get new flooring in there as soon as the French doors get put in and that project gets finished.
So i think I won't put it back up for a while.
I have room for the fish somewhere else for now.

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Re: Tragic situation turns bizarre....

Post by Rift_Lakes_Rule on Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:35 pm

Bummer J, really sorry to hear that Sad

no clue on the worms, I've never found any in my tanks but now you've got me wondering.

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Re: Tragic situation turns bizarre....

Post by football mom on Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:37 pm

I doubt the fish deaths had anything to do with the worms living in the substrate, either, but when I saw them squirming around in the sludge, it really freaked me out!! lol

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Re: Tragic situation turns bizarre....

Post by bulldogg7 on Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:46 pm

where's that pic?

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Re: Tragic situation turns bizarre....

Post by football mom on Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:10 pm

Gonna load it now!!

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Re: Tragic situation turns bizarre....

Post by Chrisg12887 on Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:20 pm

ooo noo!!! sooo srry to hear...this does seem similar to my story which im still confused about..hope you got to save a few and i hope everything returns back to normal soon!
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Re: Tragic situation turns bizarre....

Post by football mom on Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:28 pm

Here it is!


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Re: Tragic situation turns bizarre....

Post by football mom on Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:29 pm

Somebody on Hill Country Cichid Club site says he sometimes finds red worms in his filters and he feeds them to his fish! yikes!

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Re: Tragic situation turns bizarre....

Post by bulldogg7 on Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:30 pm

look like either tubifex or blackworms to me, think I have an old pic somewhere of the ones I found in the pond

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Re: Tragic situation turns bizarre....

Post by football mom on Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:35 pm

Where would tubifex worms come from? I have never fed any to my fish.
Could the eggs have been in some frozen dapnia or brine shrimp? I do feed that from time to time. What a mystery!

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Re: Tragic situation turns bizarre....

Post by bulldogg7 on Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:40 pm

kinda like my copepod mystery Very Happy can't find my pics
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Re: Tragic situation turns bizarre....

Post by bulldogg7 on Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:46 pm


same ones I caught, not sure if they were blackworms or tubifex, maybe they're both the same???

supposedly harmless and people raise them to feed their fish

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Re: Tragic situation turns bizarre....

Post by football mom on Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:17 pm

EEYEW!
I didn't notice the segments on the ones in my tank, but they did resemble them otherwise!

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Re: Tragic situation turns bizarre....

Post by Aura on Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:31 pm

I don't know how big they get, but could yours, J, have been bloodworms? Aren't they a stage of some sort of insect? *shuddering at the pictures of those worms! Shocked

And sorry to hear of your loss. I think these unexplained deaths are always the worst, because you can't learn anything from it to try to prevent it from ever happening again.
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Re: Tragic situation turns bizarre....

Post by theswede on Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:01 am

Sorry to hear about your fish loss J! Hope you seen the last of it.
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Re: Tragic situation turns bizarre....

Post by cichlidman on Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:31 pm

I can't figure this out..

If you did water changes with the same water in the other tanks.
If the water change caused it, you would think it would have caused some
problems in the other tanks.

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Re: Tragic situation turns bizarre....

Post by cancichfan on Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:37 pm

Aura wrote:have been bloodworms? Aren't they a stage of some sort of insect? *shuddering at the pictures of those worms!


Bloodworms are the larval stage of chironomid midges (dipterans - fly family) that normally live in slow moving water. They have thin skin and contain hemoglobin so they look red. They are a key part of trout diets in lakes and ponds as well as many other types of fish. I tie lots of chironomid flies for fishing. I doubt that they would be chironomids unless you have clouds of midges flying around your living room.

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Re: Tragic situation turns bizarre....

Post by Aura on Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:45 pm

I doubt that they would be chironomids unless you have clouds of midges flying around your living room.

Well, J, do you have clouds of midges in the house? laughing
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Re: Tragic situation turns bizarre....

Post by cancichfan on Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:18 pm

I'm just trying to make use of all those graduate level entomology courses I took. Gotta be good for something...

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Re: Tragic situation turns bizarre....

Post by football mom on Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:02 pm

No clouds of midges... with all the rain we've had we are waiting for the clouds of mosquitoes, though, lol.
I DID do water changes on 2 other tanks the same day, and they are fine.
Remember, though, the fish in the tank where the deaths occurred, were looking stressed before the water change. And I did remember to use Prime.
I guess I'll never know.

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