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Post by cancichfan on Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:04 pm

You know, if there is one thing I hate it is aquarium heaters. My Julie tank was sitting at about 76 degrees which I thought way maybe a touch low (probably should have checked first) and so I raised it just a touch. For a few days it was sitting at about 80 which is where I intended to take it.
Now today, I come down to my office to find it is 88 degrees and my fish are dead.

I have only found one corpse so far and I am going to tear the tank down later and see what else I can find in there but I am sure that they are all gone. Yesterday they were very skittish and hid in the rocks and acted out of character but I am in the middle of studying for graduate school courses so I didn't think much of it. Obviously, I should have tried to figure out what the problem was sooner.

Any suggestions how to deal with cleaning the tank etc? I don't think that they were diseased or anything, just too hot. Besides buying a new heater any other thoughts?

Really ticked off to lose these fish but I guess it happens.

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Post by theswede on Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:39 pm

Sorry to hear that! But they should be able to handle 88 degrees. My tanks often goes up to that during summer. If I where you I would look for the rest of the fish.
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Post by iceblue on Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:06 pm

Sorry to hear about that too. Heaters never seem to get stuck in the off position. Evil or Very Mad Was the heater still on when you made the discovery? Certainly 88 degrees is not comfortable for them but some should have survived. If the heater was stuck on for a long time the water may have been a lot hotter between the time it shut down and you made the discovery.
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Post by cancichfan on Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:19 pm

I don't know if it was on or not. I just looked at the stick on heater that came on the tank (used tank) and it is down at the bottom, almost as far opposite from the heater as possible so who knows what the temp was earlier or in the rest of the tank. If it was 88 there, it could have been warmer closer to the heater.

I had this happen years ago on a tetra tank. Heater just took off and basically fried the fish - or at least that is my interpretation. Fish store and I didn't agree on this but I put in the new one and everything has been fine since.

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Post by Aura on Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:31 pm

I agree that 88 degrees alone shouldn't have caused the deaths. It might be different if any of your water readings were high or there wasn't good aeration...things like that, but with this being a new setup and your other posts about the tank, I know this wasn't a neglected tank. Sorry to hear you lost them.

I've had a couple of heaters stick in the on position and I had one not too long ago that was stuck off. I put my hand in the tank and it was freezing!
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Post by cichlidman on Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:19 pm

WOW!! Sorry, But I agree
88 is not hot enough to kill them I would not think.

You only found 1 fish? That is really strange.

I to have lost fish to heaters that don't work properly, but much hotter than that.
Keep us posted what you find.

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Post by iceblue on Tue Apr 06, 2010 4:39 pm

cancichfan wrote:I don't know if it was on or not. I just looked at the stick on heater

Was this a stick-on temp gauge? If so then the temperature may have been a lot higher. I had much the same experience as Betty except that my heater had come unplugged. The stick-on gauge was telling me everything was just fine but the water was freezing. (We keep our house at 65 in the winter.) I lost one fish but he was the star of the tank. A beautiful Yellow Lab that was easily 1 in a 1000 for color.

I personally will never use this type of temp gauge again and am much happier with a simple glass tube mercury type.
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Post by nitroloser on Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:41 am

heeter malfunction have prob killed more fish than anything i know but i check my temps roughly every other day just for that reason at least by feeling with my hand ,whether im usin my eheim heater or lfs cheapo better safe than sorry,but yes agree with the others on the 88 not bein the sole coperate,it could help spike certain bad condition if they were already existing such as what you described them being skittish,and as far as fixin it maybe check the water and make sure filters are workin and do a 75%water change for starters,btw im just throwin in my 2 bits 4 summers ago i lost 3 larger tanks to heat probs,my worste delema ever,but eventually made a full rwecovery ,good luck and sorry you had tyhe prob to begin with
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Post by cancichfan on Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:25 am

Thanks everyone. I should have said stick-on gauge but you figured out what I meant. I have a good glass thermometer that I use to get the real temp, I just use the stick-on to judge relative changes - getting hotter, getting colder etc. The glass thermometer was holding solid at 80 for several days prior to this spike.

Didn't find any other fish last night which was weird. This tank has a bermuda triangle effect on dead fish.

I will be tearing down the filter and they could be in there.

For now, I am going to go back to Tangs when I get this figured out but not Julies. I love the look but too high maintenance (water changes stress etc).

I'll do a complete water change and probably bleach the tank/filter and start to cycle again. I just don't want any disease to show up from not cleaning it well. Or is this excessive?
Thanks

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Post by Aura on Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:16 am

That is really weird that you never find the bodies!

I don't know that I would go to the extent of bleaching the tank if the cause of death was overheating and you caught it before the water smelled like fish had been cooked in it, but if you want the peace of mind because you aren't certain what happened in that tank, you could go ahead do that. You already know you'll have to recycle.

I hope you have better luck the next time around!
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Post by cancichfan on Fri Apr 09, 2010 7:41 pm

I don't get it either. I took out all the rock, looked in the filter, in the hoses, even raked the sand but only found the one. Maybe the one ate all the others and died of over-indulgence.

Regardless, time to start over I guess.

Graham

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Post by addicted2cichlid on Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:15 pm

sorry to hear, as most else, i too have cooked a few fish with a faulty heater. no fun.

im wondering where the bodies are at... filter, suicide jump behind the tank?

you probably dont need to use bleach, i would just tear it down empty it, wipe it dry and have fun starting a new tank!
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