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June 30th, 2008
08:37 pm
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Fish no more
Came back home tonight from necama and Kathryn's wedding (which was lovely) to an unpleasant surprise: What could literally be described as a bloodbath in our f33shtank. Corpses everywhere. The entire school of neon tetras dead, several guppies, and two of our five clown loaches.

After getting over our shock, I took some water samples and we whipped through a quick cleaning and water and filter change. Forensic ichthyology revealed a giant spike in lethal nitrates, so I ran down to the fish store and bought some chemicals to neutralize them. Hate going for the quick fix, but we're leaving again tomorrow morning (for the road trip to Kansas to visit kadyg's family that we've been planning for months). The emergency work seems to have stabilized the remaining fish, but the loaches are still swimming oddly and I really don't know what's going to happen after we leave again. (UPDATE: Nitrates still ~15 ppm, will do 50% water change and one more round of chemicals before we go ...)

To compound the issue, most of the ammonia (that bacteria turn into nitrates; and subsequently into nitrites, which the plants filter out of the water) comes from either fish waste or uneaten food. The culprit was probably a combination of heat plus the zucchini I left for our pleco to munch on in our absence: looks like the vegetable disintegrated much faster than expected, and rotted into waste material that hit the tank all at once. I added some beneficial bacteria, which will only have a delayed effect, but I guess we'll just have to put the fish on a starvation diet until either I or a roommate can monitor the tank more closely. That'll be at least another three and a half days.

I'm not sure how many of them will last the week. What a time for this to hit.

Current Location: ~/Brainstorm
Current Mood: worriedworried
Current Music: "So Deep (Perfect Sphere Remix)", Silvertear
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From:dogemperor
Date:July 1st, 2008 04:26 am (UTC)
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Oo err--here's hoping that the fix works, at any rate.

(And I *am* actually in the very beginning stages of the work we discussed--it's been a little crazy here over the past week, partly because we had to install a new desk (because the old one went tits up fatally). At least now I can hopefully get some real work done. :3)
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From:baphnedia
Date:July 1st, 2008 07:26 am (UTC)
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Well, I hope that they survive... as for being in Kansas, I'll be gone to Arizona. Unless, of course, you're here past the 13rh (which, sadly, I'll be going back to work). Ug. Maybe some other time...
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From:copperwolf
Date:July 1st, 2008 01:20 pm (UTC)
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That is sad. I'd offer links to helpful websites, but you sound both knowledgeable and in a hurry, so... I hope your remaining fish are there to greet you when you return.
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From:zon14
Date:July 1st, 2008 08:42 pm (UTC)
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Poor fishies!
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