Gold barb massacre.
April 28, 2012 10:43 PM   Subscribe

So this afternoon I added ten gold barbs to my thirty gallon community tank and now (+8 hours) they are all dead. None of my other fish are predatory or aggressive, and certainly not enough so to take out ten new additions in eight hours, and my water chemistry seemed to be compatible. What happened?

The tank otherwise houses three pearl gouramis, two dojo loaches, and five serpae tetras. When I added them to the tank the barbs seemed relaxed enough and schooled amongst themselves. None of the other fish seemed to pay them any mind, even the serpaes who I was concerend about.

My tank parameters are as follows: >25ppm nitrates, 6.8ish pH, 74 degrees Fahrenheit. I tested the water they came from and it was pretty close in terms of pH (probably less than 2 tenths difference).

Is there a water parameter I'm missing or something else? I'm genuinely shocked to find them all dead at the same time. Did I get a bum batch of barbs?
posted by mmcg to Pets & Animals (6 answers total)
If your chemistry is good, but the store tank chemistry is off, they could have been shocked by the change.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:01 PM on April 28, 2012

sorry about the fish! did you acclimate them to the tank slowly (floating the bag & gradually adding water over an hour or so) or just dump them in?
posted by changeling at 11:49 PM on April 28, 2012

Yes, I floated the bag and added water before introducing them to the tank proper.
posted by mmcg at 12:09 AM on April 29, 2012

Are there plenty of hiding places in case they were being picked on? i doubt it was that, simply because every single one is dead. I also think the likelihood of every fish being a dud isn't high either. I'd say it's probably as stickycarpet said, there's a massive environmental change of some sort between the tank they came from and yours. It's worth taking them back to the store (dead and all) along with a water sample to assess what's going on. In fact my local fish shop won't give a refund unless you do this - simply to establish that it wasn't your tank that killed them. Some say it's best practise to quarantine fish first before adding them to your tank although I don't often do this myself.
posted by Jubey at 12:39 AM on April 29, 2012

If you don't get an answer here I'd suggest going either to the Practical Fishkeeping forums or They will ask for your other water parameters (ammonia and nitrites) and exactly how you did the acclimatisation (how long, how much water, when).
posted by sesquipedalian at 2:36 AM on April 29, 2012

So you bought them from your local fish store and put them straight in to your main tank? In the future you might consider using a quarantine tank for a couple of weeks to make sure the new fish are healthy, so that you don't expose your healthy existing tank to unknown pathogens from the fish store.

It's entirely possible that the fish were struggling with something they picked up at the fish store, and the stress of the move pushed them over the edge. I'd watch the rest of the tank very closely to make sure the rest of your fish are OK.

I would take them back to the fish store, with a sample of your water, to see what is going on.
posted by ambrosia at 12:32 PM on April 29, 2012

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