Hey I might of killed a few fish and I'm not sure whats going on. So i bought some tropical fish a few weeks ago. I couldn't afford a heater at the time but the employee said they would be fine with out a heater for a few weeks until we could buy a heater. i have about a 25 gallon tank. Everything was going fine all the fish were great. they seemed a little weird at first but eventually got comfortable with the temp. So yesterday i bought a heater for a 30 gallon tank because the only other one was for a 20 gallon tank and i thought that was too small. So i stuck it in really hoping that everything would be great. i woke up in the night to check on them and 4 of the smallest fish i had died. And the other fish look like a mess. Did i do something wrong wight the heater? Any answered are really appreciated.
hi there, welcome to the forum!
First, it is a good idea to have everything set up first before get the fish. In fact, it is also highly recommended to do a fishless cycling after everything was set up first, then get the fish after the fishless cycling is done.
There is insufficient information for me to pin point the problem, but if I have to take a guess, it could be the sudden rise of water temperature. Tropical fish are more fragile and sensitive to any sudden change in the water temperature. If the water temperature go up or go down too quickly (in my experience anything change more than 3C within an hour) could be dangerous for them and even kill them. You should have let the water temperature to rise no more than 1C per hour just to be safe, and make sure there is good water flow in your aquarium to distribute the heat evenly.
You also need to have a separate thermometer to keep eyes on the actual water temperature. Since most of the heaters of the same model will result in different temperature at the same setting, you should not trust the temperature to the setting on the heater itself.
I also hope you have a filter system. It is even more important than the heater if you want to keep fish in a closed system like an aquarium. Without a filter system running 24/7, the fish can die to ammonia poisoning eventually.
Fish are poikilotherms and adjust to the ambient temperatures with ease unlike mammals who regulate their internal temperatures irrespective of their sorroundings. With this in mind, your fish being tropical would not really perform well in drastically colder environments. Check your heating connection to see whether it was a case of electrocution due to a leaking electric current. It could also be that overheating occurred that is, temperature shock if you increased the heat drastically over a short period of time. Another plausible cause of these deaths could be oxygen depletion. Heating water drives oxygen out and this could cause lethargy and asphyxiation.