Massive overnight die off in African Cichlid tank

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My current working theory, arrived at moments before Wills posted the same, remains unchanged. He expressed it better than I. Scroll back if you’re interested.

Yes, I will clean filter media as Colin describes going forward. Although the filters (and heaters) were not responsible.
 
A couple months ago I asked if people around where using Dissolved Oxygen Meters, and was surprised by the majority of folks that doesn't. It's surely not because of the price of the test kit (it's ridiculous).

It made me discover that my shrimp tank was going low on oxygen during night time. And fixed it by adding a small sponge filter.

I think we underestimate the quantity of oxygen an healthy filter that has a good ammonia load per day can pull out of the water.

In case of rising ammonia the intense immediate multiplication of bacteria can remove a lot. Once the level falls too low the bacteria themselves start to die and contributes to the rise of ammonia.

In a tank that is fairly warm, with a good population of large fish, it can occur in hours. My father explained me, years ago...

I never heard it happen first hand from anyone... I wish it would have remain that way... I Really feel your pain... I would be devastated...
 
Malok, thank you so much for your post and the kind thoughts. Both are greatly appreciated. I am going to Amazon right now to look for the meter you discussed. I’m surprised that after all the reading I have done on fish keeping I never came across this before on O2 meters.
 
I probably won't ever spend the money on an air meter, as I always over filter, & each tank has at least 1 - 10 inch air bar... anything 55 gallons or larger has 2 - 10 inch air bars... even my 10 gallon holding tanks, that are never "full" have at minimum a pretty good percolating sponge filter rated for at least 3 times the gallon size of the tanks
 
Malok, thank you so much for your post and the kind thoughts. Both are greatly appreciated. I am going to Amazon right now to look for the meter you discussed. I’m surprised that after all the reading I have done on fish keeping I never came across this before on O2 meters.
I see several at Amazon with a range of prices. Can you recommend a specific brand & model?
 
I probably won't ever spend the money on an air meter, as I always over filter, & each tank has at least 1 - 10 inch air bar... anything 55 gallons or larger has 2 - 10 inch air bars... even my 10 gallon holding tanks, that are never "full" have at minimum a pretty good percolating sponge filter rated for at least 3 times the gallon size of the tanks
I’ve seen stones/filters with different outputs. Specifically, what do you use?
 
Just run an airstone in the tank and the oxygen levels will always be at maximum.
Colin T, I’m so glad you popped up now on this subject. The resident guru in another group is telling me I am at risk of providing too much oxygen to my tanks. He says this can cause a deadly incurable disease. He talked about bulging eyeballs and all kinds of stuff and I couldn’t read it, too traumatic after the death of my fish yesterday. His comment was in response to my conclusion that oxygen deprivation may have played a role in this die off. I told him I had ordered more of the large air stones I have other tanks & plan to use one at each end of the 125.

He said I may very well wind up killing the rest of the fish that survived. I plan on adding more fish to this tank when things settle down. I bought a colony of Burundi Frontosa and they are breeding up a storm. My intentions are to add one of those 2”x 4” air stone cylinders to each end. He says this could be a lethal mistake. What do you think?
 
these are cheap, but this is what I'm currently using... they do crack, so you need to be careful with them, but I make "bubble waterfalls" with them... & I actually cover them with substrate, and add a few rocks on top so they aren't visible in the tank... burying them makes the bubbles a little bigger...

I did have a thread about micro bubbles, but didn't get much participation... on a couple tanks, I have filters that incorporate skimmers, as a few do end up sucking up bubbles, & they split them into micro bubbles when they hit the impeller in the pump... but so far, I'm not seeing anything like you are describing...
 
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as far as too many bubbles??? I've never heard of that, but maybe that's a rift lake Cichlid thing??? I have many Hillstream loaches that actually live ( spend the bulk of their time ) in the bubble waterfalls, so at minimum, it may depend on what kind of fish... but I would think, if they didn't like bubbles, they would just no go by them...
 
these are cheap, but this is what I'm currently using... they do crack, so you need to be careful with them, but I make "bubble waterfalls" with them...
That is exactly what I had in the tank, one at each end. Here’s a pic of the replacements that will arrive soon, maybe today or tomorrow. I have them in other tanks and the output is far more powerful than what you get from that bar, at least so far as I can determine visually.
 

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Malok, thank you so much for your post and the kind thoughts. Both are greatly appreciated. I am going to Amazon right now to look for the meter you discussed. I’m surprised that after all the reading I have done on fish keeping I never came across this before on O2 meters.

I got one just out of curiosity at first, then I tested every hour for a day and was surprised by the fluctuation.

Just run an airstone in the tank and the oxygen levels will always be at maximum.

I was running an Aquaclear 30 and while it disturbed the surface in a good manner. It wasn't enough. As soon as I installed the air driven mini filter / powerhead, Oxygen level maxed-out in a few hours.
 
as far as too many bubbles??? I've never heard of that, but maybe that's a rift lake Cichlid thing??? I have many Hillstream loaches that actually live ( spend the bulk of their time ) in the bubble waterfalls, so at minimum, it may depend on what kind of fish... but I would think, if they didn't like bubbles, they would just no go by them...
You would not believe the conflicting info I get from forums/facebook groups, but then again you might. Same thing for online searches. What I do is seek many opinions and form conclusions based upon the best consensus I find & common sense.

I have fish that play in air bubbles, mostly loaches.
 
Air bubbles in aquariums come in 2 main types, big and small. The small air bubbles generally come from wooden airstones used in protien skimmers on marine tanks. You can also get small air bubbles in the water if there is a leak in an external power filter and it's sucking air. The wooden airstones and air leaks from external power filters produce very fine bubbles that can get into the fish and cause problems. The normal sand or plastic multi-coloured airstones produce a bigger bubble that is harmless to fish. The sand airstones block up much more quickly than plastic and they put more back pressure on air pumps so you pop the diaphragms more often.

You don't use wooden airstones in freshwater aquariums.

You don't use wooden airstones in marine aquariums.

You use wooden airstones in air powered protein skimmers in marine tanks and the outlet should go into a reservoir so the fine bubbles can come out of suspension before the water goes into the main aquarium.

Plastic multi-coloured airstones are the best to get. You can join several together to make a longer airstone. They can be taken apart and cleaned. Because they produce courser air bubbles, they put less back pressure on the air pump. Some also have a weight in the bottom piece to hold the airstone down.
 

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