Tank of Death

chaimdov

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I have a tank in which all the newts suddenly died. Doing fine and then in a few hours all were dead. The tank has three inches of sand and all sorts of plants and snails. i flushed the tank about ten times, put in three newts. Two days later they were dead. Flushed the tank a bunch more times and put in four more newts, same thing (this time twelve hours later). Any ideas? newts seem fine and then over an hour or so, they all are dead in a corner. sometimes in the sand, sometimes floating.
 

linuxrulesusa

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I had a tank I picked up from a garage sale and all the fish I put in it would die. I drained the tank and cleaned it with maybe a 5% bleach solution (1 capful of bleach/5g of water, as I recall). Then rinsed and rinsed until no bleach smell, then let it dry, then filled with water and used Seachem Prime to neutralize any additional bleach. No more issues.

Is your tank new? How long were the newts fine? Did you test your water parameters?
 

Margie

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If your tank's been set up for awhile, it could be hydrogen sulfide that's built up in the sand. If so, flushing the tank won't help unless you rinse all the sand. If it is hydrogen sulfide, disturbing the sand will kill most or all tank inhabitants, so make sure no one's in the tank at the time.

If you want to check, scoop out some sand (getting down to the bottom) and see if it smells like rotten eggs (which is what hydrogen sulfide smells like).
 

ThoseNewtsTho

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You might only wanna have about an inch of sand in there
 

linuxrulesusa

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You might only wanna have about an inch of sand in there
This is a great point. I missed it at first. I went back and reread the first post, and I agree with Margie and this post that 3" is too much sand and you're probably getting gas buildup or too much waste in the sand.

My recommendation would be to take out all the inhabitants. Drain the tank. Throw out all the sand. Clean the tank well (water or mild bleach solution then the process I described earlier, never soap). Put in new clean sand but only 0.5"-1". Wash any decorations well before putting them back in. Let the tank sit for a day or two and check water parameters (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate) as well as do a 'sniff test' to make sure nothing seems odd before adding anything back in.
 

Niels D

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I would clean the tank with vinegar instead of bleach. Use a scrubber sponge and flush everything with water a couple of times. The result is the same, the risk is much lower.
 
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