Possible Causes of Unexpected Fish (& Coral) Loss

(in no particluar order)

  1. Windex or other cleaning agents used on or near the aquarium?
  2. Any aerosols used in proximity to aquarium, including air fresheners?
  3. Any pesticides in home, especially near tank?
  4. Any soap, lotion or perfume residue on hands used in fish tank?
  5. Scented candles being burned near tank?
  6. Swings in water temperature or ambient temperature, including possible heater malfunction?
  7. Water level in filter section of tank low, exposing heater to air and causing it to malfunction (see #6) (not to mention rise in salinity)
  8. Aquarium’s power outlet on switch or timer?
  9. Aggression from tank mate(s)?
  10. Water parameters outside of acceptable range?
  11. Fish died without being noticed and left to decay in tank causing ammonia spike?
  12. Defective power-strip, timer or electrical outlet?
  13. Reduced flow. Check that circulation pump is running at all times.
  15. Is your source water for water changes and top off pure and free of Chlorine and Chloramines? If you’re using municipal water you MUST, at the very least, add water conditioner to neutralize the chlorine.
  16. Any painting done in the house? Even painting being done in another room (or wing) can cause toxic fumes which can find their way into your aquarium through the home’s HVAC system. We have seen entire tanks get wiped out in a matter of hours from the paint fumes in a room all the way on the other side of the house. To prepare for painting, close off the room where the tank is located and roll up a damp towel and place by the base of the door. Close (better yet, tape plastic) over the heat and A/C vents. Place a damp towel over the tank. If painting in the same room or vicinity, cover the entire tank, open the windows, and set up a fan to pull the fumes out of the room to the outdoors.
  17. Plug-In air fresheners?
  18. Carpets or furniture fabric professionally cleaned?