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Old 07-19-2020, 10:34 AM
 
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I kept them in a stock tank. Fed them grass clippings, bugs, moss, etc. 2 years old. Seemed OK then all six died within a week of each other. I had my sprinkler set so it sprinkled on the tank for at least an hour every night. The moss actually never looked healthy to me and didn't grow good. Neither did the water plants I put in. Could something be wrong with the water. It comes from the Dakota Aquifer?
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Old 07-22-2020, 06:47 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
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What's the weather been like? Maybe water temperature got too hot.
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Old 07-23-2020, 11:07 PM
 
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Wow, could be so many things! Ammonia levels, algae levels, some disease, O2 levels, pH ffs.

Hey, you put them in a stock tank, and they lived for 2 years. I'd say you were doing reasonably well. Dump the tank out, give it a bleach shock, and let it dry for a day. Then refill and stick some more fish in.

It could have been:
temperature
water pH
bacteria levels
ammonia levels (fish poop generates ammonia. It's a cyclic thing in nature. People who keep aquariums go to a bit of trouble to make sure they have things set up so that Mother Nature can handle this cycle in a container where she would not normally be able to handle these things. A stock tank is bigger than an aquarium at home, but the principle is the same.)

I can't think of anything else at the moment. But the same principles that apply to an aquarium in somebody's house apply to your stock tank. Between the surface area, and the nighttime sprinkling, you probably had a tolerable O2 level. But what about other stuff? What is the base pH? What was the pH when the fish died? Dead and dying plants affect pH and bacteria levels. What other stuff is in the stock tank, like rocks, that might leach minerals or other stuff, some of which might not be good? Has the stock pooped in the tank, or peed in the tank, and upset the balance?

I would suggest you go to a local fish store - a pet fish store - and talk to them for a spell. Get some pH test strips, and check that. And back to what I originally said - dump everything out - clean it - refill - and restart.
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Old 07-25-2020, 06:12 PM
 
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Thanks Smoke and Heiro. Yes, it could be any or all of the above. When I emptied it, it had about an inch or more of the very odiferous stuff in the bottom. I've finally got it all cleaned out and kind of waiting to see when I can get some more fish for it. I've got another tank at another location and I have Goldfish plus some little native rock fish crappie type things. The latter have even had eggs hatch and live. Kind of a thriving little community. That tank gets it water from the Ogallalah aquifer, I wonder if that is the difference?
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Old 07-25-2020, 09:18 PM
 
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The Oglallah aquifer could be hard water - could be acid - I sure don't know. Could have high arsenic levels, or other stuff. Or not - could be a-ok for fish. You'll have to test it for pH, and I might consider getting it tested for mineral levels. That kind of more comprehensive test will have to be done by folks (pros) who do those sorts of things - probably cost you a couple hundred to test for various minerals etc.

The water source could be the difference, but I think you've probably just gotten lucky. That stinky stuff was probably mostly fish poop and dead plant material. A stock tank is essentially a large aquarium. The other stock tank has found a balanced ecology somehow. Talk to people who keep aquariums - a fish store - and you can learn enough to figure it out.
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Old 07-26-2020, 12:24 PM
 
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Appreciate the advice.
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Old 07-26-2020, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
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Your title reminds me of an event. It could have been worse.

I had a fellow worker who had quite an expensive collection of salt water tropical fish in an aquarium in his living room.

So his 3 year old son thought it would be a good idea to feed them....and he dumped an entire box of animal crackers into the tank.

It killed all the fish.
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Old 08-05-2020, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Minnesota
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Did you do partial water changes occasionally or just add water as needed? Could the metal ( is it galvanized steel) have leached some into the water and it just built up over time to higher and higher concentrations? Partial water changes would help, maybe, if that's the problem. I would add a small water fountain for a little water movement. I think there are even some solar powered ones around.
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