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The Oranda Mermaid

Major Bloodworm Help! ...and a bit of a horror story.

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So, before I ask anything I have a bit of a story. When I first started getting into this hobby around October I bought 2 orandas for my 30 gallon. In my ignorance I bought bottled bacteria thinking it cycled my tank because my water parameters looked fine for a day. oops.

 

Despite the 1 ppm of ammonia everything else looked fine and the fish showed no sighs of distress or sickness and appeared quite healthy. I fed them sinking pellets 2 times a day and peas occasionally. I had heard about HIkari bloodworms (the frozen kind) that fish loved them, they helped wen growth, and growth in general. So i went to my local pet store (Petland) and bought a pack of frozen worms. Stupidly, not thinking much about it I went to two other stores and remained out and about for a another hour or so. I put the worms in the freezer when I got home.

 

The next day not really knowing much about feeding them to fish (let alone two juvie orandas) I put one cube in a cup of tank water for a minute and then threw the whole cube in the tank. Of course the fish gobbled them up and made a mess. I preceded to do a normal water change and left the tank alone for a while. Soon to my horror both fish were laying on their side and breathing heavily on the bottom. I absolutely freaked I didn't know what to do and they both started severely floating. Within an hour both fish died. :(

 

Now, months later the tank is cycled, levels are great, and I have 2 new juvie orandas that I really love. I'm terrified of giving them frozen blood worms.

 

Here are my questions:

 

What do guys think killed my fish? The fact I let the bloodworms defrost some? The amount I fed them? Or the borderline water conditions?

 

Are frozen foods even safe?

 

And on top of everything I bought a jar of the freeze-dried bloodworms and now I hear people saying freeze-dried foods suck even when you soak them. I really don't wanna waste them. :( What do I do with these now? Will the pet store take them back after opening?

 

How long is the shelf life on these products anyways? Both are Hikari brand.

 

 

Sorry for long post I appreciate any help.  :wacko: This is my first post on here! lol

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Without having tested the water, there's really no way to determine precisely what happened. But even if you had tested, you still might not know.

My best guess is that your fish literally ate themselves to death -- too big a meal all at once, of a high-protein food they weren't used to. I don't think a single cube of bloodworms could have fouled 30 gallons of water to a toxic level within an hour, especially given that you did a water change.

Yes, frozen foods are safe if handled correctly. Now you know to never, ever thaw and re-freeze. When I feed bloodworms, I do the Hikari BioPure (sounds like that's what you had), which are guaranteed to be free of parasites.

Freeze dried foods aren't inherently bad; they can just cause constipation and/or floatiness in some fish. If you want to feed them, pre-soak in a little cup of tank water so the food is no longer dry and crumbly. I used to squeeze the air out of freeze dried bloodworms after soaking, before dropping them in the tank. But it's been years since I've fed them.

Congratulations on your new fish! Goldfish keeping can be a tremendously fun (and sometimes, tremendously frustrating) hobby. There's lots to learn, and mistakes to be made. We've all made them. Keep with it! The rewards are worth it.

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Without having tested the water, there's really no way to determine precisely what happened. But even if you had tested, you still might not know.

My best guess is that your fish literally ate themselves to death -- too big a meal all at once, of a high-protein food they weren't used to. I don't think a single cube of bloodworms could have fouled 30 gallons of water to a toxic level within an hour, especially given that you did a water change.

Yes, frozen foods are safe if handled correctly. Now you know to never, ever thaw and re-freeze. When I feed bloodworms, I do the Hikari BioPure (sounds like that's what you had), which are guaranteed to be free of parasites.

Freeze dried foods aren't inherently bad; they can just cause constipation and/or floatiness in some fish. If you want to feed them, pre-soak in a little cup of tank water so the food is no longer dry and crumbly. I used to squeeze the air out of freeze dried bloodworms after soaking, before dropping them in the tank. But it's been years since I've fed them.

Congratulations on your new fish! Goldfish keeping can be a tremendously fun (and sometimes, tremendously frustrating) hobby. There's lots to learn, and mistakes to be made. We've all made them. Keep with it! The rewards are worth it.

Thank you for the reply and encoragement! :) You've eased my mind for the freeze-dried worms. Sould I feed them the same amount of freeze-dried or frozen bloodworms as I feed them pellets? I might try to return the freeze-dried to the pet store so I dont waste my money and try the frozen again. This time I will even bring a ice pack with me! lol

Edited by The Oranda Mermaid

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Maybe the blood worms spoiled whilst you were out that extra hour? Just a thought but them just eating way too much sounds about right.

if you even tried making gel food you could add the freeze dried worms and blend them up :)

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If fish could die from eating too much mine would all be dead.  If it was a warm sunny day the car could have become very warm and the food could have spoiled.

Edited by DieselPlower

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Should I feed them the same amount of freeze-dried or frozen bloodworms as I feed them pellets? I might try to return the freeze-dried to the pet store so I dont waste my money and try the frozen again. This time I will even bring a ice pack with me! lol

Think of the freeze dried worms as more of a treat than a meal. Go easy. ;). You could feed, say, 2/3 of their regular pellet meal, then a small pinch of the worms.

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It's impossible to say what happened, but I am skeptical that the frozen bloodworms (tainted or not) would have killed both fish that quickly.  It is more likely that there was a problem with the water.  

 

Anyway, I feed my fish frozen bloodworms daily without incident.  I completely defrost the cube in a cup of tank water and stir them before adding them to the tank.  This separates the individual worms so that the fish don't gobble up too many at one time.  IMO, steer away from freeze dried products as they can lead to constipation.

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I also defrost mine in a glass. I add more water once they're defrosted, pour out most of the water, and then dump them in.

I've always fed bloodworms, but it's possible they defrosted too much. Make the pet store with the frozen bloodworms the last stop on your way home. :)

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While re-freezing could be the problem, I am also hesitant to say that could have killed the fish in such a short matter of time. Most likely it was a combination of several factors. Not sure if overfeeding was one of the issues or not. The OP did mention floating, which could have something to do with the spoiled food, especially if too much was fed. 

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Yes, I'm sure it must have a combo of things. I forgot to mention I tested my water before the water change. My ammoina was on the high side around 1ppm but all the other levels were 0. Now of course I know my tank was not done cycing. :doh11: It was very shocking to me though since neither one had even displayed floating, sick looking poops, or any weird behavior before that night. Thanks for the reassurance guys. I know many people feed their goldies bloodworms. I will def try them again one day. :)

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Hello and Welcome to the Forum.  I'm so sorry for your loss of your first two fish. 

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