Tank Troubleshooting Guide

The original manual, p. 87 onwards give a number of tips.

Problem: Ice has formed around the coils
Solution: Coil freeze-ups are often due to poor setting of the thermostat or non-submerged temperature probes. Re-adjust the thermostat using a screw driver. Check the temperature probe and ensure it is in contact with the water.

Problem: Cooling system is not running.

  1. This may be due to a burned out fuse or a tripped circuit breaker. Push the reset button on the cooling unit or replace a fuse if necessary.
  2. Some older units have an on/off switch. Be sure it is in the ‘on’ position.
  3. Be sure the unit is plugged into the wall.
  4. Test the wall outlet to ensure it has not tripped a breaker.
  5. Screening around the cooling unit may be plugged. Vacuum the screening on the cooling unit to allow for better air flow to the unit.

Problem: Pump and/or filter not running

  1. Be sure the unit is plugged into a wall or cooling unit outlet
  2. Be sure the outlet has not tripped a breaker.
  3. The unit may have de-primed itself during a power outage. Fill the unit to the top with water.
  4. The impeller may be stuck. This will sometimes happen if the system is shut down for a period of time (power outage). The electric motor on the bottom of the unit must be removed and the impeller cleaned. Refer to aquaclear 300 instructions.
  5. Screening around intake pipe inside the aquarium needs cleaning to allow water into the unit.

Problem: On first use of the year, the unit does not cool well.
Solution: Vacuum the air screen, clean the coils thoroughly, and check that fan is working properly.

Problem: The water in the aquarium is murky.
Solution: This is probably due to overfeeding. Refer to the feeding directions on page 98.

Problem: Condensation has formed on the outside of the tank.
Solution: Temperature differences between the room and the water in the tank can cause condensation. Increasing the water temperature in your tank may solve this problem as long as you remain within the allowable temperature range for the fish. Also, large numbers of people in airtight rooms can cause condensation. Opening some windows may reduce the problem.

Problem: Newly hatched fish are being drawn into the mesh screen on the pump.
Solution: Adjust the filter speed to ‘slow’. Refer to pump instructions.

Biological trouble shooting guide.

This guide is intended to help you deal with problems that may arise with the eggs and fry during the Fish Friends program. Sometimes fish get sick and die and it is good to know why this is happening and what you can do if anything to correst the problem and reduce the numbers of dead fish.

Problem: Dead eggs
Solution: Eggs turn white when dead. It is important to remove dead eggs immediately. If dead eggs are left in the tank a fungus may develop on them, This fungus looks like white cotton. The egg eventually looks like a little cotton ball. This fungus can attack nearby live eggs and kill them. So again, it is important to remove the dead eggs.

Problem: Fungus on fish
Solution: Sometimes the cotton like fungus attacks live fish. If this happens, you should remove the infected fish or give them a salt bath.

Salt Bath for Fungus:
Caution Notes:

  1. Do NOT used iodized salt for this – get salt from a fish plant instead.
  2. Do NOT use tap water, as it may well be chlorinated which will kill the fish.

A fish plant is usually the best place to find non-iodized salt. Contact the one closest to you.

Mix two tablespoons of iodine-free salt into a gallon of clean water (probably well water), and stir until it is dissolved. Place the fry in this mixture for two to three minutes, then remove. Remove them sooner if they appear to be in distress, i.e. rolling over. If the fry do have a fungus, it would be a good idea to change the water in the tank and to clean the tank and other equipment thoroughly using a mild javex and then rinsing well afterwards.

Problem: Fungus on the bottom of the tank
Solution: This usually occurs when too much feed has been put in the tank. The fungus attacks decaying food. Again, it should be removed immediately.

Problem: Gill disease
Solution: Again this is a function, usually of too much feed. The extra feed in the water can irritate the gills and the fish produce a mucus to rid them of the irritants. A sign that your fish have gill disease is that the gill plates or opercula are flared out. As this is likely to happen when you are close to releasing the fish, you can release them sooner or do salt bath as described above. Again the best way to prevent this is to make sure you do not over feed and that your water is clean.

Problem: Premature hatch
Solution: Hatching can occur basically any time after the eggs have eyed. The causes for premature hatch are not clear, but it seems that once the fish hatch, they continue to develop as if they were still in the egg shell. There is really not much we can do. However, careful handling during pickup, transport and placing the eggs in the tank may reduce this problem.

Problem: Fish dying
Solution: Not every fish that is hatched lives. If they all did, then we would be overrun with them. If you notice one or two fish dead in your tank, not to worry. If you notice many per day then you have a problem. Something may have been introduced to the water that is killing them off.

Questions to ask are:

  1. were the fish healthy and eating well before this happended?
  2. are the fish behaving like they are trying to escape from the tank (ie. get away from the problem?
  3. is the water cloudy or have a bad smell?

These are all signs that a substance has been added to the water. Try changing the water in the tank or plan to release the fish ASAP.

Any of the following can have a major impact on your fish – strong detergents, hand lotion, chlorinated tap water.

Check for foreign objects such as pennies, which can kill the fish.

Sometimes, fish never learn to eat. They continue to swim around and look normal, but eventually they weaken and die. These fish are referred to as pinheads due to their shape. These pinheads usually all die around the same time, so your dead fish count will be very high. About the only thing to do, is again try to relesed them early. The pinhead die off usually occurs very close to your release date.

Problem: Transporting the fry
Solution: If you have access to a fry tank from the local DFO or Provincial hatchery, use that. If not, a large cooler works well. Fill about halfway (guys can you help with cooler size and amount of water.)

Problem: None of the above provides a solution.
Solution: Contact the appropriate person for help.