Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Milk in the fish tank

Yes, unfortunately you read that right. This morning in my sickly stupor, I was sitting on the couch w/some of the children watching something...I honestly don't recall what it was...then I heard it...the call of the wild! No, not really, it was the call of Miss A declaring: "MR. A JUST POURED MY CUP OF MILK IN THE FISH TANK!!!!!"


I ran in to check, head pounding from the quick movement, and saw that this was indeed the truth. These poor fish! I immediately called CKB as he has been the one taking care of the fish tank cleaning all along and asked him what he wanted me to do...he calmly suggested adding a few gallons of clean water (it was a little low already) and then removing a few gallons. He asked if I knew how to use the siphon we have and I confessed that I did not, but would see what I could figure out. I didn't figure it out - after a few moments, I decided it'd be easier to just dip the gallon jug in and take water out that way. So, after about 1/2 hr. the fish were in their new "home" of milky water. I don't know what else to do at this point. Removing them completely into brand new water would potentially shock them and be their end. It's been many hours and they're still swimming around in there (when we can catch a glimpse of them through the murky water, that is). Will they make it through this? I don't know...I'll keep y'all updated.

I searched the internet for "Milk in fish tank" and other variations to no avail. Are we seriously the first people to have had something like this happen? I can't believe that! But then....who knows!

If you have had this experience, I'd be thrilled to hear how it worked out for you and what you did in the aftermath.

I feel bad for these poor fish - they're hearty though to still be alive - maybe they like milk? Maybe they're really "catfish"? Ha ha. Ok, no, they're comet goldfish, but anyway, I'm tired and sickly and thought that was a little funny.

I'll be going now!

**Update - CKB is home and has done another round of water changes and things are looking better - I can see the fish now without getting right up to the glass...Thanks Mr. Sea Monkey Geek for your suggestion to continue doing water changes every hour or so!

** Day 2 the fish are in nice clear water again - all those water changes did the trick - great job, CKB!


Sea Monkey Geek said...

I would recommend continue to do a gallon or two water change every hour until the water isn't milky.
Most of the beneficial bacteria will stay behind in the gravel and in whatever filtration you're using so it won't give them a shock as long as the new water is dechlorinated and the same temperature as the water in their tank. The threat of the milk is, I think, much greater than the threat from correctly done water changes.
I hope that helps. :)

Sea Monkey Geek said...

You mentioned on my blog that you have a brown tinge. Most likely algae.
Make sure you clean the algae from the glass using a special sponge from your aquarium supply shop.

To cut back on the algae in the water cut back on light that the tank gets. There are cheap timers that are great for this. If your tank gets a lot of natural light (NO direct light I hope) you might consider moving it, or pulling the blinds for parts of the day.
Light = algae.

Of course using a good filter and not over feeding will reduce the algae as well.
And you might consider some live plants. Anacharis is a cheap option and is available at most aquarium shops.

Good luck. :)

Teaching Diligently said...

Our tank is 400 gallons -- It would take a LOT of milk to bother us & a ladder to get to the top. Okay, sorry after our fingernail polish last week I have to laugh for a minute. THANK YOU FOR THIS POST! After showing your post to my dh he is feeling better about the nail polish throughout our house. He agree's with the geek - change your water 1 gal every hour until the water clears with DECHLORINATED water.
I'm saying a special mommy prayer for you!

Tina - mom of 7 said...

How funny. We haven't ever had that happen and since our youngest is almost 6, I would think we're past the "danger zone". haha Thanks for sharing!!

W. Latane Barton said...

Cat are so funny. I would have never thought of that in a million years.

How funny would you be if you weren't sick. Poor thing. To have that happen and you feeling poorly. At least hubby to the rescue. Aren't they great?

CAB said...

Haha, not sure about how funny I am, but I might have been delirious at the time :)

And, yes, Amen and Amen! CKB changed the water a few gallons at a time a couple of times during the evening and the water is getting better...I think it might take a couple of days to get "clear" least we didn't have any floating fish this morning!

The Tile Lady said...

Don't children make life exciting! :-) You never know what the little ones will do! Glad the fish are OK.

Debra said...

I asked my 3 year old to feed our fish yesterday and he fed it milk!I'm in the process of doing water changes hourly too but the fish isn't looking too good. Milk is good for teeth and bones but apparantly not fish!

allicat said...

well it happened to us just now. My 2 1/2 yaer old just dumped his Chocolate Milk into our fish tank. thankfully we're not alone and the adivise we've found here eases my frustration. I'm on the water change-post haste!

Anonymous said...

So glad to have found this post! My 2 yo just dumped a whole cup of milk in my 30 gallon tank. Starting the water changes now. I have a couple ghost shrimp in the tank too, really hope I don't lose anything!