“Why are all my fish dying? I just cleaned my aquarium out, changed the filter, changed the water and scrubbed everything! It’s perfectly clean.”

It’s because you cleaned your aquarium completely. Never do a complete clean-out unless you’ve had a major die-off and need to start over.

Every aquarium contains bacteria that digest fish waste. When you clean your aquarium out completely, you remove almost all of those bacteria. That means that when your fish defecate, the poop simply decomposes, producing ammonia.  You probably had enough bacteria to handle the waste your fish were producing before you did your atomic clean-up. Now you don’t.

See our page on Aquarium Maintenance.

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