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My three fish have all died over the past four weeks. The first to go was my large Bala. He was about 8 years old. Then over the next few weeks my two clown loaches died. They were both over three years old. My chemistry wasn't perfect, but it wasn't bad enough to kill. Could they have just died from old age?
 

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Bala's live 10 plus years Clown loach's live 15 plus years.Have you added anything new to the tank?What are your water parameters?
 

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I had been working out of town off and on so the tank was a few weeks overdue for its monthly maintanace. This usually was no big deal since I only had the three fish in a 55gal. and my canister was for an 80gal. tank. Anyway my filter quit. I didn't notice for another few days until I noticed the bala acting strange. I did a quick test and my Ph was low something like 6.5, and nitrates were high. I showed no ammonia, but I now believe that my ammonia tester had gone bad. I didn't think the water was really bad considering the circumstances. I then immediatley did a 50% water change, and put on my old HOT filter. After the water change everything was back to normal. The next morning the Bala was dead. After the loss of the Bala I bought a few new fish (an eel, a few danios, and a molly). All was well for about two weeks when the first loach died. All chems were fine, no apparant reason for the death. Then about two more weeks the second loach was acting strange, he was rubbing along a peice of diftwood. The next day his eyes were cloudy, and he had some spots on his tail fin. I put him into a quarintine tank, and he died the same day. My first thought was ick, but none of the new fish, or the first loach had shown any signs. Its been about three weks since and all the new fish are fine (other than the eel which had miraculessly wriggled its way out of the tank one night).
 

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Well those numbers does not mean they will live that long just that they can.Im sure your fish deaths was related to stress!
 

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Marty makes a couple of good points.

First, optimum fish ages depend greatly upon optimum conditions. That's just tough for most of us to accomplish in a tank. But, we try. (And have fun doing it.)

Second, I was thinking the same thing: those fish were probably stressed.

I've read about "old tank syndrome", in which the tank gets neglected, but because of pH the NO3, NO2, and NH3 don't affect them quite the same way as they would in a normal pH setting. Then, suddenly better care gets taken of the tank and the fish begin to die. Why? Well, the pH gets straightened out and the "bad stuff" in the tank starts to affect the fish, or at least stress the fish. (Simplified, but to the point.)

Is that what happened here? Could be. I'm not saying you purposefully neglected the fish, or that missing your monthly cleaning was neglectful. But, it might have been just enough to set off this chain of events.
 
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