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Old 07-03-2014, 07:13 PM   #1
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Problem tank

Hi guys,
I'm 100% new here and needed some advice on my 10 gallon tank. It's a standard 10 gallon tank with a 10-20 gallon Aqua-Tech filter that I love. I've got Seachem Flourite Dark gravel mixed with some white sand as a substrate. I also have a Hydor 50W Submersible heater.

I've tried twice to this tank up and running but my fish keep dying.

1st, I tried a single beta which survived for about six months, then one day he was belly up =[.
My second attempt I had 3 adorable panda corydoras which all died off one by one.

In each case, I checked the water parameters often, did routine water changes and the fish were fed on a schedule. The only problem I could imagine is that fact that I took the fish out whenever I cleaned the tank.

I've read that you should leave them in the tank, but if I had to scrub algae off the tank or vacuum the gravel, I always felt bad that there was filth floating in the tank with them or was worried that I would stress them out while I was in there.

Could this have been why they all died off? Either way, I'd really appreciate some tips on how to clean a fish tank without moving the fish. I was planning on upgrading to a 50 gallon for a peacock eel or some cichlids but if I can't figure out the 10 gallon there is no way I'm moving up lol.

Also, in between my beta and the corys I tried planting my tank with some bulbs from walmart and then a java fern tied to a lava rock from Petco but I have no luck with plant either. The plants began to turn black so I clipped off those pieces but it just spread and spread until the plant died and I removed it from the rock. I really like planted tanks but I'm probably going to go with realistic looking fake plants next time.
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Old 07-04-2014, 10:06 AM   #2
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What do your nitrates sit at?
How often did you do you water changes?
Do you ever change the filter pads?

You definitely don't need to remove the fish each time you do a water change. Just imagine trying to catch 20 - 30 fish in larger tanks every week The debris suspended in the water doesn't bother them.

Just suck 50% the water out with a siphon and replace it with fresh temperature matched dechlorinated water on a weekly basis.
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Old 07-04-2014, 10:12 PM   #3
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My nitrates and nitrites are both always at zero, I've never had a problem with then rising.
I do water changes every week + a half, sometimes every two weeks and yes I change the filter pads whenever they look rough or dirty - about every couple of months.

When I do the water changes, should I pre-treat the water with water conditioner for a while before I add it? My tap water comes from a private well on our property so it doesn't have any of the chemicals that city or town water has but I've never added it straight to the tank without treating it.
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Old 07-04-2014, 10:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shufflereplay View Post
My nitrates and nitrites are both always at zero, I've never had a problem with then rising.
I do water changes every week + a half, sometimes every two weeks and yes I change the filter pads whenever they look rough or dirty - about every couple of months.

When I do the water changes, should I pre-treat the water with water conditioner for a while before I add it? My tap water comes from a private well on our property so it doesn't have any of the chemicals that city or town water has but I've never added it straight to the tank without treating it.
How about your ammonia level? It's very very highly unlikely that a tank will have 0 nitrates unless it's either very heavily planted, uncycled, or you are doing the nitrate test improperly.

What test kit are you using?

The water conditioner works immediately so there's not really any need to age your water unless there's a large disparity in pH levels between the tank and new water.

Lastly, the filter pads should almost never be changed. They hold just about the entire colony of your nitrifying bacteria and when they are removed it can cause an ammonia spike harming your fish.
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