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Old 10-05-2008, 09:05 PM   #1
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What is the problem here?

Here's our fish story:

We got a 20 gallon tank and cycled it for two weeks. We then purchased (using names because some find it easier to remember them/it makes them easier to be called) The Governer (cherry barb), Glam (red cobra guppy), and Odin and Pan (harlequin rasboras).

Odin (harlequin rasbora) died ten days later. After Odin died we changed the water 20 percent. About two days later we purchased six new fish; Diva (red flame guppy), Popstar (german yellow guppy), Kilo and Byte (hastatus dwarf cory), Pilot (a replacement harlequin rasbora) and Geoffrey Leonard (upside down cat).

The very next day, Diva died, seemingly for no reason as we tested the water (not test strips) for Nitrites and Ammonia and it was all clear, completely.

Two days after Diva died, Glam died. How ironic (note my username). Glam died a few hours ago. We checked the water again-- all clear. We make sure they eat all of their food and keep as little at the bottom as possible.

We don't need any sarcastic remarks; we're NOT careless and we're doing everything we've been told AS BEST as we can. We check on them constantly and love them a lot, so we don't need any random accusations of just buying them to stare at or whatever. We're new but we're not careless or stupid; we just want to save the rest of them.

Thank you for all your help. We just want to know if anyone has any idea WHY this is suddenly occurring. Things were going perfectly before, but now they just keep dropping. Do their species not mix well together? Could they have been sick? Is it the tank?

ADDITIONAL DETAILS ON EACH OF THEM. YOU CAN SKIP OVER THIS IF YOU DON'T THINK IT'S RELATED TO THE SPECIFIC FISH OR THEIR "PERSONALITIES", ETC:

The Governer (cherry barb): He's the most aggressive and chases the smaller ones around. People might suggest that he stresses the fish, but the ones that died were never victims of his mildly psychotic behavior.

Glam: Glam was always sort of anti-social and liked being in corners and in shadows; perhaps he was sick, but he lived a while and at points he seemed more social.

Odin, Pan and Pilot: as harlequin rasboras they are/were (in Odin's case) very peaceful and social. Nothing odd.

Diva: He seemed completely fine. He and the other two guppies were often together once he and Popstar (the two new ones) were released. They were getting along very well but eventually he sort of split off from them. his colours were VERY bright and he acted very normally for the day he survived. His death was a shock.

Popstar: The last guppy alive, seems very healthy and happy.

Kilo and Byte: As I said in my last thead, they physically LIE at the bottom but they are not dead. They just behave very strangely like that.

Geoffrey Leonard: Bottomfeeds normally, active, slow-moving, not very social with the others.
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Old 10-05-2008, 09:20 PM   #2
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Hm.

Did you buy your tank new or used?
Have you treated anything in the tank with a chemical?
Do you have live or fake plants? Driftwood?
What are you using to dechlorinate the water?
I know you were working on a nitrate test kit- have you gotten one yet?
Are pH and temperature constant?
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Old 10-05-2008, 09:53 PM   #3
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By all clear do you mean that the test results are 0? If not what were the actual numbers? It's always best to post actual numbers as people may interpret the results differently.

For the fish that died, did you note anything odd about their behavior? Hiding a lot? Rapidly moving gills? Staying very close to the surface? That sort of thing?

How are you acclimating your fish? Do you know whether or not the store's water is similar to yours or not?
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Old 10-05-2008, 09:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluerose View Post
Hm.

Did you buy your tank new or used?
Have you treated anything in the tank with a chemical?
Do you have live or fake plants? Driftwood?
What are you using to dechlorinate the water?
I know you were working on a nitrate test kit- have you gotten one yet?
Are pH and temperature constant?
We bought our tank new.

We put "bio support" in it once after Odin died as it was suggested to help the tank cycle/put the good bacteria in the tank.

Fake plants, no driftwood.

We have a water conditioner that removes chlorine from the tank water and the aforementioned bio support that we put in once.

No, we haven't gotten the nitrate test kit yet, but we will as soon as possible. And if the results indicate nitrate, I guess we know the problem.

The pH and temperature are constant.
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Old 10-05-2008, 10:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purrbox View Post
By all clear do you mean that the test results are 0? If not what were the actual numbers? It's always best to post actual numbers as people may interpret the results differently.

For the fish that died, did you note anything odd about their behavior? Hiding a lot? Rapidly moving gills? Staying very close to the surface? That sort of thing?

How are you acclimating your fish? Do you know whether or not the store's water is similar to yours or not?
Yes, I mean 0. As in, no indication of either of the chemicals.

Regarding their behavior, Glam stayed very close to the surface a lot, but so did Diva and so does Popstar, so we figured it was guppy behavior. Does this mean Popstar is on his way out too? He seems very happy and is really normal otherwise. Glam always hid a lot, too, but he always hid ever since we got him and he was perfectly fine for all this time up until the unexpected death today.
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Old 10-05-2008, 10:05 PM   #6
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I don't believe nitrate is the problem.

You cycled the tank for 2 weeks (a normal cycle where you see ammonia, then nitrItes, then nitrAtes) lasts for 4 weeks usually.

And you stocked the tank too fast, further increasing the bioload.

That would be why the fish died, IMO.

What kind of test kit are you using? Have you ever had ammonia show up on the test kit....or nitrite? If not, then there is a problem there. I've never heard of bio support, so I don't know if its one of those that actually works. There are several products out there that claim to work, but have shown to not work. I would be interested to know if you have any nitrates, when you get a test. A cycled tank will always have nitrates....so you want those....ammonia and nitrites you don't want (unless you are cycling.....and then you want to keep them low with fish, but you do want them to know the tank is cycling).


I also see you have some schooling fish that you don't have schools for (Rasboras, Cherry Barb, Cories) so that would explain some of their behaviors. Cories don't usually do a whole lot, but they are pretty active when you have a nice group of them (I'd suggest no less than 6).

I hope you can get the tank straightened out.
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Old 10-05-2008, 10:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longliveglam View Post
Regarding their behavior, Glam stayed very close to the surface a lot, but so did Diva and so does Popstar, so we figured it was guppy behavior. Does this mean Popstar is on his way out too? He seems very happy and is really normal otherwise. Glam always hid a lot, too, but he always hid ever since we got him and he was perfectly fine for all this time up until the unexpected death today.
Some fish just like to swim at the top levels of the aquarium, and this is perfectly fine. However if you have a fish that normally swims in the other parts of the aquarium that suddenly starts hanging out right at the surface (nose right below the waterline) usually accompanied by rapidly moving gills, this can be an indication that the oxygen level is too low or that they are having a hard time breathing.

I'm asking about changes in behavior or behavior that seems to indicate that the fish isn't feeling well. This could be differences since you've had them, or differences from what you saw at the store.
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Old 10-05-2008, 10:57 PM   #8
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Hello longliveglam. I'm sorry to hear of your troubles.
First let me just say that every single person on this forum, myself included, has been exactly in your shoes. So you will get no sarcasm or scolding here.
I've jumped in simply to offer a few things to help to save your fish.
I agree 100% with justonemore20 who has accurately described what has happened.
Be advised that there realistically no such thing as an instant cycle. Not meaning to knock any product such as Bio Support or even Bio Spira, but personally I find it hard to believe that "live" bacteria can survive in a sealed air tight bottle without oxygen. But, I am not a scientist nor a chemist, just a hobbyist.
I truly believe your tank is not indeed cycled. Although I am a believer and advocate of fishless cycling, you can however cycle with fish. If you have not already, I urge you to read the articles on the Nitrogen Cycle. It will give you a clearer picture of what should be happening. I also urge you to get the test kit for NitrAtes. These test kits will be very invaluable now and going forward.
Once you get the test kit, I would first test your tap water. Not to imply there is anything wrong with it, just to eliminate any possibility.
As an immediate attempt to help your fish right now, I would do a 20-30% water change and temporarily fill to only an inch or so from the top, in order to provide a little splash to oxygenize the water. IMO both of these things can certainly do no harm.
Once you get that test for NitrAtes (ASAP) a lot of good folks will jump in and coach you along.

I hope this was somewhat helpful
Good luck
Bob
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Old 10-05-2008, 11:17 PM   #9
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It also might be good to know what your pH is... if it's very basic or alkaline then that could be an issue.
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Old 10-05-2008, 11:21 PM   #10
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Thank you for all this information, all of you. I must admit that after reading all of it, it is a bit overwhelming and I'm still sort of fuzzy on what we should do immediately.

We will do as you suggested, RJRofFL, and change 20 percent of the water either tonight or tomorrow. A lot of you are urging us to get the nitrate test, so we will.

We WANT nitrates, correct? Is it really terrible that we have no nitrites or ammonia? I've been under the impression that we don't want these chemicals near our fish.

Another question I have is this: the store told us that we could only have up to around 10 fish. This is why we've gotten such small amounts; for example, only to corys and two harlequin rasboras. We felt very limited with the different types we could have, which is why we only got doubles of some, at most.

ANOTHER question: JustOneMore20, what do you mean by "stocked the tank too fast"? Are you saying they died because we put too many fish in at once? They all died at sort of different times, so it confuses me. For example, Odin and Glam are the two "originals" (part of the first group of four) that have died, and Odin was first to go, Glam last.

Another sort of hypothetical question...Let's say they all begin to die within the week (hopefully it doesn't come to this). What should be our first step? Will the tank then be in good enough condition to bring in the "first" group of fish? And they'll be more successful because we'll have waited longer? Or is that wrong?

Sorry for all the questions. I'll keep this thread updated, hopefully with results of a nitrate test. Thank you.

-Longlivegl- ....I really need to change my screen name. Glam was initially my favourite, you see. >> Now it will be...Longlivepopstar. I really hope he makes it, in particular. I'm very attached to him. Now I'm rambling. Just putting the word in there in case Popstar conveniently goes next.

Thanks again.
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