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Old 07-18-2011, 03:56 PM   #1
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New aquarium many fish died; too soon cycle didnt happen?

Hi friends, I am new to the forum and Ive talked to many people from Petsmart, Petco and Petland. I started the aquarium around the 2nd of this month. I poured a small bottle of solution I was told to pour into the tank from someone at Petsmart, I waited 24 hours and added an albino pleco and a few tiger barbs. The barbs bothered the pleco a little but after awhile left him alone. Over the course of a week I added about 5 more fish, all barbs. A little more than a week ago I noticed small white spots on the fins of my pleco and some of the other fish were flashing against the ornamental cave. I began to treat for ich with a medicine from API called Super Ich Cure. Took out the filter and added the first dose. Waited another 48 hours, didn't see much improvement and added a second dose. I noticed the thermometer on the tank was reading in the mid 70s, no matter how much I slowly twisted the dial it remained at that temp so I bought a new heater and it is now 82 degrees in the tank. I did a 25% water change and noticed a lot of my fish swimming near the top not really eating. They would later, to my grief, be found dead. I had 4 die in one day within a matter of hours of each other. I now only have 3 fish left. 2 golden barbs which eat well and swim around a lot and my pleco with oddly now swims to the top and takes a gulp of air and goes down, he still has visible white spots and the barbs only rarely flash but they still do.

Any suggestions? I replaced the filter with a 150 biowheel and I have a 20 gallon tank.
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Old 07-18-2011, 04:01 PM   #2
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First off, it was a mistake listening to the folks at Petsmart, Petco, etc. They tell you this stuff because they want your money and have little to no consideration for the true wellbeing of your fish. In reality your fish probably succumbed to New Tank Syndrome - you were supposed to cycle your tank for 4-6 weeks (yes, weeks) to establish a safe bacterial environment to deal with all the waste your fish were creating. Read the many guides and articles on this forum about cycling a tank - you'll also probably need to tear down your tank because of the ich, clean it with a gravel vac, and start over.
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Old 07-18-2011, 04:19 PM   #3
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The Bacterial solution is hit or miss, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. Even if you use it, its best to keep a small population of fish (no more than 3) until the tank cycles. I've never had a problem with Itch, but i've heard alternatives to killing itch is using Salt. But i dont think your Barbs can tolerate salt.

Do you have any plants in the tank? they eat up the ammonia produced by the fish, making the cycling less stressful for the fish.
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Old 07-18-2011, 04:23 PM   #4
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Understanding and Treating Ich or White Spot I just stole this from one of the other threads about ich. Though I think one of these more seasoned people would be better at saying what would be best to focus on first, treat the ich or cycling the tank first. At least with both cycling and ich treatment, high temperatures are good.
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnypseudo
Understanding and Treating Ich or White Spot I just stole this from one of the other threads about ich. Though I think one of these more seasoned people would be better at saying what would be best to focus on first, treat the ich or cycling the tank first. At least with both cycling and ich treatment, high temperatures are good.
Yeah, that is kind of where I am stuck too. I mean, the guy at the Petland store; which sounded the most knowledgable was saying leave the fish in there that are there right now. He was surprised to see that they lasted as long as they did. He was suggesting that if one or two of the fish die to just leave it in there to speed up the bacteria that needs to grow. When I use the water testing kit the Nitrate is probably about 30, the Nitrite between 2.0 and 3.0, the hardness is around 150 (I was told this was because of the area, the water is just hard where I live), Chlorine is 0, Alkalinity is between 30 and 40 and the pH is neutral. When the sample of water I brought was tested for total ammonia is was around 1.5, if I could remember correctly.

My primary concern would be to establish the tank, I would like to keep the fish I have now but I would understand if they do not make it. I just last week bought a Marineland Power Filter 150, its meant to handle 20 to 30 gallon tanks. I thought the ich was gone because the pleco and the golden barbs are a lot more active then they were. I cannot tell what stage the ich is in so I am unsure if it is able to be treated. Should I keep the filter and biowheel in there and keep the temperature at 82 and just keep the tank going, feeding the fish and adding water as it evaporates? I was told not to do a water change for at least two weeks. I do have aquarium salt, and stress enzyme that I can add. Just unsure what to do now.
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:37 PM   #6
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unfortunately, being as to how your fish are sick, the lfs prob wont take them back, so youre almost stuck doing a fish-in cycle. what kind of test kit do you have? liquid or strips? mine as well keep the filter in there because its already got the ich in it id imagine. id worry more about getting your tank cycled, because without a properly cycled tank, your fish are gonna more than likely die rather quickly... once the tanks cycled then worry about treating whatever the disease is. dont add anymore chemicals...adding chems just complicates the problem in the long run. IF youre sure, and only then, that its ich, then i guess you could continue the ich treatment...start getting some daily parameter numbers posted and we can help
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by huma-huma
unfortunately, being as to how your fish are sick, the lfs prob wont take them back, so youre almost stuck doing a fish-in cycle. what kind of test kit do you have? liquid or strips? mine as well keep the filter in there because its already got the ich in it id imagine. id worry more about getting your tank cycled, because without a properly cycled tank, your fish are gonna more than likely die rather quickly... once the tanks cycled then worry about treating whatever the disease is. dont add anymore chemicals...adding chems just complicates the problem in the long run. IF youre sure, and only then, that its ich, then i guess you could continue the ich treatment...start getting some daily parameter numbers posted and we can help
A fish-in I would guess mean that I let the fish take the course of nature in the tank? I could treat the ick some more, I am almost sure it is ich but I do not see visible spots on the golden barbs. They just occasionally flash, I did read the sticky this place has about ich possibly only being in gills. I just also realized my remaining fish have seemed to have discovered a fish skeleton...should I let it in there? Its covered in fuzzy white stuff...they seem to pick at it too. Also, with the medicine treatement it calls to remove the carbon filter for best results; should I just put another dose of the ich treatment and remove the filter? Since I added the biowheel, would I need to replace that wheel because the ich would be in it too? Im sorry to be so ignorant.
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:15 PM   #8
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Sorry I'm jumping in at the end here...I would personally treat the ich with heat and salt (slowly raise the temp so it doesn't shock them), and follow this guide about helping them survive the cycling process.

Keeping your ammonia and nitrIte at absolute minimum amounts is going to be key, because not only is that what they need to survive cycling...but raised levels cause stress which further weakens their immune system and will only compound the existing problems. Make sure you've got a gravel vac and a good water conditioner like Seachem Prime to use during the water changes you'll be doing for the foreseeable future.

Good luck!
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:20 PM   #9
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Also a follow-up article to Eco's...this should help with your fish-in cycle. Next time, don't listen to Petsmart or Petco. They are usually clueless, if worse comes to worst ask us here on AA. I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?!
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:27 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by bruinsbro1997
Also a follow-up article to Eco's...this should help with your fish-in cycle. Next time, don't listen to Petsmart or Petco. They are usually clueless, if worse comes to worst ask us here on AA. I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?!
Oooops! That's the one I meant to link! Thank you!

*I'm gonna delete my last post so there's no confusion.
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