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Old 08-19-2009, 11:04 AM   #1
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our fish are dying...help us please!!!

We used to have a small fish bowl I would say less than 1 gallon with 5 Guppies, with no filter, just a plant. They used to live in our friends tank that didn't have a filter either. We had them there for about 3 months and no problem at all.

Now we moved to a new apartment and bought a fish tank which is roughly 2.8 gallons, with a filter and a light and some ornaments including a big rock and some plants. We put 1 cap of "Super Aqua Safe" and 1 cap of "Beneficial Bacteria Booster" and left it there for about 48 hrs before putting the fish inside. We had the guppies living happily there for about 1 week with no problem at all, and since we had them before on a way smaller tank we decided to get some more. We bought 2 cardinal tetras, 2 beautiful male guppies and a sucker, and everything stayed being ok for some days. Later we decided to get some more fish to make our tank more colorful and so we bought another cardinal tetra, 3 neon tetra and 1 female guppy. Every time we bought new fish we sunk the bag inside the tank for a while before releasing the fish so the water was approximately the same temperature. We think it was the next day that the problems started. One of the male guppies we bought started swimming funny, like head up tail down, rolling and died about 12 hours later, then about 24 hrs later the same thing happened to the last female guppy we bought. During the next 48 hours the male guppies we had from the beginning did the same trick of swimming head up tail down and died (one first, later the other), we noticed their bright orange fins started to get darker before they died. We even tried to isolate one of them in the fish bowl we used to have our fish but he died anyway. At some point during this whole process we thought we might be giving them too much food so we reduced the amount, we also noticed that the small sucker was eating a lot of food from the bottom of the tank and thus pooping longer than his body's length (gross). We also though we might have been turning the light on for too much time during the day so we also started doing that less.

So after all of this we noticed that the all the fish started to get sick, because the guppies colors went darker and the neons and cardinals colors started to fade (red almost gone). So we had this “Anti Protozoan & Fungus” our friend told us to get when we first set up the tank. The doze said 1 cap every 20 litres, so we put half a cap every 24 hours at about 7pm, a couple of hours after putting the medicine the fish still look bad but every morning after they look good. This process has been repeated for 4 days so far and we don't know what to do.

Meanwhile, one of the female guppies we had since the beginning and that we though might be pregnant had the babies. We don't know how many they were, but at least 3 of them survived and we didn't noticed them until yesterday.

This morning we saw that they looked good, so we decided to stop the medicine. As we read somewhere before, we replaced a part of the water (about 30%). Everything was ok during the day until we came home at about 8pm and they looked pale and dark again. For some reason we turned on the light and came here to write this and we checked on the fish again they regained their colors! All except for one neon tetra which was hiding in the shade with his colors still faded, so we took him out to the fish bowl and came back here to post.

To sum up we now have 2 female and 1 male guppy, 3 cardinal tetra and 2 neon tetra on the fish tank and 1 pale neon tetra in the bowl that won't even eat.
We are really sorry to be some stupid newbies but we don't know what's going on and what the **** to do. But we love our fish and we don't want them to keep dying, it makes us sad every time we have to take one out of the tank.

There's one other mystery in our fish tank, from day one there were these small white balls that looked like tiny styrofoam balls, which after using the medicine for a couple of times turned light blue. We thought they were nothing but then they started to get on our nerves so we took them out. These things were squishy and when you pop them there's some sort of pus inside of them (yuk), we still have some of them inside the tank but in tight places so we haven't taken them out yet.

tl,;dr: we are stupid newbies with dying fish
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:12 AM   #2
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Welcome to AA!

In my opinion that is still too small for them, but let's deal with the other part first. The "tank" was not cycled and the fish are likely dying of ammonia poisoning. Changing water with temp matched and dechlored (Prime is great) water will be their best hope. Forget about the miracle bacteria in a bottle products for now. That's an entirely different chat / debate.

I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?!
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Old 08-19-2009, 01:11 PM   #3
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Excellent advice from HN1, I agree completely.

I would do water changes twice a day in this tank for the next 3 weeks or so. Try not to disturb the gravel too much but do get the white things out if you can. Don't know what they are but would definitely take them out.

These water changes will help a ton, forget the meds, water changes are your best bet right now.
Hang in there. We all make mistakes when we start out. You will be on your way to a healthy tank in a few weeks but do be aware that you will be likely dealing with an overstocking issue next.
But the most important thing is the cycle. Read up on it and do those water changes and your fish will be just fine.
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Old 08-19-2009, 01:51 PM   #4
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yeah....too many nitrates, nitrites, etc. in the tank...it didn't go through an initial ammonia spike yet, so adding all those fish just spiked the tank levels...water changes, use distilled water...should fix it
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Old 08-19-2009, 02:01 PM   #5
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One thing I seem to be finding out more and more is that water changes are hardly ever a bad thing!

I took a sharpy and made a small dot on the corner of my tank at the 30% and 50% levels to help things out a bit with the water change.

From what I am seeing from my personal use and from other's talking about them 99% of the "quick start" bacteria bottle are snake oil. Not worth the plastic it comes in.
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Old 08-19-2009, 02:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RWaltman View Post
yeah....too many nitrates, nitrites, etc. in the tank...it didn't go through an initial ammonia spike yet, so adding all those fish just spiked the tank levels...water changes, use distilled water...should fix it
No need for distilled water. RODI has applications, but in 99% of cases it's not needed and can do harm because all the minerals are striped out.
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Old 08-19-2009, 02:50 PM   #7
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One thing no one mentioned is that, even after you get the tank cycled and all, a two and a half gallon tank is WAY TOO small for 9 fish! That many fish would be somewhat crowded in a 10 gallon, I cannot imagine that many in a tiny 2.8 gallon! Those Neons will never be happy, just no room to swim. That size tank is made for maybe ONE Betta or 2 guppies at most. So, no matter if the tank gets properly cycled, you are always going to have ammonia, etc problems from having too many fish in too small a space.
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Old 08-19-2009, 03:16 PM   #8
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I can only agree, you have an overstocked tank that has not cycled (built up the bacteria needed to keep the water healthy). I would suggest you need more like 3 fish and a lot of water changing until the tank matures.
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Old 08-19-2009, 04:24 PM   #9
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one thing no one mentioned is that, even after you get the tank cycled and all, a two and a half gallon tank is way too small for 9 fish! That many fish would be somewhat crowded in a 10 gallon, i cannot imagine that many in a tiny 2.8 gallon! Those neons will never be happy, just no room to swim. That size tank is made for maybe one betta or 2 guppies at most. So, no matter if the tank gets properly cycled, you are always going to have ammonia, etc problems from having too many fish in too small a space.

2.8!?!?! I thought it said 28!!!!!! Your tank isn't big enough!!! you can place about 1" of fish for every gallon so you could get a nice betta (they breath air so water quality isn't the biggest issue) or a couple guppies...
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Old 08-19-2009, 04:33 PM   #10
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Ok. I think they get the idea. Lets not badger them. They know what they have to do now with all the great advice they just got. So lets see how they handle this situation. They made a mistake and there is still always time to make things better. Good luck! Keep those fish alive!
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