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Old 03-17-2011, 12:58 AM   #1
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stop me before I kill again

Despite all my time, effort, money and prayer my fish keep dying. I feel I got in way over my head with this hobby as it has become a real money-pit and very depressing.

My background:
A good friend of mine would have me take care of her three large aquariums while she was away. I simply followed her directions and the fish were happy and thriving, some even bred under my care. I loved it.

Decided to strike out on my own. Bought an inexpensive neon tetra tank set up in a box with all the accouterments, water conditioners, food and so on. Disaster struck the first day. Followed the directions, made sure the water was the right temperature etc. The fish kept jumping out the bowl to their deaths. The ones that remained seemed to be paralyzed, breathing but floating motionless. Did several water changes. Came home one day to find all them dead. Still have no idea what went wrong. Packed up the bowl and vowed never to keep fish again.

Six years later decide to give it another go with something easier. A betta. 6 gallon tank with a filter. Couple of snails for company. Soon disaster strikes again. Paralyzed fish. Used all the right products, thermometer says the temperature was right. Seemed like he was getting better at first, but soon, dead fish.

Bowed but not broken I got two more fish. They did fine a couple of days before breaking out in ick. I purchased all kinds of medicine plus ammonia/nitrates/nitrite/ph/water hardness/acidity tests just in case the water levels has somehow caused the ick. It showed the water was perfect. One died, after looking like it was getting better. After waiting to make sure the other was fully healed I returned it the pet store before he could become my next victim.

I started my tank all over again, cleaning the gravel with boiling water, cycling it from scratch. The other tanks hadn't been cycled, because no one had ever told me you were supposed to do that, so I suspected some kind of "new tank syndrome" was getting them, but my test strips said otherwise. They showed the levels in my tank to be ideal. So I'm very confused there. What's going wrong????

For the past three days now I have an empty tank except for two snails. Test strips show the water to be fine but I don't trust in it anymore. I am trying to sprout some plants first, before I put any more fish in there, hoping that the plants will help. I am thinking a small school of tetra this time. Something colorful but not injected with dye like they do to those poor neons and fruit tetras.

If you have any tips and pointers, or any clue what keeps killing my fish, or how I can prevent this from happening the next time I would really appreciate it. I am fearing a repeat. Also if you have other small tank fish you can suggest to me that would be great.
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:00 AM   #2
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What are your exact water parameters? That might help.

And how long did the tank cycle? Did you check the levels to be sure the cycle was complete?


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Old 03-17-2011, 01:05 AM   #3
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Yea definitely cycle before adding fish. Your fish were jumping out of the water from the ammonia in the water (burning them)

Don't use test strips! Get the API Freshwater master kit! it costs a bit, but you actually save money (vs test strips).

Do you have filter?
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:12 AM   #4
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This is my first time cycling a tank. Again, like I said, the other tanks were uncycled because no one ever told me that had to be done. They should put that on the box somewhere when you go to by a new aquarium or at least an employee should mention it. I was simply adding the water conditioners, start zyme, checking the temperature and plopping them right in.

Even still, after I checked it said my ammonia levels were 0 (ideal) Nitrates 0 (ideal) Nitrite 0 (ideal) water hardness medium, total alkalinity 120-180 (ideal), freshwater ph 6.8-7.2 (neutral)

I remain baffled. Out of speculation could it just be that the fish were shocked and traumatized from being moved so much, from the store to the bowl?
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:13 AM   #5
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Yes I have a filter and a nice one. For a 5-15 gallon tank.
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:16 AM   #6
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In a cycled tank the nitrAtes will always be around ten give or take some. They can go up to about twenty before you need to worry.

Did you acclimate the fish, and if so, hat method did you use?

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Old 03-17-2011, 01:23 AM   #7
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did you declorinate your water? how big is the tank? do you know of any metals your water is high in? dont be discouraged, i used to keep a tank and actually did fairly well, but could have done much better and that was for the most part luck. Now i just set my tank up, read up on cycling, talked to people and thought i cycled it well. Now i am trying to fix amonia/nitrite poisoning. Just do lots and lots of research, i have been on here for two days and it has been an excellent learning tool!
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:24 AM   #8
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I took the bag or bowl they came in, and set it inside the tank water for an hour, so the temperature would match, then released them. They didn't go into any kind of shock or flip around or anything. Just swam normally. Problems would show up 2-3 days later.
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:29 AM   #9
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Yes of course I used the water conditioner/declorinater, also algae control and start-zyme, which is supposed to help you start up your new tank. Our city water here is supposed to be pretty good. I did though, have sea shells as part of my tank decoration. I have learned that is not a good idea because it hardens the water and adds too much calcium. I have removed them.
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brry View Post
Despite all my time, effort, money and prayer my fish keep dying. I feel I got in way over my head with this hobby as it has become a real money-pit and very depressing.

My background:
A good friend of mine would have me take care of her three large aquariums while she was away. I simply followed her directions and the fish were happy and thriving, some even bred under my care. I loved it.

Decided to strike out on my own. Bought an inexpensive neon tetra tank set up in a box with all the accouterments, water conditioners, food and so on. Disaster struck the first day. Followed the directions, made sure the water was the right temperature etc. The fish kept jumping out the bowl to their deaths. The ones that remained seemed to be paralyzed, breathing but floating motionless. Did several water changes. Came home one day to find all them dead. Still have no idea what went wrong. Packed up the bowl and vowed never to keep fish again.

Six years later decide to give it another go with something easier. A betta. 6 gallon tank with a filter. Couple of snails for company. Soon disaster strikes again. Paralyzed fish. Used all the right products, thermometer says the temperature was right. Seemed like he was getting better at first, but soon, dead fish.

Bowed but not broken I got two more fish. They did fine a couple of days before breaking out in ick. I purchased all kinds of medicine plus ammonia/nitrates/nitrite/ph/water hardness/acidity tests just in case the water levels has somehow caused the ick. It showed the water was perfect. One died, after looking like it was getting better. After waiting to make sure the other was fully healed I returned it the pet store before he could become my next victim.

I started my tank all over again, cleaning the gravel with boiling water, cycling it from scratch. The other tanks hadn't been cycled, because no one had ever told me you were supposed to do that, so I suspected some kind of "new tank syndrome" was getting them, but my test strips said otherwise. They showed the levels in my tank to be ideal. So I'm very confused there. What's going wrong????

For the past three days now I have an empty tank except for two snails. Test strips show the water to be fine but I don't trust in it anymore. I am trying to sprout some plants first, before I put any more fish in there, hoping that the plants will help. I am thinking a small school of tetra this time. Something colorful but not injected with dye like they do to those poor neons and fruit tetras.

If you have any tips and pointers, or any clue what keeps killing my fish, or how I can prevent this from happening the next time I would really appreciate it. I am fearing a repeat. Also if you have other small tank fish you can suggest to me that would be great.
Hi...I am new here (joined today) but my son had the same problem with his new to him 55 gallon tank. His fish when first introduced, went to the top and gulped for air. He had a brand new very expensive pump and filter system. I saw it for the first time yesterday and noticed there were absolutely no bubbles in the water. They died from lack of oxygen. Just a shot in the dark here, but is your filter system making lots of bubbles
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