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Old 02-10-2010, 10:17 PM   #1
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Neon Tetra just died please help me

I am fairly new with keeping fish. I have had my tank for about 4 months and have had many deaths so far.

All 4 of my ghost shrimp
1 sunburst wag
8 blue neon tetras (i gave up on the blue ones)
1 bala shark
and now 2 of my orange neon tetras

at first I had 3 of them. One of them,Spark, was always at the bottom and didn't really eat. She died a few weeks later. After wishing her luck in StarClan, i got another one named Plasma. She lived for about 2 months i believe. She also acted in this sort of manner and didn't eat much(but she did eat sometimes) Just now i found her having swimming problems and shortly after, dead. This is my 2nd orange neon death and im scared for the others.

My tank is 20 gallons. I tested the water and all was fine. I added some fresh water as well. Like I said before I have had this tank for about 4 months. My water hardness is hard, I hear tetras like soft water, but would that cuase death? If so how would i make my water softer and would that effect my other fish? Im not sure what to do. My fish are my life and i will do anything for them. Please help us. I currently have 1 sunburst wag, 2 orange neon tetras, 1 ghost catfish, 3 guppies,a little algee eating fish(don't know the name) there are 2 live plants too
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Old 02-10-2010, 11:22 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA! First I would ask when you say you tested the tank and it was fine, what are your exact parameters for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? It seems to me that perhaps your tank is not cycled and the fish deaths may be from ammonia or nitrite poisoning.

The hardness of your water should not kill the tetra's if they were purchased from a store near you they would already be acclimated to your water.

Neon tetras can be quite difficult to keep, quite often they are sick from the stores.

What size is your tank? When you do water changes do you add dechlorinator? How often and how much do you do water changes?
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:33 AM   #3
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Im not sure of the exact number for i look at the color and match it up with the guide. it was the lowest it could go for everything except hardness.

My tank is 20 gallons and when i change water I do put in dechlorinator. I usually only change the water when theres something wrong or the gravel gets dirty. I might change it every 2 months? I only had this tank for about 4 and done about 3 changes. I take out about 20 percent.

And thanks for the welcome. I got a little despriate and seeked help.
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:35 AM   #4
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Are you using test strips or a test kit?
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:36 AM   #5
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Most people on here change the water 20-50% once a week.
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Most people on here change the water 20-50% once a week.
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:55 AM   #7
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You should change the water at least once a week. 20 gals is too small for bala sharks so avoid them in the future. Start by changing 50% water a week and keep an eye on things before adding any more fish.
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Old 02-11-2010, 01:58 AM   #8
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Just add my 2 cents.... I agree with the above poster..first off, do not add anymore fish. Your tank IMO seems to still be trying to cycle or start a cycle or something along those lines. I am sorry for the deaths of your fish but human error has shown that new fish keepers often dont know about cycling the tank (i didnt and went through this same thing), but my tanks now are healthy and active. I suggest you listen to the above posters and change your water atleast 20 percent twice a week or 50 percent once a week.

Continue this until your parameters are good. Check your water all the time to ensure your in good standing. I used the strips (against most wishes on here) and everything came out good but if you can spare the cash get the master test kit.

Once your params are good then your fish should be fine and you can go along with the natural care of keeping fish. Hope this helps
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Old 02-11-2010, 04:52 AM   #9
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My tank is 20 gallons and when i change water I do put in dechlorinator. I usually only change the water when theres something wrong or the gravel gets dirty. I might change it every 2 months? I only had this tank for about 4 and done about 3 changes. I take out about 20 percent.
Way too little. It could be that even if the tank is cycled, they are being poisoned by nitrates. Most here would recommend 20% once a week as an absolute minimum. Even if your tank is completely healthy, much more if you have problems.

Test the water again, before you do a change, and tell us your exact readings.
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:16 PM   #10
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It seems from your post that you no longer have a bala shark? Is that correct? If so, good, because it is not meant for the aquarium hobby. If you still have it, return it to the store ASAP.

Get a new liquid reagent test kit (Freshwater of course). Aquarium Pharmaceuticals sells a nice one for ~$20. It includes all the necessary tests to keep an eye on your water quality. I cannot believe your tank shows no ammonia, nitrIte, or nitrAte after 4 months of very little water changes and fish deaths. It's just not possible unless you have some incredible lighting, are dosing fertilizers, have a CO2 source, and those 2 plants of yours are growing like crazy (ie it's not possible in your situation).

Start doing 20% water changes EVERY day for a week. That's right, a full week. And at each water change make sure you are using a gravel vacuum so that you can suck up any crud that is bound to be on the bottom from 4 months of feeding with very little water changes. Make sure the water you are adding back is the SAME temperature as the tank water and has been dechlorinated PRIOR to addition (I use a 5 gallon bucket). That will reduce your nitrogen buildup by 80% gradually so you don't kill the remaining fish from a clean water shock. I'm pretty confident that unless you added some chemicals such as antibiotics/pH changers or replaced your filter inserts you shouldn't still be cycling. Please make sure you are not replacing your filter media. If you can tell us what type of filter you have we can give you advice on how to maintain it (also tell us if you have recently replaced the filter media, and how long ago did you do it).

My guess, like the above posters, is that you just have bad quality water that will create a host of problems resulting in disease and death.

Your current stocking level is someone understocked in a HEALTHY tank. For now though, don't add more fish, and care for the ones you currently have.

HTH, and realize we've all been there at some point...
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:56 PM   #11
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Are you using test strips or a test kit?

I am using test strips, but i usually go to the pet store to get them tested. I only test myself when something happens.

20 gals is too small for bala sharks so avoid them in the future

Yeah I'll never get another Bala shark. The person at the pet store was all like it will adapt and she knows cuz she has a 8 year old bala shark. Its her baby. I asked her a million times if my tank was too small, but she kept saying it would be fine. And she was the petcos manager.

The first month I had the tank I do believe it went though a cycle for the water got very foggy, but went away after a week or so. The people at petsmart said my water was good and it was ok to finally get some fish.

Make sure the water you are adding back is the SAME temperature as the tank water and has been dechlorinated PRIOR to addition

I always add dechlorinate to the new water, but I'm not sure how to make my water the same temperature as the tank water now. Iíve been having a few problems with my temperature. It started at 76 degrees but has risen to about 79. My tank can in a kit so the heater and filter came with it. On the heater there are no numbers, just an arrow pointing both ways. I tried to lower it but the temperature didn't seem to change.

I'll start to change the water every week by using the gravel vaccum.


The only problem i have ever had with my tank was the PH and nitrates. I got the stuff that lowered it.
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Old 02-11-2010, 01:01 PM   #12
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Test strips aren't very accurate (at all) so you need to get it tested with a liquid test kit. Also you shouldn't add stuff to change your pH cuz a high pH is better than a fluctuating pH. Nor should you add stuff for nitrates because that is what is taken out by the pwcs and adding chemical to your water can be very dangerous if you don't know exactly what your adding and exactly what it does (not just what it tells you it does). So keep up on the weekly pwcs and hopefully your tank will start improving soon.
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Old 02-11-2010, 01:16 PM   #13
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Thanks everyone I just did a water change and i got some pictures that I will try to upload tonight. I can't really go out anywhere to buy anything due to the 2 feet of snow outside at the moment.
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Old 02-11-2010, 01:18 PM   #14
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Great. Can't wait for the pics lol. Where did you get 2 feet of snow at?
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Old 02-11-2010, 01:23 PM   #15
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We had back to back snow storms. One on Saturday and another one yesterday. Together we got about 70 inches.
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Old 02-11-2010, 04:08 PM   #16
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Another thing to consider with changing water - just like siphoning water out of the tank, siphon it in. Dumping the bucket into the tank all at once can shock your fish, both from temperature changes and chemical imbalances. When I'm changing my water, I remove the hood and prop the bucket on the corner of the top of the tank and siphon it down into the tank. I've added 60 degree water to a 75 degree tank with the heater lowered into the tank and running, and I only registered a 3 degree temperature drop.

If you really want to get technical on equilibrating the water temperatures, get an extra thermometer and stick it in the bucket for 20 minutes before adding the bucket to your tank.
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Old 02-11-2010, 05:00 PM   #17
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I use a 1 gallon jug to fill my 20 gallon.
I get the water running and stick my thermometer in it for about 1-2 minutes (in a clean glass)with water still running. when I get it to 78 (my tank temp) I start to fill my jug and 1x1 fill the tank. wound take forever if it was a 55 but with a 20 its not too bad. Just dont forget to add your Declorinator.
With this methind you see almost no change in temp in teh tank . also I use a plate or spood when I pour the water in, to make the water hit the glass... then it doesnt push teh fish down into the rocks beause they are always currious in the tank when I change the water and swim under the stream of water. I accidently killed a neon that way last year
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Old 02-11-2010, 05:07 PM   #18
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I never thought of that. I fill a pitcher with water which is like half a gallon and slowly put that in and do that for about 6 times. So it's not all at once, but it is still kind of together. When I'm done I put in the dechlorinate. Is this a bad method?
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Old 02-11-2010, 05:12 PM   #19
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I generaly put 1/2 my declor in the 1st container. Then put the rest in near the end. I generaly do 1 change eve 10 days or so of about 40-50%. once i get my plants thriving again I do less like about 20% just because I have to add nitrates anyway.
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Old 02-11-2010, 08:43 PM   #20
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Quote:
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I never thought of that. I fill a pitcher with water which is like half a gallon and slowly put that in and do that for about 6 times. So it's not all at once, but it is still kind of together. When I'm done I put in the dechlorinate. Is this a bad method?
It's not a bad method at all. The reason I siphon is because I use 5-gallon general-purpose buckets I got at Home Depot.
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