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Old 07-14-2020, 10:05 AM   #1
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Problems keeping fish alive

Hi all,

I'm really struggling with keeping fish alive in my tropical 10g tank. I initially started my tank with 3 platys, a dwarf Gourami and 6 neons.

Since then, 4 months ago, all of them bar 1 platy have passed away. The strange thing is that the fry from what I believe is the platys are surviving fine as is a cory catfish I added after the initial few fish I initially purchased died.

I test my water weekly and it comes in constantly at 7.6PH, 0 Ammonia, 0 nitrites, 10-20ppm nitrates using API freshwater test kit. The temperature remains at a constant 26-28C and I do water changes once per week. The fish get fed flakes once per day and the lighting is on for approximately 10-12 hours.

I also examine all the dead fish for signs of white spots, ich etc but nothing. Something that is possible is that a few fish died but I never recovered them from the substrate as I couldn't see them, could It be they were diseased and the existing fish may have ate their decomposing bodies?

Is there any other suggestions anybody has? I do know the GH of my water is quite high but aside from this I am perplexed. I have bought all my fish from the same LFS, is it possible they could be of poor quality?

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 07-14-2020, 02:49 PM   #2
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Nothing really springs to mind. It could of been a combination of new tank and fish quality. Here I find barbs and cichlids the most robust.
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Old 07-14-2020, 08:13 PM   #3
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10g isn't a lot of space. Dwarf gourami need 15g to themselves. Do you notice any bullying? It could also be stress related or you added too many fish at once.
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Old 07-15-2020, 05:07 AM   #4
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10g isn't a lot of space. Dwarf gourami need 15g to themselves. Do you notice any bullying? It could also be stress related or you added too many fish at once.
Hi Sara

Nothing that strikes the eye. I have been working from home the past 3 months due to covid19 and my desk is beside the tank so I would see it a lot. There is no hiding from fish. Apart from when the platys were first added, there has been no chasing either.

I'm really at a loss as to what could be causing the fish to pass. I don't know if anybody has any other suggestions.

The positive thing is that I now appear to have 6 fry healthy in the tank, swimming freely and eating well which is great.
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Old 07-15-2020, 09:31 AM   #5
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Ok I am by no means an expert but I'll chime in.
A 10g tank is hard to get going well simply because it is so small and if something starts to go wonky it happens fast. What percentage is your water change? I found a weekly 50% change or 2x25% changes really helped keep the water quality at its best in my 10g. This should keep your Nitrates to the under 10 that is optimal in a tank that size.
Neons are finicky at the best of times, I would be able to keep mine alive maybe *50%* so I stopped buying them unless it was from a TRUSTED source.
I haven't kept Gourami in 25 years so can't speak much about them.
Platy too can be iffy but the fry because they were born in your tank *should* do ok.
A single Cory is not going to be happy they prefer a minimum of 4 preferably 6 and your tank is too small for that many unless they are Pygmys.
I would take the Cory back if it's not a Pygmy and see if you can get some of these if you have to wait for them to order them in do so they're worth the wait.
Your lights don't need to be on more that 6-8 hours unless you have plants that require LOTS of light. If it's for your viewing pleasure you can break it up into 2 periods mornung and evening using natural light in between.
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Old 07-15-2020, 05:17 PM   #6
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Ok I am by no means an expert but I'll chime in.
A 10g tank is hard to get going well simply because it is so small and if something starts to go wonky it happens fast. What percentage is your water change? I found a weekly 50% change or 2x25% changes really helped keep the water quality at its best in my 10g. This should keep your Nitrates to the under 10 that is optimal in a tank that size.
Neons are finicky at the best of times, I would be able to keep mine alive maybe *50%* so I stopped buying them unless it was from a TRUSTED source.
I haven't kept Gourami in 25 years so can't speak much about them.
Platy too can be iffy but the fry because they were born in your tank *should* do ok.
A single Cory is not going to be happy they prefer a minimum of 4 preferably 6 and your tank is too small for that many unless they are Pygmys.
I would take the Cory back if it's not a Pygmy and see if you can get some of these if you have to wait for them to order them in do so they're worth the wait.
Your lights don't need to be on more that 6-8 hours unless you have plants that require LOTS of light. If it's for your viewing pleasure you can break it up into 2 periods mornung and evening using natural light in between.
Hi, thanks for your reply. Yeah it's usually a 50% water change I do every week. I tested my nitrates today and they are actually under 10ppm for the first time since my tank cycled.

I was always under the impression that neons and platys were "hardy" fish so I was really shocked when I lost so many of them. As you said, I'm hoping the fry are good as they were born in the tank.

The Cory is standard I believe. He does seem quite happy and keeps himself to himself, rarely annoys any other of the inhabitants and feeds well. I have had him around 8 weeks now.

I have some plants in the tank just anubius and java fern.
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:20 PM   #7
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Iím the same - I find neons and live bearers are actually not that hardy. A bit different to when I was a kid and live bearers had to survive someone who knew nothing on tank cycling.
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Old 07-16-2020, 11:38 AM   #8
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I'll put my two cents in.In my opinion neons and gouramis are difficult fish to keep alive. for neons by 10 and 6-7 live. Gouramis are not the easiest fish to keep either. I have bought them and put them in a very mature tank. Good water parameters. A couple of weeks dead. I thought I had bulling. So I moved some fish around. Bought them again. Dead in a month.It just might be the tap water you use. Too hard or soft fish doesn't like it. I can't keep mollies. My brother lives 25 miles away has them breeding. Than I talked to a breeder. He asked me wear I live. My water isn't hard enough to keep Mollies.
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Old 07-17-2020, 08:49 PM   #9
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I did find dosing carbonate powder (was more for plants I thought at the time) resulted in the mollies lasting longer (here anyways). Before that Iíd have one lost every month or so with nothing obvious.
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