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Old 04-14-2014, 11:45 AM   #1
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Questions from a Newbie

Hi Guys! Im new to this site and having an aquarium!
About a month ago I purchased a 10 gallon tank, two red wag platys and two black mollies...I added 'Quick Start' & 'Stress Coat'. The guy at my local Petsmart said that it would be fine for them. A week or so went by and one of my black mollies became very lethargic and skinny. She would hide behind the filter. All of the other fish were fine and loved feeding time. I did a water change two weeks into having the tank. Added the stuff to the water, everything seemed fine, besides having whitish brown algae on the tank walls! The lethargic black molly seemed to come to live again, eating more, but still skinny. Now the other black molly, who was gaining weight because she was eating all the food, seemed to becoming the same way as the other one...My platys were still fine. The female whom I thought was pregnant was just getting bigger and bigger. All the fish were still alive and very somber. I did another water change in two weeks. I had Petsmart check my water. He said there was no ammonia but there was HIGH levels of nitrites (or nitrates) he said to get PRIME and add a cap full to my water and do another 25% water change in a few days, because my tank isn't fully cycled yet. I was going to do a water change today but this morning my pregnant platy was sitting on the bottom of the tank barely moving, I'm thinking she was dying, but then i saw a baby on the other side of the tank. She then quickly got up, when she realized i was awake and it was feeding time. i put the baby and momma in the breeding floating thing that sits on top of the water. The momma still seems to be very tired and just lays there. Could she be having more or did already and I can't seem them? Im scared with the water change I will hurt the possible other fry in the tank!! The fish all seem to be fine today...
If you could offer any insight on anything that I should be doing or am doing wrong that would be great! If you have questions, ask away!

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Old 04-14-2014, 01:49 PM   #2
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Welcome! I am fairly new here also so no expert but since you've not got a response yet I will chime in to start you off on the right road.

I highly recommend you so some reading up on tank cycling. There is a ton of info online including in the article sections of this site. It really helps to understand exactly what's going on right now.

Also, get yourself a test kit asap so you can test at home. When your tank is fully cycled you'll want to test weekly but now I would be testing either daily or at least every other day so you really need your own kit for convenience, but also because I wouldn't always trust what the store tell you (depending on who did the test). There are some people in stores who are knowledgeable and great, but many who have limited training and can often steer you in the wrong direction. I would rely on the advice on this forum instead.

Regarding water changes - yes do one asap! Again read up on it but I seem to recall during fish in cycling you should probably be doing a partial water change about every other day. Until your tank has enough beneficial bacteria to take care of the waste your fish produce it's the only way to get rid of it. Don't worry about hurting the fry or fish - NOT changing the water is what will be hurting them. If you've only done 1 change in 2 weeks they are probably listless due to the water quality. People here do a 50% water change weekly (depending on your stocking levels) and you should do much more during a cycle. Just make sure you match the water temperature to the tank, and yes use Prime conditioner.

Anyway, hope that helps. Again I'm no expert myself but hopefully this has helped point you in the right direction.
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