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Old 05-01-2013, 04:29 PM   #1
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What the heck is wrong?!

So, about a month ago I started up my 40 gallon, freshwater tank. It isn't planted (yet) and it only had a few decorations (which had been cleaned properly.) After cycling it for a week my levels were good, so I left it for a few more days before purchasing fish. I went to my lfs and bought 6 platies (2:4 male:female ratio) and a pair of balloon belly mollies. Two days later, a found one of the male platies dead with no sign of sickness. I checked my levels and they were perfect, and I know that the fish aren't bullying/getting bullied because I watch them all the time. I thought that he must've been sick and that was all. Within the next week 3 more platies died, again with no signs that anything could be wrong. I tried everything I could think of and my levels were still perfect! I posted another thread and people told me it was just bad stock, and that it would most likely wipe out my entire tank. Well, last week it had been two weeks since a fish died. The levels were perfect, the fish were all happy and showed no signs of illness and the water was clear and aroma less . I decided that it must've cleared up (whatever it was) so I purchased a pair of fancy guppies. When they entered the tank all the fish were happy and they all ate together. It has been 4-5 days since they entered the tank. This morning before I left I fed them and they all ate and seemed normal, (I have been feeding them tetra min tropical flakes) but when I walked in 20 minutes ago my female guppy was swimming on her side getting pushed around by the filter. I moved her to a separate tank temporarily but it doesn't look good. I don't know what to do. This is my first aquarium and I wanted to do it right! I must be doing something wrong but I don't know what it is! Can someone please tell me what's happening. I can't stop crying right now.....
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:34 PM   #2
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you said you cycled the tank for a week? and then added fish, how did you cycle the tank? unless you added already seeded material from an established tank, cycling can take any were from 4-8 weeks sometimes longer.

you said you levels have been perfect, what are you using test your water and can you post the the results you get on here so we can further help you

also what is your water change schedule and how much water do you change?

here are some articles they may help you better understand the nitrogen cycle, and how to cycle the tank now that fish are already in

http://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/fishin...tep-dark-side/

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/guide-...ater-aquarium/
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armymp327 View Post
you said you cycled the tank for a week? and then added fish, how did you cycle the tank? unless you added already seeded material from an established tank, cycling can take any were from 4-8 weeks sometimes longer.

you said you levels have been perfect, what are you using test your water and can you post the the results you get on here so we can further help you

also what is your water change schedule and how much water do you change?

here are some articles they may help you better understand the nitrogen cycle, and how to cycle the tank now that fish are already in

http://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/fishin...tep-dark-side/

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/guide-...ater-aquarium/
I cycled it using some bacteria-in-a-bottle. I'm using a liquid test for ammonia (using the testing bottles and samples) and I have strips for the rest of the tests (ph,nitrites,nitrates and gh). These are the levels from today. None of ten have changed very much, except ammonia a nitrites (.25-0 .5-0)

Ammonia- .25
Nitrites- .5
Nitrates- 20
Ph- 7/7.5
General Hardness- 140/180

I also do a 40-50% water change every week and 10% changes when I feel that it's necessary.
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:11 PM   #4
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The tank isn't cycled if you still have ammo and nitrite readings not in a week for sure
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:14 PM   #5
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The tank isn't cycled if you still have ammo and nitrite readings not in a week for sure
The tank readings were different once cycled. The ammonia and nitrite levels were at 0. Those readings were from today
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:22 PM   #6
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did you have fish in the tank when you added the bacteria in the bottle?

the tank needs some kind of ammonia source to cycle, which would typically come from the fish, otherwise any living bacteria in that bottle would have died.

my understanding is you added the bacteria then let the tank sit empty for a week, which did nothing since there is no ammonia source for the bacteria to feed on, your levels would have been all 0 during this time, because the tank is empty.
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:23 PM   #7
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did you have fish in the tank when you added the bacteria in the bottle?
Nope, I did a fish-less cycle before they were added.
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:25 PM   #8
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Nope, I did a fish-less cycle before they were added.
just edit my post with more info.

did you have an ammonia source during this fishless cycle?
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:42 PM   #9
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just edit my post with more info.

did you have an ammonia source during this fishless cycle?
Besides gravel from a previous aquarium, no...
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:53 PM   #10
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ill post these articles again for you to read, they will explain everything you need to know about cycling an aquarium. The bacteria require an ammonia source to feed on, this it typically comes from the fish, as there pee, and poop breaks down into ammonia. letting your tank just sit for a week did nothing even if you used bacteria in a bottle or had gravel from an established tank, most of the bacteria probably died as they were starved of a food source.

The Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle

Fish-in Cycling: Step over into the dark side - Aquarium Advice

please read those two, the first will explain the cycle proccess, and the 2nd will explain how to cycle your tank now that fish are already in as your tank IS NOT cycled as of now, this is probably what caused the fish die-offs you have experienced.

i would also suggest picking up the api freshwater master test kit as they will be much more accurate then the test strips you are currently using.

and test your tap water to make sure you dont have ammonia or nitrates in the water.
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:57 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by armymp327 View Post
ill post these articles again for you to read, they will explain everything you need to know about cycling an aquarium. The bacteria require an ammonia source to feed on, this it typically comes from the fish, as there pee, and poop breaks down into ammonia. letting your tank just sit for a week did nothing even if you used bacteria in a bottle or had gravel from an established tank, most of the bacteria probably died as they were starved of a food source.

The Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle

Fish-in Cycling: Step over into the dark side - Aquarium Advice

please read those two, the first will explain the cycle proccess, and the 2nd will explain how to cycle your tank now that fish are already in as your tank IS NOT cycled as of now, this is probably what caused the fish die-offs you have experienced.

i would also suggest picking up the api freshwater master test kit as they will be much more accurate then the test strips you are currently using.

and test your tap water to make sure you dont have ammonia or nitrates in the water.
Thanks. I'll try to fix the tank before anything else happens
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