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Old 08-02-2021, 12:15 PM   #1
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Help, New tank, Tetras dying

Hello! I am new to this forum, I am so glad I found you all!

My 9 year old daughter got a new 10 gallon fish tank for her birthday. We set it up (gravel, filter, heater, plastic plants/decor) about 3-4 weeks in advance. I tested the water weekly with our general hardness GH has been around 60 ppm, that hasn't changed, our Carbonate hardness KH has been around 40-80ppm, our ph has been around 7.5. Our Nitrate has been 0ppm and our Nitrite has been at 0-.5ppm.

Yesterday, we bought 6 glo tetras and brought them home. We let the bag sit in the water for about 30-45 min then added the fish. About 5-6 hours later, one fish died. Then overnight, 3 more fish died. We now only have 2 left. I tested the water again this morning and everything seems stable except the Nitrite is now around .5-1ppm (approx...hard to tell with the simple test strips). The Nitrates still appear to be 0ppm.

Can anyone help with why they are dying? My 9 year old is heartbroken. Trying to save the last 2 and hoping to go purchase 4 more to replace. Just don't want to keep going through this process. If anyone can help, please reply. And if you can use layman terms, that will help me, I am a newbie to these conversations. I read posts about this issue and I don't always follow the terminology.

Thanks to anyone who can help, I didn't know fish ownership would be so hard.

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Old 08-02-2021, 12:38 PM   #2
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Hi there, sorry to hear your loss. I have 6 Glowlight Tetras to...

Thought these points might help

Did you apply water dechlorinator? If not there would be still chlorine in the water. Chlorine would then stress the fish and then kill them.

Another idea I had is What is the temperature in the tank set to ? It’s should be around 25degrees.

Furthermore is the filter/pump or aerator on ? You need oxygen In the water, to help the fish survive.

Hope that helps your survivors. (I would recommend adding some tonic salt to the current surviving fish)

Thank You
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Old 08-02-2021, 12:42 PM   #3
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Also I would not recommend buying anymore fish until the other fish are okay. And make sure you re test the water. Maybe buy a more advanced testing pack.

I know your only trying to please your daughter but go careful. I would wait a while before buying more fish. See how the alive fish are keeping for a while and treat them with lots of care. Eg tonic salts, dechlorinator and lots of oxygen in the water.
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Old 08-02-2021, 12:43 PM   #4
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PS. hope your daughter is okay, and reassure her everything will be okay ! It’s just a matter of time and getting good water quality.

Another suggestion I have is ring the fish shop you bought the fish from and tell them what happened, they might be able to help. They might even replace the fish.
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Old 08-02-2021, 01:03 PM   #5
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Thank you ErrorycodeJoe14! Yes, we are going to wait to buy more fish once we can keep the last 2 alive. If they die, we will go through a fishless cycle and test test some more. But in the meantime, I hope to save the last 2. I did use dechlorinater. The temp in the aquarium is at 80 degrees (F), so I think that is ok. We do have a filter/pump running. I think the Nitrate/Nitrites need to adjust further. Maybe didn't do enough testing. Going to try a better testing system (not strips) and hope for the best.
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Old 08-02-2021, 01:11 PM   #6
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Yes I would recommend a better water testing kit. You should be able to get one for under £20 on AQUACADBRA OR MAIDENHEAD AQAUTICS website. May to adjust your nitrates try using TetraNitrateMinus (I’ve attached a Pets At Home link) that will help. I would purchase that (it’s the cheapest I found) and get click and collect from you local pets at home store. https://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/p...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

You might also be able to find a good cheap testing kit for there too.

Hope that all helps.
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Old 08-02-2021, 01:33 PM   #7
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How did you cycle the aquarium? Nitrites present with no nitrates means the tanks not cycled. Your going to want to get an ammonia test and start testing your ammonia and nitrite levels daily and do a water change with a quality de-chlorinater whenever either gets above .5ppm. Basically if you have 1.0ppm ammonia and you do a 50% change then you’ll be at .5ppm another 50 and your at .25. Search on here or google for”fish in cycle”
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Old 08-02-2021, 02:29 PM   #8
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+1 on what bigredsreefs says about cycling and what errorcodejoe says about not adding any more fish.

I would add however, that while i agree you arent likely to be cycled based on what you have said, an uncycled tank isnt likely to have killed fish in such a short time period. Im presuming as you havent mentioned ammonia you have test strips that dont test for ammonia. If so, you need to get something to test for ammonia. If that is very high it could still be a cause.

Common causes for overnight fish deaths.

- Not acclimating properly.
- No dechlorinator.
- Lack of oxygen.
- Detergent in the water.
- Fish already sick.

Im also going to throw in that glofish are notoriously not hardy and seem to die at the drop of a hat if anything is slightly off.

A water change should always be your first action if anything seems off. And until you are able to properly test your water parameters i would change maybe 25% daily.

I would also advise against chemical treatments to manage water parameters. Getting your tank cycled will be the best way to manage this.

Hope your fish pull through. When you are able to test properly let us know and we can advise more on cycling. If your fish are ok a fish in cycle. If you want to go fishless, we can advise on that too.
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Old 08-02-2021, 02:50 PM   #9
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Thank you all for your help! I have a better testing kit on order and will test for ammonia when I get it. Hopefully the 2 tetras we have will live until then. If not we will start over with fishless cycle testing and try again.

The pet store thought glo tetras would be the best fish for our tank, unfortunately I think maybe not. Might try non-glo tetras next, we'll see. The more I read, the better I hope to learn. Thank you all again for your time!
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Old 08-02-2021, 03:07 PM   #10
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Glo tetras are GM black phantom tetras. These are some of my favourite fish. 10g would be suitable for these fish, they arent active swimmers so they dont need loads of swimming space. When they are breeding the males have these cool fights, not usually too violent, just establishing rank. 6 would be a good fit for 10g. Starting with 6 on a fish in cycle was a lot of bioload to throw into an uncycled tank. 2 is a much better starting point. That may have been an issue.

Something i learnt today. Glofish are illegal here in the UK with large fines and jail sentences for keeping them, larger deterrents for breeding and smuggling them.
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