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Old 05-31-2018, 05:45 AM   #1
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Unhappy New fish died within hour! Snail dead? Help!

Hello!

I have a 45-gallon tank. I have a female Reeves turtle. There are fake plants in the tank, pebble substrate, two large filters, a bubbler, an above-tank basking platform for my turtle, a heater, and fake moss rocks in my tank.

I've had my tank running for almost 2 years now. I am certain that it's cycled, though I don't have anything to test the parameters.

I got new fish today from a lady who was moving. I got 11 neon tetras, this transparent tetra, two striped catfish (they aren't actually catfish, though. They look like large, tan tetras with a black stripe going through the middle of their body horizontally), and a little water snail.

I had the fish in bags. Once I got to my house, I floated the bags in the tank for thirty minutes. I then scooped the fish out of the bag and put them in the tank. For about an hour, they seemed fine. The "catfish" swam around together and the neon tetras schooled. Eventually, the "catfish" went their separate ways and hung at the bottom of the tank. I did some homework. I checked on the fish about 20 minutes later and one of the "catfish" had died. The snail also hasn't moved since I put it in the tank (it was fine in the bag).

Please help! My tank temperature is ~25.5 degrees Celsius (77.9 degrees Fahrenheit). Am I doing something wrong? Thank you!

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Old 05-31-2018, 08:09 AM   #2
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There's a good chance the fish died due to stress. Netting the fish from the previous owners tank, transporting them, then acclimating them to your tank, quite a day for a fish.
It sounds like you did everything right. Occasional fish and invertebrate losses should be expected. Just keep watch on the rest. Post pics when you can.
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Old 05-31-2018, 10:58 AM   #3
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When acclimating new fiends into an aquarium, it’s best to float the bag, like you did, and then also take some of your tank water and mix it in with the water in the bag. Then, net the fish into their new home. This way they can get used to the conditions of your water. I’m sorry to hear this happened to you! My guess is that the fish passed due to stress or too much fluctuation of water conditions. Also, when it comes to snails, it’s hard to tell sometimes if they are dead. The best way to tell is to smell them! If they smell bad, then they are dead. If they just smell neutral or like your water, they could just be hiding for a while. They do that sometimes. It’s important to have a steady algae amount in your tank for your snail to have, so it’s not recommended to throw them into a new tank right away, but since yours had already been established I’m not sure if that was an issue. Hope this helps! Good luck
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Old 06-01-2018, 04:00 AM   #4
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Oh. My. Goodness. Thank you for your comments but one of the very worst things that could possibly happen... happened. Thirteen fish out of fifteen died. That's not normal. I got strips to test the parameters and my nitrates were too high. Over the course of 2 days, I probably did a 50% water change and cleaned out one of my large filters. The snail never responded so I'm guessing he was really dead. Two Neon Tetras remain and they seem to be doing okay.

My turtle is completely fine. She's happy and healthy.

I don't know what I should do! Please help!
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Old 06-01-2018, 08:17 AM   #5
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Since there are only two tiny tetras left, there isn't really much to worry about.
Change 50% of the water once a week. Thoroughly gravel vac the substrate. Squeeze out the filter media in used tank water once a month. Dont over feed your turtles. The Neons will probably eat food crumbs from the turtle.
Neon Tetras are not very durable fish and require near perfect water parameters to survive.
In four or five weeks, the tank should stablize. If you still want Tetras, might try a few Buenos Aires or Diamond Tetras. Both types are tough and inexpensive. Good fish to learn from.
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Old 06-02-2018, 08:04 AM   #6
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Thank you! The two tetras are still alive and don't appear to be declining. For the most part, they swim around the bottom of the tank and sometimes hide. They sometimes go away from each other but will try to school when my turtle goes from her basking bin to into the water. I've done a few 15% water changes.

Besides the water parameters, I'm worried about feeding them. Since they hang around at the bottom, I can't feed them like you would with typical fish. I tried an algae wafer which is meant for plecos and they were literally chilling above it but didn't see it so I had to take it out of the water to prevent any excess nitrate growth. There's probably particles of food from my turtle's food in the substrate and there is plenty of algae on the glass of the tank. What should I do?

Thank you!
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Old 06-02-2018, 09:14 AM   #7
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Just let the Neons eat the crumbs from the turtle food. They need such a very small amount of food to survive. Dropping excess food in the tank is likely to foul up the water.
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Old 06-04-2018, 02:59 AM   #8
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Thank you! This afternoon, I discovered that one of my Neons had died. This is the one I haven't seen picking at the particles and its fins came frayed. It was swimming around normally and schooling as well this morning. It hid every now and then and would swim fast if my turtle went near it. These appear to be all normal signs. I don't know what happened, but only one fish remains and it seems to be doing great. Should I do anything? Why do you think the other one died? Stress?

Thanks!
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Old 06-04-2018, 06:40 AM   #9
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The fish likely died from high nitrates.
Although many fish and turtles can live in water with with high nitrates they will not do well if they are just installed into the water.
IMO the turtle appears fine since it was allowed to acclimate to the nitrates while they grew and the fish did not.
Change water to get nitrates in safe range [under 40 IMO] and then try fish again.Again IMO neons are too fragile to make good mates with the turtle unless they are just snacks for him?A more hardy choice like a livebearer or hardier tetra would be best..
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Old 06-08-2018, 04:18 AM   #10
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Thank you. Will lowering the nitrates be harmful for the turtle? Thanks!
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Old 06-08-2018, 07:52 AM   #11
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High Nitrates = dirty water. Low Nitrates = clean, well managed water. All aquatic creatures will benifet from low nitrates.
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Old 06-08-2018, 07:25 PM   #12
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The turtle really needs clean water also.
Long exposure to poor water will end up effecting his immune system IMO.
For the turtle alone you could change an easy 50% a week and still possibly not be at a happy point for fish ?
Getting the nitrates down is a good thing.
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Old 06-11-2018, 03:27 AM   #13
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Ohhh. I understand now. Thank you!
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