Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 08-09-2021, 10:56 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Posts: 8
Newbie- 20 gallon setup

I had a 10 gallon tank as a kid and unfortunately I do not remember much of the setup or care.

My daughter turned 4 last week so I bought her a TopFin tank kit from Petsmart. It uses the TopFin Silentstream 20 Power Filter. I know this isn't high end stuff, but I'd like to make it work.

I used water conditioner and a quick start product recommended by the Petsmart associate then let the tank run for 3 days. I also added various decor at the same time. I took a sample of the water to the store before buying fish and they said it was ok to add fish. I purchased 3 black skirt Tetras and 3 glowlight Tetras.

I forgot to let the bag sit in the tank to acclimate the fish and just dumped the fish in. Despite this they seemed ok until day 2. All fish were introduced to the tank on Friday. I lost 1 black skirt on Saturday, and 1 Sunday. Today I lost a glowlight. The test strip kit shows my GH is 30, KH 40, PH 6.5, and Nirtates 0. Tank water stays constant at 76 degrees without use of a heater. On full "open" the power filter seems to create too much current so I turned it down last night but I am not certain what the flow rate should be. I can only adjust the valve between open and close which regulates the flow coming over the top into the tank. I did not wash the gravel or any of the decor which my neighbor thinks could be an issue. The water is slightly foggy as well.

The two black skirts were found dead and sucked against the power filter intake. The glowlight started floating vertical with head up and would randomly swim out of that position then return.

Any help is much appreciated. I don't recall this being so hard when I was 10!

__________________
KGalvond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2021, 11:54 AM   #2
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
rlederer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Northern California
Posts: 761
Did you measure ammonia? That could be the culprit. You bought water to the store that never had fish in it, so it tested fine, but as soon as you added fish, ammonia started to build up. Regardless of the additives you might put in the tank, you should let the tank run at least a month before adding fish to make sure it is cycled. You can get info on cycling a tank on
__________________
Roger (always pH) Lederer
rlederer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2021, 12:01 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 5,868
You didnt cycle the tank. Despite what the store employee might have said, adding quickstart and waiting 3 days won't cycle the tank and make it safe to add fish. Despite their testing the water and saying its safe, this isnt the case. All they are testing is tap water, with dechlorinator added and quickstart added. Its never had any waste in it, and all their test shows is that there is still no waste in it (because you don't have fish).

Is there anything left alive in your tank? If so you you need to do what is called a fish in cycle. I can give advice on that. If there is nothing left alive you can pre-cycle the tank so it is safe to add fish before you get them. This typically takes 6 to 8 weeks. This is called a fishless cycle and again i can advise you on how to do that. I know how impatient kids are though, so getting a few more fish, adding them and doing a fish in cycle will probably be your preferred route.

Let us know how you want to proceed. Fish in cycle is reasonably safe for the fish if done properly. The issues arise when you add fish and do nothing to maintain safe water while the cycle establishes.

Lesson learnt. Dont believe what fish store employees tell you. Most of them have no more idea on keeping fish than you do and even if they do the advice they are told to give comes from HQ. Their job is to sell you fish.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2021, 12:14 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Posts: 8
Thanks for all the input. I have 3 left but based on what you guys are telling me I am guessing their days are numbered.
Should I just put them out of their misery now and start the cycling process or is there any hope they will survive in which case I can do the fish in cycle?
__________________
KGalvond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2021, 12:19 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 5,868
Absolutely their days arent numbered. Unless they aopear to be suffering dont euthanise them.

First off do a water change, 50% of the water. See if that improves the conditions of the fish.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2021, 12:26 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Posts: 8
Ok, I will try that this afternoon. So use the same quick start and water conditioner on the new water?
What should I do to start the in fish cycle process?
__________________
KGalvond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2021, 12:29 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 5,868
Im just on my way home, so ill give you some more advice later. Do the water change, use water conditioner, if you have quickstart left over from your previous use that wont do any harm. Maybe relederer has something to add in the meantime.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2021, 01:44 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 5,868
As rlederer says you need to be able to test for ammonia. I presume from the water parameters you gave you have strips as they dont usually have the ammonia test included despite it being the most likely parameter to be causing problems. While i dont want to be seen as getting you to spend money, a liquid test kit is better than strips. API freshwater master test kit is a good one to go for. It covers the basics (pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate). It is fairly easy to use, accurate enough for what you are doing and as you get 100s of tests from it, more cost effective long run. Ammonia test strips are available if you dont want to go for a liquid test, but strips arent as accurate and more expensive/test.

Until you are able to test for ammonia change water daily. 25 to 50%. This should keep water safe until you can derermine what your parameters are.

Don't add more fish. Feed lightly to start with. As much as is eaten in 1 minute daily or 2 to 3 minutes every 2 days.

When you can test, test daily. Your target is to keep ammonia + nitrite below 0.5ppm through water changes. If you see 0.25ppm ammonia and 0.25ppm nitrite change a little water, say 20%. If you are seeing 0.5ppm ammonia and 0.5ppm nitrite (1ppm combined) change enough to remove half the waste, so 50%. If parameters get worse you might need to do multiple 50% changes per day.

Eventually you will consistently see 0ppm ammonia and nitrite in your daily test and your nitrate should be rising steadily. You are cycled for your current fish and can add a few more. Repeat with the daily testing, water changes as needed until your cycle catches up to the increased bioload. Rinse and repeat until fully stocked.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2021, 01:51 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 5,868
Quote:
Originally Posted by KGalvond View Post
I don't recall this being so hard when I was 10!
If you stock lightly start with, change water regularly, add new fish slowly, tanks cycle without you needing to know anything about it. Perhaps fish died and where replaced.
__________________
Aiken Drum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2021, 02:38 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Posts: 8
Thanks. I just did a 50% water change out. I will pick up the master test kit this afternoon and see where the ammonia is.

I appreciate the help!
__________________
KGalvond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2021, 11:42 PM   #11
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 457
Definitely test for ammonia. The tank is nowhere near the point of seeing nitrites/nitrates. Ammonia is going to be the issue at this point.

You can most definitely keep the remaining fish alive if they aren’t already suffering from ammonia poisoning, but it’ll take some work. Going to be some frequent water changes coming up until the beneficial bacteria starts doing it’s thing.

I did 25 comets and 2 pleco fish-in cycle in a 29gal because I had no option. And short of a couple stray deaths it all worked out and The tank is fully cycled after 4 weeks and the fish are doing great

I don’t imagine your situation will be quite as bad as mine was, but I’d still do daily ammonia tests although you’ll likely be safe for a couple days between needing to change water. It’s a tough line to walk, you need the ammonia in the water to feed the bacteria and start the cycle, but you also need to keep it at a reasonable level to reduce stress or death of the fish
__________________
ColdKoi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2021, 09:59 AM   #12
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Posts: 8
Update:

I lost 1 more glow eye tetra yesterday so I am down to 1 black skirt tetra and 1 glow eye tetra.

This morning's readings:
Nitrate no2: 0 ppm
Nitrate no3: 0 ppm
Ammonia: 0 ppm
pH: 6.8

I have only done 1 50% water change which was yesterday around lunch.

The two fish remaining appear to be ok, but I cannot get them to eat. They tend to stay in one section of the tank and do not react to flakes being dropped in.

I appreciate everyone's help thus far!
__________________
KGalvond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2021, 10:15 AM   #13
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 457
Seems odd to keep losing fish without anything majorly wrong with the water quality

No signs of disease?
__________________
ColdKoi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2021, 10:27 AM   #14
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Posts: 8
I have no idea what the levels were before the water change so perhaps the ammonia levels were bad before the water change?

The water is maintaining 76 degrees without the heater on.

The only thing I noticed is as each fish would die they would start to float vertically with mouth up then swim out of it and return to the same vertical position. The 2 remaining fish are just hovering about 3/4 up in the tank but do seem to swim around more often. I'm obviously no expert here- what signs would I be looking for?

The HOB filter does put out a good stream of water. Should I turn this down or leave it alone? When the fish swim into the stream it does move them around a bit.
__________________
KGalvond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2021, 10:39 AM   #15
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 457
As long as the filter isn’t churning up the entire tank to the point the fish have nowhere to rest, it should be ok. I thought the same with mine, I run a 70g hob on my 29 because of the bioload in the tank and it really moves the water around at that end of the tank, but the opposite side is hardly moving and the fish seem to enjoy playing in the stream

I’m far from a fish expert too, but typical store bought fish tend to have ick/ich which typically looks like little white spots on the fish.

Maybe make a post in the fish health section if you haven’t already.
__________________
ColdKoi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2021, 09:32 AM   #16
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Posts: 8
Day 2 since the 50% water change. My levels remain the same- 6.8 pH, 0 ppm ammonia and nitrate. The 2 fish remain but still don't eat.
__________________
KGalvond is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
20 gallon, gallon, newb, newbie, setup

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
25 Gallon tank setup (newbie) Charlie.636 Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 8 04-10-2013 02:30 PM
10 gallon setup (saltwater newbie) T-Rexx Nano Reefs 10 09-04-2012 01:18 PM
Sunrise/Sunset/Moonlight setup for non-LED setup? Fishmutt Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 2 06-29-2012 11:48 AM
Newbie 75 gallon FOWLR setup.... input appreciated... Christopher311 Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 0 05-14-2012 07:22 PM
55 gal filter setup & CO2 setup Codefox Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 8 01-10-2006 10:59 AM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:58 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.