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Old 01-04-2005, 10:43 PM   #1
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3 Dead fish in 24hrs, please help our poor fish

I have a new 29G tank and I set it up on December 21st. I purchased 2 striped catfish, 2 guppies, 1 algae eater and a dwarf frog on January 1st. I followed all of the directions on adding fish and my ph and ammonia were correct. My catfish ate one of the guppies (don't know if that has anything to do with it). Two days later my once hyper catfish begin to get yellow spots and slime all over them and within 12 hours of getting the spots the first one died. About 12 hours later the second one died. I went to the LFS and they checked my water and everything was fine. They told me I needed to get a few more fish and add aquarium salt. So, we got 4 danios and added them and the salt today. Within eight hours of adding the danios my algae eater died and now my other guppy and 1 danio are very lethargic and barely breathing. Also, my dwarf frog refuses to stay in the water and is hanging on for dear life on the edge of the tank. What should I do? What's going on? I'm trying to start this new hobby and I'm not getting off on the right fin. HELP!
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Old 01-04-2005, 10:47 PM   #2
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What are the parameters of your water? The temperature, nitrite and nitrate, ph and ammonia? Did you cycle the tank before you added the fish? How did you acclimate them to the tank?

Sounds like you have New Tank Syndrome. There is an article about this. Also, read the article about cycling if you haven't already.

By all means, don't give up! You can do this!
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Old 01-04-2005, 10:53 PM   #3
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I looks to me that your tank is not cycled and your water is extremely toxic. You started the tank on the 21st and added fish on the 1st . I wouldn't trust the LFS making the statement that your water was fine after they "tested" it. You need to know exactly what is happening in your tank. Get your own test kits (ph, NH3, NO2 & NO3). Have you performed any PWC's? If not, do so asap.
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Old 01-04-2005, 11:08 PM   #4
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Well, my danio just died. I just tested my water.
Temp 76
pH 7.0
Ammonia .5-1
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0
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Old 01-04-2005, 11:11 PM   #5
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Also, I meant to add that I have well water so it's virtually clean to begin with. Oh, and also when I added the fish I let the bag sit on top of the water for about 30 minutes then added them.
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Old 01-05-2005, 12:03 AM   #6
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Don't add any more fish until your tank is cycled! Your tank is cycled when the ammonia is 0, the nitrite is 0, and nitrates are around 20-40 ppm. Your ammonia and nitrite will always be 0 in a cycled tank. Most people keep their nitrates around 20 ppm. When they rise to near 40 ppm, lower them back to around 20 ppm with a water change once a week. It may be a good idea to test your well water for nitrates if they seem unusually high. Now, though, since you are not cycled yet, get the test kits and change 30% of the water every day until the ammonia is 0. You may change a little more, or a little less, depending on the level of ammonia. Then you'll have to watch for the rising nitrites and do partial water changes to keep those down. Here's a link to an article here on this site about cycling: http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showqu...q=2&fldAuto=21
Here's another one: http://faq.thekrib.com/begin-cycling.html When you're done with this article, click on "Contents" at the bottom of the page to read more articles about setting up a tank.

To acclimate a new fish, I pour the water the fish came in, and the fish, into a critter keeper. I prepare some water like I am doing a water change. I pour this water, a quarter cup or so, into the critter keeper with the fish. I pour a little water in every 10 to 15 minutes, continuing for about an hour or an hour and a half. Halfway through, if there is getting to be too much water in the critter keeper, I pour a little bit out. I then net the fish, put him in the QT tank (which is the same water as what the fish was just acclimated to), and discard the acclimation water. This is a more gradual acclimation to new water parameters than just floating, especially if you need to get the fish used to (probably hard) well water. Although well water shouldn't have chlorine in it, it probably wouldn't hurt to use a water conditioner like Novaqua and Amquel. Some of these conditioners remove some heavy metals also.
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Old 01-05-2005, 12:13 AM   #7
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I don't even know why the LFS tell everyone to let your tank run for a couple of days before putting fish in. IMO, it's so misleading to newbie's thinking that just because you let it run for a few days without fish means your water is good.

I remember them telling me when I got started too. Letting it run doesn't mean that your cycling has begun. Your cycling starts only when there is food present for your bacteria, such as pure ammonia, fish food, and/or fish waste.

I would agree with everyone else that you need to get your own testing kits for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. Do not add anymore fish. Test your water often and do water changes as necessary to keep your fish as comfortable as possible.
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Old 01-05-2005, 12:44 AM   #8
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Thank you so much. I did a 30% water change immediately and all the fish seem so much happier already. I was wondering why my tank spelled so bad. We will see how things go.
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Old 01-05-2005, 10:11 AM   #9
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Okay, I did my water change last night. 2 more danios died. That means I only have one guppy (barely hangin on), on danio and a frog in a 29 gallon tank. What do I do now?
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Old 01-05-2005, 10:19 AM   #10
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At this point, do a small daily water change to help out the fish, then just hope nothing else dies. You fish are very weakened from being in an uncycled tank, and adding more fish was about the worst thing you could possible do.

Quote:
Also, I meant to add that I have well water so it's virtually clean to begin with. Oh, and also when I added the fish I let the bag sit on top of the water for about 30 minutes then added them.
This is bad practice as well. You need to slowly add tank water into the floating for about an hour to acclimate the fish to the new water conditions. Unless the fish are dying in the bag to begin with, going from the bag to the tank in one big shot is a huge shock to the fish.

Anyway, sit tight, and stop listening to your LFS. Once you get past this situation, get some help from the people here and learn about the nitrogen cycle. I killed a bunch of fish when I started in this hobby, and I feel horrible about. All of the fish died due to poor LFS advice
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Old 01-05-2005, 10:56 AM   #11
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Okay, I did the 30% PWC about 12 hours ago. Here are my new parameters:

Temp 78
pH 7.0
Ammonia 1
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0

My fish look like there still dieing and I know my ammonia is too high still. Is there anything else I can do? How long should I wait to do another PWC?
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Old 01-05-2005, 11:26 AM   #12
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You can do as many water changes as necessary to get your fish through this cycling process. And vacumme your gravel only once a week.

There isn't a significant about of bacteria in your water column to slow down your cycling.

Most of your bacteria will reside in your filter bed, gravel and decor. If you are just doing manual water changes, you will be fine.

Just keep monitoring your water, do your water changes and keep feedings down to once a day. Don't worry you will get through this.
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Old 01-05-2005, 11:27 AM   #13
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I think this is a sit and wait and do daily water changes scenario. There are chemicals you can add to take down the ammonia, but trust me in this, do NOT be tempted to use them. In my opinion, they will only prolong the problem and only make it worse in the end.

When you clean your tank, are you vacuming the gravel? Or are you just changing water? If you are just changing water, then all the poop and nasty stuff is still in the bottom of your tank which will keep your level of ammonia up. If you don't already have one, go to walmart or your LFS and get a gravel vacume (sp?). It will look like a cylinder with a plastic line/tube on the end. It is pretty cheap but needed with every aquarium. Then use it to vacume the top of your gravel by pushing around the top layer and it will suck up all the nasties. Now, just so you understand, the reason you want to gravel the top layer is because good bacteria should be growing underneath the rocks and you don't want to disturb their colonies too much. This bacteria will help break down all the bad stuff (but you'll always still need to vacume your gravel because they can't handle everything).

Sorry if you've already been vacuming the gravel, just want to make sure your fish have the best chance!

Oh, feeding lightly for now will also help keep your ammonia from rising. Your fish won't be hurt by not feeding them as much for a short time. Just a little once a day will be fine.

Goodluck, and welcome to AA... by the way, I'm in Boone NC, what about you? Maybe I can (or some of the other n. carolinians) can direct you to a better LFS. It sounds like all your's cares about is making money.
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Old 01-05-2005, 12:02 PM   #14
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Or, you could go back to the lfs, explain the nitrogen cycle to them, and ask them for something to seed your tank with. A handful of gravel from an established tank (kept wet of course), will help.
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Old 01-05-2005, 12:23 PM   #15
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I personally would be careful of that Brian. They didn't give him very good advice to start off with and by taking their gravel, I would be concerned of their water conditions.

You certainly don't need any diseases to add on top of your cycling process.
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Old 01-05-2005, 12:24 PM   #16
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rubysoho,
I'm about 20 minutes from Greensboro, NC. I've been going to Aquamain. It's a really good fish place. This one guy there has been saying the same things. He said the only reason why I had to add more danios was to speed up the nitrogen cycle because I didn't have enough fish.
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Old 01-05-2005, 12:30 PM   #17
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He said the only reason why I had to add more danios was to speed up the nitrogen cycle because I didn't have enough fish.
How did that work out for you? Exactly...
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Old 01-05-2005, 01:10 PM   #18
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Well, at least one guy is knowledgable. That is what it is like here for me as well. I won't go in the store if the manager is there. He is only concerned about making money. However, I love going when this other guy is there because he really knows a lot and doesn't try to sell all the time. He is more concerned with finding good homes for the fish.
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Old 01-05-2005, 02:18 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by ICDeadFish
He said the only reason why I had to add more danios was to speed up the nitrogen cycle because I didn't have enough fish.
It seems to me that there is really no good way to "speed up" the nitrogen cycle unless you "slow down". I used danios when I got my first 10-gal aquarium. I only had 3 and now that I look back, I think I may have had too many.

The only reason you need to put the fish in the tank is because of their poop . There is no other reason. The only reason you need their poop is because you need the ammonia from the poop. You can find alternative methods of obtaining ammonia without their poop. (Sorry so crude). At least, that's my understanding of it.

I think if you slow down, read about the nitrogen cycle in the article section, get your advice from those on this site and ignore the advice the LFS has been giving you, then you will be successful.

Good things really come to those who wait!

Good luck!
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Old 01-05-2005, 03:32 PM   #20
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Well, now all the fish are dead and my frog is still hanging on for dear life on the edge of the aquarium. My tank reeks BAD! So, now what? Since I have the ammonia already in place and no fish, shouldn't I just let it cycle through. Shouldn't I wait until I have no ammonia and nitrites and some nitrates before I add more fish? I feel bad for losing the fish, but now I have none. So what now? LOL
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