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Old 06-22-2013, 10:27 PM   #1
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Help! 9 dead Tiger Barbs in two weeks!!!

Hello! I'm looking for advice. We recently invested in two tanks (first a 26 gallon and second a 60 gallon). We started our first tank with a Pictus Catfish, Upside Down Catfist, a Red Tail Shark, an Albino Rainbow Shark, and 4 tiger barbs. In the 26 gallon tank, we lost 3 tiger barbs in 3 days. We tested our water again and all looked well. We thought we needed a bigger school so we bought 5 new tiger barbs after the first three died. In consecutive days, three more died. When we got the bigger tank, we moved all the fish over and the last two tiger barbs seemed to do better. But then another died. We kept researching compatibility, fish, water quality, etc. Everything I've read says tiger barbs are awesome and hardy so we thought maybe we just had a bad bunch. So two days ago we got six new large, bright tiger barbs. They seemed very happy, active - all seven barbs schooled together nicely and acted just like I'd expect. They made their presence know - nipping at everyone they came near. We quickly noticed our pictus catfish had gone into hiding. He'd previousy been the most active fish in the tank. This morning, I noticed that our Pictus' whiskers appeared to have been bitten off!!! It was devastating. My husband read that they'd grow back so I let it go. Then tonight, we came home and found that two of our barbs were dead :-( we can't figure out what's going on or why we can't keep tiger barbs alive. What do y'all think??? Any insight is greatly appreciated!!
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:57 PM   #2
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Hello! I'm looking for advice. We recently invested in two tanks (first a 26 gallon and second a 60 gallon). We started our first tank with a Pictus Catfish, Upside Down Catfist, a Red Tail Shark, an Albino Rainbow Shark, and 4 tiger barbs. In the 26 gallon tank, we lost 3 tiger barbs in 3 days. We tested our water again and all looked well. We thought we needed a bigger school so we bought 5 new tiger barbs after the first three died. In consecutive days, three more died. When we got the bigger tank, we moved all the fish over and the last two tiger barbs seemed to do better. But then another died. We kept researching compatibility, fish, water quality, etc. Everything I've read says tiger barbs are awesome and hardy so we thought maybe we just had a bad bunch. So two days ago we got six new large, bright tiger barbs. They seemed very happy, active - all seven barbs schooled together nicely and acted just like I'd expect. They made their presence know - nipping at everyone they came near. We quickly noticed our pictus catfish had gone into hiding. He'd previousy been the most active fish in the tank. This morning, I noticed that our Pictus' whiskers appeared to have been bitten off!!! It was devastating. My husband read that they'd grow back so I let it go. Then tonight, we came home and found that two of our barbs were dead :-( we can't figure out what's going on or why we can't keep tiger barbs alive. What do y'all think??? Any insight is greatly appreciated!!
That used to happen to me, I'm clueless as to why though.

Try quarantining them and giving them a high quality food for a week before putting them in your main tank. That should bolster up their systems.
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Old 06-23-2013, 12:32 AM   #3
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how long has your tank been cycled? what are the actual readings of your water parameters? temp?
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Old 06-23-2013, 01:12 PM   #4
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We set the tank up last Saturday and ensured the water was perfect before we put in fish. We have only artificial plants and rocks and such. Just this morning we've lost two more tiger barbs. The temp is steady at 78. I just checked the levels again - general hardness at 30, carbonate hardness is 40, ph is 6/6.5, NO2 is zero, NO3 is up to about 20. All these levels were at zero just before the tiger barbs entered the tank.
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:01 PM   #5
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More dead fish.

We continue to have dead tiger barbs. And today our upside down catfish died :-( we've got to figure out what is messing up our water soon or we're going to be fish less. At this point we don't want to buy more fish until we figure out what's wrong.
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:46 PM   #6
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We continue to have dead tiger barbs. And today our upside down catfish died :-( we've got to figure out what is messing up our water soon or we're going to be fish less. At this point we don't want to buy more fish until we figure out what's wrong.
Can you post current test results so we can help you figure out what's wrong?
Ammonia=
NitrIte=
NitrAte=
PH=

What does your water change regime look like?
Definitely do not add any more fish.
When in doubt, do a 40% pwc.

Also useful to know- what substrate, rocks, plants, wood etc are in the tank?
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:52 AM   #7
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My test results are posted above- those we're just done yesterday. (Maybe we need a better testing method - we just use paper strips - suggestions?) We have changed out any water yet (in the two weeks that we've had the tank set up). I have put in new filters. We have all fake items in the tank from petsmart - a sunken submarine, a fake piece of wood and fake ... Well it looks like roots to a tree - lots of hiding places in it. We also have a lot of fake plants. Just gravel on the bottom of the tank and a waterscape picture behind the back of the tank.

How do we put new water in that's properly conditioned? I assume we shouldn't put water in straight from the tap, but for a 60 gallon tank, we need a lot of water! I don't know how to do it :-(
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:05 AM   #8
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As long as you aren't adding too much water straight from the tap and the temp is ok, that's fine. I have always used tap water. If I'm doing a really big water change I add prime and wait a while before actually putting it in the tank. Or just put it in and wait before adding fish if there aren't fish in already. Assuming the tank is either cycled, or you're doing a fish in cycle
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:27 AM   #9
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I would read up about cycling the tank. There are very informative articles on thus site. I may be wrong, but it sounds like way too many fish too soon may have caused ammonia spikes which can be lethal. I did it myself. Only when my tank cycled and ammonia levels stabilized did I stop losing fish. I learned the hard way not to put too many fish in a brand new tank. Good luck!
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:16 AM   #10
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Sounds like you added too much to the tank before completing the cycle. Too many fish = heavy bio load. If the nitrogen cycle didn't complete that's why the fish may be dying. "New tank syndrome" is what I just thought about
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:24 AM   #11
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If your tank has only been set up since last Saturday it is not cycled. You are now into a fish in cycle. You need to test for ammonia everyday for the next several weeks. The ammonia level needs to be kept below .50 PPM. You will need to change enough water everyday to maintain that level. Your fish are dying from ammonia poisoning. Once the ammonia level drops, then the nitrite level will rise. this needs to be kept low to. More water changes. Once ammonia, and nitrite levels are both at zero, you will be through the cycle. Then once a week 50% water changes should keep the water in good shape.
If your using municipal water(city), you need to use a water conditioner that neutralizes chlorine, and chloramine. Keep up on the testing, and water changes, and don't add anymore fish until your tank is cycled.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:35 PM   #12
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First off all, I would try to return the fish since you're still cycling, but get some feeder goldfish to cycle it since heater tough. The 26 gallon was way overstocked, I heard red tailed sharks like to school, so that tank is small, as you go farther in the cycle add portions of fish over a period of time. Good luck!
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:06 AM   #13
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First off all, I would try to return the fish since you're still cycling, but get some feeder goldfish to cycle it since heater tough. The 26 gallon was way overstocked, I heard red tailed sharks like to school, so that tank is small, as you go farther in the cycle add portions of fish over a period of time. Good luck!
Red tail sharks are a solitary fish. They can be kept in a community but not with their own kind.
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:08 AM   #14
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I stand to be corrected, sorry about it. Laearning new things here everyday.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:58 PM   #15
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I stand to be corrected, sorry about it. Laearning new things here everyday.
Hey it's fine, just quote from a reputable source we're all here to learn
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