Thanks for the reply jlk.
How long has this tank been running with fish?
I bought this new tank two weeks ago. Before this I had a 4 inch Koi and a 4 inch Comet in my ten gallon that I have the daces and guppies in now. The Comet was my first fish along with two other fish. I got them this summer, so, as you can tell I'm inexperienced with fish. The reason I got them was my friend was moving away from me and gave me his 1 gallon tank as a parting gift. I went to a large pet store chain that I will leave unamed but ironically ends in smart. Knowing nothing about fish, I asked the lady in charge of the fish department what I should get for my tiny tank. She recommended I get a few comets and, not knowing any better, I thought they would do fine in the tiny tank. It was only after my fish were dying of ammonia shock that I learned that goldfish were dirty, grew large, and then even later that I needed to dechlorinate my water. It enrages me that to this day goldfish bowls are still sold at places like ***smart and people are advised they make good starter fish
. As the comets started dying few weeks later of ammonia shock I rushed out to buy the 10 gallon and luckily one of them survived in it. I bought him a koi friend and they seemed to be doing fine in the tank. At this time I still did not know about dechlorinating your water but I only moved a few weeks ago and the place I was living at had very good water quality (low chlorine content), so maybe that's why they seemed to be doing fine. A few weeks ago though I moved to where I am currently residing where, unfortunately, the water quality is very poor. I noticed my fish were piping and changing colors so I researched online and learned about dechlorinating your water. Unfortunately I received poor advice that you could dechlorinate your water by just leaving it to sit for 24 hours, so I thought I was fine and the problems would pass. About three weeks ago I decided to buy a bigger tank because my koi and comet were outgrowing the 10 gallon. At this other store I met someone who actually was very knowledgeable and helpful who informed me that I was not actually dechlorinating my water and that I was slowly killing my fish. I bought my 30 gallon tank there and some stress coat. When I transferred them to the new tank I used the old gravel and water so this is why I assume the tank should be cycled. Sadly, after treating my water my comet quickly became lethargic and then sick. He developed a bad infection and died. The koi died at the same time rather unexpectedly (he seemed ok except a bit lethargic). My theory is that the chlorine was killing off any infectious organisms but also slowly killing my fish; when I dechlorinated the water they did not have the immune system to fight off the infections. As upset as I was after being so attached to my fish, I decided to get new goldfish because I love how goldfish behave (or any fish in the carp family for that matter). This was two weeks ago, so my fish have been in there for two weeks.
Were any of the fish properly quarantined before adding them to this tank?
No, as I mentioned prior I am inexperienced with fish and didn't know I should do this.
Is your water being tested with strips or liquid tests and what are the exact numbers for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?
Today I went to the aforementioned good pet store and had my water tested (they do it for free), the figures they gave me were:
pH: 5.5 !!!
I can't believe my my pH dropped that much over the course of a week! The lady there told me that the city water can be, in her words, "A mess to deal with," but she also said that eventually things should stabilize if I'm diligent. She set me up with some crushed coral and a pH test kit. I'm happy to report that after only a few hours my pH has risen to 6.6. Maybe this was my problem? I've noticed black marks on my Common but dismissed them as remnant of the darker fry coloration since he's still so young, but now I suspect they are burns
I was adding salt because the girl at the pet store (not the guy who was extremely knowledgeable, I think he has quit), told me last weekend that I'm supposed to add salt because it helps the fish to absorb oxygen. Frankly, as I mentioned before, I don't know any better so I just took her word for it.