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Old 06-18-2013, 11:52 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Atlanta
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New to the group, need some help!

Hi, I have a 10 gallon aquarium I just set up. I am new to the hobby and am really excited to get going. Here is my story:
I cycled my tank without fish for about 3 days. I took the water sample in to the pet store to test (passed the test), and came home with the 3 fish I researched and chose: a powder blue gourami (Frosty), a cremesicle molly (Sunshine), and a mickey mouse platy (Mickey)....my son and nephews named the fish So everything looks great for the first few days, then I find Sunshine belly up. I take him back to the store since I am within the 2 week guarantee period and get another of the same fish (Sunshine II). The next day I notice Frosty pecking at him, and his tail fin has some red spots on it (he is normally orange and white). Day after that, Sunshine II is dead...so I return to the pet store for another exchange. I tell them I want to try a different kind of fish, what do they recommend...they sell me ONE black skirted tetra. I later find out these are schooling fish. So I take him home and after I've integrated him into the tank, I see Frosty start nipping at him and going after him with his whiskers. I also notice that Mickey is missing half of a side fin. SO I freak out because I realize that Frosty is aggressive and not peaceful (everything I had researched indicated gouramis are peaceful)...so I call the pet store and tell them the deal and they let me bring him back. In exchange I get 2 additional black skirted tetra...so at this point in the story I have 3 black skirted tetra and 1 mickey mouse platy in the tank. They seemed to be getting along just fine for about a day. The next morning, the 1st tetra I brought home had died. a few hours later, another one dies. So at this point I have 1 tetra and Mickey. I decide to return the 2 dead fish and the live Tetra (because I felt like he was going to die in my tank anyway so why not give him a chance to live at the pet store...) I also had another water sample tested and it was just fine. I bring home no new fish because I want to figure out what is happening. 2 days later Mickey is dead, but he is dead at the bottom of the tank (not floating at the top). I didn't even bother to take him back to the store. This all occurred over 7 days. I have zero fish in there right now, I am going to hold off on getting anything new because we are going out of town for the next few weekends. Every time I added a new fish I added some Stress-zyme. I also made sure the temp was always between 79-82 degrees F. I would like some help figuring out how to get this fish tank going, because apparently my research didn't work.

So now I am back at square one...my questions are:
1. how long should I cycle for? (I was given some advice to do it for 2 weeks before introducing fish again.)
2. what are some good freshwater tropical fish that can be friendly tankmates?

The funny thing is that all I wanted was a little fish tank with some pretty neon tetras in it, and the pet store told me they are very sensitive, and the other fish I got were supposed to be very hardy. Anyways, any advice is appreciated as I really don't know what I'm doing and I really want this to work


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Old 06-19-2013, 12:02 AM   #2
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Well first of all welcome to AA hope you feel at home here

Your tank was not even close to being cycled it is not about time it is about when your tank is set, mine took about two weeks which is fast because I used tetra safe start live bacteria to get it going, you need an API master test kit this will get you to see the parameters in your tank
What I believe killed Mickey was ammonia poisoning, it happens because of too much ammonia in a new tank without cycling, frosty was picking at everybody probably because of stress of an unchecked tank
You can add neon tetras with good acclimation process and a cycled tank that's what is up with your tank, get a master test kit(not test strips those are worthless and don't work,like the ones your petstore used) and tetra safe start to help your tank cycle faster even after your parameters are in check you should still wait a week to add fish also if you are adding the live bacteria, add fish food like a tiny bit to keep the bacteria alive, anymore questions you have I'll be happy to answer hope this helps
Welcome to AA!
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Old 06-19-2013, 02:52 AM   #3
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Welcome and good advice above. Read some of the stickys in the different sections here on the forum and some articles about cycling with and with out fish in the tank.

A ten gallon is a little bit small, but you could do 6 -8 Neons, a mystery snail, and a Bristlenose Pleco, they come in albino and brown most frequently, and a few live plants, and a couple Amano (Japonica) shrimp.

Do your research first! Before you start getting new fish, and don't need to add them all at once.
New to FW fish? First tank in a long time or EVER??? Need some info on keeping fish?

Start here - Aquarium Advice Article

FW Favorites right now Clown Loaches, any shrimp - SW Vase Red Mangroves
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