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