Why are my fish dying?

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Aquarium Advice Freak
May 3, 2006
I am wondering if it could be the heat. I had a bunch of fish tanks but when I developed rheumatoid arthritis in my hands I couldn't take care of them anymore (too painful to carry those buckets, and I couldn't get the python to fit on my faucet) so I downsized to one ten gallon. I had 4 black skirt tetras, one platy, one small loach, and three harlequin rasboras.

Well, everything was fine, but it was hard for me to do weekly water changes. So I got this stuff at the fish store called "Tetra Easy Balance" It says on the bottle that it reduces nitrates. It says to put in a capful for every ten gallons every week, and it would reduce your water changes. In fact, it said that it would reduce water changes to every six months.

So I have been dosing the tank with that and doing a 20% water change every other month. More than that is hard to do.

Anyway, I had a spell about two months ago where it got super, super hot. Over 100 degrees for almost a week. There is no air conditioner in my room, and I had to move into the living room and camp out there. During the heat wave, where my room HAD TO BE 100 degrees, I lost the platy, two of the rasboras, and one black skirt.

So I chalked it up to the heat.

(BTW I've changed the water twice since then)

Today when I fed the fish, both rasboras and one of the longfins didn't come up to eat. I seem to have lost three more fish, out of the blue. My last water change was two weeks ago. I just did another one.

Unfortunately, I can't find my test kit. I'm going to try and look for it later or tomororw, when I'm feeling a bit better. I am running a Whisper 10 filter. I have other filters that I could add if you think that might help. I have a cannister filter, can't remember what kind, but it was recommended for a ten gallon tank. I could add that one. Other than that, I don't know. I had been planning on adding a few more rasboras, but this has me unsure. I dont' know what happened.

Things were gong along just fine. I think maybe one fish died and because I didn't scoop it out, there was some kind of runaway effect and an ammonia spike. It's a small tank so that might have been pretty serious. I need to find my test kit.

Also, I have only been feeding the fish every other day. Is that not often enough?

Would appreciate any advice I can get. Sorry I am so upset I can't find the test kit. If I can't find it I will have to get another one. I realize I may have to step up my water changes but its still hard to do so and very painful so I'd like to be able to do as few as possible. Of course, if I have to do them every week despite dosing the tank, I will find a way to do that, because fish are living things and its more important than my pain.

Thank you.
Sorry to hear about your arthiritis. I know how painful it is for some people, my grandma has it and it's just plain awful for her.

If possible, you could have a family member or friend come over and do PWC over the course of the day daily. In that small of a tank nitrates could build up pretty quickly and I think that the nitrates are definitely high. PWC can significantly reduce nitrates and will help a lot.

Good luck! :)
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