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Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. Question Fish dying off one by one...any thoughts?

    0 Not allowed!
    Was wondering if anyone would have an idea of why my fish seem to be dying off?

    Tank established in Nov 2012
    8 gallon tank
    2 fancy guppies

    (recently added 2 cobra guppies and a snail)

    I check my levels bi-weekly, monthly cleanings, 25% water changes etc

    Ammonia: 0
    Ph: 7.2

    things were sailing along. I have had no problems ...tank looks good....levels stayed good...not once have I had a spike in months. We decided to add to the family and about 2 weeks ago purchased 2 cobra guppies. I acclimated them by taking about 2 hrs by adding some of my water ever 15min or so. I did not add the store water. The first week every one looked great. I checked the levels daily and there wasn't even the tiniest spike. Around this time I noticed a spot of brown algae on the side of my wall. I checked around but didn't really see anything else. 7 days in I came down to find one of the new guppies dead. I removed it ...did a 35% water change to hope keep the ammonia down. I checked 2x daily and no spike. The other fish seemed fine. I was thinking just the shock of the change got him or something. Then 3 days later ....(still checking levels 2x a day) the 2nd guppy was hanging out at the bottom. He didn't look good. I was debating trying to set up a little fish hospital but before I could he was gone. I removed him. I was very frustrated. ....Did water change..kept checking levels....everything was fine. Took the fish back to the store (14 day guarantee) . They said....I probably didn't acclimate them right which pissed me off a little bit. I'm not sure how else to do it....perhaps 2 hrs isn't long enough...but it seems a lot better then their...15min floating in the bag till the temps acclimate. They were going to replace them but didn't have any in. While there I picked up a snail.....they thought that would help with the brown algae. I'm starting to see that that might not be the case. Anyways......levels were fine...added the problems.. 2 days ago my one fancy guppy is dead. This time the ammonia did spike to 1.0. I did water changes..etc... levels quickly came down and NOW I just saw my other guppy hanging out on the bottom of the tank not looking so good. I see nothing on the fish...nothing on their gills. Levels are still reading 0 ph 7.2

    I'm not sure what is going on. Is it simply that the first fish dead from shock and the ammonia...even though I read no spike in the beginning could still be the problem or is there some unseen element here?

    If this other fish dies is there anything I should do before buying more fish?
    I'm sorry if this is to long or if I didn't write the things I needed too

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    How do you test for ammonia and what filter do you have?

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    How do you treat your water when you refill the tank after a water change? Your levels are good but did you cycle the tank?

    PS: while a longer acclimatization does minimize the stress of changing water parameters, it drastically increases the time a fish spends in the bag and is exposed to high waste, hypoxic water. This also increases stress dramatically so instead of increasing your time(two hours is very long) you likely should decrease it and strike a balance between enough time to acclimate and as little time as possible in a bag.

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    +1 to the above post. Guppies are known as hardy fish, however, no fish will last long in a small bag in it's own waste, especially after the stress of being netted and moved.

    I'm also wondering what you are using to test your water parameters. It appears you test all 3 (ammonia, nitrites & nitrates). We always recommend the use of a liquid test kit rather than test strips which can be unreliable - most pet stores use them which is why we advise the tank owner do their own testing.

    If you are getting spikes of ammonia that high, it's important to change much more than 35% of your water - more like 50-75% to remove the ammonia and do it more than once a day to protect your fish.

    The last thing you need to worry about is the pH - if your tank isn't cycled, pH will fluctuate anyway. Normally, a cycled tank shows 0ppm for ammonia & nitrites and a reading of 20ppm or less for nitrates.

    While it is important to acclimate, if you are purchasing fish locally (like in your own town), you might not even need to do this. When I acclimate I add a little tank water every few minutes for about 15 minutes.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Bridgeport Connecticut

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    0 Not allowed!
    Unless I'm reading it wrong, and everyone is missing it, you are showing a reading on Nitrites. That'd do it.
    2 10 gallon tanks, 1 20 gallon tank, 1 Fluval Edge, 1 29 gallon tank, and one backyard pond.

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!

    Ammonia: 0
    Ph: 7.2

    Tiari - am I missing something you see?

  7. #7


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by smilenski76 View Post
    Ammonia: 0
    Ph: 7.2
    Quote Originally Posted by imma24 View Post
    Tiari - am I missing something you see?
    Sometimes you will see a rise in pH and not on your NH3 and NOs... yet If normal pH is 7.2, than this is nothing to worry about. But if it's normally 6.8-7.0 range, then it is an indication of ammonia/nitrate/nitrite problems, even if your test kit is reading normal on them.

    My advice. Drop a half dose of Quick Cure (or other Ick and protozoa parasite treatment) in the tank when you put new fish in. That usually eliminates any diseases that your fish might have and are immune to, but the new fish aren't, and vice versa. Also add some Stress Coat in when you move fish. That helps rebuild their slime coat and reduces stress. There is also Prime, which is a water conditioner, but it also detoxifies your NOs, if you do find that to be a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by smilenski76 View Post
    They said....I probably didn't acclimate them right which pissed me off a little bit.
    It sounds like you got standard PetSmart customer service.

  8. #8


    0 Not allowed!
    Just to reiterate what's been said... doesn't sound like the tank's cycled. =/
    Adventures in Aquaria - The KevinVA Story

    When in doubt, ask yourself... W.W.L.S (What would Lee Say)?

    Have a fish problem? Fill out and post this completed questionnaire in the General Aquarium Forum, when you start a new thread.

  9. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    thanks for those that responded. I came down with a nasty flu bug that I am finally starting to come out of and basically return to the living.

    To try and answer the questions. I have a Tetra Whisper 10i (I believe...its for 10-30 gallons) I test ONLY with liquid. specifically aquarium pharmaceuticals freshwater master kit. I don't test high ph due to advice on this board.

    when I add my fish I don't leave them in a bag. they are put in a small container (dip and pour) and the water from my tank is then added. Its a 15min car ride home so they aren't in a bag very long. When I change the water I always use Prime.

    The last guppy survived and is doing well as is the snail. Levels are totally normal but the brown algae is starting to bloom....I noticed 3 big spots on the glass this morning. I have been reading that this can also be caused by over feeding but I feed VERY little. When I vacuum my gravel or stir things up there is very little debris in the water. I use to over feed so I have become very good at not doing this. Any thoughts on causes and how to get rid of it?


  10. #10


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by imma24 View Post
    The last thing you need to worry about is the pH - if your tank isn't cycled, pH will fluctuate anyway. Normally, a cycled tank shows 0ppm for ammonia & nitrites and a reading of 20ppm or less for nitrates.
    I think this statement sums up your problems. Somewhere down the line it appears you lost your cycle. Is it possible you might have frgot to add water conditioner in one of you pwc?

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