Help losing fish
Guys I am very new to this and have had really bad luck in the past 4 weeks. This is all for my 5 year old son and not sure we can take this much longer. We had a Male Betta for a year, he was in a 1 1/2 gallon bowl and I kept reading forums stating that it was inhumane to keep them in such a small place and that box stores sell them without caring about the fish. So we took our son and got him a new 5 gallon tank, and let him stay in the bowl until everything checked out. Once all the numbers tested good we moved him over to the new tank and within 2 days he was gone. Took him to get some new fish and bought a 10 gallon tank, lady at the store said it would be fine to get a bala shark and the little one loved having a shark, so we got him 2 mystery snails and a shark. After a day we went back to get some plants and another lady was there and said to bring the fish back immediately as the tank was to small for a bala. Went home to get him and he to was gone ugh. We poured everything from tank out and cleaned it real good and got him 2 dwarf gouramis and a bristlenose plecto. After 2 days started to see some really weirded behavior in the dwarf gouramis, they looked great at the store but after reading seemed they had the virus and I took them back to the store also and got my money back. Came home cleaned the tank again and set the water up again and went back a week later and got 6 Tetras red minors. They have been great and fun to watch for the past week but than last night saw one acting weird he would swim but than just bump into the walls and get stuck in the plants, the 5 gallon we original had has been cycling for a while and the numbers looked great so I moved the 1 into that tank and than about 2 hours later another was doing the same thing so moved him into that tank, they are dead this morning and when I woke up another one was stuck in the filter of the tank that had been doing fine last night so I have 3 dead tetras within a few hours of each other and am afraid of losing the other 3 now and I am afraid when the little one wakes up he is going to cry his eyes out again. Not sure what to do, so any help is appreciated, I am just about done with fish! I mean all the numbers check out as good and well within range. Thanks Doug
1. Never believe fish store employees - always do research on these type of fish first, just reading through it and the betta, bala, "2" gouramis and the pleco were all inappropriate for the tanks you had them in (not your fault, but lesson learned)
2. What are you testing your water with? Strips or Master Test Kit?
3. How did you cycle the tank?
4. Are you washing / replacing the filters - if so that isn't good. The instructions say to do so, but it ruins the cycle by doing that. All you do is rinse in old tank water when they get clogged
5. Are you using a dechlorinator?
Thank you for the nice reply I already feel like a idiot so your reply makes me feel a little better about being an idiot lol. The Betta lived over a year in his bowl so I could not believe he died within such a short time after moving him, for the cycling just followed the instructions here and we use the 6/1 test strips that we use to test. No on the cleaning rinsing the filters. We use a dechlorinator first thing when any new water is out into the tank and during water changes. The 2 dwarf gouramis I think ended up with the virus that effects only themselves after reading about the symptoms after they started showing them. The bala was really disappointing because it was a local fish store not a box place and the next day was a different lady that I guess knew much more about fish than the other one. The other fish were all bought from the same box store pet place, but we bought my son some and a 10 gallon kit on the same day, but a different kind of tetras and they are doing wonderfully good with no problems so far within same time frame. Ugh the little one is going to be heartbroken and he after the gouramis is getting to the point of not wanting fish anymore :(. So far we have removed the 3 tetras and putting them into the bowl for a few hours and are cleaning out the 10 gal completely and than restarting the water, not sure what else to do and maybe not the way to go about it but they are prob lost also since the other 3 went so quick and together so we are throwing something against the wall hoping it sticks but we cannot get out right now as we got lots of snow for here TN 7 inches so its going to be a while before we can get any other supplies from a store than what we have now. Have 3 ATM products outbreak, colony, paradigm, got ph decreased and increased, aquarium salt, the conditioner, slime coat stuff from API and I think that's about it for now. Thanks everyone
Last edited by Tylersdad86; 02-13-2014 at 01:33 PM.
Don't use the pH descreaser (instability can cause problems), really don't need the salt unless you have a case of ich.
I'd change the water, get temp back to normal and add the fish
This is what I'd look into for the future:
-Buy API Master Test Kit - liquid kit is more accurate
-you can do 1 gourami, but two will end of killing each other
You may have just gotten a bad case of bad luck, we all have them from time-time. But take a step back, take a deep breath and slow down. I know the little one is excited about the fish, but don't want to make it a bad experience for him or you.
Once things settle with the tanks, you can start "finalizing" and tweaking the stock / plants etc. But for now the biggest thing is stability.
How often do you change the water, I personally do 30% PWC once a week, even if the water conditions are great, if they are poor you may want to consider doing 2+ PWC per week as needed
We have changed the water each time after the gouramis and the bala before, but have not done a water change until last night since we have only had the tetras for a week today. We used the PH decreased because it was over 8.2 before we put the fish in. Just wondering now if it is disease in the tank and if so how to get rid of it or how to best clean it and get rid of it before we put the fish back into it from the temp bowl right now? I really hope to save the 3 tetras so he is less heart broken but if they also die like the other 3 did and looks like we lost a mystery snail from the 2 we have. Than I might either get a 20 if I can afford it or go to a local fish store that I have found that only does fish and get some celestial danios(galaxy Rasbora's) sometime later after everything settles down. Just really frustrating as we worked hard to get this tank where it needed to be but yet my oldest bought a 10 gallon and threw his fish in and so far they are doing Great! Glad for him but frustrated as we tried to do the best thing for them with good water and quality just to have this happen. Thanks for all the help, Doug
Hello and welcome to the forum.
First off it is likely the fish are dying to to a disturbed cycle. In all mature tanks, beneficial bacteria convert harmful ammonia and nitrite from fish waste into less harmful nitrate. Ammonia is harmful in very low concentrations, and you'd have to be changing water all the time to keep it down. Nitrate, the end product, is much less harmful and aquarists can let it build up a bit more before removing it through a water change.
The process of accumulating bacteria is called the cycle, which is very basically the addition of an ammonia source until bacteria spores found naturally throughout our environment colonize the tank.
Now hearing that the 10 gallon was new and you've constantly been going through everything cleaning it has likely led to a big decease in your bacterial colonies, below the point of supporting fish life. Get some household ammonia with nothing added, a good aquarium test kit such as the API master test, and follow the cycling instructions in the beginner's section and see whether you get nitrates or not.
Second thing that I didn't pick up is whether you have a filter or a heater. The filter should be rated for at least twice the tank's volume (I.e. A 20 gallon filter for a 10 gallon tank) and the heater should be between 3-5 watts per gallon.
Third thing is before getting anything, do your research. Fish store employees mostly are completely ignorant or deliberately give you false advice just to get you to buy stuff. If your fish dies, then they benefit because you come back for more. That bala shark, for instance, would have grown to 1ft. In length and requires several others to feel comfortable.
As a basic guide, it helps to know
- fish's maximum size
- whether it is social or not
- aggressive/territorial or peaceful
-tank size requirements
- predatory or herbivorous
- temperature/other water parameters
- hardy or sensitive
-bold or shy
And last thing that does not have anything to do with fish: it would help us to help you if you could maybe space out your writing into paragraphs or maybe ask specific questions in a 1. 2. 3. Format. Your conchs would then be easier for us to find and address
Thanks for the help.
1 is there anything to clean the tank with that I might have in my house if there is any virus or anything like that in the tank, so I can get them back in this tank ASAP and out of the bowl they are in right now, or should I write them off and start new and give it time for the next round of fish doing the cycling?
2 yeah I started to use my phone after the bala shark fiasco and looking at how the fish are and who they work with because the store employees have no clue, the fish department is second to the dogs and cats. The dwarf gouramis would have been ok but I still think after the signs and symptoms of the virus that hits that type of fish I did not see that when I was looking online at the store if they would be good for his aquarium.
3 sometimes I think this is a crapshoot on getting lucky or not, as my oldest just bought some glofish tetras f
And a tank at the same time and got home filled the tank up, put some dechlorinator in it and some slime coat stuff and put them on top and got them used to the water and than after an hour put them in and they have been great ever since.
4 we have a 20 gallon filter as the 10 gallon was bought as a kit. We do have a heater on it 50w if I am not mistaken, both the 10's right now have filters and heaters.
Yes i second spreading out the paragraphs. Tough to read on a phone
1.) You mentioned about cleaning the tank, just want to be sure are you cleaning it with only water or are you using any king of soap or detergents or any other stuff to clean the tank.?
2.) As said in the above post please use a filter rated for double or triple the capacity of your tank.
3.) Do not disturb the filters much as on the filter reside the beneficial bacteria who converts the ammonia into nitrite and then nitrate. Always clean your filters once a month with tank water itself. If you have different filter media do not clean all at once.
4.) IMO do a water change twice a week until your tank get stable. Somewhere between 35 - 40 %. and always add de-chlorinator when you do a water change in appropriate quantity. Do a gravel cleaning by a shiphon once a week when you do water change.
5.) Please don't use any salt or any other stuff until required for specific illnesses.
6.) And as other said please add only fishes compatible to your tank and local water parameters.
I am sure, things will be sorted and it will be a great success for you.. Looking forward to hear on your progress.
Bless your son - it's tough, but perhaps a good lesson for him to learn about the complexities of keeping live pets. You have had some great advice above. As a relative novice who made, I think, fairly similar mistakes when I started, my biggest recommendations are:
1 - avoid too many products. Ph up, Ph down, etc etc ... try to stabilise what you have with tap water + dechlorinator. I found when I stopped trying to control everything, my fish actually did better, even though "officially" the parameters were not always great they were STABLE ...
2 - do daily WC. I know you say you are cycled, but I thought I was cycled too when I first started. Had followed everything by the book, and used test strips ... Then realised my cycle was about as unfinished as they get. Avoided losing any more fish by doing daily 50-75% WC (another reason not to tamper with your water too much!). With a small tank it's easy to set up a WC system, won't take long and will keep their living space clean and healthy. I ran out of test trips in the end, so kept up daily WC for weeks and weeks - I also had a small tank back then! By the time my liquid kit arrived, my cycle had finished and I haven't had much of a problem since.
3 - don't be hard on yourself. Explain the nitrogen cycle to your son by using "air" = "water" imagery and "nasty smells in the air" = "bad things for the fish" lol. He's only 5 but he can understand the importance of husbandry. We all make mistakes and you're in the right place to get the help[ to fix them. Honestly, if I can keep fish alive then anyone can!
55g planted: 10x adult guppies + fry, 8x kuhli loaches, 7x black neons, 4x neons, 6x Amano shrimp, assassin snails & cherry shrimp
10g planted: Bael the betta, 2x Indian glassfish & Pops the purple Apple snail