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  1. #1

    Exclamation Fish dying, what do I do now!


    0 Not allowed!
    Dont know what to say for my title.
    But hello and help to everyone who reads this...
    I have had a fish tank since march (just over 8 months). Originally I had 2 cory catfish, 3 platys, 3 neon tetras, 3 of another fish, 2 of these fish that clean/suck and a black knife fish.. its all been going great!
    6 months ago, I split up with then bf, blah blah blah he still has them at his house because I dont currently have somewhere for them to go, I still visit them most days and clean once a week, sometimes tho leaving it to long.

    Last weekend I noticed that both my cory catfish were missing, I found one in a shoe ornament and removed it, then proceeded to clean it (i think that it had been 3 weeks since last clean) i never found the other catfish but because they were both bottom feeders we assumed they had gotten sick,,, the next day, one of my platys was gone, found dead being 'cleaned' by one of the cleaning fish. So the next day i took my knife fish out and put him in another tank..

    My fish were looking lonely as this is a 90L tank with like 10 small fish in it and not many ornaments, and 1 fake plant. (in my town, we have one pet/plant shop that doesnt really have anything in stock).. Today I went looking around for more plants and ornaments, I had previously bought a packet or 3 fake plants when out of town and put them in, but this afternoon we discovered one of my neon tetras dead

    What else do i do?
    - I have an internal water filter that has sponges/carbon in it.
    It is possible that the carbon could be in the wrong spot in my filter .. my ex has cleaned it once since i moved out as i couldnt do it and it is possible that he wrongly put the carbon in the first section (deepest in the water) instead of the middle section but i honestly can not remember the way it used to go.

    - I always put the required water treatment in when cleaning it
    - I use a gravel cleaner as I have gravel down the bottom
    - I DO NOT have a heater - i live in a town called Broome and the normal temperature here is about 35 degrees so I didnt think it was necessary for a heater

    do you think they are sick? what can i do
    the only think i can think of is removing all the water and washing the whole thing and starting afresh with cleanliness.

    It sounds like i know absolutely nothing about it, which is kinda true. But i thought i was doing a good job with my fish until a week ago. I love them and care for them very much and this is devastating me.
    Any help, thoughts, advice would be really appreciated


    Not sure if the pic will work but that is what my tank looks like except it no longer has the car in it, and now has 2 more fake plants in it.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2

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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Did you cycle the tank before adding fish?...see the beginner section for cycling methods

    It would be helpful to know your water parameters....levels of ammonia, nitrIte, nitrAte, ph, hardness

    Do you have a liquid test kit?....it is pretty much required to keep a successful tank
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  3. #3

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Well if you had the tank running with no problems for 8 months then maybe the cycle is already completed.
    But I would test the the water to make sure
    When everything goes without a hitch its only then do you realize something is wrong

  4. #4

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    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    First off, don't take everything apart and "clean" everything. Contrary to what lots of people think, a sterile aquarium is a dead aquarium. A mature aquarium actually runs on colonies of beneficial bacteria that convert ammonia in fish waste into less-harmful compounds that can be dealt with by weekly water change. The initial process of accumulating these bacteria in a new tank is called cycling. If you didn't "cycle" your tank when you first got it, it is likely that after 8 months, the bacteria have found their way in on their own and that any fish survived the early period by luck.

    Since you didn't change or add anythingto the tank recently before the deaths started, my guess is that something may have disrupted the population of beneficial bacteria in your aquarium. Since you mentioned your ex having cleaned a sponge, could it be that he cleaned it too rigorously or even under chlorinated water? Filter sponges are places with a high bacterial load, and the deaths of all those bacteria could result in a toxic accumulation of fish waste leasing to the observed deaths.

    Of course, this is all guesswork based on what you posted. We would have a much more accurate idea if you could provide water parameters (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate concentration, pH) of your tank. There should be test kits for these in any good pet store, the liquid ones being the most accurate.

  5. #5

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    0 Not allowed!
    Do you test your water?
    Did you cycle the tank prior to putting fish in?
    Do you run daily-weekly water changes?
    When was the last time you changed the carbon-it lasts 2-3 weeks tops. There are better alternatives to carbon.
    How strong is your filter, how many gph does it clean? You should have a turnover rate of 4 times, so something filtering about 90 gph. If your current filter isn't doing that you may want to add on or upgrade.

    When was the last time you cleaned the Filter? that should be regularly cleaned in your tank water. what I mean is when you do a water change, save some of that tank water in a bucket and rinse the foam-or other bacterial filtration material in that as well as the filter itself. This keeps the beneficial bacteria that cycle your tank alive-prevents your water from becoming toxic in levels of ammonia and nitrite and killing your fish.

    You should never clean the whole tank out unless you will be giving it a month or longer to cycle before putting fish in. The fish that you put into a "new" tank will die as the tank cycles. That is a guarantee.

    Also the majority of fish need a heater, you should invest in one. Even if the external temperature is comfortable to you-water is slow to absorb heat and slow to give heat off-your fish will be suffering in temperatures that are not suited to their needs.

    There are great guides to the left of this page on how to start an aquarium and cycling a tank.

  6. #6

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    0 Not allowed!
    Two things I would recommend:

    Even though you said your average temperature is 35 (I assume you mean 35C), tropical fish still need a heater. I would suggest you invest in a good one.

    Secondly, unless you're medicating your tank or there are other harsh chemicals in it, I would get rid of the carbon entirely and just use ceramic filter beads with your sponge. The more surface you have for beneficial bacteria to grow, the better. Carbon is chemical filtration, and not needed except to remove meds and other toxic chemicals.

    Others here have given you good advice. Don't tear the tank apart when cleaning. It disrupts the stability. Always dechlorinate any new water that goes into the tank, BEFORE putting it in there. I like to use Seachem's PRIME. It's excellent for removing both chlorine and chloramines -- any water conditioner for aquarium use must have the capacity to remove both.

    Something has messed up the balance in your tank. I would say that's most likely it, since you've done fine until recently.

    Do you or your bf overfeed? Are you sure that ALL of your fish are getting access to food, including the bottom feeders?

    A good test kit is a MUST.

    Just a few things to consider ...
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  7. #7

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Hey all,
    I'm unsure what cycling means, so I doubt I did it, I just followed the pet shop lady's advice with letting the water settle and the fish like sitting in the bags to adjust to the temp before being put in, which I did.
    I don't think that they would be over fed, as this is the same feeding pattern that has been happening for 8 months now, I pnly put in bloodworms, which all the fish do eat, and I occasionally put in pellets/sinking balls. My ex has been alternating between the two for the last week or so.
    I don't think that him washing the sponge could of harmed it as washing it is the normal cleaning pattern ice been using, the sponge is held under the kitchen tap until the slinky stuff and colour is gone (the sponge is empty). I put the water stuff in when adding more water, the bottle was recommended by the pet shop lady..
    I am not sure what you mean when you say water changes, but I do take water out with a gravel vacuum and replace.
    I have a Ph tester and it was fine, I don't have any other water testers, I don't think tje pet shop has that, so I will look online.. I didn't even know there were any other tests to do.
    I will look into a heater asap online also as the pet shop does not have this.
    I will also look into what kind of filter I have :/

  8. #8

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    What do you mean by harsh chemicals? Our water in my town is very chlorinated. I do not medicate as havent found out anything about that.
    All that is in the fish tank is water, the water safe product for new water and food.. Why should I take out the carbon?

    Are you saying to not clean the decor in my fish tank also? ..
    That I should clean the sponges in the water I take out of the tank?
    I do replace the carbon accordingly.
    When you say 'more surface for bacteria to grow' what do you mean? Like the top of the tank where this is no water? I only fill the tank to where it's necessary for the filter to work, this is quite a lot tho.

  9. #9

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    1 Not allowed!
    Have you read the cycling sticky that was provided above?

    Fish produce waste, that waste (in a cycled tank) is consumed by "beneficial bacteria" (BB) that live mostly in your filter. If there is no BB to consume this waste, the fish are living in their own toilet.

    When you wash the sponge from the filter in chlorinated tap water, you are killing the BB that you need to be growing. Only rinse sponges in old tap water.

    Get an API Freshwater Master Liquid Test Kit....get some Seachem Prime for water conditioner...and please read the "cycling with fish" sticky here: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ad.php?t=36492
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  10. #10

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    0 Not allowed!
    Is this Broome Australia? How cold does it get in winter in your house?

    Carbon only works for a short period of time, basically, a money maker for manufacturers. Having bio-media is much better than the carbon. The bacteria grows on the media in the filter, and by tossing out the carbon, you are tossing out the good bacteria that keeps your fish safe from ammonia poisoning and nitrite poisoning.

    Post the names of the water safe product, food, and filter name.

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