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  1. #1

    Question What could be wrong?


    0 Not allowed!
    I'll give a full history since the tank isn't that old.

    I got a tank (30gal) as a gift so we bought all the equipment (it was an old tank and most of it other than the tank, wasn't usable). Got the heater, a power filter (was recommended by the store), gravel. I cleaned the tank up using just a scrubber and water. We setup the aquarium with everything and ran the filter for a week and also used some cycle starter solution. I knew this wouldn't work a lot since it wasn't introducing ammonia, but it wasn't gonna hurt either.

    After a week, the kids couldn't stand not having fish so we started using fish to cycle the tank and got 4 zebra danios and some live plants (I forget the name) from petsmart to get it started. One died the first day but I thought that may have just been the petsmart fish. I didn't want to introduce any more if it was toxic. I had been testing it with starter test strips and everything seemed to be fine (chlorine, nitrite, ph and hardness). The remaining 3 danios were doing fine though. After the first week they even had spawned and started showing good color that they didn't have coming home from the pet store.

    I was having issues with the plants staying in the substrate so I had been changing about 10% of the water about every 3 days to put them back in the gravel. I think the problem with the plants is that we have been without a light this whole time. The old light had a starter switch and I couldn't find a replacement switch or fixture in town. Two weeks ago, I found a local petstore that ordered us one though so hopefully it will be in tomorrow.

    Two weeks after the danios were in and I went in to the local petstore to inquire about the light, the kids were with and found some other fish they would like. Since the remaining danios were doing so well, I thought it would be ok to introduce some new fish and we got 3 glass catfish in the tank. Unfortunately, we didn't do much (and by not much I mean none) research with the fish and found out how sensitive the catfish could be. We did ask the petstore owner and she said if we had change the water already, they should be fine. That night we caught sight of two small snails that must have been stow aways with the plants. Two days after we got the nitrite spike on the test strip. Since then, it's been virtually non-existent on the strip.

    A week later, the catfish were surprisingly doing well. Whew. So I got my arm twisted again to get some neon tetras. I have always like tetras and, even though I wanted to wait a bit more, I agreed to get a few tetras. Currently the only casualty was that first danio on day 1. We got the tetras at petsmart and not the local pet store (it's closer) and by the second night, we had lost 2 of the tetras. I thought the tank was doing so well and tetras, from what I've read, are supposed to be pretty tolerant to tank conditions. We got replacements the next day from petsmart and then that evening we had 2 tetras, the last original one, and one of the new ones that was only 4 hours in the tank, didn't make it. What was even worse was along with those 2, we also lost one of the danios.

    That was yesterday. I have decided to not introduce any more fish until I have a better game plan, but I have no idea what is going on. The tank still tests fine on the strips and the catfish seem happy as well as the two remaining danios. The last tetra (only 1.5 days in the tank) doesn't look especially content or healthy which could be related to him being the only tetra in the tank, but I'm still confused as to what would affect the other tetras so dramatically.

    In summary, here is the timeline.
    4.5 weeks ago - setup the tank
    3.5 weeks ago - introduced 4 danios
    3.4 weeks ago - lost 1 danio
    1.5 weeks ago - introduced 3 glass catfish, found 2 snails
    4 days ago - introduced 3 tetras
    2 days ago - lost 2 tetras
    1 day ago - introduced 2 more tetras, lost 2 tetras and 1 danio

    Current fish count:
    2 danios
    3 glass catfish
    2 small snails
    1 neon tetra


    I'm completely confused and trying to learn as much as I can. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. If I left out any information that would be helpful, just ask and I will answer it the best I can.

    Anthony

  2. #2

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    0 Not allowed!
    cycling is something that you need to know. Ammonia goes up from rotting waste, then it is converted to nitrate and goes down, then you do a water change to kill the nitrate. Fishless cycling with pure ammonia would be best, but danios work alright. wait a week to add more fish to let everything out. do you have nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia test kits?


    this should help

    http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ead.php?t=5278
    Last edited by cocoa_pleco; 05-16-2007 at 03:47 AM.

  3. #3

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I had read about cycling before hand and know about the nitrogen cycle. I knew about fishless cycling but at the time I hadn't seen as good of an article on it as you have here and most of the suggested ways listed on other sites also seemed to list big draw backs. I'm a bit ashamed to say that pressure from the kids is mostly what convinced me to do this with fish.

    The test strip I have was called a starter strip and tests chlorine, nitrite, ph and hardness. It doesn't test ammonia.

    I have been changing the water fairly frequently already, about every 3 days I take out 10% then replace it with conditioned water and more cycling solution.

  4. #4

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I should add, I made a silly assumption that once I had the nitrite spike that the ammonia part should be taken care of.

  5. #5

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    you need a ammonia test kit. ammonia is the most deadly substance. even small traces of ammonia are harmful to fish, but there is room for nitrate, and a tad of nitrite.

  6. #6

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    In regards to cycling, I know alot of other members will disagree with this, but I everytime I set up a new tank I use Seachem's Stability. This enables you to put fish in the very first day and I haven't lost any fish due to New Tank Syndrome yet.

    Just my .02 cents
    A Grumpy German Is A Saurkraut!

  7. #7

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Is that similar to the Hagen Nutrafin Cycle product? That was what I was using already to help with the cycling process.

  8. #8

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by cocoa_pleco
    you need a ammonia test kit. ammonia is the most deadly substance. even small traces of ammonia are harmful to fish, but there is room for nitrate, and a tad of nitrite.
    I will get something to test the ammonia levels. The thing that has totally been confusing me is that the tetras have had such an issue right off the bat when the glass catfish, from what I've read, should be a much more sensitive fish than the tetras should be. As an update, we lost the last tetra this morning which I had expected.

  9. #9

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Cycle is not a good product and most of us here feel it does nothing.

    What happened with your fish was that the danio's had started to add ammonia to the water so the ammonia was already there when you added the tetra's. They do not live well with ammonia and altho the danio's are known as a fairly good cycling fish, even they will die when ammonia gets too high. You have to do water changes of about 30% to 40% to make any difference.

    In your case, your water was already toxic and you kept adding more fish which kept the ammonia building and then the nitrites. Both are toxic.

    ammonia = nitrites = nitrates

  10. #10

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I'm going to add my experience with neon tetras. They are not known to be very hardy, especially not for a new aquarium. I have never been able to keep these guys alive, even after adding them three months later to an already established tank. If you are looking at other species of tetras that may be better for a new tank, you may want to look at something like red eyed tetras or black tetras.

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