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ALL of of my fish are dead or dying!!!!

This is a discussion on ALL of of my fish are dead or dying!!!! within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by Aphid He had two fish with red faces (I don't know their name), two neon glow fish, a kissing fish he ...

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ALL of of my fish are dead or dying!!!!
Old 02-11-2010, 06:13 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aphid View Post

He had two fish with red faces (I don't know their name), two neon glow fish, a kissing fish he has had longer than we have been together (We've been together seven years), an algae eater, a glass fish and a catfish. He had these a while, four or five months. Then, just recently we got two mollies, then three calico-looking fish, and an angel fish. One calico fish died right off; this was probably normal; it was from wal-mart and that happens. All of these fish were purchased far enough apart that it didn't seem that any of them were carrying a disease or parasite.
A majority of those fish will (would) have eventually outgrown a 20G tank. Any fish that will outgrow the tank you have, by keeping it in a small tank you're stunting its growth. This isn't healthy for any species or fish, let alone any other kind of animal. It would be like keeping a great dane in a cage the size of the a dishwasher.....it will cause growing problems which isn't good for any animal. By keeping fish in a tank which they will need to outgrow, it's hampering their ability for them to grow to their fullest capability and be able to live long healthy lives.

Two other quick notes: you neon fish...they(along with almost all other tetras) need to be kept in groups of atleast 6.....your catfish (which may be a form of corrydora) need to kept in groups of six also

Hopefully with the help of answering those questions and any other input your boyfriend has will help everyone figure this out.
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Old 02-11-2010, 08:49 PM   #12
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Hello Aphid and welcome

Here is a website where you can enter your tank size by dimensions and then enter the fish type and quantity into. It will tell you if the aquarium is overstocked and if so how badly. I used this to start building my first aquarium recently. Keep in mind this is not absolutely perfect but it does seem to be a fairly close guide if nothing else.

From the research I have done in the past few months it seems a LOT of people quite badly overstock tanks. Yes the fish can survive but they cannot be leading very comfortable lives. An analogy might be a herd of cows in a nice big pasture compared to the same size herd in a corral. They just cannot move around well and the conditions in the corral...well.. I think the point was made without anything more graphic:)

There is no doubt that the vast majority of these people honestly believe they have done their homework and really love their fish with no malicious intent. Best of luck to you and your boyfriend in solving the problem.

AqAdvisor - Intelligent Freshwater Tropical Fish Aquarium Stocking Calculator and Aquarium Tank/Filter Advisor

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Old 02-11-2010, 09:37 PM   #13
 
The three biggest mistakes everyone makes, including myself, are the importance of tank cycling to handle the fish that will populate the aquarium, overstocking the aquarium, and not doing sufficient water changes. All of the problems can be averted by prior research. I would suggest to you that probably 60 % of fish sold over the past Xmas to newbies with tanks are dead now, that's a lot of fish.

Learning is one of the best facets of this hobby, and initially you don't have the experience to know what you need to know. A tank that is well planted, properly lighted, with adequate changes of water, and understocked is going to be an easier to tank to maintain and have fish that live into old age. Take the time to learn the hobby, years in a hobby doesn't mean anything if experience isn't backed up with learning.

Just goggle your questions and you'll find loads of material written about it, like how to stock a tank, how to cycle a tank, what fish can go with other fish, water parameters to suit the fish you have and plan to have. Lots of resources out there, and people here can walk you through re-establishing your tank if you'd like.
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Old 02-11-2010, 10:12 PM   #14
 
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Look, I apologize if I seemed rude, but when I'm telling somebody straight facts, I don't sugar coat. It's not in my nature and it doesn't do any good to be frivolous. I don't think of myself as an elitist or anything akin to that.

I was giving you facts and merely stating that it seemed research wasn't done. If your boyfriend was told those things, more than likely it was the sales person at the pet store trying to con more money out of somebody at the expense of a fish's life. I never assumed he was an idiot, I was saying more research should have been done, because in my opinion, the life of any animal shouldn't be at cost because of a mistake.

But the important things are you need to affirm your water parameters and find out each species of fish you have. If you or your BF are unsure of anything, I'm sure posting some pictures will get you some answers fairly quickly. When you figure out what fish you have, go over the water they prefer and their full adult size. When you have that all figured out, determine, will the fish I have remaining be alright together, even full grown? Find out if temperaments get worse or appetites get bigger. Make sure you don't have any schooling species that don't have at least 5 of their kind. Generally, 5 is a good number to go by for any species of schooling fish. After that, determine what fish you have to give up/donate/return. For a 20 gallon, I wouldn't keep any fish that grew over five inches, and no schooling fish that reach more than 3 inches, but make sure the fish you are keeping won't eat the others, need special care that the others won't benefit from/will be harmed from, or if they have high bioloads.

Once again, I apologize if I seemed rude, but I assure you, I wasn't. Like I said, I don't sugar coat. Does it make a difference if a professor tells a student s/he is wrong by saying something like, "Oh no! I'm so sorry, but you didn't do it quite right. I'm sure if we try again, we can do better next time. All you need just a little more time!"
Or if he says, "That's not the correct answer; this is." That's my position. I was explaining something to you and I wasn't doing anything more.
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:52 PM   #15
 
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btw to add to rsn's "biggest mistakes i've made" list: trusting that the lfs will give you accurate info. I've learned (the hard way) to go and look, take notes, come home and do my research, then decide if that's what is right for my tank. even the most knowledgeable lfs employee will tell me things that simply aren't true. they can't possibly know everything about every fish (or plants or equipment, etc.)
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Old 02-12-2010, 12:55 AM   #16
 
Thanks so much everyone for the extensive info. It seems that though some of the fault does lie with my boyfriend, a lot of these things are things he asked the sales people handling the fish and lots of questions were not answered. From now on, before making a purchase, we will research the type of fish first ourselves instead of trusting anyone else. We even asked if neon tetras should be in a school and we were told they should do fine with the two we were getting.

Pep, thanks for that website!!! VERY useful!!

Rsn48; I will surely google anything I need to know from here on out without assuming the Wal-mart guy knows anything about fish.

Kelso, I think being blunt and honest are great, but being courteous is great, too. Sugar-coating and kindness are not mutually inexclusive. I really appreciate the apology and also apologize if I seemed over-sensitive. It is hard to tell how to take things as there is no tone of voice over the internet. I was not just directing my elitist comment at you. I also comend you for taking the lives of animals so seriously. We do too; this is why I posted to this forum to prevent this EVER happening again under our watch.
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:18 AM   #17
 
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Welcome to TFK!

I agree with the general consensus that the likely cause of the problems was ammonia or nitrite poisoning. For one, adding a whole lot of fish to an already overstocked tank is already likely to cause an ammonia spike, but the dead fish in the tank are also a huge source of ammonia that were probably far beyond your biological filter's* ability to process. However, without some of the other data requested (tank temperature and water parameters such as pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels) we can't really be sure what the problem was.

I also agree that doing a large water change as soon as possible is an excellent idea. Just be sure to use a good water conditioner and try to match the temperature of the water going into the tank with the water that's already there to avoid putting more stress on the fish.

Can you give us the water parameters as well as the species of the four remaining fish? You can post pictures if you're unsure of the exact species. If you don't have a liquid test kit for the parameters, you can take a water sample to a LFS and have them test it for you (most stores will do this for free). Make sure they give you exact numbers for pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate rather than just saying "it's fine" or something along those lines, as they're prone to do. Also, make sure they're using a liquid kit or probes and not test strips.
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Old 02-13-2010, 12:56 PM   #18
 
I have found out the temperature was around 70 degrees farenheit; we don't know the exact numbers because he replaced his heater. I looked for a test at the pet store and didn't find one. They may have been out, but I will try to have someone test it soon. Between work and school and life in general, I don't know when we'll be able to. Also, my boyfriend changes 1/4 of the water weekly.

We have seen so many websites saying so many different things it's hard to tell what we're doing right and what we're doing wrong.

Right now, I think the only fish left are the algea eater, the neon tetra, and the kissing fish. If that isn't specific enough, I can take pictures tomorrow or the day after. (I don't know how many viariations of those fish there are!!)

I really appreciate all the help to really make sure what the problem is. I really want to make sure we don't make the same mistake twice.

We'll be changing a lot of the water very soon!!
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Old 02-13-2010, 02:29 PM   #19
 
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Aphid,

Before we can really help you and get down to specifics, we really need to know your water parameters. If you're going to fish stores to look for a test kit, have them check your water for you. It's crucial to know what your levels are at. Until you can get a test kit...have a LFS(local fish store) test both your tank water and tap water. Like I said in my first post...make sure they give you exact readings. Don't let them tell you "eh, your ammonia is a little high", you need to get exact levels.

As far as your fish left....
Your neon fish, does it look like this?
http://72.167.47.62/imgs/fish/neon-tetra-profile.jpg

And your 'kissing fish', does it look like this?
http://z.about.com/d/freshaquarium/1...gourami06G.jpg

First thing, if you haven't already is do a massive water change. I"m talking atleast 60%. If you want to save the few fish you have left, you need to do this as soon as possible, tonight if you can!!

Until you get your water parameters, do the water change! I'd also up your tank temperature to about 77-78 degrees, both of those fish enjoy temperatures between 70-82 degrees, and your algae eater, although not sure on the type, will be ok with that temperature too.
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Old 02-14-2010, 12:38 AM   #20
 
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Whoops. I forgot to add in the actual footnote I threw in that asterisk for.

* - By biological filter, I don't mean a physical filter but rather the bacteria colonies that process ammonia into nitrite and then into nitrate.
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