any advice??
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any advice??

This is a discussion on any advice?? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I have a tank that I borrowed from my father-in-law. Not sure how many gallons but I'm going to guess and say about 10. ...

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Old 12-05-2010, 07:24 PM   #1
any advice??

I have a tank that I borrowed from my father-in-law. Not sure how many gallons but I'm going to guess and say about 10. I have a filter (aqua tech 5-15), a heater (I'll get the name of it later), rocks, a fake log, a back drop thing (not sure what it's called but it's a piece of plastic that has a scene on it that I have taped to the back of the tank), a thermometer, and a thing that adds air to the tank (not sure the name on it).

I set the tank up after I washed everything with HOT water - no soap. Bought new filters and a fake plant to add. Then we went and bought some fish. I wanted live bearers and didn't want to spend much so we went with guppies and platies. I only wanted to buy 2 of each type but the lady at the pet store said that if I did that, the male would drive the female crazy so I ended up buying 2 females and 1 male of each type.

We brought the fish home, put some conditioner in the tank (to take out the chlorine from the tap water) and let the bags with the fish in it float on the water for 20 minutes. I noticed that one of the platies had dropped a baby on the way home but the baby was not alive.

I bought tropical flakes to feed them, which I crush into small pieces in my hand before I put them in the tank. We bought our fish on a Friday and by Monday night, one of our female platies was dead. There was no warranty on them but I went back to the store anyways. I didn't know and still don't know why she died but the guy at the store said to put some aquarium salt in the tank. I did that and everything was good. Then about 2 weeks later (I think), our male guppy died. He was fine when I went to bed but when I got up in the morning, he was lying upside down on the bottom of the tank. I still don't know why he died.

Then a few days later, I saw babies when I got up in the morning. There was 2 babies in the tank. I sat and watched the tank for close to an hour, trying to figure out which fish had had the babies. I still am not quite sure. However while I was watching, one of the female guppies ate both babies. Then that night, there was 5 more babies in the tank - again, I don't know which fish had the babies. The babies were able to find a place to hide and were there for almost a week. Then one of the female guppies started not eating and basically just floating near the top of the tank. I read online that it could be ammonia poisoning so I decided to do a 50% water change (this past Friday). I took some water and put it in a clean ice cream container and then added the adult fish to that. I then added more water to a small ice cream container and took the 5 babies out and put them in there. I then "scooped" out some of the water and was just getting ready to add water back to the tank when I noticed another baby so I scooped that one out and put it in the container with the other babies. By having the babies in another container by themselves, I was able to see that there were 3 of them that were orange so I'm assuming our platy is the one that gave birth.

I added the water, the water conditioner, and some aquarium salt. I moved the log a little and fixed the plant (which had tipped a little and the base was off the bottom of the tank - I think this is where the babies had been hiding though). I put the babies back in first, figuring that I would give them a chance to find a hiding spot before I added the adult fish. I added the adult fish and then went out for lunch. When I got home, all the babies were gone - I guess moving the plant back into place was a bad thing cause it caused the babies to have no where to hide and they were all eaten. Then Saturday morning when I got up, the guppy that I had been trying to save was upside down stuck to the filter intake, dead.

So far so good with the last 3 but I'm thinking that the other guppy might not make it either. It's touch and go with her as to her eating. Sometime she eats but sometimes she doesn't. I don't plan on getting anymore guppies but I am planning on buying some more platies and I was thinking about getting some mollies as well.

I keep the water at around 75/76 degrees, which should be a good temp for both platies and guppies. I don't plan on getting a breeder or anything but I will probably buy some more plants to give the babies more places to hide.

Does anyone have any advice or suggestions to give me??

(I'll include some pics of the tank when I get a chance)
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:05 PM   #2
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I noticed that you failed to mention anything about cycling the tank. Ammonia poisoning is most likely the cause of your issues. Type "aquarium nitrogen cycle" into google, and I think you may find the cause of the deaths of your fish.

As far as rectifying the situation, I would suggest frequent water changes to dilute the ammonia that I am assuming is the issue.
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:20 PM   #3
That's exactly what it sounds like - what should or can I do now?? I still have fish in the tank. 1 female guppy, 1 female platy and 1 male platy.

I'm going to try and get a testing kit so I can see what the levels are at.
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:31 PM   #4
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You have a couple of choices, really:

1) Unless you have an established tank to move the fish to, is keep up with water changes. Someone on here told me once that "dilution is the solution to pollution." That hits the nail on the head. Keeping fresh water going into the tank every day or so will keep the ammonia diluted to levels that are at least manageable.

2) Aquatic plants love ammonia. If you got a couple of plants and tossed them in there, it would significantly lessen your ammonia problems.
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:36 PM   #5
Thank you. How long will I have to keep changing the water??

Can I just take some water out while leaving the fish in the tank, then just add more water (I would put the water in a container with the conditioner the day before)??
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:46 PM   #6
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Yes, you can definitely leave the fish in while you change water.

Just take out however much water you wish to change, make sure you unplug your heater and filter if they are going to be uncovered.

I normally replace the water and then squirt in the conditioner when I am all done. I have never liked the idea of leaving water out, as my cat's hair gets on EVERYTHING!

As for how long you need to do water changes, that depends on the tank. This is where a test kit comes in. You should do frequent water changes until your ammonia and nitrite levels are consistently reading 0.

After that point, I recommend doing about a 30% water change every week.
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Old 12-05-2010, 10:04 PM   #7
what kind of plants would be the best??
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:28 PM   #8
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Some good plants that don't seem to require spendy lights are Anubias, Cryptocoryne, and Amazon Sword.

If you click "Tropical Fish Profiles" at the top left of your screen, and then "freshwater plants," you can browse through lots of different plants. Most, if not all of the profiles list light requirements and minimum tank size.
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:36 PM   #9
Where would I buy the plants?? I don't think the pet store here sells real plants. Would a florist or greenhouse type place have aquatic plants?
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:41 PM   #10
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You can buy plants online, but out here in Oregon our petsmart even carries plants. You might want to check to see what your pet stores have, it might be surprising.
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