01-08-2012, 03:45 PM
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Most likely this has been the cause for the majority of your deaths, your biological filter has never caught up due to the load, and the only way to avoid this is to keep monitoring your water parameters until the cycling levels out and you figure out how much of a biological load you have on your tank, weekly water changes of at least 30% will be critical to keeping nitrates down but anytime ammonia or nitrites show up its important to do water changes until they go back down to 0. This is why I recommend the liquid test, it can be a pain to do sometimes but will tell you exactly what you need to know so you can treat any problems that arise. Again if you haven't yet, read that post I linked to, it will help you understand the processes going on in your tank and how to manage them.
Welcome to fish keeping, there is a bit of a learning curve that stores don't tell people about, but once you are past the curve it becomes pretty easy to maintain a tank. Stick around read the other posts people make, will help you get over that learning curve just a bit faster