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Fish keep dying, advice please!

This is a discussion on Fish keep dying, advice please! within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> We cycled the tank for 7 days before adding any fish. I am using Tetra AquaSafe Plus for dechlorinator and the paramaters are: pH ...

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Fish keep dying, advice please!
Old 09-07-2011, 08:31 PM   #11
 
We cycled the tank for 7 days before adding any fish. I am using Tetra AquaSafe Plus for dechlorinator and the paramaters are:
pH 7.0
Ammonia 0
Nitrates 40ppm
Nitrite 30
Only time Ammonia goes up is after a fish has been dead in the tank, otherwise it is remaining low. Water also appears very clear, no cloudiness after the initial cycling.
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:43 PM   #12
 
I hope one of those numbers is a mistake, or you need to get all the fish out NOW. Nitrites should be at 0. Nitrates are on the high side but on its own that wouldn't kill your fish so quickly.

7 days is not nearly enough time to cycle a tank without fish in it from start. If you had starter medium (gravel or filter media from a cycled tank) then 7 days would be enough time, but if you are starting with new substrate new filter, 7 days won't do much. The first phase usually takes about 2 weeks, for the bacteria to even begin growing.

Nitrities at 30 must be wrong, but if it is higher than 0 it will quickly kill your fish, all of them.

EDIT

Sorry, this sounds very much like I'm scolding you. I was just shocked to see that number. If your nitrite reading is above 0, that is your problem. If you started to cycle and then added fish, it probably made your tank go crazy. I would take out all the fish (sorry, I dont remember if you have any left), do a big water change, and continue with the cycle before putting fish back in. Like I said, a fishless cycle takes longer than 7 days, it will take closer to 4 weeks.

Last edited by tf1265; 09-07-2011 at 08:45 PM.. Reason: I sounded mean
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:16 PM   #13
 
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Yeah...that number for nitrites definitely indicates your cycle is NOT complete. I actually am surprised the shrimp are still alive. Don't add anything else until the tank is actually cycled and I'd start doing water changes immediately to get the numbers down as long as the shrimp are still in there. If possible, get them out of the tank asap.
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:06 AM   #14
 
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Both nitrites and nitrates are very high. Nitrates at 40 ppm is harmful to the fish. Nitrites are more harmful to fish than even ammonia, neither are good for fish and will cause problems, both short and long term. Water changes are a definite, I would change out 50% of the water daily until you get the numbers down. Also definitly you will want to wait before you start adding anything else to this tank. When you do change out the water try to vacuum the gravel also when you do so, to remove any build up detitrus that is in there. When ammonia or nitrites are above .25 ppm you will want to carry out a water change. Also what are you using to test your parameters?
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:36 AM   #15
 
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Other members have said it, but as I asked the initial question I'll comment too. It takes 6-8 weeks minimum to fully "cycle" an aquarium, which means to establish the nitrifying bacteria spec is at a level sufficient to handle the bioload now in the tank. There is no quick one-week method, in spite of what some stores apparently tell customers. If you read that article I linked, it will explain it.

There is absolutely no question in my mind that your fish have all died of poisoning from ammonia, or possibly nitrite if they managed through the initial ammonia somehow. According to their site data, Tetra's AquaSafe Plus does not deal with ammonia or nitrites. The bacteria establishment they mention may be beneficial, but in this case that would have been inadequate anyway so I needn't pursue that argument.

You casn see now why I asked for numbers; I've no idea what may have caused you to think the water parameters were normal or fine, they clearly are not.

Please carefully read that article I linked, and feel free to ask any questions. We all want you to succeed and have healthy fish. That is our goal in offering our advice and suggestions.

Byron.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:05 PM   #16
 
What led me to believe that my parameters were fine was taking in a water sample to the store each and every time and different employees at 2 different stores testing it and telling me my water was normal and shouldn't be the cause of the problem.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:56 PM   #17
 
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All the more reason to learn and do all your own testing and maintenance. That way you know things are done correctly. If the store employees were getting readings for nitrites and they were telling you that everything was ok, they obviously don't know what they are talking about.
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Old 09-09-2011, 12:12 AM   #18
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
All the more reason to learn and do all your own testing and maintenance. That way you know things are done correctly. If the store employees were getting readings for nitrites and they were telling you that everything was ok, they obviously don't know what they are talking about.
Very true. Some stores use test strips for testing, they can be very inaccurate. And some employees may have more knowledge than others... etc.
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