Fish Virgin..Did everything wrong...need advice! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 15 Old 12-09-2011, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
Exclamation Fish Virgin..Did everything wrong...need advice!

Hi all! New to the "fish thing"....

Bought a 20GL... filter, heater, substrate, fake plants, yada, yada.

I'm generally a very thoughtful, thorough person. I don't jump into things "on a whim"....BUT I did with my fish tank! I set the thing up, let it run for 3 days......(took advice from a friend) added 2 Red Wag Platy's and a Sailfin Black Molly November 23rd. Fast forward, I found this forum...and after lots of "fish education" on the internet I've realized I did everything wrong. My Ammonia is .5, my nitrites are .5 or maybe 1.0. I think the fish have "Ich"...not sure? Not sure how to do a "salt" cure or an "Ich" medicine? Should I just flush the fish and start over? (I'm not a "tree hugger" and don't want to hear from wacko animal rights activists) What I mean by the "flush" is should I just put the fish out of their suffering or can they be saved? Thank you for any and all advice! Kathy
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post #2 of 15 Old 12-09-2011, 08:55 PM
No worries it happens to almost everyone (it did me). But don't flush the fish!

Ich is not that bad of a illness. Platys and Mollys are pretty hardy fish too so that will help you out a lot. Right now your tank is cycling which is why you see the ammonia and nitrite. While most people do not like cycling with fish like I said before platys and mollys are hardy and as long as you take care of the ich should survive it. Your stocking level is also good for your tank which helps. I'm no guru on treating ich so I will let someone else help you on that. Frequent water changes will help keep the ammonia down. I'd do atleast 30% a day until you see the numbers drop.

But adding some live plants will really help out your situation with the ammonia. Plants are more or less a filter for the aquarium using the poisonous things to fish for nutrients and ammonia is one of them. For now some Water Sprite floating on the surface would be easy for someone with little experience and will help you greatly.

Your tank can be saved though and shouldn't be all that difficult. The ich will be most difficult but once that's gone you will be able to enjoy it.

Also while the tank is cycling watch your fish to make sure they're not sitting on the bottom of the tank or right near the surface gulping for air. The sooner you can get some plants though the better. Also don't forget about the water changes.
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post #3 of 15 Old 12-09-2011, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
Hi "Somedudes", Thank you so much for answering my post! 20 yrs ago I bought a "show quality" Akita. At my first "puppy match" dog show....I can remember how lost I felt.....a very nice person went out of her way to "help" me and make me feel comfortable. I won "Best Puppy in Match" that I was leaving....I said to myself, no matter how well I do showing and breeding Akitas...I will never shun a "newbie"....I will NEVER forget where I came from and ALWAYS pay it forward! So, thank you!!!!!
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post #4 of 15 Old 12-09-2011, 09:47 PM
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Flushing fish is straight ignorant, if you have to put them out of their misery put them in a container and add clove oil or put them in the freezer. Or whatever the best way is, I'm sure somebody around here knows, just not flushing.

I've had ich twice, the first time I tried meds and they just turns the water blue and stained the silicone. I just raised the temp a couple degrees and it went away. What's your current temp?

Live plants will help a lot, I've set up tanks without even cycling because I had a decent amount of plants. They are easy, look better, and only help out.
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post #5 of 15 Old 12-09-2011, 09:51 PM
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First, welcome to the forum and to fishkeeping. You will come to love both. Second, the cycling and the ich ( we can treat both at once):

I have a few suggestions for the water, Seachem brand "Prime" water conditioner (its the one with the red label) and temperature. Pick up a small bottle of prime and double dose (2x the normal amount) the water, this should help very quickly with the nitrites and ammonia levels and eventually the nitrates. Retreat every 48 hours until nitrite is 0. While treating with the Prime lets try slowly (2 degrees per hour) raising the water temp to about 82-84 degrees, when you begin with temperature increase add half a handful of aquarium salt.

That should take care of getting the water parameters under control and combat the ich. I'd be wary of ich medications while cycling. Also adding the plants like water sprite and hornwort (both should handle salt and temperature ok.

Best of luck. Let us know how it goes.
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post #6 of 15 Old 12-09-2011, 09:52 PM
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Do Not Flush the fish. If you have to put em down go with ice water as it slowly puts them to sleep.
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post #7 of 15 Old 12-09-2011, 11:19 PM
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Here is the best article on ich (in my opinion):
Ich | The Skeptical Aquarist

Here is the best article on the nitrogen cycle (in my opinion):

If it should ever come to it (which in this case, it shouldn't), here is the best article on fish euthanasia (in my opinion):
Aquarius Aquaria - Exploring Fish Euthanasia

I normally try to be as helpful as I can to someone who is trying to help their fish, or any being. And I really think you are trying to help them, and have good intentions. I applaud that! But your comment "I'm not a "tree hugger" and don't want to hear from wacko animal rights activists" is very offensive to me. I hope that you didn't mean that how it sounds. The fish in our care feel and suffer just as any creature does, and we've taken on the responsibility to respect and care for them to the best of our abilities. To do otherwise is inhumane. And... I will stop there. I just had to say that. I wish you the best of luck in your current dilemna, and please know that this site has a lot of great people willing and able to help you in whatever way they can. Good luck!

A tree hugging, wacko, animal rights activist

"My dither fish need dither fish!"
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post #8 of 15 Old 12-18-2011, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
Update: was " Fish Virgin"

First of all I want to thank all those who replied to my post! It is day 25 since I added my 2 Red Wag Platys and 1 Black Sailfin Molly. I did a 7 gallon water change on my tank. I bought a Sword plant, and bought Seachem Prime (I dosed my tank with 5x the normal as my nitrites are at 1.0.) My ammonia is hovering between 0 and .25. I treated what I thought was Ich by turning up the temp to 86 degrees and added aquarium salt. There is no sign of ich on my molly.The fish seem fine.....but what do I know? LOL! They are swimming around...meaning they are not showing any signs of stress. They are not hanging out and gasping at the surface, nor are they lethargic and hanging out at the bottom. I have been feeding them just a tiny pinch of flakes every other day to cut down on the pooping? A good friend of mine who has had fish for 20 plus yrs is buying me a bigger Aqua Clear pump for Christmas.....I'm going to give my Aqua Clear 2 to my niece who has a 10 gallon (cheap filter) with 2 goldfish. Can I be optimistic that my fish might survive the cycling process? How much longer untill things are balanced? I never thought I would really care that much about some tiny fish...but I do! Especially my black molly.....he's quite the character! Thanx again for any advice...Merry Christmas to all!

Kathy (the mean non-tree-hugging fish owner!) LOL!
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post #9 of 15 Old 12-18-2011, 08:00 PM
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Hi Kathy and welcome to TFK.

Don't give up on your cycle. It takes a while - mine took forever but I did a fishless cycle with my first community tank.

Just keep doing frequent water changes (daily if you can) until your ammonia and nitrites are under control. Good luck :)

Animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.
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post #10 of 15 Old 12-18-2011, 08:58 PM
Congrats on beating the ich I'm glad to hear it. The cycling might take longer than you'd like to put up with (it does for everyone haha) but just hang in there. The feeding you're doing too is good should help keep the water clean. Soon you'll have a great tank that's very pleasing to watch. Like Romad said keep up with the water changes and all will be well.
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