I don't understand what am I doing wrong :( - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #11 of 13 Old 09-06-2007, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
New Member
Originally Posted by jkastner19
Not 100% sure, I am new. But I think I read carbon not being necessary in planted tanks, but if you are non-planted maybe you should still use the carbon? Just a thought, not sure if I am right or not.

Good luck continuing and hope you get some healthy fish going!
I don't know either. I think you don't need it really. Thank you for the well wishes. I am trying, really trying! :)
elisa is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #12 of 13 Old 09-06-2007, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
New Member
Re: I don't understand what am I doing wrong :(

Originally Posted by jones57742

All of Lupins word are "dead on" but I will try to elucidate some of his comments as well as address additional of your questions.

Originally Posted by elisa

I've been on this board before, for not being able to cycle a tank and other beginner problems...
You guys have helped so much,
Thanks for these comments. Some of us spend hours researching and preparing as well as the many reviews and edits which are required for coherency.
Your comments really make me feel good.

I'm glad. I really appreciate the help. I was clueless when I started. I mean it should be illegal to buy fish without passing a test of some sort!

and hopefully you can shed some light on these new problems I'm facing.
Having previewed your post I have had similar problems and do not "have a handle on them" but relating my experience may help you and me through this.

Thank you again for taking the time

Well, to begin I have a 10 gallon tank, with and AquaClear 30 filter.
Specifications for you aquaclear 30:
150 gph
Rated for aquariums up to 30 gallons

Please note that for HOB filters the recommended hourly "turnover rate" is 10.
You have an hourly turnover rate of 15.
It may be that your filter is creating too much turbulence in midwater and upperwater portions of your tank and inducing stress into your guppies.

Gosh, I think this is a possibility.

I am not familiar with HOB filters but would it be possible to direct the orifice from which the return flow to the tank is discharged to a wall.
This orientation should produce significant energy dissipation and reduce turbulence in the tank.

I don't think this is possible. The filter hooks up to the back of the tank, and has the opening where the water comes out right on the edge of the glass. If I wanted to have the opening facing the wall I would have the filter inside the water. I hope this is somewhat clear.

If you get the above "figured out" then also some of the flow should be used to mildly agitate the water's surface. This mild agitation will increase the oxygen saturation in the tank water.

If anybody has any suggestions I can try them. Off the top of my head I can't see how I could change this water flow. Maybe I could put something in front of the opening, in order to prevent the water from coming out so fast?

The tank started off with guppies and 2 clown loaches. All my guppies have died, one after the other one, over a matter of months. I've lost them all. They all died similarly, by just wasting away. Nothing major. Just as if they got weaker and weaker. Some I would find stuck to the filter opening, some would stay in the corner on the top of the tank for few days, and then die, some would develop a hump and then die, some would become smaller and smaller, even transparent almost, some would just disappear and then I would find them dead behind decoration...
"Been there, done that and got the tee shirt" with the exception of the emaciation. Mine would appear healthy one day and be dead the next.
Please refer to
Some information in the above cited URL may allow you to relate your experience, induce synergism and help you in the determination of your fish death.

Thank you, I will look at it.

Then I tried to change fish and I got 3 mollies. Two have died already, over the course of, say, a month. One more is left, and I feel bad for her because I feel she will die too.
Although mollies will survive in fresh water their preference is brackish water.
Have you thought about platies in lieu of guppies or mollies for replacements.
Although "my luck with platies" has been less that splendid it has been way, way better "than my luck with guppies"

I can definitely give them a try. Do they look like goldfish?

The two clown loaches, instead, have grown, and, knocking on wood, seem doing ok. They've been in this tank since the beginning (February/March).
Lupin was "right, straight on here!
In a 10G tank these loaches will either be stunted or die.
Under either scenario the clown loaches will not be "happy fishes".
Please refer to


Like I've said, I didn't know this when I got them, and I told the man that I had a 10g but he still sold them to me. They were tiny. When someone said they would grow to 8 and 10 inches I couldn't believe it. I guess i am just waiting to see what's going to happen. I really like the clowns.

Is algae dangerous for the fish?
Not unless you cannot see into the tank beyond the tank walls due to the algae.

Ok. No, then. I'm not that bad at cleaning! :)

Next, I've bought a little vacuum pump, that doesn't seem to be doing the job right, as it just stirs things around but doesn't really pick them up.
Any good suggestions on a cheapish vacuum?
Do not have a clue here.
I use a Python for my tank but I really do not know what would happen if a python was utilized for vacuuming a 10G tank.

That looks like efficient. I think I just got a bad pump. I will look into another one.

My gravel is medium in size, and I have not changed it since the beginning. Should I change it?
Before you introduce new fish IMHO and if it were mine I would
Prepare dechlorinated tap water of sufficient quantity to wash the gravel;
Very, very gently remove the gravel from the tank.
if you just use the random "scoop and get it out as quickly as possible" method I anticipate that your tank water will turn brown.
Gently return the gravel to your tank.

Thanks for this tip. I've done the "I can't see my poor fish" scooping gravel, and felt terrible for the poor guys in the water. And I did it while the tank was half empty. Live and learn.

The filter only has a sponge and the white rocks for bacteria to grow in it. I'm not using the carbon since I've read here that it's really not necessary, but my water smells bad and I'm thinking I should use it again.
This does not make sense to me with respect to the published attributes of your filter:
A patented flow control feature, a basket to hold all filter media in one accessible place and a clear filter case for quick visual check of conditions; are all custom features that will make this filter simple to use. Included are: foam, carbon and BioMax media. Cut to fit precisely, the foam media will trap dirt and debris. The carbon used will efficiently remove organic compounds, dyes and medications. Biological colonies will be allowed to grow using BioMax, converting ammonia and nitrite to nitrate.

The three media are separate. A basket will contain all three but it doesn't have to. So I insert the sponge, and then top it with the rocks. If I wanted to use the carbon, I would insert the carbon packet in between the sponge and the rocks. But it works fine without the carbon. I think. Hmmm... Now you got me thinking...

What are your thoughts on carbon?
For normal use no.


I was thinking that maybe the fish were dying because they needed more oxygen, so I bought a bubble bed, one of those tubes you put down at the bottom, and it's about maybe 6 inches long. I've attached to an air pump, the lowest setting one the sell, but I get this feeling that the bubbles it creates might be too much for the fish to handle. They look (especially the clowns) not happy when the bubbles are on, so I feel bad and turn them off at night (I figure they can sleep better in quiet water).
Please refer to my previous comment concerning turbulence in the tank

So now I'm torn, is this bubble bed good for them or not? Do they need extra oxygen? Is it my imagination, or the bubble bed makes the water dirty faster?

I have a big castle in the water (ok, maybe a bit too big for this size of tank), and it has turned into the clowns home. They rarely come out of there, one a bit more than the other, and of course when I'm not around. Is this ok? I've read it's good that they have a hiding place, but they really live in there more than out. And is there such a thing as a TOO big decoration for the tank? Can it hurt the tank?
Do not have a clue here.

Lastly, my water levels. My pH is low, about 6.4. I've been able to have no ammonia nor nitrites. But nitrates are always a problem. I do 25% water changes every week but always get high nitrates readings, in the 40s.
Please check the nitrate concentration in your tap water and report back.

Almost 0. The color is not quite bright yellow as it should be, but not as dark as the next level (5).

And now that I really have only 3 fish in there, it actually looks like the water has deteriorated. It's as if the tank just gets worse and worse, no matter what I do, and no matter how many fish in there.
Oh, one more thing. Is it normal that every thing in the tank now looks full of algae and green, should I wash the decorations and the fake plants, and strip them of this slimy coat they have?
What and how much are you feeding?

I feed them flakes, a pinch twice a day. Sometimes I vary with blood worms or shrimp pellets or frozen shrimp brine. But mostly is flakes.

Thank you so much for all your help! I feel that if I went to a vet (fish vet), and paid for a visit I would never get the same amount of help I get out of nice people like you. Keep up the great work, it is surely appreciated.


I've attached a picture. The molly on the right is still alive. The two guppies on the left are gone :(

That's the big castle and you can see the bubble wall.

Please refer to
as it may be of some help in your "algae fighting"?

elisa is offline  
post #13 of 13 Old 09-07-2007, 01:36 AM
New Member
Instead of the carbon in your Aquaclear you could put in products such as Algone or Clearmax (used to be phos-x). They help remove phosphate, which will help prevent algae, nitrate and nitrite. Also if you have a large buildup of nutrients doing the frequent small water changes should remove alot of the excess nutrients in a couple of weeks.

With that gravel vac you should be able to insert the large tube into the water and remove all air from it. Then proceed to pump the tube up and down, it should trap water into the hose. Eventually the water will start pulling itself from gravity and you should have a bucket or something nearby to catch the water. As long as the water level in the tank is higher than the bucket it will continue to siphon. Then you simply stick the vacuum into the gravel untill it is clear again and move it to a new place.

If you can find a way to put a sponge in front of your filter it will help divert the flow while also adding more biological filtration.

Try adding a few more fake plants to give more hiding spots for the fish since the loaches have territory over the castle.

There is a product for air pumps that controls the air flow. You could always purchase one and use it to regulate the amount of bubbles the air pump creates. http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...17&pcatid=8017

I hope i could help a little. Good luck! :D
Zapher is offline  

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Trying to understand KH letmec17 Beginner Freshwater Aquarium 5 02-15-2009 12:43 PM
i dont understand MegK Tropical Fish Diseases 5 06-11-2008 05:57 AM
I just don't understand nfored Beginner Freshwater Aquarium 1 05-09-2008 07:21 PM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome