I killed my fish :-( - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 9 Old 02-04-2014, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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I killed my fish :-(

I am devastated. I think I need to just get a pet rock...

I have had endless problems trying to cycle a 5 gallon tank, killed several fish and still can't seem to get it right.

But I had a success as well, at the same time I also bought a 1 gallon MiniBow for my office and put a beautiful blue Beta (Blutus Maximus) and 2 electric tetras (Pip and Squeak) in there. Had no idea what I was doing but the tank must have cycled because by the time I checked I had no Ammonia or Nitrites, (did have some small Nitrates) and everyoen was doing great for 5 weeks.

So like a complete idiot I added a ghost shrimp last Saturday. I should have left it alone! They were OK, yesterday, but this morning everyone but the shrimp is dead. He still doesn't have a name but Killer seems appropriate right now...

Did I overstock? Was the shrimp a bad idea or just any addition was wrong?

I don't know whether to try another beta and keep the shrimp, or donate him to the mob?

I am just so bummed out...
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post #2 of 9 Old 02-04-2014, 11:52 AM
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Hi there!

Yea, I would definitely say you are overstocking the tank. A 5 gallon aquarium is really only enough room to hold a betta fish long term. A short term success in the 1 gallon would not have lasted very long.

Sounds like you do have a test kit however. What is the pH of the water you are dealing with?

Have you thought about getting some live plants for your 5 gallon? That would help keep the water more stable and maybe you would have more luck.

taking a break from fish-keeping.
3 lovely male betta still keep me company.
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post #3 of 9 Old 02-04-2014, 12:13 PM
A 1 gallon tank is overstocked with a single Betta, so you overstocked it big time. Also, Tetra need to be in groups of 6+ in at least a 20 gallon tank for most species, though there are some that do well in a 10 gallon.
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post #4 of 9 Old 02-04-2014, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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OK, so I went home at lunch and got my test strips. No Ammonia and no Nitrites.

My Nitrates are creeping up, they are between 80 and 160.I have the strips so they are not exact.

But how does that expalin all three healthy happy fish just goign belly up?

Could the shrimp seriously have hurt them?
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post #5 of 9 Old 02-04-2014, 01:48 PM
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Nitrates at 80-160ppm is dangerous levels. Anything over 40ppm is really bad. 3 fish in one gallon, the levels probably built up very fast overnight and shocked the fish.
Ghost shrimp are harmless to fish.

taking a break from fish-keeping.
3 lovely male betta still keep me company.
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post #6 of 9 Old 02-04-2014, 02:01 PM
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So sorry to hear of your troubles, but please don't give up and settle for a pet rock! There are so many great people on this forum that can help you.

Nitrate poisoning is slow compared to ammonia or nitrite. Your fish may seem fine for awhile, but if nitrate is high then its only a matter of time. Levels at 80-160 will kill fish so in small tanks frequent water changes are often the best way to keep too much nitrate from accumulating. In a 5 gall I would change 1-2 gallons every day till the tank is cycled then 1 gallon twice a week. In a 1 gallon I would change a half gallon every other day and be very carefull about overstocking.

"Be the change you want to see in the world."
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post #7 of 9 Old 02-04-2014, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Still so much to learn.
I misunderstood, I thought Nitrites and Ammonia were dangerous to fish, Nitrates caused algae but were not bad for fish. I ignored the nitrates, so I killed the poor guys, not the much maligned ghost shrimp. (Since named Caspar) I have since apologized. I think he is still angry as he remains aloof.
Will the nitrates harm Caspar as well?

would a live plant help reduce the Nitrates?
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post #8 of 9 Old 02-04-2014, 04:11 PM
The shrimp did not cause any deaths.In a tank that small temperature fluctuations are as big a problem as water quality issues.Get a10 gallon tank ,get the prettiest Betta you can find and leave it alone. You and the Betta (he/she doesn't need friends) will be fine . Good Luck
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post #9 of 9 Old 02-04-2014, 05:42 PM
A live plant will help consume ammonia which means it will turn into nitrites and nitrates slower, but it will not get rid of them. You cannot have even a betta in a tank that small, unfortunately, unless you want to do daily 100% water changes.
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