I'm at a loss and looking for help..
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I'm at a loss and looking for help..

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I'm at a loss and looking for help..
Old 09-08-2010, 07:33 AM   #1
 
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I'm at a loss and looking for help..

Hey all, I'm currently setting up a 20gal and trying to get it to cycle. It is planted and I probably would have been fine throwing in what I wanted to stock...I'm getting ahead of myself.

I want to stock eventually a hand full of Paracheirodon Axelrodi (Cardinal Tetra), and two Mikrogeophagus ramirezi (Blue Ram). To get the tank and beneficial bacteria started I put in 5 Puntius Titteya (Cherry Barb). I'm not sure if I just got a bad assortment or bad stock or what but after about 4 or 5 days all but one died. I soon got four more and after about a week I was left with two (one being from the first group). I then got yet a third batch and after a little longer then a week I yet again had two (one from the first batch and one from the third). Again this tank is planted, I've never seen a hint of ammonia, nitrite or nitrate. All 0. ph is about 6.6. ( Tests done using a brand new api master drop test kit I bought after the second batch because I thought my current one expired and wasn't showing me the correct readings) Temp is about 79 degf.

I don't want to just leave the remaining two in there all alone and under stress but I really don't want to keep going through them like they're going out of style! I'm scared to get some Cardinal Tetra because they're about twice the price and i don't want to blow through them either.

I didn't take any pictures of the deceased, but from what I could tell they looked "normal" I guess you could say. I'm just not sure what i'm doing wrong.


Thanks for any ideas.
Mike
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Old 09-08-2010, 07:52 AM   #2
 
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one suggestion i have would be to get a jar or Biomax (its a bacteria that you add to the tank) and add some of that in (according to directions) let everything sit for a few weeks and then add a few more fish wait a few weeks add some more etc.. to much bio load at one time may be creating some of the issues... another option that will sound a bit off is to jump start it from another tank.. get the filter pads and gently swish them in the tank it will cloud up but should clear in a day or two then you have all you need...
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Old 09-08-2010, 08:17 AM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doughnut View Post
Hey all, I'm currently setting up a 20gal and trying to get it to cycle. It is planted and I probably would have been fine throwing in what I wanted to stock...I'm getting ahead of myself.

I want to stock eventually a hand full of Paracheirodon Axelrodi (Cardinal Tetra), and two Mikrogeophagus ramirezi (Blue Ram). To get the tank and beneficial bacteria started I put in 5 Puntius Titteya (Cherry Barb). I'm not sure if I just got a bad assortment or bad stock or what but after about 4 or 5 days all but one died. I soon got four more and after about a week I was left with two (one being from the first group). I then got yet a third batch and after a little longer then a week I yet again had two (one from the first batch and one from the third). Again this tank is planted, I've never seen a hint of ammonia, nitrite or nitrate. All 0. ph is about 6.6. ( Tests done using a brand new api master drop test kit I bought after the second batch because I thought my current one expired and wasn't showing me the correct readings) Temp is about 79 degf.

I don't want to just leave the remaining two in there all alone and under stress but I really don't want to keep going through them like they're going out of style! I'm scared to get some Cardinal Tetra because they're about twice the price and i don't want to blow through them either.

I didn't take any pictures of the deceased, but from what I could tell they looked "normal" I guess you could say. I'm just not sure what i'm doing wrong.


Thanks for any ideas.
Mike

Are you buying the Cherry Barbs from one location? Is the pH of your tank close to same as tapwater? No chemicals other than Dechlorinator? CO2?
You mentioned a couple months ago a ten gallon tank with Barbs and cory's. I would borrow some of the filter material from the cycled?ten gallon and place this material in the filter of the 20 gallon.
If this isn't possible,then try and let the tank run with the remaining barbs for a few weeks as bearwithfish mentioned, then slowly add another couple fish (different source) and wait some more.
At lower pH, the bacteria needed develops more slowly.
If you managed to cycle the ten gallon, then I am confident that the 20 gallon will cycle as well.
Could very well be a bad source of fish that you are getting.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:06 AM   #4
 
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Woot thanks for the responses!

Bear-I did add filter media from the 10 gal tank, as 1077 mentioned, from the start. I don't know (obviously ha) that the bio load was too much because I have been testing for ammoina and all and havn't seen anything (due to the plants and filter seeded).

1077- I'm thinking your right on. I am buying them from one location, they're having a sale on them. No other chemicals then Prime and seachem flourish comprehensive. No CO2 injection. tap ph seems to be a bit higher (but not much) then my tank but I havn't let the water sit overnight and le the CO2 out of it. I'll give it a try tonight and find out.

You mentioned the 10 gal nightmare I went though. I daily had extream ammonia levels well above .50ppm (if I remember my measurements right) and never lost one fish in that tank. In my 20, I measure no ammonia and lost...well way too many.

I'm wondering if the store knew the stock they had were kinda....bad and wanted to get rid of them while they could so they put them on sale. I know another store that carries them so I guess I'll hold what I've got for a week or two and see how they fare. If all is still well then I'll travel to the other store and pick some up from there.

Mike
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:31 AM   #5
 
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I bet it's still ammonia. I would just leave two barbs in until nitrates show up, then add more fish slowly.
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Old 09-08-2010, 11:00 AM   #6
 
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I bet it's still ammonia. I would just leave two barbs in until nitrates show up, then add more fish slowly.

You may be right , but I am thinking with low PH (ammonia less toxic) and plants... that this may not be the source of problem. If it were,,I would expect all fish to exhibit symptoms.
But you are correct that it is always a good idea to stock slowly in young tanks to allow bacteria to adapt to increased fish load.
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Old 09-08-2010, 03:31 PM   #7
 
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Owell. I'll keep going as planned and see what happens.
Thanks everybody for your input.

Mike
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