Newly set up Tropical fish aquarium..4 fishes dead aleady ..Please help
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Newly set up Tropical fish aquarium..4 fishes dead aleady ..Please help

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Newly set up Tropical fish aquarium..4 fishes dead aleady ..Please help
Old 04-04-2011, 10:43 PM   #1
 
Newly set up Tropical fish aquarium..4 fishes dead aleady ..Please help

We set up a tropical fish tank recently and 4 fishes already dead.We are really worried.Our pet store people seems to be of little help.Let me give you a timeline of what happened so far.

Mar 28
--------

We went to petco and brought a top fin 10 gallon with filter and some water treatment samples that came along with.Since our kids didn't want goldfish, the pet store people told us, we can still keep other cold water fishes.The asked to set up the tank as per the instructions and come back after 24hrs to get the fish.
We went home and cleaned everything and filled the tank with water (treated conditioner).
Mar 29
------
We went to get the fish, but now another store lady says, there is no cold water fish other than goldfish can go in that tank.All other fishes need a heater to survive.So we brought the heater and set that up 70-80 degrees temp.
Mar 30
-------
Went back to the store and brought 1 red wag platy(female), 1 sunset platy(female) and 1 yellow guppy(male).Everything looked fine and they were swimming fine.We fed them twice a day.

After a day, we noticed that sunset platy was always sitting under the plant or near the heater while yellow guppy&red platy was swimming.After 2 days, found yellow guppy wrapped around the filter and dead.After 1 week from the start, Red wag was dead and only sunset platy was alive and was still hiding near the heater.

Yesterday we took water sample to the pet store to test and they said everything looks OK.We changed 10% of the water and cleaned the ornaments , filter etc.Added 2 more guppies and 1 more sunset platy.Now we had 2 guppies, 2 platies.Everything seemed normal(still platy was hiding would come only for eating) and were eating good.

Today morning I noticed that both the guppies were acting weird.They were vertically moving toward the bottom and upon hitting the bottom they act as if they gasp for air and swim fast towards the top.We really thought they were dead at some point and when we tap the wall, they will move.Unfortunately by today evening both guppies died.

We noticed that one of the platy is heavily breathing and still at the bottom of the tank.While another platy tries to push or pick on it.

Called the pet store and they advise to change 50% water change as they were thinking cause may ammonia.We changed almost 90% water and cleaned everything.Now the heavily breathing platy looks OK.But the second one is acting as if it is shivering.

1.We saw lot of uneaten flakes while cleaning.too much actually.May be we were over feeding?
2.Why guppies died?
3.After water change, platy is acting as if it is shivering and hiding under.
4.Should we add live plants instead of plastic?Will that help.

Attaching pictures of the tank and platies.

Please help me I don't want any other fish to die.
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:57 PM   #2
 
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Honestly, the first thing that comes to mind is you didn't cycle your tank BEFORE buying the fish. This easily causes ammonia spikes which kills fish QUICK.

Another thought is your tank is WAY too cold. 70* is freezing to these fish. I'd set it at a nice, warm 82*.

You might want to buy a full test kit and test everything. Test strips are infamous for being incredibly inaccurate, and you may have very hard water or something not tested on a "basic" kit.

On a last note, you might want to make sure there aren't any bad bacteria, fungal infections, parasites, etc. in the tank. Things like ich can QUICKLY kill off any livestock.

Good luck! I hope your fish pull through!
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:16 PM   #3
 
Cycle your tank
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...m-cycle-38617/

Platys are tropical and should be kept above 75

Adding live plants will help with the nitrogen cycle

To keep the fish alive do wc daily but no more than 20%
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:19 PM   #4
 
You mention you got the heater and set to 70-80. Tropical fish should have a temperature of about 78 deg F. You don't mention any kind of aeration or what kind of filter you have installed.
It doesn't sound like you had the fish long enough to cause a dangerous ammonia spike.
When you did the water change, did you ensure the fresh water you added was around 78 deg so as not to shock the fish?
It does sound like you were feeding way too much. Once per day, twice at the very most and ONLY what the fish will consume in 5 minutes or less. (I prefer to feed twice per day, but in smaller amounts than if I were to feed once. This is a case where less is more and more is likely bad.

Also, you need to read up on the nitrogen cycle and how to cycle your tank to obtain biological filtration with aerobic bacteria. Uneaten food and fish waste produces ammonia, which is toxic to fish. There is a beneficial bacteria that converts the ammonia to nitrites. Nitrites are slightly less toxic to fish. Another bacteria converts nitrites, to nitrates which is not good, but is not toxic and nitrates we typically remove with weekly water changes. Note: that nitrates can be converted into nitrogen, but without expensive anaerobic bacteria filtration, we remove nitrates with water changes.
So for what it is worth...here's what I suggest.

> Make sure you have your filter, heater (78f) and aeration working.
> Install an inexpensive ammonia alarm/monitor.
> Routinely monitor temperature and ammonia alarm.
> Add 2 or 3 HEARTY fish only for that 10g tank. (Platy or swordtail)
> Feed lightly and only what the fish will eat in a few short minutes.
> Do not add any more fish for at least one month!
> Do a 20% water change weekly using a gravel siphon, cleaning the gravel as you remove water (removing debris prevents further decay and nitrate creation).
> Make sure the fresh water you add back is close to 78F so as not to shock the fish.

Hope this helps some.
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Old 04-05-2011, 01:18 AM   #5
 
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yea it seems like you just bought a tank filled it with water and added fish = death 99% needs to be cycled
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Old 04-05-2011, 02:11 AM   #6
 
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Like everyone has said, the tank is cycling, thus will continue to kill fish if action isnt taken.

My advice? Take the living fish back to the store you bought them from, demand a refund for every fish lost since they stupidly adviced you very incorrectly on your tank!

After returning the fish, finish the cycle with a raw shrimp in a biobag or in a nylon (panty hose)...detailed in the link given from a previous responder.

Heater is best set at 78F as mentioned above.

Get a test kit. If the pet store tested your water during a cycle, even if ammonia and nitrite were zero, without the presence of nitrate they should have known your tank was not cycled and should not have let you get more fish.

The best testing kit is the API Freshwater master test kit. If you keep the current fish through the cycle, you should test the water daily, any time the ammonia or nitrites rise, do a 20% water change.

After it has completely cycled (link mentioned above explains how you will know), give it at least a week, continuing to check water parameters with test kit, to make sure the levels are maintained...if stable you can then add more fish. In such a small tank, 10 gal, I would advice only adding a max of 2 fish at a time. And wouldnt advice ever more than a max of 5 or 6 fish total with the platy and guppies you have been housing.

Do NOT clean the filter or decor during the cycle, this kills off the good bacteria needed to help cycle the tank, and that is always needed in an aquarium. After the cycle if you need to clean the filter, do it in dirty tank water from a water change to help keep good bacteria alive as much as possible. And if you clean decor, only clean one piece every month in dirty tank water. Good bacteria lives on all surfaced areas in a tank, and removing it, washing it, or allowing it to dry will kill the bacteria that is needed.

Please ask as many questions as needed here so that we can help you have the healthiest tank possible. Good Luck.
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Old 04-05-2011, 03:49 AM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LasColinasCichlids View Post
Like everyone has said, the tank is cycling, thus will continue to kill fish if action isnt taken.

My advice? Take the living fish back to the store you bought them from, demand a refund for every fish lost since they stupidly adviced you very incorrectly on your tank!

After returning the fish, finish the cycle with a raw shrimp in a biobag or in a nylon (panty hose)...detailed in the link given from a previous responder.

Heater is best set at 78F as mentioned above.

Get a test kit. If the pet store tested your water during a cycle, even if ammonia and nitrite were zero, without the presence of nitrate they should have known your tank was not cycled and should not have let you get more fish.

The best testing kit is the API Freshwater master test kit. If you keep the current fish through the cycle, you should test the water daily, any time the ammonia or nitrites rise, do a 20% water change.

After it has completely cycled (link mentioned above explains how you will know), give it at least a week, continuing to check water parameters with test kit, to make sure the levels are maintained...if stable you can then add more fish. In such a small tank, 10 gal, I would advice only adding a max of 2 fish at a time. And wouldnt advice ever more than a max of 5 or 6 fish total with the platy and guppies you have been housing.

Do NOT clean the filter or decor during the cycle, this kills off the good bacteria needed to help cycle the tank, and that is always needed in an aquarium. After the cycle if you need to clean the filter, do it in dirty tank water from a water change to help keep good bacteria alive as much as possible. And if you clean decor, only clean one piece every month in dirty tank water. Good bacteria lives on all surfaced areas in a tank, and removing it, washing it, or allowing it to dry will kill the bacteria that is needed.

Please ask as many questions as needed here so that we can help you have the healthiest tank possible. Good Luck.
Good information in my opinion.
Would also submit that the water conditioner should clearly say on the bottle that it detoxifies,removes, chlorine,chloramines,AND ammonia.
Product PRIME or AMQUEL PLUS would be my choice. Used em for year's.
Not all water conditioner's are equal and with cycling tank,,, I would not use a conditioner that doesn't clearly say it addresses ammonia.
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Old 04-05-2011, 04:04 AM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
You mention you got the heater and set to 70-80. Tropical fish should have a temperature of about 78 deg F. You don't mention any kind of aeration or what kind of filter you have installed.
It doesn't sound like you had the fish long enough to cause a dangerous ammonia spike.
When you did the water change, did you ensure the fresh water you added was around 78 deg so as not to shock the fish?
It does sound like you were feeding way too much. Once per day, twice at the very most and ONLY what the fish will consume in 5 minutes or less. (I prefer to feed twice per day, but in smaller amounts than if I were to feed once. This is a case where less is more and more is likely bad.

Also, you need to read up on the nitrogen cycle and how to cycle your tank to obtain biological filtration with aerobic bacteria. Uneaten food and fish waste produces ammonia, which is toxic to fish. There is a beneficial bacteria that converts the ammonia to nitrites. Nitrites are slightly less toxic to fish. Another bacteria converts nitrites, to nitrates which is not good, but is not toxic and nitrates we typically remove with weekly water changes. Note: that nitrates can be converted into nitrogen, but without expensive anaerobic bacteria filtration, we remove nitrates with water changes.
So for what it is worth...here's what I suggest.

> Make sure you have your filter, heater (78f) and aeration working.
> Install an inexpensive ammonia alarm/monitor.
> Routinely monitor temperature and ammonia alarm.
> Add 2 or 3 HEARTY fish only for that 10g tank. (Platy or swordtail)
> Feed lightly and only what the fish will eat in a few short minutes.
> Do not add any more fish for at least one month!
> Do a 20% water change weekly using a gravel siphon, cleaning the gravel as you remove water (removing debris prevents further decay and nitrate creation).
> Make sure the fresh water you add back is close to 78F so as not to shock the fish.

Hope this helps some.

Swordtails have no buisness in 10 gallon tank and should be housed in 20 gallon long tank minimum.
If platy's are considered,,I would select very small males, lest females produce more fry than ten gallons could support.
Would not vaccum the gravel during the cycling process but would instead draw the water during water changes from the top of the tank. Bacteria develops on substrate as well as the filter material and if fish aren't being overfed,,there should be very little to clean on substrate.
Would feed fish once every other day a tiny amount of food (1/4 of dime size amount) until the filter (tank) has matured.
Try counting backwards from 300 (60 seconds in one minute = 300 seconds for five minutes).
if you are placing enough food for fishes to feed for this length of time,, you WILL expierience toxic ammonia levels from too much decaying food, and in smaller tanks,,, this will happen more quickly than in larger tanks.
Best in my view to feed four or five crushed flakes and wait to see that the food is eaten before offering more especially during the cycling process.after the tank has cycled,,and a few more fish are present,,you can increase the food offered in tiny amount.
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:08 AM   #9
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by laughing View Post
Honestly, the first thing that comes to mind is you didn't cycle your tank BEFORE buying the fish. This easily causes ammonia spikes which kills fish QUICK.

Another thought is your tank is WAY too cold. 70* is freezing to these fish. I'd set it at a nice, warm 82*.

You might want to buy a full test kit and test everything. Test strips are infamous for being incredibly inaccurate, and you may have very hard water or something not tested on a "basic" kit.

On a last note, you might want to make sure there aren't any bad bacteria, fungal infections, parasites, etc. in the tank. Things like ich can QUICKLY kill off any livestock.

Good luck! I hope your fish pull through!
Thanks.Yeap..I realized the mistake hard way.But the store person (some intern kid, i think) told we have to wait only 24 hrs.But we waited 48 hrs.
My heater is now set at 82* and thermometer is showing 70-80* mark.
This morning, i believe they are doing ok, i mean swimming a bit.But still at the bottom.When I fed, they were not much eager to eat
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Old 04-05-2011, 02:14 PM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macchu View Post
Thanks.Yeap..I realized the mistake hard way.But the store person (some intern kid, i think) told we have to wait only 24 hrs.But we waited 48 hrs.
My heater is now set at 82* and thermometer is showing 70-80* mark.
This morning, i believe they are doing ok, i mean swimming a bit.But still at the bottom.When I fed, they were not much eager to eat
I always thought it was that simple too, years ago. The pet store people would say yeah just wait about a week before getting fish so it can "get established" and I always thought you just set it up and wait a week and then add the fish and they are fine. It wasn't until I came on here recently (just set up a 20 gallon tank a month ago for the first time in years) that I realized there's so much more involved. In order for the cycle to begin, you need a source of ammonia, whether it be from live fish (fish in cycle) or from another source like flakes, pure ammonia, dead shrimp (fishless cycle). Now I tried the fishless cycle with fish flakes and it smelled terrible so I drained it all and started over with two feeder Goldfish because they are wicked hearty and they survived. I initially got Zebra Danios and they were dead the same night I put them in and it was because of ammonia poisoning, which is common in new tanks also called new tank syndrome. The entire cycling process can take over a month. It's been over a month for me and I just started seeing an increase in nitrites the other day. Still no nitrates so it isn't completely cycled yet. But anyways the ammonia is what kills the fish, that's what killed mine. When doing a fish in cycle you have to do frequent partial water changes I've read to keep ammonia levels down. But in my case, there is ammonia present in my tap water so water changes don't work to get ammonia down so that's when I purchased Prime, a water conditioner that detoxifies ammonia. My fish have done much better since adding it. The test kit still says there is ammonia in the water but really what's in there is ammonium, which isn't toxic to fish. Do you have your own ammonia, nitrite and nitrate test kits? Don't get the strips, I've heard they are highly inaccurate. But if you don't have those test kits you should get them. That way you can monitor the cycle on your own and not have to bring water samples to a pet store where not everyone is entirely sure about the cycling process. And again I highly recommend Seachem's Prime, especially if you have ammonia present in your tap water like I do and can't do water changes to keep it low in your tank. Another note, my gold fish were hiding a lot and not eating and were not active as well, before I put the Prime in. Then I put it in at night and the next morning they were completely changed--active, swimming, foraging, eating! No more hiding. So it proved that they were probably in too much ammonia but the Prime took care of it

Last edited by whitecloud34; 04-05-2011 at 02:18 PM..
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