Newcomer wants to succeed- Tank, fish, and live plant problem - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 13 Old 08-01-2012, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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Newcomer wants to succeed- Tank, fish, and live plant problem

I bought a 10 gal tank for my daughters- we put white sand and live green plants in. We have 3 of each- silver molly, black molly, and sunburst.
Questions:

1. the fish seem to be laying on the sand and not swimming anymore. they do this quite often. Their behavior has changed since we switched from gravel to sand/live plants. AND my black mollys now look like their molting-white spots all over them.

2. we switched out the bulbs in the tank to accomodate the plants, but they are still turning brown in some spots and are very dirty, like there's dust particles all over it,but it doesnt look like sand,not sure what's going on.

3. there is now algae growing on my seashells and on the sides of the tank, i think its from plant feeding, but I feed the plants every 3 days. What's causing this and Can an algae eater take care of this problem?

please help, its our first time and we dont want to mess this up.

also, we change the water and clean once a week. Put a little epsom salt in there too.
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-01-2012, 10:20 AM
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i'm not a pro. but did you cycle the tank? there is section in here about cycling your tank.

Last edited by LADY K; 08-01-2012 at 10:24 AM.
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post #3 of 13 Old 08-01-2012, 03:02 PM
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

We wilneed a bit more info. How long has this tank been running? Did you do any form of cycling? When were the fish introduced?

What plants do you have? Are you using any fertilizer, and if so, which andhow often? Detail the light (type, watts, Kelvin) and the duration daily.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #4 of 13 Old 08-03-2012, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

We wilneed a bit more info. How long has this tank been running? Did you do any form of cycling? When were the fish introduced?

What plants do you have? Are you using any fertilizer, and if so, which andhow often? Detail the light (type, watts, Kelvin) and the duration daily.

Byron.
We ran it for 24 hours with gravel and had the same fish in there since june 17. But we switched to sand about 3 weeks ago and soaked the sand for 30 minutes before we put it in the tank and let it sit for a few hours before we put everyone back in. The plants were introduced the same time as the sand. Not sure what cycling is, but is it too late to do that? The only new fish we introduced was a mickey mouse molly last week. She ended up being pregnant. Not sure what type of plants I have, but picture is attached. we are only using sand, no fertilizer. The tank is in front of a window, so it gets natural light during the day, and at night the kids will turn it on as a night light for an hour unitl they fall asleep, I will turn it off. Lights are Compact flourescent. not sure on the wattage or kelvin, but its a dim light as shown in the picture.
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post #5 of 13 Old 08-03-2012, 01:59 PM
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Lots to deal with, so here goes. Major issue first.

"Cycling" refers to the establishment of the nitrifying bacteria that is essential in any fish tank. You can read about this here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...m-cycle-38617/

Ammonia and nitrite will rise during the cycling period, and these are highly toxic to fish. Daily partial water changes of half the tank is essential but at this stage it may or may not help them. Using a conditioner that detoxifies ammonia and nitrite is also helpful during cycling. Seachem's Prime does this, as does Aquarium Solutions' Ultimate.

I'm not trying to scare you, but be prepared for all these fish to die. Mollies are especially sensitive to ammonia, and they cannot survive levels much above zero. Sooner or later they will succumb.

Changing the gravel to sand would have removed some of the bacteria, but under the circumstances this has made little difference since the initial cycling is still the big issue.

I can't see the white spots on the fish in the photo, but this may be ich or white spot parasite. Ich occurs due to stress, and the considerable stress of new fish frequently causes it. Then there is the stress from the cycling issues making things worse. I'm reluctant to suggest treatment for ich, as it will add further to the stress and I do honestly think the fish will die whatever. But since you have livebearers that can tolerate salt, using salt is one way to deal with ich, plus raising the temperature to around 85F for a week.

Looking ahead to when all the above is over, to the plants. They need overhead light to grow, and nutrients (fertilizer). You initially said you feed the plants, but then you said you don't use fertilizer...what are you using? I'm going to leave this for now, simply because the above issues have to be resolved and I don't want to bog this down further.

Last comment, on the fish. A 10g tank is insufficient space for mollies, have a read of the profile for further info, click on Common Molly. Do not add a Chinese algae eater, these are more trouble than they're worth, read that profile. Algae is the very least of your problems. We can talk about suitable fish when this is settled.

There is some basic science in a successful aquarium, and it is unfortunate that the majority of stores never convey this to customers. Most of us have learned this the hard way, as you are now, so try not to be discouraged. Success is possible with the knowledge.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #6 of 13 Old 08-03-2012, 11:57 PM
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Try Cycling the tank. Aslo use water conditioner it will help with the ammonia and nitrite level because mollies do not do will with high levels. It sounds like those white spots are ick use some salt in the tank it will help with bacteria levels.
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post #7 of 13 Old 08-04-2012, 12:04 AM
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Try cycling the tank. Use some water conditioner it will help with ammonia and nitrite level. Mollies do not do well in high levels. It sounds like those white spots are ick. Use some salt in the tank it will help with the ick and will help with the bacteria or use fish medication will aslo help with the ick. Hope this helps

Last edited by Darkknight20; 08-04-2012 at 12:10 AM.
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post #8 of 13 Old 08-04-2012, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Darkknight20 View Post
Try Cycling the tank. Aslo use water conditioner it will help with the ammonia and nitrite level because mollies do not do will with high levels. It sounds like those white spots are ick use some salt in the tank it will help with bacteria levels.
I don't want to give up on these fish yet. Please give me step by step instructions on what to do. I came home today to most of the fish laying on the sand sideways. I will not fail. Please help.
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post #9 of 13 Old 08-04-2012, 03:34 AM
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I think you should change the water out and get rid of some of the bad water. Start by taking about half the water out and get rid of it then take a bucket and put fresh water in it also put the conditioner in to help(This is how i clean out my 10 gallon tank with mollies it seems to help). I let it sit for about 30 mins to 45 mins then put it in the tank it should help with ammonia and nitrite. If you already changed the water and you don't want to change it again then i would add some conditioner in.(I would keep changing the water about 2-3 times a week until your fish are starting to look better also it will help lower the levels) Then it seems like your fish has ich so you can use fish medication or Use aquarium salt (1 rounded tablespoon for every 5 gallons) it will help with ich and bateria in the tank also it will help with any stressed out fish. Hope this help!!
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post #10 of 13 Old 08-04-2012, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aluv4mcm View Post
I don't want to give up on these fish yet. Please give me step by step instructions on what to do. I came home today to most of the fish laying on the sand sideways. I will not fail. Please help.
The article I linked earlier sets out the fish-in method.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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