My name is Shane, I have just gotten into tropical fish about a month and a half ago.
Unfortunately I didnt do enough research when I started and I have had a few casualties as a result of my ignorance. In my defense, some of the things that I have done were recommended by my local pet store ( Petland )
I started out with one red Betta in a 10 gallon tank with a power filter, flourescent lamp, gravel, live water sprite and a small tank heater.
All was well for the first month, he even survived while we were on vacation for a week. I took water samples to Petland a few times and they said everything was fine. So, I decided it was time to add some more fish to the tank. 'Hairy' looked all alone in that 10 gal. tank by himself.I asked the store fish 'expert' what to add, if anything. He told me to add 3 Neon Tetra and 2 Cory Cats. So, thats what I did. Within a week my Betta stopped swimming and eventually died, even after I put him in another tank and tried to medicate him based on suggestions from the pet store. I also had one dead Neon Tetra.
This is the point where I did some things that I probably shouldnt have. The pet store gave me a replacement Betta and I purchased some Serpea Tetra ( 3 ) another Neon Tetra, a Rainbow Shark a male Paradise Fish ( he was so cool looking I HAD to have him and two Mystery Snails.
The new Betta is in a 160 oz. Brandy glass with marbles and live sprite. No heater/filter/lamp. He seems to be doing OK, he has a bubble nest after just a little over a week and is pretty active.
The Paradise fish is in a 2.5 gallon tank with gravel, live sprite and a couple of small fake plants. No heater/lamp/filter. He also seems to be doing OK, but he doesnt really do anything. I see him swimming if I stay at a good distance from the tank, but as soon as he sees or feels someone close to the tank he slowly sinks to the bottom.
The community tank ( 10 gal. ) seems to be doing OK with the exception of two more dead Neons and I believe the Serpeas and 2 remaining Neons have tail/fin rot. The Neons have been losing their tails and the Serpea seem to have some whitish color changes to their fins. I at first thought the Serpea were eating the Neon's tails-but Im not sure. I have started medicating ( yesterday and today so far )
Water samples taken yesterday were as follows ;
Community tank ; Ph 7.6, Ammonia .5, Nitrite .25, Nitrate 10
Betta bowl ; 7.2, .5, 0, 0
Paradise fish tank ; 6.6, .25-.5, 0, 0
I have been using bottle R/O water, I treated it with Prime, added aquarium salt and started with Melafix yesterday for the suspected fin/tail rot.
My concerns are as follows ;
Im afraid the salt is going to kill the snails.
Im concerned that the Betta and Paradise fish water may be too cold without a heater or a lamp. Ive read that bad things happen to fish in cold water-like Ick and other nasty stuff. It seems that warmer water keeps that stuff away better.
Im also worried that my Paradise fish isnt very active. Ive only had him for a week or so, but he almost always hangs around at the bottom or behind the plants. He wont eat unless nobody is around. Ive hidden around the corner and watched him eat though.
Im going to try to get myself on a schedule with tank cleaning and filter changing.
Any suggestions to help me keep all of my fish happy and alive would be greatly appreciated.
In over his head.