Originally Posted by NoaDon12
i don't own a test kit yet, my mom won't drive me, (im 12), i do 1/3 water changes every other week
i think it is great that you are getting into this hobby at 12. you are really going to learn a lot about it if you read through some of these threads. i will tell you what i think is going on and give you some advice. trust me, i am not trying to be critical, because i have done some of the exact same things.
you really should have picked up a liquid
test kit when you traded in those fish. dont buy the test strips because they suck. when you have a new tank it is pretty much essential to test the water, otherwise you end up killing a bunch of fish while your tank is cycling. cycling pretty much means when your filter is growing beneficial bacteria in it. these bacteria are really important because they process all the waste that your fish are creating all the time. fish produce a bunch of ammonia and the bacteria in your filter live on it, but until you grow enough of these bacteria, you end up having extra ammonia left over, and that will kill fish, slow or fast depending on how much there is. the only way to really keep up with it then is to do lots of water changes. how much and how often depends on the levels of ammonia and nitrites, but you do not know that. until you do, i would do 50% water changes a week at least
. a test kit is a lot cheaper than buying new fish all the time. i am not being critical....i have made tons of mistakes and it is how you learn, but i do think it sounds like your tank is not yet fully cycled. it could be very close to being cycled, or maybe i am wrong, but you cant tell without testing. i just want to give you some help. if you cannot get a ride to a place, maybe you could buy one online, at the very least a liquid kit for ammonia and for nitrites. i wouldnt add any more fish just yet.
it is probably close to being cycled and if you increased your water changes a little bit it may be all you need.
if you happen to know of anybody who has an established tank you can cut off a small piece of the filter media and add it to yours, it will help you out a lot
what do you do with your filter during water changes? do you rinse it? if so, you should stop. that was a mistake i made at first. i leave them alone, mostly...but sometimes i will give them a little dunk in tank water, but that is it...otherwise you are washing away the bacteria.