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I'm new and losing fish!!!! HELP???!!!

This is a discussion on I'm new and losing fish!!!! HELP???!!! within the Livebearers forums, part of the Freshwater and Tropical Fish category; --> Oh my. I'm so sorry you are having so much trouble. Some of them are water and cycling issues and some are very likely ...

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I'm new and losing fish!!!! HELP???!!!
Old 04-05-2013, 11:21 PM   #11
 
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Oh my. I'm so sorry you are having so much trouble. Some of them are water and cycling issues and some are very likely health issues from the various purchased fish including the original fish.
First let me try to clarify the difference between the 2 tanks. The Betta lives successfully in the little tank because you clean it out completely and change the water, likely, hopefully at least 2 x a week. They are pretty hardy fish and also have a labyrinth organ which allows them to breathe air off the surface when the water gets a bit stagnant. The little tank is too small to provide enough surface area to allow sufficient bacteria to grow to maintain a cycled tank and therefore we must change the water frequently.
The 10 gallon, as long as it has gravel, a filter and heater can cycle. It can take 6-8 weeks to go thru this process unless the tank is heavily stocked with LIVE plants. Live plants take up ammonia in their processes and your fish will not even notice a cycle.
The good bacteria grow and live on the surfaces of the tank, gravel etc not in the water itself. Fish poop, Ammonia builds up, bacteria converts it to NitrIte, which also builds up and is converted to NitrAtes. You must do water changes to dilute any numbers that get too high. (Mr. Betta would only experience Ammonia unless either of the others are actually in your tap water.)
Prime is a water conditioner that is a little more expensive but can be used to neutralize Chlorine & Cloramine, Ammonia, Ni, Na and can be used at 5 x the strength in emergencies. It should be used at all water changes.
Water testing kits, come in 2 forms. Test strips which are a little harder to read, seem cheaper up front, but don't last as long and if they get damp from humidity can read incorrectly. Many on the Forum will tell you to avoid them. The API FW testing kit with the test-tubes and bottles provide a more accurate way to monitor your tank's cycle. Make sure you shake the heck out of the bottles to get proper readings. You should also frequently test your tap water to know your parameters. Trying to achieve O Ammonia levels when testing my tap water shows .25 makes it difficult. But with a good de-chlor- Prime, and a tank full of live plants, I'm good. Major cities are known to dump chemicals into our water systems in spring and summer so it is always good to test now and then. Especially if you run the tap and smell chlorine!!
The best medicine in your cabinet is actually good clean fresh water.
I'm not familiar with the salt so can't help there. Always quarantine new fish but be aware that disease can stay hidden for months, long after you have returned them. Many diseases are caused by poor water quality. Sadly Guppies are WAY over bred and have weakened immune systems and harbor disease too.
Take your time, slow down and do things slowly to your tank. One thing at a time. Do not clean out the 10 gallon the way you would the Betta tank. You want the bacteria on all the surfaces. The only thing you will change will be the insert in the filter and eventually some gravel vacuuming. If you have live plants you should be good! Keep decaying matter to a minimum tho as that causes Ammonia. Don't over feed, remove dead fish asap, these all cause Ammonia spikes.
Keep a proper light cycle of 8-10 hours ON then complete darkness during their night. You can set it to be "daylight" very late in order to watch them till your bedtime but they need a set circadian rhythm just like we do. Remember to use fertilizers at least once a week for your plants to avoid dying leaves --> ammonia.
Hope this helps.... sorry it is so long! Keep us posted on your progress!!
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:14 PM   #12
 
Well I went to the petstore and picked up Prime, de-chlor tablets, Pimafix for my female with mouth fungis, aquarium salt, a water testing kit, and a new food that is less messy. My water parameters were:

Nitrate: 19 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
GH: 72 ppm
Chlorine: 0 ppm
PH: 7.1
KH: 114 ppm

All very good parameters save for nitrate it was still a bit close. But ultimately I was shocked my water conditions were much better off than I expected. So I did a small water change (10-15%) and added some of the prime for the tank. Now My readings are:

Nitrate: 13 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
GH: 70 ppm
Chlorine: 0 ppm
PH: 7.1
KH: 119 ppm

So why then did I lose those fish? I was still under the minimum ppm for Nitrate and everything else was pretty steady. What happened? Any thoughts everyone? My female in qurantine is doing better shes eating again and swimming around much more. A few more days in quarantine with the Pimafix treatment and she should be fine. Does anyone think I should treat my community tank just in case? I was debating it...and I have heard so many different numbers and measurements on when and how much to feed my fish. Can someone give me a more pecise gauge on that. I've been told once a day a very large pinch of food all the way to 9-10 times a day only one or 2 flakes/pellets at a time. Why is everyone telling me such different far apart frequencies/measuremements? It makes things a bit more difficult. And I have had quite a few plants in my tank from the beginning. A lava rock with aqua moss as well as some sort of round leafed plant, 3 ferns and 2 large sheaths of bamboo. Should I add more? And I was unsure on what to buy to feed my plants but will definitely need some sort of plant food. Any suggestions?
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:16 PM   #13
 
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you dont need dechlor tablets AND Prime. Prime is a dechlorinator. You don't need so much stuff going into your tank.

Also, you don't have an ammonia reading. Where's that? It's an important factor in fish health.

Also i hope you returned the chinese algae eater. big fish like that produce a bunch of ammonia which will be a problem.
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:22 PM   #14
 
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Good to see you picked up needed supplies ^^. ditch the dechlor tablets and pick up a test for ammonia that's one of the most important to be testing for
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:41 PM   #15
 
Whoops I guess that would have been a good thing to get huh? I will work on that. I love my Chinese Algae Eater actually I was told he wouldnt impact the ecosystem in my tank as much as he would help it thats why I got him. I wanted a Plecco but they didnt have any when I bought my fish so I got him instead. If he gets too big I'll put him in his own tank. Any input on treating my whole tank for fungis?
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:50 PM   #16
 
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if you click the blue shaded link, you'll see that they need a tank that's like 4 feet long. Fish in tanks that are too small die well before their time in 99% of circumstances. I'd hate for you to lose him!

also, it's a not a commonly known fact, but fish that are in tanks that are too small are stunted in growth. their organs, though, keep growing, and this kills the fish.
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:10 PM   #17
 
Whoa I had absolutely no idea. I dont want that to happen to him he's like my favorite fish! I am looking into it I'll see what I can do. He's tiny at the moment I'm sure I can figure something out before his size becomes and issue.
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:23 PM   #18
 
Ok so I got the ammonia test kit its at about 13ppm right now and Ive been doing progressive water changes with the prime and some liquid ammonia remover. 25% every change. My fish are doing so much better! All are thriving fins look good color is vibrant. I even have 2 pregnant females! Curious though I bought a floating in-tank nursery with the drop in separater so the babies drop below and mom doesnt eat them. When should I move them into the nursery? Or should I even do that? Ive read that some females get so stressed out when you put them in a nursery that they die! What is best then? I dont want to lose any more fish!
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:25 PM   #19
 
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13 ppm ammonia and your fish would insta die im assuming typo :P you want to aim for less then .25 anything above that usually causes stress
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:18 PM   #20
 
Yeah it was a typo I meant .13 no 13 lol. Anything else I should do besides water changes with the ammonia remover and prime?
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