Originally Posted by Freedom2M0SOE
I am guessing that my fish stock list is visible to all under my aquarium log. We have had losses after following the manufacturer and store advice. We are told to expect this at the start.
In the 6 days following the 4 day tank settling period, we have lost a Hong Kong Plec. Today we lost a 1 day old, to us, Harlequin, the day before we lost a red crab.
P at H store test revealed a ph of 6 for which we are putting phUP in every two days. At the last test, on Thursday, the nitrite level was high, yet the nitrate was normal. Something unusual the tester said.
I pointed out that we had the original PF1 filter develop a fault on day 1, this was exchanged for a Fluval U1 which after 2 days had the fish at the top all the time. We went back to the P at H store and requested a replacement PF1. At the time of testing on Thursday, this new PF1 had only been in use for under 48 hours. This we were told was the probable cause.
I am thinking of getting the API chemical kit at half price from A****n so that I can check my own levels as and when!
My wife & I welcome any advice, thank you
Hello and welcome both to you and your wife to TFK and to the hobby
A few different issues stand out to me which for the most part are inter-related. First it sounds like your aquarium is not cycled. When you had your water tested did the tell you the numbers for your ammonia, nitrites and nitrates? If so what were they? In a cycled aquarium the ammonia and nitrites should be 0ppm and the nitrates should be 20ppm or below with a reading of some nitrates. Before adding the fish did you do anything to start cycling the tank? Also do you have any live plants in this tank? Live plants will help to use the ammonia and nitrites in the water. Any time that your ammonia or nitrites are at .25ppm or above you will want to carry out a water change, a minimum of 30% of the water but I would suggest doing either 40 or 50%, which will help to dilute the ammonia and nitrites that are in the tank.
Another thing that if it is not already causing problems, it can is using chemicals to adjust the ph. With chemicals like ph up and ph down they can raise or lower your ph temporarily, but depending on the buffering capablity of your water the ph in the water will usually go back to were it was. This sudden shift in ph is actually more harmful to the fish, than a steady ph even if it is not in its ideal range. When trying to adjust the ph of the water in the aquarium the best way to do so is using natural methods. It will help in knowing what the general hardness and carbonate hardness of your water is. At the end I will list some links to a few different articles which should be helpful, one of these talks about hardness and ph in the aquarium. Other than water conditioners chemicals should not be used in the aquarium on a regular basis.
Another issue that I can see is your stocking. Some of the fish that you have the guppys and the mollys need to have hard basic water to do well long term. Some of the other fish that you have are shoaling fish, your Harlequin Rasbora
, Black Neon Tetra
, and the x-ray tetra which all these fish need to be kept in groups of six or more. When kept in smaller groups this tends to cause stress to the fish which can be displayed a number of ways, the fish may become more aggressive, even fish that are usually peaceful, stress can weaken the immune system of the fish making them susceptialbe to illness and also can lead to a shorten life span of the fish. With the size tank that you have you do not have enough room to be able to keep all these groups of fish, and actually both for the rasboras and tetras it is recommended that the minimum tank size that they be kept in is 24" long which would put you at about a 20 gallon tank. Another stocking issue that I see is with the Red Tailed Shark
. This fish gets to be up to 5" long and is a very aggressive fish especially as they mature. In the profiles it is recommended that they have at least a 48" long tank which would be about a 55 gallon tank, and their tankmates need to be choosen carefully. You can find out more information about the fish in the profiles section, you can either click on the shaded name or you can go to the profile section by clicking on the link at the top of the page second tab from the left.
Here are some articles which have been written by Byron here on the forum who is very knowledgable, and from his posts I have gained most of my knowledge in this hobby. Bacteria in the Freshwater Aquarium Water Hardness and pH in the Freshwater Aquarium New Study on Fish Aggression links it to the tank size and aquascaping
I would definitly suggest getting a test kit for using at home the API master test kit is a very good choice and many members here including myself use it. Until you can get a test kit I would suggest doing daily water changes, and I would also stop using the ph up in the tank. If you have any more questions after reading the following information just ask. I will try to help explain what I can, and if it is something that I don't have an answer for you can always post a new thread in the appropiate section of the forum so that other members who may be able to help will be likely to see your posts and questions. Good luck