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swisha0928 07-05-2012 07:51 PM

new planted freshwater 55g tank. my fish keep dieing
i am new to planted tanks and i thought i was doing everything right. i cycled my tank with 6 tiger barbs and 6 white clouds for 2 weeks. i then added plants for freshwater, 15 neon tetras and 4 gold green cory. it has been about 5 days and i have lost atleast half of my fish. please tell me what i am doing wrong. i did 1 10% water change and i am using stress coat+ and stress zyme.

tank temp: 75-85
nitrite & nitrate: 0ppm
PH: 7.6
ammonia: .50ppm

lamberb2 07-05-2012 08:30 PM

Try keeping a solid temperature. like 78-79, your range is way to much. There may be other problems also, but your temp range just stuck out to me.

lamberb2 07-05-2012 08:31 PM

You also want absolutely no ammonia.

swisha0928 07-05-2012 08:33 PM

yes i know it is high. the tank is in my living room which gets atleast 80 degrees and its been keeping my tank temp high. even if i keep my hood open on the tank it only drops about 1-2 degrees

Tazman 07-05-2012 08:40 PM

2 weeks is not long enough to cycle a tank. It can take 6-8 weeks. The addition of that many fish is too much for the good bacteria to handle at the moment. They have not had chance to grow sufficiently to convert the ammonia to Nitrite and then to Nitrate. The live plants will be helping to some degree but the tank is still cycling after only 2 weeks.

Unless it was heavily seeded with material from a well established tank, it will still take some time to cycle completely.

I would highly recommend daily at least 50% water changes to help reduce the ammonia level.

The temperature as mentioned needs to stay fairly stable as the big swing can be deadly for the fish. It stresses them and weakens their immune system.

swisha0928 07-05-2012 08:45 PM

this is probaly a newbie question but what is the proper way to do a water change. i have a gravel vac that connects to the sink. can i use the tap water straight from the sink? or do i need to keep it in a bucket for awhile first. as with the temp i know its high but it is stable for about a week. im going to get a freestanding led fixture so i can keep the top open and maybe that will help

Tazman 07-05-2012 08:53 PM

I use a python water changer that connects to the sink, when I do water changes, to get it to work you need to run the tap at full pressure, I vacuum the tank at the same time as taking water out.

Once I am done, I add hot water to get the temperature as near to tank temperature as possible. I have a sump for all my tanks (wont get into sumps here), and I add my Seachem Prime (good dechlorniator) to that. You can add your conditioner straight to the tank but I would add it near the waterflow when refilling the tank, that way it can quickly mix in with the water going into the tank.

swisha0928 07-05-2012 10:49 PM

my ammonia readings were from 7/2 so i checked them tonight again and it is now 2.0ppm. this is definitely my problem. i did a 50% water change and added prime. i will continue to do this for the next couple days. is this enough to lower my ammonia levels or do i need to do more?

Geomancer 07-06-2012 05:40 AM

You'll need to do 50% changes every other day until both Ammonia and Nitrite are 0 ppm.

The Prime will detoxify Ammonia and Nitrite, but it only works for a limited amount of time, hence doing changes every other day.

I would still increase that to daily if I'm reading more than 1-2 ppm Ammonia or 0.5-1.0 ppm Nitrite. Nitrite is deadlier of the two.

Olympia 07-06-2012 06:17 AM

Try adding more plants. As long as you are caring for them well, they'll help out your situation.

Geo, the first person on here to say nitrite is deadlier I think? I've always thought that too but on here usually people say ammonia is worse.
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