Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Iantra 09-30-2012 06:38 AM

Confused about my tank not being cycled or sick fish
 
Hello,
I am new to this forum and I am starting with my questions :)
Could you explain to me is it possible to have a 10 gal. fish tank for 2 months /may be a little more/ and have in it 11 fish, started with only 6 for the first one month. Then added slowly more. Now this is going to be final amount of fishes in there. Is it possible for the tank to not be done cycling? I started it without cycling. Just because I have never done that in the past and my tanks have been always doing great. However I am not sure about the 10 gal. At first it was showing very high NO3 that is towards the end of first month. Then I did not feed the fish that much for like 4 days and it showed safe levels of all parameters according to the test strips I was using. Since then it has been staying in safe mode except from time to time the NO3 goes a little up, and then I do a water change. I usually do water change once a week, sometimes 2 times. I do 30 % up to 50% depending on if the NO3 is too high. I sometimes get cloudy water but it looks like it is only when I move the decoration around. I use a little salt in the water. I never washed anything in there and changed my carbon filter with a sponge air filter may be a month ago- which might of made the tank start cycling again? Anyways My fish got ick a month ago thanks to sick fish I did not know about and I put into the fish tank. That sick fish died... I was not sure what to do so I went ahead and just turn the temperature up to 80 F and then added salt, then i left town for 4 days I came back and all the fish looked great. So I figured they are fine. Now they have been rubbing their gills into decoration. I think it is still ick but not so sure :) I changed 50 % of the water and got Ick Guard from Tetra and added it into the water and fish seems to be better. However from another forum I am a member of I was told all my fish will probably die and it is because the tank is not cycled. I doubt all the fish will die, I have hard core fish in there half of it came from wallmart :) The first fish I had if they survived wallmart, where it seemed to me like no one cared about them, they can survive some tank cycling. If it has not happened yet. The fish does not have any white spots anywhere, we have one molly guy that kind of looks like is missing scales on the top of his head and it is white but not fungus looking or anything and he has been the one that had the white spots the first time we got ick in the tank. So not sure what is going on. Do you think tank is still cycling? Do you think it is ick or may be another parasite. I was told to pretty much stop adding medicine and let it be and may be see how my fish dies in there... I however do not want to let my fish die. Also I got some Tetra Lifeguard in case the fish is dealing with more than just ick. So not sure where I am at? It all started when I got some fish which died from what looked like cotton mouth- then we treated the tank with fungus medicine /not sure of the name/ and got rid of this, then this guy with the missing scales on the top of his head, had popped eye- which disappear after water change and salt, then he got the ick. Any advice will be appreciated, my local pet store guys seem to be all relaxed about it just told me to do the treatment and wait and see what happens :) Last time I changed water I did 50% and this was what was the reading 2 hours after the change : NO2- 0, NO3- 0, PH- 7, Alk- 80 and hardness- 180 :) I am really not that worry about the tank not being cycled because I think it is cycled but I think my fish is very sick in there, and just want to help the little guys.
Thanks for reading and I am glad to be part of this forum.
p.s. I really can not understand how come years ago was so easy to keep fish, I was only 14 years old and did not have all these technology and knowledge and still had a 10 gal fish tank full of cool fish, one lasted 3 years, and I have had days that I had 150 fry that I kept in jars... haha times are crazy :) Thank you so much for reading this :)
Have a happy weekend :)

marshallsea 09-30-2012 07:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Iantra (Post 1260864)
Hello,
I am new to this forum and I am starting with my questions :)
Could you explain to me is it possible to have a 10 gal. fish tank for 2 months /may be a little more/ and have in it 11 fish, started with only 6 for the first one month. Then added slowly more. Now this is going to be final amount of fishes in there. Is it possible for the tank to not be done cycling? I started it without cycling. Just because I have never done that in the past and my tanks have been always doing great. However I am not sure about the 10 gal. At first it was showing very high NO3 that is towards the end of first month. Then I did not feed the fish that much for like 4 days and it showed safe levels of all parameters according to the test strips I was using. Since then it has been staying in safe mode except from time to time the NO3 goes a little up, and then I do a water change. I usually do water change once a week, sometimes 2 times. I do 30 % up to 50% depending on if the NO3 is too high. I sometimes get cloudy water but it looks like it is only when I move the decoration around. I use a little salt in the water. I never washed anything in there and changed my carbon filter with a sponge air filter may be a month ago- which might of made the tank start cycling again? Anyways My fish got ick a month ago thanks to sick fish I did not know about and I put into the fish tank. That sick fish died... I was not sure what to do so I went ahead and just turn the temperature up to 80 F and then added salt, then i left town for 4 days I came back and all the fish looked great. So I figured they are fine. Now they have been rubbing their gills into decoration. I think it is still ick but not so sure :) I changed 50 % of the water and got Ick Guard from Tetra and added it into the water and fish seems to be better. However from another forum I am a member of I was told all my fish will probably die and it is because the tank is not cycled. I doubt all the fish will die, I have hard core fish in there half of it came from wallmart :) The first fish I had if they survived wallmart, where it seemed to me like no one cared about them, they can survive some tank cycling. If it has not happened yet. The fish does not have any white spots anywhere, we have one molly guy that kind of looks like is missing scales on the top of his head and it is white but not fungus looking or anything and he has been the one that had the white spots the first time we got ick in the tank. So not sure what is going on. Do you think tank is still cycling? Do you think it is ick or may be another parasite. I was told to pretty much stop adding medicine and let it be and may be see how my fish dies in there... I however do not want to let my fish die. Also I got some Tetra Lifeguard in case the fish is dealing with more than just ick. So not sure where I am at? It all started when I got some fish which died from what looked like cotton mouth- then we treated the tank with fungus medicine /not sure of the name/ and got rid of this, then this guy with the missing scales on the top of his head, had popped eye- which disappear after water change and salt, then he got the ick. Any advice will be appreciated, my local pet store guys seem to be all relaxed about it just told me to do the treatment and wait and see what happens :) Last time I changed water I did 50% and this was what was the reading 2 hours after the change : NO2- 0, NO3- 0, PH- 7, Alk- 80 and hardness- 180 :) I am really not that worry about the tank not being cycled because I think it is cycled but I think my fish is very sick in there, and just want to help the little guys.
Thanks for reading and I am glad to be part of this forum.
p.s. I really can not understand how come years ago was so easy to keep fish, I was only 14 years old and did not have all these technology and knowledge and still had a 10 gal fish tank full of cool fish, one lasted 3 years, and I have had days that I had 150 fry that I kept in jars... haha times are crazy :) Thank you so much for reading this :)
Have a happy weekend :)

It is possible that your tank is not cycled. It took mine 10 1/2 weeks and it was 12-13 weeks before it became stable. The reason you're not sure is that you're using test strips. They are notoriously inaccurate to the point of being useless. You must get the API Freshwater Liquid test kit. They are about $32 but they last for a very long time and give you accurate results. Are you using Prime water conditioner? If not get some as it will bind ammonia nitrite and nitrates and keep it from harming your fish for 24-36 hours. They probably need a break. It's very important that you do daily water changes until you get all this under control. IMO you should stop adding meds unless you are sure what you're treating.

Iantra 09-30-2012 08:02 AM

Thank you :)
I have seen the liquid once I am going to buy them. We use water conditioner I am not sure what brand but I add 5 ml of it for 10 gal. Should I keep doing 25 % water changes or 50 % and do you think salt is OK in the tank. I did 1 tbls last time I changed water, and I am sure the maximum amount of salt in there is probably 2 tbls with the salt we have added before. However I did some water changes without adding salt too. Should I just stop the medicine and keep changing water? I am going to check if my water conditioner is the same as the one you said and also by the liquid strips. I put in the tank 1 tablet of ick guard which is good for 24 hours from what I understood after that it is not working no more and needs another dose so I am going to look at how my fish is acting and hopefully they do better. Yesterday 3 hours after the medicine was in the water I watched the fish tank for like 30 min and I saw only one fish that rubbed her gills in a log, so I assumed they are better. The rest were not doing it. Unofficially I work crazy shifts this weekend and I am not even home to be able to observe how the fish are doing, my husband is taking care of the tank. Until Monday but he is willing to do a water change for me tomorrow while I am at work :) Such a good husband :)

marshallsea 09-30-2012 08:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Iantra (Post 1260897)
Thank you :)
I have seen the liquid once I am going to buy them. We use water conditioner I am not sure what brand but I add 5 ml of it for 10 gal. Should I keep doing 25 % water changes or 50 % and do you think salt is OK in the tank. I did 1 tbls last time I changed water, and I am sure the maximum amount of salt in there is probably 2 tbls with the salt we have added before. However I did some water changes without adding salt too. Should I just stop the medicine and keep changing water? I am going to check if my water conditioner is the same as the one you said and also by the liquid strips. I put in the tank 1 tablet of ick guard which is good for 24 hours from what I understood after that it is not working no more and needs another dose so I am going to look at how my fish is acting and hopefully they do better. Yesterday 3 hours after the medicine was in the water I watched the fish tank for like 30 min and I saw only one fish that rubbed her gills in a log, so I assumed they are better. The rest were not doing it. Unofficially I work crazy shifts this weekend and I am not even home to be able to observe how the fish are doing, my husband is taking care of the tank. Until Monday but he is willing to do a water change for me tomorrow while I am at work :) Such a good husband :)

I'm sure the salt helps as long as you don't have catfish or plecos. You need to do 50% water changes daily until you can test with the liquid kit and verify the state of your tank. Any time you have any problems. a water change is always your first line of defense. A fish rubbing or glancing against object is a sign of bad water quality so do a 50% water change as soon as you see rubbing, if the rubbing stops then it was probably the water. Use the prime and if your water is iffy you can safely overdose a little and it will do wonders, it's in a red and white bottle. Meds are harmful to fish so unless you're sure about what you're treating it's possible you're doing more harm than good. And if you've gotten to the point of multiple meds in a week or two, you should stop. The best offense against sickness is clean water. Daily water changes don't hurt and always help. Keep the water clean and lay off the meds.

Iantra 09-30-2012 08:48 AM

Hello,
OK sounds good. I have not actually done that many medication on the tank. The fish was doing it for a day, then I changed 50 % of the water and added salt just 1 tbls /tank has 7 mollies, 2 guppies, 2 swardtail and 1 platy/ I think all are OK with salt, also my snails look good so I know I did not go overboard with the salt either. Then they kept rubbing so I just have added only 1 tablet of Tetra Ick Guard so far, that is the only thing I did, tank has been treated with medicine last over a month and a half ago. I am going to do another water change with no medicine tomorrow after I get off work and see if fish will keep rubbing. Then I will plan it from there. I also may do another run to the pet store tomorrow if it is not too late and get that stuff you told me about. Thank you again :)

marshallsea 09-30-2012 09:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Iantra (Post 1260922)
Hello,
OK sounds good. I have not actually done that many medication on the tank. The fish was doing it for a day, then I changed 50 % of the water and added salt just 1 tbls /tank has 7 mollies, 2 guppies, 2 swardtail and 1 platy/ I think all are OK with salt, also my snails look good so I know I did not go overboard with the salt either. Then they kept rubbing so I just have added only 1 tablet of Tetra Ick Guard so far, that is the only thing I did, tank has been treated with medicine last over a month and a half ago. I am going to do another water change with no medicine tomorrow after I get off work and see if fish will keep rubbing. Then I will plan it from there. I also may do another run to the pet store tomorrow if it is not too late and get that stuff you told me about. Thank you again :)

I just reread your original post and I know you dont want to hear this but you have way too many fish in a 10g and this could be contributing to your probs. Mollies and swordtails get way too big. Since I'm no expert on stocking, you should go to aqadvisor.com and put your info into their stocking calculator, also if you can add some fast growing plants it will really help with your water quality.

AbbeysDad 09-30-2012 09:41 AM

As I read your post it occurred to me that you created a chemical soup that very likely killed off the beneficial bacteria in the tank. Treating fungus with an anti-bacterial will surely do them in which is why it's recommended that many medical treatments are done in a hospital tank. I'm also not a fan of using salt in a main tank, but I understand why you did these things.
I think you need to either do a complete tear down or a couple of 50% water changes and use activated carbon to clean the water.
Get an API liquid freshwater master test kit and monitor params daily and be prepared to do a water change if/when ammonia and/or nitrites are too high.

Good luck - keep us posted - welcome to TFK!
AD

Iantra 09-30-2012 09:57 AM

Thank you guys :) I will give it couple of days to see how fish is doing and update you :)

Freshcatch 09-30-2012 10:51 AM

Welcome to the forum. I agree with Marshall and AD. Unfortunately you are way overstocked. You have the amount of fish in your 10 gallon that would just be comfortable in a 20 gallon tank. Plus the meds do not help the bacteria in your tank. I would suggest rehoming some of the fish, or doing another tank.


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