Please Help Dying Fish!
We have just set up a beautiful tank and suddenly our fish began dying and rather quickly! I have no clue what could be going wrong. Our water parameters seem perfect and everyone of fish seem to get along quite well even though some seem an odd mix. There has been no nipping or missing fins. We have added plenty of caves, including a large sunken ship and plenty of plants for hiding places. I thought alll was going quite well until our fish began dying with little warning. What are we doing wrong, someone help before we lose all our fish!!!!!
1. 55 gallon
2. Nutrafin mini master test kit used. Parameters Ammonia;0, Nitrite;0, Nitrate;5, PH; 7.0
4. 3 weeks
5. 1 black ghost knife(2 in.), 2 rainbow sharks( 1 1/2 in.), a pleco (2 in), 1 upside down catfish ( 1inch), 1 cichlid ( 3/4 in.) and 1 dragon goby (4 in). In the last 3 days the dragon goby, cichlid and upside down catfish have all died. They seem to be dying in order in which we had placed them in the tank all were put in within days of eachother.
6. No quarantine period. (Obviously a mistake on my part)
7. 76-77 degrees ferenheit
8. No live plants
9. Tetra whisper EX45, plan to change mothly
10. Airator stone
11. Aquarium is beside window with sunlight but not in any direct sunlight
12. 25% water change 4 days ago. Done weekly.
13. Bloodworms, tropical fish flakes daily
14. Each one that has died seemed fine one minute then very ill and dead within hours. They began hanging around the bottom just laying there. I noticed that my cichlid seem to be panicky, opening and closing his mouth rapidly. Looked for white spots none visible to me, the upside down catfish seemed to have some tiny bumps on his side but not sure if that is normal for his kind.
if so, its not cycled yet
How much longer should I wait? Is that reasoin enough for them to all die so suddenly?
you can either remove the fish until the tank is cycled, or you can do DAILY 50% water changes till its cycled....make sure your adding enough dechlorinator every time you do a water change to treat the ENTIRE TANK, not just the water your replacing
I thought with all the parameters testing at good levels that the fish would be fine that is why we retested to make sure and still parameters are good
okay thank you I will try cycling longer. What is the general rule of thumb?
This sounds like ammonia poisoning, whatever the test may have indicated. Or it could be chlorine but that is usually almost instant. What water conditioner are you using?
Do a major water change, no less than half the tank volume, immediately. Use a good conditioner. During the first several weeks as you have no live plants I would strongly recommend a conditioner that detoxifies ammonia and nitrite; not all do, and I know of only two that handle both, Seachem's Prime and Aquarium Solutions' Ultimate.
Expect some of the remaining fish to die, nothing can be done as the long-term effects of ammonia can't be reversed. Hopefully we can save some that are not too far gone.
The only way to deal with ammonia or nitrite during cycling is with regular partial water changes, daily. If you use one of the conditioners I mentioned that detoxify ammonia and nitrite, alternate days will work.
I would also recommend an API test kit; the Master Combo includes pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate which are the four important tests. The regents in test kits do expire.
Fast growing live plants are the best aid in cycling because plants need nitrogen and they grab ammonia/ammonium for this. Even something as simple as floating p[plants works. I would strongly suggest this.
On another matter entirely, the selection of fish initially set out has problems too. Rather than get into this now, I will refer you to our fish profiles for information. Second heading from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page; if the fish name is used in a post identical to the name in the profile it will shade, example Black Ghost Knifefish, and you can click that name for the profile. Please review the data in the profiles for the named fish, and feel free to post any questions.
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