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TORYthefishMOM 04-05-2013 03:51 PM

I'm new and losing fish!!!! HELP???!!!
So I'm new again to tank keeping. A friend of our recently gave us a 10 gallon tank to start for our 2 girls. I grew up having a fishtank and back then it didnt seem so complicated (mind you my parents upkept the thing because my siblings and I were young). So I did what I remembered them doing. I bought numerous plants for the tank, rocks, gravel, a big fancy filter, an aerater bubble, the works. Washed everything, set it up, and left it empty and running for oh...3 days or so. Went to the store, and bought fish. I was obviously an idiot for neglecting to do research first and finding out more about "tank cycling". Anyway. Initially we had 4 guppies (we were told we had males and females but turns out we only had males) a silver molly, a swordtail platy, 2 black skirt tetras and a chinese algae eater. They all did fine for 6 weeks not a problem one. So. We decided we liked the guppies best so we bagged up all the others and went back to the store to get females guppies. We had 9 guppies total, mostly female which is apparently a good thing. Well. As soon as they settled in and got comfortable I noticed 2 of my females acting strange, sitting on the bottom of the tank sluggish an unalert. I figured they were pregnant and didnt worry. Well. They didnt make it. One of my males developed what looked like a flesh wound, but he was doing ok. I figured the filter got him or something. He didnt make it either. Now I have another female in quarantine but I know for sure she has mouth fungis which I'm still unsure how to treat. I've read so much about aquarium salts epsom salts antibiotics methylene blue on and on until I'm losing my mind. I'M SO CONFUSED! Someone please tell me what to do I am so ready and willing to go get whatever I need to save the rest of my fish including the one with mouth fungis. I thought having live plants, not overfeeding, the algae eater, and all that was enough. I've done water changes lately hoping that would help, using the dechlorinating tablets to clean the water (Here in SC they automatically make all the tap water taste like pool water with all the chlorine in it) about 25% of the water each change, I also turned the temp on my heater to 77 degrees. From what I've read that should prevent alot of issues from occuring with the fish but they're still dying. WHAT DO I DO?

MoneyMitch 04-05-2013 04:04 PM

welcome back to the hobby! I myself tend to setup my tank for a few years then do a tear down for a few years im off and on like that :P

now onto the fish dying - I hate that feeling, but anyways you seem to mention a lot of symptoms so let me relist to make sure I understand correctly

unactive, red sores on body, fuzzy stuff around mouth?

im going to assume the tank wasn't cycled before you added the fish. with that being said adding the 9 fish or so that you did all at once to a freshly setup 10 gallon is going to cause your ammonia to skyrocket with the tank being so new. high ammonia will poison fish and kill them and if it doesn't kill them with the ammonia alone the stress caused from the ammonia will bring on all kinds of things like what you are describing.

are you able to test for

the 25% w/c are good but how much effect they are having on your tank is hard to tell without testing the above. before and after the w/c

are you able to post up any pictures of the effected fish?

TORYthefishMOM 04-05-2013 05:22 PM

I cant add pics as of now unfortunately my eldest broke my camera. The perks of parenting for sure lol. I just now am reading about "tank cycling" and I guess I need to attempt to do that now even though I already have fish in the tank. I dont have a water testing kit didnt really know starting out it was necessary for freshwater aquariums. WRONG. I know that now. What do you recommend? And out of the millions of chemicals and treatments for various issue with a tank how do you know which one(s) to use? Its all so very confusing. I can ellaborate a bit about the fish that have died. My lyretail mail had what looked like a flesh wound it was pinkish and the scales around it were raised or missing. He didnt swim as well once this occured he kind of wobbled back and forth like he was malfunctioning or short circuiting. He ate ok but ceased to chase the females like the others males did. He tended to stay in the back corner of the tank near the heater. My first female to go was bloated and it appeared to me she was pregnant. She would hover at the top of the tank for a little while and then eventually sank down on the rocks. She wasnt completely still she would sort of bounce up and down here and there but stayed right on the gravel. She would eat ok too but never would go to the top to snatch up her food more so waited for it to come to her. The last female I lost turned a darker and darker color over the course of about 3 days and then eventually just stayed on the gravel immobile until she passed away. Its all such a mix of things different symptoms different issues I dont even know where to begin to help them aside from doing water changes. Ive read about the aquarium salt but how much to add? How often? SHould I up the temp of my water? Sorry I'm asking so much I just hate to lose any more fish. :)

TORYthefishMOM 04-05-2013 05:25 PM

Ironically I also have a 1 gallon starter tank with a Betta in it. One big fern and a few rocks on the bottom. I do his water changes once a week and I usually replace most of it if not all of it. He has not had an issue one either. He's a happy little Betta. Why is my other tank having so many issues then? Are guppies just more seneitive or is it really just how inexperienced I am?

MoneyMitch 04-05-2013 05:49 PM

the most important thing right now is to not be hastey and start dumping all sorts of chemicals into the tank, this is just going to compound issues.

first off if you have not read then please take some time and do so.

as far as any recommended chemicals and supplies:

Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate test kit - either the strips or liquid tests will work. only difference is the strips are a bit more expensive but are easyier to do (dip and read). your also going to want to get yourself a good water conditioner. a lot on here including myself use Prime its great for helping you through your cycle and also for pre treating new water used for a w/c. im thinking the poor water paramiters are the cource of all your fish issues, and with time and your w/c the fish should pull through.

the tough part is youhave dug yourself into a hole here. too many fish too soon in a new tank, problems are going to be rampant and ontop of that the water conditions will be subpar and not the best for the fish to recover in since the tank is cycleing. reguardless of what a product claims to do there is no such thing as a instant cycle in a bottle, a "fish in" cycle will take you a month or two all along while having some less then best paramiters along the way.

adding medication to a tank this fresh willjust stall the cycle and drag it out that much longer. the best thing I can recommend at this point is try some prime in the tank to help with ammonia/nitrite/nitrate and get a testkit and do your best to keep ammonia below .25ppm.

TORYthefishMOM 04-05-2013 06:19 PM

Ok its called "Prime"? Where can I get it? And can I buy some sort of pro biotic or bacterium for my tank to help it "cycle"? I get why I am losing fish so I dont expect miracles because its gonna happen until the tank cycles completely. I hope not to lose any more...I have 3 in the tank I would absolutely hate to lose though. I hate to lose any but you get what I'm saying right? Should I put them in quarantine? No plants no nothing just a gallon container with a separate aeration bubble and water changes everyday. Would that better their chances of survival? They're my pair of Carolina Blue Guppies and my Chinese Algae Eater. And I'm still confused about the whole salt thing. People swear by it and use it regularly in their tanks even though they are freshwater. Does it really make that much of a difference?

MoneyMitch 04-05-2013 06:24 PM

the salt is good but in limited doses it has numerous benefits but some fish are very sensitive to it and it can kill them.

look for Prime by Seachem my bigger local fish store is where I find it. putting htem all into a smaller tank will just cause the same problems since you have no cycled media to work with and a smaller amount of water will foul faster. I totally get the part abot hating losing fish ive lost more then I want to count and even now I still lose them, it sucks as bad as the first one.

once your cycle is complete then you can start to dose with salt if you want "I ususally use it when the fish are sick". my persoanall opinion is it wouldn't hurt, maybe use half dose between w/c's.

TORYthefishMOM 04-05-2013 06:40 PM

That really sucks :( I wish it were as easy as I originally thought to do this stuff but of course nothing in life is that simple lol. I'm heading to the pet store now theyre open until 9. I think I may pick up some in tank plant food and look into treating the mouth fungis my current female in quarantine has. None of the other fish are acting strange they all seem happy and healthy. For now anyway. I will definitely pick up the Prime and some aquarium salt for later. Thanks for your help I really do appreciate it. I'm sure I will be on here again asking more silly questions soon enough and definitely look forward to more advice from you <3

MoneyMitch 04-05-2013 06:41 PM

no problem! make sure to get your tests that's most important!!!!! might also take a sample of water to the store and get number readings from their test of your water then post them.

djembekah 04-05-2013 08:58 PM

i do believe chinese algae eater is a bad fish for a 10 gallon tank.

edit: yep
Minimum Tank Suggestion

48 inches is the absolute minimum, preferably larger for a full-grown fish.

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