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rachelrabbit210 07-07-2009 08:58 AM

I have no idea whats happening!!!
 
Hi, this is my first post. I think this is where my post should go, but im not sure. Ok on Thursday I got 5 guppies and two ghost shrimp, this is what happened.

START
Thursday- 5 fish, 2 shrimp
Friday- Baby guppy shows up. 1 ghost shrimp dies
Saturday- 1 male, 1 female die
Sunday- 1 female dies,baby guppy dies
Monday-1 male, 1 female dies
END we have 1 ghost shrimp


What happened?

Twistersmom 07-07-2009 09:29 AM

What size tank?
A good place to start would be to have both your house and tank water tested.
You can either take some water to the fish store or buy an API liquid test kit.
Post you results, then we can go from there.

Byron 07-07-2009 10:17 AM

As Twistersmom said, we need more info. Always tell us the history and the water parameters so we have something from which to diagnose the problem.

Twistersmom mentioned the water parameters, we need to know the temperature, pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate--as many of these as you can give us. Also indicate when this tank was first set up (or how long its been running), and what fish if any were in the tank before the addition on Friday.

Byron.

rachelrabbit210 07-07-2009 10:55 AM

re:
 
ok, it's a 5 gallon hex5 tank. Got it for xmas. Three months ago we had a case of ick, we dumped all water, did a total cleaning. We let the water run for a month. Then, i got intrested in breading guppies. (I will soon be getting a bigger tank). I got 5. Now they are all dead. As for the water quality, I have 9 days to return the fish, and replace them. While getting replacement fish, I will check the water samples.

Byron 07-07-2009 11:12 AM

The tank was not cycled. Don't buy any new fish, the same thing will happened, until you cycle the tank. I'm assuming you don't know about cycling, so I'll briefly explain; pardon me if you do know already.

Fish produce ammonia through their respiration, and ammonia is also produced through fish waste products, any decaying plant matter or uneaten fish food, and any dead fish. Ammonia is highly toxic to all fish, it burns their gills and they usually die if the ammonia is high enough. Once ammonia is present in the water, a bacteria will gradually appear automatically to eat the amonia and convert it to nitrite. Nitrite is also toxic, though a bit less so than ammonia, but same reactions with fish. Fortunately, another bacteria automatically appears (but gradually) to eat the nitrite and convert it to nitrate which is relatively harmless [go into that later].

This is called the nitrogen cycle, and it takes somewhere between 2 and 8 weeks to become established in a new aquarium. The first bacteria to handle the ammonia takes 5 to m9 days to establish, and during this time, if there are fish in the tank, they will be poisoned by the ammonia to some degree; one hardy fish will usually manage to survive, but several fish are too many and will almost always die. Once the first bacteria begin to establish, the second type will appear in another 4-8 days.

Some aquarists cycle a tank without fish by using pure ammonia or fish food put in and allowed to decay. Others use one hardy fish. Either way, the ammonia must be kept constant. The bacteria only appear if there is amonia, and once the ammonia is eaten (so to speak) the bacteria will die off if there is not more ammonia for them to eat. Same with the nitrite. A cycled tank is one in which the bacteria have established themselves at the necessary level to handle the available ammonia (and nitrite) produced each day by the fish and other biological processes.

I mentioned nitrate earlier. That is the third stage of the cycle, and nitrate is harmless to fish at lower levels. Plants consume some nitrate, anaerobic bacteria in the substrate (gravel) consume some, but most is removed/diluted by the aquarist doing a partial water change every week of 30-40% of the tank volume. There should never be a problem with high nitrates if the pwc is done every week.

I or others can explain the fishless or fish cycling methods; I just wanted to explain what is happening to kill your fish.

rachelrabbit210 07-07-2009 11:42 AM

thanks, we had a high pH level a month or two ago. We used like 15 different products. Since, we stopped using it to put new fish in, do you think the pH level sky rocketed?

Byron 07-07-2009 12:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rachelrabbit210 (Post 212788)
thanks, we had a high pH level a month or two ago. We used like 15 different products. Since, we stopped using it to put new fish in, do you think the pH level sky rocketed?

I'm assuming there were no fish in the tank then. Never use any of those chemicals to adjust pH in a tank containing fish. First, the chemicals will generally not work except short-term, because water has a natural buffering capacity for pH and when the chemicals change the ph the water buffers work to restore it, leading to constantly fluctuating pH. Second, the buffering capacity of the water is reached at some point, then the chemicals suddenly kick in and the pH suddenly shifts very much. Both cases are very stressful to fish and frequently result in poor health and sometimes death.

Not knowing the ph of the water, or what you added and when, it is impossible to answer your question directly. But it is possible the pH shifted, certainly before, and maybe after, depending upon all the foregoing. My advice is do a water change to get rid of whatever chemicals might still be there and don't use pH adjusters.

Whatever you tap water (assuming that will be the source of your aquarium water) pH is, let us know; then we can advise how to adjust it, if that is necessary, to suit your fish. However, I am of the view that it is best to acquire fish that can live in the water you can provide. Adjusting water every week is not always easy, nor inexpensive. And if livebearers are the fish you intend to keep (guppies, platys, swordtails, mollies) they prefer slightly alkaline water (above pH 7.0) so your "high" pH may be fine, depending upon how high it is.

But I am still of the opinion that the tank is not cycled; without a source of ammonia it is impossible to cycle a tank, so the first fish added would be the first ammonia, and I've previously explained how that worked.

rachelrabbit210 07-07-2009 01:05 PM

thanks

rachelrabbit210 07-07-2009 02:42 PM

ok, I think i just figured out what happened :)
I had an old filter cartridge in. I put in a new one, ( I could tell it was new, i could hear it :)
The tank is filtering out fine. YAH
I still have one shrimp surviving. WOOHOO
So i guess the tank was filtering, but with an old cartridge. YAH
Oh, also, I took out 30% of the water. Then, i replaced 15%, but I used BOTTLED WATER!
So, what you think???

Byron 07-07-2009 03:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rachelrabbit210 (Post 212837)
ok, I think i just figured out what happened :)
I had an old filter cartridge in. I put in a new one, ( I could tell it was new, i could hear it :)
The tank is filtering out fine. YAH
I still have one shrimp surviving. WOOHOO
So i guess the tank was filtering, but with an old cartridge. YAH
Oh, also, I took out 30% of the water. Then, i replaced 15%, but I used BOTTLED WATER!
So, what you think???

Sorry, I'm a bit lost as to where this is going. I've explained the tank is cycling [is that what you mean by "filtering"?] and how it will work. It takes time.


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