Having trouble figuring out the cause of death
Alrighty, about three weeks ago I was given a 5 gallon tank with 11 zebra danios. They were used for a university breeding experiment and once the experiment was over they were given away. My friend kept them for a few months, didn't change the water, but they all lived.
The day I received them, two died before I got there. Apparently they were eaten, as only half of their bodies were recovered. When I received them I decided to put them into a 10 gallon tank thinking this would be more comfortable. One more was eaten when I wasn't around, and three died almost immediately after putting them into the new tank, stress I imagine (I used the original tank water for the bacteria). This left me with 5. Over the course of a few days, 3 more dropped. All three were found in the tank, floating or laying at the bottom. The last one though had turned almost pink/white. So I'm down to two.
Since the remaining two had survived a few weeks now, I decided to add some more fish. Two sunburst platies, two cardinal tetras, and two glowlight tetras. This was now 8 fish in the tank. This morning I wake up to one dead Cardinal, and within half an hour I watched the second one scurry around the tank frantically and become lifeless.
The tank temperature is 78F, pH was ~7.6 but I've stabalized it to ~7. Ammonia, etc. all 0. They have a percolator and a mechanical filter.
Can someone please tell me what I'm doing wrong? I feel terrible every time one goes.
.did the danios react differently after you added new fish?? cardinal tetras prefer a ph of 4.6 to 6.2. they are schooling fishes and prefer a group no of 10 and above.in smaller groups they get stressed easily maybe that caused their early demise.
hmm.. im not very good with the ph stuff.but adding plants always helps with stressed out fish.why dont you try it
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If I'm understanding what you've posted correctly, the 10g tank was set up less than 3 weeks ago (no longer). You used the water from the 5g (plus fresh I assume to make up 10g). You put the surviving danios in the 10g and more died until two were left. You then added 6 new fish.
I'm afraid it is very obvious what happened; the 10g tank was not cycled. It takes 2-8 weeks to establish the nitrogen cycle. Had you not added the new fish the two danios might have survived and cycled the tank.
I recommend you read the sticky on new tank cycling, here's the direct link [it is at the head of the Freshwater Aquarium section]:
Second comment I have is never add chemicals to a tank with fish unless they are absolutely essential. And when there are obvious problems (fish dying) adding any chemical is likely to worsen it since these stress out fish and the fish are already under stress from the health issue or whatever. Water conditioner is the only substance we need to use regularly. Other additives may or may not be advisable.
What water conditioner are you using?
What exactly is the "stabilizer" stuff?
Is anything else being added to the tank?
When I know the above, I should be able to offer more.
Another quick thing, your selection of fish is not good because you have fish that require quite different water parameters. "Compatibility" in a community aquarium is more than just behaviours; fish must share the same basic requirements concerning pH, hardness and temp; and the same environmental needs (things like wood, rock, caves, plants, etc). Livebearers are basic/hard water fish; tetras are soft acidic water fish. There is some adaptability, but these two extremes should not be combined. We can go into this more later, first let's get the immediate problems solved. It goes without saying, do not buy any more fish until this is resolved.
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