all my fish died
Hello, just joined here. I've had a 10 gallon tank established for about 3 months. I had 3 fish and a pleco in there until just before Thanksgiving, when the 3 slowly died off one by one. I think this was my fault, as the filter was in bad condition. Bad fish owner. :|
Left the tank alone about until last week. 3 days before New Years Day we bought 4 fish. A dalmation molly, 2 red wag platties, and another small platty, cant remember the name. On New Years eve, one of the Red Wag platties died. All of a sudden. Went NY day and bought 2 to replace him (they are my sons' fish and they were very sad). Cant remember the names of these (they were the same) but they were compatible with the other fish. This past Wednesday, the small platty died. I went yesterday (Thursday) to replace him before my son saw him. I also had the fish store test my water and they said it was perfect. Last night my dalmation molly died. Suddenly. He was fine then he was dead. And he sank to the bottom...is that weird? About an hour later the one I had bought that am (sunburst platy I think it is) died. Woke up this morning...one of the two we bought New Years day was dead. Home from work this evening...other 2, dead. Pleco is the only one still standing. 6 dead fish in 24 hrs. :cry:
I'm so sad about this. I feel horrible!! They all looked fine and the water is fine. Any ideas what happened?
FYI...they did all come from the same pet store....except the pleco.
Thanks in advance for any advice. Also, I bought a fancy water tester tonight and checked the water myself using the test tube kit. Everything seems good--pH a little high @ 8.2, ammonia 0.25, nitrite 0, and nitrate 10.
Hey welcome to the Forum Courtney. I think If you said the pet store you took the sample of water took the test with test strips they may have given you the wrong information. I have noticed in the past when any of my fish died and took a sample to the pet shop they usually test with test strips. A more accurate way of testing your water perimeters would be with an API test kit for fresh water which tests for PH, Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates. These test are more accurate then the usual test strips they use in most pet shops or you may even request for them to test with liquids instead of strips. I'm not sure of there methods of checking your water perimeters they used in any case I would highly recommend you see if you can purchase one of these master kits to test your own water perimeters. I think it also may have been caused by your replacement fish and how you may have acclimate them to there new home. Hopefully you did not discard the fishes water into your tank with your new fish as this may have brought any diseases into your already established water. I am not to sure of the steps you took to bring in your new fishes into your tank so I will not comment on this any further. Hopefully I didn't discourage you on your newly found hobby as we will all learn from our mistakes and key is to research enough as to why this may have happen. I might add that fishkeeping is a learning process as well as a rewarding one when we do things write. In any circumstance it is a priveledge to have these forums that we can help one another and in doing so we can learn from one another on how to be better fishkeepers and may even have a better understanding to these wonderful pets that we can have in our homes. In regards to your fish sorry to hear you lost so many but you may want to make sure your tank is cycled and do not buy to many fish at once so you don't mess with your fishes bioload.
She said in the last line of her post that she bought a water testing kit using the test tubes.
Courtney, were you doing regular weekly water changes? You've got an ammonia reading so you should do a water change to bring the ammonia level down. Ammonia and nitrite should always read 0 in an established tank. Other than that, not sure why the fish would die so suddenly. Could be that the fish were already sick from the LFS. Maybe try another fish store.
Oh, and welcome to the forum. :-)
Strange indeed. First off, I would unload the Pleco. Most Plecos are HUGE fish with a tremendous bio load and not suitable for a 10 gallon tank in my opinion. If yours is small it is just a baby. A Pleco will either starve or over-bio a ten gallon tank by itself if it is being fed properly. A Chinese Algea Eater would be a much better choice in a 10 gallon set-up.
Next I would buy only one fish - probably a Betta since they are more tollerant of bad water and therefore make excellent starter fish - and feed him lightly for a few weeks.
If he survives for a few weeks and is looking good, I would buy only one small, compatable fish to add. Again, the bio load will increase so I would feed them lightly for a few weeks before adding one more small fish, all the time doing regular, weekly, 25% water changes - more often if testing indicates any problems. It will take a while, but following this pattern should lead to a healthy stock of fish eventually.
If this method fails you might have a chemical problem within the tank. Was it bought used? Maybe someone washed an ornament or the gravel in something toxic. I know a fellow (newbie) who washed a huge piece of coral with an industrial cleaner and killed expensive salt water fish for months before figuring out the problem. If fish keep dieing using the small-fish-every-2-week method, I would consider tearing down the tank, rinsing it long and good in the bathtub, and starting over with all new gravel and decorations just in case.
another good small algae muncher are Otocinclus ... I have several and they are small.. they can't be alone though.. 3 as a minimum...
With just a betta in the tank though, some will be ok with having other fish with them, some will not. My daughter's betta is a feisty thing and he wont accept any trespassers :-)
And since you say the sole surving fish is a Pleco, I would certainly consider starting over with a cleaned and rinsed tank and new gravel and decorations just to eliminate any possible chemical concerns. Then I would trade the Pleco for a Betta or Zebra Danio to re-start the nitrogen cycle. And remember, patience is absolutely necessary for a healthy new aquarium.
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