My First Tank
On Monday I went to my local pet superstore to buy a fish tank. I purchased a complete kit which came with a 35L tank, 50W heater, Marina S10 filter, Nutrafin AquaPlus, and Nutrafin Cycle. I followed the advice of the store and setup the tank as per instruction.
After leaving the tank three days I introduced 6 new fish, Mollys. They seemed ok at first but shortly after they were swimming around at the top as if they needed air. I lowered the water level slightly to allow of more air bubbles to be blown into the water by the filter. Eventually three of the fish died and the remaining three were still at the top.
Today I took a water sample into a different shop to find the cause of the problem, which turned out to be the pH. I purchased a wide range testing kit which indicated the water was between 8.5 and 9.0. I have now purchased some "API Proper pH 7.0" which is supposed to balance the pH to 7.0. I have been adding small amounts very slowly so not to shock the fish but they are still at the top with their head on the surface.
adding lemon juice can bring it down and I do not know how much to add.
I don't know much about fish, I was just going off the advice I received in the shop.
It looks like I am going to loose another fish soon so I'll only have 2 left. I have just checked my pH level again and it is still high even though I added "API Proper pH 7.0" several hours ago. I have added another very small amount just now so I hope it will neutralise very soon. Does anyone else use this?
The Proper pH I purchased claims to automatically adjust the pH levels to 7.0. I have no idea how it knows how to do that. I was wondering if I should buy the "API pH Up" and "API pH Down" and adjust my pH level manaully myself. Does anyone else have experience with these products?
I was told by the shop that my Nitrite levels were still very high and that I had to change 10% of my water every day for the next 2 weeks. I just want to make sure I am doing this correctly. I have prepared a large bucket of tap water and treated it with this "API Proper pH 7.0" because this claims to remove chlorine & detoxifies heavy metals. I have left this to stand for a few hours to bring the temperature up a little. I am told I can just pour it directly into the tank after removing the 10% I am changing. Is this correct?
Agree with what's been posted already. There were too many fish added at the same time to a new uncycled tank.
Sadly I have no fish now so its a complete disaster. I am going to restart again from scratch hopefully with some better advice.
I was in contact with another LFS today to get a second opinion as to what to do. I was told not to use any fancy chemicals like Nutrafin Cycle or other bacteria products. I was told to strip down the tank, wash everything with clean tap water, and replace it. Fill the tank full of cold tap water, and add the water conditioner, in my case this is AquaPlus. Once eveything is in place, turn on the heater and filter and leave it for 3 days, then go back with a water sample.
This is what I will do.
Start there but Id try to get the temp at least somewhat close instead of overworking the heater with cold water for no reason, read A Beginner's Guide to the Freshwater Aquarium Cycle.
Ph adjusting stuff sucks, buying yourself a liquid test kit, not test strips, is a good idea.
Then take it slow and do some more reading and ask questions here, not pet stores.
Are you setting up a saltwater tank? Mollies are brackish water fish (need salt) that are often used to cycle saltwater tanks because they are cheap and therefore "expendable". If you are setting up a freshwater tank there are much better fish to do it with that will stand a better chance of survival. Being brackish water fish, Mollies are not a good 1st fish for a beginning aquarist period IMO.
I would start that tank with a Zebra Danio or 2. Or a Glo-fish or 2 if you are after color. These fish are survivors and can be added immediately after the temp stabilizes if you use a water conditioner. Bettas also make excellent tank-starter fish, but generally won't do as well in a "community" once the tank is completely stocked. Just make sure you feed them lightly and do frequent partial water changes for the first 6 weeks and add no more than a small fish or 2 a week till then.
BTW... I would avoid all the PH adjusting stuff, at least until I had the tank broken-in. Your tap water PH level should be ok for breaking in that tank with the fish I recommended, and many others for that matter. Messing with the PH while a new tank is cycling just adds another dimension to an already changing environment the starter fish must overcome. You will be doing frequent water changes for a while and trying to keep the PH artificially regulated will be a pain and unhealthy for the already stressed fish IMO.
Agreed, 1st of all that's too many fish on a new tank, which is uncycled. Some fish can, though, survive the process. 2nd, do not change your pH. Do not tamper with it or anything. Fish are better off SLOWLY adjusting to it. I think you may have lost the first 3 from shock or something because if you just put the fish in the tank WITHOUT slowly acclimating them to the new water, it could kill. If this is what you did, then let me know and i'll tell you how to properly introduce new fish in a tank. My neon tetras (prefer pH lower than 7.0) lives in a pH of 8.5+ in my tank. They do not show any signs of stress, shock, etc. Been healthy for over 6 months now. A slow introduction into a tank is better than changing your pH completely.
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