new tank, need help keeping fish alive. Has been cycled...
We have a 10 gallon freshwater tank. After many dead little fishies:cry:, we now have a male red platy and a male black molly living and thriving for over 2 weeks now. We have had our water checked many times and have been told it has now cycled and our amonia levels are at 0. We went to the pet store today and purchased 3 zebra danios and 3 tetras and they all died within a few hours? What are we doing wrong? The water is at 78 degrees and we have even added the aquarium salt to help reduce their stress.
I can see 2 issues... tetras are sensitive to salt (you don't say how much you added?) and adding 6 fish at once bringing your total to 8 fish, which maxes out that size of an aquarium. Adding that much waste at once is going to upset water chemistry.
Try keeping it to adding 1 - 2 fish at a time and keep check on how big each fish is going to get. The general rule on stocking smaller fish is 1 inch of adult fish per gallon. Platys can reach 2 - 3 inches, mollys anywhere from 3 - 6 inches depending on if they are sailfin or not. Zebra danios allow 1.5 - 2 inches, and tetras vary depending on species.
Allow 2 - 3 weeks between each addition.
Can you tell me how you acclimated the new fish? That also may have something to do with your losses.
2 hours is a bit long for most fish. There is a limited amount of oxygen in that bag of water and the rate you suggest for adding tank water would be more stressful for them. There is also waste building up in the bag water, the longer the fish are in there the higher the ammonia content is going to be. 30 minutes - 1 hr is average acclimation time unless you are working with a sensitive species or are altering water conditions by large variations, such as pH going up or down more than .1
Hi, thank you for your replies. I added just under 2 Tbs. of salt per the directions from the pet store and also on the salt container. I added the salt a couple days ago and I did it slowly over a couple days.
To acclimate the fish, I let their bag float for 20 minutes and then I put them in tank. They swam around great for a couple of hours but then they died really quickly (all within an hour). I am going to go to the pet store today again to have our water checked. Could the nitrites have spiked that quickly? The black molly and red platy are still doing great this morning.
While floating that bag did you at any time add any of the tank water to it? How much at a time if you did?
It sounds more like pH shock than anything else, combined with the general stress of being moved and possible ammonia spike due to the number of fish added all at once. Its very unlikely that only 1 specific thing caused your problem, but rather a combination of things.
When you get the next new fish home, keep the number of them minimal, during acclimation be sure to add a small amount of water to the bag every few minutes (a few tbsp at a time), but before you even begin your acclimation, test pH in both the tank and the bag so you know what the differences are, if any.
If you don't have test kits of your own at home I would strongly urge you to get them before buying more fish for your tank. That is the only way you're going to have the answers you need to properly acclimate the fish to your tank. Be sure to work with liquid test kits, don't waste your money on the strip tests, they're mostly useless because they are known for their inaccuracy. Being accurate is vital to success.
If the pH in the bag is more than .2 difference from whats in the tank then continue the acclimation for up to 45 - 60 minutes (the bigger the difference the longer the acclimation) and reduce the amount of water added each time to 1 - 2 tbsp.
One other question... did any of the water from the bag get into your tank? If it did, be aware that all of the waste (ammonia) in the bag would then be going into your tank, along with any disease/illness problems that may be in the store tanks. The fish should be carefully netted out of the bag and released into the tank and the bag water should get thrown out.
just wanted to say Hi and welcome.
you are in very good hands.
Hi, and welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.
Dawn has dealt with your immediate issue; we all learn, sometimes the hard way.
We tested our water 3 times this week and everything has been good each time. We got two new mollies today (one creamsicle, one silver, both females) and we are trying again. Please say a prayer for our new fish. We went back to the petstore where we got the 2 that are thriving from so maybe there is something about the water there that resembles ours at home. No one has been able to find a reason that the others died last weekend. I will keep you posted. Thank you for all of your help.
Everyone is still alive this morning and looking good, fins are all up and swimming around. I am suspicious that the creamsicle female may be pregnant, she is really fat around the middle.
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