Tetras causing lot of stress
I have been have always had various questions about my fish, and have finally decided to join a forumn rather than searching the internet, as google seems to have an array of various contradicting answers.
I have two questions: I just bought 8 tetras about two days ago and put them into my planted 20 gallon tank. So far I have been too stressd to enjoy them; one got sucked into the filter the first night, and while he survived, he no longer schools with the other 7. Last night I had another tetra get stuck to the filter intake and die. While I can take both back to the store with the receipt, I am getting stressed about my filter intake, which can most likely be solved with a sponge, but that creates more hassle.
Which leads to the first question: what would be a fun secondary option for a schooling tropical fish. I want them to work well with a densely planted environment, and I am going for a smaller fish so I can get more than would normally fit into a 20g tank.
Secondly - if I end up keeping the fish and going with a cover on my filter intake, why would my tetras be darting around all willy nilly when my tank light turns off? As soon as it goes off, the tetras go from being in a school to darting into the sides of my tank and hiding in the plants. This may be what causes the stress to rise, thus increasing their chance of getting sucked to the filter.
I really just want to get as many fish I can into my 20 gallon. This means smaller fish, but I still run the risk of them getting sucked in the filter and have to worry about making a DIY cover for the intake, and making the tank look a bit ugly. I would also like to eventually get some bamboo shrimp, but at the moment, I have been too stressed about fish dying and too frustrated with the setup to properly enjoy the tank like I have in the past with my angels and mollies.
Edit: I have thought about Zebra Danios or Barbs, but again, I would like something a bit bigger than a Tetra if possible, and something that will school. I also cant stress enough how much I would love to have 10-18 small to small-mid sized fish cruising around among my plants!
If however the fishes are, or have been stressed by toxins (ammonia,Nitrites) then in a weakened state ,they could be too weak to swim away.
How was the tank cycled? what is pH,and temp?
Sponge prefilter over the intake is easiest solution if fish are tiny.
I haven't yet checked the water paramaters - haven't been able to go to an open fish store as I work 12-hour night shifts. However, all other fish seem unaffected, water cycled for 2 weeks through carbon and a sponge before adding fish. I added the substrate the 2nd day of cycling, then added the plants on the 4th day, and the fish about a week and a half afterwards. Water temp is at 79 degrees, a tablespoon of salt was added during cycling, as well as the recommended does of conditioner. The fish may have been unhealthy from the store I bought them from - it is under new ownership.
I would purchase a test kit so that I could test my water and not rely on fish store to do this.
Cycling the water for two weeks through carbon and or sponge would only be helpful if carbon and or sponge came from a healthy exisiting tank where beneficial bacteria had already been established in said carbon or sponge.
Otherwise,,the tank did not begin cycling until the fish were placed in the tank. This often results in sick or possibly dead fishes if water is not monitored daily with test kit and necessary water changes are performed.Sick fishes don't all get sick at same time and weaker ones could have died and then been drawn into the filter uptake.(likely)
Until i got my own test kit,,I would perform water change each day of 30 to 50 percent using only tapwater and dechlorinator in the tank. No salt,no ph up or down products,no mela this ,or pima that,no bacterial additives,or stress coat. Just plain tapwater and dechlorinator such as PRIME.
Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.
1077 has set you in the right direction. I'll just pick up on the light issue. When the tank light is turned on or off, make sure there is ambient light in the room, whether daylight or lamps. The sudden change from dark to light and light to dark will severely stress most fish, who are naturally used to gradual dusk/dawn. When my tank lights go off, the fish will swim together (species) but they don't jump or hit the tank sides, which they will without room light.
A 20g is not all that much space, so fish selection will have to be thought out. Smaller fish are fine, but not all small fish are compatible in many ways. You might want to have a read of our fish profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page. When a fish name is used in a post identical to the name in the profile, scientific or common, it will be shaded and you can click on the name to see the profile, example Zebra Danio. Info on group sizes (most tetra, Danio, barbs need to be in a group), minimum tank size, compatibility, filter flow needs, etc. will be found in the profile.
Awesome thanks guys. I did another water change today of about 50% of my water, and all the fish seem to be a lot more energetic than they were the first two days I had them. I currently have 7 Neon Tetras and 6 Zebra Danios, I will definitely have to check out the profiles on the fish though. I now keep a lamp on next to my tank, and have my aquarium light and lamp light both on timers. The lamp light turns on 10 minutes before the aquarium light turns off, and this seems to have helped out a lot with the stress of the fish. The Tetras also seem much happier with the Danios in there, and they all have seemed to get along quite well. I will have to wait a few more days and see how things go, hopefully I have the tank set up correctly.
So far, here is my setup (20 gallon Acrylic):
- Hang on back aqua clear 70 filter
- 2X 24 inch hallogens
- Heater set to 79 degrees F
- Natural brown Eco Complete substrate
- 3 Bamboo shafts, 2 mixedthick plant goupings at either end of the tank, with thick tall grass along the back (sorry, I will have to look up scientific names to be more specific and put it in the edit)
- CO2 injection system with small powerhead on one corner, blowing across the tank (the fish seem to love this)
The next thing I plan to buy is Java Moss to carpet my tank, and a air pump and 8 inch air stone that will go long ways under the substrate along the back of the tank. I have also planted some assorted bulbs throughout the tank, though there have been mixed reviews. For only $4.00 I figured why not try them out.
I appreciate the help :)
Dont get the airstone.
1) I think they look stupid, unless its a dragon or dinosaur then thats just barely acceptable.
2) Airstones surface disturbance and speed up gas exchanges, forcing out co2 and bringing in oxygen, pretty much just canceling out your co2 thing. Personally I wouldnt even use the co2.
I dunno if java moss will actually be a carpet, I think its supposed to grow on things like wood and rocks.
And lastly, I think bamboo will just die if fully submerged.
I'm with Grimmjow. Adding any sort of bubbling is going to counter things. And on the added CO2, this is not necessary especially for the plants mentioned, there would be no benefit. There is a lot of CO2 produced naturally by fish and bacteria in the substrate, and this is generally adequate for the plants. Which means removing one possible cause of problems (the less we add to a fish tank, the less can go wrong).
I would lower the temperature to 76-77F. Neon tetra prefer cooler water and will be healthier with it. And Zebtra Danio, being active, are also better in that range. Check the profile info on both.
You're at the max for fish, except bottom fish; a group of 5 corys, and/or one or two of the smaller "interesting" catfish, would add interest and be fine.
A few bottom fish would be cool, I like the Borneo Suckers, but currently have 3 ghost shimp so I need to check the profiles so make sure they won't compete for food.
I will definitely hold back on the oxygen system, I didn't even think about it getting rid of my co2. The air stone I have is very natural looking, and blends in with my substrate, but I can return it if i am not going to use it.
If not Java Moss, what would be another fast growing carpet or foreground plant; Dwarf Hairgrass?
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