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uhohima 09-19-2011 04:31 PM

New tank deaths :(

Myself and my boyfriend have recently bought a 60l tank, we've fishless cycled it which took about 5 weeks, and bought our first lot of fish on Saturday, but I have a few questions about them.

We've got 6 neons, 3 endlers and a betta. Unfortunately one of the endlers went missing, and we found it inside the filter, and a second one died yesterday . One of the two who were left yesterday was swimming around the surface of the water quite fast, and going into the glass here and there, and the other seemed to just be swimming normally. The single one left now, is swimming around at the surface a lot tonight and he hasn't seem interested in food at all (none of them did really).

The tetras seem to be fine, swimming normally, eating etc.

We haven't seen the Betta eat, and he seems a little subdued, spending a lot of time at the bottom of the tank, or hiding in an ornament. I have however read that they often like to rest, and can take a while to adjust to a new tank. We are feeding them all flakes at the moment, would something else be preferable for the betta/endler?

After the tank had cycled we did a 50% water change, and today we did about a 25% one. Currently the ammonia/nitrites are at 0, nitrates are between 20-40ppm and the PH is around 7.8. Could the PH be too high?

Hope someone has made it to the end of reading this post who can help me Thanks!

SeaHorse 09-19-2011 04:46 PM

Ideally you are trying for 10-20 ppm of NitrAtes so doing a water change was good. Go do another. Dilute it down again. Can't hurt. Remember your de-cholorinator and match your temperatures. (just in case you did not know)
Experienced people out there.... is 5 weeks long enough for a "fishless cycle"? Doesn't it take 6-8?
Are there any live plants in your tank?

uhohima 09-19-2011 04:51 PM

I'm pretty sure the tank has fully cycled, the nitrites definately peaked and then dropped, along with the ammonia, and the nitrates going up.

I have been using tap safe for the new water to treat it, and adding a little warm water to keep the temp steady :) I have struggled to get the nitrates below 20ppm though, as the water coming out of our taps appear to be at that level.

Yes we have 5 live plants in the tank.

Byron 09-19-2011 06:45 PM

Which test kit are you using for nitrates? And can you tell us the brand for the water conditioner? It is not one I've heard of and no results turned up doing a Google search.

Yes Jackie, it is possible to cycle in 5-6 weeks, it can be anywhere from 2-8 normally, but many things impact this. But the spikes in ammonia and nitrite would suggest it is cycled.

A caution on the Betta, this is not a particularly good match with small fish like neons or endlers; male Betta frequently take a dislike to Endlers and often neons too; I had one that would eat neons. Any chance the Betta is hounding (or was) the Endlers?


uhohima 09-20-2011 03:37 AM

I am using the API master kit for everything testing wise. The Tap Safe is an Interpet product, ( Bioactive Tap Safe 125ml by Interpet | Pets at Home ) .

The Betta we have was in a tank with the neons at the shop, the same neons we have, and I can't say I have seen him bothering them, or the endlers, they seem quite happy to leave each other alone.

KendraMc 09-20-2011 07:58 AM


the PH is around 7.8. Could the PH be too high?
this shouldn't be too high for the endlers, but i would be a little worried about the neons. i'm pretty sure they like acidic water. but that pH, which is usually associated with harder water, should be great for livebearers of any kind.

uhohima 09-20-2011 08:12 AM

Thanks for the info, although the neons seem to be the only ones that are doing ok at the moment funnily enough! Any idea why one of the endlers would just die? Or even possibly the second one too (don't know whether it was sucked into the filter dead or alive).

KendraMc 09-20-2011 08:14 AM

how did you acclimate your fish to your water when you got them home? when they die this soon after you bought them, stress from changing tanks/water can be a big part of it.

uhohima 09-20-2011 08:20 AM

I floated the various bags for 10 mins, then added a bit of tank water, waited a few mins, added a bit more etc for about 15 mins and then used a net to put them in the tank.

Byron 09-20-2011 10:11 AM

Procedure is good. Conditioner is not likely linked to the problem. On the API nitrate test, you need to shake Regent #2 for 2 minutes in order to get an accurate reading. The instructions say 30 seconds but this will frequently give an inaccurate and high reading. I would test the tap water again and the tank water, shaking #2 for 2 minutes and see what the numbers are then.

Betta are not community fish. In store tanks fish usually react differently from when they are settled in a better environment, when their true natures may emerge. Store tanks are frequently overcrowded and this, plus many other factors such as water conditions, lack of decor, lighting, etc cause many fish to be so stressed that they behave differently from their natural instincts.

You don't need to take my word for it; here's a link to an article on this species from one of the leading aquarium magazines, the UK Practical Fishkeeping, that recomends Betta not be kept in community tanks.
Frequently asked questions on Siamese fighters | Features | Practical Fishkeeping

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