Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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tahbi 11-29-2011 07:55 PM

2 new fish acting weird
 
Hi

I bought a 15gal tank yesterday and added in a betta. I added Start Right with Allantoin before adding my fish.
As soon as I added my betta my boyfriend threw a bunch of food pellets in there and he ate a few (not sure how many) but it was probably too much.
This morning my betta was laying on his side only coming up for air. I put him in his container I got at Petco and researched online and I think it's just swimbladder.
But then a few hours ago I rescued a little black catfish from my dad (it was being housed in a 1.5g with a betta and the tank was SO dirty). He was fine but maybe an hour after that he's swimming upside down and laying on his side too. Does he have swimbladder too? My parents overfeed their betta so he might've been getting overfed too?

What could be wrong? Both fish are acting weird. I don't have any test kits to test the water for ammonia or nitrates or pH or anything because I don't have the money.

Sanguinefox 11-29-2011 08:26 PM

Uh, you know your problem probably is that you are putting fish too soon into the tank. When you start up a tank like a 15 gallon you really need to give the tank a chance to settle and for some of the stuff in the new water to work it's way out.

I've got a handy link for you to read: Commonly Made Mistakes When Starting a New Aquarium

What you should do is give your tank at least a week with a starter small fish to help the tank cycle. But what really helps is if you know someone who has a good clean established freshwater tank. Get a small plastic container, and get some of their substrate, and the water. Bring it home, put it into the tank. This will help add beneficial bacteria and speed up the cycle. When I switched from my old tank to my new one I carried over water and some of it's substrate and the tank cycled rather quickly.

EDIT: One last thing, some pet stores like Petsmart will actually test your water for free. So take it to the pet store in a small container and ask them to test it. They can tell you right off if something is off with the levels. You really ought to save up and get a little pack of the test strips though so you can keep an eye on the Nitrate and Nitrite levels, as well as the ammonia. You shouldn't try to keep a tank till you buy all the right parts. So if you don't have the money now, save up so you can properly monitor and test the tank before possibly killing more fish.

tahbi 11-29-2011 08:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sanguinefox (Post 907287)
Uh, you know your problem probably is that you are putting fish too soon into the tank. When you start up a tank like a 15 gallon you really need to give the tank a chance to settle and for some of the stuff in the new water to work it's way out.

I've got a handy link for you to read: Commonly Made Mistakes When Starting a New Aquarium

What you should do is give your tank at least a week with a starter small fish to help the tank cycle. But what really helps is if you know someone who has a good clean established freshwater tank. Get a small plastic container, and get some of their substrate, and the water. Bring it home, put it into the tank. This will help add beneficial bacteria and speed up the cycle. When I switched from my old tank to my new one I carried over water and some of it's substrate and the tank cycled rather quickly.

EDIT: One last thing, some pet stores like Petsmart will actually test your water for free. So take it to the pet store in a small container and ask them to test it. They can tell you right off if something is off with the levels. You really ought to save up and get a little pack of the test strips though so you can keep an eye on the Nitrate and Nitrite levels, as well as the ammonia. You shouldn't try to keep a tank till you buy all the right parts. So if you don't have the money now, save up so you can properly monitor and test the tank before possibly killing more fish.

Thank you SanguineFox. I once started a 10g the same way I did this tank and my fish were fine so I didn't think this would happen. Do you know of any cheap but good test kits that come with everything in them?

Sanguinefox 11-29-2011 09:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tahbi (Post 907337)
Thank you SanguineFox. I once started a 10g the same way I did this tank and my fish were fine so I didn't think this would happen. Do you know of any cheap but good test kits that come with everything in them?

Well I know Wal-mart carries a cheap canister filled to brim with Test Trips by Jungle but I don't really know how good they are. Better than nothing I suppose. Jungle Labs Quick Dip Water Test Kits Ammonia 25 Count

What you should do is pair that up with this: Live Meter Master Fresh Water Test Kit - Water Conditioners - Fish - PetSmart

Yes I know it is pricey at 15.99 but it will last you a full 6 months, and it keeps track of Ammonia, and PH, and Temp. I highly recommend it. It's pretty accurate and it is what I have in my 55 gallon.

But if that is out of your range you could get this: Mardel Live NH3 Ammonia Monitor - 3 Pack - Water Conditioners - Fish - PetSmart

Keeps an eye on your Ammonia at least for 5.99 and lasts for several months.

tahbi 11-29-2011 09:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sanguinefox (Post 907352)
Well I know Wal-mart carries a cheap canister filled to brim with Test Trips by Jungle but I don't really know how good they are. Better than nothing I suppose. Jungle Labs Quick Dip Water Test Kits Ammonia 25 Count

What you should do is pair that up with this: Live Meter Master Fresh Water Test Kit - Water Conditioners - Fish - PetSmart

Yes I know it is pricey at 15.99 but it will last you a full 6 months, and it keeps track of Ammonia, and PH, and Temp. I highly recommend it. It's pretty accurate and it is what I have in my 55 gallon.

But if that is out of your range you could get this: Mardel Live NH3 Ammonia Monitor - 3 Pack - Water Conditioners - Fish - PetSmart

Keeps an eye on your Ammonia at least for 5.99 and lasts for several months.

Oh thank you! I will try to get the kit from Petsmart asap.

Sanguinefox 11-29-2011 09:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tahbi (Post 907362)
Oh thank you! I will try to get the kit from Petsmart asap.

You are welcome. Be sure to keep us all updated.

tahbi 11-30-2011 02:47 AM

UPDATE:


My betta (named Wolfe) is still in his cup. Every few minutes he'll swim around a bit. It looks like he wants out but I'm reluctant to add him back to the tank. He comes for air whenever he needs to. I'm hopeful he'll make it.

The little black catfish (no name) is laying on his side in the tank. Whenever I check on him he'll be in different spots of the tank, and only once just a minute ago did I see him swim a little bit on his side. He seems to be breathing normal. I don't have any containers to put him in unfortunately.

tahbi 11-30-2011 05:09 PM

UPDATE 2

I'm extremely happy to say my betta is back to normal! (: He's swimming around in his cup and is no longer floating on his side. I tried feeding him 1 food pellet but he didn't eat it. Should I put him back in the tank or wait?

The catfish survived the night but is still laying on his side. He tries to swim every so often. His breathing has gotten faster.

Calmwaters 11-30-2011 06:07 PM

Do a water change of half the water and see if that helps you should also add prime its a liquid that detoxifies the ammonia that is more than likely killing your fish. Add the prime every 24 hours until the tank is cycled. Personally I would not trust the test strips as they are very unreliable instead get the prime and save your money for an API master test kit they are about $30.00 but last a really long time. When you do the water change make sure the new water is the same temp as the water in the tank. Also do you have a heater in your tank the fish are tropical and need warm water.

ETA I just relized that you are the one I have been talking about plants with I really think your best bet would be a water change and as many plants as you can get with the money you have.

tahbi 11-30-2011 06:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Calmwaters (Post 908181)
Do a water change of half the water and see if that helps you should also add prime its a liquid that detoxifies the ammonia that is more than likely killing your fish. Add the prime every 24 hours until the tank is cycled. Personally I would not trust the test strips as they are very unreliable instead get the prime and save your money for an API master test kit they are about $30.00 but last a really long time. When you do the water change make sure the new water is the same temp as the water in the tank. Also do you have a heater in your tank the fish are tropical and need warm water.

ETA I just relized that you are the one I have been talking about plants with I really think your best bet would be a water change and as many plants as you can get with the money you have.


Thanks again for the advice Calmwaters! Yes I have a heater that came with the tank. It's adjustable and I put it to the top degree which is 82 F and it's been staying that same temp since yesterday night. I'm thinking about lowering it a little though because that seems a bit much?

I'll change the water and get as many plants as possible when I get the money.


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