Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (
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irving216 01-05-2012 09:36 PM

need help
im new here so if this is the wrong section im sorry. im also some what new to aquariums, my father used to own a aquarium store in the 70s and has been trying to help me out but even he too is stumped. i set up my tank about 2 weeks ago now. my girl had bought me a half moon betta for christmas from petco, which is a horrible place i think we all know this but, it was actually in pretty descent shape (pretty ugly as it was white bodied with red fins) but nevertheless it was healthy. i went out to petco the day after (as its the closest place to me) and bought a 15g starters aquarium because it came with a filter and heater which the ones for my 55 had broken. i bought a common pleco, a chinese algae eater, and 2 snails, one black? and a gold inca. ALL FROM PETCO but all seemed to be healthy. no i set my new tank up with live plants, a bannana plant and 2 others which i cant remember and my reciept does not tell me. the first 2 nights everything was fine. my ph and everythign was perfect. then the 3rd night my snails died. (btw, my chinese algae eater crushed himself with a rock went back and got a bumble bee catfish and a few red and blue tetras (cardinals?) and 4 fancy guppees) so my snails died, i brought them back got new ones, they died in one night. i went to petsmart, bought a blue mystery snail, and another fancy guppee, because all 4 of mine had died (2 to the filter) also that same day i made a stop at a actual aquarium and bought real fancy guppes, including my new favorite the snakeskin guppee which went freaking missing on me -.- my main frustration is tonight i lost 2 betta (bought 2 females for my male to mate with, almost worked, he started making his nest) the first one, from petsmart was perfectly fine. the second one i didnt notice until after it was too late had blue water from petsmart, which my father said normally means he has some sort of medicine in the water. but she looked fine, and got aquainted into my tank pretty nicely. she was the first to go, but as she was in there, they all started acting a little sluggish and almost sick like. then today, the other two died, yesterday she did, now they did. last night after i took the first to die out, i did a water change thinking ok maybe my no2 got a lil high from it being a new tank. welt today i lost the last two, in very short span of time too. so anyways my problem is (and i apoligise for going all over about my story) that i have lost 3 snails, a black, gold inca, and a blue mystery. 4 or 5 guppees, and 3 betta. what is the issue? i tested my ph with a API PH test kid and got 7.0 (a water drop test that changed the waters color) also tested with Tetra Easy Strips 6in1, NO3- 0-safe, NO2-0-safe, Hardness- 75-soft, ALK.-between 40 and 80- low-moderate, and PH 6.8-7.2 (so probablly a even 7.0, can someone please help me? i mean my pleco and bumble bee catfish seem perfectly at home, oh and i have a glass cat, which also hasnt had any problems. my other 2 tetras are fine, my guppees seem fine up untill they drop... or float in this case. im pulling my hair out at this.

irving216 01-05-2012 10:27 PM

also, my temp is at the higher end of 79, about 79.7 or so. :/ i made a deal with my mother that if i can take care of this and make my own stand, we could set up the 55 again. iv been trying to get that going for years now.

Maxillius 01-06-2012 02:20 PM

You should Cycle your aquarium first :)
here is how you do it! :)
after you are sure it is cycled make sure you add fish slowly no more then 1 or 2 at a time and give it at least a week or 2 before getting other fish!
you should also make sure you don't buy too much fish for your tank and make sure the fish will not outgrow your tank and also to make sure that if its an active swimmer it has the place to do so :) also hiding spots if you have aggresive or spawning fish.In all if you read all the sticky you should get on your way to a healthy and thriving aquarium.

irving216 01-06-2012 02:49 PM

according to that though, the cycle is done once your nitrate spikes, my nitrate spiked 4 days ago, i do a water change and then my betta died, other then that though its all been fine. am i in the clear? or were the betta deaths a warning?

irving216 01-06-2012 03:02 PM
my tank, i have little caves i made more in the back.
my pleco, he never ever leaves that heater any idea why? and hes chilling with my bumble bee catfish

Byron 01-06-2012 05:32 PM

Welcome to TFK forum.

There are some problems here, so take a step back. I agree with the earlier post that the tank is not cycled; cycling takes 2-8 weeks, depending upon several factors. Any fish in the tank during this time will be severely stressed by the process, and some will not live through it. You have live plants, which helps greatly; but the fish must be few at first to let things stabilize.

Some of those plants I can see are not true aquatic and will eventually die; why some chain stores sell these I don't know. If you can, some floating plants would do wonders: both as plants assimilating ammonia, and to provide cover for the fish. The pleco and cat hiding at the top is likely because these fish prefer dark environments, and being in what is to them a bare tank is stressful. A largish chunk of bogwood would also help.

There is also a problem with the fish selection, for a 15g tank there are fish that will not work together. First issue is water parameters; the hardness and pH suggests soft slightly acidic water--this is ideal for tetra, but not guppies. The Chinese Algae Eater will be a real problem as it matures, i would return it if you can. We have fish profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar at the top of the page. Most of these fish are included, have a read of their requirements.


irving216 01-06-2012 10:07 PM

which plants arent aquatic? the bamboo? the chinease algae eater died, he commited suicide between a rock and the glass lol. thats how i got the tetras, they gave me store credit and my gf picked them out, i dont really even like them truthfully. and by floating plants do you mean pull some of my plants out of the gravel and let them float? because i have a couple doing that, i wanted some kinda of plant that would grow the reach of the tank like combomba but i cant seem to find any. as far as cycling, like i said i hit nitrate spike 3 or 4 days ago now, and did a water change the day after. should i be in the clear now? or is it still cycling more? if so, is there any way i can speed it up? iv seen bacteria in a bottle bs, is that any good? i really feel like i screwed up and just went thickheaded on this tank because of how fast i went into.

Byron 01-07-2012 12:09 PM

The fish are obviously under stress, going from their behaviours. As I mentioned previously, get a chunk of wood (the catfish will feel much safer under this) and some floating plants. Floating plants are those that naturally live floating. There are several in our profiles. Many stem plants also work left floating.

Seachems Stability and Tetras SafeStart are both reliable live bacteria supplements.

irving216 01-08-2012 02:02 PM

so i went out today, bought some bogwood, the tetra safestart, and a hornwort plant, as they didnt have any atual floating plant. i also bought a tetra ammonia testing kit, just did the test and i have 1.0 ppm ammonia, and ill have to go bak and read again but im pretty sure its supposed to be .5? or less? but my new question lies in, the safestart says to just pour the whole bottle in for a 15g and then put in fish. should i do a 100% waterhange before i do it then? that way i have to take out the fish or just dump it with the fish?

afremont 01-08-2012 06:51 PM

Certain water conditioners (dechlorinators) that claim to make ammonia and nitrites safe can interfere with the Tetra Safe Start by starving it for up to 48 hours after being put in the water. Prime is one of these, same goes for Amquel. They're great products, you just don't want them mixed with the Tetra Safe Start when you first start using it. I'd just dump it in with the water the way it is, it should reduce your ammonia and your nitrItes to 0 within 24 hours and if your lucky your tank will be instantly cycled. I've found TSS to work very well for starting a new tank and for fixing a nitrIte spiking mini cycle. The key on that is to be sure and have the ammonia below 2ppm and the nitrItes kinda low as well by water changes. Either of these being too high can cause the beneficial bacteria to stop working since too much ammonia or too much nitrItes is bad for them too. I try to condition new water 24 hours in advance and let it sit so the Prime doesn't start starving the bacteria. I run an air stone in it the whole time as well.

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