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MagicWings 03-27-2012 12:05 AM

Day 3 of Cycle - Dead Fish
 
Hi guys,

This is what I'm dealing with... I have a 10 gal tank, with a heater, charcoal filter (your regular filter), gravel, a bubble wall, and one live plant. This tank has only been set up for 3 days.

This is my "Fish Diary" to keep track of trying to cycle. I'm using the API Freshwater Master Test Kit and Prime to condition the water. No salt, no other chemicals. The only change in the water has been temperature... we had a really chilly night last night and despite the heater, the temperature in the tank did drop. Everything stayed in the green, but it did go down by a few degrees while I was sleeping. I'm thinking I'll have to move the heater.

Day One - March 24, 2012
No Fish

Ammonia - 0.25-0.50 ppm
Nitrite - 0 ppm
Nitrate - 0 ppm
pH - 7.4

Day Two - March 25, 2012
2 Tetras added

Day Three - March 26, 2012
“Bacteria Bloom”, cloudy water
Fish seem stressed, did not eat
While at work, both fish seem to have died

Ammonia - 0.25-0.50 ppm (closer to 0.25 ppm)
Nitrite - 0 ppm
Nitrate - 0 ppm
pH - 7.4

I say "seem to have died" because I can't tell for sure. I'm about 75% sure they've passed, but every so often I think I see the gills moving on at least one of them. But they're definitely not swimming. I have them scooped up in the net (inside the water) so they dont get stuck under anything.

Any thoughts on why they died so suddenly? I know cycling a tank can be very hard on the fish you use to do it with and it's not recommended... but nothing really seemed to change that I can tell. I've heard of using a chunk of shrimp and letting it rot in your tank to feed the bacteria... if my fish have passed, should I use them like the shrimp idea and ... leave them in there?

Thanks in advance.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...g?t=1332719546

Boredomb 03-27-2012 01:02 AM

I not sure why your tetras "died"? Your Ammiona is not that high that it should have killed them in a day. A bacteria bloom won't hurt the fish. So my question is what is the temp set at? You said it dropped a few degrees over night. I wouldn't think that would be a problem and fish should be use to it at night to a point as long as the set point isnt too low to begin with. Also how did you introduce the fish to the tank?

MagicWings 03-27-2012 01:16 AM

The temperature in the tank is around 78-79 F... it probably dropped to about 74 F or so overnight.

I introduced them by floating the bag and every 20 or so minutes, pouring some of the bag water into a bowl and scooping some of my tank water into the bag to replace what I took out. All told I probably spent about an hour and a half switching out the water. The fish were doing fine when they first went in.

Boredomb 03-27-2012 01:26 AM

Do you know what kind of tetras you got? The number from day 3 are those after you found your fish not moving? I kinda at a lose here but we'll figure it out if not some one else will. Could anything have gotten into your tank? I know you said you got Prime is there a chance it got left out of the water?

Boredomb 03-27-2012 01:28 AM

Oh and I wouldn't think 4 difference at night would be enough to do harm like this. I have had more of a temp difference during a water change and my fish didn't seem to be affect.by it.

Byron 03-27-2012 11:20 AM

It sounds like something toxic in the water. Ammonia would cause the behaviour mentioned, but like others I think this was rather sudden. Knowing the tetra species might suggest something.

MagicWings 03-27-2012 11:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Boredomb (Post 1026282)
Do you know what kind of tetras you got? The number from day 3 are those after you found your fish not moving? I kinda at a lose here but we'll figure it out if not some one else will. Could anything have gotten into your tank? I know you said you got Prime is there a chance it got left out of the water?

Yes, they're Serpae Tetra's.

The numbers are after I found them, yes. Before I left for work they seemed a bit stressed and I wanted to do a 10-15% water change and/or test the water perimeters, but I didn't have enough time to... and then when I got home (about 8.5 hours later), they were dead.

No, I absolutely did not leave the Prime out. The only possibility with the Prime is that I may have put a bit too much but I've used Prime in the past and put too much on accident and it wasn't an issue.

Everything I used for the tank was new bought and rinsed thoroughly in cold water before I used it. Except the physical tank, it was used previously but I cleaned it with water only and a bunch of paper towels.

We had another cold night and the temperature in the house dropped again. The heater did come on but it doesn't seem to be heating enough, I'll either have to move it or adjust the settings some.

Now that they have died, how should I proceed with Cycling the tank?

Should I leave the 2 tetras in there? Should I drain all the water out and start over? Should I remove the tetras? I cannot buy pure ammonia, strong chemicals like that are not a friend to me (I can't do much with bleach either). The smell alone generally makes me sick... I do have the one plant (its a primrose something)...

I knew that these tetras would probably not survive (I wanted them to, though), but I didn't expect them to die so quickly, so I'm worried it wasn't the cycling process that did it.. which is why I'm worried even if I cycle properly, I'll have some sort of fish disease in there that killed these two guys.

Boredomb 03-27-2012 12:04 PM

Well if it was me I would drain.the tank since.it isn't cycled anyways. Fill it back up and plant the tank like crazy with enough live plants you can add a small amount of fish from day one. You will not have a noticeable cycle that way as long as you plant the tank well enough and don't go crazy with the fish. I did this with my tank following the same guide lines.

Byron 03-27-2012 02:29 PM

I think we are right to suspect ammonia poisoning from cycling. I would have expected the plant to help, but now that you've named it as a Primrose it may not be aquatic and thus of little help.

Lots of plants, especially floating which are fast growing, even some stem plants.

A caution on the Serpae Tetra, this is not a good community fish. And a 10g is too small for them. Have a read of the profile, it explains the need for a group of 8+ in a 30g.

Browse the profiles, you may get ideas of suitable fish.

MagicWings 03-27-2012 10:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron (Post 1026695)
I think we are right to suspect ammonia poisoning from cycling. I would have expected the plant to help, but now that you've named it as a Primrose it may not be aquatic and thus of little help.

Lots of plants, especially floating which are fast growing, even some stem plants.

A caution on the Serpae Tetra, this is not a good community fish. And a 10g is too small for them. Have a read of the profile, it explains the need for a group of 8+ in a 30g.

Browse the profiles, you may get ideas of suitable fish.

Not aquatic? I bought it as a potted plant, which was fully submerged at the store. I have it planted in the gravel, completely under the water.

I'm not overly concerned about keeping Serpae Tetras... I never planned to in the first place, I got them to cycle the tank. I plan to keep Guppies.

I'm mostly concerned about this part here. I got one opinion, but I would like others.

Now that they have died, how should I proceed with Cycling the tank?

Should I leave the 2 tetras in there as food for the bacteria? Should I drain all the water out and start over? Should I remove the dead tetras and pursue some other form of cycling? I cannot buy pure ammonia, strong chemicals like that are not a friend to me (I can't do much with bleach either). The smell alone generally makes me sick... I do have the one plant (its a primrose something)...

I knew that these tetras would probably not survive (I wanted them to, though), but I didn't expect them to die so quickly, so I'm worried it wasn't the cycling process that did it.. which is why I'm worried even if I cycle properly, I'll have some sort of fish disease in there that killed these two guys.


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