Hi, well I'm very new to this forum and to fish keeping...
Here are my stats..
- Tank size: 84 litres/18.48 gallons
- Using Master Test Kit by API: Nitrites: 0ppm, Nitrates: 2.5ppm, Ammonia: 0.1-0.15ppm (The colour doesn't quite match 0 or 0.25, it's in-between), PH: Somewhere between 7.4 and 7.6 (It's hard to tell).
- Freshwater (I don't know what brackish water is).
- The aquarium has been set up for less than a month, I would say 3 weeks.
- To begin with I had 10 neon tetra, 6 glow light tetras, 6 rummy nose tetras, 2 algae eaters and 2 fancy guppies. NOW I have 6 neon tetras, 3 rummy nose tetras, 6 glow light tetras, 1 algae eater (not sure what exact kind he is).
- Quarantine...Well the neon tetras and the glow lights were the first fish in the tank, no quarantine for them. I didn't quarantine the others, though I wish I had even though I'm not sure it would have made a difference.
- The temperature in the tank has always been between 24 and 26.5 Celcius/76.5 - 80 Fahrenheit. Temperature did go down slightly during water changes due to new water being colder.
- There are live plants in the tank 8-9 plants.
- The filter I am using came with the tank, it's a "VitaTech internal filter", that's all I know about it. I clean the filter once a week or so with water from the tank, which I obviously dump afterward.
- Only other equipment I'm using is an air pump.
- The tank receives some sunlight to the smallest side of the tank. I live in Ireland so not too much sun shine about!
- I did the last (and first) water change 3 days ago. I did a 24 litre water change which is a little over 25% change. I did vacuum the substrate. Fish have not been in the tank for too long and the parameters were all fine so didn't see any need to do more changes.
- I started off with just feeding the fish flakes once a day. Now I feed twice a day, once at 9am and then again at 6pm. Bought "Complete Sinking Food" today to try on sucker fish.
- The only treatment I have used so far is "Anti White Spot" by "Interpet". First dose was today.
Ok, here's my story, it will probably be long but I want to provide the most detail I can so I know exactly where I went wrong (which could be pretty much everything I did).
Ok. I got the tank. I first rinsed the substrate with water and put it in, filled it with water, put in the filter, started that and put in the thermometer. I then put in some starter solution my sister gave me for removing chlorine and making the water healthy in general. I wanted to start the nitrogen cycle with fish food. I researched it and I got some many mixed instructions for the nitrogen cycle. Some said use food, some said don't. So I just left it and let it stand for a week.
After a week, I bought plants and 2 ornaments. I put the plants in, leaving them in the pot as I didn't know what else to do with them. I rinsed the ornaments and put them in. I let the tank stand again for a week. During the week I notice MANY tiny snails roaming around the tank. Not wanting an infestation I would fish them out with the net and feed them to my sister's turtle. There are still some left but it's not as bad as it was. I don't mind having one or two.
Seeing the snails all living happily in the tank made me think the tank was fit for living fish! I had been testing the water regularly and the parameters have always been good, very slight increase of nitrates. I wanted to get some fish so... off I went to our local pet store. I bought 10 neon tetra and 6 glow light tetras. By the next day I noticed a funny colouring on one of them. I googled it and my fish looked IDENTICAL to an image of one online with neon tetra disease... Apparently no cure so I decided it was best to kill the poor little guy and hope that the rest didn't have it. But the next day another fish showed the same thing so.. I fished him out and killed him too (This sounds so terrible). 2 days later, in the morning I found one dead. So that took me down to 7. In the mean time I had no problems with the glow lights. I watched the neon tetras for another few days, watching their colouring and their fins especially. I did notice one with frayed fins but I didn't want to kill more, just in case I was wrong.
About a week after getting these guys and after 3 dying on me, I had to go to the next county for an appointment. I didn't want to get more fish from the last place and this county had 1 shop in particular that had a very good rep. I went to the shop not intending really to buy any but I saw the rummy nose tetras. I bought 6 and while I was there I was going to get something for the ph as I thought it was a bit too high. I asked the man in the shop for something and he told me not to bother too much with the ph. He said that the fish were bred in higher pHs so they should live fine in a higher ph. So... I left the ph, still wondering should I get something... That day I also bought the 2 algae eaters. This shop quarantines the fish for 2 weeks themselves before selling so I wasn't worried about them.
I went to another shop and bought 2 fancy guppies. When I bought these, the lady in the shop took water from another tank and then threw the guppies into it. I didn't think anything of it until she handed me the bag, it was COLD!!! I was worried then that I had made a mistake, that guppies weren't tropical fish, I said nothing as I was afraid that I had made the mistake. In the car home though I remembered that they definitely were tropical fish! All the way home I was worried they'd die from shock. They didn't die.
I put these fish in the same way as I put the others in. I left the bag floating in the top of the tank until the water temperatures were the same, then released them. I did think about quarantine but I had no where to put them! I can't afford another tank as I don't work. When the guppies were in, I noticed one of them was missing an eye. I thought maybe he was missing it for a while.
I decided the next day that now I had all these fish I should do a water change, even though water parameters didn't change) so I did. While I did that I took the plants out of their pots and planted them properly in the tank. The plants have been doing really well. They are sprouting roots and are even growing new leaves.
The morning I found the one-eyed guppy dead. Two days later, the other guppy died and a neon tetra (this time is didn't look like the neon tetra disease). I was baffled. I noticed on of the sucker fish had started to move a lot less. He wasn't dead, just very still unless u poked him with the net. Later that day, he was dead.
At this point I was wondering what could possibly be wrong. Water tests were all good, they were all eating. I thought maybe they weren't getting enough oxygen at night. The plants produce oxygen during the day but produce carbon dioxide at night. I hadn't noticed any coming to the top wanting air. I changed the filter to make more air pump out of it. I also put the air pump on for 4 or 5 hours a day, especially nearer night.
Now I was down to 6 neon tetras, 1 algae eater, 6 glow lights (original number) and 6 rummy nose tetras (original number). I was very happy with the rummy nose tetras especially as they were staying in a group and swimming together and looked great. I read somewhere that the higher the temp in the water, the higher their metabolism and it was better to keep it lower. So I lowered the temp by one degree. Up until this point, I had only been feeding once a day (I had been warned that over feeding would kill them, mine were dying anyway so didn't see any harm in feeding twice a day).
Next day, rummy nose tetras were covered in white dots. It happened really quickly! Since then, 3 have died and I'm afraid the other 3 could be dead by tomorrow. I treated the water with "Interpet Anti White Spot" today and am waiting and hoping the last 3 will live.
My question to you, whoever has had the patience to read all this is. Where did I go wrong. I know I went wrong for definite with the no quarantine bit. and I probably shouldn't have gotten that many fish so soon. But as a new fish keeper, reading so many mixed articles and getting very mixed advice from family and friends, really didn't know what to do so i did what I thought was ok.
Do you think that the PH is the problem? I know it's higher than desired for these fish but they were bred in high ph.
What IS the right temperature for tetras? It seems to be different on every site and it's not mentioned in the book i have.
Could the newer fish (not the neon tetras) have died from the neon tetra disease?
Could the temperature change during the water change have caused the ICH/White spot? Or could there have been spores in the plant roots that were released when I took the plants out of the pots?
Do you think I have an oxygen problem?
Can my algae eaters survive without the sinking food and just live on algae?
How come the neon tetra disease has seemed to vanish? Was it neon tetra disease in the first place?
Why have all the glow light tetras survived through all of this and the rest of the groups have lost a few?
Could the guppy with the one eye have had a disease that killed the other or could the other have been lonely after the other one died?
Could I have my fish under too much stress?
What would you do now?
These are all questions I have in my head. I have come to realise that keeping fish is extremely difficult (I have a lot of furry animals and no fatalities there, they’re much easier keep)
I would REALLY appreciate any advice or comments (good and bad) I know I've made mistakes but I can't learn from them properly unless I know where I went wrong.
Please comment and thank you VERY much in advance.