Okay, I REALLY dont know what I'm doing and fish are dead. - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-23-2007, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, I REALLY dont know what I'm doing and fish are dead.

Yeah I know I'm gonna catch some grief here but I'm a dog owner, never had a fish in my life. I moved into my new house last month where the previous owner built a large aquarium into the wall of the living room. Looks great. But aside from feeding them, I don't know what the hell I'm going and they're starting to die

Heres what I know. the fish are "African Cichlid's"

There are 5 in there, well, now 2


I walked in and one jumped out of the tank the other day on the floor. Last night one was dead on the bottom of the tank. I just got home from work and another one is dead on the bottom of the tank. I took the dead one out last night, and already took this dead one. The tank is starting to collect algae too.

I did a PH test it came out about 7.8 whatever that means. The water is clear though.

The filter system is pretty big, it brings the water down through a filter pad, than through a bunch of plastic "balls" than through foam, than returns it to the tank, I know nothing else about it. The water stays around 78 degrees by itself. I seem to be losing alot of water. It's not leaking but every couple days I have to add water. I'm using some dechlorinated water here that he left for me to add to it. I'm almost out of it and don't know if I can use bottled water or not. My house is on wellwater and I don't want to put that in there.

I really would like to learn about this and get it under control and maintained. I'm thinking I might need to change the water. I definitely need to drain it, get in there and clean up all the algae thats starting to grow on everything. But what should I use to fill it back up with that wont kill them. Would the remaining fish die if I put them in a fish bowl for a day or two while I cleaned up this tank ?? I would like to put some more fish in there too but one thing at a time. Thanks alot for any help

CLUELESS
Gimme a break, I'm a dog guy
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-23-2007, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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okay I saw this in a stickie let me add what I can

1. Size of aquarium (# of gallons)
45x20x18 and it's full if that can help determine gallons

2. Is your aquarium set up freshwater or saltwater?
Freshwater

3. How long the aquarium has been setup
Unknown

4. What fish and how many are in the aquarium (species are important to know)
Was 5 now 2 African Cichlids

5. Are there live plants in the aquarium?
They look plastic, dont laugh haha

6. What make/model filter are you using?
Unknown, Description above, it says nothing on it that I can see

7. Are you using a CO2 unit?
no

8. Does your aquarium receive natural sunlight at any given part of the day?
It gets some sunlight for a couple of hours

9. When did you perform your last water exchange, and how much water was changed?
never

10.How often and what foods do you feed your fish?
Omega One Small Floating Pellets for Cichlid

11.Is your aquarium light incandescent or fluorescent and how often is it kept on? Fluorescent, about 8-10 hrs a day

12.What specific concerns bring you here at this time?
dead fish
13. Water are your water test results for:
pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate?
No tests except PH, how do I test the rest ?

CLUELESS
Gimme a break, I'm a dog guy
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-23-2007, 09:11 PM
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Hello-

I'm a dog girl so I know what you mean. It took me a while to get the hang of it. You are going to get many replies so get ready!

First I can tell you if you have fish jumping out of a tank, that's really bad. It's usually a sign that the water is VERY high in ammonia, which is toxic to fish.

You need to get a liquid test kit and test for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. Post your results Here are 2 great links to learn about a new tank, and the nitrogen cycle. That is Aquarium101. Once you've mastered that, you can figure it all out! :)

http://www.bestfish.com/breakin.html

http://www.bestfish.com/newtank3.html

Also buy some water conditioner, just a few drops (read the directions on the bottle) will immediately neutralize the chlorine in tap water. Yes, fish will die if you leave them in a bucket.

Depending on how large this tank is, and if you have the resources, you might want to have a local fish store (LFS) come in and just give you the "low-down" on the tank, maybe set-up and explain how to care for it. It will be money well spent-less expensive than replacing dying fish.

Best of luck to you!

Susan

Pardon the pun, but I'm hooked!
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post #4 of 12 Old 04-23-2007, 09:18 PM
You may want to get in contact with your local fish store. Many will come and take a look at your situation. At least a good one may offer.They can at least check your water if you take in a sample. Give it a try.
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-23-2007, 09:29 PM
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After reading your second post, one more note here- if you have never changed the water at all, you might want to get yourself a vacuum siphon and do an immediate 20% water change (using tap and water conditioner to remove chlorine). That will hopefully save the remaining fish, while trying to get this figure out and back on track. Water changes should be done every 1-2 weeks depending on your bio-load.

Susan

Pardon the pun, but I'm hooked!
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-24-2007, 06:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andyandsue
After reading your second post, one more note here- if you have never changed the water at all, you might want to get yourself a vacuum siphon and do an immediate 20% water change (using tap and water conditioner to remove chlorine). That will hopefully save the remaining fish, while trying to get this figure out and back on track. Water changes should be done every 1-2 weeks depending on your bio-load.
can I use the gallons of bottled water from the store and not use conditioner ?

My house is on well water with a salt/charcoal treatment system with ZERO chlorine. I'd like to not experiment and put that right in there

CLUELESS
Gimme a break, I'm a dog guy
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post #7 of 12 Old 04-24-2007, 07:17 AM
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I don't see why you can't use bottled water, but some one here once said that it can be inconsistent, so I think that can be an issue. You may want to test each bottle? Search the threads and you might a more complete answer.

I used to have well water (before I had tanks) and I can't imagine what a pain that would've been. You can always test your well water, but I can what you mean about it being risky.

Susan

Pardon the pun, but I'm hooked!
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post #8 of 12 Old 04-24-2007, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
5. Are there live plants in the aquarium?
They look plastic, dont laugh haha
Most cichlids will rip plants to shreds, so it's most likely that they will be plastic.

My advice would be get into contact with your lfs and see if they will come and try and sort the matter out. Also, is it possible you contact the person who lived there before? He/she could maybe give you some advice on how they cared for the tank.

I agree that your tank is llikely to be very high in amonia if you have never done a water change. Best to try and remove 20%-50% of the water just now until you can get results from a test kit. 50% seems a lot but if there's a high concentration of ammonia, it will remove it quicker. Fish can die quickly from amonia poisoning.

I hope your remaining 2 fish will make it.
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post #9 of 12 Old 04-24-2007, 11:55 AM
You have a sump filter (wet/dry). Try to stay away from test strips. And if I did my math right then your tank is 60 gallons.
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-24-2007, 11:57 AM
And tanks do evaporate alot. To dechlorinate: put water in a bucket, add dechlorination chemicals (at your local fish supplier) and leave over-night. Then you can add that to your tank.
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