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For some background info, I have had this current tank running since January. Up until just a couple of days ago, it had 3 scissor-tail rasboras. It also used to have a betta fish, but he died a while ago so since then it has just been those three. The tank is 54L (~14g) and also has live plants in it.

I have had a problem with snails in the tank, so I decided to go to the aquarium to get some clown loaches, as I found out they are a good option to help manage the infestation. While I was there, I also decided to buy some other fish, which included a discus fish, 3 small fish which I can't remember the name, along with the 2 original loaches. In hindsight, the shop shouldn't have sold me these, because 1, the tank isn't big enough, and 2, discus in particular are obviously extremely hard to care for and I am not quite that experienced.

When I got home, I acclimatised the fish according to the directions from the aquarium, then put them all in. However, I then began to do some research on my new fish as they were spur of the moment purchases (another mistake), and realised the discus should not be by itself. I then found another aquarium that specialises in discus fish who sold me 4 juveniles , and put them in there too. For a few days, everything was fine- the fish were all happy and eating well, moving about, etc.

Then comes the trouble. One by one, the fish all began to die very suddenly. First went the unknown breed of fish, then 3 discus fish followed shortly after. Even one of the originals, who have survived a lot worse water conditions, died pretty fast. I worked out there was not enough oxygen in the tank, as I didn't even have a water pump in there (I now have one thankfully). But still, another rasbora has just died, my last discus fish are still going to the surface of the water, the clown loaches have lost their colour and are at the bottom of the tank, and the two unknown fish are glass surfing.

I'm just not quite sure what I have done so wrong to kill so many fish all at once. I have checked the water levels numerous times and the only thing that seems to be out of balance is the ammonia levels, which I am trying to get ahold of currently. When the fish first started dying, the pH was also a little high, but that has since been fixed and the fish are still unwell, despite me trying to address all the problems. Have I missed a step? Is there something I don't quite understand? Any advice is really appreciated as I am worried to go to sleep as I fear all my fish will be dead in the morning, which isn't a great omen on New Year's Day.
Thanks
 

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One thing that I can think of that are the problem one tank is way too small. A top is try not to over feed so there is not too much ammonia that gets caused. But it is ok everyone makes mistakes and you learn from them so there is a start. You can also try to do lots of water changes maybe like 25 percent water charges. But now you know and make sure to study before you get the fish you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
One thing that I can think of that are the problem one tank is way too small. A top is try not to over feed so there is not too much ammonia that gets caused. But it is ok everyone makes mistakes and you learn from them so there is a start. You can also try to do lots of water changes maybe like 25 percent water charges. But now you know and make sure to study before you get the fish you want.
I agree, in hindsight, the shop shouldn't have sold me that many fish, but now I know... Problem is, the fish are still dying- I lost another 3 yesterday, and fish still aren't looking great. I'm keeping an eye on the ammonia, doing water changes if it goes past 0.5ppm, and also testing every 24 hours to make sure :)
Thanks for your help!
 

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For some background info, I have had this current tank running since January. Up until just a couple of days ago, it had 3 scissor-tail rasboras. It also used to have a betta fish, but he died a while ago so since then it has just been those three. The tank is 54L (~14g) and also has live plants in it.

I have had a problem with snails in the tank, so I decided to go to the aquarium to get some clown loaches, as I found out they are a good option to help manage the infestation. While I was there, I also decided to buy some other fish, which included a discus fish, 3 small fish which I can't remember the name, along with the 2 original loaches. In hindsight, the shop shouldn't have sold me these, because 1, the tank isn't big enough, and 2, discus in particular are obviously extremely hard to care for and I am not quite that experienced.

When I got home, I acclimatised the fish according to the directions from the aquarium, then put them all in. However, I then began to do some research on my new fish as they were spur of the moment purchases (another mistake), and realised the discus should not be by itself. I then found another aquarium that specialises in discus fish who sold me 4 juveniles , and put them in there too. For a few days, everything was fine- the fish were all happy and eating well, moving about, etc.

Then comes the trouble. One by one, the fish all began to die very suddenly. First went the unknown breed of fish, then 3 discus fish followed shortly after. Even one of the originals, who have survived a lot worse water conditions, died pretty fast. I worked out there was not enough oxygen in the tank, as I didn't even have a water pump in there (I now have one thankfully). But still, another rasbora has just died, my last discus fish are still going to the surface of the water, the clown loaches have lost their colour and are at the bottom of the tank, and the two unknown fish are glass surfing.

I'm just not quite sure what I have done so wrong to kill so many fish all at once. I have checked the water levels numerous times and the only thing that seems to be out of balance is the ammonia levels, which I am trying to get ahold of currently. When the fish first started dying, the pH was also a little high, but that has since been fixed and the fish are still unwell, despite me trying to address all the problems. Have I missed a step? Is there something I don't quite understand? Any advice is really appreciated as I am worried to go to sleep as I fear all my fish will be dead in the morning, which isn't a great omen on New Year's Day.
Thanks
I read this and thought it was a joke. The main problem here is ignorance. It was completely irresponsible of you to endanger the lives of so many fish when all it took was a google search.

The only things you can really do now is either upgrade your tank, or give away your discus; they need around 50 gallons of water at the least.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I read this and thought it was a joke. The main problem here is ignorance. It was completely irresponsible of you to endanger the lives of so many fish when all it took was a google search.

The only things you can really do now is either upgrade your tank, or give away your discus; they need around 50 gallons of water at the least.
I did a google search the moment I got home which was how I discovered the issue in the first place. I know I should have done more research before getting fish that are hard to keep, but the person at my store specifically told me that they weren't hard to keep, which obviously isn't true.

Your response doesn't actually provide me with much information, except for the fact that I should be upset with myself, which you'll be glad that I am extremely. I would like to learn about what actually went wrong in the tank- was it simply overcrowding? If that's the case, then I know for next time, but if it's something else then I would like to know so I don't make the same mistake again.
 

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I did a google search the moment I got home which was how I discovered the issue in the first place. I know I should have done more research before getting fish that are hard to keep, but the person at my store specifically told me that they weren't hard to keep, which obviously isn't true.

Your response doesn't actually provide me with much information, except for the fact that I should be upset with myself, which you'll be glad that I am extremely. I would like to learn about what actually went wrong in the tank- was it simply overcrowding? If that's the case, then I know for next time, but if it's something else then I would like to know so I don't make the same mistake again.
Fish produce bio load, and if there isn't enough space in the tank, the load will quickly pollute it. This will spike the ammonia, painfully burning and poisoning your fish. If you have a bigger tank that would accommodate that amount of fish, the waste would spread out and fix itself, but a 14G tank is nowhere near enough space, even for just 1 discus fish.(which you would know from just one google search!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Fish produce bio load, and if there isn't enough space in the tank, the load will quickly pollute it. This will spike the ammonia, painfully burning and poisoning your fish. If you have a bigger tank that would accommodate that amount of fish, the waste would spread out and fix itself, but a 14G tank is nowhere near enough space, even for just 1 discus fish.(which you would know from just one google search!)
The ammonia actually wasn't that bad, not enough to poison the fish I've had for years that have lived in worse conditions than that. And yes, again, I did a google search, which is how I found out that what the guy told me was false. I cannot blame myself for following an 'expert' opinion because I didn't know any better and he did.
 

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The ammonia actually wasn't that bad, not enough to poison the fish I've had for years that have lived in worse conditions than that. And yes, again, I did a google search, which is how I found out that what the guy told me was false. I cannot blame myself for following an 'expert' opinion because I didn't know any better and he did.
I’m guessing you have figured this out, but always try to get a second opinion. Some people are idiots, most are misinformed nice people, and a few are trolls.
Do you happen to know your other parameters? Could those be obtained?
I read this and thought it was a joke. The main problem here is ignorance. It was completely irresponsible of you to endanger the lives of so many fish when all it took was a google search.

The only things you can really do now is either upgrade your tank, or give away your discus; they need around 50 gallons of water at the least.
And please be polite. Everything you’ve learned, some one had to tell you once.
Ignorance is only a problem for those who ignore it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I’m guessing you have figured this out, but always try to get a second opinion. Some people are idiots, most are misinformed nice people, and a few are trolls.
Do you happen to know your other parameters? Could those be obtained?

And please be polite. Everything you’ve learned, some one had to tell you once.
Ignorance is only a problem for those who ignore it.
Yeah, I definitely will from now on! As for the other parameters, I think the pH may have also been too high for the more sensitive fish, it was sitting at around 7. Nitrites are 0, and nitrates are 5.0ppm.

Is it possible that because the original fish just weren't used to changes in the water from other fish that they were shocked and died as a result? I think next time I will a) not put so many fish in and b) the fish I do put in, I'll do it at a gradual rate. But if you have any other advice it would be so so appreciated 🙏
 

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The ammonia actually wasn't that bad, not enough to poison the fish I've had for years that have lived in worse conditions than that. And yes, again, I did a google search, which is how I found out that what the guy told me was false. I cannot blame myself for following an 'expert' opinion because I didn't know any better and he did.
Any amount of ammonia above 0 is bad.

One of the unfortunate things we all learn is that you cannot trust fish store employees.
 

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Yeah, I definitely will from now on! As for the other parameters, I think the pH may have also been too high for the more sensitive fish, it was sitting at around 7. Nitrites are 0, and nitrates are 5.0ppm.

Is it possible that because the original fish just weren't used to changes in the water from other fish that they were shocked and died as a result? I think next time I will a) not put so many fish in and b) the fish I do put in, I'll do it at a gradual rate. But if you have any other advice it would be so so appreciated 🙏
ph is excellent, maybe even a little low. I think you have learned a lot, and your plans for next time are good.
 

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For you answer as to what probably went wrong based on the information you have given it sounds like there was probably some aggression issues with the discus coupled with high CO2 in the tank leading to causalities from either damage from the aggression or suffocation or both
 
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