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Hi everyone, I’m new to tropical fish and am having some serious problems with my new 20L community tank!! I only purchased the setup three days ago and spent a reasonable amount of money making sure the equipment was good following suggestions from the man in the pet shop. I was very careful to make sure that everything was setup correctly and the fish (variety of tetras, cichilids, gouramis) were introduced slowly to the tank according to the instructions I was given.

The morning after introducing my fish to the tank I woke to find that both my gouramis were dead. The tetras were hardly moving and cichilids were moving very slowly around the tank. Unfortunately all of my tetras were also dead that same evening. Today my cichilids are still alive but they are hardly moving at all. They stay in the corner of the tank and look very sick :cry:

I’m worried that I have introduced a virus or bacteria to the tank when I set it up. Everything else in the tank is fine, pH is around 6.5, temperature is kept consistently above 45 degrees, and I have an airstone to make sure the tank is well oxygenated.

Any advice is very appreciated at this point. This is my first tank and I am very annoyed that I have bacteria/virus problems already :-( I am planning to buy some new fish tomorrow but want to find out how to get rid of the bacteria/virus first!

Thanks!
 

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Hi everyone, I’m new to tropical fish and am having some serious problems with my new 20L community tank!! I only purchased the setup three days ago and spent a reasonable amount of money making sure the equipment was good following suggestions from the man in the pet shop. I was very careful to make sure that everything was setup correctly and the fish (variety of tetras, cichilids, gouramis) were introduced slowly to the tank according to the instructions I was given.

The morning after introducing my fish to the tank I woke to find that both my gouramis were dead. The tetras were hardly moving and cichilids were moving very slowly around the tank. Unfortunately all of my tetras were also dead that same evening. Today my cichilids are still alive but they are hardly moving at all. They stay in the corner of the tank and look very sick :cry:

I’m worried that I have introduced a virus or bacteria to the tank when I set it up. Everything else in the tank is fine, pH is around 6.5, temperature is kept consistently above 45 degrees, and I have an airstone to make sure the tank is well oxygenated.

Any advice is very appreciated at this point. This is my first tank and I am very annoyed that I have bacteria/virus problems already :-( I am planning to buy some new fish tomorrow but want to find out how to get rid of the bacteria/virus first!

Thanks!
What you have here is all too common....the man at the fish store neglected to tell you that you need to "condition" and age your water before you put in fish...your fish are most likely dying form ammonia poisoning.. one or two fish might be OK for a little while with daily water changes but the bio load you placed on that tank is a killer... your system needs to cycle.. and by that I mean complete the nitrogen cycle.... look it up here for a complete explanation...in short you need to have nitrifying bacteria change fish waste ( both from food and elimination) from Ammonia to nitrite then from nitrite to nitrate.... there are several methods all explained many times in these forums.. for now do a 50% water change daily ( treat the water to remove chlorine.. there are many product and every one likes something different)) and monitor your fish closely... keep feeding to a minimum or not at all.... flake food is packed with vitamins so a small amount goes a long way....sorry to be the bearer of bad news ... do some reading here... all is not lost.. there are dozens of threads here with stories just like yours...
I might add that I hope that 45 degree water temp is no F I don't know what that is in Celsius) it should be in the upper 70's F.. I keep mine at 78 F..
this is not a difficult hobby..it just takes a little understanding of what is going on in the water and how to make your tank a home... and.. nothing good happens fast...

Good luck.
 

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This makes me so angry!!! Not you (the OP) but the man at the fish store's ignourance. You still have a couple cichlids alive? Are you wanting to try to save them? Do a large water change, like at least 50%. Make sure to use aquarium conditioner!!! This will help alleviate the amount of ammonia. Do not buy any new fish-YET.

The good news is that your ph is 6.5. In a ph lower than 7 (neutral), very harmful ammonia becomes less harmful ammonium. High concentrations of ammonia tend to cause the ph to drop. I guess nature's way of protecting itself. So I don't know if your tap water is 6.5. If it's not, I would probably change all the water or most of it, can't be any worse than ammonia poisoning. (sorry, not your fault, the pet shop man's)

THEN

Go to the pet store. I live in Canada, so I don't know where you are, or what products are available to you, but try to find a product that contains "live nitrifying bacteria". One where I am would be 'Colony' or tetra "Safe Start". It can be a bit pricey, but what it is supposed to do, is instantly 'cycle' your tank. (or get your tank ready for fish).

After you read about the nitrogen cycle, (I definitely encourage you to get a good understanding of this, it will save you a lot of heartache) you will understand better what the live nitrifying bacteria does. Bear in mind, it's essentially 'tank cycling in a bottle' and it is not as good as doing it the proper way (as you will read) but I am trying to help you save your poor cichlids.
 

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Hi everyone, I’m new to tropical fish and am having some serious problems with my new 20L community tank!! I only purchased the setup three days ago and spent a reasonable amount of money making sure the equipment was good following suggestions from the man in the pet shop. I was very careful to make sure that everything was setup correctly and the fish (variety of tetras, cichilids, gouramis) were introduced slowly to the tank according to the instructions I was given.

The morning after introducing my fish to the tank I woke to find that both my gouramis were dead. The tetras were hardly moving and cichilids were moving very slowly around the tank. Unfortunately all of my tetras were also dead that same evening. Today my cichilids are still alive but they are hardly moving at all. They stay in the corner of the tank and look very sick :cry:

I’m worried that I have introduced a virus or bacteria to the tank when I set it up. Everything else in the tank is fine, pH is around 6.5, temperature is kept consistently above 45 degrees, and I have an airstone to make sure the tank is well oxygenated.

Any advice is very appreciated at this point. This is my first tank and I am very annoyed that I have bacteria/virus problems already :-( I am planning to buy some new fish tomorrow but want to find out how to get rid of the bacteria/virus first!

Thanks!
In addition to the ammonia problems that are likely killing your fish in the uncycled tank...

20L = 5.2 gallons. If you really put several tetras, cichlids, and gouramis in that tiny tank it was grossly overstocked. Even after a proper cycle, a 5 gallon tank cannot support so many fish. I hope the 20L size was a typo? If not, the salesperson seriously misled you about the number of fish you can keep in a 5 gallon tank.
 
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There may be a lot of reasons why the fish died but I don't think it was ammonia killing your fish overnight. Fish are routinely shipped in bags (no filter, no airstone) and they don't die in a matter of hours.
Chlorine/chloramines in the water (if no conditioner was used), traces of soap/detergent, bleach, unsafe decorations or simply improper acclimatized fish are more likely to be the culprit here.
And ammonia raises the pH.
 

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Ok, you are right, ammonia is a base, but there is another reason the ph crashes then and I don't feel like reading about it.
 

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Hello Friends:



Ammonia is a base and can raise pH a small amount but maybe the rise in pH is offset by carbonate hardness. Perhaps the process of changing ammonia to nitrite to nitrate is an acidifying process that can lower pH and in this way ammonia lowers pH.

pop
 

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Hello Friends:



Ammonia is a base and can raise pH a small amount but maybe the rise in pH is offset by carbonate hardness. Perhaps the process of changing ammonia to nitrite to nitrate is an acidifying process that can lower pH and in this way ammonia lowers pH.

pop
+1 Totally true!
 
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