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OK, I'm stumped. I was gifted a 5 gallon starter kit. I've set it up with gravel, a few fake plants and an ornament. Filled it with tap water, setup the filter and a heater. Added some Nutra fin cycle. Tank sat 4 days. Test strips showed no issues and heat holds at 72F. Yesterday i added 3 neon tetras and 2 zebra danios. They lasted an hour. Took a water sample to my LFS, no issues. Bought the same five fish again and 4 of the 5 lasted 3 hours. 1 danio is still alive. What am i doing wrong?
 

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Did you add dechlorinator to the water? Nutrafin helps to cycle but it doesn't neutralize chlorine.

Your tank isn't cycled. It takes 6-8 weeks for a tank to cycle, even with bottled cycle starter. Even if it was cycled, that number of those species of fish is too much bio load for a 5 gallon tank.


Both of those are shoaling fish and need to be kept with others of their own breed. At the very least, 6. Preferably 10-12 or more. A 5 gallon isn't big enough for a sufficient shoal of either. Especially the zebras which are a very active fish and need room to swim.
 

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Thx sharkweek0178. No, I didn't add dechlorinator. AAftermore reading, I realize now that it's not properly cycled either. I'm gonna do a partial change and as I wait for the tank, I'll look further into stock options. I just don't want a single fish tank. Need to see what I can put into it.
 

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10g: 8 young golden Dalmatian mollies 1 neon tetra 2 nerite snails 10g: 2 nerites, soon molies fr t1
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Did you add dechlorinator to the water? Nutrafin helps to cycle but it doesn't neutralize chlorine.

Your tank isn't cycled. It takes 6-8 weeks for a tank to cycle, even with bottled cycle starter. Even if it was cycled, that number of those species of fish is too much bio load for a 5 gallon tank.


Both of those are shoaling fish and need to be kept with others of their own breed. At the very least, 6. Preferably 10-12 or more. A 5 gallon isn't big enough for a sufficient shoal of either. Especially the zebras which are a very active fish and need room to swim.
This. I couldn’t add anything more.
 

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Thx sharkweek0178. No, I didn't add dechlorinator. AAftermore reading, I realize now that it's not properly cycled either. I'm gonna do a partial change and as I wait for the tank, I'll look further into stock options. I just don't want a single fish tank. Need to see what I can put into it.
Unfortunately, options are limited with a 5 gallon tank. There just isn't enough room for more than a single fish or two, even if they are nano fish. Physically, you can fit multiple fish in there. But they won't be happy and it will be an unhealthy environment that will shorten their lives. Maybe you could do a pair of Least Killifish (Heterandria Formosa). But IMO, that's pushing it. And they are hard to find in stores.
One thing you could do is make it into a shrimp and/or snail tank. Shrimp have a very low bioload so a 5 gallon is suitable for them. A lot of people really enjoy them. I'm considering a shrimp/snail tank for my next tank.
Or you could consider upgrading. If you want to have multiple fish especially a school or shoal, you should have at the very least a 10 gallon and preferably a 20 gallon or more. A larger tank gives you more options. And this might sound counterintuitive, but a bigger tank is actually easier to maintain. The water parameters are more stable.

Let me just add two more things. Before selecting a species for your tank, you should find out what your source water hardness is. It should be listed on the water company website. Get a number, not just a rating like soft or hard. That's the most important water parameter besides temperature. Once you know that then you have a better idea what your stock options are. Some fish, like guppies or mollies, need hard water.
And this site is a good resource for learning about tropical fish. Seriously Fish — Feeling fishy?
 
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