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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm new again to tank keeping. A friend of our recently gave us a 10 gallon tank to start for our 2 girls. I grew up having a fishtank and back then it didnt seem so complicated (mind you my parents upkept the thing because my siblings and I were young). So I did what I remembered them doing. I bought numerous plants for the tank, rocks, gravel, a big fancy filter, an aerater bubble, the works. Washed everything, set it up, and left it empty and running for oh...3 days or so. Went to the store, and bought fish. I was obviously an idiot for neglecting to do research first and finding out more about "tank cycling". Anyway. Initially we had 4 guppies (we were told we had males and females but turns out we only had males) a silver molly, a swordtail platy, 2 black skirt tetras and a chinese algae eater. They all did fine for 6 weeks not a problem one. So. We decided we liked the guppies best so we bagged up all the others and went back to the store to get females guppies. We had 9 guppies total, mostly female which is apparently a good thing. Well. As soon as they settled in and got comfortable I noticed 2 of my females acting strange, sitting on the bottom of the tank sluggish an unalert. I figured they were pregnant and didnt worry. Well. They didnt make it. One of my males developed what looked like a flesh wound, but he was doing ok. I figured the filter got him or something. He didnt make it either. Now I have another female in quarantine but I know for sure she has mouth fungis which I'm still unsure how to treat. I've read so much about aquarium salts epsom salts antibiotics methylene blue on and on until I'm losing my mind. I'M SO CONFUSED! Someone please tell me what to do I am so ready and willing to go get whatever I need to save the rest of my fish including the one with mouth fungis. I thought having live plants, not overfeeding, the algae eater, and all that was enough. I've done water changes lately hoping that would help, using the dechlorinating tablets to clean the water (Here in SC they automatically make all the tap water taste like pool water with all the chlorine in it) about 25% of the water each change, I also turned the temp on my heater to 77 degrees. From what I've read that should prevent alot of issues from occuring with the fish but they're still dying. WHAT DO I DO?
 

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welcome back to the hobby! I myself tend to setup my tank for a few years then do a tear down for a few years im off and on like that :p

now onto the fish dying - I hate that feeling, but anyways you seem to mention a lot of symptoms so let me relist to make sure I understand correctly

unactive, red sores on body, fuzzy stuff around mouth?

im going to assume the tank wasn't cycled before you added the fish. with that being said adding the 9 fish or so that you did all at once to a freshly setup 10 gallon is going to cause your ammonia to skyrocket with the tank being so new. high ammonia will poison fish and kill them and if it doesn't kill them with the ammonia alone the stress caused from the ammonia will bring on all kinds of things like what you are describing.

are you able to test for
ammonia
nitrite
nitrate

the 25% w/c are good but how much effect they are having on your tank is hard to tell without testing the above. before and after the w/c

are you able to post up any pictures of the effected fish?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I cant add pics as of now unfortunately my eldest broke my camera. The perks of parenting for sure lol. I just now am reading about "tank cycling" and I guess I need to attempt to do that now even though I already have fish in the tank. I dont have a water testing kit didnt really know starting out it was necessary for freshwater aquariums. WRONG. I know that now. What do you recommend? And out of the millions of chemicals and treatments for various issue with a tank how do you know which one(s) to use? Its all so very confusing. I can ellaborate a bit about the fish that have died. My lyretail mail had what looked like a flesh wound it was pinkish and the scales around it were raised or missing. He didnt swim as well once this occured he kind of wobbled back and forth like he was malfunctioning or short circuiting. He ate ok but ceased to chase the females like the others males did. He tended to stay in the back corner of the tank near the heater. My first female to go was bloated and it appeared to me she was pregnant. She would hover at the top of the tank for a little while and then eventually sank down on the rocks. She wasnt completely still she would sort of bounce up and down here and there but stayed right on the gravel. She would eat ok too but never would go to the top to snatch up her food more so waited for it to come to her. The last female I lost turned a darker and darker color over the course of about 3 days and then eventually just stayed on the gravel immobile until she passed away. Its all such a mix of things different symptoms different issues I dont even know where to begin to help them aside from doing water changes. Ive read about the aquarium salt but how much to add? How often? SHould I up the temp of my water? Sorry I'm asking so much I just hate to lose any more fish. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ironically I also have a 1 gallon starter tank with a Betta in it. One big fern and a few rocks on the bottom. I do his water changes once a week and I usually replace most of it if not all of it. He has not had an issue one either. He's a happy little Betta. Why is my other tank having so many issues then? Are guppies just more seneitive or is it really just how inexperienced I am?
 

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the most important thing right now is to not be hastey and start dumping all sorts of chemicals into the tank, this is just going to compound issues.

first off if you have not read http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/...inners-guide-freshwater-aquarium-cycle-38617/ then please take some time and do so.

as far as any recommended chemicals and supplies:

Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate test kit - either the strips or liquid tests will work. only difference is the strips are a bit more expensive but are easyier to do (dip and read). your also going to want to get yourself a good water conditioner. a lot on here including myself use Prime its great for helping you through your cycle and also for pre treating new water used for a w/c. im thinking the poor water paramiters are the cource of all your fish issues, and with time and your w/c the fish should pull through.

the tough part is youhave dug yourself into a hole here. too many fish too soon in a new tank, problems are going to be rampant and ontop of that the water conditions will be subpar and not the best for the fish to recover in since the tank is cycleing. reguardless of what a product claims to do there is no such thing as a instant cycle in a bottle, a "fish in" cycle will take you a month or two all along while having some less then best paramiters along the way.

adding medication to a tank this fresh willjust stall the cycle and drag it out that much longer. the best thing I can recommend at this point is try some prime in the tank to help with ammonia/nitrite/nitrate and get a testkit and do your best to keep ammonia below .25ppm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok its called "Prime"? Where can I get it? And can I buy some sort of pro biotic or bacterium for my tank to help it "cycle"? I get why I am losing fish so I dont expect miracles because its gonna happen until the tank cycles completely. I hope not to lose any more...I have 3 in the tank I would absolutely hate to lose though. I hate to lose any but you get what I'm saying right? Should I put them in quarantine? No plants no nothing just a gallon container with a separate aeration bubble and water changes everyday. Would that better their chances of survival? They're my pair of Carolina Blue Guppies and my Chinese Algae Eater. And I'm still confused about the whole salt thing. People swear by it and use it regularly in their tanks even though they are freshwater. Does it really make that much of a difference?
 

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the salt is good but in limited doses it has numerous benefits but some fish are very sensitive to it and it can kill them.

look for Prime by Seachem my bigger local fish store is where I find it. putting htem all into a smaller tank will just cause the same problems since you have no cycled media to work with and a smaller amount of water will foul faster. I totally get the part abot hating losing fish ive lost more then I want to count and even now I still lose them, it sucks as bad as the first one.

once your cycle is complete then you can start to dose with salt if you want "I ususally use it when the fish are sick". my persoanall opinion is it wouldn't hurt, maybe use half dose between w/c's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That really sucks :( I wish it were as easy as I originally thought to do this stuff but of course nothing in life is that simple lol. I'm heading to the pet store now theyre open until 9. I think I may pick up some in tank plant food and look into treating the mouth fungis my current female in quarantine has. None of the other fish are acting strange they all seem happy and healthy. For now anyway. I will definitely pick up the Prime and some aquarium salt for later. Thanks for your help I really do appreciate it. I'm sure I will be on here again asking more silly questions soon enough and definitely look forward to more advice from you <3
 

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Oh my. I'm so sorry you are having so much trouble. Some of them are water and cycling issues and some are very likely health issues from the various purchased fish including the original fish.
First let me try to clarify the difference between the 2 tanks. The Betta lives successfully in the little tank because you clean it out completely and change the water, likely, hopefully at least 2 x a week. They are pretty hardy fish and also have a labyrinth organ which allows them to breathe air off the surface when the water gets a bit stagnant. The little tank is too small to provide enough surface area to allow sufficient bacteria to grow to maintain a cycled tank and therefore we must change the water frequently.
The 10 gallon, as long as it has gravel, a filter and heater can cycle. It can take 6-8 weeks to go thru this process unless the tank is heavily stocked with LIVE plants. Live plants take up ammonia in their processes and your fish will not even notice a cycle.
The good bacteria grow and live on the surfaces of the tank, gravel etc not in the water itself. Fish poop, Ammonia builds up, bacteria converts it to NitrIte, which also builds up and is converted to NitrAtes. You must do water changes to dilute any numbers that get too high. (Mr. Betta would only experience Ammonia unless either of the others are actually in your tap water.)
Prime is a water conditioner that is a little more expensive but can be used to neutralize Chlorine & Cloramine, Ammonia, Ni, Na and can be used at 5 x the strength in emergencies. It should be used at all water changes.
Water testing kits, come in 2 forms. Test strips which are a little harder to read, seem cheaper up front, but don't last as long and if they get damp from humidity can read incorrectly. Many on the Forum will tell you to avoid them. The API FW testing kit with the test-tubes and bottles provide a more accurate way to monitor your tank's cycle. Make sure you shake the heck out of the bottles to get proper readings. You should also frequently test your tap water to know your parameters. Trying to achieve O Ammonia levels when testing my tap water shows .25 makes it difficult. But with a good de-chlor- Prime, and a tank full of live plants, I'm good. Major cities are known to dump chemicals into our water systems in spring and summer so it is always good to test now and then. Especially if you run the tap and smell chlorine!!
The best medicine in your cabinet is actually good clean fresh water.
I'm not familiar with the salt so can't help there. Always quarantine new fish but be aware that disease can stay hidden for months, long after you have returned them. Many diseases are caused by poor water quality. Sadly Guppies are WAY over bred and have weakened immune systems and harbor disease too.
Take your time, slow down and do things slowly to your tank. One thing at a time. Do not clean out the 10 gallon the way you would the Betta tank. You want the bacteria on all the surfaces. The only thing you will change will be the insert in the filter and eventually some gravel vacuuming. If you have live plants you should be good! Keep decaying matter to a minimum tho as that causes Ammonia. Don't over feed, remove dead fish asap, these all cause Ammonia spikes.
Keep a proper light cycle of 8-10 hours ON then complete darkness during their night. You can set it to be "daylight" very late in order to watch them till your bedtime but they need a set circadian rhythm just like we do. Remember to use fertilizers at least once a week for your plants to avoid dying leaves --> ammonia.
Hope this helps.... sorry it is so long! Keep us posted on your progress!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well I went to the petstore and picked up Prime, de-chlor tablets, Pimafix for my female with mouth fungis, aquarium salt, a water testing kit, and a new food that is less messy. My water parameters were:

Nitrate: 19 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
GH: 72 ppm
Chlorine: 0 ppm
PH: 7.1
KH: 114 ppm

All very good parameters save for nitrate it was still a bit close. But ultimately I was shocked my water conditions were much better off than I expected. So I did a small water change (10-15%) and added some of the prime for the tank. Now My readings are:

Nitrate: 13 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
GH: 70 ppm
Chlorine: 0 ppm
PH: 7.1
KH: 119 ppm

So why then did I lose those fish? I was still under the minimum ppm for Nitrate and everything else was pretty steady. What happened? Any thoughts everyone? My female in qurantine is doing better shes eating again and swimming around much more. A few more days in quarantine with the Pimafix treatment and she should be fine. Does anyone think I should treat my community tank just in case? I was debating it...and I have heard so many different numbers and measurements on when and how much to feed my fish. Can someone give me a more pecise gauge on that. I've been told once a day a very large pinch of food all the way to 9-10 times a day only one or 2 flakes/pellets at a time. Why is everyone telling me such different far apart frequencies/measuremements? It makes things a bit more difficult. And I have had quite a few plants in my tank from the beginning. A lava rock with aqua moss as well as some sort of round leafed plant, 3 ferns and 2 large sheaths of bamboo. Should I add more? And I was unsure on what to buy to feed my plants but will definitely need some sort of plant food. Any suggestions?
 

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you dont need dechlor tablets AND Prime. Prime is a dechlorinator. You don't need so much stuff going into your tank.

Also, you don't have an ammonia reading. Where's that? It's an important factor in fish health.

Also i hope you returned the chinese algae eater. big fish like that produce a bunch of ammonia which will be a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Whoops I guess that would have been a good thing to get huh? I will work on that. I love my Chinese Algae Eater actually I was told he wouldnt impact the ecosystem in my tank as much as he would help it thats why I got him. I wanted a Plecco but they didnt have any when I bought my fish so I got him instead. If he gets too big I'll put him in his own tank. Any input on treating my whole tank for fungis?
 

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if you click the blue shaded link, you'll see that they need a tank that's like 4 feet long. Fish in tanks that are too small die well before their time in 99% of circumstances. I'd hate for you to lose him!

also, it's a not a commonly known fact, but fish that are in tanks that are too small are stunted in growth. their organs, though, keep growing, and this kills the fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Whoa I had absolutely no idea. I dont want that to happen to him he's like my favorite fish! I am looking into it I'll see what I can do. He's tiny at the moment I'm sure I can figure something out before his size becomes and issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ok so I got the ammonia test kit its at about 13ppm right now and Ive been doing progressive water changes with the prime and some liquid ammonia remover. 25% every change. My fish are doing so much better! All are thriving fins look good color is vibrant. I even have 2 pregnant females! Curious though I bought a floating in-tank nursery with the drop in separater so the babies drop below and mom doesnt eat them. When should I move them into the nursery? Or should I even do that? Ive read that some females get so stressed out when you put them in a nursery that they die! What is best then? I dont want to lose any more fish!
 
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