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Discussion Starter #1
Received a fish tank which was precycled for a Christmas present from my brother in law. It isn't a huge tank at 2ft by 1ft by 1ft. He was clear to me not to overstock it and to buy fish that wouldn't outgrow the tank. I had ten neon tetra and ten orange tetra in it.

Had no problems with the tank at first. Water was clean, no algae growing, filter working great and water changed regularly.

The neon tetra all died in the space of a couple of days and then a couple of weeks later the orange tetra started dying too one by one. I'm now down to 5.

I want to be a responsible owner and have paid a fortune in testing kits etc to find out the cause. Water seems to be spot on though yet the fish keep dying one by one. My results tonight are as follows after a water change 48 hours ago...

Ammonia 0
GH 60
KH 40
pH 6.5
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 20

I don't understand what is going on in the tank. The lack of ammonia and nitrites means it's cycled and the filter is working fine.

The fish are also quite inactive and tend to be still the majority of the time. They also tend to be a bit more active when the tank light is off.

Any advice greatly appreciated as its driving me mad
 

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I'd try dosing with Ammonia to assure that the aquarium is actually cycled! But the method or technique is more often easier said than done properly..

What kind of filter do you have? post reads like you have a size 15 aquarium.


So you know, I have also purchased fish, and had them die within a week.. even with reasonable water values. (a real head-scratcher) apparently, some fish are not as tough as others.

If a fish dies in my aquarium, I usually add some more bacterial additive. In my aquarium I use Seachem Stability.

Some products recommend to add their conditioner when introducing fish.. like a stress guard or something of the like to ease the fish in transition to the habitat.
 

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Aquarium looks good!

API?

How does it smell? Sometimes a smell can reveal possibilities for target maintenance. I'll keep it simple.. Does it smell like old wet leather? like a boot, or mildew.. or sweet like an apple orchard.. ?
 

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Adding ammonia to a tank with fish in it is a terrible idea.....

Neon tetras are the most popular aquarium fish and because of that, breeding pressures to keep up with demand has left the species in a really run down state. Seems like the tank is cycled, so try again with some healthier fish and see what’s what.

One thing to get used to in the hobby - fish are going to die and you won’t know why. Most of the time, best you can do is rule out what DIDN’T kill them which leads you to an educated guess as to what may have done the deed.
 

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ecology

Ask J why people don't live on the moon! :surprise:

If the correct amount is applied, Ammonia would give you the answer, were the question to be whether or not you had a favorable habitat. (8months 2 glass scrapings, fish survive.. any fish, dying fish) (dying fish saved by established aquarium)-a news reel. :nerd:

When the correct dose is added, a test for Nitrite in any measurable quantity would confirm that you have not let enough bacteria establish for the Nitrogen Cycle.(sure the cycle is confirmed as existing)


I know I could dose with 1/4 ml. and never test positive for Nitrite. If you add 2 drops you might be at .25

And the phrase "If done properly" was meant to deter someone from buying a bottle of ammonia...that's a waste

I've used less than 2 oz. in 8 months including cleaning glass..

My best recommendation would be to be patient. hopefully you like aquariums as much as us and continue to keep with it..

Some fish are just too weak to survive the pet store, :grin2:
 

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Again, I can’t stress enough how terrible of an idea it is to add ammonia to a tank with fish in it. ANY amount above 0.00 ppm is toxic to the fish. The way to tell if your tank is cycled is to test for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. The first two are your toxins so continued readings of 0.00 ppm are an indication of the cycles presence. The confirmation is the increase of nitrates. That can be tricky in planted tanks because of the consumption of nitrates, but still.... 0.00 ppm of ammonia and nitrite in successive tests tells you the tank is cycled. Once again, DO NOT add toxic substances to your fish tank while there are fish in it. Common sense ought to be clear as day on this one..... no need to try to reinvent the wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm not too keen on adding ammonia as I'm pretty confident it's cycling properly. The plants are a new addition as the water was a bit too hard and I didn't want to add chemicals to the water if I didn't have to. Wanted a natural way that's long-term going to bring the hardness down so went for plants and a bit of moss.

My problem now is do I leave the tetra to probably die before getting some guppies in their place or do I get the guppies now? Been told the guppies would out compete the tetra for food so they are more likely to die if they are sickly anyway.

Plus if the fish I have are dying due to an infection I don't want to give it to the new fish. When the tetra have died how long should I leave the tank empty before restocking, assuming I'm not restocking now?
 

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If you don’t intend on restocking with neons then I would just cull the one you have and stock with fish you want.

Is it safe to add new fish right away, considering the others died? Yes, since you don’t know if their cause of death. If your next fish die too, then I would start looking at commonalities, such as the fish store and also your tank.
 

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low pH means high co2. Could be a symptom of why the fish are lifeless.


I would add live plants to consume the co2 and return oxygen.


my .02


Edit: neons can be difficult to keep. Try a male platy and soo what happens.
 

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Bob do you really think a pH of 6.5, with the live plants that are in the tank, with only a few neons in the tank, is deadly??
 

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Bob do you really think a pH of 6.5, with the live plants that are in the tank, with only a few neons in the tank, is deadly??
Yep.


plants recently added. Fish are stressed.


Once the pH goes up, the fish will revive.


my .02
 

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low pH means high co2. Could be a symptom of why the fish are lifeless.


I would add live plants to consume the co2 and return oxygen.


my .02


Edit: neons can be difficult to keep. Try a male platy and soo what happens.
Low pH CAN be a sign of low co2. Acids lower pH, and co2 reacts with water to make carbonic acid.
However, it's still misinformation, pH is a multitude of things. To worry about co2 levels is asinine.

My wager is also that the tank is cycled- assuming it's been at least a week (you mention a water change two days ago), and ammonia and nitrites are 0, with some nitrates present, your tank is cycled.


I wouldn't stock anything immediately. My concern is a disease. My best guess would be internal parasites. Did you mention that all your fish are lethargic, or just the neon?
A single neon very well may be lethargic because its stressed out.

Bob do you really think a pH of 6.5, with the live plants that are in the tank, with only a few neons in the tank, is deadly??
It's very much not. It's perfectly fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I had ten neon and ten of the orange, larger tetra. The neon all died at the same time pretty much and the larger ones died at a rate of one every couple days. However I'm down to four now and they have all survived for four days now. They also seem to be swimming round a bit more than they did before. I'm hoping I've turned a corner.

Did a load of research and neon tetra disease fits all of the symptoms. I thought they had swim bladder which is also the same as early symptoms of tetra disease and the dead fish were pretty white instead of orange. I'm hoping that the remaining ones are clear now.

I'm moving away from tetra because of the high percentage of ill ones in shops and going onto guppies. Not sure how long to leave it before in introduce new fish though. It has been four days since the last death.
 

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Low pH CAN be a sign of low co2. Acids lower pH, and co2 reacts with water to make carbonic acid.

However, it's still misinformation, pH is a multitude of things. To worry about co2 levels is asinine.



My wager is also that the tank is cycled- assuming it's been at least a week (you mention a water change two days ago), and ammonia and nitrites are 0, with some nitrates present, your tank is cycled.





I wouldn't stock anything immediately. My concern is a disease. My best guess would be internal parasites. Did you mention that all your fish are lethargic, or just the neon?

A single neon very well may be lethargic because its stressed out.







It's very much not. It's perfectly fine.


Bob is FULL of misinformation. Fear mongering is a staple of his - probably the worst lie he tells people is that using products like prime is deadly to the fish. Seen that one more times than I can count. Why does he do it?? In hopes of finding himself a little protege to follow his “method”. Where are the pictures of these awesome tanks of his?? Non existent. Been asking for pics for years.
 

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Low pH CAN be a sign of low co2. Acids lower pH, and co2 reacts with water to make carbonic acid.
However, it's still misinformation, pH is a multitude of things. To worry about co2 levels is asinine.
Here is the relationship between pH and co2 per Dr randy Holmes-Farley in the article
http://www.reefedition.com/ph-and-the-reef-aquarium/ said:
Carbon Dioxide and pH
The pH in a marine aquarium is intimately tied to the amount of carbon dioxide dissolved in the water and to its alkalinity. The reason that carbon dioxide impacts pH is because when it enters the water, it rapidly turns into carbonic acid. Acids lower pH, so more carbon dioxide means more carbonic acid, which means lower pH.
If seawater is fully aerated with normal air (that is, it is in full equilibrium with the air), then its pH is exactly determined by its carbonate alkalinity: the higher the alkalinity, the higher the pH. There is, in fact, a simple mathematical relationship between alkalinity, pH and carbon dioxide that I have discussed previously. Figure 2 shows this relationship graphically for seawater equilibrated with normal air (350 ppm carbon dioxide), and equilibrated with air having extra carbon dioxide, as might be present in certain homes (1000 ppm) or when the carbon dioxide is deficient (as may happen in aquaria using limewater, also known as kalkwasser). Understanding the overall relationship between carbon dioxide, alkalinity and pH (Figure 2) is a key principle in solving most pH problems encountered in coral reef aquaria.

Figure 2. The relationship between alkalinity and pH in seawater with normal carbon dioxide levels (black), excess carbon dioxide (purple) and deficient carbon dioxide (blue). The green area represents normal seawater.

then same exact relationship is valid for freshwater as well. In a Fw or marine tank pH can reasonable be thought of as a function of KH and co2 only.


You increase the co2 (co2 addition for planted tanks, co2 for calcium reactors for marine systems) pH decreases. You decrease CO2 (plant action) pH increases.


I am unaware of any instance in a fully balanced functioning aquarium where low pH and low CO2 exists. Even during cycling the pH is low and co2 high.


As I stated before the fish can suffocate with high co2 values in addition to ammonia.


IMHO the best way to solve either and/or both is to add live, fast growing plants to consume both.
 

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Bob is FULL of misinformation. Fear mongering is a staple of his - probably the worst lie he tells people is that using products like prime is deadly to the fish.
...

Waiting for your response.




my .02


ps Who's fearing mongering? LOL
 

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You bob - you’re fear mongering. Almost every time you post. This time you are trying to make the OP think that the fish suffocated, based on NOTHING other than a single pH reading at a single point in time. Because the fish exhibited symptoms consistent with that, AND A DOZEN OTHER THINGS?? The only time you ever post on this forum is when you see an opportunity to scare people by taking a kernel of truth and twisting and distorting it until it suits YOUR needs, because any time you post it’s purely self serving. I can’t even begin to count how many times you’ve completely ignored everything the OP said, to post your copy and paste response fishing for a sucker to follow your “method”. As was mentioned earlier, completely asinine.
 
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