Tropical Fish Keeping banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello Tropicalfishkeeping community!

I am turning to you guys for infos because the people at my local petshop are absolutely clueless about what to do in my aquarium. So let's start at the beginning.

I had my aquarium for many years and everything was ok, until fish started dying for no reason we could identify. So after a feu month of trying new things, I decided to start anew. People at my petshop told me to use bleach for a couple of days, than to neutralize the chlorine with Seachem Prime. This is exactly what I did. So I emptied everything after a couple of days, added new sand, new water, start my cycle, and after a week added 3 cherry barb (one of the employee told me that it was an ok fish to start a new tank).

After a few days, my cherry barbs were lethargic and not eating. One died after only 4 days and the other just died this morning. Meanwhile, that made me add 3 buenos aires tetras. One of the employee told me the cherry barbs were stressed because they were alone in the tank and adding more wish would help. It didnt, not at all. The tetras were doing o.k. for the first few days but after one week, they stopped eating. Since three days they ate nothing and are staying at the bottom of the aquarium doing nothing.

When I went to the petshop they told me everything was ok with my water parameters, and that they have no idea why this is happening. This is why i'm desesperately turning to you guys. I love my fish and I hate to see them dying, i'm always doing my best to have a clean and healthy aquarium.

One thing that I suspect is that maybe I didnt clean the glass and there was still alot of prime when I filled up the tank? Could that be the problem? What else could be happening?

Thank you so much for your time and expertise, I will be reading each of the reply carefuly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,201 Posts
Welcome to the forum

Sooooo, since you went nuclear on your tank (bleach), you’re starting all over again with the cycling process. What that means is until your beneficial bacteria colonies establish themselves, the fish in the tank will be poisoning themselves with their own waste every minute of every day. The cycle process takes 3-6 weeks to complete naturally. There are ways to speed that up though. So what does this all mean for you? Don’t add any new fish! The more fish in the tank, and the more you feed the fish, the faster the water gets polluted and their survival rate plummets.

While the fish store employee is correct saying the cherry barbs are stressed because of the lack of other fish in the tank, that doesn’t mean you should add more fish at this point in time. Doing so will “solve” one problem, unintentionally creating a much bigger problem.

A clean tank is not necessarily a healthy tank. Your tank is a mini eco system and over cleaning can really mess things up. The extent of your cleaning should be scraping the glass, sucking up waste off the bottom, and rinsing your filter media every couple months. That’s pretty much it.

It’s probably not what you want to hear, but at this point you’re number 1 priority should be getting the tank cycled so that it can support the bioload of your fish. The cycle process can be extremely stressful on fish and they don’t always make it through. I would not waste any time trying to figure out why a fish died during the cycle process; I would just assume it was due to water quality problems and move on. Stress is a killer and it manifests itself in different ways, so worrying about the specific things that are killing your fish is like treating the symptoms rather than treating the root problem causing the symptoms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,764 Posts
Going with above.... prime is something that will not kill a fish if you happen to overdose.

When testing the water at a store - highly recommend your own test kit - ask for actual values of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Good is not a value. ;)

The best thing to do now would be to perform daily waterchanges - to keep ammonia and nitrite down - and make sure to dose with products like prime which remove these compounds from the water... likewise, try not to feed your fish much - every 3/4 days is fine... just a little bit that they eat in under 30 seconds would be suffice - to keep waste products down until the beneficial bacteria has established in your filter.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
 
  • Like
Reactions: bas6598

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
@jaysee and @aussieJJDude I cannot thank you guys enough for your reply. I have a test kit being shipped at the moment and I should recieve it wednesday.

For the daily water change, what % would you recommend? My local pet store employee told me 20% every week, but I don't trust him very much after reading your suggestions. Also, if the 3 tetras that I have die, should I buy new fish to complete the cycle? Also, my aquarium is planted (27gal with 6 plants), does that change the way I should deal with the cycle?

Thanks again for your time.

p.s : Heres is a picture of my current set-up
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,764 Posts
Thats a tough one. I'd recommend anywhere from 30 - 50% in order to ensure that anything toxic build up remains as low as possible... once your own test kit is in then I'd go from there..

(The fish shop advise of 20% is a good rough guide, but it eill depend on the amount of stock you have in there and the type. Some do 30% others closer to 50.. some do only 10%.)

Plants will help you keep harmful buildup of ammonia and nitrate down, so its good that you have them. They do not affect cycling much - or at least in a negative way.

If the tetras die, consider doing a cycle without fish and using pure ammonia as a food source for the bacteria... this also allows you the option to include high levels of ammonia - which will also be beneficial to plant growth - and once the bacteria has caught up, stock initially at a higher level.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,201 Posts
Once you have the test kit you will know what the concentrations are and that will tell you how much water needs to be changed. If your water has 1 ppm ammonia, for example, and you do a 20% change, you’re leaving 0.8 ppm behind for the fish. Then when the fish live another day, the concentration goes up to 1.8 ppm. You do another 20% water change, which brings it down to 1.44. Then tomorrow it’s 2.44. That’s why you have to do larger, more frequent water changes when cycling.

In my opinion, because of the frequency with which water changes are performed in a fish in cycle, you should be changing out at least 80% of the water. With a water changer, that’s no more difficult of a task than changing 20%. Without a water changer...yeah I recognize that’s a lot of work. But since you’re goal in protecting the fish is to keep the ammonia concentrations as low as possible, stands to reason that massive water changes are in order. If you plan on being in the hobby for more than a few months, you really should buy a water changer.

I agree - if the fish die just start dosing with ammonia and do a fishless cycle. No need to kill yourself doing water changes for a couple tetras, in my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,676 Posts
Hello Tropicalfishkeeping community!

I am turning to you guys for infos because the people at my local petshop are absolutely clueless about what to do in my aquarium. So let's start at the beginning.

I had my aquarium for many years and everything was ok, until fish started dying for no reason we could identify. So after a feu month of trying new things, I decided to start anew. People at my petshop told me to use bleach for a couple of days, than to neutralize the chlorine with Seachem Prime. This is exactly what I did. So I emptied everything after a couple of days, added new sand, new water, start my cycle, and after a week added 3 cherry barb (one of the employee told me that it was an ok fish to start a new tank).

After a few days, my cherry barbs were lethargic and not eating. One died after only 4 days and the other just died this morning. Meanwhile, that made me add 3 buenos aires tetras. One of the employee told me the cherry barbs were stressed because they were alone in the tank and adding more wish would help. It didnt, not at all. The tetras were doing o.k. for the first few days but after one week, they stopped eating. Since three days they ate nothing and are staying at the bottom of the aquarium doing nothing.

When I went to the petshop they told me everything was ok with my water parameters, and that they have no idea why this is happening. This is why i'm desesperately turning to you guys. I love my fish and I hate to see them dying, i'm always doing my best to have a clean and healthy aquarium.

One thing that I suspect is that maybe I didnt clean the glass and there was still alot of prime when I filled up the tank? Could that be the problem? What else could be happening?

Thank you so much for your time and expertise, I will be reading each of the reply carefuly.
I disagree with about everything they told you to do. First of all, while bleaching is fine your problem was probably not cured by the bleach. Secondly Prime treats ammonia but also reduces oxygen. Your fish very well could have suffocated.


Besides rinsing a few times until a new nose can't smell the bleach was all that was required.


Finally, read the methods in my signature and try those.


Finally, it is dangerous to add a fish a week after starting a new tank with no plant life. With my planted tanks the first fish had the same symptoms wshen fed and died on the fifth day. Second fish after that did survive.
But with heavy planting and not feeding the first fish the first week, that first fish always lived.


my .02
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,201 Posts
You disagree with everything we said, but then proceed to say things we’ve said. Minus promoting your bizarre “method” for which you’ve never posted pictures for people to see what such a tank looks like, and your crazy, unsubstantiated claims of prime killing fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,764 Posts
I thought he was talking in responce to the store employees.

Different strokes for different folks i guess.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,201 Posts
Oh perhaps that the case. Or it’s like one of the other many times he disagrees with standard methods to push his method, fear mongering by telling them prime kills fish. But yeah I might be wrong. This time.
 
  • Like
Reactions: aussieJJDude

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,764 Posts
My local pet store employee told me that too much Prime could kill fish.
Well, too much of anything - except filtration and water - can do more harm than good, but a slight overdose isnt going to do anything besides being a waste of a product.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,201 Posts
My local pet store employee told me that too much Prime could kill fish.


Didn’t you say they were clueless in your first post?

Says on your bottle of prime that it’s safe to be dosed at up to 5X the recommended dosage. So yes I agree that it can kill your fish, if you are completely irresponsible with the products usage. You would have to be as utterly reckless using the product to kill fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
@jaysee Indeed, this is why i'm going with your suggestions. I only have one Tetra that is still alive, so i'll soon be going with the fishless cycle option. Do you have a brand that I could order online that would be good? (For the Ammonia) Also, I recieved my test kit yesterday. I had 0.25ppm of ammonia, 0 Nitrite and 0 Nitrate. The PH was at 7.8.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,676 Posts
And just for the record being as I forgot to say in my original post, I'm sorry you lost your fish and are having problems.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
5,465 Posts
"Went nuclear" is a really good way to describe what happened. I've kept fish for 50 years... I'm 59... still learning. I had a very bad habit in my 20-30 year range of "cleaning" my tank out 2 x a year. Total tear down... fish in a bucket while I dismantled and rinsed all the gravel, scrubbed everything!! Hmmmm wonder why I would lose 1 or 2 minimum of my fish every time. Tank looked amazing but my stock was horribly affected. It wasn't till in my later years that I learned about the cycle and what I had been doing wrong. (Thank goodness for the internet and communities like this.)
My best advice to you... Slow and Steady! Change one thing at a time! Give the tank time to adjust to each change you've made. Lots of good info above about the cycle, testing yourself and what happens when you add new fish. I always find that I'll lose a fish when I make too many changes at once... and it's always your favorite!

ps. I've been using Prime for many many years and it is your savior when you test and see high numbers. That and water changes but you need Prime for that too. I won't use anything else ever. Your tank pic looks awesome!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,764 Posts
If you do end up going fishless, and brand of ammonia used in household cleaning will be fine - just stick to pure ammonia, no additives like scented. Dose till you have around 4ppm and continue to dose until both ammonia and nitrite are 0ppm. Once your ready to get fish, do a large scale waterchange before to remove nitrates and add fish - acclimatise properly.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,201 Posts
Yup, “pure ammonia” is a 10% solution if I recall correctly. That’s something that throws people for a loop sometimes - looking for 100% ammonia. You just don’t want scents or soaps mixed in.
 
  • Like
Reactions: aussieJJDude

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,676 Posts
First of all hope everything is progressing well.


To other posters here, with the 'after years of operation' is it plausible or probable that what initially happened is basically old tank syndrome. Further aggravated with a fish dying, creating an ammonia spike stressing the remaining fish eventually causing multiple fish deaths?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,201 Posts
Or the fish died because they were old..... that does happen sometimes. I don’t think that enough information has been provided to know why the fish died, but that’s just my opinion.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top