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Discussion Starter #1
Good Evening All.

This is my first time seriously keeping fish.
I bought a 10 gallon tank from petsmart. The full starter kit from Top Fin. Came with a heater, filter/pump, thermometer, and light. I put gravel at the bottom (off hand I don't know the total amount but it was the recommended amount based on the gallon amount.) I have some fake plants and a few little decorations.

I didn't do a heck of a lot of research about it and just jumped right in. Filled it with water straight from the kitchen sink, let the fish acclimate for 15 minutes in the bag, and off they went. I realize after the fact now that proper care would have been to cycle the tank for some time without fish and all that. I have no idea what I would have had to do with it but yeah. Anyway, I put in my fish and with the exception of the neon tetras, everything has been fine. I also have found that I may have overstocked at first and so that along with not properly cycling could have attributed to it all.

Day one I put in the following:

2- Dalmatian Mollies
2- Black Mollies
2- Tequila Sunrise Delta Guppies(I think)
2- Tuxedo Guppies
6- Neon Tetras

Again, I didn't do proper research until after the fact and I know that is too much fish for a 10 gallon tank.

I went out for the day and by the time I came home, all of the 6 Neon Tetras were dead. The Guppies and Mollies were all acting kind of sluggish and odd when I got home but it seemed like a few minutes after I took the dead Neons out, they perked up. It has been a week. All of the guppies and mollies are doing just fine. They are lively and happy. I decided I wanted to try some Tetras again in the mix. I introduced 4 Neon Tetras and 2 that were called Glow Light Tetras. They are the same as the neons but are a red version it looks like.

I introduced all 6 of those this afternoon at about 1300 (1pm) It's now 1800 (6pm) and I have had to pull all 4 of the neon tetras out as they died. The two red tetras seem to be doing a little better right now. They weren't looking too hot earlier but are swimming around just fine as I write this.

Can I assume that I was just over crowding the tank and it was just too much for the tetras?

I don't know where to go from here. First, I am not adding in anything else. If the red tetras die, I would want to put another guppy or two in. Or probably should just leave it be as is.
I feed them regular flake food. The heater is keeping it somewhere between 75-80°F I know nothing else about the water quality. I don't know what to buy and what I need to test for.

So my questions are,

Were the tetras dying because of overcrowding? (If it were water quality, the others would be dying too right?)

What should I go buy for testing and what am I looking for?

I use my sink to add water so is there something I am supposed to do to the water to make it safe for them?

How do I change the water without hurting them? (Only a certain amount of water at a time?) Can I buy one of those hoses with the tube that vacuums the gravel and does it let you fill the water back up? Should I be putting something in the water? HELP PLEASE!

Additionally, I have to go out of town for work for 3 days at the end of the month, what do I do about feeding them? I have seen the little slow release things at petsmart. Any suggestions?

Thank you in advance for the help
 

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Your filter probably isnt cycled. Just keeping the fish you have now will be a good idea. Have you had your water tested for ammonia, nitrate and nitrite? If so, what are the results?

Yes, you should ne treating the water with a good brand of dechlorinator. Ideally, your looking for one that removes chlorine; but also removes traces of chloramine (far more deadlier) and heavy metals. Products like prime do the job well.

If you havent brought a python with the gravel vacuum adapter i would advise in doing so. Gravel builds up a lot of fish waste that can cause a reduction in water quality. You can even buy sets that hook up to your nearest sink, so you can drain and once thats done refill straight from the sink - remember to add dechlorinator!

Tetras are sensitive fish and do better in established aquariums. Even then, the stock that you have now it probably may end up too small in the future. Mollies can grow up to 6 inches in lenght, and do better in at least a 20g long, ideally 55g or above. They also appreciate some salt, since they are brackish water fish. So, it may be in your best interest to swap them out for either more male guppies, or a group of tetras - one species only! Glowlight and neon tetras are in fact different species.

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Discussion Starter #3
I am taking the dead tetras back to petsmart tomorrow for a refund. I am bringing a water sample in as well. I need to find a fresh water test kit so I can test on my own too. And I will look into the python and vacuum stuff as well as the prime products. I assume I have to put the dechlorinator in before it goes in the tank?
 

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Another question,

When the heater turns on, the mollies and occasionally the guppies go over and hang out near it. Could the water not be getting heated properly so they are trying to get warm? The heater is right next to the filter/pump so it will circulate it. The mollies really like the heater when its on.
 

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You probably have a under powered heater. Whats the wattage that you have currently? And what type is it?

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