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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to start off by saying I have been trying to house something in this tank for close to a year and a half. I buy fish and they just keep dying ( mostly guppy’s). I worked some things out finally and thought I had my tank finally ready for some fish. I went and got 4 guppies and 4 gosht shrimp to put in my 10 gallon tank three days ago. Everything seemed fine the first day but the second day my cobra male guppie started staying at the top and my assorted yellow male started staying at the bottom with his fins down and rapid mouth movement. I also had two shrimp dead. I decided to test my water and my ammonia was 0, nitrite was 0 and Nitrate as a little bit above 0 but less than 5. My ph was very high. My tap water has a higher ph because I am on well but I have raised many fish in the past and my tap water has never been a problem. What confused me was all my other levels were correct but my Ph was and high and this is a fully cycled tank. I have also done multiple water changes because of my aquarium dirt to get everything balanced. On day three (today) I wake up and my yellow assorted male guppy has a sore on its back I think maybe one of the shrimp did that because it was staying at the bottom but I don’t know. It never had any signs of a sore before. My cobra male guppy is still at the top but seems to be turning on his side but then he rights himself and I think he is stuck floating up there. My other two guppies seem to be the only ones doing well. The tequila sunrise male is doing the best and my orange assorted male is doing good but his fins are down and he has some rapid mouth movement. But they are both eating unlike the other ones. I have added PH corrector to the tank for a short term solution but I don’t know what needs to be fixed because all the others levels are good. My two sick fish have been moved to a hospital tank where I put some E. M. erythromycin to help with the sore as well as some water conditioner to reduce stress. I suspect maybe my water is to cold as well. I have a heater that is set at 78 and I can’t change it. At this point I don’t know what to do please HELP!
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Where are you getting your fish from? The water does look a bit cloudy so maybe add a bit of marine salt to help kill the parasite or whatever is causing the problem, and do a few small water changes.
I got them from Petco. Unfortunately the two sickest ones have died but I still have the other two. The little orange one has gotten some cloudy fuzzy looking spots on its back and they are both staying at the top. Do you believe that is from a parasite because I thought it was from the high PH. I have also been working on water changes. I did 50% yesterday and a 30% today and plan to do a 20% tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Petco never treats there fish well. Thats why if I have to get them form petco or even petsmart I quarantine them. 9 times out of 10 they will be inbred or sick, at least from the stores close to me. Maybe you could try ordering some online or getting them from a different store in the future. Maybe you could try some fish medicine to try and save these
I will definitely try that thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
pretty tank but it looks to me it's understocked for future reference. fuzzy and cloudy spots sound like a fungal infection, but don't take my word for it I've only dealt with that once or twice. I guess I'm lucky to have my Petco because they take great care of their fish, my Petsmart on the other hand is terrible.
Thank you I plan to add more fish once I can finally keep them alive. 🙏 I have been doing my water changes and my remaining guppy dose seem to be doing better so I don’t think it is fungal but I dont know for sure. My fish with the fuzzy and cloudy spots unfortunately died and luckily my last fish hasn't developed those symptoms yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi there. There are some things I feel I should point out. First is how you are reading you API results. You do not determine the color when held up to the white part of the chart. You need the white in the background but need to pull it away from the white background and allow good lighting to pierce the test tube. In your pictures, the tube are right on the white background. That will give you an incorrect reading. Another thing is guppies don't mind a HpH level. Have you tested your GH and KH levels. Are you running a filtration system. I have a link on guppies disease that I will give you. The guppy that is floating at top sideways either can't breathe (not enough oxygen in the water) or over fed.


Read through this and choose the best diagnosis. I hope it helps.
I do normally read my test results the correct way I just couldn’t hold it up and take a good picture, but they were still high anyway. I don’t have the tes for GH and KH but I do know that I am on well and my tap water is very hard. Could you tell me if you think that is the problem and if so how to fix it. Is there something I can buy to treat the water, but I have been keeping fish before and they always did just fine it’s just this tank. I do have a filtration system it is a sponge filer in the back. I looked at the website and I am not really sure my guppy has any of those diseases at least not the remaining one because none of the symptoms really match him. The closest one I found is guppy disease but he dose not have any cyst or spots. I have just finished my water changes to help lower the ph so I will re test everything tomorrow. I am hoping his pacing and staying at the top is due to the frequent water changes and lonelines. I did get new heater which I have set at 78 degree. I don‘t think he is over feed since I only had him for about two or three days before he stopped eating and I wasn’t feeding very much. I feel like there is not enough oxygen in the water but that would not make since because my tank is full of live plants and there is an air pump the blows through the filter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok, went through all you posts on this and took notes. Now I have questions.
As you tell what happening each day, I am to make logically guess that these fish were sick when you bought them. I say this because I narrowed down the most likely illnesses from your description and none of them kill that fast.
1. What is the exact pH reading your getting? You only said is very high. I need the ppm level.
2. What type of water conditioner do you use? Do you use it with every water change?
3. Is your heater adjustable? Why won't it go higher? What is the wattage of the heater?
4. Your filter..I could not see the setup very well in the picture. Is it attached to an air pump? Does it provide air into your tank?
5. Your tank is under stocked and I don't mean by fish. You need to get something going on in there, like Driftwood and Indian almond leaves. The both naturally lower pH.
6. Exactly what is your substrate? Define dirt please.
7. You need to purchase API GH & KH test kit. You must know the exact dh of each. I can help further when you get this test kit. The why this is important is a loaded question.
Being on well water doesn't mean your water is safe. Usually you can take a water sample from your tap of your well water to your county and they will test it for free.
8. This is a tip. Collect on water from your tap, let it sit for 24 hours then test and record, pH, nitrites, Nitrates, GH and KH.

Yes, I do have solutions for alternative water choices. But I need the above questions answered in order to assess more precisely. Please do not use any pH chemicals to alter your pH. That is a very unsafe way to go and will kill your fish faster than anything. I am going to attach a picture of my tank. In the back left corner is a sponge filter attached to an air pump so air goes through the sponge into the water via air bubbles. On the back right side is an adjustable HOB filter with custom media and a pre-filter sponge on the intake tube. My heater is a 50 watt adjustable temperature. I have a digital thermometer and the best on the non-digital thermometer. Why do I have 2, for accuracy. In the open space in my tank is usually a large hiding rock. I removed it temporarily so the guppies have more space to View attachment 844829 View attachment 844827 View attachment 844828 View attachment 844827 View attachment 844829 View attachment 844830 adjust to their new home.
I stocked 3 male fancy guppies yesterday. They are doing well. I bought them from PetSmart on they day they arrived at the store.
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Thank you so much for your help. Your tank looks so pretty and I hope your new guppies are doing well.

As much as I want to belive my fish were sick from the store I unfortue don’t think that is the case. I have tried multiple different times to keep fish in this tank and the same thing keeps happening to them. They have been form pet smart and pet co and from different tanks at each store, but they all end up dead. That is why I think it has something to do with my tank.

I want to do a quick update before I get into your questions. It is now day 7 of owning my fish and day 6 of them being sick. I now only have one male guppy out of 4 the tequila sunrise male and two out of 4 ghost shrimp. the shrimp seem to be fine but I don’t really know how to tell if a shrimp is sick. The guppy is showing strange behavior. He is quickly swimming around the tank and staying at the top of the water. He will frequently swim down to the botto and sometimes swim around the middle but will always return to the surface quickly. He is not just dropping down and coming back up he is swimming in circles around my tank. (very active still not eating though) I read this could be due to loneliness or stress. He is also moving his mouth a lot and his fins are kind of down. In the mornings I find him sleeping on the bottom.

1. My pH I belive is a 7.6 And my High Range pH is I believe an 8. My ammonia is testing at between 0ppm and 0.25ppm. My Nitrite is 0ppm and I believe my nitrate is between 0ppm and 5.0ppm. I am not gonna lie this is very upsetting because of all the water changes I have done and my levels are showing the are higher than they were before. The way I did my water changes was (based off of the days of owning the fish) Day 2: 50% Day 3: 40% Day 4: 30% Day 5: 20% Day 6: 10%. Today day 7 I decided to test the water after all the water changes.
Here are some better pictures I hope:
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2 / 7. I don’t use water conditoner because I know for a fact that there is no chlorine in my water. I have also never needed it before For the previous tanks that I have owned. I do know that it dose have lots of metals in it and should show up as hard on the GH scale but I don’t know the exact measurements. I will definitely look into getting at GH and KH test kit to find out. I have also tested the pH of my tap water and it is high at about 7.2.

3. I just got a new heater that is now adjustable. It is a 100 watt. I set it at 78 because I thought that 75 was a little to cold. I know that the hotter the water the less oxygen it holds so I did not want to go all the way up to 80 or 82 in case that was why I was having problem. My guppy started acting how I said earlier after I got the new heater.

4. My filter is a sponge filter. It has an air pump in take hose that pumps air and water throud some charcole media as well as some cotton media in the clear part and then it blows the bubbles out of the top. The water is taken in through the sponges where there are some holes that bring the water through the media and out of the top.
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5. I don’t understand what you mean by that. I have never needed it before. I know it lowers pH but what dose it stock and why would it be necsary if my pH wasn’t high. I don’t want to come off as rude I am just curious. Also where would I able to find drift wood or the leaves. Amazon or a pet store. I don’t really have real fish stores in my area just pet smart and pet co.

6. my substrate is regular tank gravel on the bottoms and then I have Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum on top. I have made sure to do plenty of water changes to keep the soil from raising the pH. the substrate has been in place almost since I have started trying to put anything in this tank. About a year ago.

8. I will definitely try and report back with the results.

I did use a chemical pH correcter in the beginning not knowing it was dangerous but that was for a quick fix to give me time to figure out what was wrong it was added before any water changes so I fell like it is or at least mostly out of the water by now. Could that be why fish were dying quickly. Although I did take the first two sick ones out before adding that to my tank. I also want to point out that I have been battling some algae that you can see in the some of the picture. I was bad a little while ago but I belive I got it under control before I got my fish. I have read that some algae is good and some is bad. I don’t know which I have could that be apart of the problem. I have also read that the algae being in the leaves could cause the plant to die and raise the pH. Do you think that is what is happening. I give my tank 3 hours of light everyday and it sits on the bottom shelf on my book shelf (no sunlight). I don’t know the watts of my light but it is the one that came with the tank.

Again thank you so much for all of your help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Even though well water has no chlorine it still may have heavy metals and be polluted with some harmful substance that is killing your fish. I recommend water conditioner even with well water
I was worried that might be the problem. But I have had fish tanks before that did not need to conditioner and they did fine, but we have had a flood and Hurricanes since then That might have put something in our water. If that is the problem would just conditioner work Or do I need something else? I tested my tap water and I defiantly think there is a problem. I took a few samples and let them sit for 24 hours and then tested them.
pH= 7.6 (same as tank)
High Range pH= 8 (same as tank)
Ammonia= Between 0.25ppm and 0.5ppm (higher than tank)
Nitrite= 0ppm ( same as tank)
Nitrate= Between 0ppm and 0.5ppm (same as tank)
This explains why my tank levels actually got higher after my water change. Should I do more water changes on my tank and add water. What type of conditioner or other water corrector should I get. I also want to say my fish now has a red spot on its fin.
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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
If that is what your tap is popping for test your ammonia in your tank now. If it is above 0.25 do a 20% water change and get to the store and get conditioner and put it directly into your tank based on 10 gallon dosage.


Mallory, I pulled up some products you can get:
1. API Tap Water Conditoner which is just a Dechlorinator that removes ammonia and such plus heavy metals.
2. API Stress Coat plus, it does the same as above and more. I picked this because your fish is probably suffering ammonia poisoning.
3. Tetra AquaSafe Plus Aquarium Dechlorinator Water Conditoner, this similar to the API Stress Coat.

The first product I listed is cheaper and will get your water out of danger. You must act fast. Water changes are not going to help as ammonia is in your tap from the well. Crap, it doesn't even matter if you get cheap Dechlorinator for Bettas. And again, if you can afford it try to the API GH KH Kit. GH & KH are advance Water information test not to be expect to be understood for beginners but they matter and I can explain what they mean when I have the readings. There is not anything else you need for now.
@FishHoarder14 I live in Louisiana

Unfortunately my last guppy passed away yesterday mornin but I do still have my shrimp for now. Could y’all still help me get empty water so I can have some fish that will ac live in the future.

1. I was keeping my lighting to 3 hours a day because if I did it any longer the algae would get out of control, but I have a feeling ounce I can get my water under control it will help with my algae problem. I was just feeding my guppy tetra tropical fish flakes. He stopped eating about 3 or 4 days after I got him. I am not really sure how long my ammonia and pH has been that high I know when I test the water when my fish were first getting sick it was lower and I think it got higher because of my tap water.

2. I tested my water right before I put fish in it but just for pH. It was a little high but like I said my tap water has always been a little high so I wasn’t worried. I don’t have a test log because I don’t regularly test my water. Only when I see a problem do I test although I probably should test it more regularly. I know the water changes may have been over kill but I wasn’t sure how much water to change. Could you give me like a guide or maybe some rules to go by when it comes to water changes.

3. I do have a the letter with my new heater. My heater is working well and keeping my tank at exactly 78 degrees which is what it is set on.

5. Ok I looked at both pet smart and pet co today and could not find any leaves. So I am going to order them on Amazon.

6. I am glad you told me about this because I was just hoping the shrimp and nature was just doing it’s job. I went and got some tetra cleaning bacteria today.

7. I try to clean my tank about once a week. I take out 10% (should I be doing more). I also scrape the algae off the glass and when I see it. The algae is kind of brown looking you can see it in the picture of my filter.

8. I went and got some Seachem Prime today. Now that you have seen my tap water do you sug my using one of the others water conditioners that you recommended or should Seachem Prime work just fine.

9. I went to day to get the GH and KH test kit. Unfortunately pet-smart and pet co did not have the kit itself but they did have the test strips. I now those aren’t always the best but I though it was better than nothing.
GH= between 0 and 30
KH= 120
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Now that I have nearly everything I need and no more fishy’s in my tank how do you suggest I go about fixing my water to prepare for more fish. Should I still do a 20% water change? When should I add the cleaning bacteria. When should I add the conditioner? Again thank y’all so much this has been a lot of help and learning even though I lost my fish. Also @evonneramsey i am glad to hear your guppies are doing well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Another thing I wanted to mention is that guppies like things in there tanks for places to hide. That why a couple of us said your tank setup is kind of bare. I would not try to add more guppies until we can pin point your water condition and see how the last guppy acts. Oh, and thank you for asking, my guppies are doing great. Noconcerns yet. They are a hyper as reputation. Lol.
I definitely will look into getting some more decorations once I get my water under control. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I am sorry to hear about your last guppy. This is what I would do.
1. Scrap algae if any on glass.
2. Gravel/siphon any gunk in the water.
3. As you are doing step 2, remove 30% of the water (3 gallons).
4. Prepare your replacement water from your tap, the temp needs to match your tank water 78°. Add 1/2 cap of Seachem Prime, each line inside the cap are measurements. Then add back to your tank.
5. Add 2 teaspoons or 10 ml of the Tetra Cleaning Bacteria. Shake bag first.
6. Test your water tomorrow.

Now there is a difference between a water changes and tank cleaning.

Water changes I do weekly 25%. I vacuum. I prep my new water with a small amount of Seachem Prime. And that's it.

Everything thing else is a cleaning. The Tetra Cleaning Bacteria is to be only use monthly when you clean. Be cautious not to remove your natural beneficial bacteria.

There is another problem with your water. Your GH is too low. That means you have very soft water and are lack necessary minerals. GH and KH are recorded in ppm or degrees. Your GH is 0-30 ppm or 0-4 dGH (degrees general hardness) Guppies don't like this. They like a dGH of 8-20 dGH (140-320 ppm). Your KH at 120 ppm is 6-7 dKH. Because you have a tropical, planted tank with shrimp, the general guidelines for KH is 65-135 ppm and a GH of 65-135 ppm. I am going to try to link you some articles that may help.
Algae.
By the way guppies like to eat algae.
GH and KH
Water Changes
Tank Cleaning
Tank Cleaning with algae
Guppy Care Guide
I don't know what type of guppies you had but will give an idea. Guppies need high quality food. I am attaching a photo of my list of foods that I use.

These should help. Be careful to use store products to control algae products, it could kill you shrimp.

If you have any questions. I will here. View attachment 844840
Thank you so much. I will do this today and test my water tomorrow. I want to make sure that I don’t any other water conditioner than seachem prime Because of the ammonia in my tap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
When PH >7, the water will be converted into non-toxic ammonium. But it seems can not solve your problem at all, there is a potential threat of PH shock, and water changes can only be done as a short-term rapid ammonia reduction method.
Personally, may be you should tank the ammonia out of your tank. But that's a project you can take more for infos from these tips How to take the ammonia out of aquarium? to do it.
Thank you I will definitely look into it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Ok sorry it has taken me so long to come back with some results some things came up, but I am back now. I have looked in to all of your resources @evonneramsey and they were very helpful thank you. I also did what you told me to do and these are the results.

pH- 7.6
High Range pH- 8
Ammonia- I want to say 0ppm but it may be a little higher.
Nitrite- 0ppm
Nitrates- 5ppm

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This means that almost everything has stayed the same except my ammonia has gone down a lot which is really good and I think the Nitrates have gone up a little. I am assuming continuing regula water changes will help balance everything out, it what do y’all think? I also don’t understand how my pH is still so high.

I also te tested my GH and KH and got this.
GH- 30
KH-80

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So from what I read my GH is a little low but my KH is good. I plan on ordering an actual test kit off of Amazon to make sure I am getting good measurements though. This also may not make a difference but I did test my tap water and I got Pretty much the same as my tank.
GH- 30
KH- 80
Unfortunately though I did not get a picture. Do y’all have any further suggest on how to help me fix my tank.
 
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