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Fish Continue To Die

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by Arkportguy87, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. Arkportguy87

    Arkportguy87 Member

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    Hi I have a 55 gallon aquarium that has been set up and running for almost 4 weeks now. I have now 2 neon tetras, 3 baby jelly bean parrot fish about an inch in size each, and 4 fancy guppies 2 male and 2 females , and 1  4" pleco. I had three more fancy guppies and a black moore  but they all died and i was just wondering if i could get some insite into why this might be happeing? Did i start out with too many fish and its still affecting the tank? I also change about 5 gallons of the water every week and add start right to the new water every time is that to much? Should I not change the water like that every week? or is that good for it i was under the impression that it was especially if you keep goldfish? IS there anything else i should do to the water before i pour it into the tank? Should it sit for a certain amount of time before i add it?.  Another question is I have 2  18" bubble curtains lining the back wall of the same aquarium is that too much? I never have them running at full power because i figured that was creating too much current in the water. But i assumed that having as much water circulation and airation as possible would be optimum for the tank and in the end would allow me to keep a few more fish in there than if i didnt have them is that correct? Thank you for all of you help......

     
  2. Mikey1

    Mikey1 Moved On

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    sounds like the tank/filter is not fully cycled,
     
    there is not enough bacteria to keep up with the bio-load of the tank, your fish are being slowly poisoned to death
     
    how long did you wait to add fish after you set the tank up?
     
    sounds like you added fish to quickly and too many fish in too short a period of time,
     
    for a newly cycled tank you should only be adding about 3-4 fish every two weeks or so
     
  3. This Old Spouse

    This Old Spouse TOTM Winner May 2013

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    Did you cycle your filter before adding the fish? What kind of filter do you have? Click on the link below to get to the Beginner's Resource Center to read about cycling your filter.
     
    With a new tank you should really be changing about 50% of the water each week and replace with temperature-matched dechlorinated water. We prefer to use Seachem Prime as it also neutralizes other trace minerals in the water. The water doesn't need to sit before you put it in the tank.
     
  4. essjay

    essjay Member

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    The problem is that you are not changing enough water.
     
    You don't mention having done a fishless cycle before getting your fish, so I assume you are doing a fish-in cycle. Can I suggest you read these nitrogen cycle and fish -in cycling The first will explain what the nitrogen cycle is and the second will explain what you need to do to keep your fish alive for the next couple of months.
     
    In summary, fish make ammonia, which is toxic. Bacteria in the filter turn it into nitrite, which is also toxic. More bacteria in the filter turn the nitrite into nitrate. But these bacteria take a couple of months to grow and until then the fishkeeper has to do a lot of water changes to remove these poisons till the bacteria have grown.
     
    You will need to buy liquid reagent testers for ammonia and nitrite (preferably a master set which contains both of them and also nitrate and pH testers). Testing the water daily will tell you if you need to do a water change to remove ammonia and/or nitrite
     
     
    Edit - I'm so slow at typing the others have beaten me to it.
     
  5. N0body Of The Goat

    N0body Of The Goat Oddball and African riverine fish keeper

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    It does sound as is the tank/filter was not "fishless cycled."
     
    "Fish in cycling" takes far longer, because above all else, you need to keep the water safe for the fish. Typically the water is safe if there is less than 0.25mg/l nitrite, ammonia will vary upon the temperature and pH of the water, but generally speaking <1mg/l in anything but tropical pH 8 is not critical (but many try to keep it <0.25mg/l readings from liquid test kits). Dangerous levels of either require ~75-95% water changes.
     
    You have only been changing ~10% weekly regardless, which even if the water tests were good, is still on the low side. Fishkeepers commonly change ~33-50% weekly, personally I do ~50% and every ~6 weeks I do a ~75% (topped up more gradually over a day or two) to freshen up the water.  
     
  6. Arcticfox1977

    Arcticfox1977 Member

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    I am doing the fish in cycle as I have 2 young kids and resigned myself to do lots of water changes. I have the api master kit which is accurate. I have had fish in my tank for 3 weeks now. My readings since adding the fish till today are.
    Ammonia 0- 0.25 (if the level hits 0.25 I do a 20% water change)
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate 0
    PH 7.6 or 7.4 on high pH.
    If all readings show 0 I don't water change. At the moment I have to WC 1 to 1 half days.
     
  7. This Old Spouse

    This Old Spouse TOTM Winner May 2013

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    You should probably be doing a 20-25% water change daily and a 50% weekly, regardless if you're showing ammonia. If your tank was cycled you'd be getting some nitrate readings.
     
    If your ammonia showed .25 and you did only a 20% water change, then you'd have an ammonia reading of .20 and that's still toxic.
     
  8. Arcticfox1977

    Arcticfox1977 Member

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    With me a 20% wc is enough to show 0 ammonia. I test my water every 12hrs just now.
     
  9. Arkportguy87

    Arkportguy87 Member

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    well i did let my tank sit for 2 days before i added any fish, Im not sure if that was long enough or not.... I have been talking with the people at my local pet store and they told me that weekly water changes of any sort were bad for the tank that i should only do about a ten percent change every two weeks. its so hard to say what the right thing to do is because everybody has there own opinions and ways of doing this. I just want my fish to stop dying so that i am able to add more fish...


    Do i have to much water movent with the two 18 in bubble curtains lining the back of my 55 gallon tank or is that ok?


    is 80 degrees a good temp to keep the aquarium at or should it be higher or lower?
     
  10. This Old Spouse

    This Old Spouse TOTM Winner May 2013

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    First rule of keeping fish ... don't seek the advice of people who work in the local fish shop (LFS). Their main goal is to make money, not to assure your fish live a long and happy life, because that means you won't be coming back as often to replace fish that have died.
     
    Letting your tank sit doesn't do anything. You need to following the instructions for fish-in cycling, oulined in the link in my sig below. I've never heard of nice, clean water harming fish. That's ridiculous. You need to do daily water changes and replace old water with dechlorinated, temperature-matched water. The best dechlorinator is Sechem Prime which also removes other trace components in the water which could potentially harm fish.
     
    Buy yourself a liquid test kit, such as API, so you can test daily for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. 
     
    If you could find someone who has a large mature tank, you could ask for a filter media donation. This will kick-start your cycle. If you get enough of it you're able to nearly instantly cycle your tank.
     
  11. This Old Spouse

    This Old Spouse TOTM Winner May 2013

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    The bubbles are fine if you like them.
     
    Temp is a little high, I think. I keep mine at about 76.
     
  12. Arkportguy87

    Arkportguy87 Member

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    If i should do a daily water change in my 55 gallon, how many gallons should i be cycling out?


    I wont be preventing a good amount of the benificial bacteria to grow by changing water that often?
     
  13. Teacup

    Teacup Member

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    First step is to breath – you came to a site to seek help when you were unsure – bravo! You have your fishies in there now, so do what you can to make them comfortable (ps – a 55g is a nice space for them). I would keep testing your water and whenever you see any readings above 0 for ammonia and/or nitrites, I would do a 25%-30% water change. Also, it might be a good idea to test the water you are using, just so that you know what you are adding. The beneficial bacteria is mainly in your filter – just be sure to leave it alone (i.e. don't change it or clean it with sink water – if it absolutely has to be cleaned, do it in the tank water…fishies won't mind). That is my simple suggestion, merely based on my own experiences...and I have done pretty darn well - all of my fishies are healthy and happy (haven't had a loss ever and been keeping them for over two years).
     
  14. This Old Spouse

    This Old Spouse TOTM Winner May 2013

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    You really should do a very large water change right away, up to 80%. Then as Teacup mentioned, if your ammonia or nitrites show anything above 0 do another water change. Honestly, I'd do 50% if I showed anything above 0.
     
    Don't rinse the filter in the tank, rinse it in tank water you've taken out. Otherwise you'll just foul the water. The cleaner the water, the better. The bacteria doesn't grow in the water but in your filter media. What kind of filter do you have?
     
  15. Arkportguy87

    Arkportguy87 Member

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    im currently using  an aqua tech 30-60 gallon power filter with a 330 gph ratio... so doing an 80% water change will not put my fish into some type of shock?
     

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