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Both my new catfish died!?

Discussion in 'Catfish' started by Fabfish, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. Fabfish

    Fabfish New Member

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    Hi this is my first time using this the forums. I just got some new tropical fish for my tank yesterday. 3 balloon mollies, 3 Tatras and 2 Bristlenose catfish. And within the first 2 hours of them being in the tank one of the cat fish has died and I woke up this morning and found the second one dead to. They had seemed fine when I put them in and didn’t even seem like they were distressed so it was a bit of a surprise to me to find them dead. The water temperature is kept at 24 degrees and the ph at neutral (7.0) because they hadn’t been there that long I hadn’t fed them yet as I usually wait till the next day after bringing them home. All of the other fish are doing great and have had no problems settling in.
    Why did my catfish die?

    If anyone has any ideas please let me know.
     
  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Hi and welcome to the forum :)

    How long has the tank been set up for?
    Has the filtered cycled (developed the beneficial bacteria needed to keep the water free of ammonia and nitrite)?
    What is the ammonia, nitrite & nitrate level in the tank water?

    The following link has information about what to do if your fish get sick. It's long and boring but worth knowing. I recommend printing it out and reading it in bed to help fall asleep :)
    http://www.fishforums.net/threads/what-to-do-if-your-fish-gets-sick.450268/

    Test the water and post the results (in numbers) here.
    Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate. Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.
    Post pictures of the sick/ dead fish if you still have them.
     
  3. Moony42

    Moony42 New Member

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    THAT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THE REASON ALWAYS. IT COULD ALSO BE
    THE FACT THAT THE WATER IN THE TANK. WAS PROBALY A LITTLE DIFFERENT THAN THE WATER IN THE SHOP.ALSO DID YOUR FISH HAVE WHITE STRINGY POOP? IF SO IT IS SICK FROM THE SHOP ITSELF
     
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  4. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Moony42
    Turn off Caps Lock please :)
     
  5. Fabfish

    Fabfish New Member

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    The tank has been set up for a few weeks now but the filter and heat I’ve only just bought and had only been working for about 24h. Not sure how to test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate and I’m not too familiar with it. I didn’t take any photos of the catfish that died but they looked normal and healthy, identical to when I had got them except a lot more motionless obviously. There didn’t seem to be any odd spots or markings they didn’t ever look discoloured. All the rest of the fish seem happy and healthy.
     
  6. Fabfish

    Fabfish New Member

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    As they were only in my tank for less they 2h for the first and 9h for the second they didn’t poop while I had them. I checked with the pet shop 3 weeks prior to purchasing my fish what condition they keep there fish at so that I could condition my tank the same as I knew I was eventually getting them from that particular pet shop.
     
    #6 Fabfish, Apr 21, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
  7. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Do not add any more fish to the tank until it has cycled in a couple of months time.

    If the tank is only a couple of weeks old and didn't have a filter until yesterday, the fish probably died from ammonia poisoning.

    Anything that breaks down in water (fish food, fish waste, dead plant, dead fish) produce ammonia. In an established tank with an active biological filter, you get beneficial bacteria that eat the ammonia and convert it into nitrite. You get more bacteria that eat nitrite and convert it into nitrate. You get rid of nitrates by doing regular water changes (about 75% each week). Without an established biological filter, the ammonia levels build up and poison the fish.

    It takes about 4-6 weeks for a filter to become established with the good bacteria. Until that happens you should keep the feeding down to a couple of times per week and do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate 4-8 hours after feeding. You should also monitor the ammonia and nitrite levels and do a 75% water change any time you have a reading.
    Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added tot he tank.

    You can buy test kits from the pet shop to test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH and GH. There are "Master Test Kits" that contain all these tests or you can buy them individually. If money is tight then take a glass of tank water to the local pet shop and ask them to test the water for you. Write the results down in numbers when they do the test.

    If you do buy test kits, try to get liquid test kits rather than dry paper strip kits. The liquid ones are slightly more accurate. Check the expiry date on them and don't buy kits that are kept near a heat source or in front of a window.
    Keep test kits in a cool dry place away from light to maximise their shelf life.

    If you want to help speed up the cycling process you can buy liquid bacterial supplements and add them to the tank. I recommend using a double dose every day for the first week, then add the rest. Try to add it to the aquarium near the filter intake so it gets drawn into the filter where it's needed.

    If you post a picture of the filter and the name of it, we can tell you how to maintain the filter.
     
  8. Fabfish

    Fabfish New Member

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    Here’s a photo of the type of filter I use. Not sure of the brand or anything. I only kept the instructions not the box and I bought I off eBay (not sure if getting it of eBay makes a difference or not) also the type of water condition that I use also sets the ph to 7.0 and I was wondering if using the bacterial supplement would mess with it or affect it in anyway.
     

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  9. essjay

    essjay Member

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    The first thing you need to do is buy a test kit. Most of us use the API master test kit. As Colin explained, fish waste, uneaten food etc make ammonia and this is toxic to fish. Once the ammonia eating bacteria start to grow they turn ammonia into nitrite which is also toxic. After several weeks the tank will have grown enough bacteria to 'eat' all the ammonia and nitrite making the tank safe for fish. Until then, it is your job to do water changes to keep both ammonia and nitrite at zero.

    You do not need to alter the pH of your water. Stop using the product that sets your pH to 7. It is much better to keep fish suited to your water than to alter the water to suit fish.
    (We also need to talk about your fish later as mollies and tetras are not compatible - they need different types of water)


    Can you tell us the size of your tank please, the length, width and height from the top of the gravel (or whatever is on the bottom of the tank) to the surface of the water.
     
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  10. Fabfish

    Fabfish New Member

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    It’s about 22 litres so I won’t be getting catfish again for this particular tank as I have learnt it will become too small for them as they grow. They were only 3cm. The length is about 45cm height 25cm (from the gravel to where I fill the water to) and the width is about 20cm.
     
  11. essjay

    essjay Member

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    I suspected the tank was small when I looked at the photo of the filter.


    I strongly recommend that you take all the fish you have back to the shop. None of them are suitable for a tank this size.
    Mollies are big fish; females can grow up to 6 inches/15 cm long. Tetras are shoaling fish which need a group of at least 6 of the same kind, preferably more. Again, the tank is too small for a group of fish.

    Once you have removed the fish, you can then do a fishless cycle using this method http://www.fishforums.net/threads/cycling-your-new-fresh-water-tank-read-this-first.421488/

    When the tank is cycled, there are very few fish suitable for a tank this size. The only one I can think of at the moment is a betta (which is also known as a siamese fighting fish)

    Alternatively, you could get another much larger tank :)



    Please do not listen to anything a shop worker tells you, particularly large chain general pet shops. Most of them are trained in how to make things up and sound convincing in order to make a sale.
     
  12. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Your filter is an internal power filter. They have a small water pump on top and a plastic cage with a sponge in the cage.

    Turn the pump off and unplug it from the power point.
    Put the pump in a clean bucket that is only used for the fish. Separate the pump from the case.
    Get a bucket and half fill it with tank water. Squeeze the sponge out in the bucket of tank water. When the sponge is clean put it back in the tank.

    Wash the filter case and motor under tap water.
    The motor will have a plastic cover that goes over the impellor. The impellor is a magnet with 3 or 4 plastic blades on one end. There is usually a steel shaft that runs through the middle of the impellor and a rubber grommet on each end of the steel shaft. Do not lose the grommets.
    Take the impellor off the shaft and rinse it with tap water. Be careful not to drop things down the drain.
    Rinse the motor under tap water, then reassemble it and get it all going again.
     
  13. Fabfish

    Fabfish New Member

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    Will cleaning the filter too much get rid of all the good bacteria then kill the fish because of the ammonia ?
     
  14. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    If the filter hasn't established, then you can wash the bacteria out. Try not to clean the filter while it is cycling and wait at least 2 weeks after it has cycled, before you clean it. However, if the filter needs cleaning before then, clean it. You will know when it needs cleaning because the water flow coming out of the pump will be reduced.

    When the filter is established, you should clean it at least once a month and every 2 weeks is better.
     
  15. Fabfish

    Fabfish New Member

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    What’s a cycle and what’s it mean if the filter is established?
     

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