Fish keep dying!!

AmyJade2004

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Hi,
Since the start of this year I have been keeping fish. First I got a 110 litre tank (around 25 gallons) and I have had so many problems. I have had a few ammonia spikes and lost quite a few fish to that. The most recent spike was about two months ago and I have lost a few fish because of that. I get the ammonia and nitrate tests done at my lfs so I'm not sure how big the spike was. I have also got a 22 litre tank (about 5 gallons) as my betta was attacking the other fish but that is sorted now and I have no more issues with that. However, recently my fish keep dying in the 110 litre tank. Yesterday I had the first death for two weeks and talked to my lfs about this but he said it could just be a one off from old age. The deaths before yesterday weren't very often but they all died in the same way: they start floating around, swimming weakly, falling to the floor, rapidly breathing and then dying. The other fish in the tank peck at whatever fish is dying but don't fully eat them and there were no chunks. About 3 weeks ago, one of my corys died which I assumed was because of ammonia poisnoning except I couldn't find its dead body in the tank. I was only gone for about half an hour from the point where he was almost dead and when I came back he was gone. At the time, I took out all of the decorations in the tank and couldn't find any signs of the dead fish anywhere. Today I had been gone all day and came back home to find my pleco missing. I can't really remember seeing him yesterday but I think I would've noticed if the fish were all in one area picking at the ill fish. I have no idea what they died of and I have no clue what I can do next to make sure no more die. Anyone have any ideas?
The fish in my 110 litre tank: 2 baby balloon mollies, 3 endlers, 3 guppies, 5 swordtails, 3 balloon mollies, 1 cory, 4 dwarf gouramis (I got these recently before I found out the other fish died), 1 zebra pleco, 1 common longfin pleco (this is the recent one that might be dead).
Water Parameters: The ammonia and nitrate is 0 (tested today) but not sure on anything else. Temperature is 25 degrees C
Water Changes: About 2 months ago my lfs recommended to stop doing water changes but I did a 15% water change 4 weeks ago and topped up the water in the tank 2 weeks ago.
Chemicals and treatments: I add bacteria pearls every week, tap water conditioner to any water added, and aquatic plant food
New fish: 4 gouramis but after the fish died
I will add photos off the tank set up (the net holds the molly babies)
Many thanks,
Amy :)
 

itiwhetu

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I water change weekly 25%. Any fish that dies in a tank needs to be removed immediately, if you can't find a body then I would always do a 25% water change as a protective measure. Don't panic fish do die from time to time, we need to look after the living ones.
 

itiwhetu

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Always be careful of large water changes. I like 25% as it freshens the tank up without removing to much of the stability of the system. I always use cold water for the top up. The cold water gives the tank about a 3-4 degree temperature drop which simulates a tropical downpour and is just enough to perk the fish up.
 

AilyNC

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Always be careful of large water changes. I like 25% as it freshens the tank up without removing to much of the stability of the system. I always use cold water for the top up. The cold water gives the tank about a 3-4 degree temperature drop which simulates a tropical downpour and is just enough to perk the fish up.
I don't think that's great advice at all. @AdoraBelle Dearheart what do you reckon? Surely matching temp is safer? I know first hand big water changes help to address a cycle crash.
 

kwi

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Always be careful of large water changes. I like 25% as it freshens the tank up without removing to much of the stability of the system. I always use cold water for the top up. The cold water gives the tank about a 3-4 degree temperature drop which simulates a tropical downpour and is just enough to perk the fish up.
Rapid temperature changes effect the bodily functions of fish and can be harmful, particularly to those adapted to specific temperatures.
Fish can detect small changes in temperature - some as small as 0.03C. Some fish succumb to whitespot and other stress-related diseases.

And I've been in a tropical downpour, it was like taking a shower, nice and warm.
 

itiwhetu

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Do you really think that in the wild the temperature is stable within 0.03C. Every day any body of water rises and falls day time to night time. Season to season, we need to think about what the conditions are like in there natural environment
 

kwi

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There have beeen studies done, now granted cold water fish are more sensetive than warm water fish, but the rapid changes are not good for any fish, don't forget they're in larger bodies of water in the wild, and larger bodies of water are inherently more stable and temperature changes would be a lot slower than you're subjecting your tank to.
What you are anthropomorphising as perkiness could be panic.......
 

AilyNC

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For now let's focus on helping OP who us having ammonia spikes and fish deaths. They need a test kit & water changes. @AmyJade2004 can you share info about how often you change water & how much, also if and how and when you clean filter? Are all your fish looking ok?

Once you have a kit for Ammonia, Nitrite & Nitrate you need to test water regularly. I would do every day until you've things settled. If ammonia or Nitrite are above zero do a big water Change - 75% would be perfect. If Nitrate is above 20 do a big water change. This helped me to stabilise my water while the tank cycled. It saved my fish - I was in very similar situation you are. It will get better though.
 

AilyNC

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Dreadful advice. Similar to what I had from LFS. I wonder if they clean the filter in tao water, killing beneficial bacteria and kicking if a crashed cycle. So that might be why she has times everything is ok, then losses.
 

AilyNC

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This is the forum template so @AmyJade2004 can fill out and get more specific/accurate advice ----

When posting a request for help can you please include the following info

1. Water parameters. (ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, PH, temp', Hardness etc)
2. A full description of the fishes symptoms.
3. How often you do water changes and how much.
4. Any chemicals and treatments you add to the water.
5. What tank mates are in the tank.
6. Tank size.
7. Finally Have you recently added any new fish?

You may cut and paste the template below and submit in your post:

Request Help

Tank size:
pH:
ammonia:
nitrite:
nitrate:
kH:
gH:
tank temp:

Fish Symptoms (include full description including lesion, color, location, fish behavior):

Volume and Frequency of water changes:

Chemical Additives or Media in your tank:

Tank inhabitants:

Recent additions to your tank (living or decoration):

Exposure to chemicals:
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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Always be careful of large water changes. I like 25% as it freshens the tank up without removing to much of the stability of the system. I always use cold water for the top up. The cold water gives the tank about a 3-4 degree temperature drop which simulates a tropical downpour and is just enough to perk the fish up.
Whether a 25% top lowers the tank temp 3-4 degrees is going to depend on what temp the tank is kept at and the temp of the water you're using to replace it. So even if this was good advice (which I don't believe it is) you're not accounting for those differences at all. In summer, my tap water is pretty close in temp to my tank, and only needs a little extra water to temperature match to the tank, but in the winter, the water is so cold coming from the tap it takes a full kettle of boiling water to bring 10-15 litres close to my tank temp. So it varies even within the same household according to season, let alone if the tank is cooler or warmer, depending on livestock.

So giving that advice to a beginner is dangerous. Replacing a quarter of the total volume with water four degrees colder is a big temperature swing, and very imprecise. It wouldn't be hard to go a few degrees either side, and then you've made enough of a change in temp to put fish into a fatal shock, along with stressing them each time you do it and they survive it.

When comparing to nature, you have to compare proportionally. In a tropical downpour, a quarter of the total volume of the river or lake isn't being replaced.
 

itiwhetu

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Whether a 25% top lowers the tank temp 3-4 degrees is going to depend on what temp the tank is kept at and the temp of the water you're using to replace it. So even if this was good advice (which I don't believe it is) you're not accounting for those differences at all. In summer, my tap water is pretty close in temp to my tank, and only needs a little extra water to temperature match to the tank, but in the winter, the water is so cold coming from the tap it takes a full kettle of boiling water to bring 10-15 litres close to my tank temp. So it varies even within the same household according to season, let alone if the tank is cooler or warmer, depending on livestock.

So giving that advice to a beginner is dangerous. Replacing a quarter of the total volume with water four degrees colder is a big temperature swing, and very imprecise. It wouldn't be hard to go a few degrees either side, and then you've made enough of a change in temp to put fish into a fatal shock, along with stressing them each time you do it and they survive it.

When comparing to nature, you have to compare proportionally. In a tropical downpour, a quarter of the total volume of the river or lake isn't being replaced.
I have been keeping fish for over 45 years and doing this for over 20 years never had a problem. What aquarists do consistently is over analyze things. The best advise is to keep it simple. When we all start out we do what others do or tell us to do. Over time we work things out for ourselves. There are no right or wrong ways of doing things it is what works for you and what you a comfortable with.
 

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