New and needing advice.

avocadopop

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Hey, I just registered here, and I've just recently picked up a few fish to care for.
I had 2 corydoras and 4 neon tetras.
now I'm down two 1 and 2. I'm very unsure how they died, all I can remember is treating the emerald cory for a bloated bladder w peas, him recovering, and then me finding his corpse a day later. Torn up and with a fungus growing on a part of him. (little spots)

I discovered it after coming home from work so there was a chance that they'd been dead all day.
I cleaned everything immediately, I got the survivors in a hospice tank and made sure they weren't sick - they were pale going in but after like an hour their colours came back.

But after all this, I cycled the tank, made sure it was clean and got them back in there.
Now every time I look at my remaining fish, I am so worried they're going to meet the same fate.

Tūb, the corydora has been 'dancing' up and down near where the water filter dumps all the water and bubbles - which I've been told is perfectly normal but now I'm so scared something is going to go wrong. He ate this morning, and whenever I go to sit by the aquarium and watch, he settles back down to the floor.
As a kid I had a betta and it died, and I was so distraught - this is my first time caring for fish since that (like 10 years)

if there's any advice or any reassurance y'all could offer I'd appreciate it! I'll try to attach photos of the clean tank and my corydora.
(I don't have live plants because I am not confident nor have the funds to buy all the stuff for an aqua scape yet saving up tho!)
My names Talon if you want something to refer to me by other than my username lol
 

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avocadopop

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crap forgot a few things!
the filter I had when they died got thrown out because it had bits in it from the massacre and if was too small for the tank.
also now, while it's a 20gal, I have a heater, a whisper IQ filter, and two thermometer on both sides averaging 75-77
 

Myraan

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He looks healthier than I was expecting, but that's kind of because you sacrificed his buddies to cycle the tank

How did you cycle? Do you have a current test results? Have you read this?

A single cory will be stressed, it might be worth adding an extra 3 for now if you are going to be fish-in cycling. How long have you had the new filter? You might have have been better off just swilling off the bits from the old filter as best you good. Even if it was literal pieces of dead fish, it would have helped to grow beneficial bacteria, but too late now.
 
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avocadopop

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He looks healthier than I was expecting, but that's kind of because you sacrificed his buddies to cycle the tank

How did you cycle? Do you have a current test results? Have you read this?

A single cory will be stressed, it might be worth adding an extra 3 for now if you are going to be fish-in cycling. How long have you had the new filter? You might have have been better off just swilling off the bits from the old filter as best you good. Even if it was literal pieces of dead fish, it would have helped to grow beneficial bacteria, but too late now.
I'm sure that the terminology I used for cycle was wrong, I took everything out and washed it to the best of my knowledge. I just recently bought the filter and was getting it ready to be put in the tank when I found them.
when i sat the tank back up i put some cleaning bacteria in there to help with what i took out and cleaned. I'm sure i missed bits from the gravel.
along with make tap water safe stuff, a ph correction and making sure the temp was good to go. I rescued Tūb from my manager whose tank busted - which he had the fish for two years prior, so I'm glad that he's going strong still.

Now the situation of the tank when I found them, I couldn't keep any of the water. it was almost opaque with the amount of dead in there after removing most of the decor.
 

coriesinhawaii

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crap forgot a few things!
the filter I had when they died got thrown out because it had bits in it from the massacre and if was too small for the tank.
also now, while it's a 20gal, I have a heater, a whisper IQ filter, and two thermometer on both sides averaging 75-77
Just to make sure, when you said you cycled the tank do you mean you went through the weeks to months long process of adding an ammonia source into the tank and building up the good bacteria in that new filter? Because if not then the fish are in danger.
 
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avocadopop

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not a week long build up no... I didn't realize that, it was an emergency and high stress situation at 3am. I will monitor closely and check levels as much as I can since I'm off.
 

coriesinhawaii

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Ok so the tank has not actually been cycled then. So with a brand new filter it will likely take weeks for enough beneficial bacteria to develop to process the toxic ammonia that all fish produce. It will take some work to keep the fish healthy at this point. Read the subheading of fish-in cycling in the link that Myraan posted above.
 

Myraan

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You need a test kit to monitor ammonia (other things too, but mainly ammonia at the moment)

You to read through the link about fish-in cycling in the link I linked above
 
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avocadopop

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You need a test kit to monitor ammonia (other things too, but mainly ammonia at the moment)

You to read through the link about fish-in cycling in the link I linked above
thank you! I'm so sorry, I didn't even consider how long that sort of thing would take. thank you, I'll do my best to fix it.
 

coriesinhawaii

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You’re definitely not alone in not knowing about cycling a tank. It happens to a lot of people when they start out. It’s good that you care enough about the fish’s well being to try to save the situation 🙂
 

Myraan

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You could also try getting a load of live plants

You will want to build the stock up gradually starting with 3-5 more corydoras, but go slow and monitor for ammonia appearing
 

coriesinhawaii

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You could also try getting a load of live plants

You will want to build the stock up gradually starting with 3-5 more corydoras, but go slow and monitor for ammonia appearing
I wouldn’t add any additional fish until the tank is cycled but after that your Cory could really use some company, preferably the same species
 
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avocadopop

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You’re definitely not alone in not knowing about cycling a tank. It happens to a lot of people when they start out. It’s good that you care enough about the fish’s well being to try to save the situation 🙂
I love these fish, my boyfriend and I brought them into our home and technically are forcing them to be there, I want them to live the longest and healthiest life.
The amount of tears that I shed for my emerald cory when I found him floating upside down due to his bloated bladder, I did everything I could to fix the situation immediately.
 
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avocadopop

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so update, I got the stuff to test ammonia and nitrate levels, both are perfectly fine
however I did buy things to fix it should the levels change.
 

coriesinhawaii

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Good to hear! Check ammonia and nitrite daily for at least several days so you will catch it early if they do start to show up. If so you would want to do a large water change to get levels as close to 0 as possible and add in the ammonia/nitrite detoxifier every couple of days until readings disappear. (It’s ok if nitrate is present, in fact it indicates that the tank is making progress in the cycle. You just want to keep the nitrate below 20 (through your routine water changes) for your Cory.
 

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