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Hmarie37

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I am a new fish mom, going on a month now! My thread may be a long one as it’s been quite the ride! On an impulse I bought a tank off of Facebook. Little did I know this tank came with the fish as well. I didn’t know much about fish as I took them on (I planned to do more research as I let the tank set, or “cycle” for the week). I used the water that was already in the tank (10gal, 6 neon tetras, 2 coy cat, 2 snails, and one black skirt) not knowing what I should be looking for. After a couple days of owning the fish I noticed they weren’t swimming around the tank but staying around the bottom and the black skirt was hiding in the corner. I brought the water to the local pet shop to be tested and the ammonia was as high as it could be. To me that meant nothing as I still had very little knowledge on fish. After a water change and three days of stability the ammonia did not change. I got them a larger, 20 gal tank, with brand new water and bought the API Freshwater Test Kit, and since then the water has tested near perfect. Ph around a 7.0 Nitrites/Nitrates/Ammonia at 0. I read about black skirt tetras needing to school and bought three more after the tank was testing good for a week. One of them passed a few days ago after getting stuck in a decoration (which I then removed the decoration). The water is testing about the same with nitrites at .025, and I have been adding stability every 24hrs for now 5 days. (My timeline may be a little skewed as I don’t remember exact dates) Three days ago I bought 3 white skirts and one black skirt. They are now darting at each other and don’t seem to be schooling like the original group of four were. Being that I’m new at this I don’t know what is normal behavior and what isnt and I am beyond stressed out! I just want my babies to be happy and healthy and it’s so hard to tell what is abnormal behavior in fish as I read so many different things! I am working on adding more live plants in hopes that giving them more hiding spaces (as I will not be adding any more decorations I’m scared, I have one large log and a rock and about five live plants) will help with their anxiety. I am also ordering an air stone/bubbler. Not to mention I can’t tell if the neon tetras are spawning or if they’re bullying each other too! Super long story short: I am here to read more, learn more, and maybe get more advice on how to ensure my fish are living the best life possible.
 
.25 nitrite*
 
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Hopefully you have a filter large enough for the tank . Perhaps the fish store will give some established filter media to add to your tank to speed up the cycling process. Ammonia or nitrite at any amount will kill your fish. You need to test daily for ammonia and nitrite and any day that the readings are above 0, you would need to do a 75% water change. Be sure to use a water conditioner to remove ammonia from your tap water. It may take weeks before tank is cycled and stay stable.
Consequences of not doing the above:
your fish will die.
 
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Also adding lots of plants including some floating will help speed up the cycling process.
 
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I am in the process of adding more live plants and after the stability treatments nitrites are down to 0 again. I have a 20-50 gal fluval filter currently. I definitely have been using water conditioner before adding new water as well😞
Also ammonia is at 0
 
Hopefully you have a filter large enough for the tank . Perhaps the fish store will give some established filter media to add to your tank to speed up the cycling process. Ammonia or nitrite at any amount will kill your fish. You need to test daily for ammonia and nitrite and any day that the readings are above 0, you would need to do a 75% water change. Be sure to use a water conditioner to remove ammonia from your tap water. It may take weeks before tank is cycled and stay stable.
Consequences of not doing the above:
your fish will die.
I am in the process of adding more live plants and after the stability treatments nitrites are down to 0 again. I have a Fluval 50 in a 20 gal so I imagine the filter is strong enough. I definitely have been using water conditioner before adding new water as well😞my ammonia is at 0 as well.
 
Hopefully you have a filter large enough for the tank . Perhaps the fish store will give some established filter media to add to your tank to speed up the cycling process. Ammonia or nitrite at any amount will kill your fish. You need to test daily for ammonia and nitrite and any day that the readings are above 0, you would need to do a 75% water change. Be sure to use a water conditioner to remove ammonia from your tap water. It may take weeks before tank is cycled and stay stable.
Consequences of not doing the above:
your fish will die.
And as far as filter media, although I don’t know how it works, the filter has 3 cartridges. One for the foam filter, one for carbon and the bio max filter as well
 
And as far as filter media, although I don’t know how it works, the filter has 3 cartridges. One for the foam filter, one for carbon and the bio max filter as well
If you can replace one of the foam or bio filter media with some from a filter of an already established tank, you'll be adding beneficial bacteria which will accelerate your tank's cycle. Thing about that is that you have to be very careful where that is coming from. You could be risking adding disease to your tank. Unless you completely trust the source, it might not be worth the risk.
You don't particularly need that carbon filter. It doesn't do anything that regular water changes don't already do. You can replace that with another layer of foam or bio media.
 
Welcome to TFF

The "skirt" tetras (black, white, etc) are aggressive fin-nippers, especially when kept with inadequate numbers (<10), and should be kept in a larger tank than 20G, to help spread out the aggression amongst themselves...I would return/rehome them, if you can

Read on cycling your tank here: https://www.fishforums.net/threads/cycle-your-tank-a-complete-guide-for-beginners.475055/
That’s not what I wanted to hear but I understand 😞 I love them all so much already
 
I keep 4 black skirt tetras with 4 tiger barbs in my 29 gallon tank. They do not nip in that tank.
I have also had them in my 35 gallon tall hex which is less wide than a 20 gallon tank. They did fine in both tanks. I found 6 to be a good number of them to prevent aggression.
this is a good site to see proper care for BS tetras:
 
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Hi and welcome to TFF... :hi:
Enough has already been said about the ammonia problem. So, I won't go there.
Schooling fish won't school all the time. Especially, when the number of them is low. That's quite normal.
 
Hi and welcome to TFF... :hi:
Enough has already been said about the ammonia problem. So, I won't go there.
Schooling fish won't school all the time. Especially, when the number of them is low. That's quite normal.
It seems like they are warming up to each other now, still not schooling but not much darting at each other unless I bring out the food😭😂 my fat boys are crazy. Gonna grab them some more plants today so they have more spaces to play in!
 

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