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Newbie, New tank, Tons of questions.

Who is the killer

  • The betta

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • Other tetras

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • My negligence

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    1
  • Poll closed .

victorwei

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Greetings everyone,

My name is Victor and I'm new to this hobby. English is not my first language so please bear with my broken thread, I need help in fixing some non-fatal but still serious tank problems.

I settled up a new fresh water tank for a betta a while ago, it holds about ten gallons of water (the tank is bigger than that but I have tons of substrate in it) in my bedroom near the window, since it is going into cold season the water temperature is around 23C (74F) with a slight drop at night (the tank is right in front of a radiator that will be turned on in winter so I can probably save myself an extra heater). The tank don't get a lot of sunlight since the window is facing north, but I managed to put some light on top of it with a combination of table lamp and small aquarium light. The lights are set on a timer from 8 in the morning to 8 at night, combined with natural lighting I think it is enough for what's inside.

Regarding filtration system, which is a shame to talk about, I tried to build an airlift system that uses substrate to filter most of the waste, but failed inevitably realizing that I will never get enough air for the cycle to run properly. Fixing the half broken filter system is another topic that I won't cover here, I do have a plan and I will run with it later. For now, let's just say that there is no physical filtration and it barely kept nitrate-eating bacteria alive.

Which is probably what is causing the water problem right now.

For water I use dechlorinated tap water straight from bath tub. I use some IDK brand of water treatment stuff that is said to be used in fish keeping. I tested the water before use, and it shows no chlorine and no ammonia after treatment. I used these water every time during water change.

For the occupants of the aquarium, I chose neon tetras and shrimps (various types) to accompany the betta, I made sure to put the shrimp and tetras in first, waited a couple of days, then the betta. I kept a close eye on all of them, and aside from occasional harassment of shrimps from the betta (just the betta swimming around seems to be scary as hell for the shrimps) and some chasing between tetras, I can see no serious conflicts between all the tank mates. Everything seems to be pretty happy for the first three days.

When the betta was put in, there were 12 tetras and at least 3 shrimps inside the tank. 11 of the tetras were from the same store while an extra one from an older tank somewhere else.

The first fish death comes within the first week, when I am still tuning the settings of the auto feeder. I saw the left over of an once-tetra on the bottom of the tank with most of the body intact. I thought it was the single one tetras from the separate tank that got bullied and killed by other tetras at first, but the second death followed two days after. This time the body is eaten to the head by the betta, I tried to check the video record of the tank to see what caused the death, but I can only confirm that the tetra was mostly intact and in the bottom of the water when dead, then floated to the surface and got eaten by the betta.

Then the tetra died off one by one till there are only five remain, and the dying stopped (from the second or third death on I stopped the auto-feeder, and now they all got the starving treatment). during this period I have limited access to the tank so I can't even find and clean up the remains. Due to this, the water went from this:

微信图片_20181015114923.jpg


to this

微信图片_20181015114920.jpg


and it got way worse than what is shown on the picture. This morning, I had to do a 1/3 water change because I can't even see the log in the water. The coloring of the water is a foggy yellow-brown atm, and water change seems to have little to no effect what soever. It seems that the fishes are still quite okay, since the water is still zero ammonia and zero nitrite (probably by the help of whatever is blooming in the tank).

So I got few questions.

How did the tetra die? overfeeding? bullying? the betta seems to be behaving quite nicely when I have eyes on him.
What is happening in the tank? will a better-working filtration system fix it?
Is the silicon sealant (when not dry) safe for the tank? or should I move as much things out as possible when working with it, I don't have any extra tank to work around with, and I feared that the movement will cause death, but if it is fully necessary I will try and find a way.
 
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Colin_T

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Hi and welcome to the forum :)

If I understand what's been written, you do not have a filter running on the tank?
If you don't have a filter running you will have water quality issues and lose fish from ammonia and or nitrite poisoning.

You mention that the ammonia and nitrite are currently zero, that is good but you might have had an ammonia reading when the fish were dying.

Having an established biological filter is essential for good fish health.

--------------------------
Automatic fish feeders are the worst thing ever designed for an aquarium. They take time to dial in and if something goes wrong with the tank (eg: power failure, dead fish, uneaten food), you kill the fish with ammonia poisoning. You are better off feeding the fish when you are there and you can monitor who is eating and how much food they are eating. If you spend time away from the tank and can only feed them once a week, put a heap of live plants in the tank and feed the fish well when you are home and let them go hungry when you're away.

More fish die from over feeding that causes ammonia poisoning, than from starvation. Unlike terrestrial animals that use most of the food they eat to keep warm, fish take their body temperature from the surrounding environment. This means any food they eat is used for swimming and growing. Because of this fish can go for weeks or even months without food and not starve to death. Having lots of live plants in an aquarium will help keep the water cleaner and encourage small organisms to grow in the tank and the fish can eat them.

If a fish dies in the tank (from whatever reason) other fish will usually pick at the body. This is normal because fish (and all animals) are opportunistic feeders. They eat whenever food is available because they don't know when their next meal is.

--------------------------
If the aquarium was bought from a petshop it will have aquarium silicon holding the glass together and this is perfectly safe for fish.

If you used a silicon that was not suitable for aquariums, then you might have poisoned the fish. Some glass silicon is made for bathrooms/ showers and have mould inhibitors in. These mould inhibitors are toxic to fish and slowly leech into the water affecting the fish. Doing a 75% water change and gravel cleaning the substrate each day will normally dilute most chemicals pretty quickly. Adding Activated carbon or Highly Activated carbon to a filter and running that in the tank can help by absorbing the chemicals from the water.

Make sure any silicon you use states that it is suitable for aquariums or fish. They usually have a picture on the packaging showing a fish tank if they are safe for fish.

If the fish have stopped dying, then the silicon is probably safe for fish.

--------------------------
The yellow discolouration in the water is probably tannins that are being released from the driftwood. Tannins are harmless to fish and have antibacterial properties. Tannins are what make a cup of tea (that we drink) the brown colour. The easiest way to remove tannins is to do big 75% water changes. It will dilute them, however the driftwood might continue to release tannins for some time.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

--------------------------
The tank also appears to have a milky cloudy appearance. That is normally caused by bacteria feeding on uneaten fish food. The easiest way to deal with this is with 75% water changes and gravel cleaning the substrate. Try to do a big water change and gravel clean each day until the water clears up.

To clean the substrate you can use a basic model gravel cleaner like the one in the following link. You start syphoning water out of the tank and push the big tube into the gravel and lift it up. The gunk in the gravel gets drawn out with some water and the gravel sinks back to the bottom. You move the gravel cleaner around the base of the tank and try to get rid of as much gunk as possible while draining out about 3/4 of the water. You then refill the tank with clean water that has no chlorine or chloramine in.
https://www.about-goldfish.com/aquarium-cleaning.html
 
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victorwei

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Back with some updates, and thanks for the help. I never thought it could be a combination of two problems.

I test the water every time I had concerns regarding water quality, which should be averagely once every two days, I usually do nitrite and ammonia test, and sometimes plus a PH and hardness test. The most recent result which is one day ago is zero ammonia with a slight nitrite spike, and by my memory I got a 7.5 PH and pretty low hardness the last time I tested those.

I already gave up on the auto feeder, now they receive a few bites amount of food flakes every morning. The good news for now is that no fish died for four-five days so I can focus on the water problem.

The bad news is that water change doesn't seem to even slightly reduce the cloudyness. I decide to fix the filter first to see if it helps since the cloudy water doesn't seem to bother the fish.

I will be back with more updates.
 

Byron

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I will just pick up on a couple of issues.

First though, welcome to TFF. And second, I do like your aquascape. :good:

I ran a 10 gallon aquarium infront of a window for a year, as a deliberate experiment. No light (just used daylight), no filter (plants), just a heater. The water was never crystal clear, but it was clean. The plants did quite well, as did the fish (11 Boraras brigittae, 9 pygmy cories, many small snails). I found the light the most difficult aspect to manage; daylight entering a window is not as consistent as tank lighting, so algae is more problematic and thee plants grew to the back (the light source) naturally. I moved the tank away from thee window, added a single sponge filter and overhead light, much better.

Light will have to be carefully monitored, or you will see algae issues. But the heat is even more critical. Never place an aquarium directly over a heat register, as this will not result in a consistent temperature. An in-tank heater is necessary unless you can guarantee to keep the room temperature a constant 75-76F/24C permanently. The tank water will be the room air temperature, though it takes longer to heat and cool than the room.

Fish. Male bettas are not community fish. And neons are about the worst fish to attempt keeping with them, probably due to the bright colours. You are guaranteed to have problems, either from the Betta or from the neon tetra deciding to nip the Betta's fins. This tank will house the Betta alone, just fine. Or remove the Betta and select some small-sized shoaling fish. But not both together, it will not work long-term even if it appears to bee OK now. It is not always apparent when fish are aggressive; chemical signals (pheromones and allomones) released by the fish and read by other fish can be just as aggressive as actual physical contact.

You mention using water from the bath tub...do you mean water collected from the faucet, or allowed to full the tub and then used? The latter may well result in soap and whatever getting into the water. If you run the water from the faucet into a pail used only for fish, that's OK.

Water. Some of the tint may be tannins from the wood which are harmless though unsightly. What is the substrate on the left, the black material? If that is dirt or soil of some type, that is your problem. I can explain when I know more.
 

emg.

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Greetings everyone,

My name is Victor and I'm new to this hobby. English is not my first language so please bear with my broken thread, I need help in fixing some non-fatal but still serious tank problems.

I settled up a new fresh water tank for a betta a while ago, it holds about ten gallons of water (the tank is bigger than that but I have tons of substrate in it) in my bedroom near the window, since it is going into cold season the water temperature is around 23C (74F) with a slight drop at night (the tank is right in front of a radiator that will be turned on in winter so I can probably save myself an extra heater). The tank don't get a lot of sunlight since the window is facing north, but I managed to put some light on top of it with a combination of table lamp and small aquarium light. The lights are set on a timer from 8 in the morning to 8 at night, combined with natural lighting I think it is enough for what's inside.

Regarding filtration system, which is a shame to talk about, I tried to build an airlift system that uses substrate to filter most of the waste, but failed inevitably realizing that I will never get enough air for the cycle to run properly. Fixing the half broken filter system is another topic that I won't cover here, I do have a plan and I will run with it later. For now, let's just say that there is no physical filtration and it barely kept nitrate-eating bacteria alive.

Which is probably what is causing the water problem right now.

For water I use dechlorinated tap water straight from bath tub. I use some IDK brand of water treatment stuff that is said to be used in fish keeping. I tested the water before use, and it shows no chlorine and no ammonia after treatment. I used these water every time during water change.

For the occupants of the aquarium, I chose neon tetras and shrimps (various types) to accompany the betta, I made sure to put the shrimp and tetras in first, waited a couple of days, then the betta. I kept a close eye on all of them, and aside from occasional harassment of shrimps from the betta (just the betta swimming around seems to be scary as hell for the shrimps) and some chasing between tetras, I can see no serious conflicts between all the tank mates. Everything seems to be pretty happy for the first three days.

When the betta was put in, there were 12 tetras and at least 3 shrimps inside the tank. 11 of the tetras were from the same store while an extra one from an older tank somewhere else.

The first fish death comes within the first week, when I am still tuning the settings of the auto feeder. I saw the left over of an once-tetra on the bottom of the tank with most of the body intact. I thought it was the single one tetras from the separate tank that got bullied and killed by other tetras at first, but the second death followed two days after. This time the body is eaten to the head by the betta, I tried to check the video record of the tank to see what caused the death, but I can only confirm that the tetra was mostly intact and in the bottom of the water when dead, then floated to the surface and got eaten by the betta.

Then the tetra died off one by one till there are only five remain, and the dying stopped (from the second or third death on I stopped the auto-feeder, and now they all got the starving treatment). during this period I have limited access to the tank so I can't even find and clean up the remains. Due to this, the water went from this:

View attachment 89077

to this

View attachment 89076

and it got way worse than what is shown on the picture. This morning, I had to do a 1/3 water change because I can't even see the log in the water. The coloring of the water is a foggy yellow-brown atm, and water change seems to have little to no effect what soever. It seems that the fishes are still quite okay, since the water is still zero ammonia and zero nitrite (probably by the help of whatever is blooming in the tank).

So I got few questions.

How did the tetra die? overfeeding? bullying? the betta seems to be behaving quite nicely when I have eyes on him.
What is happening in the tank? will a better-working filtration system fix it?
Is the silicon sealant (when not dry) safe for the tank? or should I move as much things out as possible when working with it, I don't have any extra tank to work around with, and I feared that the movement will cause death, but if it is fully necessary I will try and find a way.
Hi victor nice to meet you, you have a really nice tank. Im a newbee also and my tank is fairly new as well about a month or so. Just 1 tip about water changes, make sure your water is completely treated from chlorine before change and also if your water is not sync with the temperature of the water in the tank whenevr you do a big water change, you can cause cold shock on your fish and can die in less than 10 min. I lost 4 cichlids that way doing a 80% water change straight from the sink, only 1 survived and hardly i was sad. But hes okay now, swimming and eating happy. Also bought some more.friend for.him [emoji41]

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victorwei

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Hello and it is me again!

This I believe would be the final post to conclude my thread as my fish had died out and I threw away the tank to put an end to this hobby…Nah!

Jokes aside, the truth is the problem is greatly relieved and though a lot of things still remains a mystery, I think the crisis is gone, for now.

Here is my final thanks for all of your ideas and helps, especially regarding things to be cautious during water changes. I hooked up a really big barrel to the tank with a pump and some pipes so there are circulation in between them, then I just change the water in the barrel twice a day, this would help me avoid shocks to the fish of temperature and water conditions, as the pump is really slow in cycling the water. After several days of water changes, the coloration and cloudiness is reduced greatly.

No fish died during the time (I count the head every morning when feeding), I now feed them daily, giving them one to two flakes of fish food per fish, and everyone seems to be happy. One Anubias nana with exposed stem melted into oblivion, IDK why, other than that all else is fine.

I will probably put the update here as I fix the filtration system of the tank.
 

emg.

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Hello and it is me again!

This I believe would be the final post to conclude my thread as my fish had died out and I threw away the tank to put an end to this hobby…Nah!

Jokes aside, the truth is the problem is greatly relieved and though a lot of things still remains a mystery, I think the crisis is gone, for now.

Here is my final thanks for all of your ideas and helps, especially regarding things to be cautious during water changes. I hooked up a really big barrel to the tank with a pump and some pipes so there are circulation in between them, then I just change the water in the barrel twice a day, this would help me avoid shocks to the fish of temperature and water conditions, as the pump is really slow in cycling the water. After several days of water changes, the coloration and cloudiness is reduced greatly.

No fish died during the time (I count the head every morning when feeding), I now feed them daily, giving them one to two flakes of fish food per fish, and everyone seems to be happy. One Anubias nana with exposed stem melted into oblivion, IDK why, other than that all else is fine.

I will probably put the update here as I fix the filtration system of the tank.
Really tought you gave up the tank [emoji50], looks really amazing congrats, for a small 10 gallon tank thats really cool looking scaping. The barrel idea to keep your new water circulated sounds like a really good way to go around filling the tank straight with it, just male sure you use the dechlorinazer conditioner before pouring into the barrel as well, then you really wont have to do much besides empyting so much water from time to time. You should consider some corydora fish for cleaning your substrate also. Idk much about compatibility but you should check first which cory does best with which micro schooling fish, but best of luck hopefully you get your filter up a running so you dont have to deal with any additional problems [emoji18] hoepfully your fish are well and happy for a long time [emoji41] my cichlids like to come and spy on me whenever i get close to spy on them, theyre fine now but still need to fix some stuff myself.


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emg.

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Hello and it is me again!

This I believe would be the final post to conclude my thread as my fish had died out and I threw away the tank to put an end to this hobby…Nah!

Jokes aside, the truth is the problem is greatly relieved and though a lot of things still remains a mystery, I think the crisis is gone, for now.

Here is my final thanks for all of your ideas and helps, especially regarding things to be cautious during water changes. I hooked up a really big barrel to the tank with a pump and some pipes so there are circulation in between them, then I just change the water in the barrel twice a day, this would help me avoid shocks to the fish of temperature and water conditions, as the pump is really slow in cycling the water. After several days of water changes, the coloration and cloudiness is reduced greatly.

No fish died during the time (I count the head every morning when feeding), I now feed them daily, giving them one to two flakes of fish food per fish, and everyone seems to be happy. One Anubias nana with exposed stem melted into oblivion, IDK why, other than that all else is fine.

I will probably put the update here as I fix the filtration system of the tank.
You should also look into using activated carbon to help with tanmings or help reduce the smell of heavy plantations in the tank i think, also you should use some small sponges that resemble the bio sponge amd throw them inside the tank just to create some some more areas for beneficial bacteria to thrive as well [emoji3]

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NickAu

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You should also look into using activated carbon
Activated carbon has only one use in an aquarium and thats to remove medication other than that its useless.

also you should use some small sponges that resemble the bio sponge amd throw them inside the tank just to create some some more areas for beneficial bacteria to thrive as well
There is no reason to do this.

Male Bettas are solitary fish and best kept that way.
 

emg.

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Activated carbon has only one use in an aquarium and thats to remove medication other than that its useless.


There is no reason to do this.

Male Bettas are solitary fish and best kept that way.
sorry for the misleading info, im a newbee as well just making some comments its always good to double check any info either way lol

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NickAu

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No probs we were all novices at some stage.
 

emg.

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No probs we were all novices at some stage.
Lol yea im really into this new hobbie tho so im also looking forward to learn as much as possible. Is rather easy to keep you aquarium good as long as you follow the simple keeping maintenance steps, just hard when it comes to some sort of diseases xC lol

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NickAu

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PS.

This I believe would be the final post to conclude my thread as my fish had died out and I threw away the tank to put an end to this hobby
Do you still have the tank? If you do and you want to continue keeping fish I will help you set it up correctly if you like.
 

emg.

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PS.



Do you still have the tank? If you do and you want to continue keeping fish I will help you set it up correctly if you like.
Yea i still have the tank, its 4 feet long 1.5 feet wide and i beleive 2 feet high is about 50 gallons. Im using an aquatop cf400uv canister plus a HOB on it thats pretty much it got 6 cichlids and 2 roseline shark in there plus 4 turtles lol

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emg.

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PS.



Do you still have the tank? If you do and you want to continue keeping fish I will help you set it up correctly if you like.
Sorry didnt realize this was for victor post lol but either way thats my tank tho xD

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