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What Is The Matter With My Fish Tank?

hollypeeks88

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I bought a 5.5 gallon fish tank (which has a filter) and filled it with spring water. I filled it with 2 fancy guppies, 2 red wag platys, and 2 black skirt tetras. I got everything put together yesterday and stocked my tank with the fish. The water was clear and there was no smell. I fed my fish yesterday and realized today that there is food leftover. It was today when I noticed the water stated to become a bit cloudy. About 2 hours after this I started to smell something that smelt like garbage and realized it was the fish tank. This smell went away until I had to feed my fish. Now the tank is even more cloudy (I can barely see in it) and it smells again. What do I do???
 
Hi
 
I am going to guess that you did not cycle the tank?
 
 
and filled it with spring water
This is a problem most spring water is NOT fish safe.
 
 
I filled it with 2 fancy guppies, 2 red wag platys, and 2 black skirt tetras.
You tank is over stocked and there are other issues.
Guppies prefer hard water Tetras prefer soft water.
 
 
How often do you change water?
Are you using water conditioner?
What is the temperature of your tank?
 
Thank you for answering. 
 
No, we didn't cycle the tank because we didn't know we had to until it was all set up. The guy we bought the fish from didn't tell us. I had fish about 10 years ago and was told to use distilled water in the tank.
 
Would I be able to use distilled? Or what water is best to use? 
 
There is also some food at the bottom of the tank so I was going to vacuum it. We bought Tropical pellets (the guy told us to buy tropical food) and went to feed them only to find that they couldn't eat because it was too big. We bought the fish from Petsmart. 
 
I haven't changed the water in it yet since I just bought it and put fresh water in it on Saturday.
 
No, I haven't used water conditioner. 
 
The temperature in the tank is 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
 
 
I was thinking about maybe buying a 20 gallon tank and putting 4 of the 6 fish in it and leaving the 2 guppies in the 5.5 gallon.
 
Return the fish if possible
Distilled water = unstable pH
I filter tap water through charcoal in a device i own
 
 
hollypeeks88 said:
 
No, we didn't cycle the tank because we didn't know we had to until it was all set up. The guy we bought the fish from didn't tell us. I had fish about 10 years ago and was told to use distilled water in the tank.
 
 
 
How many times have we seen that. 
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You should check out the fish cycle page
 
You can still use the food, your fish can peck on it
 
It appears you have unfortunately fallen for what the LFS staff says.
 
Its weird but LFS staff are NOT to be reliad upon for good fishkeeping advice. You would have thought so but alas, no. All theyre interested in is to sell you their product, when they will have a break or luch and of course what time they finish!
 
Not ALL LFS are like this, there are few good staff or LFS that do actually care for thier livestock and dispense of good advice also.
 
Anyway, it does sound as if you have not cycled the tank, the real giveaway is the water is turning cloudy, this is likely to be a bacterial bloom most commonly found in new tank set up and in process of the start of cycling.
 
The use of bottled/distilled/RO water alone is not advisable for tropical fish tanks. Simply due to the fact the water is too pure, fish, shrimps, snails and plants etc actually need the minerals and trace elements of metals in order to grow and stay healthy.
 
You COULD do a 50% tap water and 50% RO/distilled water for your tank, but this is only really advisable if your tap water has terrible amounts of metals, chlorine and hardness etc.
 
So the first thing to do is to rehome or take back the fish back to LFS, hopefully for a refund or store credit, unlikely but possible.
 
2nd is to test your tap water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate as well as for pH. If you dont have a test kti, then I'd advise you to get a fairly decent test kit, such as API Freshwater Master test Kit, not bad value for money ad more accurate than the paper strip dip kits.
 
Also you could take a sample of tap water to your LFS, they can test the water for you, sometimes free, sometimes for a small fee. If doing this method, be sure to ask for exact readings of all the test they carry out, not accept the just 'its fine' type of answer.
And as for gH and kH levels, have a look online for your local water authority and look for water quaility, should be several pages of a list of elements and various readings of number sin different scales. Be easiet to take a screenshot or share the page on this thread and we can see exactly what sort of levels you have for your tap water.
 
Thirdly, have a read of this article, it may take several times to read to begin to grasp the concept of cycling a tank and understanding how the nitrogen cycle works, but its easier than you may initially think and very much well worth doing. Cycling Your New Fresh Water Tank: Read This First!
 
Fourth, you need to get some tap safe conditioner/dechlorinator, this makes the tap water safer for your fish and shrimps etc by simply detoxifying or binding harmful metals as well as chlorine and ammonia if any is present.
 
Fifth, while the tank is cycling, I'd advise you to research or ask advice what is more suitable for you to have in your 5.5gal tank, but you need to have the water parameters readings and hardness level, this is important as NickAU already very briefly explained guppies are hard water fish meaning they thrive in harder water than soft, and vice versa for soft water fish such as most tetras.
 
One other thing, a 5.5 gal US is a fairly small tank, your stocking options are severely limited to just a few choices already. If you want to, you can upgrade your tank for a larger tank, say at least a 10 gal if guppies are what you'd like to keep to start with.
 
But platies and black skirt tetras require a larger tank around at least 15 to 20 gals US 
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Am sure some LFS stores do one dollar per gallon sales, so may be worth waiting for that as its very cheap at $20 US for a 20 gal US tank.
 
Sounds complicated, I know, for the new fishkeeper, but please do not be discouraged as its a lot to take in but this is one of the most rewarding hobby you can have when things are going right. With the right advice and research we can help you along the way 
yes.gif
 
The hobby can be a lot to take in. I was in your place a scant few months ago. My 5 year old wanted to start keeping fish. I had no idea what I was doing. So I went to the LFS. I bought a 2.5gal MiniBow tank and a handful of Neon Tetras. LFS said nothing, absolutely nothing, about cycling the tank. Or water tests. Or anything.
 
Over the next few weeks and months I have learned SO much, mostly thanks to this forum, and it's been so very helpful;.
 
As Byron said. It can be VERY overwhelming. This is not a simple pet to keep. I have a dog and a cat both raised from puppy and kitten... This is nothing compared. There is so much ongoing maintenance requiring a certain scientific touch that it is not for the faint of heart and you truly need to be dedicated to keeping fish.
 
But it's SO rewarding especially after you start planting real plants and they start growing.
 
Byron has great advice and I can't really add anything to his post. Just please. Get a larger tank. Even a 10 is too small and I regret getting a 10. 20 is perfect. You will feel so crunched for space in a 10.
 
Aquatony said:
The hobby can be a lot to take in. I was in your place a scant few months ago. My 5 year old wanted to start keeping fish. I had no idea what I was doing. So I went to the LFS. I bought a 2.5gal MiniBow tank and a handful of Neon Tetras. LFS said nothing, absolutely nothing, about cycling the tank. Or water tests. Or anything.
 
Over the next few weeks and months I have learned SO much, mostly thanks to this forum, and it's been so very helpful;.
 
As Byron said. It can be VERY overwhelming. This is not a simple pet to keep. I have a dog and a cat both raised from puppy and kitten... This is nothing compared. There is so much ongoing maintenance requiring a certain scientific touch that it is not for the faint of heart and you truly need to be dedicated to keeping fish.
 
But it's SO rewarding especially after you start planting real plants and they start growing.
 
Byron has great advice and I can't really add anything to his post. Just please. Get a larger tank. Even a 10 is too small and I regret getting a 10. 20 is perfect. You will feel so crunched for space in a 10.
 
Byron....where did he say this on this thread?....... :p
 
:lol:
 
Ch4rlie said:
 
The hobby can be a lot to take in. I was in your place a scant few months ago. My 5 year old wanted to start keeping fish. I had no idea what I was doing. So I went to the LFS. I bought a 2.5gal MiniBow tank and a handful of Neon Tetras. LFS said nothing, absolutely nothing, about cycling the tank. Or water tests. Or anything.
 
Over the next few weeks and months I have learned SO much, mostly thanks to this forum, and it's been so very helpful;.
 
As Byron said. It can be VERY overwhelming. This is not a simple pet to keep. I have a dog and a cat both raised from puppy and kitten... This is nothing compared. There is so much ongoing maintenance requiring a certain scientific touch that it is not for the faint of heart and you truly need to be dedicated to keeping fish.
 
But it's SO rewarding especially after you start planting real plants and they start growing.
 
Byron has great advice and I can't really add anything to his post. Just please. Get a larger tank. Even a 10 is too small and I regret getting a 10. 20 is perfect. You will feel so crunched for space in a 10.
 
Byron....where did he say this on this thread?.......
tongue2.gif

 
laugh.png
 
Woops. Your typing style is so much like Byron.
smile.png
And both you guys are awesome. Sorry!
 
Don't worry, no apologies needed, I was just making fun is all :d
 

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