1 year ago #1
Fish Keep Dying, Stumped
Guest

So our water tests are good: pH 7.6, ammonia, 0ppm, nitrite 0ppm, nitrate 5-10ppm, the water temp is 76 and yet our fish keep dying. The tank has been going for about a month now. It's a 36 gallon bow front. We have a Aqueon Queit Flow 30 filter as well as an air stone. The water was conditioned with Top Fish water conditioner and we added a bacteria supplement as well.
We bought 6 fish from petsmart and all 6 died. A week later we bought 6 more fish (2 danios, 2 rosy barbs and 2 high fin black tetras) this time from an aquarium. 2 days later all but 1 danio was dead. So we waited but the danio survived. Now on 11/30/13 we bought 5 more fish, 3 danios and 2 tetras. As of this morning 12/2/13, 2 danios and 1 tetra have died.

We are out of ideas and no idea why the fish keep dying. Nothing was ever washed with soap and the water heater does not have an moisture inside of it. We thought with one danio surviving we were in the clear but apparently not. Please give suggestions.

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1 year ago #2
CarLey
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When you first set up the tank, how soon did you add the fish? I'm not an expert on cycling, but if it cycled properly, you would only be starting to add the fish now. I think how soon you added the fish is the key. I was just wondering. Could be wrong.

Did you check the GH/KH?

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1 year ago #3
MedicPanda
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What kind of decorations are in the tank? Some of the artificial plants and "toys", especially those imported from China, contain toxins in the plastic that are released into the water. Sounds like you're doing everything else right. When you added the fish, did you take the time to drip acclimate them to the tank water? It may have been a sudden change in temperature or pH that shocked and killed them,

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1 year ago #4
james592
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Ditto on what MedicPanda referred to on the acclimating of the fish properly. Floating the bag for 15 minutes then adding half cup aquarium water to the bag up to 30 minutes.

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1 year ago #5
beefboy
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CarLey wrote:
When you first set up the tank, how soon did you add the fish? I'm not an expert on cycling, but if it cycled properly, you would only be starting to add the fish now. I think how soon you added the fish is the key. I was just wondering. Could be wrong.

Did you check the GH/KH?


I agree with this, did u pre soak urge ornaments because same are covered in harmfull toxins.
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1 year ago #6
Fish Keep Dying, Stumped
Guest

We have a log we bought at petsmart and 3 other plastic flowery/viny things but we boiled everything before putting it in the tank.

We let the fish sit in the bag in the tank for 20 minutes the first 2 times and then increased it to 30 minutes the 3rd time to try and ease their transition.

The tank was set up a week before putting fish into it, but it's my understanding the tank doesn't start cycling until fish go in there....

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1 year ago #7
jlk
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Check the top blogs section for articles on fishless cycling. I would recommend fishless cycling your tank as well as researching proper acclimation techniques. Simply floating a bag to match temperature is not sufficient.

Also, what are you using to test your parameters?

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1 year ago #8
Mariee
Platinum Member
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Here is an article about cycling an aquarium- which should never be done with fish: http://www.myaquariumclub.com/the-nitrogen-cycle-for- everyone-358.html

Also, once your cycle is established you should only be adding 2-3 fish at a time; adding six will create an ammonia or nitrate spike- both of which would be fatal to fish.

The best way to help your fish transition into the new tank is through drip acclimation- which can be further explained here: http://www.myaquariumclub.com/the-drip-acclimation- method-78.html

Cycling an aquarium takes at least four months, sometimes more. Any fish put in before that is at risk of ammonia and nitrite poisoning, which could be the cause for earlier deaths

Good Luck

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1 year ago #9
Fish Keep Dying, Stumped
Guest

Thanks guys.

We use API master freshwater kit to test everything as well as bring water to the aquarium when we go. We have been testing about every other day and haven't seen any ammonia or nitrites.

If all of these fish die, would you recommend emptying the tank and starting over? Or just keep going with the water we have in there? The water is starting to get a bit cloudy since we haven't done any changes. We wanted to just keep fish alive before doing 20% water changes.

Someone previously mentioned GH/KH. What is that?

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1 year ago #10
Akemi_san91
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I don't know what gh/kh is, to be honest. But in order for beneficial bacteria to grow, ammonia needs to be in the tank via fish flakes added, or household ammonia, either with no fish in the tank. Another option is using gravel or filters from a previously cycled tank to cycle the new one, still adding ammonia for the bacteria to keep growing. If you just let the tank sit there, without adding ammonia, the bacteria won't grow, and hence, won't break down the ammonia produced by the food and fecal matter. Hope this helps!

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1 year ago #11
Guest
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Your tank isn't cycled, most likely, but that alone won't kill fish, it's the unprocessed ammonia that will kill them when it gets to high levels.

If you're testing correctly and not finding ammonia, possibly all the store water (never put bag water in a tank) and the boiled decorations, combined with probably dead bacteria ( it needs ammonia and nutrients from fish and food to grow) made a toxic soup. Your filter is considerably undersized for that tank, also, but the fish weren't in long enough for that to matter.

Acclimation could be an issue, pH and hardness are what you're trying to match with slow acclimation and if they're very different from your water to the stores' water, it can kill fish, usually in a day or a few days. But the fish you've been attempting are not delicate, so some should have made it, even shocked.

I'd do a bunch of small water changes, 10 or so in 24 hours or (4) 50% changes over 3-4 hours to get most of the water replaced. Take out the ornaments, boiling them may have made them toxic. Get Prime as your water conditioner, it detoxifies ammonia. No bacteria should be added. If the gravel is painted, replace it with plain gravel. Add another identical filter and see if the fish survive.

If they die, drain all the water, do all the other things and cycle the tank with ammonia, which will take about 3 weeks, I just finished with 3 members' tanks and none took even that long.

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1 year ago #12
jlk
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If your using the api kit, can you please test your high range ph? 7.6 is the max on the regular ph which means your ph may be 7.4, 7.6, 8 or 8.8. Anything above 7.2 will be blue. The high range test helps to quantify your ph.

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1 year ago #13
Fish Keep Dying, Stumped
Guest

I have tested for high range pH. It came out as 7.4. Go figure, one test says 7.6, the other 7.4

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1 year ago #14
Guest
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The last two values in the low range aren't equally spaced, but if pH is way out of scale it get bluer and bluer, clearly different than 7.6. The blues are different at the high end of the low range, but have to be held side to side to tell what they may be.

The low end of the high scale has the same issue, different values near 7.4 look the same unless compared side by side. However, if pH is a lot below 7.4, say 7.0, the test will be yellow, which indicates the low range one should be used.

Your results are essentially the same and in a perfect area for pH.

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1 year ago #15
jlk
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Your ph is 7.3-7.4. The regular ph high limit is blue for any number above 7.2. The high range test low limit is 7.4. So, combined, your ph is 7.3-7.4 range.

Please consider fishless cycling tank tank first as Snowman suggested then take the time to properly acclimate your fish when your tank is ready.

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