3 years ago#1
wakijaki
Junior Member
Blogs: 0
Forum: 21
Votes: 0

Why do my fish keep dying?
I am new to fish keeping but have always found fish so calming that I recently treated myself to a 2nd hand Juwel 190 corner tank and have set it up as a tropical freshwater aquarium. My local fish shop told me to leave it run for 2 weeks and then add some hardy fish to help cycle the filter.
I, on their advice, got 4 neon tetras and one died as soon as we were putting it in the tank. I left the tank for another 2 weeks and went back to the lfs and got a replacement for the neon which died after 3 hours in tank. I went back a week later, they tested the water and helped me chose 2 red honey gouramis and 2 rosy tetras. 3 days later the rosy tetra died.
Left it another week and went back to lfs, they replaced the 2 neon that had died and also the rosy tetra and I also purchased 2 large guppies. After a few days one of the guppies died.
One more week later went back to lfs, didn't mention the dead guppy as I'm sure they either think I'm a fish serial killer or just making up all the deaths to get lots of free fish!
Again water was tested and we came away with 3 lampeyes, 2 platies and 2 rams. Everything was fine and yet after 3 days I came home from work to find one of the rams dead.
So in summary, so far have lost 5 fish and I'm gutted about losing the ram as the night before they had taken over a corner of the tank and where protecting it from the other fish so I thought they were fine.
Is this normal? I feel awful each time one dies and I can't understand why.
I have a mix of sand and gravel substrate, lots of plants. I test the water weekly and check all levels including ammonia - all fine. This is on top of the lfs testing also when I go to get fish. Water changed I started doing about 30% every 10 days to weeks but on the advice of local fish shop I now do 15% every 2 weeks. I also use the gravel cleaner in between water changes to remove uneaten food and waste and check the plants regularly. Also I have added water conditioner and stress zyme every time I have added new fish or water changes. Its getting really embarrassing to keep going back to the lfs and saying I have had yet another fish die. So far they have been really good about replacing the dead fish but now I just feel like I would rather not mention it!
I would appreciate any advice as I feel like it must be something I am doing wrong as its just the odd fish now and then, when they are still new to the tank.
Thanks

Answer
3 years ago#2
southern creature
Ace
Blogs: 0
Forum: 1,228
Votes: 89

Hi there and welcome to MAC,

1stly I'm sorry to hear about your losses and it all sounds like it stems from your tank not being cycled properly.

Also, it was a bad idea to sell you rams. These are not the easiest fish to keep and really should only go into very well established aquariums, or what is termed "old water". They also should only be kept after you have a bit of experience with fish keeping.

It would be beneficial if you could post your test results for us to see on here, this way we will be able to see where your tank's cycle is at.
In particular your ammonia levels, nitrIte levels and nitrAte levels.

Please give this link a read as it explains the nitrogen cycle in simple terms http://www.myaquariumclub.com/the-nitrogen-cycle-for- beginners-358.html


For now I strongly advise NOT getting any new fish. I'm confident we can sort your problems out, then you can look at stocking your aquarium.

BTW it might be worth while investing in your own test kits. The "Master Test Kit" by API is a wise investment. If you do but a test kit please get liquid test a strip tests are not all that accurate.

I hope this info is helpful and please don't feel too bad about your situation, we've all made our share of mistakes with fish keeping....you don't wan't to know how many fish I've lost over the years

Please feel free to ask any more questions.

Reply
3 years ago#3
wakijaki
Junior Member
Blogs: 0
Forum: 21
Votes: 0

Thanks so much for your reply.
I have got my own test kits but I have got the Tetra test 6 in 1 strips and an api ammonia test kit as I (as a newbie) figured this would be enough for me to keep an eye on it and my lfs is just down the road if I had any trouble.
However after my visits there and the loss of fish each time I can see that it might not be the best place to get advice from which is why I thought of joining up here as people will have more personal experience of owning their own fish.
Have just tested the water now, albeit with the strips, and the results are as follows....
Chlorine -0
Ph - 7.2
Kh - 6
Gh - 16
No2 - 0
No3 - 25
Ammonia 0.25
So according to the strips that is all normal although have to admit to being slightly confused about the ammonia which is done with liquid drops. It says 0 is good but does that mean up to 1 as in 0.25 or does it need to be 0 on the dot?
I did do some reading up on types of fish so I did ask about the rams first and ask was it better to wait until the tank had matured more but was told they would be fine - however 3 days and 1 dead ram later - this is obviously not the case. I guess most newbies get a glint in their eyes other wanting to get fish in the tank asap but I thought I would be fine with going what the lfs recommended as they wouldn't sell me fish without testing the water first so you expect everything to be ok.
Don't worry, definatley won't be getting any more new fish for a while yet as losing the ram was just so sad and I just want my fish to be happy and healthy.
Thanks again

Reply
3 years ago#4
johnarthur
Blogs: 107
Forum: 24,560
Votes: 1,314

Ammonia needs to be zero. Because it's not, the nitrogen cycle may not be fully functioning or you may be over feeding. The fish should eat all of the offered food in a couple of minutes.

Since the aquarium is large, it's safe to assume the nitrogen cycle is not yet mature. Large aquariums can take more than a month to establish their nitrogen cycle. This basically involves growing three different colonies of beneficial bacteria. The first type consumes the ammonia normally produced by fish. It in turn produces nitrite, which, like ammonia, is a toxin. The second type of beneficial bacteria digests nitrite and converts it to nitrate, which is much less toxic. The nitrate is finally converted to its basic elements (nitrogen and oxygen) by a third bacteria. Since three types of bacteria are involved, an aquarium developing a nitrogen cycle will first show increased ammonia, followed by zero ammonia and increased nitrite, then zero nitrite. Nitrate is OK under 40ppm, but less is better.

The beneficial bacteria colonies grow in relation to the amount of food available and their reproductive rate. Their growth responds to the biological load of the aquarium, which is the total of waste materials produced by the fish and any decaying organic matter. The entire relationship results in a biological balance....up to a point. The bacteria that make up the nitrogen cycle have a limited capacity, so aquarists try to make sure the biological load does not exceed that capacity. The three ways to control the biological load are: avoid over feeding, don't over crowd, and change about 25 percent of the aquarium water every week.

The link referenced in the previous post gives more details about the nitrogen cycle. Another thing you need to consider is compatibility. Aquarium fish originate in different parts of the world, so they all evolved to cope with different environments. Temperature, pH, hardness and chemical composition are all different in different aquatic systems. Thus, fish all have special environmental needs; you can't put diverse species in one aquarium and expect them all to be comfortable or compatible. In addition to water parameters, compatibility is affected by size and behavioral issues. Here's a link with more about compatibility: http://www.myaquariumclub.com/compatibility-214.html

One more thing worth mentioning here is acclimation. Fish go through quite a bit of stress when they get netted at the aquarium shop. Then they get more stress when they're put into a new aquarium with different water parameters than they had in the aquarium shop. Too much stress will compromise immune systems and result in sick fish. The best way to minimise moving stress is drip acclimation. It works surprisingly well. Here's a link: http://www.myaquariumclub.com/the-drip-acclimation- method-78.html

You may want to browse through some of the other blogs to get a grasp on the basics. You're welcome to ask more questions, and next time I'll try to keep the answers shorter.

Reply
3 years ago#5
wakijaki
Junior Member
Blogs: 0
Forum: 21
Votes: 0

Thanks for your reply John. I now understand that there is far more to keeping fish than just setting up a tank and popping some fish in. I can only admit to making the same mistakes many people must make when starting out so I'm really glad I have found this club and its great to get such quick and detailed responses.
As you say the ammonia level needs to be 0 not 0.25 as it is currently - what would you recommend I do in terms of water changes to help get this down? There is so much conflicting information available that its hard to decide whose advice to take. My lfs recommended 15% every 2 weeks but I can see from looking around on here that you obviously know what you are talking about so I would really respect your advice.
I will have a good look at the compatibility link as my lfs are just happy to sell me any fish on the basis that they are community fish but like you and Southern Creature said that doesn't really mean they will all be happy in the same water together. Saying that I really want to make sure my tank is ready before I start getting all beady eyes over more fish again.
Also I'm sure I have lost 2 of my Neons to the shock of moving as they have died on the same day, one before I even had a chance to get it out of the bag so I will certainatly try you suggestion of drip acclimation as that seems a much more gentle way of introducing them and minimizing the shock. I also hadn't thought about how much a fish might have been moved around before I buy it so anything I can do to make the move home less of a shock is worth doing.
Thanks again

Reply
3 years ago#6
Jase
Ace
Blogs: 2
Forum: 1,121
Votes: 48

Hi wakijaki,
Welcome to the M.A.C. forum, some really nice folk on here and a wealth of knowledge too as you've already seen.

I only joined recently myself to this forum but already after just a short time i can see the folk here care and have some great tips to pass on.

There is definitely a science to fish keeping as much as just enjoying keeping fish as pets etc, but my bet is that if you stick with it, you will find the science as rewarding as the keeping itself. One of my first comments to my fiancé when i got my first fish was "at last i have a use for my old chemistry and biology lessons!" and now just need to find something for algebra and i'm sorted hehe.

anyway welcome once again, they are a really good bunch of folk on here, so enjoy your new hobby/interest and do share your experiences with us as you go.

J

Reply
3 years ago#7
lol
Guest

well yes you have to leave it but to start of you should have only got three so if they did die then you wouldn't have wasted money.Fish sometimes die because maybe the temperature isn't right or the fish might have just got stressed on the journey to there new home. I would advise you to only get three fish and maybe keep it running for more than 2 weeks

Reply
2 years ago#8
jen fishwoman
Guest

Why did the lfs sell you neon tetras to start off a tank??!!! Thats crazy, neons are very sensitive fish and will be the first to die if there is even a slight change in water parameters!! I work in an aquatics store as an aquatic specialist and would say the best first fish are black neons, white clouds, zebra danios and silvertip tetras. You are supposed to add just 2 fish in the first 24-48 hrs after putting in tapsafe/ bateria then waiting a week then adding another 2-4 depending upon the size of the tank.

Reply
2 years ago#9
jen fishwoman
Guest

Why did the lfs sell you neon tetras to start off a tank??!!! Thats crazy, neons are very sensitive fish and will be the first to die if there is even a slight change in water parameters!! I work in an aquatics store as an aquatic specialist and would say the best first fish are black neons, white clouds, zebra danios and silvertip tetras. You are supposed to add just 2 fish in the first 24-48 hrs after putting in tapsafe/ bateria then waiting a week then adding another 2-4 depending upon the size of the tank.

Reply
2 years ago#10
goldiefan
Fresh Member
Blogs: 0
Forum: 12
Votes: 0

u need get the API liquid test kits and test 4 ammonia and nitrite 4 yourself.. u will be surprised how hi the ammonia can get in just a matter of days in an uncylced tank with even just 1 or 2 fishies..
daily water changes, beneficial bacteria needs to be added (tetra safe start seems good) and filter gunk from someone's established filter will all help..
if yr fish keep dying.. then something is wrong with your water..

Reply
2 years ago#11
Anna
Guest

try taking some of the plants out and only have one fish at a time, and make sure your filter is working properly.

Reply
2 years ago#12
johnny10
Platinum Member
Blogs: 2
Forum: 466
Votes: 30

Welcome to the forum. Bigger tanks take longer to cycle. Two weeks is not enough time for that size tank. As you have probably heard adding afew fish at a time is necessary. Stocking an aquarium to fast can result in overwhelming the biological filtration. Your tests seem fine. The .25 ammonia level won't kill fish that fast. It should still be at zero as well as nitrite. Don't overfeed fish either. And dont use test strips, they aren't as accurate as liquid tests. Good luck with the tank and please keep us updated!

Reply
2 years ago#13
the jewel cichild king
Guest

you will need to go to another pet shop and buy their water or get a new tank and new filter. Try using different drops i have had tanks for 15 yrs and all my fish live breed and enjoyed life.Also keep the oxgen running and make sure that your filter isnt to strong the fish cant exust themselves. Then buy new stock from a good supplier. Make sure that you are feeding them the right diet.

Reply
2 years ago#14
trigger
Fresh Member
Blogs: 0
Forum: 12
Votes: -7

i was told to get another fish tank too. but, i couldn't afford it when i already bought one. i had the same problem. what i did was i took out all the water, removed all the gravel, the filter, and the plants. washed out the fish tank with soapy water rinsed it really well. i didn't use soap on the filter or the rocks or the plants just washed them with really hot water, put everything back into the fish tank.
i went to the fish store and asked for there fish water that came out of there starter tanks. i got 5 gallons of it because i have a 5 gallon tank. i put all of that into the tank turned on the filter and just let it run for about a month before adding any fish to it. to get the tank and gravel and filter fish ready. you don't have to change the water every week because that will slow down the process by alot. then after a month then you can add a couple of fish at a time over a few weeks then your tank will be stocked with the fish that you want. i have 10 small fish in my 5 gallon and everyone is happy and healthy. just go slow and dont rush it.

Reply
1 year ago#15
Alex
Guest

Fish need oxygen what you need is an a pump or it die of lack of oxigen.dont think water is enought. ptptphg 4.h,txtn

Reply
1 year ago#16
ciol
Guest

Do you want to hav e sex with me

Reply
1 year ago#17
mommomkris
Master
Blogs: 8
Forum: 2,921
Votes: 122

alex this is and old post. please note the time in the upper right corner.
ciol that comment may get you banned for this site, just saying.

Reply
5 months ago#18
Jay McCann
Guest

I've been raising tropical fish for years. What pet shops do not inform you of is the use of aquarium salt. 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of water. This helps soften the water, while it also helps maintain healthy, stress free, water conditions. Also keeping a healthy bacteria "Live Nitrifying Bacteria" is a must for successful cycling of tanks. Just 1/2 teaspoon per 2.5 gallons helps maintain the perfect conditions. If you live in an area where chlorine and hard minerals in the water (like where I live.) "Stress Coat" is another product I use which all can be purchased online. Http://www.drsfostersmith.com

Live plants also are great. They provide wonderful oxygen level.

Reply
5 months ago#19
Rachy
Junior Member
Blogs: 1
Forum: 32
Votes: 0

Sorry for your loss. Be sure to get your water checked and if not do a full water change

Reply
By entering this site you declare you read and agreed to its Terms, Rules & Privacy and you understand that your use of the site's content is made at your own risk and responsibility.
Copyright © 2006 - 2015 My Aquarium Club