fish keep dying :o(

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fish keep dying :o(

Postby silvermermaid » Tue Jun 19, 2007 2:19 am

Hi there,

This is my first post on here although I have used the site for advice on many occasions!

I am having a big problem with my tropical fish. My tank is approx 10 gallon.

I started off with 5 tetras. Then I added a plec, 4 guppies and 4 mollies. First of all a couple of my tetras died followed by a guppy. Now all I have left is my plec, mollies and possibly 2 tetras although think it's just one and it's not looking too hot now either. Also, in-between all the deaths I added a clown loach as I had a snail infestation.

I do a water change every 10 days to 2 weeks. I have live plants within the tank.

After doing a water change this morning my levels are:

GH - 120
KH - 40
PH - 6.5
NO2 - 0.5
NO3 - 80 - this is higher than it has been before and is normally about 20.

Could over-feeding be the problem with the fish loss?

Any help on this matter would be much appreciated because I don't want to lose any more fish and don't want to add any more until I know what the problem is.
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Postby Angel Fish » Tue Jun 19, 2007 2:49 am

Ok, here come all the questions :wink: :

What are the dimensions of the tank? (L x W x H)- This will help us work out the volume of the tank.
How long has your tank been set up?
Did you cycle the tank?
If you did, was it fishless?
How long has it been cycled?
Have you tested for Ammonia too?

Do you know the species of Tetra?
What sex are the Guppies/Mollies? - You really don't want a baby boom in an unstable tank :shock:
Do you know the species of Plec? - Most are unsuitable for a 10 gallon tank as they grow much too big.

You've got a NitrIte reading of 0.5, we need to get this down to zero because even slight levels can cause damage to fish.

Any overfeeding will have helped to increase the snail population, the best way to cut down snails is to reduce the amount of food.

Please, if possible, return or rehome the Clown Loach. They need at least a four foot tank to thrive as they can grow to over 12inches. They also prefer to live in groups of three or more.

You really need to do more frequent water changes, 20% once a week is really a minimum for a 10gallon tank - the smaller the tank, the more difficult it is to keep the water parameters stable.

If you can answer the above questions we'll try to help you get your tank back on track :)
All the advice I give is based on my own personal 30 years of experience.
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Postby silvermermaid » Tue Jun 19, 2007 3:27 am

Thanks for your reply. I've tried to answer your questions as best I can.

What are the dimensions of the tank? (L x W x H)-
It's approx 25 x 14 x 10 inches

How long has your tank been set up?
I has been set up for approx months.

Did you cycle the tank?
Yes

If you did, was it fishless?
No, i had the 5 tetras in it.

How long has it been cycled?
3-4 weeks - the water was tested regularly where I got all my fish from.

Have you tested for Ammonia too?
No

Do you know the species of Tetra?
Flame tetras

What sex are the Guppies/Mollies?
There was two of each. Now there is one male and two females.

Do you know the species of Plec?
No. However I was told to rehome it when it got bigger and replace it.

Regarding the clown loach. I was not told anything about this. I went to my local fish store and asked for advice on getting rid of snails. I was then told to buy a clown loach.

Thanks!
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Postby Angel Fish » Tue Jun 19, 2007 3:52 am

silvermaid wrote:How long has your tank been set up?
I has been set up for approx months.

Sorry, how many months?

You really need to test for Ammonia. The fact that you're seeing some NitrIte could mean that the tank hasn't finished cycling - but I think it's due to the fact that your bio-load is much too high.

Do you have your own test kits or has the LFS been doing the tests for you?

I'd recommend that if it's at all possible, return both the Plec and the Clown Loach to the LFS and then find a new supplier. Sorry, but they aren't giving you very good advice.
When a potentially very large fish is kept in a tank that is much too small for it it will become stunted.
There is a myth that a fish will only grow to the size of its' environment - in a way it's true - the outside of the fish will stop growing because of the hormones that are released into the water telling it that there isn't enough space and it must stop growing. Unfortunately, the message doesn't reach the internal organs - so they continue to grow at the normal rate. A bit like cramming a size 10 foot into a size 6 shoe :shock:
The damage may have already been done to both your Plec and Clown Loach, so their lives will probably be drastically cut short.

If you return a large fish to an LFS when they outgrow your tank the chances are no-one will want them because they are big. A bit like older dogs/cats being overlooked when there is a cage of puppies/kittens.

If you really want a Plec in your tank, I'd recommend an Ancistrus (Bristlenose Plec), they stay relatively small, are great algae eaters and have brilliant personalities.
But you can't even consider adding one until your tank is stable.

I hate being negative, but sometimes it's a case of being cruel to be kind, sorry :?
All the advice I give is based on my own personal 30 years of experience.
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Postby silvermermaid » Tue Jun 19, 2007 4:05 am

Sorry about that! My tank has been set up for about 3 months.

My fish store won't take them back after they've been out in another fish tank :( However I know of another fish store that will take them. k

I have been using my own water testing kit. I'll invest in an ammonia testing kit today and look into lowering the nitrite levels.

Thank you for your help!
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Postby Angel Fish » Tue Jun 19, 2007 5:45 am

That's what we're here for :D I'm just sorry to be the bearer of bad news :(
All the advice I give is based on my own personal 30 years of experience.
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