I'm losing fish!!

Get help on those urgent fishkeeping problems!

I'm losing fish!!

Postby kopkid » Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:32 am

Hello, first time on here so please bear with me.
I have had my tropical tank set up since Easter this year. It is a Fluval 180 ltr corner tank (70cm x 70cm x 100cm approx), with Fluval 200 external filter. I did it all properly and waited for my local fish shop to give me the all clear on the water quality before introducing fish. I introduced 20 small fish - 5 each of black neon tetra, harlequin tetra, silvertip tetra and glowlight tetra. I then waited and had water tested again. Since then I have added, at various stages and orders, 4x clown loaches, 2x moonlight gourami, 1x dwarf gourami (adult), 1x dwarf gourami (young- we were told this was female, but it seems to be growing into a male!), 4x angel fish, 2x catfish (not sure of type), 1x elephant nose (we think we were mis sold this as we don't have the right setup).
Over the last month or so we have lost a few of the tetras (expected with bigger fish now in the tank?). Also found dead were 2x clown loaches, both moonlight gouramis, 2x angel fish and one of the catfish (although the catfish went first and I think this may have been a water change problem).
I have had several water tests since and the fish shop say everything is perfect with the water.
I also seem to be struggling with brown algae.
Any ideas on what I could be doing wrong? I want to make sure my fish are happy and healthy, otherwise there is no point keeping them.
kopkid
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:05 am

Postby Wolfgirl » Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:37 am

First of all, let's get the easy thing out of the way. Brown algae is common in new setups. Nothing to worry about. :)

Do you have test kits of your own? If not, it would be worth investing in 3 of the main ones...ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. When you had your water tested, did they just tell you it was OK? Or did they give you specific levels for each of the aforementioned items?

In an established tank, ammonia and nitrite levels should be at 0. Even trace amounts can be harmful, even deadly.

Can you tell us how often you change your water, whether or not you add dechlorinator, and any other details you can think of? It may help us pinpoint what's going on.

Without any further info, it sounds like it's possible too many fish got added too quickly, which is very easy to do, especially if you aren't given proper advice at the fish shop. I would agree with you; you were mis-sold the elephant nose fish. They are HIGHLY sensitive fish that shouldn't be in a new setup. :(

I hope we can help you solve your problem. Please feel free to ask anything. We were all beginners once, and it sounds like you are a very conscientious fishkeeper. :)
Don't let your mind wander. It's too small to be let out on its own.
~John Wagner
Wolfgirl
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2564
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 3:49 am
Location: Lincolnshire, England

Postby kopkid » Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:55 am

Thanks for your reply.
I have got a test kit, one the shop sold me that they use. It is a strip that you dip in the water and match against the side of the pot.
I did a test last night and the top section, Nitrates I think, matched zero. The other two sections matched where the shop marked the ideal level should be. Sorry this is vague but I have slept since then!
We have been told elsewhere that brown algae is a new set up problem, but we had brown, which then went to green and now it has gone back to brown again. It is a shame because we set up with white gravel and rocks against a black background. The contrast was amazing for a week or so!!
As for water changes, I try and do around 30 - 40 litres (180 litre tank) every two weeks or so (time permitting). I use a 'syphon' style gravel cleaner to suck up the gravel and clean deep down. At the same time I clean the glass of algae.
We are hoping to take the elephant nose back at the weekend and try to swap it for something more appropriate.

Looking forward to your response.

Russell
kopkid
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:05 am

Postby Angel Fish » Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:09 am

The "dip stick" test kits aren't very reliable, could you possibly invest in either a master test kit or individual liquid tests? They are easier to read and much more acurate than the strips.

kopkid wrote: I did it all properly and waited for my local fish shop to give me the all clear on the water quality before introducing fish.

What exactly did you do?

We will get you through this :)
All the advice I give is based on my own personal 30 years of experience.
Main TT Page
Diabetes Forum
User avatar
Angel Fish
Moderator
 
Posts: 6239
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 12:09 am
Location: Dartmoor, Devon

Postby kopkid » Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:40 am

My set up procedure was like this:
Everything was washed thoroughly prior to going in the tank (rocks, gravel etc) then I filled the tank with water and added the correct amount of dechlorinator. The heater and filter were then switched on and the tank was left to run for 10 days before I took a sample of water to be tested. This got the all clear and this is when I added my first batch of fish. These seemed happy, and healthy, then after approx 2 weeks, I had the water tested again and the fish shop gave me the all clear to add more fish.
I can't remember the order I added the fish, it goes back a couple of months now. Never more than 2 fish were added at once.
All the fish seemed happy for quite some time, then the last batch of fish to add were 4x Angel Fish and the Elephant Nose. One Angel died the following day. The shop tested the water and it was fine, so they replaced the fish. Since then, we have been losing fish. This was a different shop than we had been to before. I don't think I'll be going back there!!

I haven't had a death for some days now (touch wood there isn't one when I get home from work!), but I want to make sure everything is stable and I know what the problem was before I even think about adding any more.

Russell
kopkid
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:05 am

Postby Wolfgirl » Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:27 am

Ah, your LFS did what many of them will do, and that is....they didn't advise you properly about the nitrogen cycle. Just setting the tank up and letting the water sit for a week to 10 days does absolutely nothing. (Incidentally, that's the same thing the fish shop told me when I first set up a tank, and I listened to them. This was in the days before I was online.)

If there is no source of ammonia added, then there will be no ammonia, no nitrite, and no nitrate in the water when they test it for you. So their initial test was useless, unfortunately.

I would consider reading this information on cycling:
Nitrogen Cycle

And I would also consider reading the information about fishless cycling. That will explain why you have lost fish. It's not your fault. Your LFS should have properly explained this all to you; it would seem they were more interested in selling you fish as quickly as they felt was possible.

Some of the fish they sold you should not have gone into a tank less than at least 6 months old, and they should have known that. So either they don't have very knowledgeable staff, or they didn't care and just wanted to sell you stuff. :(

Sorry!
Don't let your mind wander. It's too small to be let out on its own.
~John Wagner
Wolfgirl
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2564
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 3:49 am
Location: Lincolnshire, England

Postby kopkid » Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:53 am

Thanks for that reply.
Again, touching wood, I haven't lost any more fish. Your reply and links made interesting reading. I wasn't aware that it took this long to go through the 'cycle'.
I think my next steps will be to invest in some proper test kits, monitor the fish that already in the tank and surviving and make sure the levels get to the correct state.
Then I will take a fresh view and start again with what fish I have left.

Thanks to all who have replied and helped.

Russell
kopkid
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:05 am

Postby Wolfgirl » Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:13 am

Sounds like a good plan to me. :D Feel free to ask as many questions as you need...that's what this board is for.
Don't let your mind wander. It's too small to be let out on its own.
~John Wagner
Wolfgirl
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2564
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 3:49 am
Location: Lincolnshire, England

Postby Carylnz » Mon Jul 09, 2007 9:47 pm

I would like to add that I don't think white substrate is good in a tropical fresh water tank, it is meant for marines.
For a start, it only looks good and perfectly white for a couple of weeks before the algae starts to grow on it. This is natural. You will never be able to keep it that initial blinding white.
Second point... fish like to blend in with their surroundings, especially so they are hard to see by predators above. This means they try to match the substrate so, if it is white, their colours will be a lot paler and wiped out than if you had a dark substrate. Fish prefer darker substrate.
Good luck with the rest of the fish.
User avatar
Carylnz
Moderator
 
Posts: 7478
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Blenheim, NZ


Return to Help!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest