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Saj Saj
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  • Posted on: 13/11/2013 9:47
New Tank Setup - Fish Dying #1
Hi,

New member and need some help please.

I bought this tank on Friday 8th November:

http://www.petsathome.com/shop/starte ... 24l-by-pets-at-home-92217

This was just something to get me going and get some experience before getting a larger tank.

I left this running without any fish or anything, with the filter in it until Sunday afternoon (following the rubbish advice from Pets at Home about ?3 day cycle?!) and bought 3 Danio?s and 3 Rosy Barb?s.

Overnight on Sunday 10th, one of the Rosy Barb?s died, it was fine when I checked them and I found it dead on Tuesday morning.

I went to Pets at Home, bought the API Master Kit and this new filter:

http://www.petsathome.com/shop/smallw ... er-kit-by-penn-plax-16312

As I believe the provided filter with the tank wasn?t up for the job. I have currently both filters running to allow the new filter to establish before removing the old one.

I tested the water on Monday evening 11th and the pH 7.2, Amonia zero, Nitrite 0, and Nitrate 20ppm. Which from what I understand is acceptable limits.

On Tuesday, I bought 3 more Danio?s and 2 Paradise fish followed the process in getting them into the tank.

On Tuesday 12th, I checked the water levels again, pH 7.2, Amonia zero, Nitrite 0, and Nitrate, between 20ppm to 30ppm.
Now overnight, another Rosy Barb has died.

It was only last night I started to do more research and made the classic newbie mistake of not cycling the tank long enough and just following Pets at Home?s advice of a 3 day cycle which his clearly not enough. I did originally feed the fish too much, but I cleared out the excess using the syphon and net.

I do not want any more of my fish to die and not sure what to do next, the water tests are showing ok however the water is giving a small bit of odour. I have two snails for Algae control

I was planning to do a 20% water change today, do more syphoning of the gravel to clear any much up.

Can anyone give any other advice?
Thanks in advance!
Coralline Coralline
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  • Posted on: 13/11/2013 10:01
Re: New Tank Setup - Fish Dying #2
Hi welcome to fk!
Pets at home seem to be causing issues for a lot of people with their terrible advice... I don't know what they think will happen in 3 days!
I would at least try giving them some grief and demanding they take the fish back to let your tank cycle properly, its hard work up keep fish alive during a cycle..otherwise its lots of testing, water changes, crossed fingers and hope for the best.. Or if you can find a small fish shop local, they are usually more willing to help.
But either way I would advise against using pets at home for livestock.. They don't give the appearance they care when there's so many cases like yours!
Let us know what they say, do at least a 50% change in the mean time, and minimal food for now.

Edit: just noticed its a 24l tank, they shouldn't have sold you those fish either, neither species will be happy in that size tank, that's really only suitable for a shrimp tank...
The filters too aren't really ideal. But we'll worry about saving the fish first..
Gill

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Saj Saj
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  • Posted on: 13/11/2013 11:07
Re: New Tank Setup - Fish Dying #3
Hi Coralline,


Thanks for the quick response and help!

Yes it seems I have fallen into the Pets at Home trap with all the reviews on them on the internet.

As much as I want to kick up a fuss with them, I have decided against this.

I have come up with the following action plan for today.

Move the fish into a temporary tank with about 50% of the existing water.

Remove half of the gravel completely from the 24litre tank, and syphon the rest ensuring its clean with no left over food traces.

Remove some artificial plants leaving some of ornauments which act as hiding places.

Put in fresh 50% water in and then transfer the fish back.

The 50% water I put in, should I make this safe prior or straight in with the existing 50% and then include the tap safe product?

I also got some filter boost, am I to put the appropriate ammount of this in aswell?

In regards to the filter, because of funds I cannot upgrade to a better system, at what point shall I remove the old filter and leave the new one running, when I placed the new in the tank on Monday?

Sorry lots of questions !

P.S. I am determined to get this right as I have been quite keen on fish quite a while!
Coralline Coralline
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  • Posted on: 13/11/2013 11:23
Re: New Tank Setup - Fish Dying #4
You don't need to move the fish, just change 50% of the water, and yes treat with dechlorinator and use a little boiling water to warm it to tank temp before you add it.
Filter boost a waste of time I'm afraid, make little difference if used or not, filters take about 6 weeks to mature, so neither will be doing much at the moment.
Sorry for brief answers, I am actually at work, I'm sure others will chip in too!
Don't worry about having a bad start, it is a enjoyable hobby under normal circumstances!!
Gill

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Saj Saj
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  • Posted on: 13/11/2013 11:56
Re: New Tank Setup - Fish Dying #5
Thanks, I'm at work too just reading in breaks and lunches.

But I appreciate your help.

I will do just that today and leave the fish in. and monitor the water levels each day.

Will update accordingly
CB3100 CB3100
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  • Posted on: 13/11/2013 12:03
Re: New Tank Setup - Fish Dying #6
Just my input here, you can pick up a cheap more suitable tank from eBay even though it may be 2nd hand, it will be better than anything you could buy from P@H. Is there any other local fish stores near by? If so use them instead of P@H as there advice and customer service is that of a 3 year old. Although you can't believe everything a fish shop employee tells you, at the end of the day its about sales and without them selling you fish they wouldn't have a job but you can tell the ones with no clue or morals about the welfare of the fish a mile off. (99% of P@H employee's)

Here at least you will receive nice friendly advice about keeping fish correctly, without being talked down to. Let me tell you there must be thousands over the years that have been in the same boat as yourself over the wrong advice P@H have given you.

Most important piece of advice about fish keeping can be found here its all about looking after the bio side of things and letting the fish look after themselves ;) http://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/articles ... hless-cycling-article.htm

Give the articles section a look too, there's tons of information there :)

Oh BTW welcome to FK :) More people with advice will be along soon!

CB

EDIT: The article in the link has instructions for before adding fish, so don't actually add liquid ammonia to the tank, just read the article to learn about the cycle itself :)
One who cannot love her smallest creations, cannot claim to stand before Nature - Takashi Amano

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CB3100 CB3100
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  • Posted on: 13/11/2013 12:30
Re: New Tank Setup - Fish Dying #7
Also I just noticed this is posted in the cold water section, not 100% sure but wont the fish need a heated aquarium especially in the winter months?

CB
One who cannot love her smallest creations, cannot claim to stand before Nature - Takashi Amano

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Coralline Coralline
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  • Posted on: 13/11/2013 12:57
Re: New Tank Setup - Fish Dying #8
Room temp in centrally heated house should provide warm enough water for rosy barbs and the zebra danios.. A they are temperate species rather than tropical.. But including a heater set to approx 18*c is a good idea to prevent tank temps dropping overnight or if heating is not on. Although heater should be correct wattage to keep tank at correct temp without being pushed to its limit if the room temp is more than 5 degrees below the required tank temp.
But ultimately 24l is not big enough for either species long term, so a heater should be included anyway to allow small tropical species suitable for the tank size, eg a small shrimp colony, or a single male fighting fish.
I would also highly recommend ditching the plastic plants in favour of some simple live plants, you will need a light to grow plants properly but elodea will grow a little if the room is well lit for now.
Gill

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Goldy Goldy
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  • Posted on: 13/11/2013 15:48
Re: New Tank Setup - Fish Dying #9
Hi there -) As Coralline mentioned you don't need to remove the fish while doing a part water change, this will just stress them out more it will be a hard job cycling with the fish but hopefully the information taken from the link below will help

How to Save the Day (and the Fish) with an Un-Cycled Tank

OK, so you didn't do Fishless Cycling or you did scrub out your matured tank and now your fish are dying and nothings breaking down that ammonia and nitrite. What do you do now?

Here's what I do to give my fish the best chance:
1. Immediately do a 10-15% water change with dechlorinated water and continue to do this at least once daily until your tank is cycling (i.e. ammonia and nitrite are at zero).

2. Test the water daily for ammonia and nitrite until the values are holding at zero for several days running. If levels are high, do an immediate, extra water change.

3. If at all possible, get some matured filter media and/or gravel from a matured tank and put it in your tank, suspended in an old stocking. This will hopefully impregnate your new tank with the beneficial bacteria. One lady successfully used floss from a relative's fish pond to colonise her new tank! (you have to be careful that what you use is clean and free from pathogens, of course).

4. Keep good aeration in the tank both to help the fish a little and to oxygenate those beneficial bacteria.

5. Avoid using medications, if at all possible, as many medications kill off beneficial bacteria. Your fish may well get ick, fungus or other infections due to the stress of the ammonia and nitrite but the priority is to get that water quality as good as possible.

6. If you have delicate fish in the tank, such as plecos, corys or other bottom dwellers, tetras, pencil fish etc. try to re-home them temporarily, such as asking the Local Fish Shop to look after them until your tank is cycled (after all, chances are that they got you in this mess in the first place).

7. Live plants can directly use ammonia, so if you can, put some cheap aquatic plants in the tank, such as elodea or giant vallis.

8. Don't feed your fish at all if your ammonia readings are high, and only feed bare minimum rations every other day, until the tank cycles. This will cut down on the ammonia the fish produce. Since fish are cold blooded creatures and don't need the calories of a mammal they can go several days without food anyway, and the occasional fast is good for them. Your fish may not be very hungry anyway so do be careful not to feed more than the fish can eat and clean up uneaten food immediately, before it rots and produces even more ammonia.

9. Only clean the gravel superficially, of obvious dirt and uneaten food. You want the bacteria to colonise it and actually start to grow. Also, don't swap out your filter at this point - if it gets blocked, just clean it enough to unblock it, in used tank water.


http://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/modules/ ... php?topic_id=559&forum=14
Saj Saj
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  • Posted on: 13/11/2013 20:08
Re: New Tank Setup - Fish Dying #10
Thank you very much for all the advice, all of which I will be taking on board.

Thanks Goldy for the guide, I went through that at my lunch time at work !

Thanks CB3100, I will certainly avoid P@H and indeed I do have other local shops, one is in the same town as I work, but I was rather put off by the hundreds of goldfish they had in a small cramped tank.

The tank is currently in my two son's bedroom where the room is kept heated with a radiator during the day and night for them, so I am not too worried about the temp, they are indeed temperate species rather than tropical (well thats what P@H sell them as) but I am defo going to invest in a heater for them.

I will certainly look at eBay at local sellers with tanks. I have invested too much into this to give up easily !

I have now done a 50% water change, cleaned out all the gravel, got rid of the old supplied filter with the new one in and removed all the artificial plants with just some ornaments, see image below:

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I have tested the water just now with the following results:

pH 7.6
Amonia 0.5
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0

So Amonia has gone up slightly.

I will check with the water each day and report back

Its nice to be on a forum with such friendly responses!