I am new to keeping fish. A friend moved away so I agreed to take on their fish and tank. However their tank did not have a stand so I ended up buying a new tank with new filter etc.
The tank is 100l, I went over and collected 20l of his water for and the rest was tap water. Everything was ok but now some fish have started dieing and the others don't look too content.
On reading up, it seems there may be no cycle going on so I have ordered some testers for the water today.
Until this arrives I am unsure of the best thing to be doing - maybe keep on changing a percentage of water each day?
I also note that I should not have been using straight tap water - the previous owner always did but I guess I should be using some conditioner. I have ordered this also today so should I proceed with the water changing without it or would it do more harm than good?
In addition to the questions above, being new to this I really want to make sure the fish are happy. So could anyone help with the following questions?
1) what temperature is optimal? I have it set on 25 degrees but it can be adjusted up and down.
2) The filter that came with the new tank seems to get blocked and the air bubbles don't come out as much. I gave this a good clean and the bubbles started again, however I am concerned that cleaning it like this may cause the friendly bacteria to die adding to my problem. Should it need regular cleaning (once per week)? maybe the tank would benefit from a different filter or a better model?
Finally, what do you use to change the water in the tank? I am currently using 5 l bottles but is there a trick I am missing to make it easier? Maybe just a large bucket?
Sorry about the long post and so many questions but hoping someone can advise.
You're right that the tank will have no bacteria and is not cycled. If you're using straight tap water you will currently have no bacteria at all as the chorine in the water will prevent them from growing - that's why the water suppliers add it to the water. You are now essentially cycling "fish in". This guide will show you how to deal with this and hopefullly protect the fish from the effects of being in a cycling tank. You will need a good test kit and dechlorinator to monitor the levels of tocins and treat the water you'll need to be changing every day for the next few weeks.
Regarding temperature: what is optimal is dependent on the fish you have. Different fish need different temperatures so please post back with a list of fish.
As for the filter - it shouldn't be blocking up that easily. Can you let us know what make and model it is please?
Don't use untreated water straight from the tap as the chlorine will irritate the fish as well as killing bacteria. You really need to get some tap water conditioner right away and at least until you have your test kit to check levels change around 50% daily.
The filter is underpowered for the tank and stock you have and needs upgrading to something better and larger. do it as soon as you can so the cycle is done on the new filter rather than this one.
There are some serious issues with your stock at the moment. The tank is very overstocked for its size and this will mean more toxins in the water, more risk to fish and even more frequent/large water changes until the cycle is complete.
The fish I have inherited are:
1 x clown loach 1 x silver shark
These are not suitable for the tank as in both cases they grow very large and need at least six of their own kind to thrive. additionally, silver sharks become aggressive as they mature, and more so if kept in cramped conditions without a shoal of their own species. I very much doubt they are fully grown as Clown Loaches and Silver Sharks both grow to about a foot long. They need to be rehomed for their own sakes.
1 x rainbow something? 1 x plec
These need identifying to check their requirements. The plec could be one of hundreds of species, many of whom grow to well over a foot long. If you can't identify them, post photos and we'll see if we can tell you what they are.
1 x tiger barb[
Tiger Barbs can be nippy and aggressive unless kept in a large shoal of 8-10 or more. Don't get more at the moment though!
6 x mollys (three have since died)
Mollies need very hard, alkaline water which is the opposite of most of the other fish in the tank. Depending on the dimensions of the tank they may be too big for it so can you post the length, width and height please?
1 x snail loach
I'm not aware of a fish with this name, though a couple of loach species' do eat snails. They are mostly, like the Clown Loach, too big for your tank and need a shoal of their own kind. Post a photo so we can identify it.
1 x (unknown yellow fish)
Post a photo of this one, too
2 x frogs
These aren't recommended to be kept with fish really and may struggle to find enough to eat. They should be individually fed suitable foods (nbloodworm etc) to ensure they don't starve, though the best thing would be to take them back to the shop.
We really need to know the pH and hardness of your water so can you go to your supplier's web site and look for "Water Quality in Your Area"? You should find you can type in your post code and get a report showing these. While not perfect, it will help until you get your test kit,
If the Clown Loach and shark are that old they have been severely stunted by being kept in the wrong conditions as they should be at or close to adult size by now. If the "snail-eating"loach is as per your link then as you can see from the page you linked to it needs at least a four foot long tank and some of its own species. The best thing to do with him is take him back, especially as the tank is not cycled. Returning or rehoming some fish will give the others a better chance of surviving.
The rainbow is a Boesman's Rainbowfish: care sheet here. Again, this fish is too big for your tank and needs a shoal to thrive.
The plec is hard to identify for certain, but looks most likely to be Pterygoplicthys gibbiceps. This is completely unsuitable for the tank as it will grow to about 18 inches long and need at least a 6ft x 2ft x 2ft tank. It is also a very messy fish and will add a lot of extra waste to the tank. It should be returned both for its own sake and to help keep pollutants down for the other fish.
The water report there doesn't show hardness or pH - there may be a link from there to a full report as a pdf? Conductivity is showing as 533 microsiemens though which means hard to very hard water. This is less than ideal for any of the loaches, the shark and the plec.
The filter would be adequate if the tank was suitably stocked with the right number of fish. Unfortunately your tank is very overstocked and has fish that are too big for that size of tank which is why it isn't coping. To recommend something else, we first need to see what fish you can rehome.
Do you have a local Maidenhead Aquatics? I was in my local one at the weekend and was asking about the larger fish which were being looked after.
Apparently they will re-home any fish which are too big for their tanks. I don't believe that you will get any credit back for the fish but at least they will looked after in large enough tanks and suitably re-homed if possible.