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Old 11-07-2011, 09:10 AM
 
4,776 posts, read 7,696,315 times
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Oh my goodness, so many problems. Your tank is not cycled, and wasn't cycled by the time you added fish. In order to develop beneficial bacteria necessary for cycling you need need fish or something similar, just plain old water and plants aren't enough for necessary good bacteria to develop. Even with fish it generally takes a few months for a tank to cycle, and you didn't even have fish for a long time. What kind of test kit are you using? Paper strips are not as reliable as liquid test kids, like API. And your temperature is way too low for tropicals, it should be 76-78, please turn up the heat. Electricity in the water? LOL, that's a new one on me. I just lost a few fish from the recent snowstorm and cold temps myself, don't worry about there being electricity in the water. Some tropicals are okay with 72, but many are not. An you should have higher nitrates in a cycled tank,yours indicate it's not cycled, if we can trust those readings. And an airstone will not over-aerate a tank. Keep your filter running full time, your tank was brand new and fishless, by now you really shouldn't have needed to replace carbon or anything as your tank was still cycling. Do not take advice from pet shops, most of their employees are not adequately trained. Booklets that generally come with new tanks are often outdated with incorrect info. Adding chemicals is the worst thing you can do, your tank needs to build up it's good bacteria naturally. Why are you aerating your water 24 hours before adding a water conditioner?? That makes no sense, when you add new water to a tank you should add a water conditioner along with the new water----tap water is full of chlorine which is poisonous to fish, so you need to neutralize that chlorine as you add new water.

As a tank cycles, ammonia will build up, and frequent partial water changes will be necessary to prevent the fish from dying. It doesn't sound like you have been frequent partial water changes, I'm betting your fish are dying from ammonia poisoning and too cold temps. Twice a week probably isn't enough for a tank that is cycling, and I got the impression you were doing less water changes before the past week. Adding several fish all at once will increase the ammonia levels, too. It's better to start small. Also, do some research on what kinds of fish get along with others, a lot of male bettas will fight other fish, you were lucky yours was peaceful. It would take me forever to type out how to begin properly cycling your tank, so here is a link that discusses how to go about it. Since you already have some fish, you won't need to do a fishless cycle, providing you can keep your remaining fish alive. This link explains the different methods and opinions of cycling a tank, and the issues that can arise from it. You're getting some strange info from somewhere, this link should be a big improvement for you. It's very helpful, good luck!

Freshwater cycling

Last edited by andthentherewere3; 11-07-2011 at 09:42 AM..
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Land Of Moose, Blueberries, and Chickadees
9,929 posts, read 5,160,006 times
Reputation: 12568
Quote:
Originally Posted by andthentherewere3 View Post
Oh my goodness, so many problems. Your tank is not cycled, and wasn't cycled by the time you added fish. In order to develop beneficial bacteria necessary for cycling you need need fish or something similar, just plain old water and plants aren't enough for necessary good bacteria to develop. Even with fish it generally takes a few months for a tank to cycle, and you didn't even have fish for a long time. What kind of test kit are you using? Paper strips are not as reliable as liquid test kids, like API. And your temperature is way too low for tropicals, it should be 76-78, please turn up the heat. Electricity in the water? LOL, that's a new one on me. I just lost a few fish from the recent snowstorm and cold temps myself, don't worry about there being electricity in the water. Some tropicals are okay with 72, but many are not. An you should have higher nitrates in a cycled tank,yours indicate it's not cycled, if we can trust those readings. And an airstone will not over-aerate a tank. Keep your filter running full time, your tank was brand new and fishless, by now you really shouldn't have needed to replace carbon or anything as your tank was still cycling. Do not take advice from pet shops, most of their employees are not adequately trained. Booklets that generally come with new tanks are often outdated with incorrect info. Adding chemicals is the worst thing you can do, your tank needs to build up it's good bacteria naturally. Why are you aerating your water 24 hours before adding a water conditioner?? That makes no sense, when you add new water to a tank you should add a water conditioner along with the new water----tap water is full of chlorine which is poisonous to fish, so you need to neutralize that chlorine as you add new water.

As a tank cycles, ammonia will build up, and frequent partial water changes will be necessary to prevent the fish from dying. It doesn't sound like you have been frequent partial water changes, I'm betting your fish are dying from ammonia poisoning and too cold temps. Twice a week probably isn't enough for a tank that is cycling, and I got the impression you were doing less water changes before the past week. Adding several fish all at once will increase the ammonia levels, too. It's better to start small. Also, do some research on what kinds of fish get along with others, a lot of male bettas will fight other fish, you were lucky yours was peaceful. It would take me forever to type out how to begin properly cycling your tank, so here is a link that discusses how to go about it. Since you already have some fish, you won't need to do a fishless cycle, providing you can keep your remaining fish alive. This link explains the different methods and opinions of cycling a tank, and the issues that can arise from it. You're getting some strange info from somewhere, this link should be a big improvement for you. It's very helpful, good luck!

Freshwater cycling
From the time I posted to the time you answered, I found my solution. I'll state again, I have LIVE plants in there and what I was trying to do was a "silent cycle" not a "Fishless cycle".

I did find the solution to my problem. It was that I had way too much lighting. It was too bright and I left it on for way too long.

Silent cycle, (with planted tanks), is not the same as a fishless cycle. The plants use the ammonia so you'll never get an ammonia reading and it's way less stressful on the fish. Where I erred was with the lighting...my light was, as I said, horribly too bright and I left it on many more hours than I should have. As soon as I fixed those problems, things started getting a whole lot better and the fish I have left are living.

Yep. It was as simple as that.

I do agree with you about the test strips, I would never use test strips, I use the API Master Kit as it is far more reliable than test strips. Electricity in the water is valid as it has happened to some people. It's not a common thing but it's something to look for.

My filter is always on, I'm curious as to why you thought it was not? And yes, I turned the airstone back on. The person who said that it would over oxygenate the tank I have now discovered is a complete idiot.

They are not dying from ammonia poisoning, there was no ammonia in the water. The temps are fine. These are freshwater fish. I do not have a salt water aquarium.

You aerate the water to break down any chlorine in the water. Yes, I use a water conditioner.

Yes, I did add too many fish at once, I agree with you there.

I have read about what fish get along with Bettas, why are you assuming I have not read about that? What do you think I did in the 5-6 weeks my tank was empty of fish? That's all I DID was read about fish and their temperaments and how they would get along with others.

Anyway, the answer was keeping the light low and not having it on so long, turning the airstone back on and not putting in so many fish at once. Two to three a week instead of six a week.

But again, I was doing the SILENT cycle, not fishless cycle. Having the plants in there does make a difference.

Thanks for replying.
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Old 11-10-2011, 12:02 PM
 
4,776 posts, read 7,696,315 times
Reputation: 3090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Three Wolves In Snow View Post
I'll state again, I have LIVE plants in there and what I was trying to do was a "silent cycle" not a "Fishless cycle".

I did find the solution to my problem. It was that I had way too much lighting. It was too bright and I left it on for way too long.

Silent cycle, (with planted tanks), is not the same as a fishless cycle. The plants use the ammonia so you'll never get an ammonia reading and it's way less stressful on the fish. Where I erred was with the lighting...my light was, as I said, horribly too bright and I left it on many more hours than I should have. As soon as I fixed those problems, things started getting a whole lot better and the fish I have left are living.

Sometimes people assume that adding a couple of plants to a tank is all they need to form a "planted tank", especially from people who are new to the hobby. I've seen people throw in a few java ferns and think that's all they need. I apologize if I misunderstood the amount of plants in your tank. It is true that a heavily planted tank with the right kind of plants will help cycle a tank. Hopefully now that you have lowered the amount of light in your tank your plants will not suffer, though. (and I'm not sure why the lighting would kill the fish, some people leave their lights on 18 or more hours a day with no ill effects on the fish, so I wouldn't worry too much about that) I don't know your level of expertise regarding plants, but many require high lighting and a lot of fertilizer. What kind of plants did you add, and how many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Three Wolves In Snow View Post
My filter is always on, I'm curious as to why you thought it was not? And yes, I turned the airstone back on. The person who said that it would over oxygenate the tank I have now discovered is a complete idiot.
I was responding to your statement quoted below. You mentioned aerating the water before adding the conditioner, which makes no sense. I didn't know what you meant by that. There is no need to aerate it if you have your filter on. Aerating it does not remove chlorine!! Google it if you don't believe me. It might help dissipate it, but it would still take several hours for chlorine to disappear without adding a dechlorinator product. It is EXTREMELY important to add a product that eliminates chlorine. Maybe you already know this, but just the fact that you said "you aerate the water to break down any chlorine" makes me think you didn't. Hopefully you won't think I'm a complete idiot with my advice, too. LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Three Wolves In Snow View Post
And yes, I use a water conditioner...and yes, I aerate the water 24 hours before adding it in.

You aerate the water to break down any chlorine in the water.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Three Wolves In Snow View Post
Temp: 72-74 F

Quote:
Originally Posted by Three Wolves In Snow View Post
The temps are fine. These are freshwater fish. I do not have a salt water aquarium.
Many freshwater fish will not be comfortable with temps as low as 72. For instance, Bettas need temps between 75-84. Temperatures that are too low will stress or kill tropical fish, and tropical fish vary in their temperature requirements. After all, they are "tropical", and they come from warm waters. Here are a couple of sites that list appropriate temperatures:


Peaceful betta (Betta imbellis) - Seriously Fish


Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta splendens ) Profile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Three Wolves In Snow View Post

I have read about what fish get along with Bettas, why are you assuming I have not read about that? What do you think I did in the 5-6 weeks my tank was empty of fish? That's all I DID was read about fish and their temperaments and how they would get along with others.
I am assuming you didn't read about that because you stated:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Three Wolves In Snow View Post

I decided to get some fish an give it a go. The very first fish I got was a betta. He swam around happily and was quite the character.

I then got some panda platys, a pleco, (the small kind), a kuhli loach and some Danios. Oh and 3 cardinal tetras.


Well, Bettas often fight with other fish, but you added several more anyway....that was risky. I've had some mellow bettas, but the last two I've had would happily kill any tank mates. And when you add a schooling fish like Cories, Loaches, Cardinals or Danios, they need at least six of their kind so they won't be nippy and aggressive. They'll be happier and healthier, too. Also, Cories can damage their barbels on gravel if it's too large, sand is easier on them.


I did also want to comment on something you said in your first post. You said the pet store sold you "chemicals". I missed your Amquel sentence, now I see you said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Three Wolves In Snow View Post
I told them my water was still cloudy after all this time. They gave me chemicals to use. I replaced some of the fish.

Brought everything home, slowly introduced the new fish to their new environment, Waited a day. I then followed the directions on the chemical bottle, (AmQuel), to a tee. Two days later my betta died. He had been doing great until I added this garbage. I'm really bothered by that one.


Did you mean Amquel Plus? That is actually the type of water conditioner you should be using when doing partial water changes. It's not just "chemicals", that is what is removing your chlorine, and you add it WITH EACH WATER CHANGE. It's not something you would randomly pour into a tank otherwise. I'm curious, you say you use water conditioners when you do partial water changes, what brand are you using? I personally prefer Prime, but Amquel Plus is fine to use with each water change, because again, you will have chlorine in city water, and aerating will not remove it. I am harping on this point because chlorine is lethal to fish. Hopefully you are using a water conditioner that does remove chlorine, and you are adding it with each water change. And you would add enough to treat the new water you were adding,for instance, if you are replacing 10 gallons of water just dose with whatever is recommended for 10 gallons. But otherwise I am happy to hear your fish are doing well!

Last edited by andthentherewere3; 11-10-2011 at 12:34 PM..
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Old 11-10-2011, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Rural Western TN
6,072 posts, read 8,701,547 times
Reputation: 7808
oh boy this ones all kinds of fun.

1: strong lighting does not kill fish...
strong lighting that is cauging the tank to OVER HEAT can kill fihs, but bright light on for long periods will do NOTHING to the health of your fish...
it CAN cause algeal blooms and make your plants grow like crazy but it will NOT, never will and never has killed a fish...it would be the equivalent of saying all the fish in my pond died because the sun came out...sorry but, NO your solution was NOT the light, the MOST having a strong light on for more than 12 hours a day would do is possibly STRESS the fish making them suseptible to other things...
LIGHTING it not your answer.

2: your temps are TOOOOO low and while a betta can survive at 72 it will NOT thrive, live as long as it should or be as bright as it can be...your pleco "the small kind" could handle 72 easily but eventually the others wil stress to death at that temp, Especialy the cardinals which are increidbly delicate as is...
78 degrees is my absolute MINIMUM for tropicals...plain and simple!

3: you need more fish than what youve got long term if there going to be happy, the danios and the cardinals will need a group of 5 or more (most like 6, i find 5 minimum an dprefer odd numbers...) danios are also notorious fin nippers, either your bettas gonna eat them, or there going to eventualy destroy your bettas fins...betta and danio (even the little leopard and zebras) DO NOT get along well...danios occupy the same tank space as the betta and are fast and nippy, your betta will become teritorial and attack them (and get stressed because theyll be too busy for him) and they will eventually start nipping him.

the cardinals can do ok with bettas in my experience however other peple have NO luck housing male bettas with anything...but you will need at least 2 more cardinals...

kuhli are not "schooling" fish but are social, he needs at least 2 more budies (preferably more) to be happy.

the platy might overpopulate your tank prety dang quickly with their babies and are HEAVY on the bioload (all livebearers are), they too share the same general space as the betta and will eventually either bother him to death or be beaten to death by the betta...

personally id rehome the platy and the danios, bring in some more cardinal tetra and kulhi loach and watch your beta VERY carefully.

4: areation does NOT remove chlorination...airstones are purely decorative unless you have severely lacking filtration...
the purpose of an airstone is to agitate the surface of the water to encorage o2 exchange, the bubbles the airstone puts off does NOT oxygenate the water...they are simply to agitate the surface of the water....
if you have a filter on the tank it does the same job, breaking the water surface to enable better o2 exchange...
if youve got enough plants officially you wouldnt need any surface agitation but a filter is more than enough.

officially because of the surface agitation an airstone can HELP decrease chlorine by default over a long time (speeding up the process) but an airstone does NOT NOT NOT remove chlorine, or amonia or anything else...they are purely agitation/visually attractive.

if everything has suddenly sorted itself out id put money on it that in reality your tank has gone into a shock cycle...into a cycled phase suddenly...this happens to many new tanks, if you can get your fish through the danger period, suddenly everyhting will "magically" be ok again...
its nOT because you turned out the light, nor added an airstone nor waved your hands over it and muttered a few words, its simply that your tank managed to cycle...

you do need to be carefull though because itll still be incredibly delicate and even 1 fish over its current limit could send your tank into a tizzy again.

at this point take the danios and platy back to the store and bring home 2-3 more cardinals...then give it at least 2 weeks and then go pick up 2 more kuhli.
and watch carefully for signs of bullying...these fish could be fine together for 3 years then suddenly start killing eachother...nothing is certain.

a heavily planted tank will help speed up and buffer the cycle process, but most people dont have neer enough live plants for it to actually make much of a difference.

lowering your light however can kill all your plants, and in a heavily planted tank youll need a co2 injetor pretty quickly, especially with the airstone now potentially saturating your water...water can and will only contain a limited amount of o2, and if youve got enough plants, they and the filter will provide all you need.

you should definatly pay heed to andthentherewere3...theres lots of GOOD advice on here and it seems like mabe you dont want to hear it all?!
sounds like you enjoy your fish and are serious about getting into the hobby, but in order to improve yourself, your definatly going to have to pay more atteniton to the advice of others.

i can tell you after 26 years in the hobby (i had a 30 gallon fishtank in my nursery when i was born and the passion hasnt died yet) that the ONLY dangerous thing lighting your tank too long can do is 1: overheat the water if your using the wrong bulbs and 2: cause an algea bloom!
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