a little help needed 5 Gallon Tank

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by ayelie, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. ayelieWell Known MemberMember

    I started this little tank in hopes of just having 3 -5 fish. But something odd has happened.

    I have a cory cat, 2 glass fish, all of those are doing fine. It is at the very end of the new tank cycle. So I went out and got 3 small guppies, 2 lyretails and one fantail. I got them on march 30 and in the last 12 hours they have all died.

    Anyone have any ideas what's going on?

    This isn't my first tank but it's been years since I started a new one.

    I have been using the Tetra brand startup, aqua safe, easy balance, and foods.
  2. blueiristysonValued MemberMember

  3. bassbonedivaFishlore VIPMember

    They could have been diseased from the store.

    What are your exact tank parameters (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate).

    On a different note, cories need to be in groups of three or more and unless you have a pygmy cory, it'll get too big for your little tank. As for the glass fish...do you mean glass catfish? Assuming you have glass catfish and a pygmy cory, you're 130% stocked as you sit right now. Both the cories and glass catfish need to be in larger groups as they're both schooling fish. They may fit right now, but eventually they'll outgrow your tank.
  4. FurallicahWell Known MemberMember

    Sounds like ammonia got to them, or you did not acclimate them properly. You said they died in the last 12 hours? Then I have to go with one of those two options. Sorry for your loss. And Welcome to FishLore.

    *Edit, what is the size of the tank?*
  5. midthoughtWell Known MemberMember

    ...is there any way you meant 50 gallons? Because all those fish in a 5 gallon is way overcrowded. They're dying from being in their own waste. The goldfish alone should be in a 20 gallon. In a 5 gallon tank, your readings should be off the charts.
  6. jetajockeyFishlore VIPMember

    topic title says 5gallon tank, in which you are a bit overstocked. with a small tank and several fish it doesn't take long for the ammonia levels to get way out of control and kill the fish. It would definitely help to test the water with a liquid test like API's master freshwater kit, otherwise its just guesswork.
  7. HendryxValued MemberMember

    I agree with the ammonia poisoning, your tank is way,way overstocked..with that many fishies the waste load is much to big..
  8. RhanWell Known MemberMember

    I'm sorry to hear that you're having fishy troubles :(

    Unfortunetly I have to agree with everyone here, you are overstocked for a 5 gallon tank. Now generally when we talk about overstocking, it refers to several things including:
    a) amount of fish waste being produced = too many fish, too much waste
    As you already know, fish produce ammonia as a waste product, and the more fish you have, the larger the amount of waste. Also, some types of fish produce more fish than others, due to differences in their digestive tracts (Goldfish and plecos being well-known ones).

    b) the capacity of the tank being unable to cope with large amount of waste, as well as the filter.
    It is difficult to keep a small aquarium stable in water parameters because of it's capacity. X amount of ammonia produced is going to be much more concentrated in a smaller body of water than a larger body of water. Therefore, a small ammonia spike could end up getting out of hand easier than with a bigger tank.

    c) swim space
    Some fish are more active than others and have different space requirements. Also, the fish being sold in the LFS are rarely fully grown, and even though they might be small when you buy them, they will eventually reach their adult size which LFS often neglect to tell us. For example, I have a peppered cory cat, who we bought as barely an inch long. Now, about 3ish years later, he is pushing 3 inches and has a belly to match!

    I apologise if you know all or some of this already, as you do say you've kept fish before. I've just included it in case you were unaware of some of it, and also in case someone else with similar troubles stumbles across this thread and doesn't understand what we mean by overstocking. Also, i love to thorough :)

    Note: If anyone disagrees, or feels there is something to add, please go right ahead :)

    The fish deaths: It sounds like it could be ammonia poisoning unfortunetly :( This can also be due to adding too many fish at once, or too close together. This can overwhelm the bacteria in the filter, which results in not all of the ammonia being converted to nitrites, and then nitrites to nitrates.

    Is there a way you could test your water? There are liquid testkits available that seem to be very popular on this site, API freshwater masterkit being the one that comes to mind. It is well worth looking into buying, as you can test your water anytime if you think something could be wrong or you just want to check up on the tank :)
    If this isn't an immediate option, then you could ask a LPS/LFS to test your water, but keep in mind the results may not be accurate if they use test strips instead of liquid test kits.

    Often, checking water parameters is the best place to start when theres a problem. It allows us to rule out a some possibilities.

    Best of luck with your tank, please keep us posted :)
  9. ayelieWell Known MemberMember

    I have one cory that is real small and the 2 glassfish are really small. Together inch wise its about 2.5 inches of fish. The guppies were about .25 inches each. I think I need to get a new test kit. This is on the OLD side.

    Thanks for all the help.
  10. jetajockeyFishlore VIPMember

    the 1inch per gallon rule isn't an exact science, like how you wouldn't want to put a 10 inch fish in a 10 gallon tank. The advice given here is more geared towards what fish will THRIVE in rather than just survive in, because as pet owners we want our animals to live happy and comfortable lives. adding several fish all at once puts an strain on even an established biological filter, and overloading it will have it playing catch-up trying to convert the ammonia. Definitely get a new liquid kit, that way you can test it daily, as long as there is concern, the strips are inaccurate plus you don't get nearly as many tests in with them, so the liquid test kit will pay for itself in no time. Best of luck!
  11. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning Ayelie and Welcome to Fish Lore!

    It will be a great help to know your readings for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH.

    The API (liquid) Master Test Kit is most widely recommended. Sorry to hear about your losses.

  12. ElodeaWell Known MemberMember

    Have you read about the Nitrogen Cycle (click these words, please) yet? I believe that it is because the tank wasn't properly cycled, so the fish died of ammonia poisoning. I would suggest you not to add any more fish until the tank is properly cycled.

    The inch-per-gallon rule applies for the ADULT size of the fish.

    The cory cat will get to 2.5 inches max.

    The glass catfish will get to 3 inches max.

    The guppies will hit 1.5 inches.

    Following the inch per gallon rule, I believe this equates to 13 inches of fish in a 5 gallon tank.