Another Sad Story And Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Birdylcc, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. BirdylccNew MemberMember

    So hubby and I decided in January to resurrect a tank that we had used when we were first married, 19 years ago. We started up the tank by the beginning of Feb and went to see a friend who worked at a local pet store with a good fish reputation. My friend sold us five fish said we should have them for a week or two before we added more.

    We didn't do any research ourselves on general fish keeping because we had kept fish before... there was nothing to it! hahahahaha We have a 20 gallon tank and after those first couple of weeks she said we could keep adding fish and by six weeks after start-up we were up 18 fish The kids were so excited.

    We started out with 3 harlequin raspboras, & 2 rainbow neons. We quickly added 5 rummy nose, then a dumbo beta... she said the dumbo beta would be a fine addition to our tank. Hmmmmm.....

    Then we didn't ask for more advice but added 5 cardinal tetras and then lastly added 2 more harlequins to get my school up to 5. Now we had 18 fish in a 20 gallon tank that wasn't even properly cycled!

    Can you guess what happened next? My tank started growing awful brown algae and fish started dying. My kids were devastated.

    I couldn't see anything visibly wrong with the fish but the fish store suggested dosing with Furan-2. After the first dose the fish stopped dying. However the Beta got dropsy and so he is no longer with us.

    Our fish count is now down to 8. The rummy nose all survived, but we only have one harlequin raspbora and 2 cardinal tetras.

    My question is, where do I go from here? It's been three weeks since the last dose, everyone is growing and the tank looks great and the brown algae has disappeared.

    We want to to stay with a peaceful tank, should my priority be to get more Harlequin raspboras to get his school back?
  2. Lonewolf9395Valued MemberMember

    Hi and welcome to fishlore. :)

    I do not have much experience with stocking or disease but there are a few details people will need in order to give you good advice. The first is what is the size of your tank? And second people will likely want to know what your water parameters are to ensure that you are cycled? I expect that you are not fully cycled and would be best to finish the cycle before adding any more fish, but someone with more knowledge should chime in.

    Edit: Sorry about that, I just saw the 20 gallon. Is that a 20 long or high?
  3. AvalancheDaveWell Known MemberMember

  4. BirdylccNew MemberMember

    It's 20 gallons rather square actually. My husband had built this tank to fit in an old Westinghouse TV.

    When I've had my water tested at the Fish Store they just say it's fine.. how do I find out the actual measurements of my water?
  5. Lonewolf9395Valued MemberMember

    Can you please post the dimensions of the tank, footprint has a lot to do with stocking levels. The best way to test your water parameters is with the API master test kit. Fish stores will tell you anything to get you to buy stuff. "Fine" for water parameters tells you nothing.
  6. Fish tankValued MemberMember

    I would defiantly check the ammonia and the nitrate and might find out what is wrong with it because as soon as I got my first sickness it was one of the two
  7. OnTheFlyWell Known MemberMember

    With an API master test kit. You may find they are much more expensive locally. I had a 20yr break in the hobby as well. It's nice that we can know what is going on with our water now. It will seem tedious at first, but you will be able to determine an appropriate schedule for partial water changes after the tank is established.
  8. JRSWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to fishlore!

    I took my water to two LFS's to verify what I was getting on my tests and they said the water was "fine" also. Turned out I had 80+ nitrates and some ammonia and my fish kept dying. Sadly you can't rely on their tests unless you happen to get someone well versed in testing. I had to tell the guy at one store how to do the tests. I was standing there going why am I here.
  9. DanjamesdixonWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to the forum!

    Your first and MOST critical priority right now should be to procure a liquid test kit, and check if your tank has Cycled. You should also read up on the Nitrogen Cycle if you haven't already.

    The parameters you are looking for are 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrite, and 5-20 Nitrate. If either Ammonia or Nitrite are present, your tank is likely not Cycled.
  10. JRSWell Known MemberMember

    Also, FYI
    When testing for Nitrate make sure you beat the heck out of bottle #2 and shake it following the directions - 30 seconds Bottle #2 before using and 1 minute shaking test tube after adding bottle #2. If it isn't shaken well enough you will get a false low reading.
  11. AvalancheDaveWell Known MemberMember

  12. AMSNew MemberMember

    Hi. You're in good hands here, and I won't discuss any of the testing, etc that you need to get you out of this immediate crises, but I will tell you that I also had a crises in my tank. My tank was cycled for 2 years, but our mollies started reproducing out of control, and our population grew. Meanwhile, I was particularly busy, failed to do the required water changes, overfed by mistake, and was terrible. We also had a dropsy death and many of our fish also died without any visible signs of illness.

    What happened for me was that I had a shift in perspective from keeping this tank for my kids, (one more responsibility) to taking it on as my hobby. I never new that my aeration, and filtration was inadequate and so have upgraded considerably with both of these. I bought a good canister filter, which is a whole new ball game. I have explored the world of "media" beyond the usual and have added some pretty promising stuff. I now notice when I do a water change (which I do religiously come or high water-10 gal/wk), that the water is sooooo much cleaner than it used to be.

    I still have one gouramis that is showing early stage dropsy (it's been 6 weeks or so since the "disaster" so he may have some kidney damage, or has been harboring bacteria...) I don't know, but he is quarantined and I am treating him (Maracy 2, epsom salt baths, and medicated fish food arriving from Amazon today)...wish me luck...

    I don't know if this is at all helpful, but I wanted to share what I learned. I wish you luck!
  13. AWheelerWell Known MemberMember

    You are going to want to go on Amazon or a Local fish store/pet store and get an API master test kit...and when you test the nitrates, you have to throw the #2 bottle around and shake it until your arm starts hurting a little bit :)

    Welcome to Fishlore!
  14. FishL:))Well Known MemberMember

    Hello and welcome to FishLore!! :)
  15. BirdylccNew MemberMember

    Thanks all. I will go and get a API test kit today and see if the tank has indeed cycled. It seems that whatever the water parameters are at least they are stable as I haven't had a fish die now in over 3 weeks.
  16. purslanegardenWell Known MemberMember

    "Stable" could mean the fish adapted, or are "hardy" fish, able to survive the conditions. It's definitely good to get the test kit and verify for yourself. It's also good for later when you see problems and want to know what conditions your water is in.