Aquarium Pandemonium!

Tripp_theBetta

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I recently got a new 20gal and stocked it with 5 mollies and a 3 corys(who still are acting perfectly normal), not long after having the fish a big alge bloom happened, the fish weren't bothered and I have done water changes everyday and used alge fix 3 days in a row, but now that the water is clean and theres no more alge or alge fix to bother them, my Mollie's keep dying!!! One wedged herself in plant roots and got stuck, and two others kept acting dead and then being fine until they actually died. My water levels are fine, the tank was just cleaned, I keep it at 78degrees, but I'm down to three mollies and I'm terribly worried about them, any reason they would start dying off like this? And anything I could do to help them?
 

Rtessy

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What are your ammonia/nitrite/nitrate at? Also, you have some stocking concerns but we can get to that after we fix this problem. Are there any physical changes when/before they pass? Any marks on the body, discoloration? Do they display any symptoms?
 
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Tripp_theBetta

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Rtessy said:
What are your ammonia/nitrite/nitrate at? Also, you have some stocking concerns but we can get to that after we fix this problem. Are there any physical changes when/before they pass? Any marks on the body, discoloration? Do they display any symptoms?
There was not, they looked completely normal which is why I was worried, the most symptom ever shown was them playing dead and then going back to normal a few seconds later, everything on the test strip I used showed up normal, the Alkalinity is still safe and there's no nitrates or chlorine, and the water is soft and neutral, could the daily water changes have been too much for them ?
 

Rtessy

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Do you have any way to test ammonia or nitrite? Also the strips are rarely accurate, any chance you could get the API freshwater master test kit, or get someone with that to treat your water. Do they gasp at the surface at all? How long have you had them, and how old is the tank? Can you please describe what you mean by "playing dead"?
 
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Tripp_theBetta

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Rtessy said:
Do you have any way to test ammonia or nitrite? Also the strips are rarely accurate, any chance you could get the API freshwater master test kit, or get someone with that to treat your water. Do they gasp at the surface at all? How long have you had them, and how old is the tank? Can you please describe what you mean by "playing dead"?
The strips test for nitrates but not ammonia, I could possibly get a kit today depending on how much it is, if not today I can forsure get one Friday, I've had them for atleast a month with no issues, and none of them have acted strangely aside from the 'playing dead' and by that I just mean that the two fish would go belly up, but as soon as the net touched them they went back to swiming like normal, I still moved them to a qt tank to be safe and they did fine all day, but they had genuinely passed on when I checked on them this morning
 

DuaneV

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Sorry youre having this issue. Id bet its ammonia poisoning. Classic case of new tank with fish dying. The test strips arent as good as the liquid kit. You can get the master liquid kit that tests ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and ph for $20ish. A small price to keep your fish alive and healthy.
 
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Tripp_theBetta

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DuaneV said:
Sorry youre having this issue. Id bet its ammonia poisoning. Classic case of new tank with fish dying. The test strips arent as good as the liquid kit. You can get the master liquid kit that tests ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and ph for $20ish. A small price to keep your fish alive and healthy.
I certainly hope I'm not poisoning my little guys, 20$ won't kill me, but the fish can't say the same so I'll go look for a kit that includes ammonia asap today, my Mollie's still in the tank are acting fine but should I move them to a tank with fresh water to be safe until I get back?
 

Rtessy

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Tripp_theBetta said:
The strips test for nitrates but not ammonia, I could possibly get a kit today depending on how much it is, if not today I can forsure get one Friday, I've had them for atleast a month with no issues, and none of them have acted strangely aside from the 'playing dead' and by that I just mean that the two fish would go belly up, but as soon as the net touched them they went back to swiming like normal, I still moved them to a qt tank to be safe and they did fine all day, but they had genuinely passed on when I checked on them this morning
Yeah, the kit is a bit pricey, $20-30 depending on where you get it (if it's PetSmart or Petco, they match online prices in stores and it's cheaper). I've found it to be an essential tool. And fish don't really play dead, if you see that behavior again it does mean they are dying. How new are they, how new is the tank? How large are the water changes you were doing (what %)?

Tripp_theBetta said:
I certainly hope I'm not poisoning my little guys, 20$ won't kill me, but the fish can't say the same so I'll go look for a kit that includes ammonia asap today, my Mollie's still in the tank are acting fine but should I move them to a tank with fresh water to be safe until I get back?
Where would you move them to? And probably not a good idea, it may stress them too much.
 
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Tripp_theBetta

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Rtessy said:
Where would you move them to? And probably not a good idea, it may stress them too much.
I have two 5gal qt tanks and a 4.5gal one, I was worried that would be a issue
 

DuaneV

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If you have to QT them you can do it in anything that holds water. A plastic tote, a 5 gallon bucket, even a bathtub (Ive done it before). Good luck!
 
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Tripp_theBetta

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I'm headed to the pet store atm, if it does end up being ammonia what would be the best way to treat it other than a water change?
 

DuaneV

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If its not ammonia or nitrite levels, then something else is probably going on, i.e., some type of bacteria. Get the kit, do the tests exactly as the instructions say and we can go from there.
 

Rtessy

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If it is ammonia and nitrite poisoning, you could add aquarium salt to the tank (only if you do QT, Cory catfish are sensitive). Make sure it is aquarium salt, and be careful about the ratio. Personally, I'd just do water changes, it's worked the best for me in the past when I dealt with ammonia poisoning
 

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If it is ammonia or Nitrite poisoning then the best solution is large water changes (assuming your source water has 0 or less than the tank levels of ammonia or Nitrite)
 

GuppyDazzle

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The API Master Test Kit is the best tool for getting a glimpse at what's happening with your water. It will test pH, ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. Once you have zero ammonia (toxic), zero nitrites (toxic), and zero nitrates (not toxic in small amounts), your tank is "cycled." Look up "aquarium cycle" and read about it. There are different methods to cycle an aquarium, but all take time.

When you get your test kit, check not only your tank, but also your tap water. Use a tap water conditioner when you do partial water changes. Most name brands will work, but the most popular for folks on this site is Prime.

When you talk about your water testing (called "water parameters"), use the actual readings. Lots of new folks say, "The water's fine," or "The water's perfect." That's kind of like trying to determine the cause of an auto accident and saying, "My speed was fine." Everyone will wonder what your actual speed was. Most of the diagnosis of problems is a matter of putting different clues together and coming up with an educated guess. Nobody can look at one factor and proclaim to know exactly what's wrong. It's a puzzle. For example, you might not have a toxic level of ammonia, but in some cases any ammonia reading at all can be a clue that something else is wrong. That's why the actual reading is important.

How much water are you changing at a time? If you're changing 15 or 20% every day, that shouldn't cause too much stress to your fish. If you're changing 50 or 60% every day, that's probably going to create stress (and also slow the cycle).
 

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I jad sort of a similar situation. I was heavily frustrated and lost almost 10 tetras...then one night I saw another tetra dying... I rushed to a pet store..asked him to gove me 25 litres of water frm an old tank..and viola..the dying fish was fine in few hours...
 

Mick Frost

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Some questions:

Where do you get your water? Is it tap/RO/Brita/softened?

What are you treating your water with?

Do you have any foreign objects in the tank? Any rocks/wood/etc from the wild or anything else not specifically labelled as aquarium safe?

What is your lighting setup?

What is your circulation setup?

These answers will help narrow it down. Its pretty hard to kill Mollies with New Tank Syndrome.
 
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Tripp_theBetta

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Mick Frost said:
Some questions:

Where do you get your water? Is it tap/RO/Brita/softened?

What are you treating your water with?

Do you have any foreign objects in the tank? Any rocks/wood/etc from the wild or anything else not specifically labelled as aquarium safe?

What is your lighting setup?

What is your circulation setup?

These answers will help narrow it down. Its pretty hard to kill Mollies with New Tank Syndrome.
I usually use regular tap water but let it sit, and treat it with API water conditioner before I add it to the tank.

Nothing from outside, live plants yes, but all bought from the store the fish came from, and all the stuff was rinsed and cleaned before I added it (no soaps or anything)

I moved it away from sunlight when the agle bloom happened so now their light comes mostly from the led in the lid, and of course the room light any time it is on

And the filter is a top fin quiet flow filter for 20gals with a 15% water change every day after the alge bloom happened

The Mollies in the tank are still acting normal, the water levels read 'safe' still but it looks close enought to being 'unsafe' to make me uncomfortable, maybe I'm worrying too much but I moved the little cories to their own tank for the moment and did a 50% water change and added a tablespoon of API aquarium salt for freshwater fish, it said a table spoon for every 5 gallons, but I'm worried 4 table spoons would be way too much?
 

Rtessy

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Don't add the aquarium salt to your main tank, only do that if you QT the mollies. The corys won't handle it well. And I'm not sure on the dosing, it may be better to just do that later if they continue to worsen. Try water changes for now.
 

Mick Frost

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You can cycle out the salt, keep the Corys separate until you can do at least 3 50% water changes to reduce the salt content. I'm not sure how much they can tolerate, hopefully someone else can provide better info.

EPA is pretty loose with what is allowed in tap water, you might have some toxic elements in there. If RO is available, I would recommend trying it. $1 for a 5gal fill is a lot cheaper than trying to chase down a toxicity issue. I have a couple tanks that need 50-75% RO to neutralize my well water chemistry.
 
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