Discussion in 'Bala Shark, Silver Shark' started by Jan, Dec 4, 2005.

  1. JanValued MemberMember

    Hello everyone, I am a newbie to this board and to the fish world. I started an aquarium about 4 months ago. It is 10 gallons. All of the fish that I have purchased have perished, I presently have a redtail shark that seems to be the most hardy as he is still alive(I have had him for about 3 months). I recently purchased 3 balas and just today one of them died.

    I don't know all of the correct terminology when it comes to the tank so please bear with me in my explanation. I have a filter that has the sponge and carbon (I think that this may be the Interal box filter?). I also have another thingy that is green and bubbles come out! (Excuse my lack of knowledge here) I am also testing for N03 and N02's the N02s are perfect (clear). The N03 are around 10-20.

    Last night the Bala seems to be vertical alot and I thought that there must be something wrong with him but my lack of experience left things at that. When I saw him dead today and another of my bala's doing the 'vertical' as well got me scared.

    All three of them are babies, no bigger than a small goldfish, so I am hoping that it is not the tank size. I try to change the water whenever the N03s go over 10, maybe ever week and a half.

    I love my bala's does anyone have any suggestions for me to save the last two?
  2. GunnieWell Known MemberMember

    Hi Jan!  Welcome to Fishlore!  I'm afraid your tank is overstocked and is probably not cycled, which is probably part of the problem.  Here is a link to some articles which will help you understand the basics to starting up a tank.  Check them out and make sure you are doing all this. 

    Second, bala sharks get too big for a 10 gallon tank.  From what I've read about them, they can grow to 16 inches long!  You are definately gonna need a larger tank very soon for thoses babies.  When you buy fish in the future, don't buy them right away, and write down the names of the fish.  Do a google search online and research your fish as much as possible.  When considering new fish, always make sure you have a tank large enough for your fish at their adult size.  There's nothing wrong with starting them out in a smaller tank when they're little, but things have a tendency to happen if you don't already have the bigger tank, and it never gets bought.  The rumor that a fish will grow only as big as his tank is a myth, and they will die a very painful death.  Their outsides may stop growing but their insides don't, and they will eventually die because their organs won't have enough room.

    It's going to take time to get the hang of everything, and that's why we are here.  Just post and let us know how your tank is doing, and if you can't get a much larger tank for these fish (probably about 200 gallons), you may want to consider trading them in for fish who can live their whole lives in your 10 gallon.  We're glad you're here, and hope you will post often!   ;)
  3. JanValued MemberMember

    Thank you Gunnie so much for your reply. I read the one site that you referred to but the other site did not exist. I have only had the fish for two weeks would the lack of cycling kill them that quickly? I am planning on getting a larger tank, will they last in this tank for another month or so? I had thought that since my reading for the N02s was clear that this meant that my tank was cycled... is this a lack of understanding on my part? ???
  4. GunnieWell Known MemberMember

    When your ammonia (NH3) and nitrites (NO2) are at zero, and you show nitrates (NO3), your tank is cycled. Since your tank is overstocked, and probably not cycled, your ammonia level can become lethal probably in a day's time. That's why it's so important to test. And once your tank is cycled, you need to keep the nitrate level down to 20 or less. Nitrates are not as dangerous to your fish, but at very high levels, they can be lethal. Let us know what these other readings are, and what kind of filtration you have going on the tank.
  5. JanValued MemberMember

    I think that I have the Internal Box filter?? But I am not too sure. I tested the Nitrates this morning and they were around 50 so I did a water change (50%). I just tested the Nitrites and they are 0. Unfortunately I do not have an ammonia test.
  6. GunnieWell Known MemberMember

    You definately need an ammonia test. You can get them at WalMart for under $3.00. Ammonia is the first sign of problems with your water quality. It's great you did the water change. One way to keep the nitrates down between water changes would be live plants. Look for a plant called anacharis at your local fish stores. It's usually under $2.00 for a bunch of 6 stems. You can just let them float on the top of the water, and they will help out a little bit. Live plants also will help out with the ammonia a little bit, but don't count on it to solve the problem.
  7. JanValued MemberMember

    Thank you soooo much for the information. My bala is no longer doing the 'vertical' not too sure if that is a good sign or not. I will get that ammonia test as soon as I can as well as the plants. I was actually going to buy another bala to replace the one that I lost but I am now guessing that this is not a good idea. I had read that the balas are better in groups of five or more....I guess that is why I had gotten 3, I was part way to 5!!

    Thank you so much again for your quick responses I don't think that I could bear seeing another bala floating!!

    Have a great day! :)
  8. JanValued MemberMember

    :( I cannot believe this! My last two balas died! My red Tailed shark is fine. I am not too sure what to do with my tank now!! I am still going to get the ammonia test but if there was a problem should it not affect the red tail as well?
  9. dahlyValued MemberMember

    Hang in there, we are all with you. Do a water change immediately, 25% minimum. Check the Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Report your findings and we'll help you figure it all out. We've all been where you are now. You will get through it and have fish to enjoy!
  10. JanValued MemberMember

    This is really odd, my Nitrites for months have been 0 now they are .1 why would that be? The ammonia is 0 and N03s are between 5 and 10.

    I am not sure if it is just my imagination now over the loss of the balas but my redtail does not seem to be the way he was..... I hope that nothing will happen to him now!

    Thank you for your help!
  11. JasonWell Known MemberMember

    The Red Tail should be allright they are pretty tough little fishes. When I knew nothing about fish he and my algae were one of the few fishes that were fine when my parameters were out of wack
  12. JanValued MemberMember

    Phew! My red tail seems to be fine, he is actually moving around the tank more than what he used to when the balas were there! I will be getting a bigger tank... after what happened with the balas I am not too sure if I should get more? I know that I cannot get another Red Tail, what else would go good with the Red Tail? Would an algae eater be ok?

  13. JasonWell Known MemberMember

    temperament on what kind and also the temperment of your red-tail. I had a bad experience in putting a Chinese algae eater in with a red-tail (they fought) perhaps a bristlenose catfish. They dont grow very big and consume algae readily.
  14. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    Until you get a larger tank I would hold off on another bottom dweller. Redtail sharks tend to claim territories on the bottom even though they may swim other places too.
    Good tank mates might be platys, mollys, angels in a bigger tank. anyway i wouldn't mess with his bottom area right now.