Beginner freshwater tank need help

Cassypaasch

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Hello I'm a beginner to freshwater fish tank, we have a 10 gallon tank I set up with the help of pet store and research. The store said I would be fine introducing glo fish tetras to the tank after I cycled it for only 3 days. From what I'm reading this is wrong and the tank needs at least a week up to 2 weeks to properly cycle. Long story short we got 6 fish they all died within 3 hours of being introduced to the tank. I used a quick start tank additive to cycle the tank and I tested the water with terta 6 in 1 easy strips everything looked good. I returned the fish they were under warranty for 30 days and they also wanted a sample of my tank water which they tested and found nothing wrong with it. They told me to try 3 glo fish tetras this time and see how they do. Same result they died within 3-4 hours. Please I need help what am I doing wrong. I'm very new to this so please explain or ask questions for a beginner. Thank you
 

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Crimson_687

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How are you acclimating these fish? If this all happened in 3-4 hours, it sounds like they may have gone into shock and died.

If you can, try to invest in a test kit as strips are very inaccurate. You also need to test your ammonia, which strips, and PetSmart, does not test.

It sounds like your tank may not be cycled. You will need to test ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate to figure out if your tank is cycled. A tank is cycled when ammonia and nitrite consistently read 0 and nitrates show up. You also need to feed the bacteria with ammonia via fish food, the same way you would a fish, so your bacterial colony expands.

Also, do you mean glolight tetra (Hemigrammus erythrozonus) or glo fish, the genetically modified black skirt tetra? Black skirt tetras are not suitable for a 10 gallon as they are too large and require a proper school, but a 10 gallon will support a proper school of glowlight tetra.
 
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Cassypaasch

Cassypaasch

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Crimson_687 said:
How are you acclimating these fish? If this all happened in 3-4 hours, it sounds like they may have gone into shock and died.

If you can, try to invest in a test kit as strips are very inaccurate. You also need to test your ammonia, which strips, and PetSmart, does not test.

It sounds like your tank may not be cycled. You will need to test ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate to figure out if your tank is cycled. A tank is cycled when ammonia and nitrite consistently read 0 and nitrates show up. You also need to feed the bacteria with ammonia via fish food, the same way you would a fish, so your bacterial colony expands.

Also, do you mean glolight tetra (Hemigrammus erythrozonus) or glo fish, the genetically modified black skirt tetra? Black skirt tetras are not suitable for a 10 gallon as they are too large and require a proper school, but a 10 gallon will support a proper school of glowlight tetra.
Glo light tetra, I just have strips not test kit. So you would recommend letting the tank cycle is that 1-2 week period? For bacteria in tank I have flakes for fish is this correct to use. The store told me to acclimate the fish by floating them for 20min and then taking net scooping them out and to not introduced any of the tank water in bag to my tank. So the test kit will read amonio and nitrate at 0 and when nitrates show up then tank is cycled. I apologise ahead of time I'm very new to this if any of this sounds crazy.

SnookusFish said:
Do you have a thermometer? What is the tenperature of your water?
80 degrees
 

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Cassypaasch said:
Glo light tetra, I just have strips not test kit. So you would recommend letting the tank cycle is that 1-2 week period? For bacteria in tank I have flakes for fish is this correct to use. The store told me to acclimate the fish by floating them for 20min and then taking net scooping them out and to not introduced any of the tank water in bag to my tank. So the test kit will read amonio and nitrate at 0 and when nitrates show up then tank is cycled. I apologise ahead of time I'm very new to this if any of this sounds crazy.
The method the store gave you will only temperature acclimate, even then 20 minutes is not enough time, but their pH may be different then yours. You should open the bag and add some of your own water from the tank slowly, in increments, over the course of an hour. By the end, the water amount in the bag should have doubled. As the store said, don’t get this water in your tank as the store water may contain diseases from the other fish in the store. For sensitive fish, you can drip acclimate for 2 hours, which involves putting the fish in a bucket and using an airline tubing to create a drip of one drip per second from your tank into the bucket.

As for the cycle, every tank cycles at its own rate and it depends on how actively you cycle it. It could take a month, or it could take a week. You can check out articles about the nitrogen cycle on the forum
 

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You need to get something to test for your ammonia levels. Whether its ammonia strips or a whole test kit. This is going to be your most important test until you are cycled. The regular strips do not test for ammonia.

You will have to decide if you are going to do a fishless (no fish in the tank until it is cycled) or fish-in cycle (With fish) It will be kind of easier to help with that stuff if we know what you are wanting to do.

Those articles I posted earlier have tons of information in them for new fish keepers.
 
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Cassypaasch

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StarGirl said:
You need to get something to test for your ammonia levels. Whether its ammonia strips or a whole test kit. This is going to be your most important test until you are cycled. The regular strips do not test for ammonia.

You will have to decide if you are going to do a fishless (no fish in the tank until it is cycled) or fish-in cycle (With fish) It will be kind of easier to help with that stuff if we know what you are wanting to do.

Those articles I posted earlier have tons of information in them for new fish keepers.
I think fishless would be fine at this point.
 

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Cassypaasch said:
I think fishless would be fine at this point.
As you know you need some kind of ammonia to feed the bacteria that will start to grow. Fish flakes work ok, but it is easier to measure daily using pure ammonia, (no perfumes in it) to cycle with. Fish flakes are kind of unpredictable to know how much ammonia they are going to create. When you can just put in 2-3 ppms of ammonia a day is way easier in my opinion. Any questions so far? We can ease through without a wall of confusing info. ;)
 
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Cassypaasch

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StarGirl said:
As you know you need some kind of ammonia to feed the bacteria that will start to grow. Fish flakes work ok, but it is easier to measure daily using pure ammonia, (no perfumes in it) to cycle with. Fish flakes are kind of unpredictable to know how much ammonia they are going to create. When you can just put in 2-3 ppms of ammonia a day is way easier in my opinion. Any questions so far? We can ease through without a wall of confusing info. ;)
Thank you I really appreciate it! Do I get ammonia at the fish store? This will help the tank cycle and once it's complete I sound see 0 ammonia 0 nitrite and some nitrates?
 

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Cassypaasch said:
Thank you I really appreciate it! Do I get ammonia at the fish store? This will help the tank cycle and once it's complete I sound see 0 ammonia 0 nitrite and some nitrates?
No I dont think they have it at the pet store. Most get it at the hardware or cleaning section at the grocery market.
Does your strip have your pH level on it? This is important to cycle too.
It is more than likely going to take a month approximately to cycle. A few weeks is really fast to hope for.
 

ElysiumPlants

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Hi Cassy,

First off, welcome to the hobby! I’m sorry to hear you’re off to a rocky start. If it makes you feel any better, we’ve all been there.

The best advice I can offer you is to do some reading and get to understand what it means to “cycle” a tank. Although there are techniques you can use to speed up the process, it takes time. There are some very useful threads on this website and others that do a good job of explaining how to build up a colony of nitrifying bacteria. Once you’ve done some reading and you have the basics nailed down, I’d suggest giving such bacteria as much surface area as possible to do their thing. When it comes to hardscape choices, lava rock and/or dragon stone can be good choices, as they’re inert (they don’t influence other water parameters) and they have a high surface area to mass ratio.

I hope that helps somewhat and that I didn’t overwhelm you with technical stuff.

Should anyone else reading this have a difference of opinion, I’m always up for learning or trying something new.
 
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Cassypaasch

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StarGirl said:
No I dont think they have it at the pet store. Most get it at the hardware or cleaning section at the grocery market.
Does your strip have your pH level on it? This is important to cycle too.
It is more than likely going to take a month approximately to cycle. A few weeks is really fast to hope for.
Okay so keep testing and that will help me know when tank is ready, also am I looking for bleach ammonia? Or is it a different chemical
 

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Cassypaasch said:
Okay so keep testing and that will help me know when tank is ready, also am I looking for bleach ammonia? Or is it a different chemical
Bleach is bleach and ammonia is ammonia both way different. Do not get bleach. ;) Did you read the fishless cycle explanation? That will help with how much you dose daily etc. and why you are doing it.
 
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Cassypaasch

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StarGirl said:
Bleach is bleach and ammonia is ammonia both way different. Do not get bleach. ;) Did you read the fishless cycle explanation? That will help with how much you dose daily etc. and why you are doing it.
Thank you so what I should do is get the ammonia, test water, let tank cycle and I will know when its done and safe if I see amonio 0 nitrite 0 and some nitrates?
 
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Cassypaasch

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Cassypaasch said:
Thank you so what I should do is get the ammonia, test water, let tank cycle and I will know when its done and safe if I see amonio 0 nitrite 0 and some nitrates?
And float bag slowly... and take my tank water add to bag slowly

StarGirl said:
Sounds pretty good. It will be a while though....So ask questions along the way!
Okay
 

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Cassypaasch said:
And float bag slowly... and take my tank water add to bag slowly
If you want fish in there you cant add ammonia to the water. You have to do fish-in cycle with fish in there.
 
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Cassypaasch

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StarGirl said:
If you want fish in there you cant add ammonia to the water. You have to do fish-in cycle with fish in there.
I'm going to do fishless, are glo wish hardy or pretty sensitive?
 

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Cassypaasch said:
Hello I'm a beginner to freshwater fish tank, we have a 10 gallon tank I set up with the help of pet store and research. The store said I would be fine introducing glo fish tetras to the tank after I cycled it for only 3 days. From what I'm reading this is wrong and the tank needs at least a week up to 2 weeks to properly cycle. Long story short we got 6 fish they all died within 3 hours of being introduced to the tank. I used a quick start tank additive to cycle the tank and I tested the water with terta 6 in 1 easy strips everything looked good. I returned the fish they were under warranty for 30 days and they also wanted a sample of my tank water which they tested and found nothing wrong with it. They told me to try 3 glo fish tetras this time and see how they do. Same result they died within 3-4 hours. Please I need help what am I doing wrong. I'm very new to this so please explain or ask questions for a beginner. Thank you
Hiya
If you haven’t heard about the nitrogen cycle I advice you should I will put a link that a video that I thinks good
Also in my experience my tanks take 4 to 6 week to cycle. Also the water needs treating with tape safe stuff plus adding that many fish to a new tank would shock the tank and cause ammonia spikes which is really toxic to fish and they are likely to get stresses and die
Also in my personal experience I would advice you don’t listen to the pet shop about buying a lot of fish as they know they will profit on it. it depends on personal preference but I usually walk into a fish store look how clean the tanks are and I try to feel their passion for fish not just trying to sell them

this is my best advice
Thanks for reading
Good look!
 

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Cassypaasch said:
I'm going to do fishless, are glo wish hardy or pretty sensitive?
I guess I don't understand. Are you getting fish right away or are you talking in the future?
 
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Cassypaasch

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StarGirl said:
I guess I don't understand. Are you getting fish right away or are you talking in the future?
In future want to get tank figured out I have already lost 9 don't want them to keep dying
 

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Cassypaasch said:
In future want to get tank figured out I have already lost 9 don't want them to keep dying
ok I was just confused because you said fishless but then asked how sensitive glofish were....lol
 
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Cassypaasch

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So ammonia is bad for fish but I need it to cycle the tank?

Fish dying in 3 hours and there behavior was sink to bottom breath heavy then die does it sound like new tank syndrome... just need to get the tank cycled and try again?
 

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Yes ammonia is very bad for fish. If you are doing a fishless cycle there are NO fish in the tank until it is finished cycling. If you want fish right away you can do the fish in cycle. You would have to keep ammonia caused by the fish themselves down to next to zero by doing LOTS of water changes. No adding ammonia. Just the ammonia from the fish poop.
 

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Cassypaasch said:
And float bag slowly... and take my tank water add to bag slowly
Pretty much, if you’d like I can link you an article or video about fish acclimation
Cassypaasch said:
I'm going to do fishless, are glo wish hardy or pretty sensitive?
glo fish are quite hardy and a good beginner fish, but any fish will be vulnerable with improper care so it is important to have an optimal environment with stable conditions.

It sounds like your pet store has not been giving you good information, but this is normal for chain stores as not everyone owns fish, nor do all of them own the fish you plan to own, and it’s possible you are speaking to someone who isn’t even from the aquatics department or someone who does not currently own fish. Never solely rely on pet store employees for information and always do your own research. If you need advice, you can come on the forum and ask your questions. You will receive a variety of answers from people who have owned fish for years, some who own the same as you. However, it’s still good to ask the petstore questions. They will know when they got the fish, if/what the fish have been eating, what parameters they keep the fish in, the personality of the fish, and they willing tell you about what they know on the fish based off of caring for them in the store, all valuable to know since you will be owning this fish. That being said, always ask to speak to the aquatic specialist when you go to a chain store and be observant of the fish there. If the person taking care of them isn’t doing a good job (dead fish, overcrowded tanks, incompatible fish together, sick fish, excess food, etc) this will tell you the person taking care of the fish is probably not doing a good job. This means not only will their information most likely lack value, but it also means the fish you’re about to buy are likely to be sick or weak. If this is the case, I would get your fish from a different store. How the fish is cared for in the store can have a huge toll on their health when it’s not done properly


And yes, ammonia will kill fish almost immediately and cause severe damage to gills and skin
 
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Cassypaasch

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StarGirl said:
Yes ammonia is very bad for fish. If you are doing a fishless cycle there are NO fish in the tank until it is finished cycling. If you want fish right away you can do the fish in cycle. You would have to keep ammonia caused by the fish themselves down to next to zero by doing LOTS of water changes. No adding ammonia. Just the ammonia from the fish poop.
Okay Im doing it fishless so I watch ammonia ride and nitrate appear then it will start dropping on its own do a water change of 30% and I have an established tank? I read the nitrogen fishless flush just want to make sure I understand stand it
 

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Yes keep reading on cycling. I think you have the basic understanding. Research is going to be a good tool right now. There are really good articles about it on Fishlore to read. Just post another question if you get confused about something! Someone is always here to help. Do you think you are good for now? To get started?
 
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Cassypaasch

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StarGirl said:
Yes keep reading on cycling. I think you have the basic understanding. Research is going to be a good tool right now. There are really good articles about it on Fishlore to read. Just post another question if you get confused about something! Someone is always here to help. Do you think you are good for now? To get started?
Yes thank you!

Hello again I have been doing a lot of reading about the nitrogen cycle and fishless and in fish cycle. I'm still confused on what killed my fish the tank is not cycled but you can do a in fish cycle, they died 3-4 hours after placement in tank if my tank is not cycled and I just put fish in how can it be ammonia posing does the waste they produce kill them that fast because they're is not bacteria build up to eat the ammonia? I'm confused on why fish died so quickly...I also did what the pet store suggest and floated the bag 20 min then scooped them out to not get bag water in my tank which I was told is wrong you want to float for 30min then slowly add my tank water to back to acclimate them over an hour. Could I have shocked them by doing acclimation wrong? The whole point behind cycling a tank is to build the bacteria in the tank to handle the break down of ammonia nitrite and nitrates right? Sorry I'm just confused and don't want to lose anymore fish.
 

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Did you add dechlorinator, if not the chlorine from where you got your water from could have killed your fish, and you also want to dechlorinate the water or else you will not be able to cycle your tank because the bacteria that you’re trying to get by cycling the tank cannot survive with chlorine in the water.
 
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Cassypaasch

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Mouska said:
Did you add dechlorinator, if not the chlorine from where you got your water from could have killed your fish, and you also want to dechlorinate the water or else you will not be able to cycle your tank because the bacteria that you’re trying to get by cycling the tank cannot survive with chlorine in the water.
Yes I used dechlorinator 0 chlorine when tested the water

The behavior of the fish was sit on bottom breath heavy and pass away.
 

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Cassypaasch said:
Red no inflamed maybe? I'm new to this so it was hard for me to tell
Not really sure, sounds like chlorine was in the water but you used dechlorinator, maybe ammonia poisoning, but the fish were probably not in the water long enough to produce waste, unless the first fish died and were left in there for a little while and before you bought the other fish you didn’t do a water change. I’m not very experienced with this stuff but that’s what it sounds like to me.
 
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Cassypaasch

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Mouska said:
Not really sure, sounds like chlorine was in the water but you used dechlorinator, maybe ammonia poisoning, but the fish were probably not in the water long enough to produce waste, unless the first fish died and were left in there for a little while and before you bought the other fish you didn’t do a water change. I’m not very experienced with this stuff but that’s what it sounds like to me.
I removed dead fish right away I didn't do a water change before adding new fish
 

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Water quality plays an important part in the success of your tank, and if it is not up to scratch, your fish can pay the ultimate price. Ammonia and nitrite are just two of many common problems that you might come across while caring for an aquarium and both can harm your fish.
 

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