Diamond Tetras Not Eating Flake Food

Hi everybody!

Just set up a 22 gallon long, and have started slowly adding fish to it. Its 36" by 12" by 12", and currently have a little school of diamond tetras (only 3 of them, I know it's a little small, but I'll grow it).

Tank is planted, with sand substrate, a cave, and driftwood. Fish are schooling and swimming about normally.

Water Parameters:
78 Degrees
Filter: Sponge filter with 2 sponges, and activated carbon (originally was using a cannister, but didn't really have room for it)
Water flow: ^ (very low)
Low Lighting
Ammonia 0.25
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0

I do know about the nitrogen cycle, and added filter media from an already established tank, so the tank should be cycled. Are ammonia levels too high, school too small, or anything else that could lead to this behavior? Or is it normal for these fish not to eat flake food. I'm gonna pick up some dried bloodworms tomorrow and see if they accept that.

I'll provide any additional information if needed. If ammonia levels don't decrease I'll pick up some Fritz starter and try and cycle that way. Perhaps the biological level of filtration isn't yet established? I've only had these guys for about a day, so symptoms of bad water conditions could have not started manifesting.

My water hardness is 10 gH, 5kH. pH is 6.8, so hopefully, some of the ammonia is being converted to ammonium.

Thank you!
Ok thanks. I was weary of having a small school-but I figured a really high bioload would be worse than the group being a bit too small. Gonna start (or continue) cycling tomorrow.
Read somewhere it instantly cycled. Guess that was wrong. I did add the media a few days ago, and have been feeding the tank before adding fish. Thanks for the advice, I'll try and rehome these guys maybe for a bit, as I cycle it properly.

Thanks again, was a bit worried when all of those tested at 0, and ammonia at 0.25.
It is not unusual for fish to not eat for the first day or two when they are moved to a new tank.

Give them a little time to adapt.

I also don’t think your tank is cycled, so them not eating might be the least of your worries. Prepare to do a lot of water changes in the next weeks…
I didn't feed them the first day. I have a lot of jugs of water, I'm prepared. Gonna pick up some of that Fritz starter stuff, should speed it up a bit. I really wanted to avoid a fish in cycle (idk if my LFS will accept them back at this point), oh well.
I would cycle the tank with the fish you already have and then add more to the school. Schooling fish usually are a group of 6 minimum. There is a chance adding more will cause a mother mini cycle depending on how many you add. The amount of BB only grows enough to cover the current ammonia output. I would also recommend changing out the activated carbon and inserting bioballs or another media that will grow BB better. Check the parameters daily and do water changes.
You can instant cycle a tank with filter media, but you need a LOT of filter media. For instance an entire cycled filter. Or, I have the filter cartridge from a 20 gallon tank in with the other filters and biowheels of my 55-gallon tank filter. This way I can set up a 10-gallon quarantine/hospital tank any time. But water tests must show nitrates and zero ammonia or its not safe. It worked earlier this year for molly fry.

A bare minimum school of fish is 6. some species require more than the minimum to be comfortable.

Fish do take time to settle in, but it is not uncommon for it to take a week for fish to eat. I know it's scary though! If you use freeze dried Blood worms, it is very important to soak them in some tank water first for at least a minute.

As other have said, your tank is not cycled, I suggest you do a fish in cycle with the fish you have, and add more fish after the cycle is complete.
Ok thanks. I was weary of having a small school-but I figured a really high bioload would be worse than the group being a bit too small. Gonna start (or continue) cycling tomorrow.

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