Every Time I Introduce A Fish It Dies!

Eddy4k

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About a month back I bought a 10 gallon vertical with a few plants and 2 “cycling” mollies to kick start the cycle (dw there’s a filter & heater). When I first started my cycle, my friend who’s been in the hobby for a while now told me to add around 20% of my cycled water from my established tank in (which he helped me start as it was my first tank) and so I did. About a week into the cycle the two Mollies died which was kind of expected (please don’t attack me, I feel guilty for it.) but I noticed they seemed bloated and their scales were sticking out. I don’t know if this helps but they were also isolating and not eating after 3-4 days of being in the tank. I did some research and found dropsy which matched most of the symptoms and in doing so I asked my friend what I should do and he recommended that I do a 70% water change to get rid of the parasites and bad bacteria in which I did. After doing the 70% water change and dosing the right amount of water ager, I left the tank to sit for 3 weeks and came back to it on the fourth week, tested the water at my local fish store and in which they gave me the all clear. I continued to buy 5 White Cloud Mountain minnows (for those who were wondering, there weren’t any dead fish or any signs of problems in the tank they were in). I properly acclimated them for 2 hours, adjusting the ph and temperature in the bag. After I netted them and released them into the tank, they were schooling and swimming together, no sign of diseases or problems what so ever. The next day the all died one by one. Each time one died I netted them out to avoid “infecting” the other fish. The water temp for these guys was 20 degrees Celsius and the ph was 6.7.
Somethings I noticed before their deaths were...
-Some had seizures
-Wouldn’t swim correctly (swam on their sides or mouth facing upwards vertically which I found weird but ignored it)
-didn’t eat
- before they died they would “swim” upside down or follow the flow motionless but still breathing. (Swim bladder disease?)
-the fish seperated and some isolated themselves at the bottom while others were at the top and middle.
-two of the fish kept gasping at the top
-they would often get “stuck” or what I thought was them getting stuck in the plants so I would carefully move the plants.
- 2 of the fish would sit on the substrate motionless but still breathing.
-sometimes they would get stuck on the intake of the filter and I’d have to carefully release them.
-they would swim and stop motionless repeatedly following the flow.

Extra information
-The tank is the Petworx nano 45 40L
-the filter flow rate is 320L/H
-I took a few plants and rocks from my already established tank and put it in this one
-my established tank has only had 2 deaths in the past year or so
-50 watt heater
-plants include giant ambulia, pink Rotala, java moss and Brazilian Pennywort.
-Black sand substrate

My (probably wrong) theories to why they died
1. I brought over parasites from my other tank and they are still in there after the 70% water change I did in the first week. If this is the case should I buy some medicine to treat the water or do another water change?
2. The flow is too strong?
3. My water ager is about 1-2 years old so maybe it expired and I need to buy a new dechlorintor?
4. My water parameters weren’t right and the guy might’ve got it wrong some how?

Thanks for reading through my long **** paragraph, sorry if some of it didn’t make sense and it was boring. Feel free to ask questions!
Really need some help as I’m a noobie in this hobby.
 

Jonmott

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Taking water from the old tank actually did nothing for your cycle, take half the media from your established filter and put it in the new one, that should give the cycle a kick start, add fish slowly like 1 or 2 a month and keep on top of water changes if ammo gets high, get a quality water test kit if you don’t have one.
 

jjohnwm

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Your tank never cycled completely, and then by leaving it unpopulated for 3 weeks you lost whatever bacteria had started to develop, which put you mostly back to square one, i.e. an almost completely raw uncycled tank.

As stated above, the beneficial bacteria you need are not introduced by adding water from your established tank, but rather by using filter media from it. Now that you have no fish, take some media from your established filter and use it in the new-tank filter if that's possible. Don't take it all, or else you will crash the old tank and have two problems!

If this doesn't sound workable for you, get a decent-sized sponge filter and run it in your old tank for a few weeks, along with the filter that's in there now. It will be colonized by the bacteria you want; then you can place it into your new tank and you will have an almost-completely-cycled system right away. Whichever way you do it, you can place a few fish in there right away, to provide a source of ammonia to keep those bacteria alive and growing. Don't just let it sit empty for extended periods; you'll be losing ground if you do that, rather than gaining anything.

Remember that the bacterial population will only be the size that can utilize the ammonia that is present. The total bacterial population of the original tank is being split between the two tanks, so you have to go slow when you add more livestock, so that each tank can build up more bacteria to handle the increased load. This happens pretty quickly; bacterial populations can double within a day or so. The bacterial colony is what you should be concerning yourself with; once that is established, keeping the fish healthy is a snap.
 

86 ssinit

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Welcome to fishlore. When doing a fish in cycle you have to check the water daily for ammonia and nitrite. Do you have a test kit? Also daily water changes at first than every other day or as ammonia reading go up you change out water.
Do you know how the water is in the first tank? How long has it been running and how often do you change the water? Weekly is recommended for water changes. I do a 30-40% change weekly.
Your friend has the right idea with moving the water but as stated the media is where the cycle lives. How big is your older tank?
 

Eddy4k

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My other tank is a 75 gallon goldfish tank with 4 fan tails, will there be any problems if I add the some of the filter media in there into my new tank?

I
My other tank is a 75 gallon goldfish tank with 4 fan tails, will there be any problems if I add the some of the filter media in there into my new tank?
Correct me if I’m wrong but I heard they produce a lot of ammonia so will there be any problems regarding the filter media?
 
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Eddy4k

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Alright, thanks all for the help!

Your tank never cycled completely, and then by leaving it unpopulated for 3 weeks you lost whatever bacteria had started to develop, which put you mostly back to square one, i.e. an almost completely raw uncycled tank.

As stated above, the beneficial bacteria you need are not introduced by adding water from your established tank, but rather by using filter media from it. Now that you have no fish, take some media from your established filter and use it in the new-tank filter if that's possible. Don't take it all, or else you will crash the old tank and have two problems!

If this doesn't sound workable for you, get a decent-sized sponge filter and run it in your old tank for a few weeks, along with the filter that's in there now. It will be colonized by the bacteria you want; then you can place it into your new tank and you will have an almost-completely-cycled system right away. Whichever way you do it, you can place a few fish in there right away, to provide a source of ammonia to keep those bacteria alive and growing. Don't just let it sit empty for extended periods; you'll be losing ground if you do that, rather than gaining anything.

Remember that the bacterial population will only be the size that can utilize the ammonia that is present. The total bacterial population of the original tank is being split between the two tanks, so you have to go slow when you add more livestock, so that each tank can build up more bacteria to handle the increased load. This happens pretty quickly; bacterial populations can double within a day or so. The bacterial colony is what you should be concerning yourself with; once that is established, keeping the fish healthy is a snap.
I know this may sound like a stupid question but I washed the filter media that was in my established tank before adding it to the new tank, will this impact/remove the beneficial bacteria that it was carrying? (I washed it because it had some goldfish waste on it.)
 
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camste

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I know this may sound like a stupid question but I washed the filter media that was in my established tank before adding it to the new tank, will this impact/remove the beneficial bacteria that it was carrying? (I washed it because it had some goldfish waste on it.)
How did you wash it? In tap water? Or did you take out some tank water to rinse it in? And how thoroughly did you wash it? Squeezing it a lot like a dish washing sponge, or just waving it about a bit in still water? Chlorine in tap water could kill the bacteria, and also cleaning it too thoroughly even in tank water could remove a bit.
 

Eddy4k

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How did you wash it? In tap water? Or did you take out some tank water to rinse it in? And how thoroughly did you wash it? Squeezing it a lot like a dish washing sponge, or just waving it about a bit in still water? Chlorine in tap water could kill the bacteria, and also cleaning it too thoroughly even in tank water could remove a bit.
Oh welp. I washed it in tap water but I can add some more filter media later on in the week. Will it matter if I don’t wash off the goldfish waste on it and put it in my tank?
 

camste

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Oh welp. I washed it in tap water but I can add some more filter media later on in the week. Will it matter if I don’t wash off the goldfish waste on it and put it in my tank?
If you'd like to clean it a little then just take some tank water into a bucket and swish it around a bit. But unless it's super dirty I wouldn't think too much about it
 

FishLeGeNd

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If you introduce a new fish to a tank with existing fish, the existing fish will be territorial. Try moving some plants around so that the fish will distracted.
 

Mizzom

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Your tank never cycled completely, and then by leaving it unpopulated for 3 weeks you lost whatever bacteria had started to develop, which put you mostly back to square one, i.e. an almost completely raw uncycled tank.

As stated above, the beneficial bacteria you need are not introduced by adding water from your established tank, but rather by using filter media from it. Now that you have no fish, take some media from your established filter and use it in the new-tank filter if that's possible. Don't take it all, or else you will crash the old tank and have two problems!

If this doesn't sound workable for you, get a decent-sized sponge filter and run it in your old tank for a few weeks, along with the filter that's in there now. It will be colonized by the bacteria you want; then you can place it into your new tank and you will have an almost-completely-cycled system right away. Whichever way you do it, you can place a few fish in there right away, to provide a source of ammonia to keep those bacteria alive and growing. Don't just let it sit empty for extended periods; you'll be losing ground if you do that, rather than gaining anything.

Remember that the bacterial population will only be the size that can utilize the ammonia that is present. The total bacterial population of the original tank is being split between the two tanks, so you have to go slow when you add more livestock, so that each tank can build up more bacteria to handle the increased load. This happens pretty quickly; bacterial populations can double within a day or so. The bacterial colony is what you should be concerning yourself with; once that is established, keeping the fish healthy is a snap.
Agree - I just learned this lesson by putting filter media from a 40 gallon to a 125 and lost a lot of fish.
 
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