Everyone Makes Mistakes Important 

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treadingwater

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So lately I’ve seen many people new to the hobby very down on themselves and distressed because they have made mistakes. This makes me sad for them. Everyone makes mistakes, even the most seasoned aquarist. I would like to give encouragement to those people and show them that it’s ok and no one is perfect, no matter how much experience they have.

I would love to have everyone post their biggest “oops!” moment they have had in the hobby and what they learned from it so that others can learn and be encouraged that they are not alone in making mistakes. I got this idea from KGTropicals YouTube channel. They did something similar where they asked other popular fish YouTubers to share their worst moments. It’s a two part series because they had such a great response to it.

If you chose to reply to one of these moments posted by others, please do not be negative in any way. Advise is not needed, as this is not for ongoing issues (unless you’re currently having your “oops” and then you’ll have your own thread anyway.) Lift people up, make them feel better, show them they type of positive community they have joined and stand in solidarity with the beginners.

I’ll go first.

My biggest mistake happened recently and may not be so much to others but was devastating to me. Not because my fish died, but because he didn’t.

A few weeks ago, as some of you have read, I put a proven betta attacking Chinese algae eater in my 125g with my betta. My dad had it in his 10 gallon and it kept attacking his betta. My thought process was for them to bring the CAE to me to go in the big tank because there was 115 extra gallons of fish and activity to distract the CAE. I was wrong and 4 days later my poor betta looked like it had gone through a blender. He was hiding for 2 days before I finally found him during another attack that probably would have killed him. He didn’t die and suffered mentally and physically because I was careless with his safety. His fins are slowly healing and his great personality is back but every time I look at his adorable little face and ragged tail I feel horrible.

From this I have learned that you can’t take chances when you know you have an aggressive fish. I took him to my LFS and they happily took him to adopt him out to a home that had the capacity to house a violent fish.
 

Crispii

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One of the mistakes that I made was when I added three dojo loaches into a tank that has Flourite Red substrate. After two or three days after I added the loaches, they lost their barbels. Out of fear, I removed them in a 5 gallon aquarium. And needless to say, I actually killed them while I was changing their water and adding dechlorinator.
 

InsanityShard

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Didn't cover the outtake hose when changing the water in my big 70g tank, and one of my tiny yoyo loaches decided it was a good hiding spot. I never found him. =[
 

Noroomforshoe

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Before I even had a fish tank I kept this beautiful betta in a tiny half gallon maybe less peace of junk that THE PETSTORE sold and said would be fine. No internet back then but still. I did 100 percent water changes with no dechlorinator, Poor guy died in a few months, hope he is in a better place.
 

Noroomforshoe

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InsanityShard said:
Didn't cover the outtake hose when changing the water in my big 70g tank, and one of my tiny yoyo loaches decided it was a good hiding spot. I never found him. =[
Thats messed up, I think I did the same thing with an otto catfish, now im paranoid ever time.
 

Brenden

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Oh I have made enough mistakes early on to cover for all of you.

I think my biggest was not testing my water when I first started fishkeeping. I am honestly amazed my Betta lived as long as it did considering that. I had the tank planted and did water changes, just never checked the tank for ammonia or nitrate. It was cycled, and so on, but that is a mistake that I should have paid attention to.

Eventually my old betta died from Ich brought into the tank by fish I bought from a poor vendor.
 

Nikki2577

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My worst mistake that I made was taking an ornament out of the tank and not making sure that there were no fish inside. Let me explain a little, if anyone knows Raphael catfish then they know if they feel threatened they kind of croak. If I ever took one of their caves out of the tank I would hear them right away. Well the last time I took a cave out I heard nothing so figured it was ok. Found the fish in my ornament box the next day
Always triple check your ornaments you take out of your tank! Still feel terrible
 

midna

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biggest mistakes i keep making is not quarantining new livestock. i knowingly bought and put an african dwarf frog that looked sick in with my old frog (had him for 5+ years) without quarantining it first. i figured i'd done it before without any problems, and my og frog had been through so much that he was pretty much immortal at that point. sick frog got worse, returned it to petsm*rt, old frog ended up getting sick and dying a week or so later. (then i bought another frog when i knew the stock is poor and are probably all infected with chytrid/something else... yep, that frog corked it too.)

more recently it happened with my endler tank. none of them appeared sick but i got some new endlers and put them in with the old. i'm impatient and they're from local hobbyists or fish stores. weeks later, they start showing signs of internal and possibly external parasites. all the endlers eventually get infected. one died and i have 3 in quarantine because they're dying. my remaining 4 look not so bad so i'm hoping they'll pull through if i keep medicating.

also a mistake was starting a new tank. then another. and another. and some more. oh god, what do i do with all these tanks? Oops.
 

MissNoodle

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Ima gonn throw my husband under the bus.
He changed substrate in our community tank--didnt rinse it before throwing it into the tank.

Photo included of this mess.


But as for me recently... pouring a bucket of fresh dechlorinated water into my tank... but forgetting the lid was still on the tank. I created a huge mess of a waterfall all over the livingroom floor.
 

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Guppy43

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my biggest mistake is actually a combo of mistakes that turned me from the basic fish keeper to an aquarist.

I have been keeping fish for many years (as a kid all the way to an adult) but until 2 years ago, I was nvr serious about it. Monthly water changes, lights barely on, no decorinator, 100% cleanings so my turnover rate was kinda high with my oldest fish being a 9 year old badly abused striped talking catfish in one tank(15 gallon) and the my other being the high turnover rate tank(15 gallon).

So 2 years ago, I impulse bought 3 golden laser corydoras with my first internship pay check and immediately fell in love with their colors and behaviour. But sadly they died just 2 weeks after as I had changed their tank water but I didn’t use any dechlorinator and had cleaned the tank spotless. This time I did some research as I was heartbroken my poor trio died and learnt just how badly I was abusing my fish. So I got dechlorinator, changed my regime to weekly changes and didn’t clear the tank completely.

Glad to say that 2 years after I realised my mistakes and started taking this hobby seriously, things are great in the new 120 gallon.
IMG_2267.jpg
 

Allegra

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I didn't acclimate a fish once and he keeled over within 2 minutes. I learned.
 

FrostedFlakes

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Oh goodness where do I begin.

1) When I was little my betta died because I kept it in a sealed bag all night.
2) I wanted to quarantine ottos and ended up never testing the water and lost all of them
3) I drew on my hand with highlighter and then forgot and stuck my hand in the water, turning it green with highlighter ink and having to do a water change at 10 pm.
4) I've accidentally dropped my goldie and shrimp
5) I accidentally purchased 750 ml of seachem stressguard and I only needed it for like 4 guppies
6) I kept my electrical power strip beneath my tank and I had a filter overflow
7) I stuck a pencil in my filter and had to get a new impeller

I'm like discrediting myself here lol
 

pagoda

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My biggest (and possibly stupidest error of judgement) mistake was to have a 65 gallon long aquarium on the floor, as in no stand.

I had been living in a home with one of those kitchens that had a large opening into the rest of the flat. There was a nice heavy granite work surface there so was ideal for a larger long aquarium.....it looked awesome too

Anyway, I moved home and, of course, the new place didn't have the same layout so I thought I would put the aquarium onto the floor. Found a nice shady spot for it in the room, duly put the water etc into it, cycled it and put fish into it (I rehomed my original fish as the journey to the new place was over 400 miles in a warm van)

About a month or so after getting the fish, I just wasn't happy with the positioning of the aquarium (little miss perfectionist etc) and of course this enormous aquarium on carpet refused to move & I didn't feel like having to empty half the water etc just to move it a few inches......so I admit that I got a bit irritated with the blasted thing not moving.........so I thought "why not put a foot at each corner and gently push?"

Next thing I know...both feet cracked the glass side with a mini version of Niagara Falls all over the carpet...ran to cupboard, grabbed towels and anything else that I could find to plug the now growing hole in the side of the aquarium.....saved the fish ruined the aquarium & carpet

Moral to this story....do not try and move an aquarium that is full with your feet....empty half of the water first to make it lighter or better still just go buy a stand for the damned thing when moving to a new home

(A literal case of putting your foot in it)
 

Daisytattoo

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One time I was using my python to do a water change in my 125g. I’m sitting in my living room and hear what sounds like rain in my basement. I go to run through the kitchen(where the tank is located) to the basement door....and find myself sloshing through water. My kitchen was FLOODED. And not just a little. The rain was my water running into my basement. Whoops!

I am currently dealing with another major oops. I started keeping fish 20 years ago. I took a several year hiatus on anything more than betta tanks due to my autistic son constantly dumping random things in my tanks and killing my fish. He’s now old enough to realize that is not good for them. I bought a 75 gallon. Been up and running for months now. Then I ordered some new fish. And didn’t quarantine. I know better. And now I’m dealing with ich. I think I have it under control and on the mend, but I was super mad at myself. We all make mistakes. Even if we are seasoned.
 

david1978

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Probably my biggest oops was due to not qting new fish. I had a trusted lfs and never had an issue before. Lo and behold I bought 3 fish. I don't even what fish they were anymore. Any way I put 1 in a fully stocked 75 and the other 2 in a fully stocked 55. Within 3 days both tanks full of fish were dead. Why? I never did figure that out but the owner had the same problem. He gave me big discounts for awhile to make up for it. I miss that store.
 

jinjerJOSH22

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I've made this mistake twice and as recent as last week which really cost me alot (Money but also one of my favourite fish).
Adding too many fish at once and overloading my bio filter. I lost 9 of the 12 Harlequin Rasbora and my Synodontis Petricola.

Another mistake was not using a thermometer on my Betta tank. Set it up cycled, planted got the Betta after a week he seemed really lethargic wasn't sure why parameters seemed good I new I had the Heater plugged in so that wasn't in my thinking, after he died I got the equipment out to find the Heater was set way too low and I hadn't checked. Stupid! always check your heater and use a thermometer.

This happened a week after the Betta died, I bought 10 Neons for a tank that was cycling as well as another Betta. I placed the Small Neons with my Adult Tiger Barbs, they attacked but then left them alone. Skip to the next day I have 2 Neons left and some very satisfied Tiger Barbs, to confound what happened I moved the surviving 2 Neons in with my new Betta only to wake the next day with a dead Betta with half a Neon sticking out his mouth.

And this one was my first mistake in fish keeping, after reading I decided to do a fishless cycle, I didn't have test kits but I read it'd take a month or so, so I "cycle" for a month then add fish. However the key ingredient to start a cycle is Amonia which I didn't add, Idiot!

All these mistakes are stupid and avoidable and I'd like to think i've learnt from these mistakes but apparently not!
 

Katestanks02

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My water is very acidic and I didn’t realize I needed to buffer it. So when I first bought fish they kept dying. I thought I was doing everything right by qting and changing lots of water. Every time I was changing water the ph kept dropping. I think at one point it was 6.2 or maybe lower. My fish kept getting horrible fungal infections which I thought was ich so then I was medicating and changing loads more water.
I actually emailed Cory from aquarium co-op and he helped me save my albino cories. I didn’t know about this forum at the time. I still have my cories and they’re the only fish I have left from my original purchase.

I also forget to turn my heaters back on after water changes. It’s happened 4 or 5 times. And I sucked up one of my kubotai Rasboras while changing water on a tank that had green water.
 

angeltank

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This just happened! As in over the last two days! I'm converting to a new canister filter from two tetra in tank filters I've used for several years. I ordered this little mixed bag of filter media (with ceramic rings and various other porous elements) and a couple days ago decided to get a jump start on adding the bb to these by stuffing them into my existing filters. I guess somehow I shoved too much in and pretty much clogged my own filters. It slowed the flow down so much that I almost killed my fish. I didn't even notice the difference at first which is sad. Thank goodness I'm a night owl bc I wouldn't have seen my fish hovering at the top of the tank last night showing signs of oxygen starvation. Anyway, corrected the issue and all fishies are swimming like champs now, but that was a close call.
 

Brenden

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midna said:
biggest mistakes i keep making is not quarantining new livestock. i knowingly bought and put an african dwarf frog that looked sick in with my old frog (had him for 5+ years) without quarantining it first. i figured i'd done it before without any problems, and my og frog had been through so much that he was pretty much immortal at that point. sick frog got worse, returned it to petsm*rt, old frog ended up getting sick and dying a week or so later. (then i bought another frog when i knew the stock is poor and are probably all infected with chytrid/something else... yep, that frog corked it too.)

more recently it happened with my endler tank. none of them appeared sick but i got some new endlers and put them in with the old. i'm impatient and they're from local hobbyists or fish stores. weeks later, they start showing signs of internal and possibly external parasites. all the endlers eventually get infected. one died and i have 3 in quarantine because they're dying. my remaining 4 look not so bad so i'm hoping they'll pull through if i keep medicating.

also a mistake was starting a new tank. then another. and another. and some more. oh god, what do i do with all these tanks? Oops.
I love ADFs first and foremost! Hence my profile picture on here Black and white picture of one of my frogs.

I'm always so worried about them. I notice my smaller frog rarely comes up for oxygen, and I always think he is going to suffocate one day. However I wake up every morning to see him eagerly waiting on food. He must have amazing lungs, because I swear I've seen him sit on the bottom for hours before.

Livebearers in general always worry me when I buy new ones. I recently bought 2 new Guppies for my tank, and I been watching them closely because they seem a little odd. I been going to the pet store all week keeping an eye on their stock to see if any of their guppies drop dead. No dead guppies, no signs of disease. So I decided to just go for it since I had a $5 off discount, and bought me 2 guppies hopefully I don't end up fighting the parasite battle again. I lost 3 guppies in a week and a half to that before :/

Including a beautiful black and blue hybrid I been unable to find again
 

Magicpenny75

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I left for work and forgot to turn off the RODI filter upstairs in my laundry room. It ran until my husband came home from his UPS job at 10:30 that morning. Twelve gallons of water on the floor, through the ceiling, and down to the first floor hardwoods. Good insurance means we got to more or less remodel the house but wow.

I put an OSCAR in a 50-gallon aquarium with like nine other fish in it already.

I sucked a $60 piece of coral up in my water change hose.

My most recent mistake was thinking I could keep red rainbows in a tank suited for Amazon species. They both got sick, one died, and the other is currently circling the drain. Too sick to re-home, too hard to catch, and nothing I can do for him now.
 
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