First fish added to new tank dead within 24 hours!!

Luke Ian Merritt
Member
Thank you in advance! We have just purchased a 64l tank the other day and we left the tank to establish for 4 days (tropical tank). We've been back and forth between pets at home with water samples and were given the all clear to start to introduce some 'hardy' fish so we were told that red nose rummies would be a good choice, we introduced them slowly as instructed and when they were eventually in they were opening and closing their mouths a lot. They eventually started to explore late last night however this morning only one was swimming around, one just still in the corner and the other swimming upside down. When I got home from work two were dead and one was swimming on its back. I'm completely new to fish so pardon any wrong terms and stupidity, as far as I know the water was fine, the heater is running effectively (going to buy another thermometer later in case) their is also an oxygen stone in the tank. Please help as were keen to eventually see a thriving community tank and were upset that we lost our first fish and we hate to think it could be our fault as were animal lovers.
 
TyGuy320
Member
Welcome to Fish Lore!
I am deeply sorry for your losses. I would say that the tank was not cycled. Your profile says that you are unaware of the nitrogen cycle, so I suggest reading this link: https://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm

Essentially when you add fish to the water, they produce ammonia (waste). The ammonia is toxic and builds up to the point where it kills your fish. To prevent that from happening, you have to do water changes to get clean water back in the tank. After a while, a bacteria colony will form on the surfaces of the tank (specifically in the filters) that will convert ammonia to nitrite. Nitrite is less toxic, but still harmful in high amounts. So the water changes must continue. Then comes the second colony that converts nitrite to nitrate. Nitrate is far less harmless and can be kept in higher numbers, but water changes still must continue. This process can take anywhere from 2-6 weeks or more.

There are different methods of cycling, so I suggest you read here:
Fishless cycle:
Fish in cycle:

Any further questions can be asked, we are all here to help you as much as possible, so do not hesitate

Edit: To find out your levels of ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate, you will need to purchase a test kit. Most all people recommend liquid test kits, such as the API liquid test kit that can be found at Petsmart, Petco, or pretty much any aquatic store.
 
nicole4434
Member
How did you establish a tank in 4 days, it takes 4-6 weeks to cycle a tank and have it establish with fishless cycling (which uses an ammonia source to grow the bacteria) please read up on the nitrogen cycle

I'm also the bearer of bad news tetras are not sturdy fish and shouldn't be put in an uncycled tank.

What test kit are you using, what are your levels, what water conditioner
 
  • Thread Starter
Luke Ian Merritt
Member
Thank you so much for the response, I'll take a look at the links in a minute and learn a bit more. Took a water sample in and they said that the nitrogen (I think it was nitrogen or nitrate) was a little too high so they told us to do regular water checks, three altogether until this time next week with tap safe in and they will restock the fish for us. Would you say that's a good idea? Thank you again for your reply
 
  • Thread Starter
Luke Ian Merritt
Member
And nicole I'm sorry if my terminology was wrong I'm a complete beginner with much to learn. By established I meant ready to add fish (let me know on the correct term so I know for next time) the tanks water condition was perfect before we added the fish or as perfect as it could have been without already having fish in the tank. And thank you for letting me know about the fish, I consulted a few fish experts and online forums that told me that particular fish would be 'hardy' which does seem odd as for example the neons we want to get when the tank is better established are also tetras am I correct? Like I said I'm a complete beginner and every chance I get I'm trying to learn more, I'm just not up to scratch with you guys yet. Thank you very much for your reply. Quick question what kind of fish would you recommend getting? We love the look of the tetras for example.
 
nicole4434
Member
Have you looked at the danios they are a bit hardier than the sensitive tetras, I know neons are tetras and need established aquariums (ones that have gone through the nitrogen cycle and have been good number wise for about a month after the cycle completed. I'm thinking of adding a schooling fish to my tank which has been running good since February but I don't like the weakness of the tetras, Tetras used to be very hardy fish but inbreeding has changed that. I cycled my tank with 4 platies and a few guppies and they survived as long as I was up on the daily 50% water changes and that was only after I got them out of the 10 gallon and into the 46 gallon so their bioload wasn't overloading the tank, I also had 2 corys in the tank to keep the bottom cleaner and still have them and now that everyone is moved into the 75 I'm upping their shoals to their recommended 6 each
 
aliray
Member
I cycled my 10 gal tank by setting it up with dechlorinated water and a couple of plants and let it run for a week, just to make sure the heater and filter were working right. Then I went to the fish store and bought 6 neon tetras, some food, and a bottle of Tetra Safe Start that was the right size for a 10 gal aquarium. It is the Start up formula. I brought them home and put the bag in the tank with the tank lights off and let it stay there for about 30 to 40 minutes. At the same time I shook the bottle real well then dumped the bottle in the tank and also rinsed it out in the tank to get out every last drop. I then let the fish out and for the next two weeks did nothing except feed the fish and do twice daily head counts. I did not test the water and the only water I added during that 2 weeks was dechloriated water at the same temp as the tank just to make up for the evaporation. At the end of two weeks the tank was cycled to the bioload of those fish . All the tetras were fine and still are. Then I added 3 more fish every week or two till it was stocked. That was last June. When you add water make sure you add dechlorinator to the water and keep the temp within a degree or two of the tank. That is called the TSS fish in way to cycle. Alison
 
Fishes
Member
Sorry to hear about your fish - I'll be honest pets at home are not exactly well known for their quality advice! Firstly, if I were you I would go out and get the API master kit, it's not cheap over here but it will safe you a lot of money and heartache over losing your fish in the long run.

if you are wanting to do a fish in cycle, I would pick up maybe three Danio to start off with, they are very hardy and quite active little fish. The bacteria needs to establish in your filter to be able to convert the toxic waste products so that it is safe for your fish - the only way to do this is to use a bottled bacteria or using the danios to cycle it.

if you go down the fishin route, I would be testing the water every single day whilst the good bacteria builds up and expect to do daily water changes for a while - it seems like a pain but it's worth it.

I would also recommend some API stress zyme and stress coat to be added at each water change. A lot of ppl also recommend prime but I don't think pets at home sell it and I have found those two products to be very good.

good luck, it's very upsetting when your fish die but there's really only one secret to keeping tropical fish successfully and that's to get your water perfect, the rest is easy after that!
 
Beeker
Member
HI Luke Ian Merritt and welcome to Fishlore.
I'm sorry for your loss. TyGuy is right. Also, pet stores will always tell you that your tank is ready to add fish. They are in the business of selling. The typical cycle that these stores see is a customer new to fishkeeping comes in to test the water. The sales people will test the water, usually with a strip and tell you that everything is ok.** The customer will buy fish and add them to the tank. The fish get sick for various reasons, either they weren't acclimated properly, the tank wasn't cycled or both. The customer gets upset and goes back to the store saying that the fish are sick. The sales person will recommend certain medications and/or water treatment chemicals. The customer spends more money on these items and a few days later, the fish are dead. The customer feels they did something wrong and want to try again. So, they buy more fish.
At the point marked ** is where the trouble starts and it is a good thing you came to Fishlore for help. Unlike the sales people, the members here have no ulterior, money-making motives. We only want to help people properly care for the creatures they have chosen to be responsible for. I'm sure most members will agree that although the sales people sound knowledgeable, more often than not they cannot be trusted to give sound advice for the care of the creatures they sell. If you have any questions, ask here. If you are given advice, double check it here. We will do our best to help you.
 
Danjamesdixon
Member
Welcome to the hobby fellow Briton.

Good advice by all so far, since i'm from the UK too and have had experience with PetsAtHome, here's a lesson - from this point on, discount everything they say, take it with a pinch of salt.

You'll do much, much better getting your advice from the fine folk on this forum.
 
Bijou88
Member
I have to ask since I didn't see it specifically mentioned, you do have a filter right? I saw the mention of a heater and air stone but not of a filter...

 
bigdreams
Member
I also safely cycled my tank using Tetra SafeStart. I highly suggest you look into that option too!

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