Fish are sick after water change..

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Vivykn, Jul 24, 2015.

  1. Vivykn

    VivyknNew MemberMember

    Quick background: I have been wanting to get a fish (singular) for a while, so for my birthday my in laws decided to get me a 10 gallon topfin tank starter kit, set it up, and had it waiting fully stocked for me. :eek: My father in law apparently had tropical fish for years so he believes himself to be an expert and said he didn't use any water conditioner because the fish are fine without it. Eek..

    The tank has a glofish tetra, two glofish zebra danios, a fancy guppy, and a teensy little guy I forgot to find the name of when I crashed Petsmart foraging for supplies.

    I desperately need advice. I've had to learn a lot very quickly!!
    I know the tank is uncycled, a Petsmart employee told me to get a bacteria supplement which I've learned too late isn't ideal after all. I believe that amount of fish is entirely too much for the size of the tank, am I right? They aren't grouping well either. I'm worried about the ammonia levels after learning about cycling, especially since my blue danio has been staying quietly near the very top of the tank and not zipping around like the other danio.

    I have been doing 10-15% water changes with water conditioner for the past two nights to try to control the ammonia levels, but tonight after I did it all of the fish but the biggest tetra went to the very top and have been hovering there at the surface. I feel horrible and I'm not sure how to help them. The tank is at exactly 78 degrees based my digital thermometer and I match the treated water before drizzling it in. The blue danio already seemed unwell but the others are definitely sick post water change. Should I add more conditioner?? We do have very chlorinated water, but I'm scared to make my poor fish more sick. Or am I changing the water too soon? I'm taking the water to get tested tomorrow morning. :(
  2. lbonini1

    lbonini1Well Known MemberMember

    You definitely need to rehome the Danios, they need a lot of space to zip around, I'd get them a 20 long, possibly bigger though I'm no expert on Danios.

    The tetras need a school of 6 or more and the Fancy Guppy isn't a schooling fish. All in all, you're going to either want to rehome the fish or upgrade the tank.

    Also a Bacteria supplement isn't bad at all, a lot of us (myself included) use them for almost instant cycles. Our favorite ones are Seachem Stability and Tetra SafeStart+

    I recommend Stability over TSS because you can do water changes and use conditioners like Prime and Amquel+ whereas with TSS you have to dose it once and then not do water changes for 2 weeks which isn't ideal. You can pick either one, don't get both. You don't need both.

    I HIGHLY recommend these as do others here. They detoxify Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate for 24 hours which will allow your bacteria to absorb it faster and they do NOT interfere with the Nitrogen Cycle. They also remove Chlorine.

    I would leave your water to gas off for 24 hours if you think it's super chlorinated but to be honest I think it's just the tank not being cycled. Definitely ALWAYS use conditioner.

    I would just get an API Freshwater Master Test Kit to test your water as liquid tests are more accurate than strips which is what most pet stores use to test.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2015
  3. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Hello and Welcome to Fish Lore!

    I hope you enjoy the forum.

    Best wishes for your tank and fish!

  4. Dom90

    Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Agreed with the above. Get a test kit so you can check your levels and report them back here so we can further advise you on what to do.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  5. nicole4434

    nicole4434Well Known MemberMember

    Until your tank is cycled I recommend 50% water changes daily to keep your fish safe, 10-15 isn't enough as there isn't a lot of water displacement, .5 ppm ammonia in a 10 gallon is way more harmful in a 10 gallon, then that same .5ppm in say a 20 gallon or a 30 gallon as there is more water to dilute the ammonia in bigger tanks. once your tank is cycled I would do 30-40% changes weekly all the way up to 50% weekly, as water changes do more than remove nitrates from the water they replace nutrients that the fish use up and replaces buffers in the water to help keep your ph stable.

    I personally used Stability to help my tanks along and love Prime water conditioner
  6. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    errr....5ppm is 5ppm no matter what size the tank is. True it takes twice as much ammonia in a 10 gallon tank to be at 5ppm than it does in a 5 gallon tank, but it's still 5 parts ammonia to every 1 million parts water.