Freshwater Parrot Fish and Tetras mysteriously dying

InstantMartian

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I am new to the forum and really confused.

I have maintained a small freshwater aquarium for about three years now; I've encountered my share of problems, lived, and learned, though I have never seen anything like this before.

Let's start from the beginning of my little problem:

I was down to two fish, a Priscilla Tetra and a Freshwater Parrot Fish. (They've been in the tank for nearly a year.) I had been meaning to get the Priscillas a few more buddies, but with my work schedule it's hard for me to get to the pet store.

Anyway, I woke up one morning, and my tank was cracked.

I went out, bought a new tank, set everything up, made sure the water was stable and everything, went out and bought some new fish (three Serpae Tetras), made sure they were fine, and then put my Parrot Fish and Priscillas into the new tank. Yesterday morning, before I went to work, all my fish were fine. I came home yesterday afternoon to discover a Priscilla and a Serpae dead. This morning, I woke up to find the other Priscilla and another Serpae dead. The remaining fish still look healthy. I sampled the water, and these are the stats:
Nitrate: 20
Nitrite: 0
Softness: 25
Alkalinity: 180
PH 7.0
Temperature: 76.6

It is now noon, and my parrot fish, which was swimming around like usual this morning, is now laying on the bottom of the tank "breathing" heavily. The last remaining tetra still looks fine.

Does anyone know what might be going on? I am completely baffled and very upset by this.
 
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InstantMartian

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The store owner where I bought it said it would be fine. I never heard of them before I bought it. I probably should have done more research, then.

The ammonia level is fine. I set the tank up about three weeks ago. I guess I should have waitied longer, but everything seemed to be stable (and it still is).

I think I may just chalk it up as one of those learning experiences, and start from scratch again. I think I'm going to start with plants this time, and let it be for a few months before introducing fish.

Thanks.
 
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InstantMartian

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I am down to the tetra.

Does anyone have any suggestions about what I should do to start this tank up again? Should I completely drain it and start from the beginning? Or do you think a partial water change will do it?
 

bbfeckawitts

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The strips are VERY inaccurate (plus expensive). They have *probably* been giving you false readings. Most of us here use and recommend the API master test kit. The kit is here (choose the master kit), it is $20

I recommend doing a 50% water change right now (and once every day) to try and save your tetra (it will bring ammonia/nitrItes down) until you can get your kit. Brianna
 
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InstantMartian

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As I said, I am still learning. I do want to eventually get a larger tank, but I figure until I can "master" a 10 gallon tank, going bigger probably isn't a very good idea.

I will buy that test kit you recommend. Thanks a lot for all your help. I will also be doing a 50% water change after I hit "post."

Thanks again!
 
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Ug.

I think I'm going to go on a hunt for the test kit today. I don't want to wait to have it shipped. I canceled my online order.

So, I did a 50% water change yesterday in attempts to save the little, poor, lonely Serpae Tetra. I woke up this morning to discover he's starting with fin rot.

I immediately removed my filter's carbon and started Melafix treatment. We'll see how it goes. I don't want to see him go the way of all his tank mates. The poor guy's been through enough trauma already.
 

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InstantMartian said:
As I said, I am still learning. I do want to eventually get a larger tank, but I figure until I can "master" a 10 gallon tank, going bigger probably isn't a very good idea.

I will buy that test kit you recommend. Thanks a lot for all your help. I will also be doing a 50% water change after I hit "post."

Thanks again!
IMO, a small 10 gallon is harder to get under control compared to a large tank. I have a 36, 28, and a 10 and the one that I would say I have the most problems with is the little 10 gallon and it has been set up for a few months now. I hope you can get a larger tank soon since it is easier to keep the temp under control as well as the chemistry(ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, etc.).
Tom
 
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InstantMartian

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You know, I just read about the tank size somewhere in my frantic search for what was going wrong.

I really don't have the money to buy everything for a larger tank (larger filter, larger air pump, etc.). Thinking about it, after replacing my broken tank with this new one and all the problems I've been having, it wouldn't have been much more to just get a larger tank to begin with.

Thanks a lot for letting me know this. I guess I would have just assumed that a smaller tank would be much easier to take care of....but then again, you know what they say about people who assume things...
 

bbfeckawitts

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The tetra probably got fin rot from the conditions of the tank (my guess). Glad to hear the tetra is holding on and you are doing the right thing by trying to save him. I had a 35 gallon that I put fish in without cycling and had to do 50% water changes 2x daily, that's 35 gallons a day! Just think, with your small tank, a 50% water change is only 5 gallons!

Yes larger tanks are easier to keep stable espicially if your power goes out :-X

Which happened to me, I was really scared but in 10 hours the temp went down only 1 degree F.
Brianna
 
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The Tetra seems to be doing well. I'm at the end of my fin rot treatment, and he's looking and acting much happier.
 
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I figured I'd attach a photo of the litte Tetra guy. His tail's healing and he now likes playing in the bubbles.

Thanks for all your help!

I plan on getting some other tetras next week sometime. Hopefully everything goes well.
 

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