Gah, dying fish

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by death2fishbowls, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. death2fishbowls

    death2fishbowlsNew MemberMember

    hi, i just got a new 9 gallon fish tank day before yesterday, i filled it with tap water and 3 goldfish, but they're all dead now but one :mad:  wat should I do???  I even put in plants and a castle toy thing for them and see what they do to me!

    BTW, hi i'm 15 and i've recently become interested in fish.
  2. newbie101

    newbie101Well Known MemberMember

    hi and Welcome to Fishlore! ;D
    First of all, the tap water is most likely what killed them. Read the article on the Nitrogen Cycle:
    Gunnie, Butterfly, and the rest will be stopping by any minute and give you more info ;)
  3. OP

    death2fishbowlsNew MemberMember

    Cool thanx. what kinds of plants should i get?
  4. newbie101

    newbie101Well Known MemberMember

    I'm not too experienced in the plants field, being pretty new with plants myself.....come on butterfly and gunnie :p they are the real experts (among many others)
  5. newbie101

    newbie101Well Known MemberMember

    explore the articles on Fishlore, there's a lot of good info on there (including a few articles on plants)
  6. OP

    death2fishbowlsNew MemberMember

    Thanx again ;D ;D ;Dsorry to bother you again but what is a god brand of filter.. mine sux
  7. Isabella

    IsabellaFishlore VIPMember

    Hi. Did you dechlorinate the water? Tap water contains either chlorine or both chlorine and chloramine - two substances that kill fish immediately. If you did not dechlorinate your tap water, that is why the fish died.

    Another thing now. People new to the hobby often to not know about "cycling" a tank. Here is what it means. You should never buy the fish the same day that you bought your tank. Not even a few days after. In a new tank, there are no beneficial bacteria that remove toxic substances. So even if you put fish in the tank a few days after, they'll still most likely die because the tank was not cycled yet.

    Cycling a tank means setting it up and running it for about a month before buying fish. During this time, the tank goes through a nitrogen cycle. First ammonia builds up - ammonia is a toxic substance that will kill your fish if it is present in the water. Then a type of beneficial bacteria develop that convert ammonia into nitrite. Nitrite is still very toxic, so then another bacteria develops that converts nitrite into nitrate. Nitrate is not as toxic as ammonia and nitrite, but it should be kept as low as possible. To remove nitrate from your water, you perform weekly or bi-weekly water changes (ex. changing 10% of water weekly, or 25% of water every 2 weeks). And of course, every time you add new water to your tank, it must be first dechlorinated.

    You should buy a test kit to measure your water parameters, and to see if it is cycled. The test kit has ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH tests. You tank is cycled when ammonia = 0, nitrite =0, and nitrate =0 (or is very low). And this is when you can start adding fish. You should also research what pH your fish prefer.

    So, after you had your tank running for about a month, the water is cycled and ready for fish. BUT, not for all the fish at once. You stock your tank gradually - adding only few fish at a time. If you add a lot of fish at once, ammonia or nitrite will quickly increase and also kill your fish. This is because there are still not enough beneficial bacteria to support a lot of fish. But when you stock your tank gradually, then the bacteria also increase gradually, and this way you can add more and more fish but by small numbers only.

    You should never overstock your tank either. The general rule is to have 1 inch of fish per 1 gallon of water. Or better - 1 inch of fish per 2 gallons of water. However, this is only a general rule. what you have to take into account is not only the length of the fish but also its body mass. A fish may have only a few inches of length, but it may be very massive. Here, you cannot simply use the 1" / 1 gallon rule.

    So this is a very brief introduction I guess. On FishLore there are many articles for beginners about cycling, and anything else you should know. There are also many informative posts here, so you can read them and learn from them.

    Good luck with your new hobby, and be patient :)
  8. OP

    death2fishbowlsNew MemberMember

    oh, that explains everthing :D thanks looks like i need to research ???
  9. Isabella

    IsabellaFishlore VIPMember

    If you want to get live plants, form what I have learned on FishLore (as Emma said mainly from Gunnie and Butterfly), the best low-light plants are Java Moss, Java Fern, and various Anubias. Other plants may grow well too.

    In my 10 gallon tank I have a TetraWhisper filter, and it is very good for a tank this size. I think it would be very good for a 9 gallon tank as well. And I don't think this filter is expensive.

    Yes, the most important thing is to RESEARCH before setting up a tank buying fish. I recently bought a great book that explains everything well for beginners. If you'd like to buy it, the title is "The Simple Guide to Fresh Water Aquariums" by David E. Boruchowitz, and it's only $12, or as low as $7 when buying a used book. BUT, you can as well learn all that is in this book on FishLore :)
  10. OP

    death2fishbowlsNew MemberMember

    looks like i'll be going to the library soon...
  11. Gunnie

    GunnieWell Known MemberMember

    There is so much information right here online! Definately check out some books from the library, but just google some things, and you should get plenty of information right from the internet. Goldfish are really messy fish and big poopers. Most foks recommend that you have 20 gallons for the first goldfish, and add 10 more gallons for each additional goldfish! They can really raise your ammonia level quickly, and with 4 of them in a 9 gallon tank, that might be what happened. Since goldfish also grow to be very large fish (depending on what type of goldfish you have), your goldfish will outgrow your tank pretty quickly. Definately do some serious reading, and ask questions here along the way! We're glad you've decided to join us, and hope you will visit here often! ;)
  12. beckers4oranges

    beckers4orangesValued MemberMember

    hey bud...i recently started being interest in fish just like yourself...not to long ago...a month or so ago ....i made a similar mistake...i overstocked a new tank...the guy at the pet store sold me 2 angel fish that died the next day or so...i was mad and took it back to them and got new fish when my tank was ready...i was so excited that these fish lived over a few days that i went and bought more...i think i had over 14 fish in a 10 gallon tank and the ammonia level ski rocketed and killed every one of them....except my i let it cycle for awhile and i tested it...then i heard about this stuff that speeds up the cycling process so i went out and bought it....its call "cycle" but there are many more different kinds out there...well i started using it and it lowered my ammonia and nitrite significantly! its great and i recomend it but its a little spending and gets used up pretty quick
  13. rob2uk

    rob2ukValued MemberMember

    Can I just add that water alone will NOT cycle as there will be nothing for the bacteria to feed on!

    You need to add a small amount of fish food or raw fish to get the process started
  14. newbie101

    newbie101Well Known MemberMember

    yes that would really help ::) you could let the tank sit fishless for a year but with nothing to feed on the bacteria would not even get started :(