Has anyone else felt this way?

joeycasperanita

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Hi everyone,
This morning I checked my ammonia and it is between .5-1 and I just did a 25% water change the past three days (new fish introduced 2 days ago). So I did another almost 50% water change (the fish seemed to think I was crazy) and I just don't know what I'm doing wrong!!! I clean their water, I don't over feed, I treat their water to dechlorinate....sigh...
I sometimes just feel like I'm a bad fish-mother. I can do cats and dogs okay, but why are my fishies not in ammonia-free water? As a side note, they seem to be doing find and like each other (sometimes chase/play tag) but all in all coexist wonderfully. Should I have a real plant in there? It's a small tank so I don't know if I should add a real plant and how do I do this when I have 3 fish already? :-[
I need help/advice! I just want my fish to be beautiful and happy! :-\
 

Isabella

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If your tank is still cycling this is the reason why you have ammonia. It takes, on average, 3 - 4 weeks to cycle a tank. If you bought a tank within last few weeks, your tank is probably still cycling. And if you add fish to a tank before it has finished cycling, it's not a good thing. You'll have ammonia now and nitrite later on as the cycle progresses, and finally nitrate. If you haven't read about the Nitrogen Cycle, please do so now - it's in the Beginner's Articles on Fish Lore. Then you'll better understand why you have ammonia, etc. Even smallest amounts of ammonia and nitrite can kill your fish, so as long as you're getting any of these two compounds, change the water DAILY. If you don't keep removing these toxic compounds until the cycle is over, your fish may not make it, or may make it ending up very sick. So continue with daily water changes (say, 50%) until BOTH ammonia and nitrite = 0.

It's not that you're a bad fish keeper - most beginners usually don't know about the cycle and that's why they often end up with dead or sick fish. Besides, fish-keeping is much harder than caring for a cat or a dog.
 
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joeycasperanita

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Hello,
Yes, I understand cycling and my nitrite and ammonia WERE zero last week before the addition of my new fish and I had a nitrate of around 5-10. Anyway, I have sad news in the my newest molly died and I feel like...well, I feel bad about the whole thing. My other two are happy and active, but there was my youngest at the bottom ...lifeless. I am horrified and don't want to get new fish at all! I will stick to my two babies. I am too scared to get anything else. I don't want to hurt anymore fish!!!!!
 

Buzz

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Don't feel too bad, it's happened to all of us at one point. loosing fish is never easy.

Maybe you could do a bit more research into what types of fish you like or woulk like to keep and what special conditions they prefer i.e. mollies like a little salt in the water - corys and scaleless fish like loached dont; Ghost fish and goby prefer sandy substrates if any etc.

Also consider the size of your tank in reference to the fish you are buying - will they outgrow a small tank quickly or have you got too many fish in a small tank. Are the fish getting along well (if of varied species) with each other.

Good luck with your tank and don't give up hope.

Buzz
 
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