Hello, new to fish.

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crackatoa

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Back in May, my children won Goldfish as prizes from a school carnival.
This seemed really irresponsible (to give away any animal), since I'm sure that almost everyone who won them didn't have an established tank at home!
We went to Petsmart that evening and bought a 10 gal Top Fin tank kit.
Needless to say that the goldfish died 1-by-1 within 5 days.

I kept the filter running for a while, thinking I would get it ready for new fish. Eventually I turned it off and the tank just sat there while. I finally decided to get around to the local fish store and started asking them how I should start again. I went on a Friday and they said since it was not a new tank/water that I could put more water in it (it was about 70% filled) and run the filter and come back and get new fish the next day. So we went back the next day. They pointed out the community fish and recommend getting at least a pair of each species. I came home with 6 fish and 1 snail. Now I know that was too many to start out with (and he was trying to sell me a couple more). So it was 2 small angelfish, 2 tiger barbs, 2 bala sharks (1 has orange tips and doesn't really look like a bala shark though, but it was in the same tank as the reg black finned balas...he said it was the same species though). By the next day (Sunday), the black bala and the snail had died.
I went out and got a tester kit (nitrite/nitrate/pH/alkalinity/hardness) and a pH balance tablets. pH was high (8.4) and alkalinity high, water pretty hard (300 ppm). Added a pH tablet, which brought down pH to what was considered in ideal range (7-something). the Nitrite and Nitrate were low. I should check nitrite again, it was between the 0 and 0.5 ppm.
The next day (Monday) the water seemed cloudier (whitish/gray). Went to Petsmart that evening and talked to the fish guy there. Came home with a sponge, aquarium salt, and a stabilizer.
I scrubbed the tank, under gravel, did a partial (20%) water change with filtered water (drinking water I fill up at a local water store) and added the aquarium salt and stabilizer. I changed the filter cartridge (1st time) and I posted under the filter forum about that.
Water still cloudy...is it likely that it's a a bacterial bloom and I shouldn't stress and just keep doing partial water changes?
I haven't gotten a testing kit for ammonia, should I do that?
I fed them Sat and Mon (so every other day for now...until things stabilize?)

It was nice to find fishlore and this forum.

-Caryn
 

Buzz

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Hi Caryn,

I am also new to this forum. The collective wealth of experience and advice is mind boggling and I have learned so much since I've been here

Welcome and I'm sure that you will enjoy it here.

Buzz
 

chickadee

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First of all you need to read the following:

https://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm

It explains the process of getting a tank ready for fish and what to expect while it is happening

Then YES you need a test kit for Ammonia probably more so than any of the others as that is the first toxin that will start to show up in your tank, followed by Nitrites and then Nitrates. The next thing you need to know is that 8.4 pH is not that bad. It is much better to let your fish get used to the pH that is normal in your water than to alter it with chemicals. You will never be able to keep it constant and the fluctuating pH will be much worse on your fish that to have it a bit high than to leave it alone.

The cloudy water is pretty much normal at this time and can be taken care of by some water changes but never more than 30% at a time as the cycle process sounds like it is trying to happen. What type of filter are you using? and you didn't mention how many fish you have now or maybe I lost count so would you please give that information of how many of whaat kind. Also it would probably be better to get some StressCoat water treatment and use tap water instead of buying water as the fish need some of the minerals found in tap water and the boughten water just doesn't have them. Bottled spring water does but the drinking water is reverse osmosis water and should not be used alone.

Also Bala Sharks are scaleless and should never have salt added to their water. I know it sounds like I have a lot of DON"TS in here but really most petstore clerks have not a clue as to what to tell you and remember it is to their best interest to sell you STUFF. They do not really care one way or another whether your fish are alive as they sell more fish if they die. I am sorry but there are very few who really give good information or care about what they sell. You have gotten some very poor advice from the people you have been asking and they have sold you much equipment that you do not need and too many fish for the tank you have.

I am so glad to meet you and believe me we are not some kind of demon people who only give you advice on what not to do, but we do want you to have a success with your tank and beautiful fish to be pleased with. It has been my pleasure to help you and I do hope that my information has been helpful. It is with pleasure that I welcome you to the forum and hope that your experience here is as pleasant as mine has been. This truly is a wonderful site and we have a great group of people.

Rose
 
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crackatoa

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Thanks for the welcome Buzz and Rose.
And Rose, don't worry, I don't think you are demons for telling me what not to do or that I've gotten bad advice.  I'm here to learn and realize I've made some mistakes already, so I'm not going to get offended.

to answer your questions:
The type of filter: I will double check, ...it came with the Aquarium I got, Top Fin, which is Petsmart's store brand.

Number of fish: I currently have 5 fish.  2 tiger barbs; 2 angel fish (~1 inch) and the other fish I should take a picture of to see if you guys can tell me.  It came out of the bala shark tank, but it's orange.  I wonder if it's an albino rainbow shark? It looks like this:
It does like to hang out in the cave.  It has laid low since I got it, but now just this morning I noticed that it was chasing one of the tiger barbs around. It is about 1.5 inches right now.  I can not keep it in a 10 gal tank forever I know.  I don't think I'm willing to go up to a 55 gal + tank someday.

thanks!
 

chickadee

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Okay the fish are definitely too much for your tank. The angel may be 1" now but they will grow to be quite large. Isabella is our resident Angel expert but I am sure she would agree that two angels in a 10 gallon is too much by themselves. You have 3 semi-aggressive fish out the 5 you have as well. (the barbs and the shark) so you will have to watch for nipping going on and territorial beharior. Things can get a bit dicey espicially since they are crowded.

The solution may be to return some of the fish to the store and keep the ones that you think will be peaceful enough to live together. It is hard to pick out the fish that will live together when you are in the store but a clue is to look to the tank that they are in. If they are not in the same tank, there is a clue that they will not get along together and especially if they are alone in a species specific tank. If you have a problem deciding we can help as there are many members that can help with fish profiles and personalities and there is a link to the homepage on this site where there are many fish profiles listed to show you what a fish is like before you buy and what size their adult size is and the recommended tank size is.

https://www.fishlore.com/

You will find the Fish Profiles on the extreme right side of the page.

I do hope this helps.

Rose
 
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