Help...fish Died

Lauryn

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I recently decided to get a tropical fish tank for the first time. I purchased a 54litre with sand substrate, live plants and a cave. I ignored the pet shops advise in regards to adding fish (they advise 24 hours after initial set up) and cycled the tank as people mentioned on YouTube. I tested the water and all parameters were good so started adding fish over the course of a few weeks. In total I had 2 swordtails, 1 male 1 female, 3 Corydoras, 3 male Endlers and 2 female Dwarf GouramI (bought 01/08). The Gouramis did not settle in well and were constantly hiding, barley eating and seemed afraid of the light. I turned the light off permanently as this seemed to reduce their stress. That evening after testing the water I noticed there was a trace of nitrites so started doing a 10% daily water change. On the 04/08 I noticed the male swordtail wasn’t swimming as he usually does and by the evening he had died. After he died the Gouramis seemed less stressed and were swimming around in the tank, and the female swordtail stopped hiding in the cave. 07/08 I decided to turn on the aquarium light and the Gouramis did not react so left it on for a few hours. When I returned home 1 of the Gouramis had died. I started writing this post last night to ask if it would be ok not to replace the 2 dead fish as the rest of the fish seemed happier once they were gone, however in the morning the other GouramI had died.

1) Can you see a reason as to why the fish died, none showed signs of illness

2) Is it mean for there to be only 1 swordtail in the tank, does it need a tank mate?


Water temperature is between 24-26 degrees celsius, the terta strips say there is no ammonia, still a slight trace of nitrites, safe zone for nitrates, PH, carbonate hardness, general hardness and chlorine.
 

kallililly1973

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Nitrites are just as bad for fish as ammonia. I would not add anything else and instead invest in an API liquid test kit. They are more accurate. Are you adding Prime to declorinate the water after every water change? That would be another good product to always have on hand. It will detoxify Ammonia and nitrites up to 1ppm for 24-48 hours to keep the water safe. A 15 gallon with your stock is pushing it a bit and you should be doing weekly 50-75% water changes.
 

jdhef

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Welcome to FishLore! I hope you enjoy it here
 

Cichlidude

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Please explain the process you are following to complete the Nitrogen Cycle (<click here) for your tank. This will take 3-8 weeks before fish should be added.
 
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Lauryn

Lauryn

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kallililly1973 said:
Nitrites are just as bad for fish as ammonia. I would not add anything else and instead invest in an API liquid test kit. They are more accurate. Are you adding Prime to declorinate the water after every water change? That would be another good product to always have on hand. It will detoxify Ammonia and nitrites up to 1ppm for 24-48 hours to keep the water safe. A 15 gallon with your stock is pushing it a bit and you should be doing weekly 50-75% water changes.
I think I will have to invest in the liquid test kit; as a newbie I thought the strips would be easier but its pointless if the results are not accurate. Now I am scared that what I thought was a slight trace would actually mean I have a high number of nitrites. After each water change I am adding Tetra Aqua Safe Aquarium Water Conditioner not sure if this is the same as Prime, unfortunately I am unable to get Prime delivered to me in the UK from Amazon.

Cichlidude said:
Please explain the process you are following to complete the Nitrogen Cycle (<click here) for your tank. This will take 3-8 weeks before fish should be added.
To cycle the tank I added live plants from a local pet store, this was in one of their live tanks but had no fish. I also added a moss ball from pets at home store, this was in a tank with multiple fish and shrimp. For 2 weeks prior to getting any fish I was adding flake fish food and home grown lettuce to the tank daily and did one water change. I tested the water ever couple of days and when all readings were in the safe zone I added the 2 swordtails one week, 3 corys the following week, then lastly the 3 endlers and 2 dwarf gouramis the week after that.

jdhef said:
Welcome to FishLore! I hope you enjoy it here
Thank you, the people here seem to be very helpful and knowledgeable
 

Morpheus1967

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Unfortunately, it's almost a certainty that your tank was not properly cycled. Especially since the food takes a while to break down and start producing ammonia.
 

DivingBellSpider

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One possibility could be that it had cycled properly, but if I follow you correctly, you added the 3 endlers, and 2 dwarf gouramI at the same time? You may have essentially started a second cycle, since that bio load is just around 100% of what you already had in there, depending on the sizes of each. I would probably do water changes of at least 50% water change daily, until you have the nitrites down to zero. Also, hold off on adding any new fish until the nitrites are down to zero. You did also have quite a large bio load for your aquarium’s size, so if you do end up getting the same number of fish in total, monitor the parameters very regularly, and do a large(50% or so) water change weekly.
 

RockinRy

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I agree the second cycle theory. I had a similar thing happen when I added too many corydoras at one time.

Swordtails are social fish, but should do alright since you have the endlers in there. I have a single male swordtail and he plays around with my fancy guppies and has been doing well. Since your tank is stretched thin I would personally avoid adding in another sword tail.
 

ShimmeryLuna

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I also agree that your tank started a second cycle when you added all those fish at once. Nitrites are just as toxic as Ammonia. The bio load from all those fish being added at once was just too much for your established bacteria colonies. I'm sorry for your losses. I'd advise that you continue doing daily water changes (~20%) and don't overfeed (to reduce bio load) until the second cycle is complete.

on fish-in cycles, but you should of course do your own research. Good luck! I hope no more fish die in your tank.
 

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