HELP! Im all backwards!!!! New fish keeper!

tunastrack
  • #1
Hello all...Brand new to this site and I have been spending a lot of time reading up on so much information already...Here's a little it of my story...

A couple of weeks ago the hubby and my lil girl had a daddy daughter day, and low n behold they come home with a male micky platy and a female dalmation platy (or molly haven't been able to tell for sure). Well at the time I only had a very small 1 gal at my disposal (thanks hubby!) So that is where I put them. Obviously the poor things had no room to even get swimming good so I felt terrible and went out and bought another tank. This one was a bit bigger and I bought some other fish as well. A black molly male and a dalmation molly female. Well they didnt get along so well with the other dalmation since she is a bit bigger.

And also after reading up on here I realized how many mistakes I was still making and decided to take the 10gal tank that was offered to me from my brother in law. So I jumped the gun again and went out to buy fish to fill it before doing the reserch that I should have and now my grand total of fish are as follows...

2 female fancy guppies both which have the gravid spot I of which is super fat. They were all in a female only tank so I thought it was safe to assume they were not pregnant. Guess again...(more on that in a min) I bought another guppy which I was told was female but according to the analfin he looks male to me.1 Dwarf Gourami, 2 creamcicle mollies 1 male 1 female. 3 black skirt tetras and last but not least a green glow fish. Leaving me with a grand total of 13.

Being completely ignorant on the care of fish, I believed the saleswoman at petsmart when she said that setting up an old tank w same filter etc was an ok thing to do. Just as long as I cleaned it really well first. I know as aweful as this all sounds, I really do want what's best for my new friends and want them to be happy and thrive. So far after 2 full days they are all still alive (thank god!) and for thr most part seem to be doing well. I did use water conditioners new tank stablizers etc when I started the tanks.

However to no surprise I am already having some issues. The 1st set of fish that I got that I put in the 3 gallon tank I bought which was brand new everything have come down with what I am pretty confident is Ich. Which has me baffled since the tank they were in was brand new.

So I am guessing the brought it home from the petstore?? Anyway unfortunatly before I realized they had Ich I had already placed them in the 10 gal with the other fish that I had just bought. But I took them out and put them back into the 3.5 gallon as soon as I identified the problem. And have added salt to the water, did a 50% water change and increased the temp the best I can with such a small tank ( I got the idea to use a heating pad up against the side of the tank from somewhere on here. And until payday its the best that I can do as far as a heater goes.

So after reading I'm sure its safe to assume that the fish in the 10 gal have ich now as well even tho noone is showing any signs yet. So I plan to go get some ich meds tonight as soon as I can get out. My next problem is that the water in the 10 gal is still pretty cloudy and I'm not sure what's causing it as I do not have the test strips etc at this time. And again until payday I have to wait on that. I do have some water treatment solution that I put in on the 1st day and wonder if it is ok to redose and see if that helps. Any suggestions (with out a tounge lashing) would be very much appreciated.

Also, any suggestions on how to handle my very pregnant guppy would be great as well...And please explain to me how she is pregnant if she was in a tank with strictly females?? If you got thur this whole post, bless your heart and tysm for taking the time to help me. I know I have started this all wrong but hoping I can rectify it and have healthy happy fish!
 
jdhef
  • #2
Welcome to FishLore!

I'm very sorry, I really do not have time to give you a complete answer at the moment, but to get you started I highly recommend you read up on the nitrogen cycle <--words should have turned into a link that will take you to an article about it. This is really the most important thing to understand when keeping fish. The second most important think to understand is that the fish store almost always gives the wrong advice.

I'm sure others will be replying soon and will be able to help you out more.
 
Daac
  • #3
Ok well I am glad you came for help... first of all the cloudiness is the tank cycling... do not try to make this go away or you will have to start over. For the guppies they probably got pregnant in transport or in the store and are about to give birth soon. My recommendation is give them back to the store. They won't pay you for them but it is better than them dying. Honestly I would just take back all the fish until the tank has cycled and then get the fish you want without overstocking. You really can't have mollies in a 10 gallon as they can get 5 inches. Tetras can be ok if they are small and guppies and platies are ok as long as there is only one sex. If you want to keep some since the cycle is on its way already, I would choose your favorite fish type and stick with that. Just be sure to do large water changes regularly to keep ammonia and nitrites and nitrates down. I assume you read about the nitrogen cycle correct? Also you will want a test kit (preferrably the API master) and a heater asap. I know these are expensive but they are important when keeping fish. Also some fast growing plants will be helpful too- they will aid in taking up excess toxins in the water and are the best decoration you can have in my opinion.

Edit: Just read above post... must have posted while I was typing... some good info there as well. You really can't trust store employees because they are often under trained and are told they must do anything to make a sale.
 
tunastrack
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
TY both very much for your advice . I have read over the nitrogen cycle earlier today and I do plan on getting the heater test kit live plants (for the guppy fry) tomorrow afternoon as soon as I get home from work. Daac its good to know that the cloudiness is actually a good thing ty . As for taking them back to the store, I am really not sure I have the heart to do that. My kids and I have already gotten attached to them. And I am already looking into getting a bigger tank since it looks like I will need one anyway with babies on the way. Petco is having a good sale right now on tanks so I am gonna look there as well as craigslist. I actually saw a 75 gal tank with the works on craigslist that I put in email in for (so finger crossed). I never knew there was so much detail in being a fish keeper..lol...But I am excited to learn and watch them grow and thrive. I have no doubt with the love I already have for this that I will be an expert in no time...lol...Just right now I feel really guilty for starting off so badly! Can you give me any advice on the molly/platys that have ich? I have had them for longer than 2 weeks so know the pet store won't take them back not to mention what they might do to them anyway. My black molly has the sweetest personality. He will literally swim into your hand if you have to put it in for any reason. ( had to to add a decoration...Its amazing how attached you can get to a fish!...thanks for the help!!
 
Semilla
  • #5
I would definitely get heaters asap. And add salt to the tank not yet showing infection. Make sure the temp stays at 86 (you have a thermometer? If not, get that too.) That should take care of the ich.
Everything above regarding stocking is absolutely true. crowding will add to every problem you run up against, if not cause it. I know it sucks, reminds me of how I started the hobby.. Incidentally, I did not get rid of my original inappropriate tank mates. I got more tanks.. watch out!

Edit: the 86 degrees Is just for the ich. Then turn it down, a week or two after the last spot falls off (or just two weeks for the tank that looks healthy
 
konstargirl
  • #6
Welcome to the forum. The one thing that you should always know is that always Quarantine your new fish for a few weeks before putting them in your main tank! Good luck. ;P
 
tunastrack
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Semilla that is what I was wondering...Can I ad salt to the 10 gal with the tetra glow fish and dwarf guorami? I was affraid to just incase they couldnt tolerate it. I am leaving here in a few to get the heater thermo and salt...Any suggestions on anything else that's essential today?? Rem I'm going tomorrow too..lol..
 
Semilla
  • #8
I've never I kept gourami, but I believe they should be fine with a salt treatment. Tetras are good. Most pet stores keep salt in their tanks, which may be part of why the ich always shows up after you get them home. Loaches, some catfish, and mystery snails have a hard time with salt, but mine all came from stores that salt, and I've read that they can tolerate it for the duration of treatment.
I really like the skeptical aquarist article on curing ich, if you want a read..
 
Fashooga
  • #9
Salt should be ok. If you have any Corydora fishes on the bottom, than I would not recommend the salt treatment. I did that and they freaked for a little bit.

If you get that 75 gallon tank than you'll love how it looks, like everybody says, do the cycle test. Also what people recommended is the API Freshwater Kit. I got mine on Amazon for $20 vs $32.99 at PetSmart. It does like 800 treatments.

On the therometer part, don't trust the sticker, get a real one that sticks into the tank.

This site is a fantastic place to get info. I wish I ran into it when I started 1.5 years ago.
 
Daac
  • #10
I agree with the above but just to be clear on the ich... the temperature thing is what I use and you raise the temp to 86 and leave it there no matter what until a week AFTER the last ich spots are gone. It's like finishing an antibiotic... you have to finish it after even after the symptoms are gone or it will come back stronger.
 
jdhef
  • #11
I'm not a fan of salt, so I would recommend against using it. Luckily I've never has an Ich outbreak, but it seems manytime fish develope Ich when the water temperature is too cold. They also are more prone to Ich when stressed. And for fish, being in an uncycled tank and being over stocked is a hugh stresser.

As mentioned above you can cure Ich by slowly (like 2 degrees every hour or so) to 86 degrees. Then keep it at that temperature for a least 2 weeks. If you do not have an airpump w/airstone in the tank, I would recommend getting one, since the warmer water holds less oxygen. Also part of this treatment involves doing gravel vacs at least 4 times a week (but you'll be doing them daily as I'll explain in a couple of paragraphs. (Almost like I can see into the future eh?)

Ich is actually a cycle. The fish get the white spots which break open and release Ich spores. The spore drop down into the gravel, hatch and reattach to your fish. But the Ich that is on the fish cannot tolerate a temperature of 86 degrees. But as the Ich clears up from the body, spores still drop into the gravel, so you do these gravel vacuumings to remove the spores from the tank.

But since you are now cycling with fish (cycling begins as soon as you put fish into the tank) you now need to keep the fish safe from exposure to highly toxic ammonia and highly toxic nitrites. So you will need to do daily partial water changes (35%-50%). The water change will keep the ammonia and later nitrite levels low. I also highly recommend you get a water conditioner called Prime. Prime removes chlorine, chloramine, heavy metals etc just like all the other water conditioners, but Prime also detoxes low levels (under 1ppm) of ammonia and nitrite for 24 hours (at which point you'll be doing another water change with Prime). You will need to keep this up until the tank cycles (i.e. 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrites and some nitrates). When using Prime when cycling with fish, use enough Prime to treat the entire tank, not just the water you are adding.

So I also highly recommend picking up an API Master Test Kit for Freshwater. It is a bit expensive, but is one of the most important tools to have. Also note that Prime will make the API ammonia test read positive if used less than 24 hours after using Prime (even if there is no ammonia in the tank), so be sure to wait 24 hours between water change and testing.

You really are on the steep end of the learning curve right now. Sadly with fish keeping you need to know about 95% when starting off, only about 5% can come at a slower pace. So while it may make your eyes glaze over in the beginning, once you get the hang of it, it really not too difficult at all.
 
tunastrack
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
well all but my dwarf and dalmation molly (who was not in the tank bc of a time out) were dead this morning when I woke up. Which I had only been to sleep for around 4 hrs bc I had been up all night watching them..When I went to bed they all seemed fine and happy and swimming all around. I'm not sure exactly what happened. But I think I may have upped the temp too quickly, due to not knowing quite sure how to operate it . I had added salt and ich meds...To both tanks and the tank with the dalmation molly she seems fine. Which is a good sign since the mollies in my 10gal died first.(the guppies were still swimming when I woke up but died off very quickly ) The suurprise of it all is there is 3 babies in there who are alive as well as 3 that I found that had died. I am not going to let myself get excited about them. But we shall see...I did to a 25% water change for them just incase. And would like to know if anyone could take a quess at whether they were born out of stress or happiness and then something happened to kill them all so rapidly? I can not believe how attached you can get to these lil guys. But I feel terrible as well as does my daughter who hasnt stopped crying yet...On the bright side at least one is still alive and hopefully will stay that way and now I will have a better chance at success when I do decide to start up again. Thank you all so much for your help and advice. Very much appreciated ...Oh one more thing, the Ich medication had said to remove carbon from the filter? I wasn't sure what that ment and had always heard not to mess with it so I was planning on coming on here for advice today. Can someone please explain this to me...thanks!!!
 
Daac
  • #13
Carbon will remove the meds from the water... that's why you have to take it out. Also test the water, there may have just been an ammonia spike. And just to be sure you took all the dead fish out immediately right? Another possibility is the salt and meds and everything put together was just too much for the fish.
 
tunastrack
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
Yes I took all of the dead ones out asap. Now the babies are swimming at the top with out a care in the world. My dwarf gourami doesn't even seem phased by the babies. But this could be because he is not feeling well. As for the test kit. I was planning on getting that today. (even took the day off work for it). Do you have any suggestions for these babies? Do signs look good that they may make it since they have outlasted all the adult fish?
 
Semilla
  • #15
Honestly? Not really. If the adults died due to water conditions, the fry will too. If you get on top of the water conditions, they have a chance.
 
tunastrack
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
Ok thanks a lot...I thinks its crazy they outlived the adults. Which gives me hope...You guys are amazing thanks a lot!!
 
tunastrack
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
would it help to take the babies out and add them to an existing 1 gal tank??
 
Daac
  • #18
I would just keep doing water changes every day and get the test kit asap. The situation would be the same in the 1 gallon even if it is cycled. They would still be stressed due to the tiny size of the bowl.
 
tunastrack
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
Ok Daac thanks so much! I'm going to get the test kit here in a bit. I'm very curious to try and find out exactly what happened...
 
tunastrack
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
Ok just lost the babies and the dwarf my guess is this heater is malfuntioning because even with having it turned all the way down the temp spiked from about 85 to over 90! So it plus all the fish are going back with me and I am buying a test kit!!! So my new question is. Once I get the kit and test the water and replace this faulty heater. How long should I wait before adding new (apprpriate) fish to this tank?
 
swimmingwiththefishes
  • #21
Well said, and it is so true. I had to learn the hard way, and it meant lots of water changes and continous testing during the first cycle.
 
jdhef
  • #22
Sorry you are having so much bad luck.

You really need to make a choice here. You should either cycle fishless before adding any fish (because cycling with fish is exhausting and a lot of work), or cycle using Tetra SafeStart. When using SaeStart you fill the tank with dechlorinated water, wait at least 24 hours then add a few fish and an appropriatly sized bottle of SafeStart at the sme time. Then do nothing but feed your fish for 14 days (no water changes, no adding chemical etc). On day 14 test your water and if all work correctly, you'll be cycled.

But you definitly should clean your tank and orniment with a solution of one part bleach to 19 parts water. Rinse really well (until you can no longer smell chlorine) and refill with water overdosed with dechlorinator. Then drain and refill. Since you had Ich, you might want to consider tossing the old gravel and buy new since ich spores may still be in the gravel.

Good luck!
 
tunastrack
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
On a happier note, we did rescue a female betta yesterday who was on "clearance" sitting way back by herself on a shelf...(grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!) So I was planning on putting her in my 3 gallon tank. But I'm not sure what to do with the dalmation molly that was in there for the time out (beating up the other fish)...Any suggestions??
 
Daac
  • #24
Well do you have another tank that is not ich contaminated? If not I would just rehome one of the fish as both would not do well in a 3 gallon tank. Is the 3 gallon cycled? If so I would just keep the betta there. For adding fish again after restarting it depends on how you cycle and how you get rid of the ich like jdhef says.
 
tunastrack
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
Honestly how do you rehome a fish? Rem this one has Ich too..And its in the 3 gallon right now. She is like my miracle girl so want to do what's best for her....Even if it means giving her a better home..
 
Daac
  • #26
Well you could offer it up on fishlore to a someone more equipped at the moment or you could take it to your lfs or local chain pet store and hope some body good gets it. The only tricky part about giving it away on here is shipping which requires kordon breather bags, a good box size, insulation, and in the winter months a heater but you should be ok heater wise for now.
 
Hershey1
  • #27
Just so you know you definitely you want salt in your tank with the gourami. They love it and there color will be much brighter. It will also kill many diseases and many more good things. You can keep your tank at two parts per a thousand using aquarium salt and get youself a salt water reader thing you just stick it in and it reads how many parts per a thousandth.
 

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