I’m Trying To Save Some Fish But I’m Clueless

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Aceialive

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My dad gets very stressed out with work and will sometimes neglect his fish for months on end, I’m 14 (15 in the next week) and I’m the only person in my family who care about animal rights. I’m not sure if this is the right place for this but one fish tank in particular is in absolute terrible condition, I will attack photos below. I was wondering if anyone could maybe identify the fish, and if so based on the horrific state of the tank maybe tell me how to clean it up. I know we have al the supplies because we use to clean the tank but I have never had a fish and I’m absolutely clueless. I assume the fish are fresh water but may not be. To any kind soul who would offer advice on how to fix there declining living situation I would be very appreciative. I love animals and even though there fish this breaks my heart. 5DA6234A-A7A7-4231-B9FD-4563E90B4D40.jpeg
 

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abarb

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Welcome to fishlore change about 50% the water with a syphon/gravel vacuum and a bucket. Then fill water from tap or well and try to match the temperature by feeling with your hand. Make sure to use a dechloinator/water conditioner because chlorine can kill the fish. Turn off the heater because it can break if it’s still on while not submerged. You can look in the forum “freshwater beginners” for some helpful links for new fishkeepers. These fish are freshwater, a type of pleco and rainbowfish (not sure what species).
 

Kysarkel000

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My dad gets very stressed out with work and will sometimes neglect his fish for months on end, I’m 14 (15 in the next week) and I’m the only person in my family who care about animal rights. I’m not sure if this is the right place for this but one fish tank in particular is in absolute terrible condition, I will attack photos below. I was wondering if anyone could maybe identify the fish, and if so based on the horrific state of the tank maybe tell me how to clean it up. I know we have al the supplies because we use to clean the tank but I have never had a fish and I’m absolutely clueless. I assume the fish are fresh water but may not be. To any kind soul who would offer advice on how to fix there declining living situation I would be very appreciative. I love animals and even though there fish this breaks my heart. View attachment 542320
Well, the sucker fish is a bristle nosed pleco. Not sure what the other fish are.

Do you know what size the tank is? You can measure the depth, width, and length and put it into Google to get the gallons (or liters).

If you can, get the tank water perameters tested. You'll need to know the level of pH, ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates.

I'd start by taking filling the tank back up. If you change all the water all at once, it could shock the fish and kill them. Then tomorrow do a 25% water change, and monday do a 50% water change, then another 50% water change on Tuesday. After that, you can do 25% water changes once a week.

Make sure to dechlorinate the fresh water before putting it into the tank, and try to get the temperature to match the tank fairly closely (just use your finger). Also, if the filter cartridge (if there's one) needs to be cleaned, swish it around in a bucket of old tank water, don't throw it away and don't use chlorinated water.

You should read about the nitrogen cycle in fish tanks because it's really important. It'll help you understand the water perameters better, too.

I'm at work rn, but let me know if I can help you any more!

Oh! And the fish might like some decor to hide in

Good luck!
 

Platylover

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Not certain on the species of rainbow, but the plec is a albino bristle nose.

I’d start with doing water changes very other day, start with 25%. You don’t want to shock the fish with the clean water. Temp match the replacement water to the water already in the tank. Ensure you put dechlorinator in with it.

You can use a siphon and a bucket to get the water out and use the same bucket to put the water back in.

Does this tank have a filter? You’ll need to read up on the nitrogen cycle, we have a sheet on it here.

What all do you have exactly? Any test kits, thermometers, filters, foods, exc.
 

coralbandit

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Don't change a lot of water !
Start by just topping the tank off with dechlorinated water .
Then do maybe 2 water changes at 25% max in the next week .
After that if you become the fish keeper you can step up to 50%.
A large change made if the nitrates are high [which we will assume ] can be more harmful then helpful sometimes .
The fish got where they are slowly so it is best to get them back into safe range slowly .
 

JRG

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I hate to play devil's advocate here, but this project might be more than a 14 (almost 15) year old can take on. The amount of water missing from the tank from evaporation and what looks like caked up mulm tells me this tank hasn't been cared for in quite a while. To do weekly water changes, correctly use water conditioner, correctly perform water testing, gravel vac, feed correct diet, medicate if they get sick, etc, is a lot for a young teen. I'm all for the hobby, but I wouldn't want the OP to later be discouraged away from the hobby if things don't turn out right.
 

toosie

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I hate to play devil's advocate here, but this project might be more than a 14 (almost 15) year old can take on. The amount of water missing from the tank from evaporation and what looks like caked up mulm tells me this tank hasn't been cared for in quite a while. To do weekly water changes, correctly use water conditioner, correctly perform water testing, gravel vac, feed correct diet, medicate if they get sick, etc, is a lot for a young teen. I'm all for the hobby, but I wouldn't want the OP to later be discouraged away from the hobby if things don't turn out right.
Nope, but don't want to discourage her from trying either. The OP hasn't seemed to have come back since making the first post. I hope she does. Life can get really hard sometimes. I think if the people here take it slow, try not to contradict each other too much, and fully explain the tools and the steps she would need to do to rescue this tank, I have faith she can do it. I myself would favor a slow approach as to not overwhelm her or the fish she wants to try to take care of. I would start by finding out what types of products dad has on hand and help her determine which one to use to condition new water to make it safe for the tank, and then adding just a little treated water to the tank daily until it was full, taking 2 or 3 days to fill it. This is something the OP could do with a fish friendly bucket or container her dad has on hand. Then, after that she could be coached on how to setup and do a VERY small partial water change. If water testing equipment is available, that would be helpful too.

Rescuing a tank is tough, but a lot of young teens on the forum are becoming very responsible fish keepers with help from this site, so, like I said, I have faith she can do it.
 

JRG

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Nope, but don't want to discourage her from trying either. The OP hasn't seemed to have come back since making the first post. I hope she does. Life can get really hard sometimes. I think if the people here take it slow, try not to contradict each other too much, and fully explain the tools and the steps she would need to do to rescue this tank, I have faith she can do it. I myself would favor a slow approach as to not overwhelm her or the fish she wants to try to take care of. I would start by finding out what types of products dad has on hand and help her determine which one to use to condition new water to make it safe for the tank, and then adding just a little treated water to the tank daily until it was full, taking 2 or 3 days to fill it. This is something the OP could do with a fish friendly bucket or container her dad has on hand. Then, after that she could be coached on how to setup and do a VERY small partial water change. If water testing equipment is available, that would be helpful too.

Rescuing a tank is tough, but a lot of young teens on the forum are becoming very responsible fish keepers with help from this site, so, like I said, I have faith she can do it.
My sentiments exactly, and I hope she comes back too. This isn't a beginner tank but also not impossible to correct the situation. I would suggest she first inform her dad she plans to care for the tank before attempting to make changes and post pics of all the products and supplies she has on hand, that way we can guide her.
 

LeahsTank

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My sentiments exactly, and I hope she comes back too. This isn't a beginner tank but also not impossible to correct the situation. I would suggest she first inform her dad she plans to care for the tank before attempting to make changes and post pics of all the products and supplies she has on hand, that way we can guide her.
Good idea. And maybe dad can help give pointers as well. I would think he would appreciate the offer to take on such a huge, yet rewarding responsibility.

And if he doesn’t, I do. I’m glad OP is willing to try to take this on.
 
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