I am worried

HI its Mags....the one who didn't know the kind of adopted fish she had. Well I have had the tank for about 2 1/2 weeks. Its a 46 gallon. I have 4 neon tetras, 6 cherry barbs, 6 white clouds, 3 Platy's (well 2...I'll get to that), 6 (5...i'll get to that) Guppies, 2 Bleeding Heart Tetras, 1 Red eyed Tetra and a Pleco. Within the last few days the silk plants that I have in the tank are turning brown, so are the rocks and the front and side walls have lots of spots on them. This morning I woke to 2 fish that passed away. One was a Platy and one was a Guppie. I do not have a test kit and I plan to get one tomorrow. I was just checking on them and its strange but they seem aggressive. I hadn't ever noticed that and I do my share of tank watching. The white clouds are harassing a Platy.....I think they nipped her side fin darn near off. The cherry barbs are chasing each other and the neons. It just doesn't appear to be peaceful the way it has been. I obviously have a problem. I guess the test kit is the first start. Also the 2 remaining Platy's are hanging around the top of the tank....could they be trying to get air? I thought I did enough reading to prepare myself for fish ownership....but I feel like I was wrong. I have three dogs and I pride myself on caring for and loving them to death......this is stressing me out. Any thoughts? Comments? Words of wisdom?
HI Mags, I am new to this as well. I would do a 25% water change. Make sure you treat the water first with stress coat or some other type of treatment for chlorine. Once you get your test kit you'll be able to tell if your nitrite/nitrates are high. You really need a kit. That will help you alot. I'm sure Gunnie or Butterfly will have some good advice. I know exactly how you feel. Hang in there. Neen
Anytime you have a problem your first line of defense is to do a water change. 25-50-% water change. Especially if you have fish die, that alone can cause a rise in ammonia. Is the white cloud harrassing anyone else, is it just the one white cloud? Do you have anyplace you could put the platy? like a quarantine tank?
If I'm not mistaken the pleco won't eat the brown algae. Heres a great place to figure out what kind of algae you have and what to do about it.

HI Carol:

No I don't have somewhere to put the Platy...should I get something? If so what do I need to do? Wouldnt isolating the Platy be hard on her? I have 6 White Clouds and it does appear that one (I think its the same one but I guess that's tough to tell) just keeps on the Platy and no one else. However all the fish seem to be chasing each other real fast and they just seem much more aggressive. My one Bleeding Heart was REALLY flying around the tank this morning....seemed very strange....back and forth very fast. Then after went into one of the caves and was staying very close to the inside wall. Things just seem to be much different with the fisha nd the way they are acting.

Can you please tell me something and I am sorry to sound so ignorant. I told my fiance we will need to change 25% of the water on a regular basis (once a month for a 46 gallon tank???) He insists water changes aren't necessary...that's why we have a filter. Am I stupid or is this true?
Water changes are very necessary. 25% EVERY week and if your having problems then more often and more volume. The reason I recommended 25-50% in my previous post is because there appear to be some serious things going on.
Here is some info on filtration and what filters do
but your filter can't do it all, you have to help by doing water changes.
Do your water change and the then see how everybody is acting. If the platy is week they may pick on it.
Did you get your test kit?
Might there be an article on how to properly perform a water change. I know I have to treat the water...I also have to be sure its near the same temperature as the water in the tank?....anything else I need to consider?

I really want to thank you for all your help. I should have taken more time to learn...
Hi. First I would like to say thanks for all the help, obviously we need it. I took chemistry so I don't have a problem understanding the conversion of ammonia to nitrates. My only argument was changing 25% of the water in the first 2 weeks. We have a much larger filter than is required for the size tank we have. It is a canister filter containing carbon, and zeolite which I understood to remove the ammonia from the water, therefore reducing the amount of nitrate produced.
We treated the water with a chlorine neutralizer a few days before adding the fish and added stress coat to the water just before putting the fish in. I understand we need to test the water to see what's going on right now but it seems strange that the water would have gotten enough toxins in it to kill fish in 2 weeks.
I do have one more thing that I'm not clear on.... Does a raised level of nitrates or ammonia cause fish to get aggressive?
Anything out of balance can make them act [different/i]. A sick fish will some times be picked on, thus inviting aggression from the others.
I have white clouds in my cool water tank, they prefer water a little cooler than tropical but is not going to harm them, they chase and nip at each other all day long but no damage is done.

Ammonia converts to Nitrites, Nitrites converts to Nitrates. Nitrate is less lethal than Ammonia or Nitrite. But if it gets too high it can kill your fish in a very short while. If you have lots of live plants they will absorb a good bit of the Nitrates. Other than to get pleco poo out to keep the Nitrates down is one of the best reasons to do water changes. In my opinion the large filter is a plus it will keep most particulate matter from floating around your tank and make it look sparkling clear.
Oh and welcome to FishLore!!!!
Mags I think you have the prep down pat. Dechlor, close to the same temp. Then change water.
Ok I'll end this book Yell if you need anything else.

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