I don't know what I'm doing

  • Thread starter

DylanRhys

New Member
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Points
151
Hi, really kinda rushed into my fish tank, and I'm not sure if I'm doing things right. two of the four fish I bought for it aren't looking to good, I bought two bala sharks, which seem to be ok, even though i read on this site I've already done alot wrong about what to do, but my two occlosomething catfish, are lethargic and it took awhile for them to even start moving I thought they were dead, and when I went to scoop them out they darted around and now they aren't really eating or moving to much, what should I do? Any help or advise will be greatly apprciated.
 

JMatt1983

Valued Member
Messages
278
Reaction score
0
Points
186
oto cats are shy and like to hide, i know mine likes to stick to the back of the cave, and not move unless he has to, how big is your tank, and is it cycled, i know that the two bala sharks will need quite a bit of room once they're adults
 

Isabella

Fishlore VIP
Messages
5,250
Reaction score
37
Points
358
Experience
5 years
Dylan, first off, welcome to Fish Lore

Second, I will have to ask you a couple of questions which will help us determine if and what is wrong with your fish. How large is your tank? How long have you had it? Are you familiar with the Nitrogen Cycle? What are your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate readings?

P.S. Did you know that Bala Sharks grow up to 16"? This is why - in my opinion - they need at least a 75 gallon tank. What you have bought are baby Bala Sharks. I bet they didn't tell you at the store these fish grow this large. Are the "occlosomething catfish" Otos perhaps? Their scientific name is Otocinclus Affinis Catfish.
 

Stradius011

Well Known Member
Messages
1,865
Reaction score
1
Points
208
Experience
5 to 10 years
Does your aquarium have decorations for the otos? They need a hiding place.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter

DylanRhys

New Member
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Points
151
Thanks for responding so fast, ok, as for your questions, I have a 60 gal. tank, I have had it for almost 3 days now. I got it at petsmart, they didn't mention anything to me about nitrogen cylces, or ammonia and nitrite readings, or how to do it. I did get two nice size plastic plants, but no other decorations yet. I am also sorry to say I already lost one of my catfish. I didn't like the feeling. It's apparent that when I told the people at the store that I had never owned or cared for fish before, they didn't feel the need to explain a whole lot to me. I would love to know what I should do to prevent anymore of my fish from dying. The other catfish still seems a little docile. I also didn't know that they didn't eat flake food, I read on this site that they need alge wafers. Thanks again for responding and just let me know what to do or if you need to know anything else about the tank to help.
 

Isabella

Fishlore VIP
Messages
5,250
Reaction score
37
Points
358
Experience
5 years
Dylan, to get you on the right track, you first need to read about the Nitrogen Cycle. Once you have done that, you'll know why ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate readings are very important. Here is an article about the Nitrogen Cycle: https://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm, and here are other useful articles for beginners: https://www.fishlore.com/Beginners.htm.

Now, your tank will soon (if it hasn't already) begin to cycle. You'll know what "cycling" means once you've read about the Nitrogen Cycle. It's usually best to wait until the tank has completely cycled, before adding any fish to it. If you add fish to a cycling tank, they may get sick or even die as a result of ammonia and/or nitrite poisoning. This is also why you'll need tests for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. I highly recommend Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Master Test Kit. It can be quite expensive at a local fish store, but it is only $13 online: .

Because you already have fish in your tank, they'll have to go through the cycle. I cannot guarantee you that they will not get sick or die during that time, but if you want to increase their chances of survival, you should be performing DAILY 50% water changes until ammonia = 0 and  nitrite = 0 (this is when the cycle is over). The reason for such large and frequent water changes is the removal of the toxic ammonia and nitrite from the water that are accumulating daily during the cycle.

Please read the above articles.

P.S. The fish may also be sick and die if - when you buy them - you do not acclimatize them properly. Also, you do know that you need to dechlorinate your tap water before adding it to your tank, right? (This is if your tap water has chlorine in it. Some places also have chloramine in their tap water. So you need to find out which one your water has, and get an appropriate dechlorinator. Both chlorine and chloramine are not safe for fish.)
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter

DylanRhys

New Member
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Points
151
so? on the water changes I actually remove 50% of the water and dump more in?
 

Stradius011

Well Known Member
Messages
1,865
Reaction score
1
Points
208
Experience
5 to 10 years
DylanRhys said:
Thanks for responding so fast,  ok, as for your questions,  I have a 60 gal. tank,  I have had it for almost 3 days now.  I got it at petsmart, they didn't mention anything to me about nitrogen cylces, or ammonia and nitrite readings,  or how to do it.  I did get two nice size plastic plants, but no other decorations yet.  I am also sorry to say I already lost one of my catfish.  I didn't like the feeling.  It's apparent that when I told the people at the store that I had never owned or cared for fish before, they didn't feel the need to explain a whole lot to me.  I would love to know what I should do to prevent anymore of my fish from dying.  The other catfish still seems a little docile.  I also didn't know that they didn't eat flake food, I read on this site that they need alge wafers.  Thanks again for responding and just let me know what to do or if you need to know anything else about the tank to help. 
I like smaller pet stores than those big ones like Pets Mart because the bigger ones don't help you that much.
 

Stradius011

Well Known Member
Messages
1,865
Reaction score
1
Points
208
Experience
5 to 10 years
For the sake of the fishes, I would return the fishes and wait for the tank to cycle. Cycling basically means waiting for bacteria to establish in the aquarium. I would also get hardier and smaller fishes if you are a beginner. A few easy community fishes for a 60 gallon aquarium are Angelfish, guppies, platies, swordtails, mollies, corys, cherry barbs, and serprae tetras.
 

Phonemonkey

New Member
Messages
37
Reaction score
0
Points
156
I have to ask...

Are you even dechlorinating your water?
 

Isabella

Fishlore VIP
Messages
5,250
Reaction score
37
Points
358
Experience
5 years
DylanRhys said:
so? on the water changes I actually remove 50% of the water and dump more in?
Dylan, have you read about the Nitrogen Cycle, plus the rest of the Beginner's Articles?

If you did not have ammonia and nitrite in your water, you would not have to perform daily 50% water changes. But we do not know if you have any ammonia and nitrite in your water right now, as you probably do not have the tests for these compounds. Ammonia and nitrite are very toxic to fish and even smallest amounts of them can cause the fish to get sick or die. This is why, when you have ANY ammonia and nitrite in your water, you should be performing 50% water changes a day until ammonia = 0 and nitrite = 0. This is an inescapable consequence of the cycle. Every new tank has to go through this. If you had not put any fish in your new tank, you wouldn't have to perform 50% daily water changes during the cycle, but now that you already have fish in your tank, and if you want them to survive the cycle, you'll have to perform these water changes. The cycle takes about a month to complete (it may take more or less than a month - depending on every individual tank). But if you cycle the tank with fish, it will usually take longer because you need the water changes to keep the fish from getting poisoned by ammonia and/or nitrite.

All of this is why you need tests for ammonia and nitrite, as well as nitrate (if you read about the cycle, you'll know about nitrate too).

Remember to find out what your water company uses: whether it's chlorine or chloramine. Then dechlorinate the water with an appropriate dechlorinator before you add it to your tank.
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom