Losing my guppy's ...what can I do about my water!!!

  1. yellow guppy Initiate Member

    I am new at all of this.  Anyway, I have a 10gal tank with 2 male guppies and 4 feamle guppies.  I have been losing female fish and the water was tested at petsmart.  They said it was fine.  I bought test strips and it shows that I have very hard water and the ph and alkalines are off the charts.  Petsmart said to put aqua salt and a ph solution in the tank.  I also use a solution to neutrilize the water when I do water exchanges.  Because I use tap water. (City water).  Yesterday i lost another female, she started to have her head down and tail end up, she was staying at the top then went to the bottom.  Please help, I really don't want to lose anymore fish.  I also took out 5 babies and have them in a 1 gal tank by them selves.   :'( :'(
  2. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    Without asking any questions, I would guess you have 6 guppies in a tank that is not cycled, am I correct? If so, please familiarize yourself with the nitrogen cycle. Once you understand it and get your tank cycled, it is pretty much a breeze after that. Fishlore has a good article about cycling here. If you don't understand it, don't be afraid to ask questions. We've all been in your shoes. I would also guess that when you take your water in to be tested, they are not testing for everything that may be affecting your fish, and to say everything is fine is not acceptable. What's acceptable to PetSmart may not be acceptable to you, and you will understand this better as you grow in the hobby, I promise! ;) The test strips are very convenient, but are not the most accurate tests for your tank, and they are more expensive to use. If you can spare the money for more tests, try and find the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Master Test kit which includes the nitrate test. This master test kit can be quite inexpensive, and has all the tests you need for cycling a tank. I have read on other boards that if you print the page the test kit is on on the PetSmart website, that they sell it online for $15.00. You can take that printed page to your local PetSmart and they will sell you the master test kit at the $15.00 online price. I think it's double that price to buy it at the store. With this master test kit, you will be much more in control of your tank, and won't have to buy any more tests. Another problem you may be having is that you are adding too many things to your water too fast and your fish can't take it. Don't use the ph solution anymore. It causes your ph to become unstable, and too much of a change too quickly can kill your fish in minutes. Even if your ph is considered "high", if your fish are acclimated slowly, they should be fine with the higher ph. Consistant ph is much more important. We need you to post your ammonia, nitrite, ph, and nitrate readings as soon as you can. Also please tell us how long you've had your tank set up, did you add all your fish to the tank at one time in the beginning, and have you done any water changes? Also, what type of filtration are you using for the tank, and do you have any live plants in there? It will get better, I promise, but we need more information to help you. Welcome to Fishlore! We're here to help you and talk fish! ;D

  3. yellow guppy Initiate Member

    Gunnie, I took your advice. I bought a master test kit. Here are the results:
    7.6 ph -PH
    8.2-8.4 ph - High Range Ph
    0 ppm - Ammonia Test
    0 ppm - Nitrite test
    5.0 ppm - Nitrate test
    Also here are the answers to your other questions. I started the tank on October 2nd of this year, it is a 10 gal. Yes I put the fish in right away. Since I started on 10/02/05 I have done 3 - 25% water exchanges and 1-50% water exchange. There are no live plants, only plastic ones. I have an Elite 801 aerators and a heater and a Aqua - tech filter that came with the tank. It has 2 filters in it. (I believe one has black stuff in it, premade). Thank-You so much for helping me. This forum is the best I have seen so far. Everyone helps you. I am really enjoying my self. Yellow guppy

  4. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    It looks like your tank is cycled. Keep checking your nitrates when you test ammonia and nitrites. When your nitrates get to 20, it's recommended to do a water change. You can use that reading as an indicator for a water change, unless you have ammonia or nitrites, then you need to change out water right away. I do 50% water changes on all my tanks, but that is personal preference. That is quite a large water change in a 10 gallon every week. And just so you know, the smaller the tank, the harder it is to maintain it because you have less volume. If you have an ammonia spike, your tank will go downhill much faster because you don't have as much water to dilute it out like you would in a 100 gal. tank. So when you have a bad tank day, just remember that your tank is more difficult than someone's 55 gal. tank with only 2 fish in it. Let's just say your tank is more challenging, and quite a task for a beginner just learning everything. You are doing a great job, and just keep up the water testing and maintenance. I would not change the ph right now, and see how your fish do without it. If it's just plain aquarium salt PetSmart recommended, then it won't hurt your fishies, but it's not necessary. If it has any other additives, I would stop using it until your fish are doing better. Too much change too soon may have been the problem. Most emergency situations can be handled with simple water changes, and if the fish show signs of illness, water changes are usually part of the treatment. ;)