my 20 gallon tank

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feeshies

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hello,

For Christmas I got a 20 gallon aquarium I set it up really quick and every thing was just the way it was supposed to be. filter ran good, heater works, right temp. lights work. so in about a week of set up I got my first fish 3 black mollies ( pet store doesn't know male from female aparently so I had three females) and 3 longfin zebra danios. they lasted a good time until I got my next fish. I bought 1 red-tailed black shark, 2 chinese algae eaters, and 4 pristella tetras(X-ray). within fourteen days of this purchase all of my fish died but the three mollies and one danio. within the two weeks after that I was down to one molly.after about two months I finally got my tank to normal so came the next batch of fish. 2 cremecicle molly 1 dalmation molly and 2 paleatus cory cats. 1 c. molly and d. molly died in about a week. I had the other cremecicle molly for a while till it died in an unexpected child birth none survived.one of my earlier mollies must have given birth and one of the fry lived in hiding for some time.(I still have him today about 1/2-3/4 in.) two weeks ago one cory cat died today I am left with one black molly which I have had since my tank started, one black molly fry and one cory cat.

water chemistry: Ph 8.2
ammonia .25
nitrite 0
nitrate 0
I know my water is hard to very hard

What is the best fish for my tank?
 

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jdhef

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Since any amount of ammonia is toxic to fish, I would assume that they are dying of ammonia poisoning.

I don't mean to sound patronizing in any way, but are you sure you understand the nitrogen cycle? It might be a good idea to read up on it, since if you cycled your tank around Christmas, you really shouldn't have any ammonia at this point.

Good luck!
 

catsma_97504

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Welcome to Fishlore freeshies!

Sorry for your losses.

As you originally set up your tank and added fish a week later, your tank was not cycled. Further, as you have no nitrates, that is another indicator that your tank has not cycled yet. This is most likely the cause of your fish deaths.

What brand of water conditioner are you using? Your profile indicates you are using aquarium salt. IMO this is not necessary.

As your tank currently has ammonia, I would suggest 25-50% water changes daily with either Prime or AmQuel+. Both of these products protect your fish from nitrogenous waste (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate) while removing chlorine and chloramine from your water source.

For now, I would hold off adding more fish. Your tank will have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and x nitrates once it completes its cycling process. Your profile states you are using bio-boost. Many of these types of products do not contain aquatic bacteria and can actually cause your tank to not be able to cycle. I would suggest you stop using it.

Also, while your tank is completing its cycle, I would suggest you research the types of fish you are interested in. Here's a link to the fish profiles on FL: https://www.fishlore.com/freshwaterfish.htm. For example, there is an article on Red Tailed Sharks which should be kept in a 55 gallon tank, or larger. By being informed you will be successful with your tank.

Good luck!
 

used2bN2horsesLOL

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I agree with jdhef, we just want to help, but adding that many fish
"I bought 1 red-tailed black shark, 2 chinese algae eaters, and 4 pristella tetras(X-ray). "
probably caused a serious ammonia spike by overloading your biological filter.
It's also possible one of the new fish introduced something (disease or pathogen) that wiped out your tank. Either of which, mollys and danios are very hardy which would explain why a few survived.

It's true you should never have ammonia in an established tank. Also if you weren't changing the water, the nitrate could have built up. If you have a zero reading, I'm worried you've wiped out your biological filter and the tank is going to need to recycle before you add new fish, and then do so very sparingly. When you're tank is ready, think about more danios, zebra or leopard, they are good and hardy, as are white cloud mountain minnows, and molly's.
 

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I agree with jdhef. Looks like there are issues with the nitrogen cycle. A fully cycled tank will have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and some level of nitrates (usually between 5 and 40). Your readings above suggest that the cycle is not complete. I would not add more fish until you got the water parameters under control. Daily water changes with Prime water conditioner would help protect the fish you currently have from the ammonia present.

A couple of questions that may help -- What test kit are you using? What is your water change routine?

Best of luck,
 
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feeshies

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to MindTravel3r I use API Freshwater Master Test Kit
and I do a water change every 2-4 weeks depending on the water conditions
and water Conditioner I use Jack's Aquarium and Pets Complete Water Conditioner
And I would like to say to every one this is my first aquarium and only did what the pet store told me to do. and I've followed what all of the conditioners and bio-boost have said
 
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feeshies

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the bioboost says that it is for boosting the nitrogen cycle as for starting and maintaining the aquarium
 

catsma_97504

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feeshies said:
to MindTravel3r I use API Freshwater Master Test Kit
and I do a water change every 2-4 weeks depending on the water conditions
and water Conditioner I use Jack's Aquarium and Pets Complete Water Conditioner
And I would like to say to every one this is my first aquarium and only did what the pet store told me to do. and I've followed what all of the conditioners and bio-boost have said
Every one of us were in your shoes when we first started. It is unfortunate that most pet store employees are there to sell you products, not to steer you in the right direction with your first tank. Honestly, my first tank was a 1 gallon fish bowl with 3 goldfish. And, I did a 100% water change, with no dechlorinator or water conditioner. In all honesty, I'm surprised they lived as long as they did.

Tank maintenance is one of those areas where you will get a wide variety of recommendations. Not to say that one is better than the next, but only doing a water change once a month may not be enough. IME your nitrates should never go over 20 PPM, especially in a 20 gallon tank. There are some who use the nitrate level to judge how often to do a water change. And, there are others that do a 50% water change weekly.

While you have measurable ammonia and/or nitrites, you should be doing daily water changes with Prime or AmQuel+ to help protect your fish.

As far as using Bio-Boost. It is my opinion that this is one of the factors in your tank not cycling in 6 months. It is my suggestion that you stop using it. If you want to give your cycle some help, then pick up a bottle of Tetra SafeStart.
 

Deeqadri

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its quiet obvious your tank is not cycled , you can try TSS as an immidiate soultion it worked for me and many others and please add no more fish until yout tank is completely cycled.
 
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feeshies

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I did a 50% change and no change in water chemistry.
 

Meenu

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Do those every day with some Prime water conditioner.

Also, test your water before your next change, not right after. It takes about 24 hours after a water change to get accurate results.
 
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feeshies

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what if I don't have prime water conditioner?
 

used2bN2horsesLOL

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feeshies said:
what if I don't have prime water conditioner?
I read you're using "Jack's Aquarium and Pets Complete Water Conditioner". Prime is a water conditioner also, one of the best IMO, because it neutralizes the ammonia & nitrite as well as removes chlorine and chloramine.
Read the label of yours and see if it does too.

Otherwise, all I would know to do is make more frequent water changes until the recycle is over.
 
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feeshies

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used2bN2horsesLOL said:
I read you're using "Jack's Aquarium and Pets Complete Water Conditioner". Prime is a water conditioner also, one of the best IMO, because it neutralizes the ammonia & nitrite as well as removes chlorine and chloramine.
Read the label of yours and see if it does too.

Otherwise, all I would know to do is make more frequent water changes until the recycle is over.
the bottle says promotes the growth of nitrifying bacteria necessary for establishing a biological filter in new aquariums. buffers ph makes tap water safe by removing chlorine and chloramine and stuff about keeping healthier fish
 
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Lucy

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I'm thinking Bio-boost is actually hindering the natural cycling process of this tank.

Many bacterial suppliments claI'm to help cycle a tank when in fact, the only bacteria consuming the ammonia is from the bottle and not allowing the natural bacteria to grow.

I'd suggest not using it.
Switch to a conditioner that will detoxify ammonia.
Do daily water changes to help keep the toxins low and don't add any fish until the readings are 0 ammonia. 0 nitrites with some nitrates showing.
Be patient, it can take a long time, like 6 weeks (give or take).
 
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feeshies

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I added tss on friday no more ammonia nitrate looks to be between 0-5ppm I think it looks good
 
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