My Tiger Barbs Are Dying!!! Please Help!!!

  • #1
I bought my 75g. tank on monday night, spoke to the doctore at the aquarium store and he told me everything I had to do. I got a really good filter and he said I had to leave everything in the new tank set up and on for 24hours and then go back the next day and buy fish. I bough 4 tiger barbs, 2 long fin rosy barbs and two other that I can't remember their name. He told me how to put them in the tank (with the bag and add water after a while etc.) and everything looked pretty good. Yesterday morning I fed them and they all ate. Last night when I got home the tiger barbs where all hiding behind plants and they were barely moving. One of them specially was just not moving at all and I knew something was wrong because I've had these type of fish before and they are very active. This morning when I woke up the fish was dead and right before I left my house to go to work another one was dead (another tiger barb). The other four fish look good and are very active but all four of the tiger barb are doing very bad and I'm afraid that by the time I get back home tonight another one or the last two will be dead.
It has been a long time since I had a tank and I don't remember much about it and that is why I went to get help from an especialist but he won't be available until tonight.
I would like to know what's going on with my tiger barbs and if it is normal for fish to be dying so early in they cycling of the tank.
If anybody knows please help!!!!
I would really appreciate it cuz I'm very worried something might be wrong and all my fish are going to die.

  • #2
HI There...You say you know about the nitrogen cycle...but what did you do in three days to cycle that big tank? The instructions you got from someody, weren't very good, most of us here have learned that by following
store clerks advice and all our fish died.
Do you have a water test kit? The only way we can offer any help is to know what the status of the water is...
Also, did you condition the water that filled the tank?

Welcome to our Forum, where we try to share knowledge and support....but help us help you with some more details
  • #3
This person at the pet store gave you wrong advice, as pet store employees usually do.

Putting 8 fish all at once into an uncycled tank will result in deaths even though barbs are usually very hardy.

You can get the help and correct advice you need here.

There's an article on cycling a tank, and you can read it here:

I"m very sorry that yet more fish had to die because of a person who knows nothing giving you bad instructions.
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
See before I got my tank I was reading abou tall they cycle and stuff and I thought it would take a long time but when this guy who said he wasn't just another employee in the store told me and that he's a "doctor" I trusted him and thought he knew better than me only because it's been so long since I did this. All I did was just set up the tank with the filter, heater, grave, decorations etc. and waited 24hours. I didn't check for ph, nitrate, ammonia or any of those cuz he said it wasn't necessary. He just told me to bring water from the tank next week so they could test them there and let me know how everything is doing. I had heard that I was supposed to just start with a couple of fish and he told me to get all these so I did.
I feel very stupid for letting him talk me into this only cuz I thought he knew better than me.
Please help!
  • #5
Unfortunately, doctors have nothing built into them that makes them tell the truth. Petco has a bunch of doctors who have backed up ridiculous claims that bettas live in 2" deep mud puddles their entire lives, do fine in 68 degree water, and so on and so forth.

A couple questions:
When you set the tank up, did you use some sort of water conditioner? If you did, good. If not, go out and get some. Whether or not you used some before, I suggest you go out and buy a particular type. There are three brands that I know of, they go by Prime, Ultimate, and NovAqua+. All three have several traits that help detoxify water. It's not a cure, but it might help keep your fish alive long enough to make it through the cycle. Dose the tank immediately (there should be instructions on how much per gallon you should use) Don't worry if you've already added a conditioner, you would have to use a ton of the stuff to overdose your tank on it.

What equipment do you have? You said you've got a filter. That's good. What kind of filter is it? Do you have a heater? Any other oddities he may have sold you? (I'm partly asking so we know the setup and partly to see if he ripped you off in any other way).

Keep us posted and we will do our best to help you and your remaining fish get through this.
PS Welcome to Fishlore.
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
yes, I used a conditioner when I first went to set up the tank. I followed all the insturctions with the conditioner but am I going to need to put more in the water then???
I'm not sure what type of filter I have because I don't know much about them, I have one from FLUVAL I think is the brand and then I have a heater and a thermometre. That's all he told me to buy, and of course a net for the fish, food and all the gravel and decorations.
  • #7
Your setup seems pretty standard. At least he had you buy the right equiptment. Do you know how many gallons per hour your filter filters? What temperature is your tank at? I would suggest that you go out and buy an API Test Kit to test your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. Sorry about your fishies. Some LFS employees are awful!
  • #8
Yes, Evelyn, I would suggest getting your hands on one of the water conditioners I mentioned above (Prime, Ultimate, or NovAqua+) if you don't already have it, and give the water an extra dose of the conditioner. These types of conditioners have the added benefit of detoxifying some of the ammonia in your water (this is what's likely killing your barbs), giving them a fighting chance until your aquarium has cycled.

Another thing you can do to help them get through is to do water changes every day. Under normal circumstances, you'd want to do about 25% a week. Now, however, your fish would probably be happier with 25% a day. With such a large tank, that would probably be really difficult (unless you got a Python water change kit), but even changing out a single 5 gallon bucket's worth every day would help them a bit.
  • #9
  • #10
If she can get her hands on it quickly, and if she can afford it, yes, it probably would.
Firecracker brings up a good point.
BioSpira is a product that instantly cycles your tank (it's the only one out there that works, as far as any of us can tell). However, it's really expensive ($40 counting shipping, I think) because it has such a short shelf life and because its makers have patented the bacteria, making it really difficult for there to be any competition.
  • #11
Could you go back to this pet store and ask them for a few pieces of floss from their filters? Then you can put it in your filter for a nearly instant cycle. It's the least they can after causing you all this trouble.

And don't bother asking these "doctors" (doctors of what, I wonder..I know of no doctors who specialize in cycling fish tanks..?) any other fish care questions, since they have no clue what they're talking about.
  • #12
And don't bother asking these "doctors" (doctors of what, I wonder..I know of no doctors who specialize in cycling fish tanks..?) any other fish care questions, since they have no clue what they're talking about.

I've been thinking the same thing.
You could, theoretically, build and earn a doctorate in fish-keeping, which would definitely include cycling a tank. A likely choice would be a doctorate in ichthyology.
However, he could just have a doctorate in English. I plan on getting one eventually, just because.
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
so how much more water conditioner should I put in the tank?
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
Also what can I do after I test the water for amonia, nitrate and all of that if it is too high or too low? Do I just do water changes?? Also for the water changes, can I just put tap water with the conditioner? do I have to let it sit for a while??
Please help!!!
  • #15
so how much more water conditioner should I put in the tank?
Just follow the instructions on the bottle. It should say somewhere.
  • #16
Pull out some water. Most people use a hose with a gravel vac (even if you're not vacuuming, this is a good idea, as it is less likely to harm curious fish), start a siphon, and pull the water out that way. (You can water your plants with it. They'll thank you. It's really good fertilizer). Then get some tap water at around the same temperature as the stuff in the tank. Dose it with the proper amount of conditioner. Put it into the tank.
Repeat as necessary.
I use a 5 gallon bucket for my water changes, although I'll be getting a python kit pretty soon.
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
I will do that as soon as I get home.

Thank you all for giving me advice. I really appreciate it.
Top Bottom