New Fish Died First Entering Established Community

dblclkmatt

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Hello all! New to forum but have been a frequent reader for quite a while. You've gotten me through some thinkers but I couldn't figure this one out on my own.

Like the description admits, I've got a 20-gallon with three swordtails (1m:2f) and three cory catfish and the levels have been stable for a couple weeks now. So, I thought I'd add a trio of fancy guppies to the mix (1m:2f). Floated them for about an hour and mixed. Woke this morning and one of each the male and female have died, leaving the other female on her own. How did the one survive whatever it is that killed her partners?

Thanks so much in advance for your consideration!
 

California L33

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Sorry for your loss.

Do I have this right? The Swordtails and Corys are OK, but a male and female Guppy died?

If so it may be that they were injured in the 'system' that brings fish to fish shops, or sick already. There's also a possibility that the water chemistry was quite different than what was in the tank and the fish were shocked when you made the transfer. Did you test each? If they're quite different in pH, hardness, etc., sometimes you have to drip acclimate them- adding a few drops of tank water to the bag every few minutes for a few hours until they're close to the same.

Oh, and welcome to Fish Lore.
 

Galathiel

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I don't think that guppies are particularly 'sturdy'. I don't know if it's the way they've been bred and interbred, but a lot of them seem sensitive and delicate. I will say that if you increased your cory shoal, you would probably be close to maxed out on your 20gallon.
 
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dblclkmatt

dblclkmatt

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California L33 said:
Sorry for your loss.

Do I have this right? The Swordtails and Corys are OK, but a male and female Guppy died?

If so it may be that they were injured in the 'system' that brings fish to fish shops, or sick already. There's also a possibility that the water chemistry was quite different than what was in the tank and the fish were shocked when you made the transfer. Did you test each? If they're quite different in pH, hardness, etc., sometimes you have to drip acclimate them- adding a few drops of tank water to the bag every few minutes for a few hours until they're close to the same.

Oh, and welcome to Fish Lore.
You are correct in your assumption, the two guppies did not survive the night. Only one guppy survived. The swordtails and corys that were already in the tank are happy as normal.

I did not test the water the pet store supplied the fish with. Hadn't thought to do that in the past. I hadn't tried the drip technique before, but I can see what you're saying with the slower acclimation. I'll have to try that with the next attempt. I guess still stumps me a little bit that one guppy survived out of the initial three.

Galathiel said:
I will say that if you increased your cory shoal, you would probably be close to maxed out on your 20gallon.
I thought with the addition of the guppies, it would be okay. I've been following the , or at least I thought I was doing it properly. I check water almost daily and if levels ever seem out of wack I do a small water change outside the regular one I'll do on the weekend. I've got two Quietflow 10s working in tandem and according to the site, filtration capacity is at 116% and stocking level is a 106%.

Is there something I'm misunderstanding?
 

Galathiel

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Stocking at 106% would be overstocked, right? Aqadvisor is a place to start, but doesn't really take some things into account, like bioload of individual species of fish and their activity level. Cories are a shoaling species, so upping their numbers would be beneficial to them. Some swords can get to be quite large and are very active, darting fish. That's what I was commenting on.
 
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dblclkmatt

dblclkmatt

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Galathiel said:
Stocking at 106% would be overstocked, right? Aqadvisor is a place to start, but doesn't really take some things into account, like bioload of individual species of fish and their activity level. Cories are a shoaling species, so upping their numbers would be beneficial to them. Some swords can get to be quite large and are very active, darting fish. That's what I was commenting on.
Oh, okay. I see what you're saying. Fish-specific behavior is still a mystery to me. I've been focused on water quality and the like. I was not taking into account their individual needs mainly because I had not known them.

I've been at it for coming on a year, and feel like I've learned a lot about maintenance and care, but its very clear that I'm still a beginner.

Do you feel like the fish load (3 swords, 3 cories, 1 guppy) I have is more than enough for my size tank? Or would you suggest additional cories only?
 

Galathiel

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What cories and which swords did you buy?
 
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dblclkmatt

dblclkmatt

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Galathiel said:
What cories and which swords did you buy?
Red Velvet Swordtail (1 male, 1 female)
Red Wag Swordtail (1 female)
Albino Cory (1)
JulI Cory (2)
 

Kroshtan

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dblclkmatt said:
Red Velvet Swordtail (1 male, 1 female)
Red Wag Swordtail (1 female)
Albino Cory (1)
JulI Cory (2)
Cories are most comfortable at 6+ of the same species. So either albinos or juliis. Different types of corys sometimes group together out of sheer necesity, but they won't feel entirely at ease, especially during stressful times like tank cleaning or the likes.
I'm not an expert on what amount is overstocking for which size of tank, nor on swordtails, but ignoring this preference of cories seems cruel to me.
 

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