new fish died? Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by lisajosh, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. lisajosh

    lisajoshNew MemberMember

    Hello, we are new fish son got 2 platies Saturday and a 1 gallon bowl. Put the rocks, plant and Aquasafe that was included in it. We adjusted the fish to water for 30 minutes by placing bag in bowl of water.

    the temp is 69. don't know anything else on it.

    one is eating real well, 2 are not. We found one dead today. Was he sick before we got him? or did we kill him and how? and what can we do for the other one.

  2. wonton55912

    wonton55912Valued MemberMember

    your profile says you dont know about the nitrogen cycle. please read the article about the nitrogen cycle. the ammonia may have killed your fish. i made that mistake also. are the fish' gills red?
  3. Prince Powder

    Prince PowderWell Known MemberMember

    Hello and welcome to Fishlore!
    I'm sorry about your fish. Unfortunately some fish are sold already sick and that could have been what happened to yours. However the 1 gallon bowl is not a suitable home for fish. In order to keep your other fish safe I would recommend investing in a larger tank. At the very least a 10 gallon. All fish need to have filtered water, and most fish, like the platies also need heated water that can maintain a steady temperature. Walmart, Petsmart, and Petco all sell 10 gallon starter kits that come with the tank, hood, light, filter and generally starter supplies like a sample of water conditioner, food and a net. Some of the kits already come with heaters as well. If you are not able to get a larger tank I would recommend either returning or rehoming the fish. If you are able to get the larger tank, we can help you get the tank started and safe for your fish.

    Here are some links that can help. This is our profile of the fish you have, it will give you some insight into their specific needs. This is probably the most important information in fishkeeping. The Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle. Cycling a tank is very important in order to keep the tank safe for fish.

    Until you are able to move them to a new tank or rehome them (the faster the better). Do daily water changes on the bowl to keep the toxic ammonia the fish produce to a minimum. Just make sure that you condition the water and match the temperatures as much as possible. If you won't be able to get them a larger tank for a few days then perhaps see about getting a plastic tub like the rubbermaid totes to keep them in. Just make sure to rinse it with clean water only, no soap. They could really use the extra space and the larger amount of water will allow for more dilution of the ammonia in between your daily water changes. Keep in mind this is only a very temporary solution to give you a few days to get the things you need or rehome them.

    Good luck with your fish, and keep us posted on whichever way you decide to go.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2010
  4. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome to FishLore!:;balloons

    I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but first off a 1 gallon bowl is way to small for any fish, let along Platies. They really need a min 10 gallon heated, filtered, cycled tank.

    Besides a one gallon bowl not having enough swim room, it is pretty much impossible to heat it. It is also pretty much impossible to cycle a one gallon bowl. I highly recommend you read up on the nitrogen cycle (if I spelled it right, you should be able to click on the words to get right to the article.) The nitrogen cycle is the most important thing to understand when keeping fish.

    I'm sure you are going to be feeling that keeping fish is much different than you expected, but once set up properly it is really pretty easy and straight forward.

    Best of Luck and feel free to ask any other questions that you may have. People around here love to help out.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2010
  5. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Hi Lisa welcome to FishLore!!
    I'm really sorry about your fish. :(
    Terrible way to get started in the hobby, many of us started the same way.

    Instead of writing a huge long confusing post, I'm going to give you some things to read

    Platies are tropical fish, the temp is too low for them and they need more than a bowl. They really need a tank that is at least 10g, heated, filtered and cycled (see beginner link)
    Here's their profile: Platies

    This is a great place to get started with your research:
    Beginner's Guide
    Read the links on that page, they're very informative.

    Good luck!!

    Edit: John, you spelled it right, but for some reason, it's not a link. :;dk
    The Nitrogen Cycle is explained in the beginner link.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2010
  6. OP

    lisajoshNew MemberMember

    can I put them in the windows sunlight for now to heat them, until we make the changes
  7. LyndaB

    LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    If you place the bowl in sunlight, it would probably cause a drastic change in temperature for them. Fish are sensitive to temp changes and need them done gradually.

    I would say just do what you can go get them their proper environment as soon as possible.

    And :;hi2..... welcome!
  8. OP

    lisajoshNew MemberMember

    thank you everyone for your help
  9. OP

    lisajoshNew MemberMember

    I don't know about the dead one, but the two left have red gills...what does that mean?
  10. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    It's not only the heat that's a concern.
    Ammonia builds up from fish waste and left over food.
    Ammonia is toxic to your fish.

    In the beginner links, it mentions getting a test kit.
    The API master kit is highly recommended over the strips.
    The strips aren't accurate.

    Walmart carries 10g kits that are pretty affordable. You'd just need to get a heater.
  11. OP

    lisajoshNew MemberMember

    My son spent his birthday money on this set up. So if we take the fish back, knowing he, nor we have the money right now to put into this. Can he use his 1 gallon tank for anything...or is it a wasted buy as well. I am thinking these fish were sick before we got can the one be dead already when we just got them Sunday, and the others have red gills already
  12. OP

    lisajoshNew MemberMember

    Should we take them back? I don't want to just let them die.
  13. Prince Powder

    Prince PowderWell Known MemberMember

    Red gills is often the result of ammonia burns. The gill tissue is the most sensitive tissue and usually the first to get affected by the ammonia. The burns themselves will heal to a certain degree once they are no longer being exposed to ammonia or nitrite, but some level of damage will unfortunately be permanent. Hopefully you will be able to get a larger tank very soon (as in the next day or two) but until then, do a complete water change to remove the ammonia from the bowl and continue to do water changes at least once a day, twice (morning and night) would actually be better since it's such a small bowl and there are 3 fish. The faster you can get them into proper living conditions the greater the chance that they will heal up and go on to live longer, happier lives.

    If you are not able to get the larger tank, then yes, I would recommend returning or rehoming the fish. Unfortunately a 1 gallon bowl is not suitable for any fish or aquatic pet. If possible, return that as well. Since fish produce ammonia every time they poo and any leftover food will decompose and also produce ammonia, it is possible that in such a small bowl it was the ammonia that contributed to your fish's death as well as what is contributing to the red gills. Ammonia is so toxic to fish that even the smallest concentration can be deadly. With only a gallon of water to dilute the ammonia, the concentration will build up quickly.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2010
  14. OP

    lisajoshNew MemberMember

    would it be ok to get a Beta
  15. Tigerfishy

    TigerfishyWell Known MemberMember

    The red gills are a sign of ammonia poisoning, start immediately on the daily water changes, this will reduce the concentration every day to make it a bit safer.

    Welcome to fishlore Lisa, feel free to ask away, that's what we're here for! :)
  16. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    I hate to say, but you should probably take them back. :(
    A 1g isn't big enough for any fish.
    Wish they'd just stop selling them.
    Perhaps you can return the tank too?

    The only thing to recommend right now is a water change to dilute any ammonia until you can return them.

    With 3 platies in a 1g, the toxins can build up since Sun. Given that and the cooler temp is enough to weaken them, make them sick, and yes even cause death. :(

    I'm sorry we couldn't give you better news.

    Edit: No, I'm sorry, no Betta. It is also a tropical fish and needs consistant warm water and room to swim.
    And again, the toxins build up quickly in a 1g.
    A 2.5 woukd be minimum for a betta, 5g is better.
    Here's our:
    Betta Care Guide
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2010
  17. OP

    lisajoshNew MemberMember

    What a bummer...something told me while at Walmart that the little bowl wasn't good for anything...God is faithful...if only I listen. I am happy you all have been there to explain to me now that we have made the mistake. We will take care of it. Thank you again.
  18. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Don't be disheartened, really, MANY of us started out wrong.
    Best of luck.
  19. midthought

    midthoughtWell Known MemberMember

    Unfortunately a 1 gallon tank is just not humane place to keep any fish, much less 3. I don't think most people here would recommend anything but possibly certain shrimp and/or snails in a 1 gallon.

    You may not have gotten the healthiest fish in the store, but it's not surprising that they're showing signs of stress so "early" -- the ammonia builds up that much faster because there's not much water in there to dilute it. It's like if you were stuck in an elevator for a week with four other people (compared to if you were all by yourself). If you got a larger tank, you'd actually have to do maintenance less because there's more room for the waste to go. A 1 gallon is going to be practicably unmanageable.

    I don't know how much your son spent on the setup or how much your budget would allow to upgrade, but there isn't much of a price difference when you're talking the first couple dozen gallons. Like for example, Walmart sells the Disney's Finding Nemo Aquarium Kit (1.5 gallons) for $30. If you go with the no-frills glass tank starter kit sold by most stores, you could pay the same amount or less than a lot of the fancier/acrylic kits. Glass tanks are actually really cheap in the U.S., just FYI. My local petstore sells a 10 gallon for 10 dollars, and the kit (minus heater) for I believe 29.

    If that's still out of your price range, there's always Craigslist and garage sales. However, if you need to go that route, you might consider returning the fish to the store for the time being, just to save your son the trauma of seeing them sick, dying, or finding them dead one of these days. Then when you get a larger tank and a cycle actually going, you can find more fish to keep in there.

    Good luck, whatever you do. Hope this doesn't turn or your son off too much from the hobby.
  20. Tigerfishy

    TigerfishyWell Known MemberMember

    Lisa, at least you're researching, a lot of people wouldn't have, and you're doing your very best, don't feel bad!
    I only found this site when I ran into problems, we've all been there, and we can help get you and you fish safely out the other side as best we can...