Help New Plecos sick

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Blondie

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OK I have a small 3 gal wall tank. I have had tanks in the past and never had to run a bunch of tests or anything on them so I didnt know all of that. So I start this tank mid month last month, use quick start and let it run for a couple weeks then add some goldfish. All fine for like a week or 2 and 1 dies. So I buy 2 more (total 5) and a pleco. I also changed the water because it was full of algae. All is ok for like a week and in a matter of 2 days time, they are ALL dead. Pleco is the last one.

Bring friend over to help clean tank and get ready for new fish. Used non-soft water this time and added a bubbler. (Only had a small filter) Run it for a week and put in 5 small guppies and a pleco once the PH was good at 6.8-7.2. Been 3 days and today I come home and pleco is just sitting at the bottom. If I try to nudge him he barely moved. Tested PH because that is all I have for a test kit and it was 7.8. Guppys very happy, pleco not so much. So I stabilized the PH. He moved more and stuff, but I just looked and I think he is dead. What would cause him to die so fast????? Im soooo sad.

Any ideas??? Thanks.

Blondie

oh added a pic of guppies.
 

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bass master

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Welcome to fishlore! Sorry it has to be on such a sad note, but hopefully we can help you out

I see on your profile that you do not know about the nitrogen cycle (click the underlined words). A good understanding about the nitrogen cycle is very important to keeping a healthy aquarium. Fish produce waste, bacteria needs to process the waste to be less harmful, once the waste is processed, it will still continue to build up in the form of nitrate. Nitrate can be harmful to fish in higher levels and so water changes are very important to remove nitrate from your water. In such a small tank, it is hard to maintain the necessary bacteria to complete the nitrogen cycle which can cause ammonia and nitrite to build up, both of which are very harmful to your fish. In such a small tank, nitrates can also build up extremely fast, unless you were doing daily water changes, it is likely that your tank filled up very quickly and could have cause your fish to die.

As I said, it can be very hard to maintain the right types of bacteria in such a small tank to process waste. Many bacterial supplements such as quick start, contain the wrong types of bacteria and will start to die off if not constantly added to your tank. In the future, I would stay away from most bacterial supplements and cycle your tank naturally using ammonia from the hardware store. The only bacterial supplement recommended on this site is tetra safe start, it is known to contain the proper types of bacteria to correctly cycle a tank.

Plecos are very big fish, they can grow much much larger than what you see in the pet store, even when they are small like the one you bought, they still produce a large amount of waste. The common pleco really needs a tank of at least 55 gallons to thrive. Goldfish are also big waste producers and need a 20 gallon tank just for one fish, in a three gallon tank they will pollute the water very quickly.

Also pH is best left alone, most fish will learn to adapt to the pH of your tank and quick pH changes can shock your fish. Many pH adjusters and stabilizers are unstable and can cause your pH to crash.

My best advice to you is to read up on the nitrogen cycle, you will learn very much on how to keep a healthy aquarium and hopefully will not lose many more fish. Most people will agree that bettas are one of the only fish that can be kept in such a small aquarium.

I hope this helps and best of luck with your fish.
 

e_watson09

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Welcome to fishlore first off.


Honestly do not take me wrong but I really cannot think of any fish that can live in 3 gallons of water. I guess maybe a betta would be okay although they do better in a 5 gallon or more. Outside that I really reccomend taking all the guppys back and the pleco I think you should just give to the store.

I'm going to go ahead and explain my reasoning so you can understand were I am coming from.....

-Goldfish-
Fancy goldfish need atleast 20gallons for a single fish, then 10 gallons per fish after that. Comets (basically carnival fish) grow to MASSIVE sizes and really need a pond or a huge tank.

-Plecos-
Common plecos grow about 1.5 feet (and trust me this is true we have one at the store I work at that is pushing 14inches) and live for around 18 years. It's actually pretty hard to kill these fish, they're really hardy. They only problem they have is when they are put in a small tank.

-Guppies-
Personally I think they need atleast a 10 gallon but many people would argue that they need atleast a 20 since they are very active fish. From the picture I also noticed you have males. Males will be territorial and probably fight and kill eachother or stess out and die. They are a beautiful fish but they just need a larger tank.




Okay now onto my view on adding chemicals to your tank. My opinion, never add chemicals except water conditioner unless you HAVE to. Most things are curable with out chemicals. Think of it this way. Fish seem to survive in the wild and they don't have people putting pH chemicals in the water and I'm sure the pH changes time to time so they don't need it in a tank. They adjust to the pH overtime.
 
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Blondie

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Thank you guys for your input. I am very unhappy right now. Now I have lost 2 guppy's and I dont understand why. Maybe having such a small tank, I need just 1 fish. Seems so little for the tank, but who knows. I feel so badly for the fish and I do not want to put them thru this. Again, I thank you for your input and support.
 

Aquarist

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Hello Blondie and Welcome to Fish Lore,

So sorry to hear that you've lost your fish. Some great information above concerning the Nitrogen Cycle which is crucial to fish keeping. If you have questions or concerns about it don't hesitate to ask. I'll post the link again:
The Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle

A test kit is needed too. What is most recommended is the API (liquid) Master Test Kit. This kit will test for everything mentioned in the nitrogen cycle.
<---link to test kit

I know this is a lot of information coming to you at one time. Take it slowly and we'll help you all that we can.

Ken
 

BritJo

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I think a betta would be quite happy in your 3 gal so long as you do water changes at least once a week, twice a week even better. I kept my bettas in 3 gals for years and they were quite happy/healthy fishies.
 
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