New User With Some Fishy Issues

Aeristel

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Hello! This is the first time I've ever used a forum, so I apologize if I make any sort of mistakes while posting.

Throughout my life, I've helped my parents care for fish, and had a number of my own. As of recently (4 months ago) I decided I would buy fish for my Aquatic Science class (I bought a Bala Shark, Rainbow Shark, and a yoyo loach), and began setting up a tank at home so I could care for them once their time at my school was done. This sadly never happened, as all three of my fish suffered, thanks to my peers messing around, and then shattering the tank they were in. I was devastated but knew I could do nothing of it. After around 2 and a half months, my teacher asked if I wanted to take the fish that didn't have a home to go to, and I happily obliged. It was five Zebra Danios I collectively named The Squad and a Molly that I named Bee. I only got to bring them home two weeks ago, and the tank then was a month (4 weeks) into fishless cycling. At that time, the tank did have one inhabitant, my Ghost Shrimp, Casper. She didn't mind the newcomers, and The Squad and Bee got along well with her. Before putting the fish into my tank (10gal) I went to Petco to have the water tested (not my choice, my dad's. I wanted to get a proper water testing kit since they only use strips). We were told everything was a-okay, which I went along with since Casper did really well in adjusting to the tank. In comes The Squad and Bee, and like I said things were fine for a while; until this past week.

I got these fish on Monday, May 6th. Now, after buying some Seachem Ammonia and pH alert, Prime, and Stability, The AmmoniaAlert read as toxic (0.5 ppm). pH was alright, reading between 7.5 and 8.0. I began treating the tank with the stability and prime, but there has been absolutely no change throughout these two weeks, and starting on the 10th, my danios started dropping like flies. I had one danio and Bee left (and Casper) the past three days, and none of them showed signs of stress, or any illnesses I know of (no dropsy, ick, tail/fin rot, fish tuberculosis, septicemia, etc.). I had done 2 50% water changes and 2 30% water changes. I did the 30% the first two times some danios died in fear of the ammonia level rising, and the 50% ones when two danios died at once, and then when the last danio and Bee followed (earlier today). I'm back down to my Ghost Shrimp Casper, and I am afraid I'll lose her too. This whole situation baffles me since I have never experienced something like this. I'm contemplating getting some live plants and just making it a shrimp tank later on if I can find a way to fix the ammonia levels. So far the water changes have done nothing, and the Stability has been just as helpful (been putting it in daily since the 12th since that's the day it came in). I've also put in Prime a number of times, as well as water conditioner whenever I do water changes.

Honestly, at this point, I'm out of ideas and I don't want my tank to be where fish go to die (at least not of old age). I'm certainly not putting any other fish in my tank until it's ready. But, I'm really coming to this forum to see if anyone has answers for these issues, or has experienced them as well. This is a bit of a last resort, since the local fish store hasn't been much help, and I can't ask my Aquatic Science teacher with finals going on. If I missed any important info, please do tell me, since this was really just a large ramble. I thank anyone who can help me.
 

Colt47

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What’s the size of you tank? Bala sharks and Rainbow sharks from what I heard are pain to care for plus the Balas are schooling fish as well and need a Very big tank usually 55 gallons or more since they can get over half a foot fully grown. And I would get a actual test kit like API Freshwater master kit . and not rely on those Alerts they can give false readings. From what it sounds like you just had a really bad situation and someone broke your tank the first time. The second time it sounds like water quality was an issue 8.0 is little high for Zerbra Dianos. maybe your tank was too small and was overstocked. And the pet store employees have zero clue about fish. Only had the odd one that was at least knowledgeable about the fish.
 
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Aeristel

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What’s the size of you tank? Bala sharks and Rainbow sharks from what I heard are pain to care for plus the Balas are schooling fish as well and need a Very big tank usually 55 gallons or more since they can get over half a foot fully grown. And I would get a actual test kit like API Freshwater master kit . and not rely on those Alerts they can give false readings. From what it sounds like you just had a really bad situation and someone broke your tank the first time. The second time it sounds like water quality was an issue 8.0 is little high for Zerbra Dianos. maybe your tank was too small and was overstocked. And the pet store employees have zero clue about fish. Only had the odd one that was at least knowledgeable about the fish.
The fish I had beforehand (the sharks and the loach) passed away when the tank shattered. I thought I mentioned my tank was a 10 gallon, so based on the fish I had in it (5 danios, one ghost shrimp and one molly) should have been fine. The pH was between 7.5 and 8.0, not at or above 8.0, but I’ll look into it anyway. I’m also aware pet store employees, especially those at chain stores like petsmart and petco are not reliable sources of fish care information. I’ll try and convince my parents to purchase a proper water testing kit, like you mentioned. Thank you for replying, I very much appreciate it.
 
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