Newbie: Help please

nam9684

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This is my first time ever owning a aquarium. I had a few fish in my 10gal tank for about 2 weeks and they caught some sort of infection and all died. The infection was some sort small little flakes or dots stuck to their body and their scale peel a bit. What can I do to prevent this? I have a penqiun marineland biowheel filter. I used tap water to fill up the tank and Prime was added immediately and was left alone for 48 hours before the fish were added. And also during those 2 weeks that my fishes were alive a lot of bubbles develop on the surface, if I closed my lid overnight...in the morning almost the entire surface would be covered with bubbles. What could I to keep my fish alive and to get rid of the bubbles? Thanks in advance for the help.
 

chickadee

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Welcome to Fishlore.com!  I will try to give you some information to read that may help you understand what may have happened to your fish.  I am so sorry you lost the fish you had.  We have all lost fish and know what a painful thing that is.  You sound like you did not allow your tank to cycle before you put the fish into the tank and they died of either Ammonia toxicity or Nitrite poisoning.  I am guessing it was the Ammonia from the length of time you mentioned.  It is important to remove the chlorine and chloramine from the water, but when a tank is new it has to go through what is called the "Nitrogen Cycle".  Most aquarium owners cycle their tanks by doing a "Fishless Cycle" because it is very hard on the fish to be used to cycle the tank and it takes a hardy fish to do it.  Most fish are not able to live through the process.  Here is something I would like for you to read and then if you have questions, please let us know.  In the mean time, I would not get more fish until you have the tank completely cycled and for this you are going to need a few things.  You will need to have a heater and you can still use the filter you had.  When you said your fish all had dots on them, it sounds like they might have had Ich.  This is a cool water disease and it means that besides the water not being cycled, it was too cold for them.  You are also going to need to test the water in your tank while you are cycling it.  You will need to get a Master Test Kit - the kind with the little bottles and test tubes - NOT the dip sticks.  You need to check for Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates regularly while you are getting your tank ready for the fish.  The test kit most of the members here use is the one by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, Inc or API in case you need to have something to look for.  They are not cheap but they ARE much cheaper than losing your fish. 

The article I would like you to read is:

https://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm

Especially read the part about Fishless Cycle.  It gives several ways to do it.  Most of the people I have heard of here that have stated how they have done it, have used the method with the fish food

As far as the bubbles go, I do not know what to tell you, but perhaps the other members can come up with an idea for you.  I am afraid I do not seem to know what may have caused this.

Again welcome and I am so glad to meet you.  I am glad you are not giving up on having fish.  They are such wonderful friends.

Rose
 

Isabella

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Yes, as Rose said, your fish probably died because of ammonia or nitrite poisoning. Most beginners are not aware of the nitrogen cycle and when their fish keep dying, they give up. If you read what Rose has provided you with, I am sure your next fishies won't die. We just have to be very careful in the beginning and wait until the tank is cycled and safe for our fish.
 
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nam9684

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Today I drained the water and added new water as directed by an employee at petsmart. Should I add more Prime or should I leave it as it is and let it cycle? My aquarium has been active for about 2-3 weeks now, will it be safe for me to add some fishes this weekend? But regardless I will purchase a master test kit and a water heater tomorrow and test the water before adding any fish. I was planning on getting a male betta, from reading the betta thread I should only keep the betta with other short fin fish. What would be an example of this and if someone can post of pictures it would be very helpful. I was thiking about keeping the betta with some balloon mollies, but i'll consider other options if needed. Thanks in advance for the help.



chickadee said:
Welcome to Fishlore.com! I will try to give you some information to read that may help you understand what may have happened to your fish. I am so sorry you lost the fish you had. We have all lost fish and know what a painful thing that is. You sound like you did not allow your tank to cycle before you put the fish into the tank and they died of either Ammonia toxicity or Nitrite poisoning. I am guessing it was the Ammonia from the length of time you mentioned. It is important to remove the chlorine and chloramine from the water, but when a tank is new it has to go through what is called the "Nitrogen Cycle". Most aquarium owners cycle their tanks by doing a "Fishless Cycle" because it is very hard on the fish to be used to cycle the tank and it takes a hardy fish to do it. Most fish are not able to live through the process. Here is something I would like for you to read and then if you have questions, please let us know. In the mean time, I would not get more fish until you have the tank completely cycled and for this you are going to need a few things. You will need to have a heater and you can still use the filter you had. When you said your fish all had dots on them, it sounds like they might have had Ich. This is a cool water disease and it means that besides the water not being cycled, it was too cold for them. You are also going to need to test the water in your tank while you are cycling it. You will need to get a Master Test Kit - the kind with the little bottles and test tubes - NOT the dip sticks. You need to check for Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates regularly while you are getting your tank ready for the fish. The test kit most of the members here use is the one by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, Inc or API in case you need to have something to look for. They are not cheap but they ARE much cheaper than losing your fish.

The article I would like you to read is:

https://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm

Especially read the part about Fishless Cycle. It gives several ways to do it. Most of the people I have heard of here that have stated how they have done it, have used the method with the fish food.

As far as the bubbles go, I do not know what to tell you, but perhaps the other members can come up with an idea for you. I am afraid I do not seem to know what may have caused this.

Again welcome and I am so glad to meet you. I am glad you are not giving up on having fish. They are such wonderful friends.

Rose
 

chickadee

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You do not need new water, in fact such a huge water change will set your cycle back a ways. I would say that unless you are very lucky, the tank cannot be ready yet. With a cycle, it can take from 4 to 6 weeks with fish in the tank and that is the worst way to do a cycle. Even with the Fishless Cycle, it does take more than 2 weeks and I would be afraid to say go ahead and then you may have the same outcome that you just had. (all the fish dead)

I read about Prime and I am not sure you can use this product while you are cycling your tank. It removes ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates from the water as well as chlorine and chloramine. This would stop the cycle from taking place (or so it sounds like to me). You need a product like StressCoat to use during the cycle then if you prefer you can return to the use of Prime. I am quite sure now that the tank is not ready for fish at this time. You will have to get the Master test kit and do the tests. It is really hard to give a time to you. The answer is really in the test results not at a certain time. When your Ammonia has gone up and then the Ammonia goes down and the Nitrites go up and then the Nitrites go down and the Nitrates start to show, you know the cycle is happening. It takes time and the only thing I know of that might hurry it along is to have your tank temperature around 82 degrees as that seems to be the best temperature for the bacteria to grow in. I have used a product called Cycle to do my tanks, but there are a lot of aquarium keepers who do not use it or like it. You still should wait no matter what until the readings on your tests are Ammonia - 0; Nitrite - 0; Nitrate less than 10. THEN you will be ready for happy and healthy fish!!

Rose
 
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