Newbie... I Already Killed Six Fish, Please Help!

  1. AnnH2 Initiate Member

    So, I began in a bad place, I guess. Someone gave me a 30L biorb. I'd read all of the negative reviews and cautionary tales about these tanks and so very very VERY carefully followed the set up instructions. These tanks are so small that really only tiny fish can live in them. I only had the tank running for 48 hours before introducing the fish but the kit came with some sort of bio stuff that is supposed to make the new tank safe for the fish. So it said.

    The fish guy said the tank should be okay, too.

    I bought six tiny gold gourami that the fish guy said should be okay in a 30 L tank. I floated their bag for a loooong time. He'd said they were okay with hard water and cold water but I think maybe the dude was underinformed. Anyway, they lived about two hours. Seriously! I feel terrible! Clearly I put them into a toxic environment.

    I'm going to buy the test kits and thermometers before introducing new fish but need some advice as to how to 'clean' a tank that fish have died in, how to set it up again and anything else. I've been reading the advice on the forums and I understand now that I should have only introduced one or two fish at a time, thought these fish died so quickly I think the water was toxic. What else could it be.

    I don't want to put any more living creatures in there until I'm sure it is safe. Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    I don't think you're going to need to clean this tank just because fish died in it. I think it's pretty clear that they didn't die of any disease.

    The most likely cause of death in this case was shock. Floating the bag only acclimatises the fish to the temperature. If the pH between the store water and yours was different though that would have killed them almost instantly.

    Welcome to the forum! If you like the knowledgeable people here can give you better advice on how to stock your new tank. I really don't think that 6 gold gouramis would have lived very long in any case in a tank so tiny.

    Welcome to the forum! I'm sure you'll learn lots here from people who have learned from the same mistakes :)
     

  3. AmnScott Well Known Member Member

    Sorry for your loss!

    I'm not super familiar with the 30L Biorb. Is it a bowl, with no filter or heater (I know some biorbs come with a basic filter)? What type of equipment is in it? Gold gourami's are a variation of the Three Spot Gourami. They get big, up to 6". The MINIMUM size tank they belong in is 29 gallons (or 110 liters), IMHO, and only one at that (in a 29G). Having 6 in 30 liters is way too small, and severely overstocked. And they prefer temps from 23-28 degrees C (warmer water). They also need filtration. I'm afraid the employee who sold you these fish may have been very mistaken.
     
  4. 2211Nighthawk Well Known Member Member

    Unless those were celestial gournis, they are way to big for a 4g tank. Even 6 I think is pushing it. Best thing you can do, is complete ignore the fish guy and listen to the people on this site. Because it's a very small tank with a very small footprint there is not a lot of fish that can fit in there. Personally, I would do shrimp if your brave enough. That would be perfect for some cherries or something like that.

    But as to why they died, I agree with @Aquaphobia. Probably shock did them in.

    Also, make sure the tank is actually cycled before adding anything (especially shrimp!)
     

  5. FishFish221 Well Known Member Member

    The next time, you will need some dechlorinator (to remove the chlorine that makes tap water safe for drinking, but not safe for fish). You will also need a filter, a heater (if you are keeping tropical fish, such as bettas and gouramis) which both are probably impossible to put on the biorb without making a new lid.

    30l = 7.9 gallons
     
  6. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    I think a betta might work in this tank but only one of course. A shrimp tank would be lovely!
     
  7. PAND3MIC Member Member

    Step one would be your educate yourself about the aquarium nitrogen cycle, as bacteria needs time to culture before your tank is ready.

    Secondly, gold gouramis get far to large for a tank that small. 6 fish that all grow to be 1-2 inches in 5 gallons is far too much stocking in a tank that size. Most users on here will advise that you don't stock a tank that small at all. Personally I think it would only be acceptable for micro fish, such as Scarlet Badis or a single Betta. Maybe a couple scorpion Bettas. The number one recommendation for micro tanks are shrimp like Red Cherry Shrimp (Neocardinia davidi in general) or ghost shrimp.

    Third, all 6 fish dying at one time suggests that something in the water killed them. It could have been chlorine, too much dechlorinating solvent, high ammonia levels in the water, dramatically high or low PH, high heavy metal content, sudden temperature change, or the presence of something toxic in the water.

    In my opinion, it sounds like your fish suffocated. If there wasn't proper aeration then they would live for a couple hours before succumbing to oxygen deprivation. A filter does not always provide ample aeration for the species I would siphon/dump all of the water from the tank and try again. Be modest on dechlorinator and allow enough time for the good bacteria to establish and make sure that your parameters are met.

    I hope this helped :)
     

  8. 2211Nighthawk Well Known Member Member

    Oh fine. :p I clicked on the link it gave me and it said 4 gallons.

    ANYWAYS, so your stocking opens more, betta defiantly an option, celestial gouramis (NOT gold) stuff like that. Maybe endlers but I think they need more room.
     
  9. AnnH2 Initiate Member

    The biorb looks like a sphere and has a filter but no heater. It has a pump that seems to be pretty strong and emits lots of bubbles, the filtration system is an airstone and some sort of round filter thing that you replace and a special kind of 'rock' that also helps keep the bio environment healthy. And that is the extent of my technical understanding. The fish I bought were 1/2 and were not supposed to get bigger than .75. Maybe they are another kind of the larger ones? They were so tiny I could hardly see them. They were the size recommended by the biorb instructions. I think, given that our area has super hard water, that maybe the ph was the culprit. The fish guy at the store said the fish I bought were living in the same sort of water but thinking back I wonder how accurate that was. Within an hour these 'social' fish were hiding behind a decorative element. An hour later they were dead. I'm going to cruise by the pet store and get test kits to rule that out if I can. I've read that the strips are useless, and its best to get the kits with test tubes. Is that true?

    I think they WERE celestial gouramis. I'd written down the other kind but when I saw them I knew they were too big.
     
  10. FishFish221 Well Known Member Member

    Nope. Most likely just the pet store lying to you.
    Test tubes are more accurate than strips, and cheaper in the long run. There are some strips that are very close to accurate but that won't be enough for some species of fish.
     

  11. 2211Nighthawk Well Known Member Member

    Yep! If he said they max out at 3/4" then yes they're celestials. Other common Gourmi species hit 3" minimum and he can't be that far out (we hope)

    Anyway, you need a heater almost garanteed for almost anything that goes in there. I still personally think 6 is to many to add at once, but might work in the long run after the cycle catches up.
     
  12. AnnH2 Initiate Member

    In my opinion, it sounds like your fish suffocated. If there wasn't proper aeration then they would live for a couple hours before succumbing to oxygen deprivation. A filter does not always provide ample aeration for the species I would siphon/dump all of the water from the tank and try again. Be modest on dechlorinator and allow enough time for the good bacteria to establish and make sure that your parameters are met.

    I hope this helped :)[/QUOTE]

    Poor fish. I hate myself. Thanks for the information. How can I tell if there is enough oxygen in the water?
     
  13. AmnScott Well Known Member Member

    I've heard strips are inaccurate, too, and I've experienced my test strips showing different results than my liquid tests. You'll get different opinions on that one, in regards to test strips being inaccurate. I would suggest just getting the test tubes as those are the most accurate in my opinion.
     
  14. PAND3MIC Member Member

    I would go with the API master test kit for checking basic parameters. It comes with vials and liquid solvents for checking pH, ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites.
     
  15. FishFish221 Well Known Member Member

    Celestial gouramis???
     
  16. 2211Nighthawk Well Known Member Member

    Poor fish. I hate myself. Thanks for the information. How can I tell if there is enough oxygen in the water?[/QUOTE]
    I don't think they suffocated. If the filter/bubbler was running, I highly doubt it. I think shock.
    Hey OP, were they gasping at all? That's the biggest thing key indicator for lack of oxygen.
     
  17. Culprit Well Known Member Member

    That sounds excellent! Yes get the kit with the test tubes. Most of us use the API Master test kit. Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and Ph.

    Is this the tank you have? Aquarium Kit - SCHOOL SPECIALTY MARKETPLACE
     
  18. 2211Nighthawk Well Known Member Member

    Ain't those the little guys? Unless I'm having a total brain fart on what they're called. I know what fish I'm taking about!! Just maybe not the name...
     
  19. FishFish221 Well Known Member Member

    I'm pretty sure you are confusing something that doesn't exist with celestial pearl danios.
     
  20. 2211Nighthawk Well Known Member Member

    Nonononono.... there are tiny little gourmis maybe maxing out at an inch. Now I have to go find them to save my pride. :D