Newbie Needs Help -cloudy Water 2 Dead Fish After 12 Hours!

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by eahmorey, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. eahmorey

    eahmoreyNew MemberMember

    We set up a 10 gallon tank -added biowheel filter, heater set at 78 degrees, gravel and fake plants. We set this up 4 days ago and treated the water with Tetra starter because we are using tap water.

    Yesterday we bought 1 molly and 3 neon tetras. Acclimated them to the tank for about 30 minutes adding water slowly. We also bought a small piece of driftwood that was on a fish tank already at the pet store and added this to the tank.They seemed fine last night. We gave them a few flakes of food.

    This morning 2 tetras were dead on the bottom of the tank. The water is cloudy, and the molly doesn't move much and seems to be gulping for air. The 1 remaining neon tetra swims around, but doesn't seem to eat.

    I don't have ammonia tester - I will get one today, but have test strips -
    The nitrate is safe, nirite is safe, water is hard, chlorine is safe, alkalinity looks good, and oh was high 7.8

    is cloudy water part of it, should I wait to make changes? I am so new and know nothing, any help is appreciated.

  2. Discusluv

    DiscusluvWell Known MemberMember

    What are the numbers from testing? Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate? Most likely your tank isn't fully cycled and this is a bio-load issue. You added fish too soon and levels of either one of the three is too high, killing fish.
  3. Summer22

    Summer22Valued MemberMember

    More people will help here, but I'm going to say that they died because the tank wasn't cycled? Or there could have been something bad growing on wood from pet store? Do you know about the nitrogen cycle? Or the water they were in at pet store was drastically different than yours and they went into shock?

    If you don't know about the nitrogen cycle it is a must to read for all fish keepers to keep fish successfully. When you get your water parameter tester get the liquid kind as the test strips are often inaccurate. I know the liquid is more expensive but they last a long time ($30.00 and I still use one from a year ago).

    water clouding is usually just a harmless bacterial bloom that happens to all new tank set ups. I would test water again with liquid test kit before doing anything IMO.

    One more thing, I have a stupid question... the tetra starter... does this say it removes chlorine on bottle? Or is it just to add beneficial bacteria. (sorry just not familiar with it).
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  4. Lchi87

    Lchi87ModeratorModerator Member

    It doesn't sound like your tank was cycled prior to adding fish. Without knowing your actual numbers, the best thing you can do is a large water change and treat it with something like prime which neutralizes ammonia and nitrite for 24-48 hours which will protect your fish in the meantime. I'd also read up on the Nitrogen Cycle if you haven't already. Just click on the words and it should take you right to the page.

    You also have some stocking issues, if you'd like to discuss them.
  5. fjh

    fjhWell Known MemberMember

    Hello and welcome to Fishlore!

    I am very sorry for your loss, but I think I know what happened and it is an easy fix.

    When you added tetra starter, you were adding beneficial bacteria to your tank. However, all this bacteria died quickly, because tap water has chlorine in it.
    Your solution is to add dechlorinator to your tank, then add the beneficial bacteria again (the tetra starter). Remember to add dechlorinator every time you do a water change.

    Do you know about the nitrogen cycle? In short, fish waste, extra fish food, etc turns into ammonia. Ammonia is harmful to your fish. The bacteria turns the ammonia into nitrite, which is also harmful to your fish. Lastly the bacteria turns nitrite into nitrate, which is still bad, but not nearly as bad as ammonia or nitrite.
    So when you test your tank water, you always want ammonia = 0, nitrite = 0, nitrate < 20. When your nitrate gets over 20, you should preform a water change.

    The cloudy water you see is either a bacterial or algae bloom. Algae or live plants absorb the nitrate and nitrite to grow, so it's more likely algae.

    Hope this helped!