Newbie with my fish who keep dying

arcadian9

So i am at a lost on why my guppies, hillstream loach and neon tetras die off within a week or so.
I currently have a Chi Fluval 5 gallon tank
Sand is used as the base, no substrate or gravel
2 Java Ferns
1 Moss Ball

I have had the tank for about a month now so it should be cycled and ready for fish.
I have had a total of 5 neon tetras, 4 that died because I believe they had fin rot. Their back fin slowly deteriorated within a week. I have 1 neon tetra in my hospital tank and he looks to be slowly recovering.
I had 4 lampeye killfish that died within a week, no fin root noted or ich
After my neon tetra and killfish passing away, I moved on with dumbo guppies, had 3 that passed away within 5 days, they started off acting weak, fins were not moving too much, seemed like they were struggling to swim and eventually they just passed
I have 7 shrimp that are thriving in the tank and 2 mystery snails
I do about a 10-15% water change every week
I checked my ammonia and nitrates and there are no traces at all. With the Api test kit it only shows my water hardness as high and my ph at 8.0
I brought my water sample to my local aquarium shop and he ran a test and said my levels were all normal and that he was stumped on why my fish are dying. He suggested I add a air stone and put beneficial bacteria for the next 3 days which I have been doing.
His other concern was the color of my water on why it is a yellow color. I thought it was due to the tannis from my small driftwood but he said the water should be brown and cloud if it was tannis. I posted 2 photos of my tank. When I initially started my aquarium, my water was completely clear. It didnt go yellow until the draftwood and when i added livestock as seen in the 3rd photo.

I just do not understand what is going on in my tank. Any input is appreciated, I just hate to see my fishes die
 

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Carmen79

hmm a cycle can take up to 2 months to finish,
and when a cycle is finished there should be nitrates, but you have none..

How did you know your cycle was ready? Did you test the water back then, what were the readings?
Has the PH always been 8..?
If I'm not mistaken, neon tetras can tolerate a PH up to 7.5 only..
what is the temperature in your tank?

How many guppies you had? They produce quite a heave bioload and would have required a larger tank, I think you were overstocked..
 

Dunk2

So i am at a lost on why my guppies, hillstream loach and neon tetras die off within a week or so.
I currently have a Chi Fluval 5 gallon tank
Sand is used as the base, no substrate or gravel
2 Java Ferns
1 Moss Ball

I have had the tank for about a month now so it should be cycled and ready for fish.
I have had a total of 5 neon tetras, 4 that died because I believe they had fin rot. Their back fin slowly deteriorated within a week. I have 1 neon tetra in my hospital tank and he looks to be slowly recovering.
I had 4 lampeye killfish that died within a week, no fin root noted or ich
After my neon tetra and killfish passing away, I moved on with dumbo guppies, had 3 that passed away within 5 days, they started off acting weak, fins were not moving too much, seemed like they were struggling to swim and eventually they just passed
I have 7 shrimp that are thriving in the tank and 2 mystery snails
I do about a 10-15% water change every week
I checked my ammonia and nitrates and there are no traces at all. With the Api test kit it only shows my water hardness as high and my ph at 8.0
I brought my water sample to my local aquarium shop and he ran a test and said my levels were all normal and that he was stumped on why my fish are dying. He suggested I add a air stone and put beneficial bacteria for the next 3 days which I have been doing.
His other concern was the color of my water on why it is a yellow color. I thought it was due to the tannis from my small driftwood but he said the water should be brown and cloud if it was tannis. I posted 2 photos of my tank. When I initially started my aquarium, my water was completely clear. It didnt go yellow until the draftwood and when i added livestock as seen in the 3rd photo.

I just do not understand what is going on in my tank. Any input is appreciated, I just hate to see my fishes die
Welcome to Fishlore! A couple suggestions. . .
1. Before restocking your tank, carefully research the the type and number of fish (and the temperature compatibility of the fish) that will work in your tank. Unfortunately, your options are very limited with a 5 gallon tank.
2. Invest in the API Master Test kit. If you’re going to have fish, you should have the ability to test your own water parameters.
 

arcadian9

hmm a cycle can take up to 2 months to finish,
and when a cycle is finished there should be nitrates, but you have none..

How did you know your cycle was ready? Did you test the water back then, what were the readings?
Has the PH always been 8..?
If I'm not mistaken, neon tetras can tolerate a PH up to 7.5 only..
what is the temperature in your tank?

How many guppies you had? They produce quite a heave bioload and would have required a larger tank, I think you were overstocked..
I added quick start initially with my tank with beneficial bacteria, I tested the water before adding livestock and they my nitrates and ammonia were 0. The ph initially was around 7.2-7.4
I forgot I do have a heater and my temperature usually hovers between 75-78
I had 4 guppies
I do have a API master test kit
Do you guys think the color of my water is strange with the yellow tinged, its completely clear.
 

SparkyJones

this tank,,,, it's 5 gallons, the filter is on top above the light and works like a fountain, the problem with a "trickle" filter, is it' evaporates quickly and it oxygenates too well and pushes out CO2.

the design is bad for a trickle filter with it being where it is, if it evaporates some, the filter is going to suck air, if you don't keep it topped, it's still not good due to the shape and this water fall style filter, it doesn't reach low enough.

Add to that your CO2 and you are going to get bad situation after bad situation with poor water circulation, too much O2, or too much CO2, depending on time of day and lighting, and temp and evaporation. and poor circulation while the water comes off the top and trickles back to the top, there's nothing circulating the water in the tank and the cube shape kind of diffuses what water flow you did have. the color of the water if probably diatoms or algae forming on the light and glass causing the yellow looking filtering of light effect.

this style of tank, while "different" is going to be problem after problem, it's not good for aquatic plants, and then when you add co2 for plants, it's not good for fish.

My opinion, try something different with it, remove the "in tank" plants and the CO2. and plant some seedling in the stones on the top of the filter, hydroponic/aquaponic style, and get a grow light.
This in theory should remove the need for CO2 in the tank but still allow you to grow something with Co2 from the air, The filter design is meant for oxygenation though. I don't see this working on a 5 gallon for very long at least not to grow plants in the water of this tank. Grow some basil or mint or some herb you like off the stones on top. I think that can work, at least with small stuff


the other thing is to ditch that filter and the all in one light, and get a sponge filter and airpump, and a light, and get rid of that extra oxygenation and likely the CO2 you are adding also, and the sponge filter should hoelp with gas exchange and low level circulation. Using the tank and going a different rout with it than how they intended it to be.

it's visually pleasing, but the tank itself isn't designed well to do with it what you want to do with it. and it's either going to kill plants or it's going to kill fish, but it's not designed to do both although the advertisement pictures suggested otherwise. your pH issue is from the CO2, and the oxygenation of the filter, this is going to keep bouncing around in a 5g between daytime and nighttime. and stress and kill fish in a few days every time. It will bounce around even in a bigger tank with a trickle filter, it's just how those filters work, they oxygenate, and you are going to have a CO2 and carbonic acid battle daily that fish won't tolerate for long.
 

arcadian9

this tank,,,, it's 5 gallons, the filter is on top above the light and works like a fountain, the problem with a "trickle" filter, is it' evaporates quickly and it oxygenates too well and pushes out CO2.

the design is bad for a trickle filter with it being where it is, if it evaporates some, the filter is going to suck air, if you don't keep it topped, it's still not good due to the shape and this water fall style filter, it doesn't reach low enough.

Add to that your CO2 and you are going to get bad situation after bad situation with poor water circulation, too much O2, or too much CO2, depending on time of day and lighting, and temp and evaporation. and poor circulation while the water comes off the top and trickles back to the top, there's nothing circulating the water in the tank and the cube shape kind of diffuses what water flow you did have. the color of the water if probably diatoms or algae forming on the light and glass causing the yellow looking filtering of light effect.

this style of tank, while "different" is going to be problem after problem, it's not good for aquatic plants, and then when you add co2 for plants, it's not good for fish.

My opinion, try something different with it, remove the "in tank" plants and the CO2. and plant some seedling in the stones on the top of the filter, hydroponic/aquaponic style, and get a grow light.
This in theory should remove the need for CO2 in the tank but still allow you to grow something with Co2 from the air, The filter design is meant for oxygenation though. I don't see this working on a 5 gallon for very long at least not to grow plants in the water of this tank. Grow some basil or mint or some herb you like off the stones on top. I think that can work, at least with small stuff


the other thing is to ditch that filter and the all in one light, and get a sponge filter and airpump, and a light, and get rid of that extra oxygenation and likely the CO2 you are adding also, and the sponge filter should hoelp with gas exchange and low level circulation. Using the tank and going a different rout with it than how they intended it to be.

it's visually pleasing, but the tank itself isn't designed well to do with it what you want to do with it. and it's either going to kill plants or it's going to kill fish, but it's not designed to do both although the advertisement pictures suggested otherwise. your pH issue is from the CO2, and the oxygenation of the filter, this is going to keep bouncing around in a 5g between daytime and nighttime. and stress and kill fish in a few days every time. It will bounce around even in a bigger tank with a trickle filter, it's just how those filters work, they oxygenate, and you are going to have a CO2 and carbonic acid battle daily that fish won't tolerate for long.
I am not putting any CO2 into my tank. The bubbling device in the corner is just oxygen from a air pump. I originally bought this tank because of the visual appeal but I think I am going to have to remove the whole filter device. In the meantime while gathering new supplies, should i take all my livestock and place them in a holding tank?

How long should i wait before adding the live stock back in the tank?
of course i will have a new sponge filter and be adding Api Quick Start and beneficial bactera
 

SparkyJones

I am not putting any CO2 into my tank. The bubbling device in the corner is just oxygen from a air pump. I originally bought this tank because of the visual appeal but I think I am going to have to remove the whole filter device. In the meantime while gathering new supplies, should i take all my livestock and place them in a holding tank?

How long should i wait before adding the live stock back in the tank?
of course i will have a new sponge filter and be adding Api Quick Start and beneficial bactera
looked like a CO2 diffuser.

I don't see anything apparent as to why this is happening in the testing results you can do.
Can you check the pH at like 3pm peak of day, and like 3am peak of night, see how much of a swing in pH there is between the two?

If I were you and changing the filter I'd get another filter and run it parallel with this filter for a month to get the new filter established rather than start from scratch.

I'm afraid you are going to throw stuff at this to see what works or doesn't and never quite sure what's going on. I'd suggest testing and looking for problem times, or a reason daily for stress on the fish, that would add up over days and wear the fish out. Are you certain between this filter and the lighting, there isn't a short with frequency is going to the water, It wouldn't kill the fish, but it would stress them if it happened daily. I'd try everything you can think of at little to no costs before going into more expensive solutions that might not solve the problem. make a list on what might stress a fish day after day, and then try to rule them out or prove it as the cause.

I'm not comfortable recommending that you keep trying new fish, until you get closer to figuring out what's stressing and killing them.

if you ran new filter and the old filter in parallel at the same time, than take out the old filter in a month or so when your' pretty sure the new filter is cycled, you wouldn't need to stop keeping fish, but again, I dont' like the idea of testing with new fish and spending money on them for them to die over and over, so trying different things and trouble shooting or at least ruling out what it isn't is the way to go.

I do kn ow this tank evaporates pretty quickly though, and the filter draws off the top, and waste sets to the bottom, and if you were to not vacuum, and top off with tap water regularly, you'd have a hardness buildup pretty quick with 5 gallons as the TDS goes up with evaporation and people are topping off.

probably not bad for the first month but after 30 days wen waste is fully decomposing and not being removed, things can get sketch really quick in a 5 gallon, and, yeah that tank, kind of entices a person to top it off over and over for evaporation.


.
 

arcadian9

looked like a CO2 diffuser.

I don't see anything apparent as to why this is happening in the testing results you can do.
Can you check the pH at like 3pm peak of day, and like 3am peak of night, see how much of a swing in pH there is between the two?

If I were you and changing the filter I'd get another filter and run it parallel with this filter for a month to get the new filter established rather than start from scratch.

I'm afraid you are going to throw stuff at this to see what works or doesn't and never quite sure what's going on. I'd suggest testing and looking for problem times, or a reason daily for stress on the fish, that would add up over days and wear the fish out. Are you certain between this filter and the lighting, there isn't a short with frequency is going to the water, It wouldn't kill the fish, but it would stress them if it happened daily. I'd try everything you can think of at little to no costs before going into more expensive solutions that might not solve the problem. make a list on what might stress a fish day after day, and then try to rule them out or prove it as the cause.

I'm not comfortable recommending that you keep trying new fish, until you get closer to figuring out what's stressing and killing them.

if you ran new filter and the old filter in parallel at the same time, than take out the old filter in a month or so when your' pretty sure the new filter is cycled, you wouldn't need to stop keeping fish, but again, I dont' like the idea of testing with new fish and spending money on them for them to die over and over, so trying different things and trouble shooting or at least ruling out what it isn't is the way to go.

I do kn ow this tank evaporates pretty quickly though, and the filter draws off the top, and waste sets to the bottom, and if you were to not vacuum, and top off with tap water regularly, you'd have a hardness buildup pretty quick with 5 gallons as the TDS goes up with evaporation and people are topping off.

probably not bad for the first month but after 30 days wen waste is fully decomposing and not being removed, things can get sketch really quick in a 5 gallon, and, yeah that tank, kind of entices a person to top it off over and over for evaporation.


.
i feel like when I wake up in the morning the fish that died seem to get lethargic overnight, I will test the water parameters as what you suggested and see if I can pinpoint if something is happening at night. I do not believe there is a short anywhere.

Yea i feel that the filter on this aquarium is only aesthetic pleasing but not useful for the fish. I'll put in a sponge filter and see if it changes anything.
 

Flyfisha

my reading of the situation.
The tank is “ about “ a month old.
There are no nitrates and you are adding bacteria in a bottle.

My suspicion. The new tank has no working nitrogen cycle.
 

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