Noobie Here, Need Some Help. Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by LDR123, Jun 22, 2018.

  1. LDR123Valued MemberMember

    First time post, if I'm in the wrong spot please let me know. Considering this is "beginner" I figured this is where I should post.

    I started out with a small 5 gallon fish tank at work, with a buddy that works there that's big into fish that got me more heavily into the fish keeping hobby. I picked up a 30 gallon tank for at home, sadly I started stocking this ~2 weeks after setup before I realized how important cycling was. A mistake I won't make again. I originally started with 3 small painted platies and had them for a week and then dropped 3 balloon mollies in with a bristlenose. All was well up until 4 days ago. One of my balloon mollies (memo) was literally fine before I went to bed and when I woke up it looked like she was having swim bladder issues lying sideways at the bottom of the tank, 3 hours later she was dead. I did a water change of about 50% after her death. 2 days later before I went to bed a platy was not moving a whole lot and I got a bit worried and did a 30% water change, next morning he was dead as well. Today... my other balloon Molly was acting a bit slow this morning, and now about an hour ago she was dead as well. I did another 30% water change and tested and still found no issues with The water. The 3 remaining fish seem to be active and okay. I've tested the water 4 times so far, with the 6 in 1 test strips and all the readings come out as either 0 or in the "safe" zone. Am I doing too many water changes? I'm conditioning the water for chlorine that has added stress coat before adding it in. Water looks clean, and with the initial water change after the first death I did a gravel clean. I'm pretty sure one of the balloons (the one that died today) was pregnant, there have been about 7 fry surviving in the tank for ~5 days now. I'm afraid I'm going to see my active fish go from fine to dead in no time if I can't figure out what's going on.

  2. Lollipop0912Well Known MemberMember

    Welcome to the forum!! I’m pretty sure you posted in the right place. :) My first post had lots of crazy errors so your already a leg up. ;)Could you post your tank temperature? Also, could you give the exact readings of aminonia nitrite and nitrate. Lastly, do you use prime or anything that detoxifies ammonia? Ps. Your doing everything you can for your tank now. We all have to start somewhere.:)

  3. LDR123Valued MemberMember

    Thanks for the reply! Tank sits at 78, and I make sure water is close to that when changing. I can't say for sure on the readings because the test strips don't say specifically, they just state "safe". Though the nitrate/nitrates reading stay completely white, so is it safe to say 0? I am not using any sort of prime, just the stress coat that gets rid of chlorine.

  4. Lollipop0912Well Known MemberMember

    I’d say yes. The reason your tank is having a dye off is most likely the ammonia. This makes sense because now that it’s together, the fishes poop creates ammonia. Since your tank wasn’t cycled, there was no benaficial bacteria to help break it down. Ammonia is toxic to fish. In this case, I’d use serchan prime. What it does is make ammonia not toxic. Could you post a picture of the ammonia test strip next to the “legend” AKA the color deciphering chart. It also is because ballon Molly’s thrive in brackish conditions. This means salt helps them. Could you post what you have in the tank now? I gather it’s 2 patties and a pleco? Am I reading your first post correctly?
    Ps. Stress coat is a good declorinator. Prime declorinates and detoxifys
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2018
  5. LDR123Valued MemberMember

    It does look like there is a bit of shade on the nitrates but it doesn't look out of control. I've been trying to clean and change water enough so it doesn't build up 1529720902923.jpg
  6. Lollipop0912Well Known MemberMember

    The nitrates are benifitial bacteria. They are good. In short, your nitrates are spot on. I still think your ammonia is skyrocketing. I don’t see an ammonia test on the sheet. Is there any way to have it taken to your local fish store to have it tested? (Most of them will test for free.) (No rush.)
    Keep up with the water changes and get prime. I think both of these will help your aquarium loads.
  7. LDR123Valued MemberMember

    Sorry didn't see the bottom of your post, it's 2 platies, 1 Moll and 1 bottlenose. There is about 7 babies I'm aware of that are in there that about a week old
  8. Lollipop0912Well Known MemberMember

    Are they platty fry? Do you want them or did they just show up?
  9. LDR123Valued MemberMember

    I will go pick up some prime tomorrow than. Should I be adding this in with each water change ? Thanks for the quick replies! Btw meant bristlenose not bottle, dang autocorrect
  10. Lollipop0912Well Known MemberMember

    I do. My rule of thumb is about a drop per gallon. So, a tiny bottle will last you a few years.
    Edit: autocorrect and I aren’t on speaking terms so I completely get it, :)
    Pps. Autocorrect just doesn’t like fish names. We all get it.
  11. Sarah73Fishlore VIPMember

  12. Lollipop0912Well Known MemberMember

    I agree. But for now, test strips are all we have to go off of.
  13. LDR123Valued MemberMember

    Do water changes kill ammonia levels for only a little while? Considering I changed about 30% Will I be safe to wait until mid afternoon tomorrow to pick it up and use it in my next change tomorrow ?

    That will have to be something I look at in the future if that's the case
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2018
  14. Lollipop0912Well Known MemberMember

    You’ll be ok. Water changes will reduce some ammonia. Please tanks your water to the fish store to be tested. Then, please post for us exact numbers. “Fine” or “safe” won’t do you any good.
  15. Sarah73Fishlore VIPMember

    Nope. Prime will make the fish immune for 24 hours from nitrites and ammonia. And other harmful stuff. Doing a water change changes the old water out with new water. When adding new water the old (Ammonia) water is lessened, so I guess yes.
  16. LDR123Valued MemberMember

    Will do, will catch up with you tomorrow

    So this would be good to continue using even after the tank has cycled ?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2018
  17. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome to FishLore!

    I use Prime as my water conditioner. But in reality you really only need to use Prime as your water conditioner if you have elevated ammonia and/or elevated nitrites. If your levels aren't elevated any water conditioner will work just fine. The reason I use Prime is that you never know when disaster could strike and you'll have elevated levels and need Prime, so it's just easier to always use it. But once cycled, if you have another water conditioner, you can use that up, then switch to Prime full time if you choose.
  18. FishyFan2018Valued MemberMember

    I had the same thing happen when I first started. The beneficial bacteria is what you need to build up in your tank. Don't add more fish for awhile so you can keep ammonia under control until your tank is cycled. There is some stuff called instant cycle that works great and I use when I'm setting up a new tank or have to get my beneficial bacteria up but it's expensive. If you cant afford a master kit get some amonia strips to test with your other one. That should help till you can get the master kit. I think you are doing well. Loads ahead of me when I first started, keep it up!
  19. LDR123Valued MemberMember

    Thanks for the info much appreciated. I will be picking up prime that makes immune to ammonia today and will be consistently using it on daily water changes until my tanks cycles
  20. LDR123Valued MemberMember

    Thanks for the info, I will use the prime I got today for the next few weeks and then go back to my regular conditioner. I used the prime today on a water switch, tested the water before and the ammonia level wasn't awful but not good either. Does the prime kill ammonia instantly ? Should I even worry about testing again now ~15 mins after adding it ?

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