Please help I feel terrible

  1. fishfanatic15 Member Member

    So my sci teacher was giving away her fish. I had kept fish in the past but every time I got a fish tank it got over run with algae. I had a fish tank (severely overrun) that had 2 dojo loach in it. So I went out bought a brand new one, got it home, set it up let it run for a day and got adopted my teachers fish the next day. When I got home I put them in the tank and also moved over the dojos. The next day I found out I had 2 males and a female (teachers fish- sunset platys) so my brother took the old tank, we washed it out filled it up and waited a week to let it run. Today we moved over the female and he bought 2 more female platys. They are doing fine but I am worried about my males. I also made the mistake of also bringing home a dalmation Molly today because the fish store people said it was okay. I floated his bag and slowly added my water to it. My brother took the other dojo and put it in his tank so now I only have one. But... I had noticed 1 of my male platys laying sitting on the bottom of the rank yesterday eve I didn't think much of it and went to bed but now he is doing it again and I found a red streak that runs from under his mouth to under his eye. He was swimming up and around with the other male this morning and afternoon but now he is swimming only near the bottom only occasionally swimming up. He ate this morning and still "pecks" at the gravel. I was thinking he had ammonia poisoning so I did a 20% water change. Now the Molly is swimming at the top and both platy swimming around the bottom. To make things worse I don't have a test kit because my mom thinks there is no ammonia because the filter some how magically gets rid of it. I said that it takes time for the BB to grow and eat the ammonia, but she still doesn't believe me. I am very worried about my fish and I really don't want them to die. :(

    Any help would be very very VERY appreciated. I know this post was long but I had to get it all out :( :( :(
  2. omordn Member Member

    You've come to the right place! The first line of defense when you start noticing odd behaviors on your fish is using a test kit. Is there no way to talk your mom into purchasing one? Would it be possible that you show her this thread so that she can understand how critical it is to have a test kit when you have an aquarium?

    In order to get the most effective help... we need to figure out your water levels.
  3. fishfanatic15 Member Member

    I might be able to get test strips (I know they aren't effective ) or maybe just the ammonia and nitrite ones. The API master kit is too expensive , and like I said she doesn't believe there is any ammonia
  4. codyrex97 Well Known Member Member

    Lol if there's fish in there then there is ammonia. Unless that filter has been cycled then it does not take away the ammonia. Not to mention ammonia is not the only thing you need to monitor. Nitrites as well are very toxic to fish and Nitrates eventually become toxic in high amounts.

    Test strips aren't as reliable and are more expensive in the long run, plus they expire a lot sooner than the API master. But if they're all you can do for now then you could try it. I would really push to get that test kit though.
  5. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    And by water levels, she means we need to know ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates :) You can take your water sample to a fish store and have them test it (ask for the liquid kit, not the strips, and ask them to give you exact numbers).

    The Master kit is cheaper on Amazon than from your pet store.

    What size tank is this? What size is your brother's?
  6. fishfanatic15 Member Member

    I will try to get her to understand but I she most likely will not let me buy the master test kit. Again maybe just ammonia and nitrite for now and get the master in a few when it is not so dire
  7. Jsigmo Well Known Member Member

    And, if you get a product such as Seachem's "Prime", you can treat the tap water when doing water changes to sequester the chlorine and ammonia, so at least the water-change water will be safe to begin with. Are you currently using anything to treat the tap water before adding it to the aquarium?

    The unfortunate thing is that getting set up to do an aquarium correctly does cost some money and requires some supplies.

    The great thing about it all is that it's extremely educational. The fact that most adults don't have a good understanding of it testifies to this.

    Hopefully your mom will read some of this and realize that although we are talking about some extra expense, doing things right will make for a much more successful and rewarding hobby, and will also accentuate the educational aspects of the whole thing.

    The fact that it is NOT as simple as we might at first prefer, is what makes it interesting and worthwhile, and prevents it from becoming boring too quickly.

    A good hobby should be challenging, after all! Challenges teach us many things in life, and learning to appreciate a challenge rather than giving up, is one of those things. Bravo to you for being persistent. That's a good quality in anyone.

    You should get a good test kit as soon as practical. However, I will say that you can usually get a better price on these things if you order them on-line.

    Welcome to the forum. There are a lot of very helpful and experienced aquarists on here.
  8. fishfanatic15 Member Member

    Is there anything I can do now to get it down before possibly getting testing items tomorrow afternoon
  9. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    Water changes will bring down the ammonia.

    What size tank?
  10. fishfanatic15 Member Member

    10g - I already did 20% today with new fish
  11. Jsigmo Well Known Member Member

    But be sure you're using a water treatment such as "Prime" on your tap water. Municipal water is treated with chlorine or chloramine, and both are deadly to fish. You need to treat the tap water before adding it to the aquarium.
  12. codyrex97 Well Known Member Member

    I am not sure that it would help changing the water as we dont know what your tap water contains. Tap water can contain ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates sometimes. That said, a change probably would help a little bit. If I were to recommend things to get it'd be Seachem Prime, Seachem Stability, and the master test kit. I understand you're clearly not in control of your budget. Top of the list is the test kit.

    Try and get your mom to check out the nitrogen cycle. A brand new filter does nothing but filter physical gunk out of the water. It doesn't do anything about ammonia, nitrites, or nitrates.
  13. fishfanatic15 Member Member

    Hopefully I can get them tomorrow afternoon / Eve when my mom gets home from work. Hope he survives until then

    I do have a water treatment - it is called tetra aqua safe - I also have API tap water conditioner but I use the tetra one
  14. codyrex97 Well Known Member Member

    Me too, good luck! For the Seachem products you may have to buy them online. My pet stores don't have them so I got them off amazon.

    Prime dechlorinates and detoxifies ammonia, nitrite and nitrates for about 24 hours, keeping it from harming your fish. You can see why this product would be helpful for you.

    Stability helps establish and strengthen a colony of beneficial bacteria in your filter.
  15. sunshine2012 Member Member

    I would have waited to buy any new fish till you got your fish tank water tested, it could have caused more problems.
  16. fishfanatic15 Member Member

    Thanks for the recommendations. I can definitely get prime and stability. They are cheap enough I can buy them myself. Hopefully I can get the test kit but only time will tell. If not I hope I can buy them separately for now and get a kit within the next week
  17. codyrex97 Well Known Member Member

    Glad to hear it! I hope things go well. Keep us posted and be sure to take pics of your tank once things settle down. Good luck!
  18. fishfanatic15 Member Member

    Quick question: should I continue to feed them or wait until ammonia levels are down
  19. codyrex97 Well Known Member Member

    I would stop feeding them. They can go a lot longer than you'd think without food so they should be fine if you can't feed for a little while
  20. RubyGem Member Member

    About 2 days is safe without food.