Problem with new 3 gallon tank

eric859

New Member
Member
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Me and my daughter went out and purchased a glofish brand 3 gallon tank along with three 1 inch tetras. We set up the tank a day ahead of time let it filter overnight. We put in reverse osmosis filtered well water. We put in conditioner even though there's no chlorine in the water and we didn't need it. We added the fish on the second day of the. We used bacteria starter every day for the first 5 days. The water immediately started getting foggy and cloudy when we introduce the fish. It slowly cleared up over the next five days as we use the bacterial starter. On the 9th day one of the fish died and we noticed a flaky slime all over the bottom of the tank gravel. It was white in color. The filter had a greenish slimy consistency in it as well. Within 24 hours the other two fish died. We want to replace the fish but we're not sure what caused them to die in the first place. Does anybody have any information for so we don't make the same mistake again?
 
Best Answer - View mattgirl's answer

jkkgron2

Well Known
Member
Messages
2,579
Reaction score
2,119
Experience
5 years
I’m not sure what the slime was but I think the issue with the fish was overstocking. The inch per gallon rule, while it can be a general guideline in certain cases, is mostly outdated and doesn’t consider swimming room, bio load, or activity levels of the fish. I don’t think a week would have been enough time for it to fully cycle. To avoid further stocking issues I would get a betta next time, and maybe a nerite snail for clean up. The betta has a pretty low bioload and is extremely hardy so it’s a great fish to do a fish in cycle with.
 

StarGirl

Fishlore VIP
Member
Messages
5,633
Reaction score
8,084
Location
Michigan
Experience
More than 10 years
jkkgron2 said:
I’m not sure what the slime was but I think the issue with the fish was overstocking. The inch per gallon rule, while it can be a general guideline in certain cases, is mostly outdated and doesn’t consider swimming room, bio load, or activity levels of the fish. Did you add any ammonia to feed the cycle? Unfortunately I don’t think the bacteria would’ve worked if there wasn’t an ammonia source. To avoid further stocking issues I would get a betta next time, and maybe a nerite snail for clean up. The betta has a pretty low bioload and is extremely hardy so it’s a great fish to do a fish in cycle with.
The fish produce the ammonia in a fish in cycle. You do not need to add it.
 

jkkgron2

Well Known
Member
Messages
2,579
Reaction score
2,119
Experience
5 years
StarGirl said:
The fish produce the ammonia in a fish in cycle. You do not need to add it.
Oops I think I misread the post. I though the OP had said that they had added the bacteria for five days before the fish :hilarious: . Thanks for correcting me!
 

FishBoy101

Well Known
Member
Messages
661
Reaction score
303
Location
Maryland
Experience
3 years
eric859 said:
Me and my daughter went out and purchased a glofish brand 3 gallon tank along with three 1 inch tetras. We set up the tank a day ahead of time let it filter overnight. We put in reverse osmosis filtered well water. We put in conditioner even though there's no chlorine in the water and we didn't need it. We added the fish on the second day of the. We used bacteria starter every day for the first 5 days. The water immediately started getting foggy and cloudy when we introduce the fish. It slowly cleared up over the next five days as we use the bacterial starter. On the 9th day one of the fish died and we noticed a flaky slime all over the bottom of the tank gravel. It was white in color. The filter had a greenish slimy consistency in it as well. Within 24 hours the other two fish died. We want to replace the fish but we're not sure what caused them to die in the first place. Does anybody have any information for so we don't make the same mistake again?
This is a very very personal preference, I do not like glo-fish and many other fish keepers don't either. Glo-fish have been injected with a color-dye something that makes them glow, and by buying them you are making them make more and more which will be bad for the fish. The tank is also way to small, please, please do not have glo-fish, get your daughter a larger, better tank with more exciting fish. I do not think any fish should go into there, only shrimp and snails, please get a larger tank, for the sake of your fish, and for your daughters happiness.
 

Crimson_687

Well Known
Member
Messages
1,260
Reaction score
611
Location
Dallas, Texas
Experience
3 years
FishBoy101 said:
This is a very very personal preference, I do not like glo-fish and many other fish keepers don't either. Glo-fish have been injected with a color-dye something that makes them glow, and by buying them you are making them make more and more which will be bad for the fish. The tank is also way to small, please, please do not have glo-fish, get your daughter a larger, better tank with more exciting fish. I do not think any fish should go into there, only shrimp and snails, please get a larger tank, for the sake of your fish, and for your daughters happiness.
I think you are confusing painted tetras for glo fish. Glo fish are genetically modified with jellyfish genes . Paint tetras are injected with dye. though I do agree about the tank.

Unfortunately glo fish products aren’t the best quality. I know a friend who had the glo fish 10g kit and her filter, an important aspect of the tank, began to backflow on day one despite the filter bag having no debris. They also do not suite the fish they are marketed for.

I’ve never used bacteria starters, but the slimy coat on everything may be due to it. Beneficial bacteria has a slimy consistency in touch.

As for cause of death, it could be improper acclimation, stress, overcrowding, or the fish might have been sick when you bought them. Every store treats their fish differently, and from some stores, you will have a higher chance of a sick fish due to in-store improper care. I would recommend, if you seek to buy more stock for the tank, seek a reputable store that does not overstock their display tanks.
 

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
12,832
Reaction score
12,706
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
Sadly many fish have been killed while following the misinformation printed on the bottle of bottled bacteria. It can't make a tank instantly safe for fish. For some it has sped up the cycling process but it doesn't instantly cycle a tank.

If you choose to try again I would do a total tank clean out and start over. You are early enough in the cycling process to do this. If you choose to do a fish in cycle I will recommend you purchase an API Master Freshwater test kit. With it you can know exactly what is going on in this tank. It tests for pH (both high and low), ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. I will also recommend you get a bottle of Seachem Prime. It is first and foremost a water conditioner but goes one step farther and detoxed low levels of ammonia.

Once you have these 2 things and have cleaned the tank out I will recommend you use your tap water with the proper dose of Prime added to it to remove chlorine/chloramines. If the minerals hadn't been added back into the RO water you added, that too could have added to the death of your fish.

Once all these things have been done get one fish. Bettas are about the only fish I can recommend for a tank this size. Once the fish is in there it will start producing ammonia. It will take a few days before you start seeing ammonia in the tank. Don't ever let the ammonia get any higher than .5 even lower is better but with Prime your fish should be fine at this level.

Water changes as the ammonia starts rising is going to protect you new water pet. At some point you are going to start seeing nitrites. When that happens you don't want the total amount of ammonia plus nitrites to get above 1.0 Keep them down with water changes. Be sure to add Prime with every water change. No matter what the test say never go longer than a week between water changes. With a tank this small things can go bad quickly so keep a close eye on the numbers.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
OP
E

eric859

New Member
Member
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Thank you for all the replies! This definitely seems to be a good forum to post questions. Just an update. I went to PetSmart to have my water tested. There were no nitrates. Ph was on the higher end of normal. The only thing that was high was ammonia. The fish had only been in the tank for about 9 days. They couldn't tell me what the white flaky slime was or why the fish died. I understand about the tetras being too small for the tank. They were only one inch in size so I thought that a 3 gallon tank would be fine but now I see that everybody is telling me that it's not. We would like to try again with the same tank. I was thinking about danios. They are still glofish but stay pretty small. I would have 3. What do you guys think?
 

StarGirl

Fishlore VIP
Member
Messages
5,633
Reaction score
8,084
Location
Michigan
Experience
More than 10 years
Danios need more swim space than the tetras so I would have to say no.....sorry. Size doesn't mean much sometimes. I have 3 Danios and they are super fast and swim my 55g in a streak. They need a long space to swim.
 

redmare

Well Known
Member
Messages
598
Reaction score
659
Location
Alberta, Canada- On the way to Ontario
Experience
5 years
eric859 said:
Thank you for all the replies! This definitely seems to be a good forum to post questions. Just an update. I went to PetSmart to have my water tested. There were no nitrates. Ph was on the higher end of normal. The only thing that was high was ammonia. The fish had only been in the tank for about 9 days. They couldn't tell me what the white flaky slime was or why the fish died. I understand about the tetras being too small for the tank. They were only one inch in size so I thought that a 3 gallon tank would be fine but now I see that everybody is telling me that it's not. We would like to try again with the same tank. I was thinking about danios. They are still glofish but stay pretty small. I would have 3. What do you guys think?
The high ammonia is probably what did your fish in. As others have said, getting a full test kit is the best investment into the hobby and the fish you can make! I would really recommend a bigger tank, or looking into shrimp if you only want to keep the 3 gallons. A single betta may be okay, there are mixed reviews on this. The danios are just too zoomy for that little space. I think a MINIMUM of 10 gallons for a few of them, 20 long would be even better. No matter what you decide, we are here to help you and your fish every step of the way :) This is a super awesome community, and we are all really understanding of beginner mistakes, since we all did them. My first fish lived in a 1/4 gallon....
 

Noroomforshoe

Well Known
Member
Messages
1,110
Reaction score
520
Location
PA
Experience
More than 10 years
FishBoy101 said:
This is a very very personal preference, I do not like glo-fish and many other fish keepers don't either. Glo-fish have been injected with a color-dye something that makes them glow, and by buying them you are making them make more and more which will be bad for the fish. The tank is also way to small, please, please do not have glo-fish, get your daughter a larger, better tank with more exciting fish. I do not think any fish should go into there, only shrimp and snails, please get a larger tank, for the sake of your fish, and for your daughters happiness.
Glow fish are not injected or dies, the genes of jelly fish were spliced with the genes of the other fish in a lab. Suposedly they initially did this to track wild stock of fish in rivers for some reason. But the resulting fish are healthy, and the color transfers to any pure bred children. it is just illegal to sell the fry. Painted and died fish are another story and yes they are horrible!
 

JuiceBox52

Active Member
Member
Messages
333
Reaction score
547
Location
Monroe Washington
Experience
5 to 10 years
The only fish suitable for this is a betta, and even then they should have at least 5 gallons. I would only keep shrimp and/or snails here
 

Noroomforshoe

Well Known
Member
Messages
1,110
Reaction score
520
Location
PA
Experience
More than 10 years
eric859 said:
Thank you for all the replies! This definitely seems to be a good forum to post questions. Just an update. I went to PetSmart to have my water tested. There were no nitrates. Ph was on the higher end of normal. The only thing that was high was ammonia. The fish had only been in the tank for about 9 days. They couldn't tell me what the white flaky slime was or why the fish died. I understand about the tetras being too small for the tank. They were only one inch in size so I thought that a 3 gallon tank would be fine but now I see that everybody is telling me that it's not. We would like to try again with the same tank. I was thinking about danios. They are still glofish but stay pretty small. I would have 3. What do you guys think?
A 3 gallon tank is vary small, it can hold one betta, but a 5 gallon tank is really thr minimum size tank for even just a single betta.
The glowfish are active schooling fish.
Danios are some of the most active fish you can get and glo danios are no different. a 20 gallon long is the bere minimum, a shool of 8 is a bare minimum for them.
glofishTetra/white skirt tetra need a 20 gallon or lager and a school of 8.
Tiger barbs, get quite large and are notoriosly aggressive, a 30 gallon tank and a school of 10 should be considered minimum.
The rainbow shark, needs 55 gallons minimum and only one per tank.
I have heard of glow bettas, If you want to try one for your 3 gallon, go for it.
Please finish fishless cycling before you get any fish though.
 

Megaanemp

Well Known
Member
Messages
645
Reaction score
223
Location
Canada
Experience
Just started
eric859 said:
Thank you for all the replies! This definitely seems to be a good forum to post questions. Just an update. I went to PetSmart to have my water tested. There were no nitrates. Ph was on the higher end of normal. The only thing that was high was ammonia. The fish had only been in the tank for about 9 days. They couldn't tell me what the white flaky slime was or why the fish died. I understand about the tetras being too small for the tank. They were only one inch in size so I thought that a 3 gallon tank would be fine but now I see that everybody is telling me that it's not. We would like to try again with the same tank. I was thinking about danios. They are still glofish but stay pretty small. I would have 3. What do you guys think?
Most everyone will agree that a 3 gallon tank is too small for any fish. A betta may work but in m experience they will start ripping their tails out due to boredom in a tank that size. You could maybe keep some snail in your tank. I highly suggest that you read up on the nitrogen cycle and purchase your own test kit. You won’t have any nitrates because your tank is not cycled. I hope this doesn’t come off as being mean I just want to help you be successful.
The larger the tank the easier it is to look after. You may be happier with a 20 gallon. In a 20 gallon you could fit about 9 Glo danios or 6 glo skirt tetras (1 or the other not both)I hope this helps :) Also it would be great if you could find a local mom and pop shop that deals in fish, they would be willing to help you and would likely donate some bacteria from their system to kick start yours.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
OP
E

eric859

New Member
Member
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Yea. I'd like to get a larger tank but my wife wont let me. Now my kid hates me because Pineapple, Greenapple, and Henry died. This is currently my least favorite hobby.
 

redmare

Well Known
Member
Messages
598
Reaction score
659
Location
Alberta, Canada- On the way to Ontario
Experience
5 years
Oh no, I'm so sorry! That's not the experience anyone should have :( Look into a betta or some shrimp. Shrimp may sound boring, but I have a colony that's breeding like mad in 5 gallons and they are so amazing to watch.
 

FreshwaterHG

Well Known
Member
Messages
932
Reaction score
706
Location
Oregon
eric859 said:
Yea. I'd like to get a larger tank but my wife wont let me. Now my kid hates me because Pineapple, Greenapple, and Henry died. This is currently my least favorite hobby.
I’m very sorry! Unfortunately all the marketing at big box stores works against keeping fish successfully. They advertise small tanks for fish that won’t do well in them and often the employees have little to no knowledge on proper care. I promise it can be a blast with the right info! With the 3 gal I would try planting it with some really easy plants and doing cherry shrimp! They would really pop against the green of live plants and are really fun to watch. I know it’s not as cool as glow fish to kids but unfortunately glow fish can really only do well in larger tanks. I personally wouldn’t even suggest a betta fish, I have 8 betta of my own and personally I won’t keep mine in anything less then 5 simply because of water parameters. I hope you give it another try :)
 

Crimson_687

Well Known
Member
Messages
1,260
Reaction score
611
Location
Dallas, Texas
Experience
3 years
Test kits are always good to have. When you take samples to fish stores they tend to use strips, which can be inaccurate. It’s a hassle too. Also you can get a test kit for really cheap! I was able to get mine cheap by price matching on Chewy via PetSmart and playing TreatTrail on the PetSmart app. If you play the TreatTrail game, you get a 25% off single price item coupon. Right now the API Freshwater Master Test Kit is 20$ on Chewy, and with the 25% off coupon that’ll be 15$. It’s usually 35$ in store.
 

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
12,832
Reaction score
12,706
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
eric859 said:
Thank you for all the replies! This definitely seems to be a good forum to post questions. Just an update. I went to PetSmart to have my water tested. There were no nitrates. Ph was on the higher end of normal. The only thing that was high was ammonia. The fish had only been in the tank for about 9 days. They couldn't tell me what the white flaky slime was or why the fish died. I understand about the tetras being too small for the tank. They were only one inch in size so I thought that a 3 gallon tank would be fine but now I see that everybody is telling me that it's not. We would like to try again with the same tank. I was thinking about danios. They are still glofish but stay pretty small. I would have 3. What do you guys think?
If they told you that the ammonia was high but then said they couldn't tell you why the fish died then I think I would have to find another store or just read a LOT here on the forum. Simply put, it was the high ammonia level that killed the fish. Had you done any water changes during those 9 days? Fish in a brand new tank of this size would have needed almost daily partial water changes until the tank had time to grow enough bacteria to clear out the ammonia the fish were producing.

Should you choose to try again read everything you can on doing a fish in cycle. I know folks are recommending shrimp for this small tank. I will agree shrimp in this tank would be awesome but shrimp need a well seasoned tank. Plop them in a new tank and I think both you and your daughter will be in for more heartbreak. :(
 

New Threads

Similar Threads

Follow FishLore!

FishLore on Social Media

Online statistics

Members online
196
Guests online
3,296
Total visitors
3,492

Aquarium Photo Contests

Aquarium Calculator

Top Bottom