Should I Give Up?

Sarah K

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Hey all! I've been in the fish keeping hobby for almost 2 years now. During these two years I've had awful "success" rates with my fish. I'm assuming my misfortune is due to my water parameters. I haven't bought fish in probably 9-12 months. I decided to get some more fish on Saturday. I got 3 Sterbai Corydoras and 6 Cardinal tetras. Now it's Monday and 3 of the 6 cardinals are dead. The Sterbais appear to be fine. I'm now remembering why I gave up on buying fish. I'm growing extremely discouraged and I'm ready to just throw in the towel. Are there any fish I can successfully keep with these parameters?

Tank Specs:
High 29 gallon
Temp: ~78
pH: 8.2
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 5-10 ppm
KH- 12 drops = 12 *dKH or 214.8 ppm
GH- 4 or 5 drops (I put in 2 on accident) = 71.6-89.5 ppm
Tank Inhabitants: 2 platy, 7 sterbai corydora, 3 cardinal tetra
Tank Start Date: 7/10/16
Maintenance: 30% Water change weekly

I don't want to waste money by using RODI water, so please don't suggest RODI for my PWCs.
 

Igor95

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That's strange. I've lost a few fish during qt's for unknown reasons, but that's somewhat normal. In your case, maybe you're getting them from a bad source? Really not sure how to help as the parameters look good, sorry about that
 

Ms rose

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your parmeters are great, id try a more hardy fish, and be sure to acclimate. im sure you are just being to hard on yourself, and once you find the type of fish that do well in your tank, you will love it!! keep at it you are cycled. this, imho is the hardest part aside from unexplained fih death. also i have been hearing, due to imbreeding and over breeding, the quality of the fish have declined subsantially. its not your fault
 
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Sarah K

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Tony M said:
Sarah your parameters look good. I’ve never kept cardinals but I think they’re pretty delicate. Swordtails and mollies are hardy, and maybe a BN pleco.
It's so sad that they can't tolerate my PH/GH/KH better because they look AMAZING in my tank
 
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Sarah K

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Igor95 said:
That's strange. I've lost a few fish during qt's for unknown reasons, but that's somewhat normal. In your case, maybe you're getting them from a bad source? Really not sure how to help as the parameters look good, sorry about that
I've bought from local, family owned shops as well as big box stores. I've had success and failure with both. I really think my water PH/GH/KH are to blame since they aren't exactly ideal for the fish I attempt to keep. *sigh*
 
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Sarah K

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Ms rose said:
your parmeters are great, id try a more hardy fish, and be sure to acclimate. im sure you are just being to hard on yourself, and once you find the type of fish that do well in your tank, you will love it!! keep at it you are cycled. this, imho is the hardest part aside from unexplained fih death. also i have been hearing, due to imbreeding and over breeding, the quality of the fish have declined subsantially. its not your fault
Both the new Sterbais and the Cardinals went through the same recommended acclimation. I put their bags in the tank to float and removed the rubber bands and let them sit for 15 minutes. I then added some tank water and waited 5 minutes. I repeated this 2 additional times then netted them into the tank. I feel so bad that I keep trying to give these fish a "good life" and keep killing them instead.
 

Ms rose

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i know, its rough, but you ar doing everything right, dont beat yourself up. you are doing great, i think its just the fish
 

sfsamm

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I have similar water but actually a bit harder... PH 8.2, kH 10-11, gH 15-16 and a TDS that I've never seen under 455. I currently have had the following with great success. Be sure it's a cycled tank and you do a proper acclimation and at least adjust them to your temp...
Zebra Danio
Leopard Danio
Celestial Pearl Danio
Ctenopoma Acutirostre ( aka African Leaf Fish)
Synodontis Eupterus (aka Featherfin catfish)
Pelvicachromis Pulcher (aka Kribensis)
Congo Tetras
Columbian Tetras
Platy
Endler Guppies
Guppies
Mollies
Sword tails
Betas
Cardinal Tetra
Harlequin Rasbora
Neocardinia Shrimp
Amano Shrimp
Assassin Snails
Nerite Snails
Mystery Snails
Bladder & Pond Snails

I think that's it for right now...

Many West African fish will be fine, African Rift Lake Cichlids would even like your water to be harder and higher pH. Live bearer fish love it. To get started you may do a little digging and find some fish from harder water areas around the world that you like or try something easy like a live bearer that appreciates harder water. Once you get the knack for the maintenance and your tank is well established maybe try something a bit more difficult. Adjusting fish to harder water is much easier than adjusting them to soft water.
 
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Sarah K

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sfsamm said:
I have similar water but actually a bit harder... PH 8.2, kH 10-11, gH 15-16 and a TDS that I've never seen under 455. I currently have had the following with great success. Be sure it's a cycled tank and you do a proper acclimation and at least adjust them to your temp...
Zebra Danio
Leopard Danio
Celestial Pearl Danio
Ctenopoma Acutirostre ( aka African Leaf Fish)
Synodontis Eupterus (aka Featherfin catfish)
Pelvicachromis Pulcher (aka Kribensis)
Congo Tetras
Columbian Tetras
Platy
Endler Guppies
Guppies
Mollies
Sword tails
Betas
Cardinal Tetra
Harlequin Rasbora
Neocardinia Shrimp
Amano Shrimp
Assassin Snails
Nerite Snails
Mystery Snails
Bladder & Pond Snails

I think that's it for right now...

Many West African fish will be fine, African Rift Lake Cichlids would even like your water to be harder and higher pH. Live bearer fish love it. To get started you may do a little digging and find some fish from harder water areas around the world that you like or try something easy like a live bearer that appreciates harder water. Once you get the knack for the maintenance and your tank is well established maybe try something a bit more difficult. Adjusting fish to harder water is much easier than adjusting them to soft water.
Wow, thanks for all that information! My tank had been set up and well established for almost 2 years now. Perhaps I'll give the Cardianl Tetras another shot and try to acclimate for longer and more gradually. I'll look into some of those other fish as well! Thanks again!
 

BuddyD

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I've been switching my 30 gal tank to Tetras and WCMM, with Panda Cories and 3 Dwarf Gourami.

The Tetras are 4 Rummynose, 5 Embers, 5 Glass Bloodfins, 5 Silver Tips.
1 Cardinal Tetra. There were 5 Cardinals but in the first 24 hours, 4 died.
No idea why.
The other Tetras seem stronger and have very little problem with changes.

Keep at it. Don't let the cardinals stop you.
 
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