Help Starting Out..again

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Snapshot48

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Hey everyone :3. I'm new here to Fishlore, it seemed like a really knowledgeable place to come and get help

At this moment I kinda feel like a bad tank owner :<, but thats why I'm here, so I can become a good tank owner!

I've owned my 55 gallon fish tank for over a year and have gone through quite a few fish. All of my tetras have died from what people are calling "skinny diease". The tetras would eat, but would continue to get skinner and skinner until they wittled away to nothing and died. Other fish never seemed to be affected by this.

Recently (May 18) I decided to do a fresh start, I ordered some new brighter plants, got new rocks, cleaned the decorations and drained the tank to the bottom. I scrubbed the algae off the tank with a glass cleaner tool (from the pet store) and spent 4 hours cleaning and reorganizing the tank.
The few fish that were in the tank were moved to a smaller 10 gallon (with water from the main tank) for the time period. I know the water conditions from doing a new tank would be harsh on these few fish, and they would probably die but I just didn't have the heart to dispose of them alive :< (I keep trying to reword it so it sounds better but it just sounds plain mean...)

I filled the tank up with tank water, turned the filter on, put some tap water conditioner into the water and let it run for alittle time. I then put the fish back into the tank. Everything was goin good, over the next few days I continued to treat the water with tap water condtioner and Melafix in case any of the old fish were sick from the old water.
I purchased 25 (ended up being about 28) cheap feeder goldfish from the store to help cycle, but I would not (or will not) buy anything else new until the tank is fully cycled.
Most of the feeders have died, along with about 3 of the old fish (1 danio, 1 penguin tetra and 1 gourmai)

Currently in the tank I have:
1 catfish
1 pleco
1 gourmai (who is acting strange. Since the other gourmai died he seems to swim around the tank in jerky, back and forth movements and sometimes picks on the goldfish)
1 danio
2-3 feeder goldfish ( in 1 week, all the other died :<<)

I obviously won't be adding any more fish to the tank, but I just wanted to know..am I do thing <anything> right at all? I've tried reading pages and stuff, I just want to make sure.
Should I get more feeder goldfish to help with cycles, knowing they will probably die?
I'm going to take a water sample to my local pet store first thing in the morning to test the water parameters.

Is there anything I should specifically purchase to help?
There is a air feature in the centre of my main decoration, should I plug it in as well to help even with the filter going?
Please help..but please don't be mean :<
Snapshot
 

izzyfishfarmer

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you need a new gourami of the opposite sex and you need to feed them dry flake and frozen food try putting some sea salt in the tank
 

JustinF

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Welcome!
Just curious did you clean everything with just water? I have a 55 too I just got it and it was filthy it took me a ton of time to clean it. Sorry about your losses. I'm still learning too, the people on here are great and know a ton of info.
 

Snapshot48

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Thanks for all the great welcomes!

@Justin - yup. when i cleaned it i did drain it 100%, and then cleaned it using the water leftover in the tank. Then finished draining it.
 

Goldwing_Don

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Hello again Snapshot 48 here is a link you should read. it is for people starting up Aquariums.
and did you use soup to clean the tank?
 

catsma_97504

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Welcome to Fishlore Snapshot!

Your profile indicates that you do not know about the Nitrogen Cycle. In order to be successful, you should read and understand it. Here's a link to the Nitrogen Cycle. Do you have any test kits? You will need to know where your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels are at. Most here recommend the API Master Test kit.

You have both cold water (goldfish) and warm water species in your tank. Which type of fish are you interested in keeping? This will help us to guide you down the correct path after your tank has completed its cycle.

Good luck.
 

Snapshot48

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@ Goldwing - Thanks! I'll read it throughly. No soap (or soup haha) just the old water from the main tank and an a aquarium glass cleaner tool.

@catsma - Thanks for posting . Oh...oops...could my goldfish be dying because the water is to warm for them? I'm interested in keeping warm water tropical fish.
I might have a test kit...I have to check. A whole box of stuff came with the tank when I bought it off my mom. (a whole lot of broke things >.<) If not I'm going to take a sample to my local pet store tomorrow to be tested but will purchase some home kits as well.
I know..very little of the nitrogen cycle. I'll read up on the link carefully :3. I want my tank to be successful, or I'll have to sell it
 

pinksprklmonkey

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Ok, lots of things to get sorted out here. First off you need to know about the Nitrogen Cycle. Please read this https://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm

Since you already have fish you can't do a fishless cycle, so I would suggest doing 50% daily water changes with Prime or Amquel Plus. Both of them will detox the ammonia and nitrites in your water which are very dangerous to fish, and I would guess this is why you are losing so many fish. This will make sense once you read the link.

Secondly, you have fish together that are not compatible. Goldfish need colder water than your other fish which are tropical. Do you have a heater? Do you know what temperature your tank is currently? If you don't have a heater you need to get one if you want to keep your tropical fish (the gourami, tetras, and pleco). You will need to decide if you want cold water fish (like the goldfish) or tropical, because if you don't the fish's health will suffer.

If you decide to go with goldfish you should know they are very dirty fish and need much more space than most tropical fish. The general rule is 20 gallons of water for the first goldfish and then 10 for each additional. Also, since you said they are feeders they get quite large and because of that some people only suggest ponds for them, just something to keep in mind. They also require much more filtration. What kind of filter do you have?

Also I would buy the API test kit. It will allow you to keep tabs on your water conditions as most LFS will use test strips that are not accurate. I got mine on Amazon for about $20.00.

I know that's a lot! This is definitely not a straight forward process especially if you get information (like most people do) from LFS who don't know very much!! But we're here to help! Welcome to Fishlore!
 

BritJo

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Well don't feel bad about not knowing, you are doing the best you can now, and that's what matters. Though for future pet purchases, google is your friend. I always think it best to research before setting things up, it savesyou so much heart ache and time and money!

Here is my suggestion. Get rid of the goldfish since you've said you want tropical fish. See if you can find them a new home or take them back to the pet store. While you are taking your water to the pet store (see if they use liquid tests or dip sticks, if they use dip sticks, what they are telling you is probably not worth much. Get a liquid test kit like API) pick up some Tetra Safe Start if you can afford it (TSS is a new product that has bacteria in it to help your tank get started, you put the bottle in and leave it for 7 to 10 days before doing a water change. Lots of people have different opinions on TSS, but it's always worked great for me and it's worth the money in my opinion, but you can do your own research and decide as well). If not, pick up some Prime, water conditioner and start doing daily water changes to keep ammonia levels down. Also, while you are at the fish store, ask if they could give you some filter media to work with to help seed your tank. The water changes will help keep your fish healthy and from dying and the filter media will help establish good bacteria in your tank that will keep toxic levels of ammonia and nitrite from rising (the whole point of the nitrogen cycle so nitrates can form in your tank . It's a little stressful cycling w/ fish, but if you stick to daily water changes they will make it and you will be able to enjoy your tank
 

SammyJ

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The others have really good advice so I won't repeat it. I will say this though, fish die, its just something that happens. Sometimes one gets lucky and its a cheap and easy to replace fish an others its an expensive and hard to come by breed.

Sometimes its for reasons that you just didn't know about. Putting neon tetras in with a gold and blue ram. Others its something totally out of your control. My black moor Oscar, one day happy and healthy the next day floating upside down in his tank. You can do everything right and not really get away from it.

Props for keeping at it though as it is a rewarding hobby. The payoff is seeing the "babies" as I call them swarm in anticipation when daddy gives them their morning and afternoon feeding.
 
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