What am I doing wrong my fish are dying Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by Borngemini, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. Borngemini

    BorngeminiValued MemberMember

    Well firstly I have had my fish tank for 2 months I've lost my dip tests but about 2 weeks ago these are the readings
    No2 = 200
    No3 = 05
    Gh = medium hard water
    Kh = 6
    Ph = 6.4
    My guppies are dying my platys are I think the only ones
    That arnt is my zebra danios, goldfish 8 out of 10 neon tetras
    I dont have a clue how to test my
    Amnio (sp)
    And my temp is at 84 - 86 f (29-30) I'm worried about turning my heater down but will rapid drop in temp kill them?
  2. soltarianknight

    soltarianknightFishlore VIPMember

    Your tank is suffering from a few problems, the first is the fact that it is cycling. You need to read up on the nitrogen cycle. The No2 levels are off the charts making me think that tank is way over stocked.

    The goldfish does not belong with the others, 84-86 is too warm for him long term(he needs temps that are cooler then what the other fish prefer). It is also too warm for the neons, zebras and livebearers.
    Can you tell us what size tank this is?

    For the second being you need to keep up on your water changes and ditch the strip tests, they are not accurate at all. A liquid test kit like API will give you better readings for longer.
  3. OP

    BorngeminiValued MemberMember

    My Tank is 50 litres and the maximum ive had in there is 20 it was my mums tank she had it for around 10 years before getting a 60 litre she always had around 40 fish in her tank due to breeding and they have alway been fine I know my temp Is high I'm worried about rapid dropping killing them even more I will go to the fish shop and get the tests you mentioned, is there anything I can do in the meantime

    Also a 20% water change makes them die quicker I hate this how hard can it be!!
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2012
  4. beginner

    beginnerValued MemberMember

    did you test the ph of your tap water before you lost the test strips???
  5. Reefdweller

    ReefdwellerValued MemberMember

    Hmm a couple of things come to mind right away. How heavy are you feeding and how often? Ageed on using liquid tests only.. no strips. Also, do the fish seems to be breathing heavy? Hanging around the top of the water? Ammonia is what I am leading to. With the high temperature and if heavy feeding - your fish are suffering. Give us some more info and see if we can not get you on the right path here.
  6. OP

    BorngeminiValued MemberMember

    Hello, i feed them twice a day with a pinch of food and yes mainly my guppies swim up and down the glass and stay at the top I have a decent filter which I got recommended when I went and told them the size of the tank, the ph was taken with the dip sticks I do have some left but they've disappeared I'll upload a picture of what's going on at the minute in my tank so you can all see the fish and tank ect ...
    I'm also to scared to move my mummy statue to the right place incase one pops off :-(
  7. Reefdweller

    ReefdwellerValued MemberMember

    What size is your tank? 25 gallon or 30? I am guessing based on the picture. How long have you had this filter? Did you keep the receipt? lol .... I am just not a fan of this type filter which sits inside the tank. You need you a good HOB filter and they are not too expensive. Members here like the aqua clear models and they have a affordable price tag and seem to perform well. With a HOB you will not have to keep your water level down meaning you can fill it up to the top (which I prefer - looks better :) ) You have done a good job with your tank. It looks good and dont worry even if you loose another one or 2 its not the end of the world. We will get you all fixed up! Slowly Stair step your heat down... half degree a day until you get to about 78 degrees. Just nice and slow - no rush. Did you happen to pick up a syphon tool to do water changes with? One where you can "vacuum" the gravel? This gets all that waste and excess food out of the tank. Also, lets cut back to one feeding per day - light feedings. They will be fine with one feeding. I am sorry what do you mean "pop" off?
  8. OP

    BorngeminiValued MemberMember

    Die!! (pop off)
    Nope didn't keep the receipt it's about 1 month old
    Yes I also have a Pleco in my tank that sucks the bottom I'm not sure on the exact tank size I know it's about 50 litres is that about 15 gallons? I also put fresh water drops in it's called tap safe it contains aloe Vera and good bacteria which I got told to buy at the shop, they don't sell those filters in the shops around here what they do sell though is a load or rubbish
    That doesn't help your tank at all!
    I'm getting annoyed I've spent so much trying to get it healthy
    I got told my bulb was causing it so spent £22 on another
    Is that about 45 dollars my filter also cost £37
    Im spending so much yet no progress Ill do anything to try and get them to survive and be happy!
    I'm going crazy trying x
  9. kinezumi89

    kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    Reefdweller, it's a 50L tank, or about 13 gallons. SK is right, it's very overstocked. Nitrite (NO2) is poisonous to fish, and with levels that high, it's unfortunately not surprising that the fish aren't doing well.

    I would turn the heater down - the water will hold the heat well and it won't drop too quickly. Temperatures that high won't kill your fish, but it's the lack of oxygen - oxygen isn't as soluble in warmer water, so the fish may also be suffocating, for lack of a better word.

    I second getting an API liquid test kit - most members here use them. They are WAY more accurate than strips; strips are unfortunately pretty much useless.

    The number of fish isn't important. Three tetras and three goldfish produce massively different amounts of waste. We need to know what kind of fish you have in there, not just the number. If you have a dozen tetras that would be fine (maybe a little cramped) but a dozen plecos would be a totally different story.

    My suggestions (some being repeated from what other members have said..but I like lists ;)):

    1. Buy an API freshwater master test kit, and let us know the results. (Be sure to shake well and wait a few minutes before reading!)
    2. Buy a bottle of Seachem Prime. Not sure if someone mentioned this and I missed it, but this is a water conditioner that not only detoxifies chlorine and chloramine in the water (like other conditioners), but ammonia and nitrite, which will keep your fish safe while your tank finishes up cycling. (Be sure to click on the underlined "nitrogen cycle" link in SK's thread; understanding this concept is vital to keeping happy fish.)
    3. Do a bunch of big water changes in a row to get the levels down to where they are safer to the fish. (By "levels" I mean ammonia and nitrite.) Some pet store employees say that you can't change too much water because it's bad for the fish, but that's bogus. Once the levels are closer to 0, do a partial water change every day to keep them that way. And with each water change, be sure to add Seachem Prime to keep your fish safe from chlorine, chloramine (if you have it them in your water), ammonia, and nitrite.
    4. Once we know about which fish you have, you may need to consider either rehoming some of them or getting a larger tank. That's a lot of nitrite, so like SK said, you're probably overstocked.

    Hope this helps, and feel free to ask any other questions as they come up :)

    Edit: Just saw your post, and unfortunately NO pleco belongs in a 50L tank, so you'll either need to upgrade or rehome him, depending on what type he is. Common plecos get to be two feet long! A bristlenose or clown pleco would be okay in a 30 gallon tank but that would be the minimum.

    A fish won't die from moving the decorations.

    Don't add stuff that claims to add good bacteria. It's just outcompeting the bacteria you want, so your tank will never really be cycled! The only bacterial additive known to be consistently effective is Tetra SafeStart, though I'm not sure if you can get it over there.
  10. OP

    BorngeminiValued MemberMember

    This is also another bubble filter I have the guppies always swim up and down here

    8 neon tetras, 1 male guppy and 1 female guppy 2 zebra danios 2 tiger fish (I think) but tiny compared to my mums one common pleco and Albanio shark
    My mums is 60 litres and she has 25 neons 5 mollies a 3 inch common pleco (twice the size of mine) 2 huge tiger fish and a few more she's had them
    For almost 2 years and none of her fish die :-(

    I've also ordered a bottle of amazon , Thankyou
    I will get my dad to run me up wednesday to get a test kit :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2012
  11. kinezumi89

    kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    1. The bubbles - an airstone - are good for the oxygen problem, but isn't a filter.
    2. Many people keep a goldfish in a bowl for years, but that doesn't mean the goldfish is happy of healthy or that it's the right thing to do. You can keep a dog in a closet as long as you feed it.
    3. Unfortunately that stocking list is riddled with issues. Common plecos get to two feet and need tanks well over 100 gallons. Tiger fish, if you mean tiger barbs, are aggressive and require a good-sized school to minimize nipping and fighting (and a much larger tank). Zebra danios are very active and require a larger tank (at least 20 gallons) and a group of at least six. The guppies will, if the water parameters are fixed, start breeding and make the stocking problem even worse. I always get the different types of shark mixed up, but I can guarantee yours needs a much much larger tank. Also your mom's tank is in the same boat unfortunately. They may be doing well now, but it's a ticking time bomb. Also the pleco will be stunted and die prematurely, being in such a small tank.

    Personally I would return the fish if you can, if not try and find new homes for them (NOT your mom's tank) and start from scratch. If you upgraded you would need an enormous tank and I doubt that's feasible. I don't even know why they well common plecos in stores.
  12. OP

    BorngeminiValued MemberMember


    I've dipped my water, I know i will still get proper tests
    No3 - 25
    No2 - 1
    Gh - medium hard water (10d)
    Kh - 3
    Ph - 6.4
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2012
  13. kinezumi89

    kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    I don't remember where it is, but another member made a thread where he posted test results from strips and the liquid kit, and they weren't even close. I would still get a liquid kit, it's more money up front but it's actually cheaper in the long run because you get so many tests out of it :)
  14. OP

    BorngeminiValued MemberMember

    As I previously said I will get some Wednesday still :) thats the one I've just done, hows that one?
  15. kinezumi89

    kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    I've never used the strips, so I'm not really sure which row is which, but I trust you can match the colors up. He problem isn't the person reading them, it's that the strips display the wrong results. That's good you're getting a kit :)
  16. Fashooga

    FashoogaFishlore VIPMember

    Think of overstocking as this...if you were in a small closet and you were the only person in there and you ate some bad food and stunk up the closet...your not going to breath well in there. If you had 10 friends join your in that closet and one ate some bad mexican food, than everybody will suffer.

    You may need to start over with this and research what is appropriate for your tank. I wouldn't give up. We all been there before.
  17. OP

    BorngeminiValued MemberMember

    Oh! I understand you lol, everywhere is shut now, I'll reply back on Thursday to the results of the other tests have a happy new year :)
  18. kinezumi89

    kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    LOL Fashooga that is a great comparison :giggle:

    Don't worry, most people start off on the wrong foot :) My first thread here was asking how many cory cats I could fit in my 10 gallon, when it was already overstocked :p Now I have many happy tanks. As Fashooga said, don't give up! Just do lots of reading so you better understand the hobby, and ask any questions that come up :)

    Edit: I wanted to add, not sure if you're planning on it but I would still do a couple big water changes to hold your fishies over until Thursday, or else you may find you've lost a few between then and now :(
  19. Jaysee

    JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I agree, success in the hobby starts with proper planning. Choosing fish that are appropriate for the tank size you have, as well as picking peaceful fish (aggressive fish need larger tanks), are very important. Almost as important as understanding the nitrogen cycle.
  20. OP

    BorngeminiValued MemberMember

    I honestly just feel like crying haha!

    I've been looking for bigger tanks and there expensive 50 gallon is around £700 here in the uk same as the Api master kits there £25 (according yo google thats $40 dollars) and only $16 dollars in the USA! What's with the uk prices
    :-o there shocking
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2012