What am I doing wrong

Myboimydudemyfish

Active Member
Member
Messages
60
Reaction score
22
Experience
1 year
It’s been a while since I’ve last been here. A few months back I was redoing my 20 gallon tank by adding fish, live plants, and sand substrate.
Then I see one of my tetras swimming odd and showing signs of parasites so I quarantine. She dies.
Fine whatever. I had 20ish live plants, three peppered Cories, an angelfish, four black/white skirt tetras, four red eyed tetras, three khuli loaches, a nerite snail, and some pest snails.
Turns out the white skirt tetra that I bought carried ich that I didn’t notice while it was in quarantine resulting in an outbreak. I remove all the fish to medicate without damaging plants. The disease wipes out my hand tamed angelfish and two black skirts.
I also bought shrimp at some point. They all died when I moved them out of quarantine despite drip acclimating for an hour.
With all my efforts to protect my plants, they all melt anyways except for some salvinia minima, java fern, two lilies, and three Amazon swords.
I distanced myself from this. I avoid interacting with the tank unless it’s to feed or clean. Only to find a red eye with a broken jaw.
Fell behind on water changes and left an algae pellet in for too long which must’ve caused some water quality problems.
Red eye seemed to get better for a while then died.
One of my cories was floating around barely breathing and struggling to swim. Do emergency water change and vacuum out all the pellet. Found the Cory dead today despite her also showing signs of improvement.
I’m growing quite exhausted with fish keeping. I do my research, follow all the steps, and it still goes wrong. It doesn’t matter if I intervene or not my sick fish never recover and die. At this point I’m just keeping what I have left alive and when they die I’m getting rid of this tank. This hobby is ridiculously unrewarding. It is astounding that people can nurse fish back to health because I have TERRIBLE luck with it. My dog died not that long ago and dealing with my fish dying on top of that is doing me no good.

Don’t know if anyone will read all that but if anyone wants to give advice or has had this experience please reply. I’m literally losing my love for keeping any animal at all. Thanks
 

Mamastacia3

Active Member
Member
Messages
237
Reaction score
265
Location
California
Experience
1 year
Aw, I’m so sorry. I don’t know if it will help you or not but I’m in a similar space. I just lost my beloved rose-gold betta, a beauty. He was fine and healthy but then injured himself, lost a pectoral fin that got infected, and he died. But even before that so many issues with my tank, and a different sick betta (who is hanging in there so far), but I was JUST thinking the same thing, like, what an unrewarding hobby when everyone gets sick or dies or you get hydra in the tank or a faulty piece of decor that hurts a fish.

Feeling very “over it” and kind of thinking the same thing as you, keep it going until my current betta comes to end of his natural life and then just get rid of everything.

I don’t know if this helped but you aren’t alone, I’m sorry you’ve been having such bad luck.

Hugs,
Stacia
 

Lebeeze

Well Known
Member
Messages
602
Reaction score
299
Location
Ontario Canada
Experience
5 years
I dont have all the facts but how long was the tank running? Did you cycle it?

If you did cycle it, than sometimes fish keeping can be frustrating. It's also easier to keep water parameters in check with larger tanks. If you have the room maybe get a larger tank and see if that is better for you. Water changes are an absolute necessity and skipping even 1 can be harmful for your fish, especially if you are overstocked.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
OP
Myboimydudemyfish

Myboimydudemyfish

Active Member
Member
Messages
60
Reaction score
22
Experience
1 year
Lebeeze said:
I dont have all the facts but how long was the tank running? Did you cycle it?

If you did cycle it, than sometimes fish keeping can be frustrating. It's also easier to keep water parameters in check with larger tanks. If you have the room maybe get a larger tank and see if that is better for you. Water changes are an absolute necessity and skipping even 1 can be harmful for your fish, especially if you are overstocked.
This tank has been running for years. I was just starting to walk when the tank was first set up. I’m 19 now. I used to test the water weekly and do 50% water changes biweekly but with my whole dog dying thing my tank got put in the back burner. I’ve thought about upgrading but most college dorms only allow 20 gallons max so I wouldn’t be able to bring it with me if I upgraded.

Mamastacia3 said:
Aw, I’m so sorry. I don’t know if it will help you or not but I’m in a similar space. I just lost my beloved rose-gold betta, a beauty. He was fine and healthy but then injured himself, lost a pectoral fin that got infected, and he died. But even before that so many issues with my tank, and a different sick betta (who is hanging in there so far), but I was JUST thinking the same thing, like, what an unrewarding hobby when everyone gets sick or dies or you get hydra in the tank or a faulty piece of decor that hurts a fish.

Feeling very “over it” and kind of thinking the same thing as you, keep it going until my current betta comes to end of his natural life and then just get rid of everything.

I don’t know if this helped but you aren’t alone, I’m sorry you’ve been having such bad luck.

Hugs,
Stacia
I have such a soft spot for bettas. The one on my profile pic died of hexamita. I could’ve prevented it if I didn’t cross contaminate between tanks and it eats at me sometimes. I treated that fish like royalty and he got me through bad days. Just knowing others feel the same way is helpful. Thank you
 

Shambhalaubie

New Member
Member
Messages
44
Reaction score
23
Location
Canada
Experience
3 years
Anyone who has experience with fishkeeping will tell you it's like chemistry, there is so much that can go wrong with your aquarium and it really is like science. The water has to be certain levels, you have to test it, and know what to do in order to correct it if something is wrong.. or new fish (despite quarantining) bring diseases with them that we must know how to first properly diagnose, and then also know what to do to fix it. One spike of any level can be disastrous. This can also be said for overstocking issues that lead to poor water quality and inevitably fish loss. Having an aquarium is, to say the least, quite the undertaking no doubt. It is a lot more work than people think. And trust me, I've suffered plenty of Fish horror shows. Yet, I've grown to love the hobby more than ever, and I continue to learn more with all my failures. I can understand not wanting to keep going after all the loss, it takes a toll on us emotionally. Especially after losing your dog, I'm incredibly sorry to hear this.. Losing any pet is always such a hard thing to go through. We form bonds with them. My dog Shar is 8 years old and I'm slowly trying to prepare myself for the day when she's no longer with me. I know no amount of preparation will make me ready for the day that comes.

I certainly understand not wanting to continue with the hobby, but I would say give it one last chance or perhaps pick it up again in the future.
 

UnknownUser

Well Known
Member
Messages
1,546
Reaction score
1,024
Experience
Just started
I have the same feelings as you. I started about a year ago when my college dorm let me have a 10 gal. I didn’t know anything. Lost some fish to the cycle. Got the tank cycled, but then my next batch of fish brought in something AWFUL and it killed the whole bunch. And the next whole bunch. I was treating them for weeks. I dropped $50 more on medications to bomb the whole tank, wiped out the cycle with it. Recycled the tank and got new fish. One died of columnaris with treatment. And it always seemed to be my favorite fish that died. The nice fish. The ones that bond with their human and are colorful and full of personality. I finally stopped naming fish. I stopped watching them all day. If one shows any sign of illness at all, it gets removed to QT immediately. I don’t waste money on meds. If it dies in QT, it dies. I haven’t had any fish recover from anything besides fin rot. I finally got my tank all settled and disease free and fully stocked, and I woke up to 9 gallons of water on my floor. I threw everything in the 20 gal I had (was thankfully about to upgrade so it was up and running) and prayed. I lost two harlequin rasboras a week later. I’m down to 2 from 5.

I now have a fully cycled, disease-free, fully stocked 20 high. When they go, I won’t be getting more fish for awhile. I’ll probably get one again when I have my own home and can set up a 55+ gal tank.
 

Frank the Fish guy

Active Member
Member
Messages
172
Reaction score
92
Location
Maryland
Experience
More than 10 years
I took a break when I was in college. Too much other stuff on your plate it is not the right time for a relaxing hobby. If it causes you stress, it may mean that it does not fit into your life right now. Better to wait until you have a need for a relaxing hobby. Maybe after graduation. We all learn over our life time how to do this.

One thing I have learned over the years, and this a a tough one: All tanks end in tragedy. Yes, I said it.

Aquariums teach us about life. Enjoy it when it's good. Imagine your next one, and when you are ready, make it come to life and enjoy it while you have it.
 

Mamastacia3

Active Member
Member
Messages
237
Reaction score
265
Location
California
Experience
1 year
Your betta (if that’s the one on your profile pic) is a beauty btw. So sorry you lost him too. It’s sooo hard not to beat ourselves up and self-blame when something goes wrong. But you did everything you could with the knowledge you had at the time. Probably doesnt’t help. I’ve had a few situations that caused my fish harm through something I did, and those are the worst.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
OP
Myboimydudemyfish

Myboimydudemyfish

Active Member
Member
Messages
60
Reaction score
22
Experience
1 year
Shambhalaubie said:
Anyone who has experience with fishkeeping will tell you it's like chemistry, there is so much that can go wrong with your aquarium and it really is like science. The water has to be certain levels, you have to test it, and know what to do in order to correct it if something is wrong.. or new fish (despite quarantining) bring diseases with them that we must know how to first properly diagnose, and then also know what to do to fix it. One spike of any level can be disastrous. This can also be said for overstocking issues that lead to poor water quality and inevitably fish loss. Having an aquarium is, to say the least, quite the undertaking no doubt. It is a lot more work than people think. And trust me, I've suffered plenty of Fish horror shows. Yet, I've grown to love the hobby more than ever, and I continue to learn more with all my failures. I can understand not wanting to keep going after all the loss, it takes a toll on us emotionally. Especially after losing your dog, I'm incredibly sorry to hear this.. Losing any pet is always such a hard thing to go through. We form bonds with them. My dog Shar is 8 years old and I'm slowly trying to prepare myself for the day when she's no longer with me. I know no amount of preparation will make me ready for the day that comes.

I certainly understand not wanting to continue with the hobby, but I would say give it one last chance or perhaps pick it up again in the future.
I’m trying to like this hobby and get back into it. A part of me wants to go back in and try again but another part is saying “Absolutely not. You know how it’ll end.” I’ve always had bad luck when it comes to ill fish and that’s the worst part. When a fish gets sick or injured, I know it’s gonna die. Then it improves slightly which gives me hope, and then it dies. Every time. It wouldn’t as bad if I was able to save at least some of those fish. Please enjoy every moment with your dog. Losing them is excruciating, but knowing that you’ve taken every opportunity to give them love is incredibly comforting during the hard times.
 

GuppyDazzle

Well Known
Member
Messages
1,685
Reaction score
1,511
Location
Minnesota
Experience
More than 10 years
Just about everything you said points toward water quality issues. It didn't surprise me when you said you got behind on water changes. I didn't see anything about a test kit or readings for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. In my opinion a test kit is mandatory for fishkeeping, kind of like a chef needing an instant-read thermometer. I recommend the API Master Test Kit, which uses test tubes and indicator solution, instead of test strips.

You've probably heard of "New Tank Syndrome." There is also Old Tank Syndrome. That's where toxins build up over time, but it's so gradual that the fish adapt and look fine. Then when new fish are added, they crash immediately.

Most people do water changes at least weekly. If you go every other week, you're going to have larger swings in toxin levels.

I know it's frustrating. I had an ich outbreak one time and almost quit the hobby. Working through these challenges is a learning experience. Aquariums can be unforgiving, especially when it comes to frequent partial water changes.
 

Debbie1986

Well Known
Member
Messages
812
Reaction score
645
Shambhalaubie said:
Anyone who has experience with fishkeeping will tell you it's like chemistry, there is so much that can go wrong with your aquarium and it really is like science. The water has to be certain levels, you have to test it, and know what to do in order to correct it if something is wrong.. or new fish (despite quarantining) bring diseases with them that we must know how to first properly diagnose, and then also know what to do to fix it. One spike of any level can be disastrous. This can also be said for overstocking issues that lead to poor water quality and inevitably fish loss. Having an aquarium is, to say the least, quite the undertaking no doubt. It is a lot more work than people think. And trust me, I've suffered plenty of Fish horror shows. Yet, I've grown to love the hobby more than ever, and I continue to learn more with all my failures. I can understand not wanting to keep going after all the loss, it takes a toll on us emotionally. Especially after losing your dog, I'm incredibly sorry to hear this.. Losing any pet is always such a hard thing to go through. We form bonds with them. My dog Shar is 8 years old and I'm slowly trying to prepare myself for the day when she's no longer with me. I know no amount of preparation will make me ready for the day that comes.

I certainly understand not wanting to continue with the hobby, but I would say give it one last chance or perhaps pick it up again in the future.

I was screaming 'THIS" at my monitor as I was reading your post, lol

it's a closed eco system with a delicate balance

I just did a 90% water change on a 10 gallon during lunchbreak because it looked like garbage. I had 4 mystery snails in it before which was too much I know , 3 plants and a betta.

He's a lovely betta ( Col. Mustard who is still recovering his fins after an attack) so I did a restart on the tank pretty much with a deep vacuum. I added prime & stability and will keep an eye on it.

some ppl think beneficial bacteria additive are not worth it, I just see it as 'feeding' the tank.
 

Megaanemp

Well Known
Member
Messages
640
Reaction score
221
Location
Canada
Experience
Just started
I’m so sorry your having such a hard time :( It’s so so hard loosing any pet never mind a bunch all at once. It does sound like fish keeping was rewarding for you until this last while. Weekly water changes should help a lot along with a test kit. The test kit will take out all of the guess work and you will know exactly what your tank needs done:) I also find that floating plants help a lot to take up extra nutrients between water changes because they grow so fast! When I loose a pet I personally try to remind myself that although this is very very sad it means that I am able to now give another animal a good safe home. Not to replace the one I lost because that is impossible, but to give another a chance at a good life. If you do weekly water changes for the next month or so and test the water I bet the tank will be ready to slowly add some new fish (after quarantining of course). Also did you run the main tank without fish for a while to let all the inch parasites die off? Please don’t beat yourself up I’m pretty sure we’ve all had some horrible horror stories and inadvertently caused our fish harm, I sure have. all we can do is learn from our mistakes. :)
 

New Threads

Similar Threads

Follow FishLore!

FishLore on Social Media

Online statistics

Members online
222
Guests online
3,139
Total visitors
3,361

Aquarium Photo Contests

Aquarium Calculator

Top Bottom