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Why Can't I Add Anything To This Tank Help

Discussion in 'More Freshwater Aquarium Topics' started by nikm128, Mar 28, 2019.

  1. nikm128Fishlore VIPMember

    So I have a very lightly stocked 40 gallon tank that I've been trying to stock for a month now. The problem is, every fish I've tried to add to the original stock has died within a week.
    4 Amano shrimp, dead
    bn pleco, dead
    2 bolivian rams, dead
    two goldfish, you guessed it, they died too
    And yes, the tank is cycled. Tested today
    0 ammonia
    0 nitrites
    20 nitrates
    What the heck is going on in there!? Help!
  2. Roger121Valued MemberMember

    lol , more than 10ppm to Nitrate is toxic , and u can not have 20ppm of nitrate if u have 0 nitrites, only if u add Nitrate in the aquarium , like using KNo3.

  3. toekneeWell Known MemberMember

    10 ppm nitrate is not toxic. up to 40 is fine. I believe you have nitrites and nitrates mixed up.

  4. david1978Fishlore LegendMember

    In pretty sure op knows that. But to answer your question its really tough to tell since you already have some fish in the tank I couldn't imagine anything harmful in the water. I have had streaks of bad luck adding fish that I never could figure out why. Chocked it up to the tank telling me not to add to it. Could be acclimation related, fish store conditions before purchase.

  5. nikm128Fishlore VIPMember

    I also tried doing daily water changes of 25%, brought the nitrates down since I have 0 in the tap, but the fish still died. I also hooked up my UV sterilizer just in case there was something waterborne going around, but not likely since I already have fish in the tank doing just fine.
    So just try to wait it out maybe? As for acclimation, I float the bag for 15 minutes, then and ~1 cup of tank water to the bag every 20 minutes until it's almost full, then I net the fish and add them to the tank
    Some fish were from petsmart, some from petco, some from a local place that isn't widely known, and sells fish in basically perfect health. No difference from either place
  6. david1978Fishlore LegendMember

    Acclimation sounds better then I do. Multiple places kills the poor pet store theory. With healthy fish already in the tank suggests good tank conditions so I'm not sure what I would do.
  7. aussieJJDudeWell Known MemberMember

    Most likely its the acclimation process. I find keeping them in rhe bag longer tends to have a lower survival rate.

    I've personally had great success with the plop and drop (15min float, then release into the tank...) doing this, fish aren't in the bag where waste builds up...
  8. nikm128Fishlore VIPMember

    Could it be some sort of internal parasite that conveniently goes to the new fish since their immune systems are weakened from stress? That really sounds like a stretch, but stranger things have happened.
    Usually that is what I do, but our tap water is stupidly soft so I had to raise the hardness several degrees for the shrimp, for the snails I have to have good shell growth, and slightly for the mollies I have since I recently learned from another member they don't do well in soft water. Short Version: Slow acclimation is for the difference in water hardness. Don't want osmotic shock (I think it's called that anyway)
  9. aussieJJDudeWell Known MemberMember

    Acclimation to water tends to take longer than a couple of hours, and if the change is drastic can take up to a week for the internal environment of the fish to 'match' water conditions.

    Hence why a drip acclimation is usually pointless and does nothing besides increasing stress - stress can be a major killer. A few youtubers have explained the pros of plop and drop rather well, and in my years of keeping never had issues (the couple of times I do a slow acclimation, I find a lower success rate, and takes the fish longer to adjust - behaviour and eating mostly...
  10. nikm128Fishlore VIPMember

    Interesting, I never saw it like that.
    Do you think I should just continue my stocking plan, but skip the longer acclimation process and just go back to my usual "plop and drop"?
  11. aussieJJDudeWell Known MemberMember

    Yes. It sounds like you also had better success prior doing the plop and drop. If it aint broke, why fix?
  12. nikm128Fishlore VIPMember

    Fair enough, I think the only thing I'll do different with this stocking, is add the fish from most to least hardy. (Instead of least to most aggressive)
  13. SixThreeOhWell Known MemberMember

    What's the pH in the tank and what's your local pH?
  14. nikm128Fishlore VIPMember

    Tank is ~7.8
    Tap is ~6.8-neutral
  15. SixThreeOhWell Known MemberMember

    That'd be my guess from the information given. You'd need to have a tank set up and slowly acclimate them to the higher pH over a few weeks.
  16. Addie42Well Known MemberMember

    huh I saw a really similar thread like this... somebody said that maybe that tank has a build up of toxins that the fish living in it are accustomed to and maybe using activated charcoal could help
    I wonder...do you have coloured gravel that is leaching?
  17. nikm128Fishlore VIPMember

    So you think I should take it even more slowly? I think I'll ask my lfs if they can tell me what their PH is too...just in case it's different still.
  18. nikm128Fishlore VIPMember

    I have some extra carbon pads, I could try that. The substrate is crushed coral. When I got it originally I didn't know I didn't need that much until I already had it
  19. Addie42Well Known MemberMember

    I have no idea what the source could be, but might as well try and see what makes of it I guess
    good luck, it sounds like something really strange is going on. I wonder if it's all concoctions of residual meds as well... who knows
    Are you still getting the UV sterilizer? I think I saw you post about that
  20. nikm128Fishlore VIPMember

    Oh yeah, I've had it for a while. Put it in the tank a few minutes ago. Seems like a good preventative treatment since it doesn't stress the fish at all.

    If anyone is curious about the filtration, I have a marineland 200, and an aqueon 50. So roughly 11x turnover an hour. I also lowered the water about half an inch so the outlets aerate the water more, and added two airstones.