why hide in the corner?

hopesmom

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newby needs help..why do all the fish hide in the back corner next to the air stone? why does the serpae tetra have a white bottom lip now? we have a 20g tank with 1 pleco 1 serpae tetra 3 black skirted tetras 1 white cloud 1 african dwarf frog 2 red unknown fish and 1 gold barb...is this too many fish? they are all small except the pleco who is about 3 inches long. Thanks for your help. My daughter and I are trying to keep fish for the first time - someone gave us their tank, fish and all.
 

Butterfly

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Is the tank cycled? Here are some great articles to start out with as a beginner.
Do you have water testing materials yet? If so what is the reading for ammonia, nitrites and Nitrates?
The white cloud, Serpae tetra, black skirts and gold barb are all schooling fish.The 3 skirts will do for now. but you need at least 6 of each for them to feel comfortable and to display their natural behaviour but this would seriously over stock your tank,so I would just keep 3 of each and see what happens. Can we have pictures of the red unknown fish please? the pleco is probably a common pleco and will get to be about 12 inches long which is way too big for your tank.
By the way WELCOME TO FISHLORE!!! Stop by the welcome forum and let us welcome you properly
Carol
 
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hopesmom

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thanks carol - i have never talked on the internet before, so i am a newbie at this too. hope i'm doing this right...no, after reading what cycling is i guess not...we took the fish out of the tank and putin a covered bowl, syphoned out the water, rinsed the gravel, fake plants and resin ruins pieces, wiped down the sides with an algae pad, and i scrubbed all the gross brown slimy stuff off of and out of the filter (which was beneficial to the fish i guess). Then we put clean water back in the tank, added some water conditioner, and put the fish back in there...but they were in the corner even before this big nono I pulled. Now the water is cloudy, the fish don't look happy, I'm scared the Serpae is sick...and my daughter wants more fish! Denise
 

Butterfly

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First, please don't add any more fish for the time being. Read the article on the nitrogen cycle very closely. If you don't have one you will need a water testing kit. Aquarium pharmaceuticals mades a great one and it can usually be found a most pet/fish stores. then we need to keep tabs on your test readings to tell you when the cycle is over and its safe to add more fish.
If the tank was in that big a mess then the fish were probably suffering from ammonia poisoning (from fish feces and urine). Thats why they were hanging out in the corners I'm afraid your serpae is sick, and you may lose some fish before the tank cycles due to the conditions they were kept in and the cycling process . I'm sorry. but we are here for you anytime you have questions or just need support
Carol
 

Boxermom

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Welcome.  I would recommend finding a local fish store if possible. Find out if they carry BioSpira and if they do, get some quick.  Also find out if they can take the pleco, as its going to get really huge and is a serious poop machine that won't help with the current problems at all.  Most pet/fish stores will also test your water for free. If you take it in, tell them you need it tested for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates and don't let them tell you "fine," "high," "low" or anything of the sort.  Tell them you need specific numbers. If you do buy your own test kit (highly recommended), get liquid kits with test tubes, not the ones with strips. The strips aren't nearly as accurate.

BTW, don't let them sell you anything to help with the cycling process besides BioSpira. Nothing else works. Not Cycle or any of the other products in bottles on shelves. Only BioSpira and it must be kept cold in the fridge until used.
 

chickadee

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There are not a lot of local pet or fish stores that carry Bio-Spira because of the fact that is has a 6 month shelf (refrigeration) life and unless they have a big turnover, it does not pay them to carry it.  Mostly it is found by ordering it online.  It is shipped overnight most often as the vendors are not willing to take the chance of the bacteria dying out in transit.  They pack it well insulated with a cold pack and all of that I have ever received came in excellent shape.  It is expensive but considering the cost of fish, well worth it.  If you save even 3 or 4 fish you have paid for the cost of the Bio-Spira. 



Just make sure that you get the Freshwater type when you buy and the small size will treat up to 20 gallons, the large up to 55 gallons.  I heartily recommend the product and it is well worth the cost.

Rose
 
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