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My fish are dying

Discussion in 'Fish Keeping Chat' started by Laurenc80, May 18, 2020.


  1. Laurenc80

    Laurenc80 PetForums Newbie

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    I would love some advice! I have a 20 gallon tank, at the start I had 10 danios and a pleco because I was just starting and pets at home said this would be fine, after every water change I am testing the ph after a couple of hours before putting the fish back in and it’s always been perfect,I have a Ciano filter and I change the cartridges every month as that’s what I have been advised to do, I have two plants and plenty of hides for the fish but the past couple of weeks I have lost three of my danios for unknown reasons, one danio I took out and was advised to euthanise because she had an abscess on her right side which was making her clearly uncomfortable (this was through no fault of my own as she looked like this when I got her), Ofcourse I now am fully aware that there aren’t enough fish in this tank and therefore they are getting stressed but obviously I can’t buy fish because of the virus, I’ve noticed that they have been hiding in the plants a lot more than they used towns they they have also gone off their frozen food, their flakes and they are also not really eating their dried blood worms, any advice you have to give I would really appreciate it! Without having rants please, I’ve been told I’m doing all the right things but no one really has any answers please help
     
  2. George Duke-Cohan

    George Duke-Cohan PetForums Member

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    Ok, well you have a lot of issues, and I am not sure which one is potentially killing the fish.... please read this post to check that your have properly setup your tank.
    https://www.petforums.co.uk/threads/fishkeeping-basics-setting-up.527164/

    Here are some of the issues that need to be resolved, just from reading your post so far.
    I am going to also ask the best person to help you, but I am sure that you will need to answer the questions from the link I have included at the bottom of this post. @LinznMilly Your knowledge is needed.

    1.)Your nitrogen cycle.
    I don't think you have fully cycled your tank before adding fish, there for you probs have unstable water chemistry, which can cause fish to die. Here is a link to a guide that will explain everything you need to know about the nitrogen cycle and how to ensure your tank is fully cycled.
    https://www.petforums.co.uk/threads/the-nitrogen-cycle.527072/

    2.) Water changes.
    From what I understand, you are taking the fish out of the tank when doing water changes. You should be doing 25% water change every week (part of tank maintenance). You don't need to remove the fish when doing this, providing that you dont do a 90% water change, or something silly. You need to use a dechlorinator to ensure the water your using is safe for the fish. If you are using tap water then this is a must, I highly recommend seachem prime.

    3.) Replacing filter cartridge.
    I am not to sure on your filter make but here is what you should be doing. Each week or if your filter is blocked, wash it in old tank water. Do not use tap water as your will kill the beneficial bacteria in the filter, which will crash your cycle.

    Ok, to help you further understand your full issues, we need to know some details. Read the following post and post the correct details in here, so that we can assist your further. https://www.petforums.co.uk/threads/in-case-of-emergencies-please-read-before-posting.527124/
     
    #2 George Duke-Cohan, May 18, 2020
    Last edited: May 18, 2020
    niamh123 and LinznMilly like this.
  3. LinznMilly

    LinznMilly Moderator
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    Hi. Welcome to the forum.

    Sounds like you've been the victim of bad advice. And a lot of it. Much of which, @George Duke-Cohan touched on. You're not the first, and you won't be the last.

    It sounds as though you set the tank up and added fish more or less immediately? @George Duke-Cohan has linked you to our sticky to the nitrogen cycle. It's vitally important that you read that link. Yes, it's long, but your fishes lives depend on it. You're cycling the tank with fish in situ, so you can scroll past the fisheless cycling part.

    I know you have a pH test - do you also have one for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? If not, you need one. I recommend the NT Labs test kit, purely because it's one of the cheapest on the market and tests for GH and KH as well as ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH.

    Carry out daily water changes of about 25% until ammonia and nitrite are 0ppm.

    100% water changes are old-school and unnecessary. Between water changes, minerals and salts in thr water are used up by the fish. These need replacing, but gradually. The stress of capture and recapture every week and the shock of going into water that may have completely different water chemistry (pH is just a small part), weakens the immune system and leads to secondary infections and early fatalities. Leave the fish in the tank and work around them.

    Chemical filtration has its part to play, but not in everyday maintenance. Its main benefit is for the removal of medication from the tank after use, so you can replace the top cartridge with more foam, bioballs, ceramic rings - whatever.

    Replacing the bottom cartridge every month is a marketing ploy on the manufacturer's part. It's completely unnecessary and means you're throwing out your beneficial bacteria just as the nitrogen cycle is approaching the finish line. Which means you're forced to cycle the tank every month. Which means the fish are continually exposed to the ammonia and nitrite caused by their own waste.

    The biological filtration (in your case, the foam in the bottom cartridge), only needs to be replaced when it literally falls apart. I've got media - sponges, no less - that are about 13 years old.

    None of this is your fault. I know you've acted on the advice given, and that's all anyone can do. It's natural to think the shop knows best. We'd take the advice of the guy in the shop over some faceless avatar on the Net any day of the week in any other circumstances, but shops and manufacturers have products to sell and money to make. And if they help you get it right and your fish thrive, they're not making anywhere near as much money as they will if they give you shocking advice that keeps your fish sick and dying and your tank in a perpetual state of cycling.

    Please read the advice and links given. And please, please keep us updated. :)
     
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  4. George Duke-Cohan

    George Duke-Cohan PetForums Member

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    I knew you would be able to help better then I could.
     
  5. Laurenc80

    Laurenc80 PetForums Newbie

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    Okay I see, thank you soo much, I have another tank that is set up and the fish go into there for more of less the day until I check the PH and I do only put them in once it is safe to do so, and I also do 25% water changes roughly once a week, and I also bought ammonia remover because I was told by my grandad that the roots of some plants can cause a boost in ph and ammonia and in heinsight it was going well until I got that ciano filter and ‘had’ to change it every month
    am I can’t thank you enough, I will read everything through thoroughly and I will keep you updated!
     
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  6. LinznMilly

    LinznMilly Moderator
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    You're most welcome.

    Live plants can actually help with water quality problems because they take up ammonia as food (unless they're dying). It's the fish themselves that produce it.

    That second tank will come in useful as a quarantine tank, so while you don't need to keep it set up, it does have its place.

    I know you can't get more fish yet, anyway, but don't add any until the tank is fully cycled.

    Could you post a picture of the tank?
     
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  7. George Duke-Cohan

    George Duke-Cohan PetForums Member

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    We are always happy to help.
     
  8. LinznMilly

    LinznMilly Moderator
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    Link to the test kit I advised above;

    NT Labs Test Kit

    I stress - you'll need to carry out daily water changes of about 20-25% every day until ammonia and nitrite are 0ppm.
     
    George Duke-Cohan likes this.
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