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New Fish Tank

Discussion in 'Pets & Animals' started by DragonFox91, May 21, 2021.

  1. DragonFox91

    DragonFox91 Well-Known Member

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    I set up a 5 gallon aquarium for a betta fish last Tuesday. I added it the next night. It died this past Tuesday. I was told they were hardy fish & you don't need to "cycle" your aquarium. I got nitrite & nitrate stick tester & never got a reading on them, even after the fish was added, they were always zero. But it died. Was swimming really weird the past couple days. I'm trying to properly cycle now. I'm guessing it dued due to amonia poisioning. I got amonia liquid tester, & nitrite & nitrate stick tester.

    I re-filled tank Wednesday, put bacteria start-up in it. I tested amonia last night & this morning & it's still very low. Nothing on nitrite & nitrate yet. From what I'm reading, amonia should go up, then down. When it goes down, nitrite should go up. When it goes down & I start getting tests on nitrate, that's when it's fish ready.

    Any guesses on when that'll be for a 5 gallon tank? (It is 79 degrees, w/ heater & filter) I'm unclear if I should be daily adding fish food pellet for amonia to rise? Should I be doing partial water changes (seems to depend on the article I read, but seems like no until I get nitrate).

    I had fish tank growing up (2nd grade thru 12th grade), so fishkeeping isn't completely new to me, but I was pretty young when the tank was first getting started & my parents did all that work. I don't think they ever really tested it, just put the bacteria stuff in & waited it to cycle for a week or so, & that was a 20-30 gallon tank.

    Any other aquarists out there? What kind of fish do you have? How big a tank?
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2021
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  2. Ophiolite

    Ophiolite Recalcitrant Procrastinating Ape

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    I kept a handful of goldfish in a large tank for several years as a teenager. That was half a century ago.

    I spend most of my time on this forum in either the science section, or one of the political sections. Since they are filled with much aggression and dissent it is nice, once in a while, to read a post that is just about simple pleasures. So, thank you for that. Perhaps I should spend more time in this section.

    Good luck with your ongoing piscean adventures.
     
  3. Michie

    Michie Human rights begin in the womb. Supporter

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    I had a 100 gallon aquarium for years. When I lost a fish. I would take the fish and water to have it tested. It’s free at your local pet store usually.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2021
  4. DragonFox91

    DragonFox91 Well-Known Member

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    Good idea! I'll try that if I lose another one. But only after I think my tank is properly cycled.

    When I had fish growing up, when a fish died, it never seemed to be a water problem. Maybe if we had tested, the ones that died would've lived longer? But testing's something I want to do w/ this tank.
     
  5. Michie

    Michie Human rights begin in the womb. Supporter

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    Fish are so delicate. Especially in aquariums. There are a myriad of diseases than can get regardless of how carefully you keep your tank. I hope you have better luck next time! :)
     
  6. 4UallPraise

    4UallPraise disabled entertainment

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    I had some aquatic frogs but they croaked. :sorry:
     
  7. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Something odd happened. What about chlorine? Some cities use something called chloramine, which is a nasty mix of chlorine and ammonia. It's much harder to remove than simple chlorine. It needs a higher dose of dechlorinator to get rid of it. Best bet is to call up your water utility to ask about chloramine. Then put in the proper dose of dechlorinator and let the water age for a few days. Then put the water into the tank and run the filter for a few more days.

    Bettas do pretty well in their own private little bowl. They don't do great in wide open spaces. Consider a Dwarf Gourami. A very pretty fish that is tough as nails.

    Ammonia is a problem when pH is very high. With low pH not so much. So before going to get too many test kits get a cheap pH test kit. If your pH is 8.0 or above you can get a neutral pH buffer and then you have much less to worry about. Eventually the bacteria handle the ammonia. That and some water changing will help you succeed. No way you had an ammonia buildup from fish waste in one day sufficient to kill the fish. Maybe ammonia from chloramine though.

    It's a pain losing a fish, something that depended on you. I gave up the hobby entirely for a while after a power failure caused me to lose everything in a stinking mess. But I tried again. I seldom lose a fish, and I try to understand what happened each time now.

    My bet is you may have chloramine in your water. Or a too high pH. Address those possibilities and you should do well.
     
  8. DragonFox91

    DragonFox91 Well-Known Member

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    Tested ammonia today & I got a solid reading on it. Good sign! That should either increase slightly or start going down.

    Every time I test pH it looks like it's 7.5 (the pH test is included w/ the nitrite & nitrate tests). Seems to be a little high (my friend agreed), but don't think that's a dangerous level. The instructions for the test say should be closer to 7.

    Also, my betta was in the tank almost a week. I could easily see how ammonia was at a toxic level w/ the fish, a few pellets, & any fish waste. Unless nitrite & nitrate are supposed to build that fast?
     
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  9. Tone

    Tone "Whenever Thou humblest me, Thou makest me great." Supporter

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    Well, all I can say is...

    Remember to social distance the little buggers...

    ...and maybe get em some teenie tiny masks...

    ...and have you considered vaccinating them?


    I know...I know...I'm kidding...sheesh.


    Oh yeah, have fun with it, it seems like a pretty cool hobby!
     
  10. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What did you do about chlorine?
     
  11. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    20 and 20 and 15 currently. And a new tiny 55 gallon pond.
     
  12. DragonFox91

    DragonFox91 Well-Known Member

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    Amonia still about the same. I added a couple more food pellets.

    I get the feeling this is going to take a couple weeks minimum.

    I have a de-chlorinator.
     
  13. 4UallPraise

    4UallPraise disabled entertainment

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  14. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Takes a month to get the Nitrogen cycle going. Some of the bacteria supplements speed that up. And the system has to adjust a bit with every new addition, which takes less time but still some time.

    The biggest thing for success over the long run will be consistent frequent substantial water changes.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2021
  15. DragonFox91

    DragonFox91 Well-Known Member

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    Bleh, that long??? From what I read it can take just a couple weeks.
     
  16. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You need bacteria to convert NH4 to NO2 and then other bacteria to convert NO2 to NO3. There are also bacteria that denitrify to N2 gas but those are a real challenge and require special feeding. So you need to either denitrify or remove the NO3 by water changes.

    NH4 is toxic, more so at high pH. NO2 toxic but less so, and NO3 less so. Still, ya gotta have a plan to get rid of the NO3.
     
  17. DragonFox91

    DragonFox91 Well-Known Member

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    Still no nitrite :disappointed:
     
  18. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Do you see nitrate? If so then the ammonia converting to nitrite might just be quickly converted to nitrate. That would be good. But if ammonia is up and nitrate is not seen then it just needs more time. Or a bacterial supplement. I’d vote for time as patience is a virtue.
     
  19. DragonFox91

    DragonFox91 Well-Known Member

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    No nitrate either.

    I had put bacteria supplament in the first day, but have just been putting a pellet of food in every day since. My ammonia is .50. I think it needs to hit at least 1 or 2 before you get nitrite. :pensive: :sleeping:
     
  20. DragonFox91

    DragonFox91 Well-Known Member

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    Amonia still about .25-.50. :sob::sob::sob:
     
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