My fish are dying, please help!?
My fiance and I just bought a 55 gal aquarium. We put water into it, sand, got the filter running and everything going for about 3 days. We transferred out 8 inch Plecostomus from our 10 gal, and bought 4 gouramis, 4 sharks, 3 corys, and a peacock eel. We have a filter on one side, and two large live plants, as well as decoration plants and rocks. The heater is set to 81, but it's reading 77. We lost a gourami last night and a shark today. The water has been foggy, and the fish barely breathe or move before they die. Frantically, I transferred all the fish left but the eel and the corydoras into our 10 gal, which is warm and clear. The 10 gallon is really crowded for the night until the morning, but what could possibly be going wrong?! Is there anything I can do for tonight that will help my eel and corys live overnight? One shark and our plecostomus were starting to die, but will they be fine now?Thank you so much for any help.
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Should have started a tank of that size off with less than half that many fish and, as your nitrate cycles get settled and you pH is balanced out, start to add more. (foggy water is a sign of this). a good rule of thumb is that for starting a new tank you should take the square root of how many gallons in the tank and that is how many inches of fish you should start in the tank. so for a 55 gallon tank, you should start with approximately 7 or 8 inches of fish so the pleco alone would have been the right amount for the first few weeks. also wait to add live plants for awhile. It is a very complicated process to get a tank perfect on all levels and you will probably lose a few if not all fish in this process. Also, each of the fish that you listed prefer different temperatures and different pH levels so you want to pay closer attention to what mixtures you have. If you have a petsmart in your town, I suggest you speak with one of the fish specialists or do a lot of research. Good luck!
- LynnLv 41 decade ago
Your fish need bacteria to live. There is no bacteria in the 55 gallon tank yet. You should have added one fish, that fish would have produced ammonia and a bacteria culture would have started. Then you slowly add fish over 6 weeks- Never all at once. Essentially each fish needs X amount of bacteria to live. By adding more fish then you have bacteria your ammonia shot through the roof and killed your fish.
The white haze is probably a bacterial bloom, it will clear up on it's own in a few days. DO NOT DO A WATER CHANGE YET. Go get a test kit and monitor your chemical levels, ony do small 15%-25% water changes when one needs to be done. You are trying to grow bacteria. removing water means removing bacteria.
When there are high chemical levels in the tank there is less dissolved oxygen in the water. Your fish may have suffocated. Were any of them hanging out at the surface or behind the filter?
Your 10 gallon is way overcrowded you need to bring some of your fish back to the store. They will die in there after a while for the same reason. There will not be enough bacteria or oxygen in that small of a tank to support their biological load.
Turn your heater up a bit and move it next to the filter- this will circulate the warmer water better. Keep an eye on the temp. In the summer it should go up pretty fast and it will be hard to bring down if it goes over.
The fish you have in the 55 will probably be ok now. They should go through the cycling process and you will be able to add more fish once your chemical levels stabilize. The corys are pretty hardy- watch your eel though. If he starts to seem lethargic then test your water. He will be a good indicator if you need to do a small water change.
- 1 decade ago
What you are experiencing is called bacterial bloom or new tank syndrome causing a severe spike in ammonia and nitrate or nitrite (I can't remember which). New tanks do not have the beneficial bacteria built up in the rocks or substrate yet to reduce these. Basically, there is little or nothing you can do until this has balanced itself out. Keep your filter running 24/7 and clean it frequently. Do not bleach it or clean it with any detergents. Rinse off solid particles and reuse. The beneficial bacteria grows on/in filter also. Other things you can try are additives that help boost the startup of your tank. I have had good luck with a product called Prime made by Seachem. Also, you do not want to put a plecostomus in your tank until you have visible algae growing in the tank or it will starve. In the mean time, if you have another tank already set up, transfer them into it and hope for the best. I feel for you. This has happened to me twice in the past too and I lost 2 Pictus Catfish and 2 Redtail sharks the first time. We tried water changes and Ammo-lock too the first time, but still lost 4 fish. The second time, I had done more research on this problem and just let the tank run its course and did not lose any fish.
- 1 decade ago
You need to take a water sample to the pet store and get it tested, most stores do free testing. You have probably been feeding the fish to much. They only need what they are going to eat in a few minutes once a day. Get a additional thermometer, so you can be absolutely shure on you temp. You did add to may fish, you need to stock the aquarium slower next time. The biological system couldn't keep up with the waste your fish were producing. You need horn snails for the sand they will churn it up and keep it looking fresh. Corys are a community and they should not be kept with the other fish, which are semi-aggressive. Put them in you 10 gal. There is a way to help the others left in the 55 gal., I would probably do a water change. Change out 25% percent of the water and replace it with fresh water that you have dechlorinated. That may bring down the ammonia levels in the tank. Also hit pet smart and pick up some Amo-lock or similar product, it will lock up the ammonia so it won't hurt the fish anymore. It will prevent cycling, but it may save the fish. You may have to do frequent water changes to get things on the straight and narrow again.
- How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
- 1 decade ago
this sounds weird. i'd think maybe an overstocking/filtration issue. you may also want to get an ammonia and nitrate test kit to double check your water quality. i recommend a penguin bio wheel filter probably something capable of filtering aroung 200-250 gallons. it will provide great biological filtration which is best for removing waste from aquarium water. and this may sound stupid but make sure you're getting oxygen into the water. i'm sure you are but just to cover as much as possible.
- JoanneLv 51 decade ago
you should never put loads of fish in a tank at once as it causes a nitrate bloom you should add a few fish every couple of days untill there all in and during this time do small water changes more often.
and dont forget you need to treat the water befor adding it to the tank as normal water contains harmfull chemicals so use tap safe.
also cheak that your fish arnt fighting.Source(s): 3 years animal care courses and exotics
- 1 decade ago
when you set up a new tank you have to allow at least one to two weeks for the water to cycle through and the necissary bacteria to grow. also a Biowheel* will aid in the production of the bacteria. after the water has cycled and the bacteria has grown, you can start adding your fish. to make sure your water is at the correct ph level, etc. you can take it to a local Pet smart and have them test it. i hope this helps and good luck.
- 1 decade ago
check the PH. and leave the tank full of FRESH water not the old stuff for 48 hrs and then add fish. everytime U leave the fish in with water that hasnt been in the tank they will all die.
- LisaLv 51 decade ago
okay you got a 55 gallon tank right? and you are loading many different fish from differet tanks right?are you putting these fish into a baggy and dipping them into the tank to let them get used to the water temp first or are you just dumping them in? if you are doing that then they are suffering from new tank syndrome.....but that seems kinda weird if they are dying right away....when they die right away that is usually due to temperature changes in the water....i would put them in a baggie and let them float around in the new tank for awhile before putting them in it
- SleepyguyLv 41 decade ago
This may seem like a stupid answer but did you add salt? You didn't mention it in your question and these appear to be salt water fish. Maybe the salt / water ratio is off.