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CateLinden's Achievements


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  1. Okay, I really like the look of the honey gourami (I googled him). My initial goal with my tank was guppies and diamond tetras, and finish off with a single betta. The Petco guy told me if you add the betta last, it's less likely to be aggressive because it won't feel territorial. Does that sound right? I had thought guppies were okay as starter fish, but apparently not. Just to make sure I understand you correctly, you're suggesting I could possibly start my tank with a single gourami (they don't need to be in a school to be comfortable, right?), then potentially add guppies? I don't know that I have any options for fish besides Petsmart and Petco...I have looked and don't have any smaller or more speciality aquarium pet shops in the area. Is there a way to connect with private breeders? How much pricier is it to get your fish from breeders versus big pet shops? I completely can see the difficulties with getting fish from large stores, but between cost limitations and possibly not having any other good options in my area, that might be my only option. In which case, I've seen a lot of references to this prophylactic medicine regimen for new fish...but not sure how that works, either. I do have a lot of fish medicine now, possibly a lifetime supply of some, after my futile efforts to save my guppies.
  2. Tony, thank you so much for all your insight on this! I thought my tank was cycled because the nitrates and nitrites were very low to non existent... I think you had meant to hyperlink a video in your post before your most recent one, but I couldn't find a link. Though I have read a lot about cycling the tank, and did cycle my son's tank successfully...though I did sort of a hybrid cycle and fish in cycle, because we waited about a week after starting everything up, then added in two danios. It seems danios are pretty invincible, as they were completely fine throughout the cycle, and also later on when I had some spikes in my nitrates as well. I could start with danios as well, I just wanted some different fish in my tank. It's only 10 gallons and I know most fish like to be in at least small schools so I have to limit how many breeds I put in. So if I'm not going to essentially have a tank of a lot of danios, I definitely would appreciate some guidance on how to help other fish thrive. Thank you again for advising on this!
  3. So I just tested my water again. It's still showing no nitrites or nitrates, though I just had two fish die in the tank today...should that number have changed as a result? (I didn't leave the deceased fish in the tank for any amount of time, however). My water is definately on the hard end of "ok" (around 150 mg/L). Carbonate about 120 and pH between 7.2 and 7.6. No trace of chlorine either. Before I added my water to the tank today (the 25% water change), I had left the water sit for over 24 hours, and added Tetra Aquasafe to it (which I always do when adding ANY water to either aquarium). What would have stressed the guppies out so badly, if the temperature and water parameters were good? Plus they had really rapid fin rot. For a couple days one looked to have white spots on it, too, indicative of Ich, but then I didn't notice the spots the last couple days and I have heard of something called "stress Ich", but also read that's a myth, that white spots always mean actual Ich. So I don't know. It seems really confusing...towards the end especially the yellow guppy also became pretty pale and very bloated. And yes, please do let me know any information on how I can ensure if there was any infection in the tank, that it's completely cleared before trying to adopt any new fish.
  4. Wow, I didn't know that about guppies being so difficult to keep alive. I feel a little better that I'm not a total failure but still discouraged. So I keep my tank's temp at a steady 77-78 F at all times. The nitrates and nitrites are almost 0. I'm not familiar with what GH and KH is, but I know my water is on the harder side, and contains some carbonate. Now that I have lost my sweet little guppies, how do I start getting the tank fit to re-populate? It takes a long time to ensure all disease is gone, is that correct? Tony- I'm sorry to hear you are having a lot of frustrations too. Are you talking about neon tetras? My son just adopted two last weekend (the same time I got the guppies). His seem very healthy so far, which I guess is lucky. We also didn't know they are difficult to keep alive either! But my son's tank is well established and so maybe was a more comfortable environment for the tetras? I don't know.
  5. Hello, I have spent hours reading articles on Aquarium Co Op. Last year, my son started a freshwater fish tank. We had some trial and error at the beginning, but he now has a full and seemingly very healthy tank of danios, rosy reds and tetras. I found the fish so interesting, as I learned along with him how to start and keep his tank community, and decided to start my own last month. I cycled the tank, tested the water, and last weekend it seemed ready to start filling with fish. I decided to start with guppies instead of danios, because it was my hope to have a tank of mostly guppies and tetras, and it seemed like guppies would be okay in a new tank so long as it had cycled. And I think maybe they would have been, but what follows is the tragic chronology that has led to the demise of my three guppies: I bought three guppies from Petco, and as soon as I put them in the new tank, one of them seemed to be having difficulties swimming. I hadn't noticed this when it was in the bag, but one fin didn't seem to be working right. I initially thought it may have been injured when the Petco guy scooped him out. He wasn't the gentlest with the tiny little guppies, unfortunately. By the very next morning, guppy number one was dead. I buried him. Guppy number two was hiding almost continuously, which worried me, and guppy number three seemed fine. Within about two more days, guppy number two had come out from hiding, and was eating and acting more normal, but I noticed tiny white spots on him, so I thought maybe it was Ich. I ordered Ich-X, and continued to observe the fish while waiting for the medicine to arrive. I also noticed, however, that both guppies seemed to have tail rot as well. I bought some Melafix and started dosing them with Melafix. As the week progressed, the Melafix didn't appear to be doing much. Guppy number 3 started to sicken. No spots, but bad tail rot, and seemed like some bloating. Both guppies oddly spent about three days just clustering at the heater, which I looked online and couldn't find any good explanations for, because the water in the tank was a fine temperature, and they weren't hiding from current, the filter was actually close to the thermometer, so if anything the current was stronger there. I opted not to use Ich X because by the time it arrived, on Friday, I was more concerned about the tail rot and bloating, and the Ich X said I can't use it in conjunction with any other medication, so I DID NOT treat them for Ich, but instead had ordered Kanaplex (and Maracyn and Maracyn 2 as well, but those have, to date, not yet arrived) and opted to keep using Melafix until the Kanaplex arrived. By this point I have spent about 4 times as much on medicine for these fish as I spent buying the fish! Guppy number 3 stopped eating Friday night but Guppy number 2 actually seemed to be doing better, but continued to rapidly lose pieces off his tail. By the time the Kanaplex arrived at last, this afternoon, guppy number 3 was pretty much entirely gone. He was lying on his side, on the top of the tank, breathing but not able to move. He seemed extremely bloated. I went ahead and did about a 25% tank change (the first water change I've done since putting the fish in last weekend), and then added the Kanaplex. I think that must have been a mistake because after a couple hours, guppy number 3 was dead (not a shock though, even with the right medicine I think it was too late for him), and now guppy number 2, who had seemed to be improving has now also stopped swimming or eating, and is lying on the bottom of the tank mostly listless. He hasn't died yet, but looks about how guppy number 3 did first thing this morning, and he died 6 hours later. This has been a rather traumatic experience, and my heart is a little broken for these fish, especially after having watched them slowly deteriorate over the past week. But it hasn't deterred my interest in starting my own aquarium and trying to learn more, in the hopes I can avoid this disaster again. I know there may be no way at this point to know exactly what the fish were sick with, but I wondered if I could have some guidance in what I could or should do differently in the future if this happens again, AND I wondered how I make my tank safe to try again with new fish? As a note, I did continue to test my water throughout this past week, and the ph was a little on the high end, but not in the danger zone, according to the test strips (I think it was around 7.6-7.8...is that okay for guppies?), and there didn't appear to be any nitrate or nitrite spikes. I have a decent amount of plants and moss in the aquarium. Any guidance or advice would be very appreciated. Thank you in advance!
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