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Hello all.

I got a tank (30gallon) this past weekend and unfortunately didn't do any research ahead of time and got 10 fish to go along with it. Came home last night to learning about the ecosystem of a fishtank the hard way. Only thing left is a guppy and 2 tetras and 2 mollies. There is a couple small plants in the tank as well.

I did get the following which is all the pet store recommended to me that I do when starting the tank. Which is what they told me to use to be able to put fish in right away. Which i dont know if it is any good or if i messed up by putting it in the tank. 
Imagitarium Aquarium Starter Kit
Aqueon PURE Live Beneficial Bacteria and Enzymes

After doing research i found the aquarium coop YouTube and this forum. I have placed an order for the easy green fertilizer which when it gets here hopefully will help some of my issues I'm having with the getting the tank started. As of now im guessing its just a waiting game to see how the tank and everything in it does. 

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You are correct that you now have to play the waiting game. Unfortunately, way to many start off the same way you did.

Your tank has to Cycle to be ready for fish. I’m guessing this is part of the reason you lost 5 fish. Getting the fertilizer will potentially help the plants, but will not help with the fish.

Some additional info could be helpful. What fish did you lose? What type of heater do you have and what is the temperature of the tank? What type of filter did you get? For your plants what light
 

As you’ll learn we are hear to help on this forum and folks much smarter and more experienced than I will certainly chime in here.

Edited by Rewcolee1
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That is the vibe that I am getting is a lot of people seem to need to unfortunately learn this the hard way. Hopefully the rest of the fish that i have can make it through. The fish that were lost were 2 dalmation mollies, 2 panda cory catfish, and 1 tetra. 

As for equipment I just have the Aqueon LED 29 Gallon Aquarium Kit for the heater that came with it seems to be keeping the water at 77 degrees. It has a carriage filter that hangs off the back of it. i also have an air bubbler in the tank. For light for the plants i have the tank light on a timer to run 8 hours a day but the tank is also in a room with tons of natural light but out of the direct sunlight. 

Thank you for your input hopefully this information also helps everyone figure out what i have going on. 

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On 2/6/2024 at 12:25 PM, Charestv said:

That is the vibe that I am getting is a lot of people seem to need to unfortunately learn this the hard way. Hopefully the rest of the fish that i have can make it through. The fish that were lost were 2 dalmation mollies, 2 panda cory catfish, and 1 tetra. 

As for equipment I just have the Aqueon LED 29 Gallon Aquarium Kit for the heater that came with it seems to be keeping the water at 77 degrees. It has a carriage filter that hangs off the back of it. i also have an air bubbler in the tank. For light for the plants i have the tank light on a timer to run 8 hours a day but the tank is also in a room with tons of natural light but out of the direct sunlight. 

Thank you for your input hopefully this information also helps everyone figure out what i have going on. 

@Charestv, welcome and sorry about that. I did the same exact thing and all I put in was decor, plants, (not live) and water and fish and water conditioner…it didn’t go well as I lost my betta who was the only one in there in the first month or so…I have learned and I understand the cycle and I would def like o help u if I can..jus like @Rewcolee1 said I am not super smart on this kind of stuff but I have learned a ton and hope to help you @Charestv! I suggest getting a bacteria booster for this tank as this can quick start the cycle of the in fish cycle. How is your remaining fishes health? What conditioner did you use? How long did you wait toput fish in? I hope to help..but trying to think of better Qs but hope you can answer these so I can do my best! 

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@Bigdog99Thank you and im sorry about your process as well. The store did recommend a starter kit which Includes Water Conditioner, Stress Treatment, Bacteria Startup and Water Clarifier The brand that i ended up with was Imagitarium. They also recommended Aqueon PURE Live Beneficial Bacteria and Enzymes which are little gel balls that go in the tank 1 per 10 gallons. I used 3 of those balls and in the kit i did one dose of the water conditioner, stress treatment and bacteria startup.

After filling the tank and getting that in there I waited an hour with the fish on top of the water in the bag as recommended then put the fish in the tank. Which i now realize is not at all what i should have done. 

I have not used the water clarifier as that i believe is just to clear up cloudy water which at this point is the least of my worries i believe

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So your short term goal should be to achieve some sort of stability in order to keep the fish you have alive and healthy for a time, before looking to add more. Here are my best tips.

Feed every other day, and then only lightly. New fish keepers ALWAYS overfeed. With only 4 fish in the tank, you need a tiny tiny TINY amount of food to keep them fed. 1 large flake crumbled in your fingers will be enough for a couple days. At the same time, recognize that fish don't regulate themselves well in this area. If a tiny crumble is all a fish needs, but you give it 10x that, it will eat all of it. ALL the food you put in the tank becomes ammonia (whether by direct decomp, or through a fish's guts). 

Change small amounts of water, often. At least at the start. With a 30 gallon tank, if you change 1 gallon of water every day, that's 7/30 or almost 25% water change weekly. That's plenty for a new tank with only 4 fish, assuming you're not overfeeding. 

Tap water isn't harmful, as long as it goes into the tank roughly the same temp as the tank water, and it has been treated with a dechlorinator. So don't be afraid of water changes. Even larger ones, if they're necessary. 

Keep an eye on ammonia and nitrite levels, probably daily at the outset. If either is high, you need to change water (probably more than 1 gallon, like 25% or more). Learn to classify test results: I use "zero", "trace", "some", and "lots". For ammonia and nitrite, if you test says "zero" or "trace", you're probably fine. If it's "some", you should probably take action, especially if it's like that all the time. If it's "lots", DO take action, and not just once. 

Learn some back of the envelope math juju. If your ammonia levels are 2ppm, and you do a 50% water change, then you'll have 1ppm ammonia (assuming no ammonia in the water you added). If ammonia is is 5ppm, and you need it to be 1ppm, you can do a 50% change to get to 2.5ppm, then in a few hours do another 50% change to get to 1.25ppm. Use prime or other dechlor on all new water. If you're filling direct from the tap (not using a bucket or something, the amount of dechlor you add should be based on the full volume of the tank. 

Recognize that the amount of work required to achieve stability at the start, esp given the mis-steps (not your fault, to be sure), is much more than the work that'll be involved in keeping it healthy and stable after a few months. It won't be this much work all the time. 

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That is all amazing information to have It starts like a wonderful start to getting this tank healthy and keeping the fish happy. I have for sure been overfeeding the fish if that is all they need. I do take some responsibility for this as I could have done this research ahead of time. But better late then never I thank everyone for there help. I plan to stop at the store on my ride home for test kits to see what the water is at.  I will do the recommendations for water changing and just keep monitoring. No plans to get more fish until the tank is healthy. 

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Oh no I’m so sorry! My experience in the hobby first started like this, I got a 20 gallon and put some cories in it without knowing how to cycle a tank. They died pretty fast and I’ve had many problems since which is part of the learning process. But you've started out in a great spot, most start with a betta in a cup or a goldfish in a bowl. 30 gallons is great for the learning curve associated with this hobby, as it is a pretty large amount of water that is more forgiving than a 5 gallon. So don’t feel guilty you didn’t know.
I would recommend you get a water test kit, API is the best one I’ve had. It has helped me tremendously in learning about fish keeping, and we a huge benefit. I don’t know if that’s already been said…im a lazy reader.
Another thing that helped me out was getting seachem prime and stability, it quickly cycles tanks and helps support new tanks. Seachem prime detoxifies ammonia, nitrite and nitrate which ammonia and nitrite are harmful for your fish so it makes your water to be safe to live in for the fish but also kickstarts your cycle. I’ve had to do this many times…and it works! Seachem stability is beneficial bacteria for the aquarium cycle. It was a life saver and I have fish today because of these two products. (They can be found on Amazon, in you local fish stores, in big chain pet stores or aquarium co-op website) It’s a safe fish-in way to cycle that doesn’t harm the fish. Although it sounds like you already have some products to help with the cycle, so I’d try those and see how they work. Keep us updated on how those work I’d be interested in that. 
Once your tank is more stable, all the fish in you tank like to be in decently large groups, I would start with 5 or each at least, and depending on the tetra you can have up to 10.  But someone can correct me on that I’ve never kept these kinds of fish, I just know you have schooling fish, which like groups. 
This is more for later when your tank is more settled I think, but um I just recently have been having problems with this and I have learned, the hard way, the importance of ph, gh and kh, and if your water is what you call “soft” then you mollies will not be happy so I would recommend getting a gh and kh test which can be found on Amazon. But yes if you’re looking for medicating fish or any other questions I would come here! Best of luck!

If you need more information another good place to go it youtube, there are tons of videos on how to care for fish and every aspect of this hobby. That’s where I spend most of my time haha😅

 

Edited by TheChunkyFish
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Came home to one of the mollies dead but the other fish are way more lively then yesterday. Tested the water with stripes as the store didn't have the better kit to use. And I seem to be at .5ppm for ammonia. Everything else is in the range it should be. 

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On 2/6/2024 at 1:12 PM, Charestv said:

@Bigdog99Thank you and im sorry about your process as well. The store did recommend a starter kit which Includes Water Conditioner, Stress Treatment, Bacteria Startup and Water Clarifier The brand that i ended up with was Imagitarium. They also recommended Aqueon PURE Live Beneficial Bacteria and Enzymes which are little gel balls that go in the tank 1 per 10 gallons. I used 3 of those balls and in the kit i did one dose of the water conditioner, stress treatment and bacteria startup.

After filling the tank and getting that in there I waited an hour with the fish on top of the water in the bag as recommended then put the fish in the tank. Which i now realize is not at all what i should have done. 

I have not used the water clarifier as that i believe is just to clear up cloudy water which at this point is the least of my worries i believe

Yeah that is good recommendations by the store! Never had that kind of assistance before at petsmart…yah clarifier is def not going to do anything but clear it which doesn’t matter right now. Yes I waited maybe 2 hours and didn’t even ACCLIMATE MY BETTA. NOBODY SHOULD DO THAT! Patience is what u need now sadly, @Charestv. I hate it. But I am enduring it with one of my tanks . Anyways I hope it turns out good in the long run! Good luck!

On 2/6/2024 at 6:53 PM, Charestv said:

Came home to one of the mollies dead but the other fish are way more lively then yesterday. Tested the water with stripes as the store didn't have the better kit to use. And I seem to be at .5ppm for ammonia. Everything else is in the range it should be. 

5 ammonia is no good. Never want that. U should do a water change immediately. That is super super toxic to fish. @Charestv. Maybe a 30 % or 50 but look it up for clarification. My suggestion.

 

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Well at least they didn't steer me in a total incorrect direction then. And yes patience isn't my best quality but I will for sure learn it with this project. 

 

It's .5 ppm not 5 ppm so all I did was take out about 6 gallons for tonight. I can do more later if that is still to high. 

 

Thank you!  This tank is just as much for my kids as it is for me. But seeing my 4 year olds face when her "kitty fish" died yesterday really is what made me do all this research. 

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Ohhhh… .5 ammonia is prob no problem but continue to monitor! I hope I didn’t throw you off on that! Sorry, @Charestv my bad! But yes monitor monitor. That is super important!! 

On 2/6/2024 at 7:31 PM, Charestv said:

Well at least they didn't steer me in a total incorrect direction then. And yes patience isn't my best quality but I will for sure learn it with this project. 

 

It's .5 ppm not 5 ppm so all I did was take out about 6 gallons for tonight. I can do more later if that is still to high. 

 

Thank you!  This tank is just as much for my kids as it is for me. But seeing my 4 year olds face when her "kitty fish" died yesterday really is what made me do all this research. 

 

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Dear @Charestv, welcome to the forum and to the aquarium hobby!  I have no doubt this will all get better.  Really good people on this forum to help you.  You have gotten great advice to help you stabilize your tank.  I hope you are not feeling too discouraged - this is such a great hobby!  Such a joy to watch fish and plants grow and to observe aquatic behavior.  May you have joy.  Best, Andy

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Your story sounds almost identical to mine.

Got a fish tank, young kid named fish, named fish died almost right away, frantically looked up how to stop them from dieing. One difference is that I started with a 2.5 rather than 30...

Two bits of advice:

1) The next month it so will be a bit of a learning curve but after that things should start to level off and it will get much easier

2) Find a local aquarium club, reach out to them on Facebook or email group, explain the situation, and ask if anyone had "cycled media" or a "seasoned sponge filter" that you can borrow. I'm sure you'd find club members willing to share for a chance to talk about questions. That's going to be so much better than any bottled bacteria you can buy (in my opinion). Aquarium co-op has a map of all of the clubs in the US here: https://www.aquariumcoop.com/apps/store-locator

 

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Welcome to this forum.  It is loaded with experienced people who are kind and generous with their time and help.  I've made plenty of missteps in this hobby.  But find that the learning process is a large part of what makes this so interesting.  One of the best sources of clear and sound information on setting up maintaining aquariums are the videos on Aquarium Coop's site.  Corey and Irene in particular explain things so clearly.   I'd start with the cycling process videos - the basics of keeping water, fish and plants in balance.  

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Thank you everyone for the warm welcome and all the helpful hints. Hopefully in a month or 2 from now I can have a fully stocked healthy tank thanks to everyone here. 

 

I was looking into used cycled filter media and since I don't have a Facebook I wouldn't be able to go that route. However I found this online store that sells there cycled media. My thing is I question how healthy the bacteria in the media would be. Has anyone considered this route?

 

https://www.sunkentreasureaquatics.com/misc/p/yn5zb260kehgv33r0ky7ye8dlns71q

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On 2/7/2024 at 6:41 AM, Charestv said:

Thank you everyone for the warm welcome and all the helpful hints. Hopefully in a month or 2 from now I can have a fully stocked healthy tank thanks to everyone here. 

 

I was looking into used cycled filter media and since I don't have a Facebook I wouldn't be able to go that route. However I found this online store that sells there cycled media. My thing is I question how healthy the bacteria in the media would be. Has anyone considered this route?

 

https://www.sunkentreasureaquatics.com/misc/p/yn5zb260kehgv33r0ky7ye8dlns71q

Never seen that before..I bet it is healthy if it is lava rock. Definitely I would say. Lava rock is even better than like other liquid products! @Charestv I would get it but maybe someone else has other input.

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I’m not sure how long the bacteria would last without oxygenation though, the shipping might be hard on the bacteria. I know bacteria on a sponge can stay in a bucket of water with an air stone for 24 hours so I’m not sure. The one review said it worked great…but it’s only 3 dollars I’d give it a shot, abut maybe see what the other people on the form say, I’m not aware of any negatives to this though 🤷🏽‍♀️
 

Edited by TheChunkyFish
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That's what I was thinking but I just wanted to try and find out if this could make things worse for the tank. It can't turn to bad bacteria right worse case is its all dead and im.just adding rocks to the tank haha. 

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On 2/7/2024 at 11:27 AM, Charestv said:

That's what I was thinking but I just wanted to try and find out if this could make things worse for the tank. It can't turn to bad bacteria right worse case is its all dead and im.just adding rocks to the tank haha. 

😂 yeah just go for it. If it is 3 bucks definitely!

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Little update on the tank. Yesterday one black Molly died. Today when I got home the other black Molly died. Then we noticed there was a tetra being bullied by the guppy and later that tetra was belly up in the bottom of the tank. So I think I've come to the conclusion that this might be a combo the initial death of half the fish was from the tank. But I believe I've got a murderous guppy that stressed the others to death one at a time. Tonight the water was the same as yesterday so I did another 20ish percent water change. 

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On 2/7/2024 at 9:17 PM, Charestv said:

Little update on the tank. Yesterday one black Molly died. Today when I got home the other black Molly died. Then we noticed there was a tetra being bullied by the guppy and later that tetra was belly up in the bottom of the tank. So I think I've come to the conclusion that this might be a combo the initial death of half the fish was from the tank. But I believe I've got a murderous guppy that stressed the others to death one at a time. Tonight the water was the same as yesterday so I did another 20ish percent water change. 

How many fish are left now @Charestv?

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