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Guppie/Tetra Problem

Author Topic: Guppie/Tetra problem  (Read 2437 times)

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Offline Mouse

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Guppie/Tetra problem
« on: November 11, 2015, 12:28:58 PM »
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Hi,

I have had a read through a few threads already on here in regards to a Guppie problem. and have gained some great info but thought I would share what is happening to my set up (I hope no one minds)

I have had a couple casualties, 1 Neon Tetra and 1 Guppie (Guppie showed signs for few days)

I am relatively new to Tropical Fish (had cold water/tropical many years ago)

I have had my tank set up for a little over 2 weeks before I introduced any fish. for which I only introduced 7 Neon Tetras, these seemed to be doing great for a further 2 weeks then saturday gone I decided to introduce more (maybe too many, too soon?) I got a further 7 Tetras (14 in total) 3 guppies (was going just get 2 but felt bad for the 3rd that would be left alone) and 2 (I think?) Albino Sharks. I found 1 tetra the next day dead and stuck to the side of the filter (may have got sucked in and died?)

Monday the Largest of the 3 guppies was at the surface of the water relativley motionless untill food was present. Monday 7pm he was sat/resting at the bottom ocasionally having a swim about, Tuesday Morning he was still at the bottom but on his side, with some movement and then 7pm when I came home from work he was sadly dead :(

SETUP:

NEW:
- Gravel substrate (cleaned)
- x3 Plants (Unknown)
- x3 air hoses/stones
- x1 ornament
- Fluval Filter

OLD:
- Approx 150 Ltr. Tank
- x2 Air Machines
- x1 Ornament (Cleaned)
- x1 Thermostat.

checked Nitrate/Nitrite/Alkaline levels 9/11 and all came back at the acceptable levels. I read here that the hardness of the water may be a factor, I checked my local water company and my area is classed as SOFT.

The water Temp was sat nicely at 27C but it noticed Monday it had shot up to almost 33C I managed to get it back down to 28C is this still too warm? (Going to buy a new Thermostat as mine is old and the switch is fiddly)

This morning 6am I checked on the tank the Tetra's all seem a bit dull in colour as does one guppie which is showing similar signs as the deceased one (Top of tank and has a droop in its tail)

can anyone please suggest on what I am doing wrong? sorry I seem to have written a short novel there.

should I do a part water change? if so do I need to treat and heat the water to match that in the tank before?

Offline Sue

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Re: Guppie/Tetra problem
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2015, 01:33:10 PM »
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I think what is happening is that you put two delicate species into an uncycled tank. You say your nitrite is fine but you don't give the ammonia level.
Ammonia is the first thing that rises in an uncycled tank. You have to wait for ammonia eating bacteria to grow and turn ammonia into nitrite before you see any nitrite, which is why your reading for that is good.

What you need to do first is a big water change. At least 75%, making sure that with such a big volume the new water is the same temp as the tank water. And the same every day until you can measure the ammonia level.
Then read this which will explain what you need to do to save the rest of your fish. When you kept fish years ago, depending on how long ago, the nitrogen cycle may not have been understood. Our understanding of what happens in fish tanks has come on enormously in the last decade or two.
Then buy an ammonia tester asap. You need to know how high your ammonia level is, and how frequent and large your water changes need to be.

And get a new heater that won't push the temperature that high!


If you are prepared to put in the work a fish-in cycle needs, you should get through this without more losses. However, the soft water may not help with your guppies; you may find that more of them succumb. If this does happen think about replacing them with soft water fish - once the tank is cycled.






Neons and guppies used to be hardy fish, but not any more. Neons are bred in fish farms. The conditions they are kept in are often less than ideal, and breeders tend to use any fish to breed whether they are healthy, robust specimens or not. Guppies are also big business, and they have the added disadvantage of inbreeding to get those fancy colours, which also perpetuates 'weak' genes.



Are these your albino sharks? How long is your tank? 150 litres is a fair volume but it is length that matters with these fish. If this is what your albino sharks are, and your tank is less than 120cm (4 feet) long I suggest you return them to the shop.

Offline Mouse

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Re: Guppie/Tetra problem
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2015, 02:09:42 PM »
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Thank you Sue much apreciated

I will get a new Thermostat and an amonia test kit on my way home from work, I will re-test the water and post the results and do a water change as suggested.

Yes those are the Albino sharks, I cannot remember the exact sizing of the tank but I am fairly sure the legth is adequate, however I will measure and make sure that it is.

Hopefully I am not too late to fix the problem I created

Thank You again for all the info given

Offline Mouse

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Re: Guppie/Tetra problem
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2015, 08:07:27 PM »
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Hi

so here's an update I bought a new testing kit "King British" and proceeded to test the water from the tank I have written down the results and have included a photograph of said results, I also tested the water with the testing kits I already had and the results were the same as previous results so I have binned them as I believe they are faulty.

did a 75% water change making sure the water was up to temperature before doing so and also added tap safe

did not manage to get a new thermostat although I have managed to get the temp in the tank to drop down to 27.6 which I believe to be still steadily dropping I will keep checking it.

The fish all seem to be a lot happier already

here is a picture of the test results

Offline Sue

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Re: Guppie/Tetra problem
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2015, 09:12:29 PM »
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There's the culprit - the ammonia reading of 1.0 - 3.0. You need to keep that down, preferably below 0.25. Since the tank has had fish for a few weeks now, the next you'll find is nitrite appearing.

The course of a fish in cycle runs:
Fish make ammonia, there are no bacteria to eat it so the ammonia level builds up.
Ammonia eaters start to grow and make nitrite, but there are no nitrite eaters so nitrite builds up.
Nitrite eaters start to grow and turn nitrite into nitrate, so nitrate starts to build up.

Your job is to stop ammonia and nitrite poisoning the fish while the bacteria grow. As the days go by you'll find the ammonia level takes longer to go up as the ammonia eating bacteria grow. Eventually there will be enough bacteria to eat the ammonia as fast as the fish make it so the reading will drop to zero and stay there. As the ammonia rate slows down, the nitrite rate will get faster, then that too will slow down till you have enough nitrite eaters to dispose of nitrite as fast as the ammonia eaters make it. It takes roughly twice as long for the nitrite eaters to grow enough than the ammonia eaters did.
You don't have too many fish for 150 litres, don't be tempted to get any more until you have both readings at zero. Because you don't have too many fish, the levels shouldn't increase too fast. Once you get the ammonia reading down below 0.25, monitor it daily and do a water change whenever necessary to stop it going over 0.25. Then when nitrite appears, do the same. You'll have a period where ammonia stays low but nitrite doesn't - you still need those water changes for the nitrite.

Once you get to the double zero stage, you will have just the right number of bacteria for the fish in the tank. When you get more fish, there won't be enough so more will grow. Provided you don't add too many fish in one go, the bacteria should catch up quickly - it's getting them started that's the slow bit. If you stick to the guideline of adding in one go no more than a third of the fish already there you should be fine. And wait till you have a week of double zeros before getting the next batch.



One other comment - when you run out of test strips, get a kit that uses liquid reagents. They are generally recognised to be more accurate. [Though there is a thread started recently asking why that is said, has anyone done any comparisons].

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