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first fresh water aquarium. HELP!!

Okay, so I can admit it. I kill fish. I kill guppies, I kill neons, I kill goldfish for Pete's sake. I even kill the little snails. First my fish just died. then I found out they had fin rot so I treated that and then they still died. This is when I said forget it and just got plain old goldfish. Killed those to. What the heck! I feed them I clean the water. I test the water's pH. Am I just not meant to keep fish? I haven't had any for over a year and am ready to try again. What fish do I get and what am I doing wrong? Help me please!


Asked by But_Mommie at 10:55 AM on Feb. 3, 2009 in Pets

Level 44 (181,645 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • It sounds like you may not have Cycled the tank out properly. To put it in short in an established tank there is a type of bacteria that grows in your filter and your gravel. This bacteria breaks down the fish waste and makes it a lot less toxic, and then a weekly water change removes the rest. In a brand new aquarium this bacteria has not develeloped to sufficient levels to break down the waste so the toxins sore. This is what will kill your fish. The solution? Begin by adding some very tough fish like Black skirt tetras or white clouds or goldfish and wait 2 weeks before adding some more. This will allow the bacteria to build up gradually and hopefully your fish will not die (keep in mind a few fish dying is inevitable). It also helps to actually put this bacteria in your tank yourself with a product called Cycle. Cycle is just a form of the bacteria in a bottle and the label will have directions on how much too use.

    Answer by jamesmommy12 at 2:09 PM on Feb. 3, 2009

  • Too many people jump into fish keeping without doing the proper research.. and too many pet stores are more than willing to sell fish and tanks to people knowing that they don't know what they are doing. I would recommend joining or at least lurking on a fish keeping forum and learning about setting up and cycling a tank, properly testing the PH, nitrates, nitrites, etc, what type of fish are hardiest and best for beginners, and so forth. It really is a bit of an art. I am married to a man who owned a fish and reptile shop for years and he has taught me a lot, and we have bred fish for years and have yet to lose a fish other than to old age. My DH just knows what he is doing... but he read a lot and got advice from a lot of experts. That is the best way to do it. Good luck.

    Answer by KTMOM at 11:01 AM on Feb. 3, 2009

  • We had a 55 gallon tank for a long time. We had trial and errors also. It took a few fish before we got ones they stuck with us. Then they all died and we never got any that stayed. My understanding is even though you have the PH right you need to leave the tank empty and in the sun a bit. Then clean it, rinse and leave in the sun again to dry. This kills anything in the tanks. Then do the water and PH again and let it sit empty 2-3 weeks. At that point get a few small fish you dont mind losing and an algae eater. See if that works.

    Answer by gemgem at 11:01 AM on Feb. 3, 2009

  • i did it too! i killed so many of our fish it's ridiculous. i've come to realize that a weekly water change is VERY important! also even freshwater fish benefit with a little salt ( i get it at the pet store i don't think it's the same as the grocery store, but i could be wrong). and don't crowd too many fish into one tank... only add up to 3 fish at a time and wait at least 2 weeks before adding more. also! don't feed them too much. feed them once every other day. there's probably more, but these were the ones that really helped me out.

    Answer by juliness at 11:03 AM on Feb. 3, 2009

  • If you still kill them go to the pet store and get some gerbils.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:06 AM on Feb. 3, 2009

  • I have a 30 gallon tank and we just get goldfish. It took me several years to get good at it. Don't change all of the water. I just do 1/3 of the water every couple of months. I used to test the ph and all that, but not anymore. I do add a little salt, and when I add fresh water I use that chlorine eliminator stuff. I have gotten really good at it now. We have one goldfish that is 10 years old and the others are like 8 or so. I think if you mess with the water too much it causes probs. I also think Goldfish like it dirty, they are very dirty fish if you ask me.

    Answer by GMR at 11:31 AM on Feb. 3, 2009

  • If you would like to know more message me and I will be glad to help you.

    Answer by jamesmommy12 at 2:10 PM on Feb. 3, 2009

  • We set up the 10gal tank about 4-5 days before we brought fish home. I filled the tank 4/5 way up, added a chemical called "StartRight" to remove chlorine and prepare the water. I made sure to soak all the decor, soak the rocks, and I got a "BubbleBar" as an aerator. I have the 10gal tank, but I bought an AquaTech 5-15gal filter. I ran the filter without the fish for the 4 or 5 days, then added my fish.

    I have 3 Guppies, 4 Rasbora Hets, 4 hot pink GloFish, 4 Neons, and 2 Plecostlemus. (Sucker fish). They are the same fish I bought almost 18months ago. (March will be 18mos) I keep the filter changed every 6 to 8 wks, and I don't take water out of the tank, but at the end of every couple months, I prepare a little more water with the StartRight and top off the tank.

    AAAAAAND... Remember! Goldfish eat anything that can fit into their mouths! So if you have other fish with Goldfish, the others may come up with chewed

    Answer by matobe at 2:26 PM on Feb. 3, 2009

  • fins and or lost tails. Make sure to do some research to see which fish can typically get along with others. Sometimes it's trial and error, but I got lucky with these!

    I don't test the PH, I bought a second 10gal tank to move the fish to if they get sick, which I've only had to do once, but come to find out, they weren't sick, my little sister had come along and over fed them... causing their discoloration and lethargy. I feed every other day, just enough so that they eat for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes... then I push the rest down to the bottom to get sucked up into the filter.

    This was my first tank too..

    Good luck!

    Answer by matobe at 2:29 PM on Feb. 3, 2009

  • I agree with Anonymous, Gerbils are the way for you to go LOL :p

    Answer by Aneya at 5:15 PM on Feb. 4, 2009

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