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What's wrong with my fish?

September 15th, 2011, 09:48 PM
Last week, I bought a betta fish. A couple of days later, I got eight tetras and a plecko.

A few days ago, the tetras started dying. The betta was harassing them for a bit, but that calmed down after a day.

Now there are only three fish left. The betta died last night, as well as two of the remaining tetras. I've only got two tetras and the plecko left.

I saw one of the tetras right before it died. It was up near the surface, not moving, on its side, and gasping for breath. I didn't realise it was still alive until I touched it with the net and it moved, but it was more like a spasm than anything else. The betta was the same way before he died. After they died, they all had a sort of algae on them that's also growing on the log I have in there.

What was killing my fish? I don't have the temperature of the water in the tank (I don't have a thermometer sensitive enough yet), but could it be it's too cold for them? Or is it some sort of disease? I'm going to have a water sample tested, but I'd like to know as a starting point what it probably is. Any input would be great.

September 15th, 2011, 10:09 PM
Have you checked the Ph levels? If the Ph is too low or high, this could cause stress and disease. I bought a Ph tester from Wal-mart and is a great resource. How big is your tank? Make sure you put aquarium salt in your tank (based on size) as tetra's and the plecko need this to slime their coats.

How is the air circulation and filtration system? Once a week, I put a teaspoon of Melafix along with stress enzyme in my tank.

I've heard that you can place one betta in a community tank but have never thought of experimenting with this. :shrug: Plecko's are very hardy and spiney fish. Mine's been in my tank for 7+ years and doesn't do what he's suppose to do and clean up messes. :frustrated:

Hope you can come to the root of the problem Dracen. :fingerscr

September 15th, 2011, 10:19 PM
How big is your tank? Adding a bunch of fish in one go would cause an ammonia spike. Ammonia burns their gills and they suffocate (would look like they are gasping). You have to add fish slowly, just one or two at a time depending on tank size and fish size so that the nitrifying bacteria can break down the wastes into less harmful nutrients. You don't have to add anything fancy or special to the tank, just go slower and take your time when adding fish.

September 16th, 2011, 09:27 AM
if you had a un-cycled filter and added all those fish it was more then likely an ammonia spike. Sometimes you can see the fish gills are bright red instead of reddish-pink from irritation. you will need to change 20-40% of the water daily until it calms down. You should use dechlorinated water or let the new water sit 24hr before putting it in the tank if you have a filter.

September 16th, 2011, 12:45 PM
Thanks, guys. It's a ten gallon tank, and the fish were added fairly quickly. I'll see what the water samples say and ask the pet store about it. Thanks again.

September 16th, 2011, 01:05 PM
Sadly, many of the employees at the pet stores aren't very informed. I know you're in Ontario, but check out forums for really good information from hobbyists that are experienced.

Since your tank is so small I would put money down that ammonia killed the fish. It may not be in the tank's water much anymore as several days have passed. A water test may not be conclusive.

September 17th, 2011, 02:42 PM
Hagen makes a couple of decent test kits that I just bought.
The PH test kit was $8.49
The Ammonia kit was $11.99 these kits are good for many, many tests and worth it in the long run.
Doing the weekly partial water changes is super important, good luck. :)

September 18th, 2011, 07:29 AM
If it's a new tank set up, then betas and neon tetras are not the fish to begin with. Both prefer aged water and preferably in the 78 degree range temperature wise. Sounds like you overwhelmed the filter with too many fish too quickly.
I've kept betas with great success in community tanks and have even had them spawn in those tanks, but they need some floating plant cover to feel comfortable in a community tank.

A 10 gallon tank is pretty small, so don't put too many fish in it. Try a threesome of hardy fish like platys or guppies, maybe a couple of cory catfish for some bottom interest.


September 20th, 2011, 06:45 AM
I got results back from water tests, and it was a combination of ammonia and adding fish too quickly. I've been changing the water in the tank and the person I talked to said it should be ready to hold more fish in a few weeks. Thanks for your input, guys.