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What am I doing wrong? :(

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#1 xLindsey


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Posted 26 November 2010 - 02:55 AM

Seriously... I have a 10 gallon fish tank... I can not keep anything alive in it.. NEVER... I've tried goldfish..nope they die. I've tried Platties...they die. Ugh I hate it...I just want a working fish tank. What am I doing wrong? I set the tank up... I water dechlorinate. I only do 30% changes every week with a gravel vaccum. I only feed once a day and scoop out the excess!

Why do they always DIE!? I've tried all the hardy fish. I'm so lost. :( I'm not putting too many in. Just the recommended amount. It's filtered and has a heater for the platties...no heater when I had the goldfish.

Why do fish hate me?

#2 Guest_NotEnoughTime_*

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 03:31 AM

The only successful pair of fish that my wife and I had were a couple of goldfish - they lived for several years. We called them Mr. and Mrs. Yamada. Then one day we came home and Mr. Yamada was attacking Mrs. Yamada and took her eye out. My wife separated the pair and they died soon afterwards. Fish, obviously, are not our strong suit. My mother, somehow, keeps a number of guppies and other freshwater fish and somehow manages to keep them alive... I suspect her secret is not too much attention - but I can't be sure.

#3 4HAND


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Posted 27 November 2010 - 12:03 AM

When you keep fish in an aquarium their waste turns into ammonia which will kill them.It is essential to start out with a culture of LIVE aerobic bacteria when you introduce the ammonia producing fish.A culture can come bottled from a company or better yet from an established aquarium of a friend.It could be a used filter pad or several cups of gravel if they have an undergravel filter.The aerobic bacteria will reproduce and feed off the Ammonia the fish produce.It is important to maintain a healthy level of these bacteria at all times to keep the ammonia and subsequent nitrates and nitrites(by-products of the ammonia being broken down by the helpful bacteria)from reaching levels that will stress or kill your fish.I suspect you are over cleaning and disturbing or removing too many bacteria.Never rinse the filterpad in chlorinated water as it will kill the bacteria as they are trying to colonize.If you have an undergravel filter only vaccum half at a time.If you don't have an undergravel filter consider adding one to increase the surface area where these bacteria thrive.A sponge filter would also do the trick.

#4 Seiri


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Posted 08 December 2010 - 01:04 AM

check the pH and the hardness of your water...you may need to tweek it a bit. Also, where are you buying your fish from and how do you acclimate them to the tank when you get them? What type of food are you using? Oh, and do you know the exact temp in the tank when you have the heater on?

#5 Chicklette


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Posted 29 January 2011 - 08:15 AM

Are you cycled? What is your ammonia, nitrite and nitrates at? Is the tank new?

#6 Vickiesbirds


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Posted 29 January 2011 - 08:05 PM

I tried the fishtank deal myself... was VERY unsuccessful. My first group consisted of mollies, platys and guppies... all of which got ick and died. I cleaned out the whole tank and restarted, doing everything by the book. I let the tank water fun for 72 hours before I bought any fish, and I only added 2 or 3 fish per week, so the natural bacteria could build up and support them. I cleaned only once every week or two, doing minimal water changes. I bought an enormous pineapple lyretail molly from a local petsmart... I swear this thing was on steroids it was so huge! She ended up giving birth to about 15 babies, and she died a couple months after. Her babies however ended up living... and continued to breed, and breed... and breed! I had so many babies that I had to get a small separate tank for them all to live in!!! I probably had about 4 generations of fish in the end... close to 35. Then, one by one they died... and that was the last straw for me! I put the tank on craigslist, and made some cash from it.
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#7 Trapper



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Posted 20 February 2011 - 09:36 PM

I was thinking about getting fish. Thought they were easy. Now I am having second thoughts

#8 dianaalrusty



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Posted 20 February 2011 - 09:47 PM

Yes, all the high tech stuff is scary. I've had a successful tank for 10 years roughly.......getting that initial balance is the toughest part. I'd suggest using a totally different water source. Since we've moved and have well water, we've had very little death. Lost several entire tank fulls when our township was trying to kill bacteria in the water supply when we had town water. Do minimal water changes at first (just add if it isn't too cloudy), and just rinse the filter instead of replacing it for a couple of times. It's super easy once you establish the balance. The book Fish for Dummies is a good one.

#9 Seiri


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Posted 20 February 2011 - 09:53 PM

It isn't hard, you just have to think about every little step you take when you set it up. Livebearers have short lives and breed like crazy. Most fish from petsmart are either older or just old enough to sell. You also want to ask what day the shipments come in and not buy fish until 3 days after they come in because 1/4 of the fish will die from being shipped. There are also a lot of nasty parasites and other diseases that live in the water of fish stores. You always want to get as little of the store water in your tanks as possible. Make sure you use aquarium salt as it kills a lot of the parasites that can harm fish. ALL fish benefit from a small amount of aquarium salt. You also want to keep a steady temp of 75-79. having a lower temp than that invites more parasites to thrive. (goldfish are different, I'm talking about tropical freshwater) I can give more info on specific types of fish if you want to pm me. I was very much into fish, their care, and breeding up until a year ago. I've had up to 16 tanks running at once lol I should post pics of all of them haha
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#10 Phoenix21


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Posted 07 April 2011 - 09:39 AM

I keep both freshwater and marine (reef) tanks and have worked in a pet store that sold both kinds of fish. Tanks aren't hard at all unless something really weird is going on, like having copper piping in older houses. Copper is toxic to invertebrates and would be disastrous in a reef tank as all the corals, shrimp, snails, etc. would die.

An excellent site with wonderful people to help you with freshwater tanks is Badman's Tropical Fish:

Welcome to Badman's Tropical Fish

They can be the tiniest bit inflexible in regards to keeping fish and sometimes I feel like they are kind of clique-ish and all gang up to cram information down newbies throats all clamouring and repeating themselves but they do know what they are talking about and they feel very passionately for their fish in their care like you do your birds.

For those interested in keeping saltwater Reef Central is an excellent place to go:

Reef Central Online Community

Tons and tons and tons (are you getting my drift) of information there with thousands of members where the above website only has a hundred regulars or so. People there are a little more open to doing things different ways, but are still very knowledgeable.

If you have any specific questions I can try to help. I'm falling asleep at the keyboard now so that will have to wait until tomorrow. You might start by explaining how much you know about fish keeping in the simplest terms and we can go from there. If you know the pH of your water as well as temperature and readings for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate that would be helpful. Preferably when the fish died, not after the bacteria in the tank have had days to do their job. How many fish are you introducing at one time? And how many were in the tank total? Are they just mysteriously dieing or are they getting sick with a fungus or ich?
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