It looks like my tank has become uninhabitable. - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-25-2013, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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It looks like my tank has become uninhabitable.

So two days ago I came home (I work overnights) to find that two of my ghost shrimp had committed suicide. By that I mean, that they had jumped out of the tank and got stuck against the glass. So naturally I think to myself "No big deal, the other shrimp will eat them and the circle of life will be complete." Well today I looked at my tank and out of the 8 that were in the tank (including the two that had committed seppuku) Only three pregnant females and one guppy as well as my new betta have survived.

When I clean out my tank typically I do three things:
Use Distilled water to refill only after taking out 3/4 of the old water.
change the filter
Today I bought aquarium grass for the tank but because I don't have any gravel its just floating >.<

Can you guys tell me what I'm doing wrong?
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-25-2013, 11:11 PM
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First, welcome to the forum.

1. What size is your tank?
2. Do you test your water? If not, get a test kit and let us know your parameters.
3. Do you use conditioners like Prime when you change the water?
4. Is the new water the same temperature as the old?
5. Do you have a thermometer? And a heater? Bettas and guppies are tropical fish and need warm tanks.
6. How often do you change the water in your tank? Depending on size, it should be 2-3 times a week.
7. Only rinse out a filter in old tank water; never tap.

Now to your questions:

1. Read the stickies on cycling, nitrogen, etc., and then read them again. Tanks *must* cycle. Unless you 100% water changes (with something other than distilled).
2. Fish need minerals; distilled water does not have minerals. Use tap water and something like Prime. Straight distilled is certain death.
3. When you clean/change the filter you kill the beneficial bacteria needed to cycle the aquarium and keep your fish alive. Do not clean the filter or change it until the cycle is complete. And then just rinse it out in old tank water. There's no need to change until the filter is falling apart.
4. Shrimp do not do well with such drastic water changes; 20%-25% at the most. When they try to escape there's something wrong with the water. Shrimp deaths are like canaries in a mine: they warn something is going/has gone wrong.
5. Get a test kit (not strips; they're unreliable) and test your water every day.

I'm sure there's more but that's a start.
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-26-2013, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RussellTheShihTzu View Post
First, welcome to the forum.

1. What size is your tank?
2. Do you test your water? If not, get a test kit and let us know your parameters.
3. Do you use conditioners like Prime when you change the water?
4. Is the new water the same temperature as the old?
5. Do you have a thermometer? And a heater? Bettas and guppies are tropical fish and need warm tanks.
6. How often do you change the water in your tank? Depending on size, it should be 2-3 times a week.
7. Only rinse out a filter in old tank water; never tap.

Now to your questions:

1. Read the stickies on cycling, nitrogen, etc., and then read them again. Tanks *must* cycle. Unless you 100% water changes (with something other than distilled).
2. Fish need minerals; distilled water does not have minerals. Use tap water and something like Prime. Straight distilled is certain death.
3. When you clean/change the filter you kill the beneficial bacteria needed to cycle the aquarium and keep your fish alive. Do not clean the filter or change it until the cycle is complete. And then just rinse it out in old tank water. There's no need to change until the filter is falling apart.
4. Shrimp do not do well with such drastic water changes; 20%-25% at the most. When they try to escape there's something wrong with the water. Shrimp deaths are like canaries in a mine: they warn something is going/has gone wrong.
5. Get a test kit (not strips; they're unreliable) and test your water every day.

I'm sure there's more but that's a start.

1. 15gal
2. I've never tested my water...ever :/ The reason I have switched to distilled water is because my current apartments water is well water and smells to much like eggs so I dont want to kill them...lol.
3. When I change my water I typically use the Betta drops that you put in the tank...I forget what they are called.
4.The new water might be colder because its at room temperature. My tank has a heater that I keep on. Which brings up a thought...all of my dead shrimp are now white (milky) instead of clear...could they have cooked to death?
5. What is a good test kit I should use (the name)
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-26-2013, 01:55 AM
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As far as a test kit goes, you can't go wrong with the Freshwater Master Test Kit from API. It measures everything in the water. Nitrites, Nitrates, Ammonia, and the pH.

I second not using distilled water. Its slightly acidic where as regular water is neutral. Acidic water wouldn't be good for aquatic flora and fauna.

Another thing I must ask is how big is your tank and what other inhabitants are in there? Also, what temperature is your water? Tropical tanks should be kept at around 74-80 degrees constantly. I always try and make sure to keep the water I am adding to my tanks at roughly the same temp (I ball park it with my fingers) as the current tank water as to avoid any sort of shock. I don't know if that could happen, so I don't want to take a risk.

Thirdly, the drops I use are API Tap Water Conditioner (Actually I am using a different brand right now, but its essentially the same thing). It removes the harmful additives that are put in tap water to prevent bacterial and micro organism growth that could render the water we drink unsuitable for consumption. Stuff like heavy metals and chloramine and chlorine.

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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-26-2013, 02:34 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, Copy on not using Distilled water anymore. When last I looked the temperature was between 70-80 degrees.

My issue tho is the filter I get is almost completely black with grime and whatever else it has picked up. But you still think I shouldn't change the filter is that correct?

My question is tho what about the well water...with the lead input. Wont it kill the remaining fish/shrimp?

Current Inhabitants: 2 or 3 female shrimp - one Betta and 3 guppies and one clump of aquarium grass.
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-26-2013, 02:47 AM
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Do your shrimp look like pinkish color dead tiny shrimp like you see in the grocery store or whitish, milky bodies of the shrimp still alive in your tank? If they aren't pinkish and curled up looking like grocery store shrimp leave them alone for a week or so, they may not be dead. They molt and are probably in the tank naked and hiding somewhere.
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-26-2013, 02:51 AM
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Any type of drops you use are fine, so long as they are taking out the harmful chemicals (chlorine, metals, etc) the name isn't so important just make sure they are neutralizing your water.

We use distilled water with our water changes, use 1/3 or so of the water we are putting back in the tank to neutralize our PH, it settles to high 8, 8/5 straight out of the tap and after it's set for a few days so we use distilled to make it lower naturally as we never want to use chemicals to fix the PH. That combined with peat moss and driftwood in all the tanks has gotten our PH from about 9 to 7, 7.4 in most all the tanks.
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-26-2013, 03:10 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by peachii View Post
Do your shrimp look like pinkish color dead tiny shrimp like you see in the grocery store or whitish, milky bodies of the shrimp still alive in your tank? If they aren't pinkish and curled up looking like grocery store shrimp leave them alone for a week or so, they may not be dead. They molt and are probably in the tank naked and hiding somewhere.
The dead shrimp are whitish and milky in color. Not all of the dead milky colored ones are curled up.

Are you sure the drops will also clear out the lead in the well water from my tap? Altho I absolutely despise that egg smell....I hate to think what my fish think about it.

Last edited by weapondrift; 05-26-2013 at 03:15 AM.
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-26-2013, 03:26 AM
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Originally Posted by weapondrift View Post
The dead shrimp are whitish and milky in color. Not all of the dead milky colored ones are curled up.

Are you sure the drops will also clear out the lead in the well water from my tap? Altho I absolutely despise that egg smell....I hate to think what my fish think about it.
No, I am not sure at all about it, it should unless your water is contaminated with something. You could fill a bucket and let it sit for a week or two and see how it is by then. You could also take a sample of your water (usually 2 cups or so) to your local pet store, fish store and ask them to test your water. Petco and Petsmart with both test it for you to see how it is.

Rotten Egg smell in water is usually not good, especially in aquariums so I'd be leary of it for my beloved fish.
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-26-2013, 03:28 AM
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Oh and i just asked about the shrimp because I had one i was absolutely sure it was dead - after 3 days it was up and running around the tank. I almost cleaned it out with the water change but left it just to make absolutely sure it was dead and am glad I did. At first I didn't really like the ghost shrimp but after awhile - they have definately grown on me.
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