Ok. So a week ago I bought my first tropical aquarium which I instantly setup and started cycling with a lot of help from this forum. Last Thursday I took a water sample to my local pet store to test as I don't yet have a kit of my own, they said the water was fine to start adding fish so I listened and bought a stunning male VT betta, 6 Cory cats, 6 tetras, a snail and 3 live plants. They instantly settled in and I was happy with my purchase especially as the store assistant told me my water was fine. When I told my boyfriend that I had bought fish and added them he went ballistic with me as he worked in a fish store after college now he tells me they aren't going to last long and will die. I don't know what to do to save them, they seem to be thriving in the tank and to me seem happy. Can anyone suggest anything? Im still new to all this so I'm freaking out that I might be killing these fish, especially as I'm a vegetarian myself. Lol
54 litre about 12 UK gallons, the fish are doing great together it's just my boyfriend told me that the cycling process hadn't finished as the tank had only been set up for a week and now all my fish are going to die. I know some people cycle their tanks with fish but more often than not the fish die.
So you were cycling it without fish, right? Were you adding ammonia everyday or using another method? If you put the fish in too early, they will die if the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels are too high. Can you test the water? If the levels are really high, I would do a huge water change and keep going with a fish-in cycle. It's definitely possible to cycle with the fish in, just as long as you perform water changes.
Edit: Sorry, I forgot you said you don't have a water testing kit of your own. Did the pet store just say the water is fine or did they tell you exactly what the levels are? Unless you used a product or media from an established tank which caused the tank to cycle really quickly, I don't think it is cycled yet.
Well first off, IMO you have overstocked your tank. You will have to keep up with water changes.
Second off, you will have to test your water frequently. Go buy some water testing equipment. Don't buy the strips. I use the type that you get some water, then add a few drops of a liquid from a bottle.
Third off, you will have to do lots of water changes because you are cycling your tank with so many fish.
If you do enough water changes, your fish won't die. Also, keep an eye on your betta. Sometimes bettas don't like tetras.
I would do more than normal water changes. I'm not so sure about the bioload, but it does seem to be pushing it - especially because you put them in at one time, which means problems with the start.
It would have been much better to directly say "What are the numbers". That way you could ask us. "Fine" may not really be 'fine' in our terms, especially since not all of us have the best experience with LFS employees.
If anything, add more live plants if you know you can take care of them and keep them alive. They will probably help you.
IMO I would take back most of those fish. Even when you have it cycled, your betta will probably be very stressed out and unhappy. In the wild they are by themselves most of the time, unless it's time for them to breed. They are VERY territorial fish...it might seem like they're doing fine with other fish and than one day you'll find fins missing from fish or dead fish. They're called "fighting fish" for a reason.
99% of the time pet store employees have no idea what they're talking about, so don't trust their advice. By all means, do what you feel is best for your fish, but I just had to give my opinion. I don't know anything about cycling, so I can't help you out with that.