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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is my first "real" tank. It is a 10-gallon and yes, it has been cycled. It is currently housing a male betta, four fish I can't remember the name of, and one remaining tetra.

Last night I found one tetra dead on the bottom of the tank. I don't think the betta killed him, as the little guy's body was completely intact, including fins.

This morning I found another one dead. He was sucked up against the filter! :-( I don't know if he got stuck there and then died, or if he died and then floated too close to it.

The remaining tetra is sluggish and staying at the top of the tank with his mouth to the surface. What could be wrong?

Oh - one more question. What is this fish called, I bought four of them and promptly forgot their name (the one on the left):



The mystery fish are doing very well, by the way. Betta is not bothering them at all.

EDIT: Nevermind, the "mystery" fish are Harlequin Rasboras! Not an easy name to remember, I'm not surprised I forgot. :)
 

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How did you cycle the tank? Not saying this is you, but some people think cycling is just letting the tank sit empty for a week while others just use bacterial supplements and don't bother to test to see if they even worked.

Neon tetras are quite delicate fish. They usually do best in mature set-ups.

Have you checked your water parameters at all? That would be my first port of call. Ammonia and nitrites as either of these can cause gasping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How did you cycle the tank? Not saying this is you, but some people think cycling is just letting the tank sit empty for a week while others just use bacterial supplements and don't bother to test to see if they even worked.

Neon tetras are quite delicate fish. They usually do best in mature set-ups.

Have you checked your water parameters at all? That would be my first port of call. Ammonia and nitrites as either of these can cause gasping.
I bought the tank off Craigslist, the owner said it was already cycled. I replaced half the water with tap water treated with water conditioner, then added the fish the next day.

I just bought a water testing kit, I will try and figure out how to use it now.
 

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You may find your tank is not cycled at all, or you lost some beneficial bacteria by the tank running empty until you got your fish.

Some people have odd ideas as to what being 'cycled' constitutes so the old owner may not have even cycled the tank properly in the first place.

Did you get a liquid one? Strips are okay for a general idea of water quality, but I find liquid is a lot more accurate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You may find your tank is not cycled at all, or you lost some beneficial bacteria by the tank running empty until you got your fish.

Some people have odd ideas as to what being 'cycled' constitutes so the old owner may not have even cycled the tank properly in the first place.

Did you get a liquid one? Strips are okay for a general idea of water quality, but I find liquid is a lot more accurate.
Yes, it is liquid. It was $30 so I hope it's a good quality kit!

EDIT: Would the other fish have died already if the tank is not cycled? I have a betta and four Harlequins, and they are doing fine as far as I can tell.
 

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It depends. Some fish are hardier than others so can tolerate poorer water conditions for longer. However, it does catch up with most fish eventually either in disease or a premature death.

I am not saying 100% it is a water quality issue but it helps to be able to cross it off the list by getting the readings.

Also neon tetras are a very sensitive fish, so I would not be surprised for them to die off first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Testing the water now. I'm brand new to this so it will take a bit for me to read the directions. I'll let you know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Waiting for the ammonia test to come out.

My last tetra died. Swim in peace little fishies, I'm sorry your lives were so short. :(

EDIT: Ammonia is at 0, testing for nitrite now.

EDIT: Nitrite is at 0.

EDIT: NitrAte is very close to 0. The vial is very slightly darker than the yellow 0 ppm.

So what could this mean?

Also - I completely forgot to change the filter. The previous owner said it needed changing. I will run out today and get a new one.
 

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Did you clean the tank before you put fish in it? Perhaps the previous owner had some sort of disease and it should have been cleaned.

But some bacteria supplement as well it will help build good bacteria in the new filter.
 

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Don't get a new filter! Or at least don't throw out your media. This is where all the beneficial bacteria lives. You only ever rinse the filter media out in tank water and never remove it or replace all of it at once as otherwise this will destroy your cycle.

It looks like your tank is cycled based on the readings you have, although the low nitrate is strange. Usually in a cycled tank you would expect to see more.

Can I ask how did you acclimatise your new fish, and do you have any readings for pH or hardness? Neons are softwater fish and so if your water is very hard with a high pH and they weren't acclimatised correctly, they may have died from the shock of the transition.

Otherwise, they might have just been sick in the store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Did you clean the tank before you put fish in it? Perhaps the previous owner had some sort of disease and it should have been cleaned.

But some bacteria supplement as well it will help build good bacteria in the new filter.
I did not clean the tank. What kind of diseases could strike tetras? Could it affect my betta/harlequins?

What kind of bacteria supplements should I get?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Don't get a new filter! Or at least don't throw out your media. This is where all the beneficial bacteria lives. You only ever rinse the filter media out in tank water and never remove it or replace all of it at once as otherwise this will destroy your cycle.

It looks like your tank is cycled based on the readings you have, although the low nitrate is strange. Usually in a cycled tank you would expect to see more.

Can I ask how did you acclimatise your new fish, and do you have any readings for pH or hardness? Neons are softwater fish and so if your water is very hard with a high pH and they weren't acclimatised correctly, they may have died from the shock of the transition.

Otherwise, they might have just been sick in the store.
I am confused - and sorry for the stupid question, but what is the "media"? I don't know the "anatomy" of a filter just yet.

I placed the fishes' bags in the tank water for 30 minutes before releasing them into the tank. I put the tetras in first, then the Harlequins, then the betta 10 minutes later.

pH was a 7.2.
 

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I wouldn't bother with bacterial supplements. It looks like your tank is cycled if your results are correct, but I would do a couple of tests over the next few days to see if it wasn't your large water change the other day that has brought your parameters down.

Don't do any water changes for the time being, and if your ammonia or nitrites start to rise, then you know your tank is not cycled.

Neon tetra disease can hit neons, but it has pretty specific symptoms and I don't think it happens overnight.

Media is the sponge/cartridges/ceramic noodles inside of the filter. This is where all your beneficial bacteria lives.

Just floating the bag may not have been enough if the fish were from a tank that had very different parameters from yours. 7.2 is not too high a pH, but generally you should acclimatise fish by slowly adding water from your tank into the bag or bucket they are in over a period of time so there is a slow adjustment to not only the temperature, but the water conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I wouldn't bother with bacterial supplements. It looks like your tank is cycled if your results are correct, but I would do a couple of tests over the next few days to see if it wasn't your large water change the other day that has brought your parameters down.

Don't do any water changes for the time being, and if your ammonia or nitrites start to rise, then you know your tank is not cycled.

Neon tetra disease can hit neons, but it has pretty specific symptoms and I don't think it happens overnight.

Media is the sponge/cartridges/ceramic noodles inside of the filter. This is where all your beneficial bacteria lives.

Just floating the bag may not have been enough if the fish were from a tank that had very different parameters from yours. 7.2 is not too high a pH, but generally you should acclimatise fish by slowly adding water from your tank into the bag or bucket they are in over a period of time so there is a slow adjustment to not only the temperature, but the water conditions.
Thanks so much for the info. Earlier, I was planning on buying a larger school of tetras, but I don't want to kill them. I may just go for another kind of fish or get more Harlequins.

I need to go back and buy more plants & a snail anyway. Thanks again!
 

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I would probably wait a couple of weeks to let your tank settle and to know for certain that it is cycled before adding any more fish.

Then I would probably only add the snail and bump your school of rasbora up to 6 individuals.

A 10 gallon is not a very big tank and with a snail, a betta and a school of harlequins I would say it is fully stocked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I would probably wait a couple of weeks to let your tank settle and to know for certain that it is cycled before adding any more fish.

Then I would probably only add the snail and bump your school of rasbora up to 6 individuals.

A 10 gallon is not a very big tank and with a snail, a betta and a school of harlequins I would say it is fully stocked.
Ok, that sounds good. Thank you.
 
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