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Fish Beginner in trouble
02-15-2013, 03:08 AM, (This post was last modified: 02-15-2013, 03:14 AM by Peony.)
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Peony Offline
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Fish Beginner in trouble
Hi

I had know idea about the whole cycle thing or much about anything it seems about keeping fish. I was given a tank by a friend who ended up with two. It's a 20 litre tank - just over 4 gallons. a good size to keep 4 little fantails I thought plus a few minnows. I had only given the tank a few days to settle. As I said I hadn't realised about the cycle thing or how much room they needed. Now having researched deeper I feel very silly and cruel as the fish one by one died. I thought water testers were for professionals not it is a must have.

Anyway I have 7 guppies in an unheated tank at 20 degrees and there not looking very happy, fins down and not alot of movement as well as spending most of their time near the top. I'm house bound and wanted a easy pet/hobby but now depressed at dying fish and what to do for the best. Sent off for a water tester kit, just hope it arrives quickly.

I have done a part water change with treated water at room temperture
and the tank has a filter. Having read the cycle information I think I need to keep doing part water changes daily.

I'm just looking for some advice to see if I can save these guppies. They seem better after the water change.

I also think maybe I should look at getting a bigger tank!

Please any help or thoughts would be very useful

Thank you - By the way I live in the UKbowdown
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02-15-2013, 02:50 PM, (This post was last modified: 02-15-2013, 02:54 PM by Ram.)
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RE: Fish Beginner in trouble
Hi there, the 4 gallon tank you have is too small for even one goldfish, and you have 4 in there. That is the problem. Cycling a 4 gallon with 4 goldfish in there is just not possible. There will always be ammonia in there even if you have a working filter, because the tank is undersized. You need a tank at least 10x larger for these fish.

As for your 7 guppies, how big is the tank?
What filter system is it in there?
Yes, you need a heater for the tank. As you have noticed, they are very unhappy. When tropical fish are in cold water, they become inactive and eventually they will die. I suggest you get a proper heater as soon as possible.

If you haven't cycled the tank before getting those 7 guppies, what you must do is to keep up the partial water change every day to keep ammonia low. A 50% water change every day might be needed until your tank can be cycled. Get SeaChem Prime as water conditioner for every partial water change, because Prime can detoxify ammonia up to 48 hours. It should minimize the ammonia damage to your fish.

In the case for your guppies, nothing will work for long if your tank is also undersized. You need at least a 10 gallon (or almost 40L) tank for 7 guppies. It must be heated, filtered. Yes, it is the best to cycle the tank before adding the fish, but since you already have the fish it is too late for fishless cycling. You need to keep up the partial water change I suggested above to keep fish live through the fish-in cycle.

Good luck!
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02-15-2013, 03:11 PM,
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RE: Fish Beginner in trouble
If you want to save your fish, the first thing you need to do is to get tanks of proper size.

Those fantails are fancy goldfish, and their requirement for tank size is huge. We recommend no less than 20 gallon for just one, then at least extra 10 gallon for each additional. You need a 55 gallon and a highly efficient filter system to sustain them. The 4 gallon is the killer here. There is nothing you can do to keep these 4 goldfish alive if you don't upgrade the tank.

The same goes for your guppies. Although they do not need nearly as big of a tank. A 10~15 gallon should be fine for 7 guppies for now, but these livebearers will breed fast and overstock your tank later.

Until your tank is cycled, your fish is always under the risk of dying to ammonia poisoning. Aside the partial water change with Prime on daily basis until your tank is cycled, the other thing you can do is try to speed up the cycling. Some of the things you can do to help the cycling go faster are,
1. Increase aeration
More oxygen will help the beneficial bacteria grow faster in your filter system. You can achieve this by adding more air stones connected to your air pump.

2. Raise the water temperature
Nitrogen cycle bacteria love warmer water. They will grow faster and convert ammonia faster if you can slowly raise the water temperature to low 80F.

3. Heavy bacteria seeding
One of the fastest way to help cycling a tank is to heavily seed the tank with nitrogen cycle bacterias. Get a bottle of Tetra SafeStart will help jump start the cycling even if it doesn't get your tank cycled right away.

You can find these tips for cycling in this article. The article is about fishless cycling, but the tips are the same for cycle with fish.
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02-15-2013, 07:34 PM,
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RE: Fish Beginner in trouble
Many thanks to you both. I have taken on board and acting on all your advice and been reading all your site information too. Been listening to advice from fish store who said the guppies didn't need a heater or the importance of my tank going through the cycle. Wish I had found this site earlier.

What can I put in the 20 litre tank other them use it as a hospital? I've started looking at getting a bigger tank. Do you have any stores online to reccomend.
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02-16-2013, 02:15 AM,
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RE: Fish Beginner in trouble
It is never too late to learn. Smile We were all newbies once.

A 20 liter tank is slightly bigger than the minimal recommended tank size for keeping aquarium water under stable conditions. With adequate heater and filter, it can be used as a betta tank for just one betta fish, or a single dwarf gourami, or as a small community tank with up to 5~6 small size tropical fish of nothing more than 3" long. You can also use it as a shrimp tank for some small freshwater shrimps like red cherry or yellow shrimps.

I am not familiar with fish stores in UK since I am not from there. I randomly Googled it online and found the following tanks.

http://www.pet-supermarket.co.uk/Product...e-aquarium

http://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/fish/aquar...ets/171566


If you have Walmart in UK, it is likely they also sell fish tanks. My local super Walmart had 10 gallon tank for $14 last year. They also have 20 and 29 gallon kits. Although I have never bought a completed kit, I believe some of them offer better deals than if you buy all the stuff desperately. The problem with "compete kits" are that they might not be truly "complete". Sometimes they don't have a heater, and sometimes they don't have a filter or an air pump. You have to look in their descriptions or even have to call them to make sure what they have in the kit. The advantage with buying everything yourself is the freedom of choice. You can always pick the brand or model you like.
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08-20-2013, 09:16 AM,
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RE: Fish Beginner in trouble
What you need to do is get rid of all of your fish and then do proper research before you get any fish. A 4 gallon tank is too small for any fish except maybe a betta fish, and I would not even recommend you get a betta fish in it. There is no point in trying to get a heater or something like that now because it won't solve your significant overstocking program. Instead, I would recommend just giving away the fish and then re-looking at your situation.
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08-20-2013, 12:50 PM,
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RE: Fish Beginner in trouble
(08-20-2013, 09:16 AM)cpwebsite Wrote: What you need to do is get rid of all of your fish and then do proper research before you get any fish. A 4 gallon tank is too small for any fish except maybe a betta fish, and I would not even recommend you get a betta fish in it. There is no point in trying to get a heater or something like that now because it won't solve your significant overstocking program. Instead, I would recommend just giving away the fish and then re-looking at your situation.

This is a very old thread. I do not think he still have those fish in a 4 gallon. It would be amazing if he still do. They would be long dead by now if he did nothing to either upgrade the tank or give away the fish.
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