View Full Version : Issues with new aquarium

11-17-2015, 11:31 AM
I have a 20 gal long setup in my kids room. It has been setup for about two weeks now. I decided to add a few small tetras this Sunday. They seemed to be alright till yesterday morning. White stuff started forming on the fins and moved to the body, it wasn't spots like ich, kind of flakey. The fins became ragged. They began to move sluggish. This morning they were all dead. The setup is new, but the filter, a quarter of the substrate and the decorations came from a established tank. A piece of Mopani driftwood was added to this, it looks like it may be putting out tannic acids still, water is slightly tea colored. I tested the water before I bought the fish and this morning to see if something changed. The results were the same, I used Tetra Test Strips and a TDS Meter.

These are the readings I came up with:
73 degrees fahrenheit/ 475 PPM from the TDS Meter.
Maybe the meter needs to be recalibrated?
0 ppm on the Ammonia
0 ppm on the Nitrate
0 ppm on the Nitrite
0 ppm on the Chlorine
75 ppm on GH
between 0 and 40 ppm on the KH
on the PH it looked like it may be around 6, hard to ready maybe lower

I thought it may have something to do with the PH but I wasn't sure. I have had problems like this before, I was wondering if I could get some feedback? Thanks.

11-17-2015, 11:44 AM
Where did you get your tetras from? Petco, LFS, individual? Seems to me that they already had what killed them given how fast they died. When I get new fish, especially tetras, I am following what our last speaker do, dip the fish for 10 minutes with water + Formalin.

I'm sorry about your loss.

11-17-2015, 11:56 AM
Petsmart, they looked pretty healthy, I haven't bought fish from there in a long time though. Hard to resist the $1 sale though, and American Flagfish. For the formalin dip is it just following the dosing on the package? It was a bummer, I was really putting a lot of thought/time into the setup and I didn't feel like I had rushed into it too much. The kids were really excited to see fish in there.

11-17-2015, 12:44 PM
Super good "return policy" at most of those places, petco, petsmart. Something like 30 days dead or alive no questions asked.......

11-17-2015, 12:47 PM
Sorry about your fish:( the guarantee on the fish is 14 days at persmart, 30 at petco...

However you need the body to get a refund!

11-17-2015, 12:50 PM
Good to remember, I don't think I will be over that way again till next Sunday. I already had to get the fish out too.

11-17-2015, 01:43 PM
Did the GH, KH and PH look ok? I wasn't to sure if that was normal or not.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

11-17-2015, 04:55 PM
Its soft and acid, should be perfect for tetra

11-17-2015, 06:26 PM
Thanks that was what was thinking too

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

11-17-2015, 08:32 PM
i bet pH was too low...bring water to be tested at the store. it may be new fish also. tough to tell

11-17-2015, 09:32 PM
I can give you some fish to use as "canari" and see if they survive.

I would first do a massive WC... What is odd is that you do not have any traces of nitrate, which should be present if your tank is cycled. I still suspect the fish you got were weak and already diseased. Don't forget, the fish the fishstore get have been on air planes most likely twice in less than a week, as they just arrived in the store via air freight from segrest or Sunpet (from Asia to florida where segrest is, which in turn sells to SunPet) and then shipped to the store. That is why I usually buy my fish from known breeders in our club. They may a bit more expensive (though not always), but usually the fish should be in good health, not stressed and diseased free.

It is also possible that the fish were fed with hormones, though I don't know about tetras and hormones fish food.


11-18-2015, 07:06 AM
It's actually possible to have 0 nitrates, however not likely in a new tank.

Either with a heavily planted tank, where the plants absorb the nitrates, and/or with a very low bioload.

11-23-2015, 07:54 AM
Were they neon tetras? Those are not as hardy as they use to be.

Perhaps adding some lime to the filter would help raise the ph. Also try acclimating the fish for an hour while squirting a little of the tank water in every 15mins.

To increase nitrates I dose KNO3 from Spectricide stump remover. It is 100% KNO3.

11-23-2015, 12:41 PM
Not sure why you would want to raise ph, as tetras thrive in low ph.....

Do you increase nitrates for plants?

11-23-2015, 12:55 PM
They were serpae tetras. They looked healthy at the store, but I may have missed something. I was getting tetras because most prefer soft water from what I have heard.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

11-23-2015, 01:14 PM
Not sure why you would want to raise ph, as tetras thrive in low ph.....

Do you increase nitrates for plants?

i bet pH was too low...bring water to be tested at the store. it may be new fish also. tough to tell
Because of this comment thought maybe the ph needs to be raised. I see though that Serpae Tetra good in ph 5.5 – 7.5. I have never had any problem with those and I do not do water changes weekly.

Nitrates for the plants

11-23-2015, 02:19 PM
Ah, that makes sense;)