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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-15-2009, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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My tank supports plants and snails, but not one fish

Hi everyone...*blushes* I know it's been a while. I can write more tomorrow. Life's changed again, and I miss my friends lol.

So I still have my tank, the ten gallon freshwater room temperature. I have two live plants which I believe are hygrophila polysperma, and (I think) hygrophila difformis (wisteria). The latter plant is new, and huge. Since I got it, I've had many of one type of snail growing. Everything is flourishing, but when I add one fish, i.e. a betta, the fish never lasts a few days. I tested my water. Everything is fine, ammonia was a bit high, so I changed the amrid in my filter since it'd been a few months. I'll test the water again tonight and let you know tomorrow what the readings are.

Any ideas? Since I'd really like to add one fish. I have lots of snails and surface cover (floating/reproducing green things).

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-16-2009, 08:51 AM
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mine supports fish, and common snails but not one apple snail

i have water conditioner its like aquapure maybe idk i'll look when i go home but it works good my fish used to die quick then i treated my water and none have since

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-16-2009, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, so after some research, I seem to have a very alkaline tank. In the high 8's. And the snails I have are "common pond snails" (all I could find). gah.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-17-2009, 02:31 AM
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Mulder, I am having the same problem. The water tests fine. The snails live. But I have a heater in my 10 or 15 gal. tank. We even had the pet stores test the water. IT'S FINE. Put fish in it and they die 3 days later. What am I doing wrong?????


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-17-2009, 01:02 PM
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You said that your water parameters were fine but that the ammonia "was a bit high". If you have any ammonia at all, your parameters are not fine. Even tiny amounts can kill fish.

How often do you do water changes and what exactly do you do? Do you have a gravel vacuum? What species have you tried keeping?

Good luck, I hope we can figure out the mystery!




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Last edited by Sasami; 02-17-2009 at 05:08 PM.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-17-2009, 02:39 PM
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good luck w/the fish...and nice to see you around

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-18-2009, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Tarita

Sasami, i do 20% water changes every weekend, I don't have a gravel vacuum. I've tried keeping bettas, goldfish, mollies, never lots of fish at once.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-18-2009, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mulder View Post
Thanks Tarita

Sasami, i do 20% water changes every weekend, I don't have a gravel vacuum. I've tried keeping bettas, goldfish, mollies, never lots of fish at once.
If you don't have a gravel vacuum, your water changes aren't actually as helpful as you might think. Go pick one up, it's pretty much necessary for a lot of aquariums. You don't have to spend tons of money, just go for a cheap one . I've used the same one for years and it costed like $4 or something .

I know you said that the tank is room temperature, but does that mean low 70's? Mid 70's? I'm not sure how warm your house is. Also, remember to measure the tank's temperature at night, when the lights are off, too (as it'll be colder, possibly too cold).

Bettas are pretty adaptable, but it sounds like your water might be too alkaline . However, if you fix any temperature/ammonia problems, you could try again but acclimate the fish very slowly. I would use the drip method, which is normally for acclimating sensitive animals. If you decide to try another betta, let me know and I'll give you more information.

Mollies do best in warm water (high 70's), so even if your tank was, say, 72 degrees, that might work for some tropicals but not mollies. Also, it's very difficult to find healthy mollies to begin with...they've been extremely overbred and inbred and are kept in less than stellar conditions. Granted, the same is true for most livebearers in the pet trade, but mollies are already more on the sensitive side. They fair very badly in poor water quality, so if you had any ammonia, that would explain any deaths. On a positive note, mollies do fine in alkaline water, so if you fix any other issues, you could try again. I've had the most success keeping them in brackish set-ups (a tank where MARINE salt mix is added), but your plants will probably only tolerate small amounts of salt. Mollies are also messy, so only keep a few in your 10-gallon (personally, I'd probably keep them in a 20 or larger). If you want the best chance of sucess, don't add any other fish besides the mollies.

If you love the look of mollies but are having trouble with them, try platies. They basically look like small mollies and are hardier, more peaceful, and do better in smaller tanks.

I wouldn't recommend even one goldfish for a 10-gallon. They're extremely messy and require really strong filtration and tons of water changes. Plus, even if you kept one, it would pretty much have to be your only fish (since goldfish enjoy companions, it wouldn't be ideal). Since you weren't vacuuming the gravel, that explains the death(s) and possibly even your ammonia spikes (when the gravel isn't vacuumed, uneaten food and fish waste sits in the tank and rots...when it comes to goldfish, it can get pretty bad fast).

With such alkaline water, you're going to have to be really slow with acclimation. Any interest in saltwater?

I can't think of any fish offhand that do well in alkaline water and can also live in a 10-gallon (our water here is totally netural, so I can't say I've had the same problem). However, I will think about it and maybe edit this post when I get home .




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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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Wowee thanks Sasami! What a great load of information. My tank seems to stay, for temperature, between 70 and 74. Never lower, never higher. I live in an apartment building, so it's always cozy. I think I've gotten the ammonia under control because my snails are back out of hiding and some have grown noticeably. I now have about a dozen that are the size of peas. And of course my dozen or two tiny ones. I've been watching the production cycles, it's interesting stuff.

My interest with this tank is to only have one fish, two MAX. I find the plants being overgrown and the snails flourishing, to be far more interesting. lol. If there's no one fish that can relax on it's own on my tank, then so be it Maybe then I'll just look into another type of snail. It's almost like a mini-wetland, but the water's clear, not nasty-marsh-like. I don't feel like any frogs or newts, I'd really just like something serene and low-key.

Thanks everyone

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 11:14 AM
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LOL, I only can raise snails and two little fishies!


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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-22-2009, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
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Wowee thanks Sasami! What a great load of information. My tank seems to stay, for temperature, between 70 and 74. Never lower, never higher. I live in an apartment building, so it's always cozy. I think I've gotten the ammonia under control because my snails are back out of hiding and some have grown noticeably. I now have about a dozen that are the size of peas. And of course my dozen or two tiny ones. I've been watching the production cycles, it's interesting stuff.

My interest with this tank is to only have one fish, two MAX. I find the plants being overgrown and the snails flourishing, to be far more interesting. lol. If there's no one fish that can relax on it's own on my tank, then so be it Maybe then I'll just look into another type of snail. It's almost like a mini-wetland, but the water's clear, not nasty-marsh-like. I don't feel like any frogs or newts, I'd really just like something serene and low-key.

Thanks everyone
Well, if you have better luck with bettas, it sounds like a single betta fish would be perfect .

However, I would try to get a heater if possible, as then you can keep the temperature not only higher (as they prefer mid to high 70's) but stable. If you buy a heater, get your water tested while you're at the pet store to make sure the ammonia is gone.

Adding driftwood to the tank might naturally lower your pH (worked for me in my Amazon tank, anyways!), and it looks interesting, too (your snails will love munching algae off ). You can attach java ferns and/or java moss...both are hardy plants that do especially well when tied to something instead of being planted directly into the substrate.

Hmm. You know, I just had an idea. Are Paradise Gouramis sold where you live? They're extremely hardy fish that seriously thrive in a single-fish, planted environment. I usually don't recommend them to people because they can have aggression problems in community set-ups, but if you only plan to have one fish, a Paradise Gourami might work! They're gorgeous, active, and have a lot of personality. Being realtives of bettas, they have similar temperments and move in that same serene way . I have one myself, a female, in a small planted tank similar to yours. She's around 2-3 years old now and one of my favorite fish.




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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-22-2009, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Great! I'll look into the Paradise Gouramis. I'm curious now And I'm totally getting driftwood too. I'll probably test my water tomorrow to see how the ammonia's doing, since now I'm curious about that too! Thanks Steph

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 08:44 AM
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Great! I'll look into the Paradise Gouramis. I'm curious now And I'm totally getting driftwood too. I'll probably test my water tomorrow to see how the ammonia's doing, since now I'm curious about that too! Thanks Steph
No problem, good luck!




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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 11:10 AM
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How big of a filter do you have? It is always a good idea to get a fliter that is rated higher than your tank, since that capacity diminishes over time. How do you clean it? You could be killing off a lot of bacteria in your filter causing such ammonia spikes, also, if you have a low bioload and low light conditions to where you dont add fertilizer you dont have to do weekly wc, once your tank is fully established you should be able to tell when you need one, I suggest you have the tank fully cycled to where you can add a tad of ammonia and test a little later to see if it is at zero


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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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thanks skrat. my filter is big (20g) for my tank (10g). I'm super careful when cleaning anything, and it's been cycling for a year now

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