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Ok ... after months of reading and a few days of just getting "ants in the pants", my wife told me to "pick out all you need" one night at WalMart.

I reply with "ummm ... these tanks are hard to start/learn with, I really need to start with something bigger (and ironically, more expensive). BUT, she was buying and I thought I'd try.

10gal starter kit it is, with a $14 plastic centerpiece and $11 worth of gravel (about 15lbs).

This was like 3 weeks ago. Got everything home (yeah, I'm getting to "the point" just keep reading) and set it up. Read all the directions on the "hand-out" chemicals (Tetra Aqua-Safe was the de-chlor) and waited. And waited. And after that, I waited some more.

After doing even MORE research online I hear about "Cycle" made by Nutrafin. Got some, read directions, even waited again and followed the "3 day cycle".

3 weeks had passed, the dip-sticks said "do it", so I did, went and bought 3 Neon Tetras and some bubble thingies at WalMart.


The bubble thingies were too long, looked AWESOME but too long, forced air into the filter intake and made it "make noise" (this freebie/WalMart/hand-out filter is totally silent given the water level stays correct). So I packed it and the air pump back up and took them back, same night. Hmmph, $13 credit? Let's get 2 more fishies, that would give us a school of 5 and hopefully not stress the tank OR the other 3 as much. Everything is fine! tank looks awesome, tests great and one more dose of Cycle says I'm good to go! Even took the initiative to save milk jugs and sterilize them for water changes (pre-made water). Next day I took Nature neil's advice and went to PetSmart and got a plant. Some kinda grass/weed thing. Said "2-4 plants" on the top. Wasn't hairgrass, wasn't <insert biological name here> but looks awesome. There was 2 in the pak. Followed instructions and the 2 from the pak are thriving beyond my expectations. Tested water before and after adding plants (day in between, no noticable difference).


Day2 after adding fish: BAD ... 1, 2, 3, 4, uhoh .... where's 5?!. I'm FREAKING OUT, over a $2 fish. I was so hurt. But then I got that "bah, it was free" and found it, said a prayer and trashed it. You see, the cashier only charged us for 1 of the first 3. Yes, I actually went back and told the MGR that I ripped them off, he said "Good for you, don't worry about it, I'm sure if it were a larger amount you'd come back and do the right thing again. Thanks" ... ohhh KAY.

Day3: BAD Another one bites the dust. Again, I'm still thinking "k, that one was free too"
That night, not so much. Not really a dream but more of a "what if that happened to YOU?!" thing popped into my head.

Yeah, so at this point, I got 3 neons that I fear are dying and they can't tell me "HEY A$$H0LE! ... yer killin us here!"

I feel so bad, not sure what I did or didn't do but it was all wrong.



Long story longer? ... 2 lived through the week, we'll call them BOB and BOBBIE. BOBBIE hid in the plants and the fake ones at that. I'm freakin. My wife meets me at the door the following morning "Bobbie is ok!!. We still have 2!" .... :sigh of relief:

Bob and Bobbie are doing great, chasing each other around the tank and actually using the foliage I planted for them.

Yesterday: I came home from PokerNight to find Bob ..... no Bobbie. Looked for her forever. :( :( :(

So, now we come to "Bob". When in fact his name should be "Super-Bob" or "Invinci-Fish".

I did SO many things wrong and have learned my lesson. Bob showed us that you just CAN'T HURRY this stuff. And everyday he meets me at the glass to say "Patience, grass-ah hopp-ah".

Don't hurry people, the fish will always be out there, looking for a home.
 

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You have the right intentions just the wrong followthrough. Two things that go off after reading your thread:

1.) You let your tank cycle, but you did not have anything in your tank to start the cycle. You need a source of ammonia to start the beneficial bacteria. Most people get 1-2 fish and their waste is your source of ammonia. Others use ammonia straight, or some fish food as waste in the tank. Then you need to be able to test for both ammonia and nitrite with a test kit. I would recommend Red sea freshwater kit or API.

2.) You are using Tetra Aqua safe as your dechlor. I am not sure about that product but make sure that it not only removes chlorine and chloramine, but that it detoxifies ammonia and heavy metals. Some dechlorinators only remove chlorine from the chloramine, leaving the other component which is....ammonia! Even worse for your fish!

3.) Yeah I said 2 but....Walmart< Petsmart or Petco < dedicated fish store. That is usually the order when it comes to the quality of your fish and products. Spend a little more up front with better products and save time, money, and fish in the long run.

If Bob makes it another 2 weeks, your tank should be cycled. At this point you can add a few more fish and watch your chemicals. Do weekly water changes of about 25% and treat the water with a GOOD dechlor like Prime from Seachem if the Tetra one is not complete.
 

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An easy way to cycle a tank is with a hardy fish. Some say its cruel, but it has always worked good for me. I have used goldfish before, and then after cycling just gave them back to the fish store. But I have also used Tiger Barbs because of how hardy they are, and then after the cycle, i've just kept them in that tank because they are pretty cool fish.
 

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im 1 of those people that say its cruel-because it is cruel! fish can survive the cycle, but its painful for them.
 

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im 1 of those people that say its cruel-because it is cruel! fish can survive the cycle, but its painful for them.
its a matter of opinion, some fish are weak and cant handle it and it does harm them, some fish dont show any stress because the cycle does not bother them.
 

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your right its JMO. i just feel for animals a bit more than others.
 

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It shouldn't be so cruel if you just get a couple (based on your tank size), and use something like Prime the whole time to detoxify the ammonia and nitrite. However it sounds like some of the fish people use do not stay in the tank. They either get returned or flushed?!!...now that part is cruel.

I always get starter fish that I know I will be keeping in the tank for the long run. Why get a gold fish you don't plan to keep?
 

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It shouldn't be so cruel if you just get a couple (based on your tank size), and use something like Prime the whole time to detoxify the ammonia and nitrite. However it sounds like some of the fish people use do not stay in the tank. They either get returned or flushed?!!...now that part is cruel.

I always get starter fish that I know I will be keeping in the tank for the long run. Why get a gold fish you don't plan to keep?
yeah, I used to use a couple goldfish and returns them. Now i use hardy fish that i keep, like tiger barbs or something.
 

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when i cycled my tank with fish, i used prime and daily water changes but they still got a disease and died. while cycling they gave birth to fry, which also died.:( i'll never cycle with fish again.
 

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when i cycled my tank with fish, i used prime and daily water changes but they still got a disease and died. while cycling they gave birth to fry, which also died.:( i'll never cycle with fish again.
wat fish did you use that they breed?
 

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they were platies. the 1 that gave birth was already pregnant because all 3 platies were female.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well about 2 weeks later, Bob is doing fine and I added 2 more friends for him. They seem to have livened him up quite a bit. Going to add the last 2 neon tetras end of this week.
 

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Don't be so sad if a neon tetra dies. You're lucky if they live at all. They have been over bred in captivity and are so weak that they usually will die in the car ride home.
I've never had a neon tetra or cardinal die within a week of purchase. The one thing that you have to watch for is the person who is catching them. If they are real fast and rough or try to catch all "10...etc" at once then I tell them no thanks. They ask why and I tell them that they just injured most of the fish they caught and I don't want them...hopefully they learn from this.

Most people however, are more careful especially those that work in dedicated fishstores. If they look healthy in the tank, and the person is gentle when netting them, they should be good for a couple of years.
 

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The one thing that you have to watch for is the person who is catching them. If they are real fast and rough or try to catch all "10...etc" at once then I tell them no thanks. They ask why and I tell them that they just injured most of the fish they caught and I don't want them...hopefully they learn from this.

Most people however, are more careful especially those that work in dedicated fishstores. If they look healthy in the tank, and the person is gentle when netting them, they should be good for a couple of years.
I'm glad you mentioned this. At my LFS, I really only like to let the two owners get my fish for me. It's a pain in the butt, and those two guys are always running around the shop while the help just stands there, because everyone wants the owners' help. But, they hire people who just don't seem to understand that the fish are living things. I've seen them squeeze fish against the glass with the rim of the net and pinch them between their fingers to count them. It just doesn't seem healthy for the fish.
 

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i really think its cruel because all that struggle and pain for them!! people that do that shouldnt even be hired to work there and they need to be more gentle with fish!!!I hate it when they hurt the fish and next thang you know......their are dead!!!!! people shouldnt do fish like that
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Bob and his new "lady" are doing well I think. Wanda stays in the log and Bob is patrolling the house. I think possibly they like our tank TOO much now. I only wanted 5 Neon Tetras! ... ACK. In the next week or so, we will see, Might have some fry to sell!. LOL

Or, just might make a huge tank of Neons! ... BRB when I have news.


Super-Thanks to everyone that has chimed-in. I really appreciate the info.
 
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