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jdaniella

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Aug 9, 2021
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Hello hello
My boyfriend has had this fishtank for idk how long but now we live together and these fishes are now my step children 😂 so I am trying to learn about them etc etc. so we bought new fish but of course he didn’t clean out the tank BEFORE putting them in and our catfish died :( any reason why? And also we have this fish that I believe is a tetra? He has a huge belly & I read it could be dropsy? But I need opinions. Thanks!

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FJB

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Jun 7, 2019
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Welcome J jdaniella !
The fish in question is indeed a tetra, and indeed it seems to have dropsy. I would not expect it to live much longer. It is likely that water quality/maintenance routines in that tank have not been the best. That is something that is good to improve on, and good routines set in place BEFORE getting any new fish. There is not enough info for ascertaining what happened with the catfish (or the tetra) so it is better to make that a different story.
A good way to getting good advice here, is to provide relevant information in a systematic manner:
1- aquarium size
2- fish currently in (including any snails, frogs, turtle, anything)
3- filtration
4- Any living plants?
5- What kind of substratum (none, sand, gravel, what types?)
6- Frequency AND volume of water changes. There will be a range of preferences (depending on a number of things), but some water should be change at least once per week. I change 50-80% per week.
7- If you have a test kit, info on the water available to you water would be useful (pH, hardness,GH, KH). If you don't have a test kit, some information can be ascertaining from your city's water report.
8- How often do you guys feed, and what do you feed?

With this info, good folks here can help you develop routines that will result in healthy fish and lots of enjoyment. Without it, it is difficult to offer meaningful help.
One thing NOT TO DO at this time would be to go get more fish.

I hope this is clear and useful, and that you see why it is important. Then the real improvement can occur.
Good luck!


There are several things to keep in mind when
 
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fishorama

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Jun 28, 2006
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Yes, welcome! FJB has given you some good starting questions & I agree, no more new fish until the tank is stable & there are no more sick or dead fish. The habit of weekly water changes is important! Since this tank may have been a bit neglected it's impotant to start small until you get it all sorted out, say 10-15% once or twice a week. With "just" 1 tank, it doesn't take that long.

I would strongly suggest you take a water sample to have it checked for the "big 3" ammonia , nitrite & nitrate if you likely don't have a test kit or even strips. It's usually free at chain stores...but don't take "ok" for an answer, we want actual numbers or at least a range for all. Write them down & tell us.

It's nice you can share the hobby with your BF. Shared or alternating chores, "window" shopping together & researching before you buy fish or equipment can be fun (we've done it for 40+ years, lol).

We want to help you & him get to a happy, pretty, healthy tank & fish but we'll have more questions & you 2 may have some work in store!

Go slow to change or try to "fix" everything at once, it can take a while.
 
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jdaniella

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Aug 9, 2021
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Hi guys! Thanks so much for responding! To the first reply I don’t know the size shoot umm I believe it’s a 20 gallon? Need to recheck that, currently we have 3 black neon tetras (one with dropsy) & the blue neon tetras, 3 adults & one baby, two plecos that are still babies and one baby loach. We have one more type of fish but I can’t remember the name I’ll get back to you on that. The 3 black neons & blue tetras he’s had forever. The two baby plecos & loach we just got & the baby neon tetras we had 5 and now we have one🥲 we had the baby catfish but it died last night and we had a bigger pleco that died like two weeks ago. I hate death lol animals humans plants anything it bugs me so now I am worried 24/7 about these fish & their living conditions. But I am also like not grossed out but I’d just rather let him clean the tank. LOL. But for the most part he has done so well keeping up with it it’s just now we have a real life 4 month old so as you can imagine it’s gotten harder to keep up. The tank is in the living room and I am just worried about the fish water and stuff getting on our babies stuff and possibly making him sick so that’s why I think my boyfriend barely cleans the tank But I hate to see them get sick & not do well so I want to do what I can and make sure that the tank always is fresh and that they’re comfortable. We do have plants and we have black sand & these little red pebbles. For the rest I will have to take photos/ask and get back to you guys on my next day off of work. I know he had food in the freezer for them and he gives them these flake type things. I will definitely get those tester strips I’m not sure if he has them I haven’t really talked with him about the fish tank I think he’s bummed that the fish are not doing well. I appreciate the help!!!! I’m excited to get this tank revamped & keep these little guys alive & thriving. This has become kind of exciting for me and even going to the pet store and buying stuff is fun! I hope to get a bigger tank with cooler fish some day! :)
 
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Lalo J.

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With a 20 gallon tank I suppose you are at the limit in terms of fish population, after reading the species that you mentioned of course, like fishorama I also recommend water changes once or twice a week, this by size from your tank, the waste does damage faster in 10 and 20 gallon tanks, if you are feeding with frozen food that is very good, in general dry food is only complements for a better diet in fish, I hope that you and your boyfriend continue to enjoy this hobby together for a long time, that is something that is not seen everyday, usually wifes are not enthusiastic about the hobby but quite the opposite, at least in my experience and in that of many, but many more aquarists, lol, good luck! 😄
 
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Rbishop

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Welcome to AC!
 
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Wyomingite

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Hello, and welcome to AC!

I'm not sure if it has dropsy or if it's eggbound. I'm leaning toward the latter, because it doesn't look like any of the scales above the belly are "pine-coned". When a fish gets eggbound it's usually because the water is hard and therefore unlaid eggs aren't absorbed back into the body.

WYite
 
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fishorama

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The red/pink underside could be bacterial or egg binding, it's hard to tell. I agree with WYite, not dropsy. I'd go with a smallish dose of epsom salt for several days & see if that helps ( max 1tablespoon/5 gallons or a bit less)...then think about an antibiotic...
 
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Hexo

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Jul 3, 2021
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hello!
the water looks like it has lots of particle!
clean the filter cartridge (never change it.. that is not very good for cycle)
helps every time with me
i agree with everyone here.
 
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