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aislon_burnam 12-30-2012 06:30 PM

hi My mom has just recently bought 2 harlequin Rasboras and one that has a purple tinge to it I believe they called it a black Rasbora nor sure about seemed to be fine when we first set it up and then one of the rummy nose tetras that she had in there as well has disappeared and the Black Rasbora seems to be chasing all of the other fish when they get to close to it... Can anyone help me on this? this is the first time that we have ever had this type of fish...

thanks again

MABJ 12-30-2012 07:40 PM

Well first off welcome to the forum.

In order for us to help we need some things!

Do you know what cycling is?

Can you post your water parameters for us?

Can you post your tank size for us?

The fish you listed are schooling fish, so they won't be happy without others of their kind.

Don't listen to advice from your fish store. They don't know anything usually.

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aislon_burnam 12-31-2012 03:16 AM

thanks for the i am not sure what cycling is when it comes to fish...all i know is the temp is around the 70s and it clouds up with in 24 hours of us cleaning the tank and putting the nuetralizer in it...not sure of the ph level and stuff like that havent had the money to get the kit yet... and its a 3 gallon tank, we have 2 harlequins that are copper and then we have 1 of the black/purple Rasbora and then we have a Rummy nose Tetra in there as well.. we have a big castle for them to hide in and around as well as a pink coral (plastic) for them to hide in and around as well..

MABJ 12-31-2012 03:33 AM

Now this is really gonna stink... But I want you to read it with an open mind.

Everybody here will tell you exactly what I'm going to say.

So none of the fish you've selected are appropriate for that tank.. You really need to net them and take them back to the fish store. If you don't, fish that would normally live years will only live months in your care.

So for starters, read up on the nitrogen cycle. The best I can describe it for someone new is a three step process.

Fish poop and uneaten fish food turn into something called Ammonia. Ammonia is deadly for your fish, and it happens quick.

That bloom you see in your tank is a bacterial bloom associated with ammonia.

Ammonia in quantities is eaten by Something called Nitrite. This is also toxic.

Nitrite finally gets eaten by Nitrate.

Nitrate process the waste in your tank, and keeps your fauna alive.

It takes a while and the right tools to create this cycle, but when you do, man is it worth it!!!

Your tank currently has no Nitrates. It only has ammonia. Think if you were in a room, trapped while it was burning. Eventually your lungs would be charred and you wouldn't be able to breathe. Ammonia is fire in a fish tank.

You need to take the fish back, and we can then guide you through creating a proper cycle so they don't die.

When you are ready to do fish, we can talk about which fish are appropriate for tanks around 1-5 gallons. But unfortunately they aren't any of the ones you chose.

Your emeralds need a tank of about 10 gallons and your harlequins need a tank of about 20 gallons, and they need many other fish of their own kind to be happy.

Keeping fish is a committment, as they're real, rewarding pets.

You can't keep a greyhound in a cage all it's life, it needs to run. So you get it a back yard! Same situation with your fish friends.

Does all of this make sense?

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aislon_burnam 12-31-2012 03:58 AM

it does make sense...but its past the amount of time for us to take them back...the stores here have certain amount of days and we have passed what do i need to do to fix it and still keep them? cause we have a tank in my room and that is the same size as hers and the fish in mine are thriving...but then i have neons and guppies in i am trying to help her because right now funds are low and am hoping to help her to get us through til we get some more money coming in...

is there any way i can help her so she can keep these fish she really wants them and she wants some help so i am here trying to help her. She picked these out herself so i am hoping to help her keep the fish...growing up i have always had guppies or neons, tetras and angelfish so i have been around fish some but not alot in the last 15 years.

Greenmagick 12-31-2012 04:07 AM

There is not really a way to fix something like this...too small tank and fish that need to be in bigger schools....except to move to bigger tank and add more fish to make schools

MABJ 12-31-2012 04:16 AM

Also they need to go through the cycle I mentioned.

In the past I made a similar mistake. I just lied and said my tank broke down, will you take these back?

They do. You just can't expect money back from them.

And with your tank, I'd venture to guess it isn't cycled either.

If you have money to purchase fish, the best idea is not purchase fish and purchase an API master test kit and take your time.

There is no way out of spending money.

I told you the minimum acceptable tank sizes for your fish. 20 gallons.

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bluestems 12-31-2012 04:16 AM

It's really sweet of you to be helping your mom, and sharing a hobby. The fish store will usually do free water tests for you if you bring in a sample of your water.

You can try doing a 40% water change, and adding a new aquarium supplement like "Nutrafin Cycle" that helps by giving you some of that biological filtration that MABJ was referring to in the tank cycle. Then do another 20% water change every day for the next couple of days. Follow the directions on the Cycle for how much to add.

I'd also recommend returning at the very least the black tetra. The fish store may take the black tetra back in exchange for a harlequin although they may not. Schooling fish like the harlequins would prefer to be in groups, three at the very minimum although some people would say even more is better. I wouldn't do more than those 3 in your 3g.

Good luck!

MABJ 12-31-2012 04:22 AM

I'm not a real firm believer in the cycle in a bottle.

If you want to spend the money on it, it's a risk. But fish flakes are the only proven method.

I also disagree wholeheartedly that you would reinforce three fish in there which need a 20 gallon tank.

It is a best case temporary senario. But it isn't how you should keep them. Each fish needs to be returned.

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mitchfish9 12-31-2012 04:30 AM

MABJ is giving you fantastic advice and I suggest you listen to every word of it. Try to see if you can try to find a better home for the fish in both of those three gallon tanks. Even if you think the neons in your 3 gallon are thriving, they would really be very happy in atleast a 10 gallon. So I would do research about cycling, read around the forums and upgrade your tank to try to get a fresh start.

bluestems 12-31-2012 04:32 AM


Originally Posted by MABJ (Post 2135070)
I'm not a real firm believer in the cycle in a bottle.

If you want to spend the money on it, it's a risk. But fish flakes are the only proven method.

I also disagree wholeheartedly that you would reinforce three fish in there which need a 20 gallon tank.

It is a best case temporary senario. But it isn't how you should keep them. Each fish needs to be returned.

MABJ's iDevice used for this message :p

Well, I agree with MABJ that a 3g is really too small for even 3 harlequins. It's like keeping a betta in a bowl... people do it and they can survive, but they would be happier and healthier in a bigger aquarium. I just feel for you in that you're trying to help out your mom and don't want to let her down.

As for the cycle, I've personally used it but there's no guarantee.

MABJ 12-31-2012 04:33 AM

Thanks Mitch!

Really, taking it slow can be very very fun. Planning meticulously allows you to accomplish the tank of your dreams!

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jpalimpsest 12-31-2012 11:48 AM

MABJ has it right. Unfortunately, keeping fish isn't as simple as throwing a fish in a bowl. The big box fish store employees rarely know what they are talking about and will sell you just about anything. Even the fish tank packaging boxes show their tanks stocked with way too many of all the wrong fish. Coming here with your questions is a great start. Listening to MAJB will make all the difference. Best of luck!

laqu 12-31-2012 03:39 PM

I have a question, in a 6 gallon tank with shrimp (and i like babies) can i put ANY fish in there? it's heavily planted and the shrimp are happy (yes, cycled) i was looking at chili rasbora (thus asking here) and you mentioned some fish would be okay in a small tank.
if not i'll just stick to shrimp

MABJ 12-31-2012 03:43 PM

Yeah, sure. There are at least 3-5 types of micro Rasboras that would only hunt the occasional shrimplets.

I also like Least Killifish. I keep them in my 18" journal. They're very neat.

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