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Might not be cut out for this

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Might not be cut out for this

Post by kpoet on Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:24 am

I've only been keeping fish since May, but there have been so many issues I'm starting to wonder if I'm just not cut out for this stuff. Woke up to another dead platy this morning, the replacement for the last dead one for those of you who read my previous posts.
Since we started we've replaced a betta, 2 neon tetras, 2 platys, a BN pleco and lost 1 snail because it's operculum never grew. We've also gone from one 10 g tank to a 30, a 33 and a 5 (for the betta)
Is this normal? I know it's not my water because I test it frequently change it weekly and have to bring a sample to be tested at the pet store every time a fish dies to get a replacement. Are we just picking old or sick fish?
I'm feeling very disheartened today.

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Re: Might not be cut out for this

Post by Pamelajo on Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:34 am

This could be totally beyond your control.  The fish may not have been healthy.
Fish farms sometimes use meds to keep fish healthy and then we you get them they are no longer getting the meds and have not so great immune systems. I would talk to friends out your way and find a pet store that has a good survival rate of the fish they sell or find some through your local aquarium club.
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Re: Might not be cut out for this

Post by Shell on Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:45 am

There are people who lose fish due to ignorance (i.e. not knowing proper care), unwillingness (i.e. knowing the proper care, but not falling through), and 'the luck of the draw,' so to speak. I'm thinking you fall into the last category. I like to think that I fall into that one as well, although, I'll admit that our most recent losses (one barb and one loach) may have been due to unwillingness (we did not quarantine either the denisons or loaches before adding them with the golds).

We got our first 10g last Feb, with 4 black skirt tetras, then upgraded to a 55g in March and upped the number of black skirts to 15. We had such a wonderful experience and were so looking forward to adding panda cories. Well, we added four pandas, then a week later, added five more. Within an hour one of the pandas died, then another the next day, and then another...we moved the remaining four into the 10g and proceeded to lose two more. We later added one more. Today, only one of the originals is still with us, along with the newer little guy. We still have no idea what went wrong. We researched, and even went from using softened water to straight well water, hoping that may make a difference.

Heck - I'm even upset about the loss of one of the tequila babies (there were originally three fry, but we now only have two babies...still not sure if the third got eaten or just didn't make it).

It is disheartening, and I truly understand what you are feeling. We had already bought the 220g when we lost the last panda, and I was ready to sell it as I too thought I was not cut out to be a fish-keeper. I'm so glad, however, that we decided to continue on our journey. We now have seven tanks up and running,  and despite losing a total of 11 fish, I remind myself that we have a total of 58 happy, healthy fish (well, I suppose 57 as one of our skirts, Laurel, currently has dropsy Sad).

In the end, all you can do is retrace your steps and ensure that you didn't miss anything and, if so, be sure to add any missing steps in the future. I think if you love fishies and are committed to ensuring they have a safe and clean home, continuing on your journey will prove to be satisfying and enjoyable. But, this choice is individual of course. Wink

Chin up - try not to beat yourself up over these losses...I know, I know, easier said than done. We have a lot of control, though some things are beyond our control, but, in those cases, we do have control of our reactions and what we take or learn from the experience. I often have to remind myself to take my own advice here!

_________________
-220g home to 9 gold barbs, 10 denison barbs, & 3 weather loaches
-55g home to 12 black skirt tetras
-55g home to 1 angelfish, 5 kuhli loaches, & 4 zebra loaches
-36g home to 15 zoogoneticus tequila
-10g home to 2 zoogoneticus tequila
-10g home to 1 panda cory
-10g home to 1 zebra nerite, 1 onion nerite, 1 leopard ramshorn, & 2 mosquitofish
-5g home to 1 female betta fish
-3.5g home to several leopard ramshorn snails
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Re: Might not be cut out for this

Post by mikebike on Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:50 am

I find I get the best results when I can obtain localy raised fish/fri/juviniles from local breeders.

Many of the local fhish stors have contacts that can provide local grown fish.
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Re: Might not be cut out for this

Post by goldfishbetalover on Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:49 pm

Sorry to hear of this loss
I currently have alot more fishies than I would have anticipated last summer
In many ways this a also a brand new journey for me!
I have over the last number of yrs had Bettas
just one at a time
Early last summer our one and only betta at the time passed away...he truly was a intricate and imprtant pasrt of our family! We did our best to care for him in the ways that were required (his name was Neemin)
A time later our son, who was extremely attached to Neemin decided it was time to get another Betta
we ended up purchasing 2 as our 4 yr old daughter came along for the outing!!!!
Within less than one week both of them passed away
We were so disheartened but decided to try again
The lady at the pet shop said she thought the batch of fish that had come in were "not good" to use her term!
Anyway the 2 new Bettas have evolved into our current home!....2 fancy goldfish, a black moore, 6 baby comets, 2 very small baby comets (fingers crossed they are going to be ok) and 6 male Betta's
In the time that passed while our family grew we lost a couple of baby comets....this was extremely disheartening (very difficult for me and extremely hard on our children) and we will never know for certain what happened
My sister suggested that I purchase my own testing kits so that I could keep an eye on the water conditions myself at home rather than running into the pet shop to ask them to do it
This has helped me an awful lot gives me the assurance that water tests are where they should be on a daily basis if I desire to check that frequently
The pet shop were using dipping sticks and I purchased the full kits with drops
I think I understand where you are coming from
losses are disheartening and you begin to review and question yourself......
I have been there a few X
Take Care!
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Re: Might not be cut out for this

Post by Sbenson11 on Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:33 pm

Loosing fish for what seems like no apparent reason is certainly heartbreaking, but unfortunately it happens. I have been at this a long time and I have had my share (and some other peoples share) of losses over the years. A test kit of your own is certainly a good investment and a must if you have more then one or two tanks.

Hang in there, the joy that aquarium fish bring into our lives far out weights the occasional bad day.

Steve
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Re: Might not be cut out for this

Post by kpoet on Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:04 pm

Thank you all so much for the encouragement, it's just what I needed. We decided not to replace this platy from the pet store but to try and find someone local who may breed them.
I do have my own test kit, it was the first thing I bought after buying the first tank. I use the strips for daily testing and the big kit with all the vials and tubes for my weekly tests. As sad as it sounds, I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one losing fish for no apparent reason. Now I feel more confident that I am doing my best and these losses are just out of my control.

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Re: Might not be cut out for this

Post by GaryE on Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:36 pm

I'll be politically incorrect and say it absolutely is not your doing. The politics are the pet trade.
Fish are raised in overcrowded vats on the bigger farms, with antibiotics added, as well as hormones in many cases. They come to us on borrowed time.
We buy them in good faith, and they fade fast. Livebearers like swords, platys and guppies waste away, while many once popular dwarf Gourami species are carrier of a fatal virus that is wreaking havoc on hobby stocks. The large and cheap farms still sell them.
There are good fish farms - a lot of them. However, they are uncompetitive as a result. Stores often choose by price, and increasingly, they get what they pay for.
We don't.
We get fish that are on borrowed time.
I bought some platys for the school I work in that turned into a mess about six weeks after I bought them. The timing was predictable, but I had bought them gravid, and I had young.
The young are doing really well - robust little fish whose father was clearly not the same colour form as their mothers, but which really do what I wanted platys to do - they look good for the kids to enjoy.

If your local shop buys from a supplier who puts price first, you probably have identified the problem right there. If you can find a local breeder, or a good pet store that quarantines and where all the fish look healthy and well fed (sick fish look lean no matter what they are fed) you can really enjoy this hobby.
Look for an aquarium club. I think Saskatoon has one. That's where you'll find fish raised by people who do it for enjoyment, and not for a mass market. When I bought from stores, I calculated 50% losses as normal. Since I joined the local clubs and scaled back on fish from stores, my fish live way longer, look better and breed.
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Re: Might not be cut out for this

Post by kpoet on Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:23 pm

You know Gary, I had thought something was "off" about this latest platy. The other 3 have all increased in size by 50% and did so fairly quickly, This one never seemed to get any bigger. The pet store said they are all female but I tell you, 2 of them have stomachs so big it looks like they swallowed a marble! Their color also deepened where this last one actually faded. I will look into the club here and see what kind of contacts I can make, maybe the next replacement will live longer than a couple of weeks.

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