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Looking after the kindy fish, 4 dead already :(

(7 Posts)
MidnightDinosaur Mon 15-Dec-14 18:44:07

Being the summer holidays here we've been asked to look after the kindy fish tank. A small one which had 9 guppies in.

Picked tank up yesterday, they'd emptied 3/4 of the water. By the time we had made the 5 min journey home, 2 had died.

We topped up the tank got the filter running and got the water up to temp. The remaining guppies looked fine until this morning. Another was hiding under an ornament but has died whilst there and one more is not yet dead but is sitting right in the water level hardly moving.

I've got them for 7 weeks, what do I need to do?

All other guppies look fine, even the tiny baby one. The ones that died were actually the bigger ones in the tank.

EauLittleRougeofBethlehem Mon 15-Dec-14 21:34:36

Oh dear sad Fish tanks really shouldn't be moved around like this. If the filter was switched off for more than a few hours then you will have lost a large amount of the good bacteria that process fish waste.

How big is the tank? How long was the filter switched off for? I'm guessing you don't have a water test kit, but is there an aquatic store near you? They might be able to test the water if you take a sample in with you. Guessing you're in Aus, so the shops might be different there but it's worth a go.

For now I would do a water change, and don't forget to dechlorinate the water you put in. If any more fish die, get them out as soon as you can to prevent the water getting more polluted.

MidnightDinosaur Tue 16-Dec-14 06:45:34

Thanks Eau

I'm in NZ but close enough.

Not sure how big the tank is, not tiny by any means but not huge. It seems plenty big enough for the guppies already in it.

I'm guessing they kindy teachers had turned off the filter and emptied the water in the morning and we didn't pick them up until 1.30pm.

I will go to a store tomorrow and get a water testing kit. I had just filled the tank up straight from the tap (using water as close to the temp of the water already in the tank) as per instructions. I'm guessing I should have treated the tap water first?

Do I still need to do a partial water change if it was only topped up yesterday? I'm happy to do it if needs be.

On a slightly better note however, the guppy I thought was dead (under the ornament) is now swimming around quite happily confused He hadn't moved from under the ornament for a good few hours and was kind of lying on his side looking very pale. He looks absolutely fine now though.

The guppy that I thought was almost dying is still not moving much from just under water level. I pushed some food towards it and it did eat, made a mad dash around the tank but has now gone back to just floating there, hardly moving. Any ideas?

Thank you for your help so far. smile

auntpetunia Tue 16-Dec-14 06:53:30

Fish do just hang at the bottom of the tank when sleeping. Ours do it when I need to change the water or when the filter falls down! If they seem ok I wouldn't mess with the water again let them settle and build up their own bacteria. When you do change the water ( I'm sure there is an official length of time to leave it) I do mine when the tank looks dirty and I can't see the fish ! Then it's worth having a bowl out warmed to temp and treated then take same amount out and replace with treated water.
Really though staff shouldn't hsve emptied or switched off filter till you got there and they should have given you instructions, have the provided food ? I wouldn't replace any for now Id see how the others cope with the messing around. Good luck.

MidnightDinosaur Tue 16-Dec-14 07:26:05

Yes, been given the food and cleaning tube etc.

They seem ok at the moment except the one still not moving from the top.
I've been asked to buy new bits for the filter, they've given me the boxes for the old ones so I know what to buy but should I just leave it and not mess with it for a while?

MidnightDinosaur Tue 16-Dec-14 07:28:01

I should know this really, I'm not a total novice when it comes to tanks. We had a huge tropical tank a few years ago and the fish thrived with the care I took of it.

I think just having the 2 fish in this tank die before we'd even got them home has worried me.

EauLittleRougeofBethlehem Tue 16-Dec-14 08:38:58

If they're swimming about in chlorinated water then you need to do a water change and treat the new water with dechlorinator (every aquatic store should sell this). Also the nitrogen cycle will start again so you will need to keep a close eye on the water levels and probably do extra water changes to keep the ammonia and nitrIte levels down. Unfortunately guppies are fairly delicate (mostly due to breeding practices) so they do need very clean water.

This is a good guide to the nitrogen cycle, it's about fishless cycling but it gives you the basics.

What new bits have you been asked to buy for the filter? If it's activated carbon or some other kind of chemical filtration then it does need replacing regularly, but if it's just a plain sponge then it should only be replaced when it starts losing its shape. Most manufacturers will say to replace plain sponges every month, but this is total bolleaux and they just say that to make more money.

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