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Freshwater Aquarium/fish dying and cloudy water


QUESTION: I have a 5 gallon tank set up about 2 months ago we have tetras and gold fish catfish and algae eaters I did a little water change a week ago and now my waters cloudy and my tetras have been dropping left and right this morning I had 4 dye we had 15 of them 2 gold fish 2 catfish and 1 algae eater now I have 7 tetras left and I had my betta in there and he died also my ph level is healthy and my ammonia test kit says were safe I don't understand whats going on and we were doing really well until I did the water change we had only 1 fish that died.

ANSWER: Hello,

The problem is that your tank is ridiculously overstocked. A five gallon tank is only suitable for one Betta fish or some shrimp.

Algae eaters and catfish need at least a twenty gallon tank. Tetras do well in a ten gallon tank or larger. Goldfish do not need to be kept with fish other than goldfish, and can grow to almost a foot in size. Goldfish and algae eaters are the two most waste-producing fish. Goldfish belong in aquariums over forty gallons or in ponds.

That tank is suitable for one Betta fish only.

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QUESTION: so sorry its a 55 gallon tank not 5 I didn't not realize that it only put one 5 in

Did you make sure to condition the water correctly? Did you cycle the tank? If the tank was properly cycled and the water parameters are good, you are likely having a problem with disease and should treat it accordingly. If the tank has not been cycled, you have overloaded the tank too fast. Aquariums have to have beneficial bacteria to turn ammonia into nitrites, and then into nitrates. If the tank has not completely cycled, there is a chance your fish could be dying because the nitrites are too high. Did you measure the nitrites and nitrates as well? They could also be the issue.

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Elizabeth Turbyfill


I am available to answer any questions regarding Betta fish and goldfish. I will be able to answer questions ranging from basic husbandry to health issues and more. I have a fair amount of knowledge regarding keeping freshwater fish in general as well, excluding cichlids. If you have any questions about species compatibility, maintenance, health issues, et cetera I can help. If there is a question that I do not know the answer to, I will look to reliable resources to find the answer.


I have kept numerous Betta fish and freshwater aquariums for several years, and have spent countless time researching them.

I am a member of a fish forum named Tropical Fish Keeping that I highly recommend to people who keep aquariums or just have complex questions that cannot be answered here.

I am currently attending East Tennessee State University for a bachelor's degree in Computer and Information Science.

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