I have a 2 feet by 1 feet (61 cm by 30 cm) aquarium, in which I keep about 4 to 6 fish. I don't know why, but whenever I keep fish in my aquarium they die within 1 to 2 months.

Initially I was recommended by shopkeeper to put some salt in water, could that be the reason or something else? This is 5th time my fish have died, on the other hand my neighbour's fish are living since 2 years and have even grown up though their aquarium is smaller than mine. I am on the verge of deciding to keep no more fish. Please suggest something or the reason for this.

  • 1
    What filtration do you use? Do you have a heater? Provide basic water values (Ammonium, Nitrit, Nitrate, etc.). How regular do you change the water in which quantities? Mar 4, 2017 at 16:51
  • 1
    A little more information would be usefull. What did you do when your fished died? clean everything and did you cycle the tank again? What kind of fishes did you have?
    – Diether
    Mar 6, 2017 at 11:34
  • @Diether - No, I clean the tank once, all fishes die. Usually I keep Goldfishes. Also, as one fish dies all start dying and within few hours all die so, many times before I could notice all the fishes die. Mar 7, 2017 at 5:58
  • the main reason for trouble with fishtanks is overfeeding so cut back on food,over feeding makes the water go bad realy fast,so feed only what the fish eat in five minutes and only once a week in the first two months.then you can increase how many times to feed in a week. Apr 14, 2017 at 6:09

2 Answers 2


If you fish die fast, it obviously means there is something wrong.

  1. First of all, before you can add fish to a tank, it needs to 'cycle'. More information about that can be found in this answer: How does one effectively “cycle” an aquarium?

  2. It's only after you tested your water, and no problems are found, that you can add fish to it. Ammonia and nitrites should be 0. Usually you can ask your local fish shop to do a basic test. Or you can purchase a testkit and do it yourself. Especially with a new tank, it could be useful to test the water parameters regularly, to understand how it changes over time and in between maintenances.

  3. When adding fish, make sure they are compatible with the way your tank has been set up. Are the pH, temperature, size, etc. all ok for the type of fish you want? Do some research!

    Goldfish, in general are relatively easy to keep. But there are a few things to keep in mind. Have a look at this article on thegoldfishtank.com. In fact, your tank is actually already a bit too small for goldfish.

  4. When everything is ok, then you can add fish.
    But don't simply drop them in the tank. You need to acclimate them and make sure they gradually get used to the different water parameters. You do this by adding a little water every couple minutes to the bag. More details can be found in the link above.
    Most fish can get adjusted to different water parameters, but they need a little time for it. Sudden changes could cause problems. Also, don't add all fish at once!

  5. Of course you also have to maintain your tank. Do a partial water change every week and test the parameters every now and then (especially in the beginning). Some information about that can be found here on a wikiHow artice.

By following these steps, you should be able to create a healthy environment for your fish, and keep them for a long time. A goldfish can live for more then 10 years with proper care!


Do you use faucet water when refilling the tank? If so then you should be using the de-chlorination tabs, or the little bottle of liquid that treats the water. Also a 2' by 1' tank for 4 goldfish can be way too small, unless they're feeder fish, goldfish are naturally really dirty fish though, and especially with an un-established aquarium, they could make the water almost unbearable to live in within days. I used to have 5-6 goldfish, 2 comets, a shubunkin, and the rest fancy, and even in a 35 gallon (around 130 liters) it was a lot of upkeep to keep the water clean. But getting stuff like feeder shrimp, snails and aquatic plants helps a whole ton.

In my opinion though, if they're dieing hours after you change out the water, it could be a water treatment issue. Here are some tips:

  1. Be totally sure the water is either non chlorinated or is treated with special chemicals to make it fish safe
  2. Check the pH levels, ammonia, nitrites before the fish get introduced and after
  3. Leave your tank running continuously without cleaning and without fish, or only 1 goldfish for about a month to let it cycle
  4. Definitely upgrade to a larger tank if you want to keep over 3 goldfish, some can grow big too.

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