I had been planning on having fish in my dorm, basically because they are the only animals allowed in the dorms. The sound of running water in the fish tank is relaxing. Luckily I ended up finding a ten-gallon fish tank that had been sitting in the common room of my dorm empty for an almost the whole year or maybe longer. So naturally, I scooped it up and brought it back to my dorm. I figured there had to be something wrong with it because who would just leave a tank like that. So I filled it up and let the filter run for a little bit, and it ended up not being cracked or anything.
I cleaned out all the rocks and washed the inside of the tank in my shower. Then I scrubbed everything that was inside of the tank in case I decided to use it again. There were really cute decorations, a timed fish feeder, filter, heater for the water, and a little clock. Everything could be plugged in and worked.
Pro Tip: you need to condition the water you put in the tank and let it run for 24 hours without fish
I and a suitemate drove to PetSmart and spent an hour picking out the perfect fish for our tank. We decided on two tetras, a puff bellied mollie and gourami. We bought new rocks, new filter pad, and some more plant decorations. We ended up getting the fish for free because the guy at the register didn't know how to ring them up and he didn't want to ask his supervisor. Then, we made our way back to the dorm. We rinsed the rocks before we put them in the tank.
2nd Pro Tip: Let the fish float in the bag in the tank for 15 minutes before adding them to the tank
We waited the 15 minutes while adding the decorations and getting everything set up. Then we released our new fish into their home. They seemed relaxed at the beginning, but then I started to notice something was wrong. The two tetras died first, getting suctioned to the filter, then the mollie began to sink to the bottom with labored breath. Within three hours all four of our new fish were dead.
It ended up being because we used tap water and Charleston tap water is not suitable for aquatic life because they add chlorine type chemicals to treat it. I felt like PETA was going to come after me because we tortured the fish without knowing it. Long story short, you should make a checklist of things you need to do before getting fish.