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Thread: Neon Tetras are losing color...
02-24-2013, 05:48 PM #1Junior Member Guppy
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- Feb 2013
Neon Tetras are losing color...
OK, so I'm relatively new to the whole fish keeping, my parents had aquariums when I was growing up, but I just started on my own about 9 months ago and I'm still kinda muddling my way thru...
I started my 10 gallon tank with 10 neon tetras, 2 of which died the following day, but the other 8 had been doing fine until last week when 1 started swimming vertically and all of the sudden and then just died. yesterday I noticed that 3 of the 7 I have left are losing color on their red stripes, it slowly turning white in patches. I've looked everywhere on the net trying to figure out what's causing and it looks like Neon Tetra disease, but I don't know how they could suddenly aquire that after I've already had them so long. They are still schooling and no one is getting picked on, but they are gasping alot. They aren't going to the surface to gasp, just doing it as they swim around the middle of the tank.
A few things about my tank: It is overstocked. I didn't plan of that happening exactly, I'd gotten 7 pygmy cories to fill the tank out a bit figuring they were small so they shouldn't add to much bioload and I change 20% of my water every weekend. But after about a week I never saw the cories again and after about 4 months figured they must of died and were so small I'd missed it somehow. So I added a few panda cories, and of course then all the pygmies came out. That was 2 months ago, and I haven't added anything new since.
I have a sand substrate, but it has been a few months since I was actually able to give it a good cleaning. My assassin snails were so happy they decided to repopulate and some of the babies are so tiny the vacuum could pick up them up easily so I've just been sifting the sand and sucking out the water when the debris floats up.
I'd thought about transferring my panda cories to my son't 10 gallon with his betta, he has 3 pandas in there and I'm sure they would be happier, but if they are sick like my tetras I don't want his tank infected too.
I don't have a water test kit, but as soon as the weather lets up I'm off to get one. Any help would be appreciated....
02-24-2013, 05:58 PM #2
Hi. You already know that you're over stocked so I won't go there.
But, with that much stock in a small tank you need to up your water changes to at least 50% weekly. No doubt a lot of toxins are building up with that many fish and it will degrade the water quality quickly. You should also vac when you do each water change.
The tetras may have something as simple as fungus or fin rot, in which case, I'd double the water changes to 50% twice a week until it clears up. It's worth a try as clean water is the best cure for fin rot or fungus. You could also try melifix or pimafix which could help if it's either fin rot or fungus - both are quite gentle and have natural ingredients. I'd do 1/2 doses though because scaleless fish, like cories, will be sensitive to the medication.
Someone else may have a better idea but without photos, it's difficult to tell.
02-24-2013, 06:03 PM #3
Your tank was overstocked before you added the cories. And more cories does not help
20% weekly is suitable to a big tank that's lightly stocked, not to a 10gallon that's massivly overstocked, try 50% weekly.
Sounds to me like you can't rule out a chemical cause. What's your filter cleaning regimen? And what's the temp of the tank?
02-24-2013, 07:48 PM #4
It's already been said. Your neons are dying due to overstocking and most likely ammonia spikes. It is not neon tetra disease. That is only spread by other fish eating the bodies of those who have it and neon tetra disease is not just in neons, but in all fish.
A test kit should be one of the first things purchased for a fish tank, not the last. Nine months without testing is a very long time.
Last edited by Lady Hobbs; 02-24-2013 at 07:50 PM.
02-24-2013, 08:28 PM #5Junior Member Guppy
- Join Date
- Feb 2013
Went to my LFS and had my water tested, they everything was within range, but I'm about to try a 50% change anyway. I'd never done that much before because I'd worried if the temps were to different it'd cause the fish to go into shock.
I rinse my filter off in the water i've changed every week, but I did change it completly last month. I also have a sponge filter I keep over my intake so no little snails get sucked up, I rinse that every week too.
Temp is holding steady at 81 degrees, same it's been since i started the tank, so my heater seems to be fine.
Gonna transfer my pandas to my son's tank while I'm changing the water and hope it helps.
02-24-2013, 08:39 PM #6Junior Member Guppy
- Join Date
- Nov 2012
02-24-2013, 08:53 PM #7
+ to above. Get the temp right before you add new water.
And I missed that you don't have an API Master liquid water test kit. Don't know how you could possibly keep a tank without it.
If you changed out filter media, you most likely lost most of your beneficial bacteria and as has been suggested, are probably experiencing an ammonia spike.
You really need to be doing large water changes a minimum of weekly. clean water can solve a lot of problems even though over stocking is probably at the root of this situation.
Most here do 50% weekly water changes as maintenance. YOu'll need to to more to get your tank back to it's cycle.