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Results 1 to 10 of 16
  1. Unhappy Neon Tetras are losing color...

    0 Not allowed!
    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....

  2. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    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.
    good luck
    30 g FW planted:corys, female ABNP, blue angel, harleys, zebra danios, rummies,
    15 g FW planted:2 male guppies, neons, pygmy corys, clown pleco, 4 types of shrimp, assassin snails
    90 Gal Journal:
    fishless cycling:
    fish in cycling:

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    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?

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    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 06:50 PM.

  5. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    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.

  6. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by TabbyCat View Post
    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.
    Use a thermometer to check your water temperature before it goes into the aquarium. It takes just a minute to do.

  7. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    + 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.
    30 g FW planted:corys, female ABNP, blue angel, harleys, zebra danios, rummies,
    15 g FW planted:2 male guppies, neons, pygmy corys, clown pleco, 4 types of shrimp, assassin snails
    90 Gal Journal:
    fishless cycling:
    fish in cycling:

  8. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    I'd never bothered with spending the money on a test kit because my lfs is only a few blocks away and they test it for me for free, and i'm there alot window shopping...

    I didn't relize i could lose that much bacteria by changing the filter, but i just remembered i'd scrubbed down my decor too a few weeks ago, the hard water stains were bugging me.I will make sure that never happens again once i get my tank back to stable.

    Thanks for tip on checking my water temp in the water i was putting in, it was so obvious I'm not sure why it never occured to me.

    Got my pandas moved and they seem pretty happy now. Now I'm down to 7 neon's and 6 pygmy corys, and an unknown number of assassin snails, but I count at least 30. Gotta figure out what to do with them next, but first I'm gonna go buy a bigger tank.

    No change in my neon's yet, guess i'll just have to watch them close for a few days.

  9. #9


    0 Not allowed!
    Please read the cycling with fish link in my signature. When you changed out the filter media, you lost your cycle. Even more reason to start doing those larger water changes.

  10. #10

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    0 Not allowed!
    I'm sure your local lfs will be happy to take some of the assassin snails off your hands.

    Water changes are your best friend right now until your tank gets back on track as others have said.
    I alternate between water changes and cleaning my filter. Never do both the same weekend. Moving some stock from that tank (as you've done), will really help getting you back on track. Keep up on those water changes until your neons look healthy again.
    Your on the right path tabbycat.
    Warning; Bulldog Pleco guarding my Sons tank now..

    Please remember; every keystroke has a consequence.

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