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Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1

    Default Losing neon tetras :(

    0 Not allowed!
    4 neon tetras have died since the end of April and a fifth seems not long for this world. I'll start with the water parameters and tank setup.

    Here's a picture of the tank:

    29 gal, Penguin 200 biowheel filter rated to 50 gal, also an airstone. Plastic plants.
    7 neons (currently - there have never been more than 9), 3 guppies, a dwarf gourami, and 5 cory cats.
    Minimal funky gunk in the tank - a little bit of brown goop on the tips of the plants, but other than that the place appears clean.
    Water parameters are typical for my tank: NH3 = 0ppm, NO2 = 0ppm, NO3 = 10-20ppm (it's hard to tell), pH 8.3-ish (again hard to tell, it turns a funny colour that isn't quite on the chart), GH = 180, KH = about 220. Super high for neons of course, and I'm thinking they are just not able to thrive in this water. I did ask for advice about that on here... My LFS employees all assured me that their tetras do fine in the city water too. *sigh*

    History of the illnesses:
    The first two croaked about 2 weeks after I began stocking the tank. 2 died in 2 days, co-incidentally within days of me adding new fish.

    I waited a little over 2 weeks, then bought 2 new tetras. Life was good for 2 weeks, then 1 died. I had noticed him acting a little weird - rapidly opening and closing his mouth and moving his gills quite a bit.

    Then a week ago (and 2 weeks since the third tetra died) I noticed another fast-gulping tetra. I also noticed he had a funny lump just between his front fins. (I wasn't able to notice this on the other fish, they just turned up bloated and dead.) 4 days after I noticed these symptoms, I found a dead tetra - hard to tell if it was the same one because this time he had a couple of bites out of him (eww - but nothing to be done about that, I was out of the house for more than 24 hours.)

    Today I can see that one of the 7 remaining tetras is hanging out inside the cave I have, not even coming out for food. I can't get a real good look at him in there. I did notice yesterday that when schools were happening, they were mostly schools of 6. The 7th just wasn't into it. Again, I have no idea if it's the same fish or not.

    All the fish appear healthy, until one drifts off to meet his maker. No fin rot, no weird bulging generally, no sores, no funky swimming patterns. I dunno guys, does this seem like a contagious disease I can treat, or failure to thrive in the super hard water, or something I haven't even thought of?

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    Neons are tough to diagnose. My first suggestion would be to try a different lfs. Sometimes with neons its just poor stock.
    I buy ten and expect to lose a few in the first month as a given.

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    +1 I've heard the same from Lady Hobbs - she would get a bunch of them at one time because she lived so far away from her LFS and expected to lose a few at the beginning - they have a reputation for not adapting well. I have lucked out with mine though.

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by sheamurai View Post
    My first suggestion would be to try a different lfs. Sometimes with neons its just poor stock.
    I buy ten and expect to lose a few in the first month as a given.
    This batch is from two different stores. I get that they're $2 fish and I probably shouldn't get too worked up about it, but they're my favourite. :( It's hard to enjoy them lately because I compulsively count them and wonder if every behaviour I haven't seen before/recently is a sign of illness.

  5. #5


    0 Not allowed!
    If you say your water is to ohard you're going to get another round of "no, they're tank bred, they're fine"

    If hard water was the cause you'd expect to see pale colours in all of them and no really spread fins. What you describe just possibly could be an internal parasite of some kind.

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    Well, a couple things you can try...garlic enhanced food some believe helps fight disease/parasites and increase fishy appetites...Prazipro is a a good thing to treat your tank with when introducing new stock...

    If you think its your water, you could try stocking your quarantine tank with bought filtered water and see if your neons survive better in it than they do in your main tank. Thats the only way to really rule out the water as a cause. I wouldn't go by the lfs saying their fish last ok - they have a very high turnover so they don't actually keep fish all that long, and the in-store tanks are also looked after by different people and the stocking can change there too, so its not really a consistent environment to use for comparison. Plus, their in house filtration system might go a long way to altering the water...

  7. #7


    0 Not allowed!
    Well, 7 tetras came out to feed this evening, but one looked awful. Bloated belly, wide body, even its eyes looked bulged out. Off to the library to look for a book on fish illnesses...

  8. #8


    0 Not allowed!
    The bloaty one is still alive, and still hiding in the cave. The book I got from the library suggests that bloated belly with no other symptoms could be overfeeding. Today is their normal fast day anyway, and I'll feed a smaller amount tomorrow.

    Interesting tip about the garlic. I do have some bonus reward points at the LFS so maybe I'll look into different options for food.

    I am concerned about the water mainly because I understand sub-optimal conditions, though survivable, stress the immune systems and so I have been wondering if my fish are passing on because they just can't fight every little bug that comes along. We'll see how this situation resolves, and then I'll either start experimenting with softer water, or else just buy something that is "rated" for hard water (like the guppies).

    Thanks for the moral support.

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