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Results 1 to 10 of 25
  1. Default Problems keeping Neon tetras alive


    0 Not allowed!
    I have a tank that I have had going for several years now. It is 55 gallons, and apart from tetras, has 2 community fish (a feeder fish and a black molly), two snails, and one recent addition, a small Plecostomus. The community fish have been in this tank for a couple of years.

    I recently started adding some neon tetras, and I lost so many from one batch (of 15) that I simply returned them all, and assumed that there was something wrong with them. I bought 8 others from another fish store, and have lost 4 of those, in addition to a larger, older neon that I've had for a few years.

    I had my water tested, and the fish store folks said the water was good (ammonia, hard/soft water, nitrates, etc.).

    At this point, given that things only started dying after I introduced these recent neons, I'm wondering if that first batch of new neons brought in some disease that only affects neons? I did a 35% water change last week, and will do one again today, but I'm just not sure what to do beyond that.

    I have some carbon that I can insert into a stocking of some kind. The carbon is years old. Would that help?

    I don't notice any symptoms at all, no strange behaviors. The fish swim around just normal, and then, all of a sudden, I'll see one stuck to my filter (it is an AquaClear 110 that is on the lowest speed). I thought originally that the filter itself was too strong, and I put a small net around the filter head (that sucks in the water), so as to create a bit of space between the filter and the fish. Later, however, I saw a dead fish lying on the ground, so I'm pretty sure it wasn't the strong filter that did it.
    Paul

  2. #2

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    There are many who have problems with neons these days. Some sources suggest that this fish has been inbred for so long it is now very weak physiologically. Wild neons are of course very difficult--which is to say, impossible--to find in stores. Some others suggest this is the neon tetra disease, but this is discernible from the appearance of the fish. The info at this link describes symptoms:
    http://freshaquarium.about.com/cs/di...eondisease.htm

    Assuming for the moment it is not the above disease, we can examine other possibles. Do you have the numbers for these tests? Stores all too often have a habit of testing water and saying "it looks fine" or similar, which of course means very little as the person doing the testing may not know what is or isn't really "fine." Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate tests are helpful whenever fish die in numbers as here. Though having said that, the fact that these were all new fish (except the one older neaon you mention) would tend to suggest it is more likely the fish themselves or how they were acclimated.

    Fish can be severely injured by netting, or severely stressed by the whole netting/bagging process and if they are weak to begin with, they may not have the strength to recover. On the acclimation, can you explain how this was done from bag to tank? I am also assuming these fish went in the main tank, not a quarantine, which is a real risk these days. Internal protozoan are very common in the common fish and undetectable until the fish begin dying. Some recommend feeding new fish for a week or two (in QT) on medicated foods to deal with this.

    Knowing your GH and pH numbers would also be useful.

    Edit: Cliff posted simultaneously, and I agree with his advice too, something I overlooked.

    Byron.
    Last edited by Byron; 08-03-2013 at 08:04 PM.

  3. #3

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I have always liked having my own test kits to us when/if I ever thought something might not be right in my tank. I would suggest getting a good quality liquid test kit and test the tank water as well as your tap water. Something might have also changed in your tap water supply that could be causing this, but that is just a guess on my part
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  4. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Interesting link there.

    I"m not sure if that describes the symptoms or not. When the fish are dead, yes, their bodies lose their color, but I know that other fish that have died have had this as well (not neons), so I'm not sure if this is evidence of that neon tetra disease or not. I sure haven't seen any of the neons with these symptoms BEFORE they died, so I can't say if they have it or not. They all seem to behave pretty normal until I see that they have died.

    Unfortunately, if this in fact what is wrong with them, that about.com page says that an infected tank doesn't lose the infection--that once this disease is present, it is "almost impossible" to remove it.

    As far as acclimatizing, I'd given up using a quarantine tank a long time ago, so you are correct they were placed in our main aquarium. I put them in the bags that they came from Petsmart in, in the aquarium for 20-30 mins, and then released them.

    Quote Originally Posted by kermit58 View Post
    There are many who have problems with neons these days. Some sources suggest that this fish has been inbred for so long it is now very weak physiologically. Wild neons are of course very difficult--which is to say, impossible--to find in stores. Some others suggest this is the neon tetra disease, but this is discernible from the appearance of the fish. The info at this link describes symptoms:
    http://freshaquarium.about.com/cs/di...eondisease.htm

    Assuming for the moment it is not the above disease, we can examine other possibles. Do you have the numbers for these tests? Stores all too often have a habit of testing water and saying "it looks fine" or similar, which of course means very little as the person doing the testing may not know what is or isn't really "fine." Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate tests are helpful whenever fish die in numbers as here. Though having said that, the fact that these were all new fish (except the one older neaon you mention) would tend to suggest it is more likely the fish themselves or how they were acclimated.

    Fish can be severely injured by netting, or severely stressed by the whole netting/bagging process and if they are weak to begin with, they may not have the strength to recover. On the acclimation, can you explain how this was done from bag to tank? I am also assuming these fish went in the main tank, not a quarantine, which is a real risk these days. Internal protozoan are very common in the common fish and undetectable until the fish begin dying. Some recommend feeding new fish for a week or two (in QT) on medicated foods to deal with this.

    Knowing your GH and pH numbers would also be useful.

    Edit: Cliff posted simultaneously, and I agree with his advice too, something I overlooked.

    Byron.
    Last edited by prr; 08-03-2013 at 08:14 PM.
    Paul

  5. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Are there any testing kits that folks here would recommend? If it isn't from Petsmart or Petco, I'd have to order it online.
    Paul

  6. #6

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Most people here use the API master test kit

    That is the one I prefer to use
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  7. #7

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I too use API. Sera are good tests, though more expensive. I've not heard of problems with API.

    With respect to your acclimating process, I would certainly change this. Water parameters and conditions between the bag water and your tank are almost guaranteed to be very different. The store water contains pathogens you don't want in your tank if you can avoid it, plus obvious high ammonia. My method is to float the bag to equalize temp (about 10-15 minutes should do this); sometimes I remove some of the bag water if there is a lot before I float it, since I will be adding tank water. This I add about a cup at a time. Some use a drip method for this, which involves dumping the bag water/fish into a smallish pail, and useing a piece of airline tubing to drip tank water in slowly. I just add the cup or so of tank water, leave for 15-20 minutes, then add another cup of tank water, leave for 15-20 minutes. Then net the fish out of the bag. Never pour the bag water into the tank. The number of times I add tank water can be more if I am dealing with a particularly sensitive fish; most of mine are wild caught.

    Without knowing the GH, pH, TDS of the bag water compared to tank, we can't say this was the problem. But if these values were significant, they could well cause trouble for the fish which remember is already under severe stress.

    Another thought is bringing the fish home; keep the bag dark, never in daylight. You would be amazed how stressful this is to the fish. I use a cooler as this prevents any temperature change en route. But at the very least, keep the fish bag inside a dark outer bag, or wrap it in a dark towel.

    Byron.
    Last edited by Byron; 08-03-2013 at 08:31 PM.

  8. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    First, please keep in mind that I am a newbie and really do not know what I'm talking about; however, I posted a few weeks ago about wanting to eventually get cardinal tetras and (I think it was Strider) remarked to make sure they had been at the lfs for a few weeks because the only problem he had was when he got them when they were new at the store. Since he said that, I have been watching the tetras at Petsmart and my lfs (ran & owned by a fish fanatic who also takes care of business saltwater tanks and will actually not allow you to purchase from her if she knows your tank is too small). I have noticed that the tretras from petsmart are only there a few days and then the entire tank of them are gone. That is not the case with my lfs lady's fish. When I was reading up on tetras they seemed to have more particular water needs (especially with Ph). The people here told me if I wanted tetras I could slowly acclimate them to my tank water by slowly adding my tank water to the bag water a little at a time and they would be fine but perhaps a big company like Petsmart does not have the time to do that. I only responded because you mentioned you got them at Petsmart and I have been observing the tetras at my local petsmart for several weeks now.

  9. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    OK, since two folks here have talked about acclimatizing them.... if this were what was causing the deaths, wouldn't the tetras get over this within a day or two? I just had another one die today,and I got them over a week ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by flowergardener View Post
    First, please keep in mind that I am a newbie and really do not know what I'm talking about; however, I posted a few weeks ago about wanting to eventually get cardinal tetras and (I think it was Strider) remarked to make sure they had been at the lfs for a few weeks because the only problem he had was when he got them when they were new at the store. Since he said that, I have been watching the tetras at Petsmart and my lfs (ran & owned by a fish fanatic who also takes care of business saltwater tanks and will actually not allow you to purchase from her if she knows your tank is too small). I have noticed that the tretras from petsmart are only there a few days and then the entire tank of them are gone. That is not the case with my lfs lady's fish. When I was reading up on tetras they seemed to have more particular water needs (especially with Ph). The people here told me if I wanted tetras I could slowly acclimate them to my tank water by slowly adding my tank water to the bag water a little at a time and they would be fine but perhaps a big company like Petsmart does not have the time to do that. I only responded because you mentioned you got them at Petsmart and I have been observing the tetras at my local petsmart for several weeks now.
    Paul

  10. #10

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I agree with flowergardener. Now, having said that, and with my previous suggestions in mind, it may or may not be your acclimating, but a combination of things. Let me explain a bit about fish problems like this, which should answer your latest question.

    The stress caused to any fish by this or that may or may not have long-term effects. I wrote an article a couple years back from which I will excerpt.

    The effects of stress on fish are very complicated physiologically, and are often subtle. There may or may not be external signs discernible to us—it can continue for weeks and even months, sometimes up to the point when the fish just suddenly dies. The reasons for this are involved.

    Adrenaline released during the stress response increases blood flow to the gills to provide for the increased oxygen demands of stress. The release of adrenaline into the blood stream elevates the heart rate, blood flow and blood pressure. This increases the volume of blood in vessels contained within the gills, increasing the surface area of the gills to help the fish absorb more oxygen from the water. The elevated blood flow allows increased oxygen uptake for respiration but also increases the permeability of the gills to water and ions. This is what is known as the osmorespiratory compromise (Folmar & Dickhoff, 1980; Mazeaud et al., 1977). In freshwater fish, this increases water influx and ion losses. This is more critical in small fish than larger due to the gill surface to body mass ratio (Bartelme, 2004).

    Short-term stress will cause an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration as described in the preceding paragraph. The fish can only maintain these altered states for a short and finite period of time before they will either adapt or (more often) the stress will become chronic. During this initial stage the fish may look and act relatively normal, but it is depleting energy reserves because of the extra physiological requirements placed upon it. At the chronic stage the hormone cortisol is released, which is responsible for many of the negative health effects associated with stress.

    Chronic stress impacts negatively on fish growth, digestion, and reproduction. It is the main cause of deterioration in the slime coat. It significantly lowers the ability of the immune system to respond effectively and fully. And in all cases—stress reduces the fish’s lifespan.

    These are just excerpts from the full article, but I think they get the idea across. I'd be happy to further elaborate if asked.

    Byron.
    Last edited by Byron; 08-03-2013 at 11:54 PM.

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