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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I've kept freshwater fish tanks for several years and, on the whole, have been successful; but I keep having problems with neon tetras. If I buy half a dozen, they gradually die off, one at a time. After all but one blue neon died this last go-around, I tried adding six black neons, and now, again, all but one have died. The one blue and one black neon suvivors seem to be doing fine, but I can't seem to keep them in any numbers.

The tank they are in is mature, having run for several years now, with many of the fish being the original ones.

I'm curious to know if others have had similar problems with neons, and what people do who have had good success with them.

My tank information is as follows:

Tank capacity: 30 gallons
Tank configuration: Tall
Filtration:
.....Under-gravel filter
.....Whisper Power Triad 2000 filter (activated carbon changed every two water changes)
Water Source: Minnesota River, filtered by Minneapolis system
Water Temperature: 78 degrees F
Water care: 25 percent water change every three weeks
Water Treatment at Each Water Change:
.....Amquel
.....2-3 drops NovAqua per 10 gallons
.....1/4 tsp Bausman fish tonic per gallon of tank capacity
pH: 7.5 (buffered by small bag of crushed coral in filter)
Feeding: Twice daily, a couple pinches of combination “Nutrafin Complete Flake Food for All Tropical Fish” and “TetraMin Tropical Granules” (or similar food)
Population:
.....1 Congo tetra
.....3 skirted tetras
.....1 plecostomus
.....1 blue neon tetra
.....1 black neon tetra
.....3 small feeder gold fish (added recently)

NOTE: I started adding the Bausman fish tonic at the recommendation of a worker at a fish store, after I explained my neon tetra problem.
 

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No they do not need any special care i have 4 tetra's in with mollies and platy's they do fine:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, something isn't working.

I started researching online and found (a) neons are not as durable as they used to be, due to overbreeding; (b) the water should be slightly acidic (mine is slightly alkaline); (c) they like subdued lighting (my tank has a light set to a timer to go on during the day and off at night); (d) beware of large fish in the tank as they may eat the tetras (the Congo tetra is somewhat large; however, the last two remaining tetras haven't disappeared yet).

When the tetras disappear, I often don't find a carcass. I wonder if that would indicate they are being eaten.

Anyone else? Observations and suggestions are welcomed.

Bill
 

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yes neon tets need special care-soft, acidic water of a pH of 6.5, they need an established tank with a few plants, they do as well need dimmer lighting, and they are very sensitive to "neon tetra disease", a disease similar to ich that affects neons and there relatives.
 

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Well to everyone their own.Mine have been doing fine in a normal tank for several months.Now i would not put them with larger fish of course.but if you do regular water changes you will have no problems!
 

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no carcasses-either they are jumping out, being eaten by a larger fish, or sucked in by the filter.
 

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Yes tetras need special care (I found out the hard way*n1). I have also found out that it really helps to do a lot of research before you buy the fish. I also know that some tetras are fin nippers and this can really bug some tetras (So if you keep a neon tetra some other school of tetras can nip at them and this will lead to stress and that leads to sickness) also with tetras you should add fish that won't grow over 5 inches and are peaceful and won't really "annoy" other tetras.


About the missing/dead tetras

I had neons and added too many at once (only 3 at the most per 2 weeks) they got sick as a result and wedged themselves unfer the plants so it apperaed that they aere "missing". I looked under the plants and it was kinda disturbing*y2 but you wouldn't be able to tell just by looking at it. You really had to take it (the plant) out.

Also why do you have the goldfish they need a really big tank. How big are they? If they are over 5 or 6 inches they may be eating your tetras because of of my friends had a goldfish and she put some guppies in with it and it ate they guppies. Im not sure if this only is rare or if it happens alot.


Hope I could help
 

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Neon tetras do best in schools of 6-8+. They prefer soft, acidic water with a pH of 6.5 being adequite, however neon tetras, aswell as with cardinal tetras, can easilly adapt to harder, more alkaline water if given the adequate acclimation period. They do best in already established aquariums and are also sensative to the Neon Tetra Disease. (NTD.) There is no known cure tor NTD, except euthanization of the fish. Some characteristics of NTD are loss of color, not wanting to school with the other fish, loss of appatite, lathargy, and in more severe cases, a bent or curved spine. NTD is also not only limited to neon tetras. It can appear in angelfish, however signs of NTD in angelfish do not appear for 5+ years. Cardinal tetras, however, are immune to NTD and are very similar to neon tetras.
 

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I could not keep neons in my planted tanks until I setup the tank with some peat moss in the substrait. I found the kh stayed on 4 dkh and gh was 9 dgh. Without the peat moss kh and gh climbed to very high values and neons did not last more then a few weeks.

I also do no water changes and have no mechanical filtration or circulation.

PH in these tank rises to 8.4-8.8 (api high range pH test kit) So the pH value is not the important thing. It appears the kh and gh are. But then with my setups the pH is high IMHO soley because the plants are fully consuming the carbon dioxide.

Of course they are aggressive and you should have only one or more then 4 in a tank.

I also check the neons at the store for ich and red inflamed gills. I usually find one or two that have the inflamed gills, which I refuse and am profusely thanked by the employee.


just my .02
 

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A couple questions: Have you noticed any unusual behavior or changes in appearance before the neons die? Have they all come from the same store?
 

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well let me tell you a/b my taboo tank...10 neons,3 glo fish and 2 myserysnails all in a 1 gallon cheap "bought from walmart tank" lol (first tank ever, bought it when i was 12... cant part with it lol) well theyve been in there for 5 month now... no death... doin great!! dont know why... i know im breaking like every rule in the book!! lol
 

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Skittles...I don't want to criticize, but you really shouldn't keep that many fish in such a tiny tank. Just because you can doesn't mean you should. Those fish would be much happier in a 5g tank. I'm glad none of them have died, but that is not nearly enough space for all those fish, and unless you're doing daily water changes the nitrates must be sky high. I would highly recommend doing your fish a favor and getting a bigger tank. It's just not good to keep them confined like that
 

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One other area that they need a special attention to that I do not see mentioned here is the fact that tetras in general are listed among fish that require special needs in medicating. There are some medications that specify that tetras, among others should receive HALF the normal dosages of the medications due to the inability of their systems to handle the full strength. I have known a lot of people who dosed their tetras thinking they would be cured only to find out after they actually did a full and close reading of the label that tetras are not to get full dosages and the tetras were harmed or killed by overdosing.

Rose
:)
 

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Here is what I see:

1.) Crushed coral raises not only the pH but the hardness. Tetras in general like lower pH and softer water. All the fish you have except the gold fish prefer this, so remove the crushed coral.

2.) Changing 25% of your tank once every 3 weeks?! Unless it is heavily planted my guess is that your nitrates might be getting too high...especially now with crappy goldfish that leave a lot of waste and hog all the food. With you changing your carbon once every 6 weeks it might actually start leeching minerals back into the water by then. I would remove it or change it every 3 weeks and do water changes every week or 2 weeks at the max.
 
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