Fading Neon Tetras

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by MikeS29, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. MikeS29Valued MemberMember

    Two of my five neon tetras seem to be fading in color, especially the red. They are becoming pale and whitish, but seem to act otherwise normally.

    I found this closed thread that has me a bit worried: https://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/freshwater-fish-disease/42809-neon-tetra-disease.html

    I notice that on occasion, one of the fading neons is not schooling, but then he joins the others on and off. They all eat, swim, act normal.

    The tank is fairly new, and I did a fish-in cycle that I wish I hadn't. (See https://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/aquarium-nitrogen-cycle/116119-cycling-fish-wish-i-hadnt.html ) Now my ammonia levels are very low, bouncing between zero and .25 ppm. But my Nitrites and Nitrates are at zero as well, so I am not 100% sure it is completely cycled. The ammonia spontaneously fell to zero, not as the result of a water change. and only rarely in the last few days have I seen any color off yellow. But still no sign of Nitrites or Nitrates.

    My tank is a 25 gallon acrylic 36" x 10" x 16" high. Filtration is HOB Aquaclear 50. Temp running about 80f and pH 7.2-7.6.

    One cory cat is the only tank mate of the 5 neons, save for a couple baby snails that hitchhiked in on a bunch of elodea.

    Any advice is welcome.



  2. Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    Neon tetras are not good fish to cycle a tank with, and it sounds like your tank is not cycled. Alot of fish lose color due to stress, and a cycling tank with any trace of ammonia in it would stress a neon tetra. I really think you should start doing daily or bi-daily water changes of 50-60% and see if that does not help the problem. In the meantime start testing your water everyday and make sure you change enough water to bring the all the readings to 0 until your tank shows nitrates and is cycled completely.

    It could also be a nutritional dificiency. You could try some krill, blood worms, and maybe some peas in addition to their normal staple food. That should do it if it is a nutricianal deficiency
  3. MikeS29Valued MemberMember

    Thanks, Wendy. I had been doing water changes every other day with daily testing, but went about 3-4 days in one stretch without a water change and the ammonia level fell to 0 on its own, so I wondered if the nitrification cycle was under way.

    I realize now that neons are more delicate than I knew, and I would not do a fish-in cycle again. I've learned a lot on this board!
  4. MikeS29Valued MemberMember

    Anyone else have any other ideas? No change on the Neons... Thanks.
  5. MikeS29Valued MemberMember

    I euthanized the two when they started to show signs of their bodies distorting and curving a little. A third neon began fading and he has also been euthanized now too.

    So now I am down to only 2 neons. I am hopeful that these two will survive as they show absolutely no sign of any fading.

    The tank has cycled and I have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and between 5 and 10 ppm nitrate.

    3 Corydoras, one orange gourami, and the 2 neons in 25 gallons.

    Once I am satisfied that the two are OK (a few more weeks at least) I plan to get a school of black neons as they are a bit hardier than the regular neons, from what I've read.
  6. TuufyValued MemberMember

    There are other schooling fish you can put into the tank that are fun too............danios zip around like loonies, guppies are great fun to watch too...............I will have to keep my own eye out for the back neons don't know that I have seen those at my LPS............
  7. MikeS29Valued MemberMember

    Thanks for the suggestions :) I'll keep my eyes peeled for other possibilities!
  8. DonnerjayWell Known MemberMember

    Mike, congratulations on your tank cycling! You sure have been through a lot with the tank.
  9. MikeS29Valued MemberMember

    Thanks! It was a harrowing start, but I'm ready for better things now. Looking for a real good LFS in Seattle area to provide quality fish now.
  10. TuufyValued MemberMember


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