Question How old does a tank have to be to get neons?

claudicles

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I know neons don't like new tanks and obviously I am not talking about not yet cycled tanks but how long should a tank be running and cycled before you put in neons?
 

Nutter

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I think 3-6 months after cycling is usually a good bet for maturing an aquarium to suit Neons. At lest that's the sort of time frame that has always worked for me. Of course the other fish need to be in there for that whole time to mature the tank properly & then the Neons added last.
 

ryanr

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Many will suggest that an 'established tank' is one that has been running at least 6 months.

Have you considered cardinal tetras? Very similar looking, just not quite as bright, but more hardy.

Some Pictures - Cardinal on the left, Neon on the right.
152.jpg
153.jpg
 

Aquarist

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Good morning,

I would suggest 2 or 3 months of readings being 0 0 under 20 at the least. Others will have different opinions I'm sure. Personally I think a well established tank is 6 months to 1 year.

Ken
 
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claudicles

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Thanks guys. My LFS has cardinals for $5 each and neons for $2 each. I guess a school of cardinals sounded a bit expensive but not if they are more likely to survive.
 

Nutter

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Cardinals are definitely hardier than Neons, better looking to IMO. Just be aware that Cardinals get to about 5cm rather than the 2.5cm of neons so you will need to modify the number you want to stock.
 

ryanr

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It's not the Neons won't survive, you just need to be really on top of your water changes. Neons are rather sensitive to nitrates, and IME, I wouldn't go adding them to a tank less than 6 months old that is cycled and stable.

Cardinals can also be sensitive, and you need to acclimate them slowly, but from there, they are generally more tolerant. But remember poor water is always poor water and could lead to death, so no matter how hardy the fish, you still need to keep up the pwcs

It also depends what type of fish you want, Neons are more mid-lower dwellers, Cardinals more mid-top dwelling.

Both would prefer plants (real or fake) to swim around in to give them added 'security'.
 

LauraMillar

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Maan, fish prices in New Zealand sucks. Here Neons sell for $3.95 each and Cardinals for $10. Its no fair
 
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claudicles

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Gees, that is expensive Laura. Pretty often our big chains have neons and 10 for $10 or there abouts.
Water changes aren't a problem Ryan. I use my tank water on the garden and I have a large garden (about 1000 sqm - I live on 2.5 acres) so I am always changing. What sort of nitrate do neons suffer at? The tank in question has been established for 4 months and is heavily planted. I have never had the nitrates go above 10 in that tank.
 

Meenu

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I put my neons in my tank 2 months after it cycled, so the tank had been running for about 3 1/2 months at that point. They did great!
 

Tana

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I didn't know better and cycled with my neons. I don't recommend it to anyone else from the problems everyone else seems to have with them. I was extremely lucky and really kept up with daily water changes for about 10 days. Thankfully I didn't lose any but goodness knows the long term damage they are probably going to have.

Cardinals are also resistant to Neon Tetra disease.
 
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claudicles

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I put my neons in my tank 2 months after it cycled, so the tank had been running for about 3 1/2 months at that point. They did great!
Thanks Meenu. Good to hear what someone has had success with.
 

Nutter

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Gees, that is expensive Laura. Pretty often our big chains have neons and 10 for $10 or there abouts.
Water changes aren't a problem Ryan. I use my tank water on the garden and I have a large garden (about 1000 sqm - I live on 2.5 acres) so I am always changing. What sort of nitrate do neons suffer at? The tank in question has been established for 4 months and is heavily planted. I have never had the nitrates go above 10 in that tank.
Given that the tank has been running for a while & is planted then I would say that it is ready for Neons. Do your tests a little more often after they are introduced to make sure nothing wierd happens. If need be do a couple of extra water changes.
 
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