Is this neon tetra disease?


New Member
The top fin is gray. He also keeps chasing people around the other neons. He is still within the school though. No other symptoms.


Fishlore VIP
It is very probably Columnaris. I have experience of dealing with Columnaris on my own Neon Tetras over a long period.

In my opinion whether the fish can recover depends whether the disease is on the skin or whether it has invaded the interior of the fish and is now feeding on the muscle, out of control.

In my experience Columnaris on the skin and fins is reversible with good care as long as it has not infected the gills excessively.

I don't have much faith in medications for this disease personally, not having seen any evidence of success despite reading about thousands of cases of Columnaris.

Ich is very different and immediate treatment with ich medications is very appropriate for that disease.

All other fish in the aquarium will already have the Columnaris bacteria on them by now. It lives on their slime coat and this is known as a commensal organism.

How it adheres to the slime coat, which is designed to protect the fish, is currently unknown and the subject of study.

It invades the fish when the immune system is not able to repel it.

To prevent the other fish from developing the disease conditions must be optimal for them so that the immune system is not suppressed.

This includes good water conditions: nitrogen levels (ammonia 0.25 or under, nitrate up to 40) correct temperature 74F, oxygenation, low flow, low hardness, moderate (not extreme) pH.

Also other environmental conditions including lack of bullying/ intimidating tankmates, plant cover for security, good quality food, sufficient shoal size etc.

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