Neon Tetra Disease?

andybui

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So recently I bought 6x Neon Tetras at Petsmart (I know I shouldve gone for a LFS but it was 3x more expensive so I decided to give it a shot). I realized after I brought them that one of them had a cyst on its side and thought, “Should’ve seen this coming.” assuming it was NTD. A week later I returned back to the Petsmart and looked at the Neon Teta tank and they all 100% had NTD. At this point I was sure the 6x I bought definitely had it. I started checking my Tetras more intently and saw another Tetra develop a cyst. Not sure if this was placebo but it looked like they were less vibrant.

Then one day I was watching them and it felt like they were more active? I tried to look for the cyst on the 2 Tetras that had it and they were gone. Was this just a false alarm NTD? Or did the cyst pop and now my water is contaminated? How long do Neon Tetras have when they show signs of NTD. I’d love to get to the bottom of this so I can know if I can add more fishes. Thank you!
 

Redshark1

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Any photos? A cyst suggests a bubble-shaped symptom.

By the way, when retailers have sent their diseased fish for microscopic analysis most Neon Tetras have proved to have Columnaris, a bacterium. NTD is comparatively rare.

But there are some other ailments which they can suffer from which could possibly become dangerous if the fish are stressed.

I have encountered three different cyst-type diseases on Neon and Cardinal Tetras but in my case they were either easily cured or in two types they disappeared on their own.
 

Redshark1

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Thanks very much for the pictures, they help a lot.

I can see a bubble on a couple of fish. @DoubleDutch believes these may be caused by a virus.

This does resemble what I had on a few of my Neon Tetras when I bought them in March 2016. The bubbles disappeared within a few months after I took steps to optimise their care (detailed below). I think that with some Fishlore posters the bubbles have enlarged and multiplied and resulted in the demise of the fish.

My Neons also suffered from suspected Columnaris with six lost just after their introduction and one loss about every three or four months since then. They are in a 40 gallon tank. I started with 30 and now have 16.

I believe some of the survivors still have Columnaris but these bubbles are gone.

Steps I have taken to try and give them the life of luxury have included:

Plants to enable them to feel secure, to hide in if necessary.

Removal of other fish that might compete with and stress them (they seem to be unafraid of Bristlenoses, perhaps as these occupy the bottom).

Keep the temperature at 74F as this is supposed to be the preferred temperature of Neon Tetras which originally came from cool and shady jungle streams.

Keep the aquarium cool (74F) in summer by reducing as necessary.

Increase aeration by allowing the venturi on my filter to bubble air into the returning water.

Maintain a gentle current that is not too fast and not too slow.

Find a variety of quality foods for the Neons and feed them twice a day.

Collect rainwater from my outbuilding roof and mix it with my tapwater to soften the hard water from my tap from GH 10 to GH 2 over several months.

Change 5% of the aquarium water daily.

Make sure that the filter is cleaned enough (in tank water) so it cannot get blocked and stop working.

Have a low stocking level so water quality can be kept high.

There's hope that your fish may live a long life and you will be able to enjoy them. Healthy ones are excellent fish.
 
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andybui

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Thank you for all the great info! What do these bubbles mean exactly? Is this something that occured naturally or due to LPS quality fish? Is it contagious? I'd love to keep them in the community tank for as long as possible but if they'll affect the other fish (only have corydora's at the moment, had plans for a Dwarf Gourami but might reconsider if they stress the tetras) I'll probably seperate them. Tetras seem so fickle lol
 

Redshark1

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Good healthy Neon Tetras are absolutely one of the top aquarium fish and we currently have a 50/50 chance of purchasing them.

The problem is they are farmed and these farms cannot cull unhealthy or weak fish because of the huge numbers they handle. It is impractical. They also promote the survival of all fish (healthy or unhealthy, strong or weak) because every fish can be sold and the profit maximised.

In the wild only the strong survive and if a fish has any weakness it does not survive to reproduce and pass its weak genes into the next generation.

In addition, virulent diseases have originated in the fish farms due to the methods of keeping the fish. These diseases do not occur in the wild.

These can be new strains of commonly occurring microorganisms. A strain of Columnaris is the one affecting Neon Tetras the most.

The combination of new disease strains and weaker fish has resulted in devastating losses of Neon Tetras in the trade.

The cause of the bubble-like symptom on the Neon Tetra has not been formally identified as far as I am aware but it is becoming more common if the number of posts about it are an indication.

I think that if the Neons are stressed (i.e. not happy in their environment) the bubbles will get worse. But if the environmental conditions are good I believe they will disappear.

The bubbles do seem restricted to the Neon Tetra and are only contagious to other Neons. I think they may have originated in the fish farms. As with the Neon Tetra Columnaris the other fish in the aquarium do not seem to be affected.

Unfortunately, purchasing new fish is a stressful time for the fish and if you are unlucky and your Neon Tetras come with disease you may lose some or all of them.

Any survivors may carry the disease, may continue to show visible symptoms of the disease and may live their lives with these symptoms or may die from the disease at a later point.

It may not be easy to tell if Neon Tetras have disease when observing them in the shop because the shop keeper may have removed all those showing signs of disease.

One LFS owner posted on a forum that he took out 50 diseased Neon Tetras per day from his shop tank (I have the link).

You can ask if the LFS has had to take any fish out due to disease and see what they say.

For me Neon Tetras are an essential fish for me to keep and even though I bought diseased ones I am still glad I have them.

Some say there is a better chance of success with Cardinal Tetras so that should be considered. Note the temperature requirements are different.
 

DoubleDutch

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Redshark1 said:
Thanks very much for the pictures, they help a lot.

I can see a bubble on a couple of fish. @DoubleDutch believes these may be caused by a virus.

This does resemble what I had on a few of my Neon Tetras when I bought them in March 2016. The bubbles disappeared within a few months after I took steps to optimise their care (detailed below). I think that with some Fishlore posters the bubbles have enlarged and multiplied and resulted in the demise of the fish.

My Neons also suffered from suspected Columnaris with six lost just after their introduction and one loss about every three or four months since then. They are in a 40 gallon tank. I started with 30 and now have 16.

I believe some of the survivors still have Columnaris but these bubbles are gone.

Steps I have taken to try and give them the life of luxury have included:

Plants to enable them to feel secure, to hide in if necessary.

Removal of other fish that might compete with and stress them (they seem to be unafraid of Bristlenoses, perhaps as these occupy the bottom).

Keep the temperature at 74F as this is supposed to be the preferred temperature of Neon Tetras which originally came from cool and shady jungle streams.

Keep the aquarium cool (74F) in summer by reducing as necessary.

Increase aeration by allowing the venturi on my filter to bubble air into the returning water.

Maintain a gentle current that is not too fast and not too slow.

Find a variety of quality foods for the Neons and feed them twice a day.

Collect rainwater from my outbuilding roof and mix it with my tapwater to soften the hard water from my tap from GH 10 to GH 2 over several months.

Change 5% of the aquarium water daily.

Make sure that the filter is cleaned enough (in tank water) so it cannot get blocked and stop working.

Have a low stocking level so water quality can be kept high.

There's hope that your fish may live a long life and you will be able to enjoy them. Healthy ones are excellent fish.
I don't actually see the mentioned lumps (but watching at my phone) My suspecion about a virus is more about the mouthulcers that often occure.
The ones in the pic look quite healthy (shape and color) and definitely not suspectible to have NTD
 

Thunder_o_b

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Thank you for this thread and the answers it has generated. There are members here (that will go un-named) that I hope read this.

There are still wild caught neons out there. They are healthier, have better genes, and entire villages of indigenous people of the Amazon depend on the trade.

But Regardless of where the fish come from they get a 4 week stay in the QT Hilton.
 
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andybui

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Wow thank you @Redshark1 Very informative read, I appreciate the time and effort in sharing it. I'll keep playing the Neon Tetra lottery for now but may switch to Cardinals if my luck fails me haha.
 

DoubleDutch

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It might be an idea to donate a dollar to charity each time NTD is mentioned hahahahaha
 
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