Neon Tetras keep Dying

amydeb

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Hello all,
Over a year ago, I took my mother's tank (36 gal bowfront) after she could no longer care for it. She had 3 tiger barbs, 4 neon tetras and a bristle nose pleco in it. I gave away the pleco, moved the barbs into my 75 gallon (where there are already a dozen), chucked the plastic plants and added live. I know the neons need a larger school to be happy, I added 3, planning on adding a few a time. I then added a few guppies. Within a week, 4 neons died (3 new and 1 original). Waited a couple weeks, added 3 more, all died.
To keep a long story short, over the past year I have been adding neon's 3-5 at a time and can NOT keep them alive. Within a week, all new Neons die. There is one "original" neon left and the running joke is that he is murdering the others at night. I never see any symptoms, no side swimming, no red gills, etc ... nothing. I just wake up in the morning and another 1-2 fish are dead. Meanwhile, there are seven guppies and 5 cory catfish (just lost one of those guys) and a black racer snail doing great. I've tried longer acclimation, adding stress coat, anything I can think of but at this point, I've probably killed over two dozen Neons.
Temp is at 72, weekly water changes, ammonia 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates under 25. Any help or suggestions?
 

pagoda

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Did you quarantine the new arrivals before adding them to your existing aquarium residents?

They might have been unwell before they were bought....and some Neons can suffer from genetic issues too that sadly affect their life span

If everything else is fine and your water parameters are stable and good, then it tends to point to a health issue with the new fish.

If you decide to replace them, please ensure they are kept away from the new home until you are totally satisfied that they are healthy and disease free......diseases from new fish can easily and quickly wipe out existing residents in an aquarium, epsecially those of the same species.

Always quarantine new fish, better to be safe than have your aquarium residents systematically killed off due to an unknown health issue brought in with new fish that you were not aware of.
 

jake37

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I'd warm the tank a little to 75. Otherwise I'd have to agree with pagoda the new fishes might have sickened the original.
 

JettsPapa

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I'm not saying this to be at all critical or judgmental, because I admire your perseverance, but I'd have given up on them long ago. In fact, I have given up on them. When the 10 I have now die I have no plans to replace them.
 

jake37

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I've never had problems with cardinals and I think people say they are more sensitive than neon. However, I do have problem with some store purchased fishes - I try to wait up to 2 weeks before I bring anything home (i.e, the store have the fish in their tanks for 2 weeks). I know the lfs I normally use has 2 sources for cardinals and they have told me only one of them is reliable with regards to the fishes living more than a few days. They recently started getting updates on the invoice on how the fishes are raised (tank raised;farm raised; ....) and this seems to make a difference on the quality of the live stock.
-
I'm not sure why i'm lucky with cardinals as i'm pretty clueless but the ones I purchased a year ago are still alive and kicking and the ones I added 6 months and 3 weeks ago are also alive and kicking ('cept for the one I killed and the other one the angel snacked on). Oh well I don't know what to tell you but I will say that most fishes are hit and miss from shops - esp otto, cardinals and gbr.

[I know your issue is with neon but I normally deal in cardinals since I find them a bit more colourful]
 

Blintok57FL

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I second looking at other fish. As in my first post. All my neons died (tho mostly my fault with a non-cycled tank).

The Harlequin Rasbora are fun fish. Same for the Black Phantom Tetra. These two species play nice together. Another one I my short list was the Blue Danio.

the three I listed are hardy fish. The neon Tetra seem too sensitive.
 

JettsPapa

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jake37 said:
I've never had problems with cardinals and I think people say they are more sensitive than neon. However, I do have problem with some store purchased fishes - I try to wait up to 2 weeks before I bring anything home (i.e, the store have the fish in their tanks for 2 weeks). I know the lfs I normally use has 2 sources for cardinals and they have told me only one of them is reliable with regards to the fishes living more than a few days. They recently started getting updates on the invoice on how the fishes are raised (tank raised;farm raised; ....) and this seems to make a difference on the quality of the live stock.
-
I'm not sure why i'm lucky with cardinals as i'm pretty clueless but the ones I purchased a year ago are still alive and kicking and the ones I added 6 months and 3 weeks ago are also alive and kicking ('cept for the one I killed and the other one the angel snacked on). Oh well I don't know what to tell you but I will say that most fishes are hit and miss from shops - esp otto, cardinals and gbr.

[I know your issue is with neon but I normally deal in cardinals since I find them a bit more colourful]
I'm glad someone has good luck with cardinals. I think I had 7, and I'm down to 1 now.
 

jake37

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I have 22 - I had 24 :( but never fear - I gave the lfs the cardinal eating angel.
---
One thing I should add is that while I'm pretty clueless i've lived in two places with decent water. I never measure the water in boston before I moved (I had 7 cardinals then and stuck them in a pail while I drove down south - 2 day drive); but the water here is tds 120 and gh/kh 3 (just under 3); and that probably helps a lot. I suspect water quality plays a big role in how certain fishes turn out.

JettsPapa said:
I'm glad someone has good luck with cardinals. I think I had 7, and I'm down to 1 now.
 
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amydeb

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JettsPapa said:
I'd have given up on them long ago.
Yes well, apparently I'm stubborn bordering on stupidity. These fish have come from different LFSs and also the big chain pet store over the course of a year. I wait a few weeks or so and "try again". As I said, the other fish are doing well. The tank is tall, so I guess I was trying to have residents at each level. Also, it's sad to see that one neon in there. :-(
I don't have a quarantine tank (stupid, I know) and don't have an excuse considering I have a 10 gallon tank sitting empty. I'll work on getting that going before adding more fish (which probably won't be Neons)
 

JettsPapa

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amydeb said:
Yes well, apparently I'm stubborn bordering on stupidity. These fish have come from different LFSs and also the big chain pet store over the course of a year. I wait a few weeks or so and "try again". As I said, the other fish are doing well. The tank is tall, so I guess I was trying to have residents at each level. Also, it's sad to see that one neon in there. :-(
I don't have a quarantine tank (stupid, I know) and don't have an excuse considering I have a 10 gallon tank sitting empty. I'll work on getting that going before adding more fish (which probably won't be Neons)
You might try rummy noses, or serpaes. I like both of those.
 

andy305mia

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I would get them from different sources. How exactly are you acclimating them? Your temps are fine, someone said to raise them, don't.
 

Redshark1

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Current thinking is that Neon Tetras come with a strain of Columnaris living on them that doesn't cause issues until the immune system is compromised.

Then it can attack unprotected living tissues of the fish especially muscle and gill tissue but also other areas including the fins where it can be seen more readily.

The strains of Columnaris from the fish farms are different from wild Columnaris strains as they are more virulent and medication resistant. The farming system encourages these adaptations.

When we buy fish and put them in our tanks we expose them to stress that compromises their immune systems.

There is a journey, new accommodation and the water is often very different in its chemical and physical properties.

There are often new aquarium inhabitants to cope with and a new pecking order to establish.

All these stress the fish.
 

Mcasella

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Neons can be hit or miss to be honest - of the ones I currently have (one group of seven out of twenty that are still being Qted, the rest showed no issues with no losses in the groups beyond one or two stressed based deaths).
And the fact that most stores get them 20-50 in a bag doesn't really help.
 

Anthony1976

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amydeb said:
Hello all,
Over a year ago, I took my mother's tank (36 gal bowfront) after she could no longer care for it. She had 3 tiger barbs, 4 neon tetras and a bristle nose pleco in it. I gave away the pleco, moved the barbs into my 75 gallon (where there are already a dozen), chucked the plastic plants and added live. I know the neons need a larger school to be happy, I added 3, planning on adding a few a time. I then added a few guppies. Within a week, 4 neons died (3 new and 1 original). Waited a couple weeks, added 3 more, all died.
To keep a long story short, over the past year I have been adding neon's 3-5 at a time and can NOT keep them alive. Within a week, all new Neons die. There is one "original" neon left and the running joke is that he is murdering the others at night. I never see any symptoms, no side swimming, no red gills, etc ... nothing. I just wake up in the morning and another 1-2 fish are dead. Meanwhile, there are seven guppies and 5 cory catfish (just lost one of those guys) and a black racer snail doing great. I've tried longer acclimation, adding stress coat, anything I can think of but at this point, I've probably killed over two dozen Neons.
Temp is at 72, weekly water changes, ammonia 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates under 25. Any help or suggestions?
Ph could be too high for them
 

jake37

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As far as I can tell ph is only relevant to wild caught fishes (though I suppose there are specific species or extremes that matter). The most important thing with ph - within limits - is stability. It is best to get the fish to adjust to your ph than for you to keep tinkering with the ph.

Anthony1976 said:
Ph could be too high for them
 

Anthony1976

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jake37 said:
As far as I can tell ph is only relevant to wild caught fishes (though I suppose there are specific species or extremes that matter). The most important thing with ph - within limits - is stability. It is best to get the fish to adjust to your ph than for you to keep tinkering with the ph.
jake37 said:
As far as I can tell ph is only relevant to wild caught fishes (though I suppose there are specific species or extremes that matter). The most important thing with ph - within limits - is stability. It is best to get the fish to adjust to your ph than for you to keep tinkering with the ph.
those fish are particularly sensitive to ph. Most times they will only breed when the ph is lowered. They will tolerate a higher ph for a while but not long term,
 

Anthony1976

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Hardness of between 2 and 10 degrees dH is recommended. Although soft water is undoubtedly favorable for neon tetras, these fish can manage in medium-hard water if it is of a high grade. ... For reproductive purposes, neon tetras require pH levels of no more than 6.5, also with extremely minimal hardness.
 

jake37

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I don't know - most people say i'm an idiot - but when I was a kid we kept some for a few years at around 7.4. These days I keep cardinals because my tanks are warmer and I prefer cardinals so I can't comment on recent neon tetra. As a kid we did not breed the neon just the guppies (or rather our ineptness didn't keep the guppies from breeding).

Anthony1976 said:
those fish are particularly sensitive to ph. Most times they will only breed when the ph is lowered. They will tolerate a higher ph for a while but not long term,
 

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