Neons Dropping Like Flies

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Dcchillin, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. DcchillinValued MemberMember

    So had this tank going since march, had 4 neons, 2 amano, 3 nerita for a couple weeks. Friday I added 6 more neons, 4 amano, 1 dwarf guarami. I know I probably pushed it adding that much at once but I seen no spike from the first batch.

    Over the weekend I lost 3, then last night 4 more died, leaving me 3 lonely neons. Water checks out fine aside from .25 ammonia I can't shake to save my life.

    When I purchased them they were all lacking color in the bag, one they tried to sell me was even swimming sideways so I swapped him out at the store. All I know ia ive lost more than what I purchased last Friday meaning evenn one of my original 4 died.

    So my thoughts are either they weren't healthy from the store or I'm looking at Ich. The guarami gas one tiny white spot on his top fin, and one of the remaining tetras has one on his head. They aren't covered like I've dealt with before. I had noticed the neons getting white stomachs as well, the remaining one with the spot has it. They were all eating and swimming fine chasing each other around.

    Kinda perplexed. Added a horrible pic of the tetra with the spot and white stomach, guarami wouldnt sit still.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  2. MattS99Well Known MemberMember

    Why would you buy from a tank with fish swimming sideways? And if they were lacking color, that should have already beem a bad sign. It would be helpful to know your tank size.

  3. PurpleRoseValued MemberMember

    I am not sure of the tank size but it seems you might've overstocked your fish, you need to add fish slowly so your tank can handle the bioload.. I would make sure next time you buy fish that they are swimming around active and brighly colored, sorry for your loss. have you tried using prime it's been a life safer in my tank as it makes these chemicals less harmful to your fish, I think you might need to keep doing partial water changes to try to get rid of that ammonia in your tank..

  4. DcchillinValued MemberMember

    its a 20 high tank. i treat all my water with prime before it goes into the tank. as far as overstock, i asked numerous people and they all thought it would be ok, doesnt mean theyre all correct but i had a pretty decent sample size. Like i said, i saw no parameters change after the first batch or even after this second batch.

    The ammonia has been at .25 since i started it, using straight RO i mix myself. idk where the .25 comes from might be left over from the 10gal of well water i used when i started the tank (but it read 0 then too). I've even dosed the tank itself with prime, but being the fish are in rough shape and i add ferts and liquid co2 i dont want to cut any more oxygen out by doing that tonight (hasnt worked before). Last water change was a 50%ish 2 days ago.

    I have purchased fish from this store before, and they seemed fine in the tank, maybe lacking a bit of color. The store came highly recommended by a buddy who knows what hes doing and ive had good success there before, other than the first pleco i got when my tank wasnt cycled earlier this year. Idk just one fish was clearly not well in the bag but the rest looked fine only lacking color which i attributed to being bagged. It entirely possible they werent healthy to being with though as im still kind of a novice, and the store has given me questionable advice about plants that even i knew was incorrect. idk, regardless the aim now is to not lose the rest of my fish.

    Shrimps are molting like crazy so theyre doing fine, same with snails even laying eggs.

    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  5. PurpleRoseValued MemberMember

    sounds like you are doing the best you can for the tank, perhaps you might need to do some more frequent water changes, I sometimes have to do them every day to other day depending on the tanks levels, what are the rest of your tests on Nitrate and Nitrites and ph levels?
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  6. Esimm03Well Known MemberMember


    How long has the tank been running?

    Was it properly cycled before you added fish?

    When I set up my first tank, I set it up and as soon as the water was up to temp I added neons, I had 1-2 die a day as it wasn't cycled.

    You could try adding cycled media or these 'bacteria balls' into the filter which may help.

  7. DcchillinValued MemberMember

    Its complicated, i had one i started in feb, killed a pleco, then got it cycle no fish. Then i tore it down and started this tank beginning/middle of march with the old filter media. Cycled in 3 days.
  8. Esimm03Well Known MemberMember


    Sorry just noticed you said it had been running since march

    What are the peramiters (ammonia(you've done) nitrate, nitrite and PH))?

  9. DcchillinValued MemberMember

    temp- 77

    As of 2 hours ago
  10. Esimm03Well Known MemberMember


    In the pet store where you get them from, what do the tanks look like? Are they full of dead fish and alge or are they clean and the fish look bright and happy?

  11. DcchillinValued MemberMember

    Tanks are generally in good shape, no noticeable algae, wide selection of active fish. Although i will say the neons didnt look as great as some others ive seen elsewhere, but they were in a tank with some other fish so it was kind of hard to judge. idk like i said it could have just been sick neons, but the rest of the fish look good.

    Thefirst 4 neons came from another store, and i would probably say looking back they were noticably more vivid and they did fine until the new arrivals. But what caused one of my original healthy 4 to die in all this?
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  12. Esimm03Well Known MemberMember


    From what I can see ammonia is a bit high but nitrate and nitrite look ok and so does ammonia.(not sure about the others)

    Are you using a test strip or a luiquid test kit? (As the strips arn't very accurate)

  13. DcchillinValued MemberMember

    Liquid API master kit with additional kh/gh liquid tests. Ammonia is driving me nuts at that .25 but my first tank had the same issue until about 1 1/2-2mo in (literally the day before i tore it down it zeroed out). I started the tank using half RO half well water, but after a diatom bloom i decided it would be better to reconstitute RO. I use prime, neutral regulator, alkaline buffer, replenish. Mix it to 7.5 ph, 7ish kh, 14ish gh.
  14. Esimm03Well Known MemberMember

    Sounds like apart from the ammonia the water is ok, my guess is that the fish from the pet store probably had something when you bought them however I don't know much about fish desease so someone else will have to advise on that.


    P.s in a previous post you said the tank was 20 high, is that Gallons or Litres?
    P.p.s have you tried testing the well or RO water ? That could be the culprit for the ammonia.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2017
  15. DcchillinValued MemberMember

    20 gallon high.

    Tested both waters for ammonia, both were 0. Still quit using the well water. I think it had silicates and was causing diatom algae.
  16. Esimm03Well Known MemberMember


    I have no idea where the ammonia is coming from.

    As for what is causing the death I wouldn't know so someone else should know and be able to help.

    Good luck and I hope the problem gets sorted

  17. DcchillinValued MemberMember

    Thanks for the help man, hopefully someone will see the info we talked out and have an idea.
  18. ams083Valued MemberMember

    The ammonia reading 'could' be coming from the chemicals you're using - causing ammonium, which itself isn't toxic to fish, but will show up as an ammonia reading. There are a few water conditioners that can do this, depending on how much you're dosing.

    It also could be that your tank hasn't quite finished cycle yet - setting up in March and now half way through April, I suspect that this could be the case.

    As some other users have said, adding too many fish at once to a cycling or new cycled tank isn't the best.

    With regard to the neons, I would say the last lot you added were probably already sick. A few years ago I had about 10 neons in my 55g and went to my LFS that I've only ever gone to, and got another 10. Within days, I had most of them die, I had Congo's die and a few other tetra species. All water params were fine.

    After a discussion with my LFS about it, they had said another customer had a similar issue after getting neons - wiping out pretty much all of their tetras. It was decided the neons they got in must have been diseased already.

    Luckily my LFS are decent and gave me a credit for what had died. They also changed suppliers (for various other reasons too, but this probably took the cake).

    My advice would be not not buy any more fish - do a water change, only treat the top up water with what is required. Then leave the tank for a few days keeping a close on on your fish. Keep testing the tank. Change water if they show signs of stress. Don't add chemicals if you don't need to.

    My one concern is that there is something happening with the cycle - and that once it corrects itself, you may have a slight spike with your nitrites.
  19. AndromedaValued MemberMember

    A more simple (and horrible) answer may be the Neon Tetra Disease. It's quite common in neons due to their inbreeding, and I'm sorry to say there is no cure for it yet. Please read up on it and see if the symptoms match.
    It is contagious and the fish usually die before the symptoms have a chance of showing themselves. This is usually the case when neons suddenly start dropping like flies.
  20. DcchillinValued MemberMember

    When i transferred the old media to the tank i watched it cycle over about 3-4 days then even out. No parameters have moved since then accept nitrates, and even that was barely because its pretty heavily planted. i did the change two days ago, ill probably do another tomorrow or fri. give it a week see where im sitting. Im concerned if its ich or not, should i go pick up some medicine?

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