Neons Dropping Like Flies

Dcchillin

Member
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.
 

MattS99

Member
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.
 

PurpleRose

Member
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..
 
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Dcchillin

Member
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, doesn't 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 don't 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 wasn't 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 I'm still kind of a novice, and the store has given me questionable advice about plants that even I knew was incorrect. idk, regardless the aI'm 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.
 

PurpleRose

Member
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?
 

Esimm03

Member
Dcchillin said:
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, doesn't 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 don't 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 wasn't 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.
Hi,

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.


Ethan
 
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Dcchillin

Member
Xbox62 said:
Hi,

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.


Ethan
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.
 

Esimm03

Member
Xbox62 said:
Hi,

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.


Ethan
Hi,

Sorry just noticed you said it had been running since march

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

Ethan
 
  • Thread Starter

Dcchillin

Member

Esimm03

Member
Dcchillin said:
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.
Ok,

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?

Ethan
 
  • Thread Starter

Dcchillin

Member
Xbox62 said:
Ok,

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?

Ethan
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?
 

Esimm03

Member
Dcchillin said:
ph-7.5
nh-.25
no2-0
no3-5
kh-6
gh-13
temp- 77

As of 2 hours ago
Ok,

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)

Ethan
 
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Dcchillin

Member
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.
 

Esimm03

Member
Dcchillin said:
Liquid API master kit with additional kh/gh liquid tests. Ammonio 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.
Ok,
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.

Ethan

P.s in a previous post you said the tank was 20 high, is that Gallons or Litres?
Dcchillin said:
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.
Xbox62 said:
Ok,
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.

Ethan

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.
 
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Dcchillin

Member
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.
 

Esimm03

Member
Dcchillin said:
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.
Ok,

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

Ethan
 
  • Thread Starter

Dcchillin

Member
Xbox62 said:
Ok,

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

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

ams083

Member
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 55 gallon 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.
 

Andromeda

Member
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.
 
  • Thread Starter

Dcchillin

Member
ams083 said:
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 55 gallon 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.
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 I'm sitting. I'm concerned if its ich or not, should I go pick up some medicine?

Andromeda said:
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.
Wow, I googled this and its almost line for line what ive seen. White spots, Fish not schooling with the others, fin rot (had noticed a couple with fins that look almost shredded) and bloating. I always had one or two hiding on the other side of the tank, I figured they were just antisocial. but mix it with the rest and it seems to fit the bill...
 

Kiks

Member
I know people have different experiences with neons. My own experience with them is horrible. Could be something as simple as the 0.25 ppm ammonia killing them. IMO they're not very hardy and can't tolerate any ammonia at all.
 

BeanFish

Member
Your ammonia was 0.25 which is not good, that should be your answer. You also got what sounds like sick fish so sick stressed fish plus ammonia spike... not good.
And yeah, you might want to look into neon tetra disease, I can't think of anything else that will kill all your neons.
 

Andromeda

Member
Dcchillin said:
Wow, I googled this and its almost line for line what ive seen. White spots, Fish not schooling with the others, fin rot (had noticed a couple with fins that look almost shredded) and bloating. I always had one or two hiding on the other side of the tank, I figured they were just antisocial. but mix it with the rest and it seems to fit the bill...
I'm really sorry to be the bearer of bad news
Infected fish must immediately be quarantined. Seeing as there is no survival rate, some people choose to euthanasia the fish before they suffer too much.
But at all costs, infected neons MUST be moved away from the others.

For future reference, just so you know, cardinals are hardier and genetically stronger than neons. Though similar, cardinals are less inbred and hence less easily susceptible to disease.
 
  • Thread Starter

Dcchillin

Member
Well, I'm kind of screwed at this point. I don't have a quarantine tank, I can use tank water, an airstone, and a tupperware bowl to watch the one I'm most concerned about for now.

As far as the ammonia, .25 is really lethal? the rest of my fish, snails and shrimps seem to be thriving. Its jsut the slightest shade off yellow (0) on my liquid test. As ive said, ive tried dosing prime on the tank directly and I dose every water change. idk what else I can do to get rid of it.
 

BeanFish

Member
Also, if the fish look sick, don't buy them... or at least if they are in bad conditions buy them for cheaper and put them in quarantine if you really want them, and I mean a real quarantine, AKA 3 months.

Dcchillin said:
Well, I'm kind of screwed at this point. I don't have a quarantine tank, I can use tank water, an airstone, and a tupperware bowl to watch the one I'm most concerned about for now.

As far as the ammonia, .25 is really lethal? the rest of my fish, snails and shrimps seem to be thriving. Its jsut the slightest shade off yellow (0) on my liquid test. As ive said, ive tried dosing prime on the tank directly and I dose every water change. idk what else I can do to get rid of it.
If you dosed prime for the whole volume of the tank then there is no ammonia.
 
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Dcchillin

Member
BeanFish said:
Also, if the fish look sick, don't buy them... or at least if they are in bad conditions buy them for cheaper and put them in quarantine if you really want them, and I mean a real quarantine, AKA 3 months.
hindsight is 20/20

BeanFish said:
If you dosed prime for the whole volume of the tank then there is no ammonia.
I did a week or so ago, and I dose the 10 gallons I changed 2 days ago.
 

Andromeda

Member
BeanFish said:
Also, if the fish look sick, don't buy them... or at least if they are in bad conditions buy them for cheaper and put them in quarantine if you really want them, and I mean a real quarantine, AKA 3 months.
Not buying them would be the smart thing to do. Though there are many who try to 'rescue' these fish by buying them. They have a good heart.
 

ams083

Member
Dcchillin said:
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 I'm sitting. I'm concerned if its ich or not, should I go pick up some medicine?
I don't suspect it to be ich, you would definitely know if you had that.

I agree with the others that it being a diseased batch of fish you have added. I'd go back to where you got them and let them know, ask if anyone else had had an issue.

As stated, there really isn't anything to treat so I wouldn't go wasting money on different medicines.

Two things I always have available to me though are Melafix and Pimafix - have a look at those and decide whether you think it may be beneficial to you. I'll use Melafix when adding new fish or after a water change if I've done a substantial one.
 
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Dcchillin

Member
Andromeda said:
Not buying them would be the smart thing to do. Though there are many who try to 'rescue' these fish by buying them. They have a good heart.
Ya, it was only my second purchase of neons, so I didnt know if it was just the stress of moving or not. Also I thought I had a decent tank so I might be able to bring them back.

As far as removing them, should I take the one that has visible signs only? or should I just remove all 3 remaining?
 

ams083

Member
Kiks said:
I know people have different experiences with neons. My own experience with them is horrible. Could be something as simple as the 0.25 ppm ammonia killing them. IMO they're not very hardy and can't tolerate any ammonia at all.
Agreed. I'd even go one step further and say tetras I'm general. After most of my tetras got wiped out because of a dodgy batch of neons I decided to stay away from them and keep other species instead.
 

Andromeda

Member
Dcchillin said:
Ya, it was only my second purchase of neons, so I didnt know if it was just the stress of moving or not. Also I thought I had a decent tank so I might be able to bring them back.

As far as removing them, should I take the one that has visible signs only? or should I just remove all 3 remaining?
If I were you I would remove them all, keep the clearly sick one separate and the rest in another tank/large container/whatever you can find. We can't be choosy at this point, I'm afraid.
Keep a keen eye on the others for the smallest symptoms. Good luck! I will pray for your fish
 
  • Thread Starter

Dcchillin

Member
ams083 said:
Agreed. I'd even go one step further and say tetras I'm general. After most of my tetras got wiped out because of a dodgy batch of neons I decided to stay away from them and keep other species instead.
was already considering this

Andromeda said:
If I were you I would remove them all, keep the clearly sick one separate and the rest in another tank/large container/whatever you can find. We can't be choosy at this point, I'm afraid.
Keep a keen eye on the others for the smallest symptoms. Good luck! I will pray for your fish
I only have 1 extra air stone, so could I keep the other 2 "healthy" ones in the tank? only other fish are guaramI and pleco. theyre not susceptible are they?
 

Andromeda

Member
No, they are not susceptible thankfully. Keep them in the tank if you wish but I would suggest frequent water changes and keen observation.
Look, I'll be real with you. The chances are your other two are already infected and just aren't showing the signs yet. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.

And in the worst case scenario, if your entire batch does pass away, DO NOT replenish your tank with a fresh batch.
 
  • Thread Starter

Dcchillin

Member
Andromeda said:
And in the worst case scenario, if your entire batch does pass away, DO NOT replenish your tank with a fresh batch.
At this point, with 7/10 down I'm assuming the other 3 aren't far behind.

As far as not adding more after...Ever? or wait a certain amount of time? or just switch to a different fish?
 

Andromeda

Member
It would be easier on you to switch to another fish altogether for a while if you're planning on restocking.
But I'm not saying you can never have neons again
Just give your tank some time to breathe the disease out entirely. Easier to be patient than to lose more fish.
 
  • Thread Starter

Dcchillin

Member
should I just euthanize this single tetra? I feel bad regardless. Hes either sick and going to be alone in a bucket his last few days, or I miss diagnosed and hes going to be alone and stress to death...
 

Andromeda

Member
I'm really sorry but that's not a decision I can make for you.
 
  • Thread Starter

Dcchillin

Member
Andromeda said:
I'm really sorry but that's not a decision I can make for you.
I'm just asking if it would be an option. I don't want to kill things for no reason, I do care about these animals. I don't want to do it if there is a possibility he'll be ok.

Hes on his own, I did a 25% change, dosed prime for the tank volume as well and cleaned up a bit.
 

Andromeda

Member
Give him a fighting chance. There's always the possibility that we diagnosed him wrong. If it is the disease, he won't suffer for long.
 
  • Thread Starter

Dcchillin

Member
24 hours later, the only one living is the one I removed. Makes me wonder if it was a tank issue, but the one I quarantined is in tank water. I'm at a loss.

Could the guaramI be stressing them to death? every time ive watched he seems to ignore them. idk what else it could be...
 

Kiks

Member
Dcchillin said:
24 hours later, the only one living is the one I removed. Makes me wonder if it was a tank issue, but the one I quarantined is in tank water. I'm at a loss.

Could the guaramI be stressing them to death? every time ive watched he seems to ignore them. idk what else it could be...
If they're all sick and in the same tank, then there's a lot of sickness going on and they're probably stressed, maybe even stressing each other out. The one you removed got a space of its own with nothing stressing it out. Could be the reason why it's still alive.
 
  • Thread Starter

Dcchillin

Member
Kiks said:
If they're all sick and in the same tank, then there's a lot of sickness going on and they're probably stressed, maybe even stressing each other out. The one you removed got a space of its own with nothing stressing it out. Could be the reason why it's still alive.
Ah ok, he doesn't look healthy at all but he's still here for at least a few more hours...
 

Kiks

Member
Dcchillin said:
Ah ok, he doesn't look healthy at all but he's still here for at least a few more hours...
Well, it's definitely not for sure that that's why it's still alive, but could be. I don't remember - have you tried treating them? You could try treating the one that's left.
 

bigdreams

Member
Sorry to hear about the loss. Wanted to point out that true neon tetra disease is a wasting disease... Take months for it to develop and kill the fish. If your fish all died rapidly more like some other tank issue.

Your GH is 13 degrees? That's hard water. Neons need soft water, how did you acclimate them? Stress from a bad acclimation can kill them off over the course of a couple of days.

I also recommend cardinal tetras over neons. But they aren't easier either when introducing them to your tank. Lost 25-50% of them when I first got them (two different batches), but the survivors have been with me almost 9 months now so far so good.

As others pointed out, you went from 2 neons to 8 neons plus a gourami. That probably most likely caused a minI cycle.
 
  • Thread Starter

Dcchillin

Member
bigdreams said:
Sorry to hear about the loss. Wanted to point out that true neon tetra disease is a wasting disease... Take months for it to develop and kill the fish. If your fish all died rapidly more like some other tank issue.

Your GH is 13 degrees? That's hard water. Neons need soft water, how did you acclimate them? Stress from a bad acclimation can kill them off over the course of a couple of days.

I also recommend cardinal tetras over neons. But they aren't easier either when introducing them to your tank. Lost 25-50% of them when I first got them (two different batches), but the survivors have been with me almost 9 months now so far so good.

As others pointed out, you went from 2 neons to 8 neons plus a gourami. That probably most likely caused a minI cycle.
Ya but the parameters didnt change at all. idk after adding guppies 2/4 died over a day as well. Imm acclimating them, floating bag, adding 1/2 cup every 15 min for an hour. I'm at a loss.
 

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