please help me keep my neon tetras alive Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by lorianne621, Jul 7, 2014.

  1. lorianne621Valued MemberMember

    Please help me keep my Neons alive.

    For some reason I really have a hard time with Neons. I have tried several times to get a decent size school and they just don't do well. Other fish in this tank do fine. The only other fish in this tank right now are 6 male Endlers, 2 Bristlenose Plecos, 6 ghost shrimp and 4 Nerite snails. It is a 30 gallon tank. It is well stocked with plant life and is an established tank. I also have 5 Neon Tetras that have been in the tank for over a year and have been healthy. When I bought them, I bought 12 and lost 10, I replaced the 10 and lost 8 and ended up with 4 that I transferred to this tank. I tried again about 4 months later and only one survived to the end.

    Well Petco has them on sale for $1 again and I bought 10 this time. So I brought them home and tested the water they were in.

    This is what I got...

    PH 8.6
    AM 0.25
    NI 0
    NA 0
    KH 10 (drops)
    GH 10 (drops)

    Since our area has really hard water with high PH I use RO water in my tanks and mix with a little bit of tap water for minerals... and the tank I want to put them in have readings like this...

    PH 8
    AM 0
    NI 0
    NA 10
    KH 6 (drops)
    GH 4 (drops)

    It is obvious to me that the tank at Petco is not cycled... but I don't understand why the fish are not dying??? Maybe they move them out of there too quickly. They said they had been there since Friday and this is Monday...

    Can I just acclimate them to water conditions similar to the tank they are going in? Or do I need to change the KH and GH slowly over time? I know I need to drop the PH slowly and dropping the KH and GH will help me do that I think... How much time should I take and how long can I leave them in the bag from the store? I put some prime in there with them but I am not sure the water in there isn't worse than what I have for them in the QT tank...

    Please help

  2. FishyWater2525Valued MemberMember


    I too have had problems in the past with neons. After talking to some people I found that they aren't the best beginner fish and die very easily. My local pet store says that over half the neons they order die right off the bat. But it's mostly because of poor acclamation. Neons can be quite sensitive, so having water that's as close to perfect as you can get is very important. I would also strongly advise drip acclimation to make sure they adjust properly.
    I know some of this stuff wasn't exactly what you wanted to hear, but by being very careful and patient, you should have a very good outcome with the next ones!!!
    Good Luck!!! ;)

  3. pprocygValued MemberMember

  4. lorianne621Valued MemberMember

    I am aware that Neons are not a hardy fish. The five I have are healthy and the females get egg heavy, though I don't think the conditions are right for eggs to hatch, I understand that is tricky. I have also heard that they shock fairly easily and many are lost in the transfer to the pet stores and then again when sold. I just seem to be having so much trouble that I thought there must be a way to ease the transition some. I hate to keep killing fish if it is unnecessary.

    And... I did drip acclimate the other two batches in which I had more than half of them die... not sure what went wrong... I did not test the pet store water either time in the first two batches...

    This time, this is what I have done so far. Tested my water and the Petco water and compared, results in post #1.

    Set up a 5 gallon QT tank with water very similar to the Petco water with the exception that I put a filter in it from one of my established tanks (they all have several filters) so that it would be cycled right off the get go.

    I then drip acclimated the Neons yesterday to the new tank. I also added both Prime and Stress Guard to the water.

    They are all fine and eating this morning. So they are doing better than the other schools I bought previously in which I lost a couple each day.

    I also counted them this morning and found that I have 11 and not 10. They gave me an extra one, such a nice surprise!

    So, my plan is to slowly change the hardness and PH of the water to equal the tank they are going into. I usually quarantine for about a month so I think I will take the full month to change the parameters and that way I can be sure to cause the least amount of shock to the fish.

    If anyone has any suggestions or has had experience with this, I would love to hear from you.
  5. lorianne621Valued MemberMember

    Well, so far so good. I still have all 11 Neons alive and well. :D
  6. lorianne621Valued MemberMember

    I thought I would update this and let you know that all the neons have survived and have now been moved over to the main tank. They have been there for several days and are doing well. They are now of school of 16. So pretty! Matching the KH and slowly changing it seemed to be the answer. :D
  7. DelaneywWell Known MemberMember

    I don't know what the thing is about neons. When I was little we had them, no knowledge of water parameters or anything. They bred like crazy!!! Now I know this information and how fragile they're supposed to be!

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  8. Fishboy123Valued MemberMember

    The neons these days are very sensitive and it is pretty hard to find a hardy strain. But once you found one it's really easy to keep them. I would agree with the others and drip acclimate them. Tbh expect a couple to not make it because sometimes it's really hard to keep them alive the first couple weeks

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  9. Bob EllisValued MemberMember

    I, too, remembered from my youth that neons were supposed to be sturdy beginner fish. Since restarting with a tank very recently I have read here and in other sources that much of the breeding stock of neons these days is overbred which has lead to them being much more fragile. Because of this I am starting my tank with glowlight tetras from a source that seems to be hardy. Once the water settles down I'll put in the neons.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  10. lorianne621Valued MemberMember

    I was under the impression that the majority of neon tetras were wild caught. I thought I had read that neon tetras did not breed easily in captivity and that is the reason they are wild caught and shipped into the stores.
    I know that the parameters have to be really right for them to spawn... low light, soft water, lots of tannins if I remember right...
    Anyone out there know for sure???
  11. Bob EllisValued MemberMember

    I doubt they are anything but farm bred these days.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  12. amdpayneValued MemberMember

    That's great your neons are doing well! I didn't have much luck with mine, so I'm hoping cherry barbs will be a bit more my speed. ;)

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