What is the secret in keeping neon tetra's alive

Blk69

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Thinking about restocking my tank. Tired to keep neon tetra's in the past with poor results. Is their a secret to keep these little guys happy and alive? I have a much bigger tank now (75 gal), do 25% water changes now (before not so much) and have 20 more years of life experience vs. the last time I tried.

Any hints greatly appreciated.
 

ClearEyes

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Is your tank fully cycled? They're not a good fish for a fish-in cycle. How big of a school did you keep them in in the past?

Also, in general, they're just kind of fragile, unfortunately :/
 
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Blk69

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In the past just keep a few at a time. Had a 20 gallon long aquarium.
 

ClearEyes

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How much is a few at a time? They need 6 minimum, but 8-10 or more would be even better. But they still tend to be touch and go, and need to introduced into a fully established aquarium.
 

aliray

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I cycled my ten gal with 6 neon tertras one year ago using TSS and a fish in cycle. I run a whole house water softener on my house. The water comes out of my tap Ph7.6 and 000 for ammonia, nitrites and nitates. I also started a blackwater tank using mopanI driftwood to add tannins to the water. I put some live plants in a week before I started and retested the water after a week. Went to the fish store and bought 6 neons. Put the bag in to bring it up to temp then dumped in the whole bottle of TSS. I did nothing but count heads 2 times a day and feed. at the end of the 2 weeks the tank was cycled and there still all alive and healthy and growing. Alison
 

Dadio

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Years ago it wasn't that hard but with many NT's today they are genetically flawed for the most part and very susceptible to sickness, especially the NTD. I have fish much more fragile to water conditions and never had issues with, but with nt's it's a 50/50 you'll get a good stock.
 

Dom90

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Genetically flawed? Are you referring to the whole glofish controversy?


 

Dadio

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Neon tetras. The mass fast breeding on NT's on the whole have produced a very weakened breed, that is of course you have a better source. Many of the nt's end up with sickness and having just culled 3 on them due to signs of NTD. I gave them the best chance possible but they ended up simply getting worse. So one breed that I will stay away from is neon tetras. Cardinal tetras are a much better bet imo.

As for artificially altered breeds, there is no controversy as it is what it is. Unnatural genetically modified breeds that don't exist in a natural world.
 

Et tu

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What works for me is # 1 a fully established tank ( the older the better )
# 2 very slow drip acclimate ( over many hours )
# 3 the more the merrier ( safety in numbers )
Last week had my 1st neon death in over 6 years, no apparent cause, she was plump and in excellent color...could have just been her time.
 

Thunder_o_b

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Find out when the store is planning to get them in. Then watch them for a week. After a week or so the worst of them will have died off. There is still a large number that are wild caught. There are tribes who's main income is from catching neons. Ask around to see if the stock is farm rase or wild .

The next thing is neons are a skittish fish and known fin nippers of fish with long flowing fins. Watch what fish you mix them with. Betts are a big no, no.

Being an active school fish they should be very happy in a 75 gal tank. I would have a school of 30 to 40 in a tank that size with plants and limit the other fish. With school fish I like to make the tank a species tank with a couple of other fish that encourage them to keep a tight school.
 

Aqua Hero

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Blk69 said:
Thinking about restocking my tank. Tired to keep neon tetra's in the past with poor results. Is their a secret to keep these little guys happy and alive? I have a much bigger tank now (75 gal), do 25% water changes now (before not so much) and have 20 more years of life experience vs. the last time I tried.

Any hints greatly appreciated.
cycled tank
clean water
plants
good quality food
a school of 6+
big enough than for them to move
kept with non aggressive fish
Bought from a repeatable store

if you do that your neons will live. that's all I did when I first got mine
 

Dadio

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Aqua Hero said:
cycled tank
clean water
plants
good quality food
a school of 6+
big enough than for them to move
kept with non aggressive fish
Bought from a repeatable store

if you do that your neons will live. that's all I did when I first got mine
Did all that, had a school of 12 hand-picked neon tetras. Out of the 12, 3 are left and they all developed NTD. Out of all the species I keep, these are the worst in terms of immunity towards sickness and deformities. Are there quality breeders, sure there are but they a next to few to none. IMO, this breed will always be a chance to buy and maybe you get lucky and maybe you don't.
 

ClearEyes

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Last time I was at the LFS, about half the neon tetras in their tank barely had any color. I'd definitely only buy out of a vibrantly colored, energetic tank.
 

KarenLM

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I have tried neons 3 times in my tank, all after cycling and have "0" left.
A total of 44 bought - nice schools. I will not be trying them ever again.

As Dadio has stated, it's more likely you'll get a weak batch than a good one. And if they are weak they may bring disease into your tank.

IMO they are not worth it. I've never tried Cardinals but a lot of folks on here say they are tougher. I would recommend you look into them instead.
 

ClearEyes

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KarenLM said:
IMO they are not worth it. I've never tried Cardinals but a lot of folks on here say they are tougher. I would recommend you look into them instead.
I have 8 cardinals who were introduced to a tank that was just one month cycled. They've been thriving for months now. They're also pigs when it comes to feeding Each individual one eats more than my dwarf gourami!
 

Dadio

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As much as I like them just can't justify them with the high loss factors. I've gone threadfin rainbows and forktails in my community tank and will mostly likely cull the last 3 neons. Besides that, they're a more nippy bunch of fish on another note. The antics of the forktails and threadfins are captivating and funny and work great as schooling fish for me.
 

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For me it's just getting good healthy stock from a good source. After found through 2 schools of neon tetras and both getting ick, I switched to a different store and have had the 8 from there for about a year now! No issues they are super fragile and you do have to be careful with everything though. Good luck!
 

Aqua Hero

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Scoutsfish said:
For me it's just getting good healthy stock from a good source. After found through 2 schools of neon tetras and both getting ick, I switched to a different store and have had the 8 from there for about a year now! No issues they are super fragile and you do have to be careful with everything though. Good luck!
I totally agree. If you go to a good store then you are likely to get a good strong stock. I shop at Aquatic Design Centre which according to practicalfishkeeping is the second best in West London.

Everything I buy there thrives
 

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