Need Help With Neon Tetra

JonesLemurC

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Hello,
 
I need help with my Neon Tetras. I had 4 to begin with, one died the same day we got it. The others lasted about 5 months. One about a month ago started doing barrel rolls and couldn't swim straight, darting around really fast. He died a week later.
 
Two days ago, our 3rd fish began doing barrel rolls and acting the same way. So I cleaned the tank, the filter, and the rocks. I usually do a partial water change, but this time I changed the entire tank. Two days later the 3rd died. Today the 4th began doing the barrel rolls and darting around too. 
 
What should I do to fix this issue? I have a 3.5 gallon tank, and now only one fish and a couple small snails (smaller than a dime).
 
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BettaBettas

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did u add the water that the fish came with to the tank, if you did quarantine immediately your remaining fish.
 

Ch4rlie

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A few things spring to mind about this.
 
The cleaning of the filter and tank may have inadvertedly removed a lot of the bacterias that is needed to keep the tank cycled to deal with ammonia and nitrite. Did you cycle the tank before adding the neons?
 
Cycling Your New Fresh Water Tank: Read This First!
 
Second, 3.5 gals US is far too small a tank size for neon tetras despite their small size. The only stocking that really suitable for a 3.5 gal tank is a betta splenden or shrimps set up and snails :/
 
Neon Tetra - Paracheirodon innesi
 
Neons are, imho, not an ideal starter fish to have for beginners to this hobby, they are not that hardy, in fact pretty susceptical to diseases and in particuar neon tetra disease (NTD) and do best in an established tank rather than a newly set up tank.
 
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JonesLemurC

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I did cycle the water before hand, and no, I didn't add the water they came with into the tank. In fact, when I first got them I filled the tank with new water and have done partial water changes weekly. This is only the second time I've done a full water change. I also added a nitrate and heavy metal remover, aka water conditioner to the tank. I added each time I did the partial water changes and of course after the full water change. 
 
Is there any other cause as to why each of the fish have begun barrel rolling before dying?
 

cowgirluntamed

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You cycled the tank with ammonia to let bacteria be established before adding the fish or did you just let it run? Letting it run doesn't cycle it. Which water conditioner do you use? Im not sure they normally handle nitrate removal, that's the job of the water changes. Do you have high nitrates in the tap? Also, what is your ph? Have you tested for the quality like ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate?
 

Aquarian58

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Anecdotally, Neons seem to be a pretty good indicator of how healthy a tank is.
 
It may be over-symplifying things to suggest that a happy Neon means a happy tank, but in my experience, that seems to be the case.
 
Fortunately, in my neighbourhood, Neons are inexpensive and are usually my first choice in testing the readiness of a newly set up tank after all the other checks and balances are done.
 
likewise, if they start going belly-up, it's usually a sign something is wrong, even though everything may visually appear to be normal.
smile.png
 
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JonesLemurC

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I don't have a kit at home to test the water, so I took it to a local fish store where they tested it. They said we had high ammonia levels but otherwise it was fine, and gave me a conditioner that dechlorinates the water and removes "heavy metals." Could it be my filter?
 

Ch4rlie

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JonesLemurC said:
I don't have a kit at home to test the water, so I took it to a local fish store where they tested it. They said we had high ammonia levels but otherwise it was fine, and gave me a conditioner that dechlorinates the water and removes "heavy metals." Could it be my filter?
 
:x
 
High ammonia level, is not otherwise fine at all. Did they mention numbers for nitrite or nitrate at all?
 
Ugh, I hate when LFS says stuff like that.
 
First off, your tank is definitely not cycled if it is not processing ammonia to nitrite am afraid. So this is the first issue you must deal with first before going any further.
 
Please read the article I already linked in my first post, but will link again here  - Cycling Your New Fresh Water Tank: Read This First!
 
Secondly, I'd rehome that neon tetra you have remaining and start the fishless cycle otherwise would be entirely pointless in getting any more fish for that tank. Any fish in that water with ammonia will simply get ill and very likely will die unless you change the water every day until the tank eventually becomes cycled, this is a much longer process and involves more testing and water changes just to warn you.
 
So the simplest and fastest method is to read that article, get a test kit and a small bottle of ammonia, easiest and cheaper online to get those, and start doing a fishless cycle.
 

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