Neon tetras

Lauren Olivia

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I have a few general questions about my neon tetras. I have a school of 15 in a densely planted 100L. All parameters are as normal but they seem to be struggling. I’ve experienced this before when I’ve kept them but I didn’t really know what I was doing back then so I put it down to that. 2 have weird white patches (looks like when one got attacked), one has bumps and lesions all over and is very skinny, not sure how that one is still alive, and one is bloated with a bent spine to one side. Could this be my water? My water is quite hard and high ph so I was concerned about them but was advised that stable was better than trying to change them and having drastic swings. Should I try and change ph naturally with those leaves (forgot what they’re called)? I already have driftwood in the tank. Or is it just that neon tetras are fragile? I’ve already tried medicating with ESHa 2000 but can’t see any change. I’ve had them for almost two years I think, didn’t realise I’d had them for that long to be honest but they’re meant to live for 5 years.
 

Naughts

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It could be neon tetra disease or false neon tetra disease. Some of my neons have cysts that come and go and lumps on their mouth. I think mine have the latter as they don't have the bent spine or skinniness of NTD (your second photo). Both seem incurable :(. I too have tried ESHa and the double strength extra long course with no change. Mine do survive despite the illness though. A common symptom is mouth growths and other members euthanise fish that are badly affected to prevent a slow starvation. Clear NTD cases may need euthanising to prevent spreading the disease. Sorry :sad:

I think the Indian Almond Leaves will help as they have antibacterial properties. The white patches could be treated with aquarium salt - 10 tablespoons for your 100 litres, dissolve it in warm water before adding to the tank.
 

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Do you know the hardness of your water, Neon are soft water fish and hard water will stress their systems leaving them to have health issues. The neon water parameters go from 18ppm to 215ppm with the lower end much better for them. I use RO water to cut the hardness of my water to 50ppm for my neon and other tetras.
 
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Lauren Olivia

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It could be neon tetra disease or false neon tetra disease. Some of my neons have cysts that come and go and lumps on their mouth. I think mine have the latter as they don't have the bent spine or skinniness of NTD (your second photo). Both seem incurable :(. I too have tried ESHa and the double strength extra long course with no change. Mine do survive despite the illness though. A common symptom is mouth growths and other members euthanise fish that are badly affected to prevent a slow starvation. Clear NTD cases may need euthanising to prevent spreading the disease. Sorry :sad:

I think the Indian Almond Leaves will help as they have antibacterial properties. The white patches could be treated with aquarium salt - 10 tablespoons for your 100 litres, dissolve it in warm water before adding to the tank.
Thank you for the reply. I think it’s just that one that’s really severely affected, I’m not sure it’ll survive. Euthanasia may be my best option in this case then? I have heard that neon tetra disease is actually quite rare, and more commonly it’s other issues associated with the fish being so delicate from the way they’re bred.
 
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Lauren Olivia

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Do you know the hardness of your water, Neon are soft water fish and hard water will stress their systems leaving them to have health issues. The neon water parameters go from 18ppm to 215ppm with the lower end much better for them. I use RO water to cut the hardness of my water to 50ppm for my neon and other tetras.
Thank you for the reply. Ah yes I can probably get hold of some RO water, oh or could I use bottled water from the supermarket with a lower ph? Would that be any good? And is it the GH reading you want? I believe last time I tested that was around 215 but that’s as high as the chart goes on my test kit. But I can retest GH and KH if necessary. The water board for my area says the average hardness is 115mg/l calcium but I don’t know what that means to be honest.
 

Naughts

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Thank you for the reply. Ah yes I can probably get hold of some RO water, oh or could I use bottled water from the supermarket with a lower ph? Would that be any good? And is it the GH reading you want? I believe last time I tested that was around 215 but that’s as high as the chart goes on my test kit. But I can retest GH and KH if necessary. The water board for my area says the average hardness is 115mg/l calcium but I don’t know what that means to be honest.
If it is 115mg/l it won't need softening as this is only very slightly hard at 6.4 dGH (though the guppy may struggle). If it is 215ppm that is moderately hard at 12 dGH and could be a problem for the tetra. What test kit do you use?
 
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Naughts

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Thank you for the reply. I think it’s just that one that’s really severely affected, I’m not sure it’ll survive. Euthanasia may be my best option in this case then? I have heard that neon tetra disease is actually quite rare, and more commonly it’s other issues associated with the fish being so delicate from the way they’re bred.
Yes, it is unclear as is often the way with fish diseases. I'm assuming there is no hope for the skinny one but the one with the white patch could respond well to salt treatment.
 
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Lauren Olivia

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If it is 115mg/l it won't need softening as this is only very slightly hard at 6.4 dGH (though the guppy may struggle). If it is 215ppm that is moderately hard at 12 dGH and could be a problem for the tetra. What test kit do you use?
I have the API GH and KH test kit. When I tested before both were at the very top of the chart, needed the most drops to turn colour.
 
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Lauren Olivia

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Yes, it is unclear as is often the way with fish diseases. I'm assuming there is no hope for the skinny one but the one with the white patch could respond well to salt treatment.
Ok, thank you. Is there any issues with using salt with shrimp? I had heard that neons are more sensitive to salt so I assumed I couldn’t do that.
 
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Lauren Olivia

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My substrate is a mixture of Tropica planted tank substrate and some just black fish tank gravel. I do have some rocks in but in the description when I bought them it said they were unlikely to change water chemistry, but they were just named “black rock”. I can do some water tests straight out of the tap and from my tank tomorrow and get back to you on that. Is KH or GH the one I need or both?
 

Naughts

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Great, that will show if e is a disparity between tap and tank, or not.
 

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