Nitrogen cycle "new fish syndrome" question

CraigB7708

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I do understand the nitrogen cycle since that is a newbie issue I know. Putting in a smaller tank for my daughter, put in some filter media from my tank to jump start bacteria. Now with nothing in the tank other than plants there should be zero ammonia right? 6 Neon Tetra's dead overnight and I just really want to understand why. I did a ammonia test after they died and it was below .25, and that is with 6 dead fish in it overnight. The water was treated with conditioner, heated to normal 75 so what could have killed them so quickly? It had only sat 3 days but I thought with the addition of old media it would help start the cycle. I was planning on doing a water test in the morning to look for NH3 spikes but they were dead by then. That's the part of the cycle I do not understand. This was not a Ammonia spike clearly based on the test but something else.

Thanks
 

Byron

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Welcome to TFF. :hi:

There are several possible causes for fish dying overnight. Some more data would help. What is the tank size, water parameters (GH, pH), conditioner, were the fish newly acquired or moved from the other tank, how did you acclimate (if new fish).
 
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CraigB7708

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Welcome to TFF. :hi:

There are several possible causes for fish dying overnight. Some more data would help. What is the tank size, water parameters (GH, pH), conditioner, were the fish newly acquired or moved from the other tank, how did you acclimate (if new fish).
Seachem Prime was the conditioner it's a 29 gallon tank ph is 7.2 no idea on GH but same water as my 55 gallon tank which has 10 Neon's in it. But mine is established of course. Newly acquired fish from my local dealer I always use. And my standard acclimation leave them sit in bag for 30 minutes then I open and pour in some, maybe 1/2 cup, of the tank water and leave another 15 before I put them in the tank
 
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CraigB7708

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Seachem Prime was the conditioner it's a 29 gallon tank ph is 7.2 no idea on GH but same water as my 55 gallon tank which has 10 Neon's in it. But mine is established of course. Newly acquired fish from my local dealer I always use. And my standard acclimation leave them sit in bag for 30 minutes then I open and pour in some, maybe 1/2 cup, of the tank water and leave another 15 before I put them in the tank
By same water I mean same source not from my tank of course. Our local city water and then the Prime to condition it. Also had Frit Zyme Bacteria that I added before as well as the old floss from my tank into the HOB filter to jump start it
 

Byron

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I don't see anything specific from that. It may have been a considerable difference in water parameters from the store water to the tank. I acclimate much the same as you did, but of course this is not going to have much if any benefit if the store water is vastly different. Fish do not and cannot acclimate in a few hours, not even a few weeks. But healthy fish should not all die just from this. BTW, after mixing the water, did you net the fish out into the tank, or pour out fish and water into the tank? Never do the latter, always the former; the less store tank water the better as it can harbour all sorts of pathogens you do not want. Obviously these can come on the fish, hence the quarantine for new fish once the tank is established, but all sorts of undesirable stuff will be in the store tank water.

Neon tetras are genetically weakened thanks to the decades of inbreeding. They are much weaker than wild fish. There also could have been a genetic or health issue...in such cases it is sometimes worth checking the store tank to see if they too have lost any. If yes, that is likely the answer.

A 29g with just six neons would not have any ammonia increase as the fish/water ratio is so extensive. In a much smaller tank, or with many more fish, the opportunity for ammonia to rise significantly is much greater, but not here fro what you have indicated. And I doubt you will see nitrite either. If you have or can get some plants, especially floating, it will all but eliminate any chance of future "cycling" issues.
 
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CraigB7708

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I have some java fern and Anubis plants in it. I didn't really think anyone could have a real answer I appreciate the advice. I just hear Ammonia so often but really this wasn't a nitrogen cycle issue I don't think but more of the tetra issue. I didn't quarantine these fish since the tank was new and empty but generally I do.
Thanks again
 

utahfish

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I have some java fern and Anubis plants in it. I didn't really think anyone could have a real answer I appreciate the advice. I just hear Ammonia so often but really this wasn't a nitrogen cycle issue I don't think but more of the tetra issue. I didn't quarantine these fish since the tank was new and empty but generally I do.
Thanks again
Byron is the man, if i got hard questions hes the first one i go to! Glad he could give you some insight, when you mentioned your issue i was stumped.
 

Retired Viking

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I would wait one buying any more neon tetras for that tank until your tank is well established for at least 6 mos, I have lost a few neons in the past even with good water conditions but after 6 months or longer they seem to do better. I have read this advice on other sites too. I also have floating plants with my tetras since they come from South American jungle streams. Hornwort, Water Sprite and Anacharis work well and are easy to care for. Tetras like shade and are less stress in a tank where the lights are not too bright. Sorry about your neon tetras.
 

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