Problem with Neon Tetra?

David P.

New Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2022
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
Location
Mississippi
Hello,

I added 11 neons to my 30 gallon about 2 weeks ago and I noticed a day or 2 ago that one fish has some discoloration around its belly and near the dorsal fin. It's not acting unusual, eating fine and showing no other symptoms.

The tank also has 5 cherry shrimp and several live plants. Water temp is 76. It's cycled and ph is around 7.5.

Any idea what this might be and what I need to do?
Fish01.jpg
Fish02.jpg
Fish03.jpg
 

outofwater

Fishaholic
Joined
Jan 13, 2022
Messages
640
Reaction score
556
Location
Boston
It might be nothing, it could be something.

Not trying to sound like a smartass but me and others in the forum have gone thru the same thing and in my case it was deadly to some, in others it didn't amount amount anything. In both cases we couldn't get to a consensus on what it was.

Keep an eye to track if the "symptoms" appear on other fish, ensure your water parameters are good and keep the water clean.

As long as it doesn't spread and this particular fish stays healthy, it's really nothing to worry about or try and chase a "reason" for it or worse, try to medicate for.
 

dR3ws3r

New Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2022
Messages
58
Reaction score
24
Location
Virginia
I'm not an expert but localized loss of color can be a sign of neon tetra disease.
 

outofwater

Fishaholic
Joined
Jan 13, 2022
Messages
640
Reaction score
556
Location
Boston
Consider this: if the fish is eating and behaving as "normal" as it and your other fish have been doing so far, quarantining it might stress this single fish. And if indeed there's "something" already in the water, at this point your entire tank is "infected".

I suggest a major water change and a good cleaning of the substrate, and continued monitoring if both fish behavior and water quality as previous mentioned.

The only parallel I see with my own case (where deaths happened) and that of another forum member (where no fatalities occurred) is that it seemed to coincide with fairly new fish being brought in, be it as a whole group or newcomers to an already established school of tetras.
 
OP
OP
D

David P.

New Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2022
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
Location
Mississippi
Ok I appreciate everyone’s feedback. I’ll keep the water clean and post an update if anything changes.
 

itiwhetu

Naturally First
Pet of the Month!
Joined
Apr 29, 2012
Messages
8,825
Reaction score
6,592
Location
Hokitika, New Zealand
This looks like "Neon Tetra Disease". Did you notice it on the fish at the fish shop? . This should only be fatal to your Neon Tetras, there is no cure.
 

DoubleDutch

Fish Gatherer
Joined
May 7, 2013
Messages
2,428
Reaction score
2,011
Location
NL
Looks like the species specific strain of Columnaris (common name false Neon Tetra Disease). Clean water and a stressless environment could.solve the issue.
 
OP
OP
D

David P.

New Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2022
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
Location
Mississippi
I actually bought all of the neons they had at the store. This one didn’t develop the discoloration until the last few days and I’ve had them for 2 weeks. So no, none seemed to have a problem when I bought them.

I guess it is possible I missed it though because the coloring is mainly around the belly where they are lighter colored already.
 

Colin_T

Fish Guru
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
36,203
Reaction score
20,669
Location
Perth, WA
Hi and welcome to the forum :)

It looks like a bacterial infection (Columnaris/ neon disease), however that normally kills the fish within a day or two of them showing the white patch. These diseases also normally attack the fish and start killing the fish within a few days of you getting them, not two weeks later. You might have a slow growing form of Columnaris that came in with something else. This disease usually needs antibiotics.

The other possibility is a microsporidian infection, which causes the muscle tissue to turn cream/ white in colour over a period of time (weeks to months). This can be treated with salt.

---------------------
How long has the tank been set up for?
Have you added anything to the tank since you got the neons?

---------------------
You can either isolate any fish showing symptoms and treat them with something that kills bacteria. The remaining fish are monitored and if more get sick, you treat the main tank. Or just treat the main tank but that could wipe out the beneficial filter bacteria.

You can try adding salt to the main tank. It will treat microsporidian infections and can help slow or stop Columnaris from spreading, but it's not a 100% guarantee it won't spread.

If you do add salt, just leave all the fish in the tank and treat it with salt. Monitor the fish and if anything changes in the next few days, let us know immediately.

If it spreads to other fish and they start dying, you will need to treat the whole with an antibiotic.

---------------------
SALT
You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt) or swimming pool salt to the aquarium at the dose rate of 1 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres of water. If there is no improvement after 48 hours you can double that dose rate so there is 2 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

Keep the salt level like this for at least 2 weeks but no longer than 4 weeks otherwise kidney damage can occur. Kidney damage is more likely to occur in fish from soft water (tetras, Corydoras, angelfish, Bettas & gouramis, loaches) that are exposed to high levels of salt for an extended period of time, and is not an issue with livebearers, rainbowfish or other salt tolerant species.

The salt will not affect the beneficial filter bacteria, fish, plants, shrimp or snails.

After you use salt and the fish have recovered, you do a 10% water change each day for a week using only fresh water that has been dechlorinated. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that. This dilutes the salt out of the tank slowly so it doesn't harm the fish.

If you do water changes while using salt, you need to treat the new water with salt before adding it to the tank. This will keep the salt level stable in the tank and minimise stress on the fish.

When you first add salt, add the salt to a small bucket of tank water and dissolve the salt. Then slowly pour the salt water into the tank near the filter outlet. Add the salt over a couple of minutes.
 
OP
OP
D

David P.

New Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2022
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
Location
Mississippi
Hi and welcome to the forum :)

It looks like a bacterial infection (Columnaris/ neon disease), however that normally kills the fish within a day or two of them showing the white patch. These diseases also normally attack the fish and start killing the fish within a few days of you getting them, not two weeks later. You might have a slow growing form of Columnaris that came in with something else. This disease usually needs antibiotics.

The other possibility is a microsporidian infection, which causes the muscle tissue to turn cream/ white in colour over a period of time (weeks to months). This can be treated with salt.

---------------------
How long has the tank been set up for?
Have you added anything to the tank since you got the neons?

---------------------
You can either isolate any fish showing symptoms and treat them with something that kills bacteria. The remaining fish are monitored and if more get sick, you treat the main tank. Or just treat the main tank but that could wipe out the beneficial filter bacteria.

You can try adding salt to the main tank. It will treat microsporidian infections and can help slow or stop Columnaris from spreading, but it's not a 100% guarantee it won't spread.

If you do add salt, just leave all the fish in the tank and treat it with salt. Monitor the fish and if anything changes in the next few days, let us know immediately.

If it spreads to other fish and they start dying, you will need to treat the whole with an antibiotic.

---------------------
SALT
You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt) or swimming pool salt to the aquarium at the dose rate of 1 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres of water. If there is no improvement after 48 hours you can double that dose rate so there is 2 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

Keep the salt level like this for at least 2 weeks but no longer than 4 weeks otherwise kidney damage can occur. Kidney damage is more likely to occur in fish from soft water (tetras, Corydoras, angelfish, Bettas & gouramis, loaches) that are exposed to high levels of salt for an extended period of time, and is not an issue with livebearers, rainbowfish or other salt tolerant species.

The salt will not affect the beneficial filter bacteria, fish, plants, shrimp or snails.

After you use salt and the fish have recovered, you do a 10% water change each day for a week using only fresh water that has been dechlorinated. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that. This dilutes the salt out of the tank slowly so it doesn't harm the fish.

If you do water changes while using salt, you need to treat the new water with salt before adding it to the tank. This will keep the salt level stable in the tank and minimise stress on the fish.

When you first add salt, add the salt to a small bucket of tank water and dissolve the salt. Then slowly pour the salt water into the tank near the filter outlet. Add the salt over a couple of minutes.
Thanks, trying to process all this but the tank was set up for 2 to 3 months before adding fish and I haven't added anything other than a few plants since I got the fish.
 

Colin_T

Fish Guru
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
36,203
Reaction score
20,669
Location
Perth, WA
Chuck some salt in the tank and monitor them. Hopefully it doesn't spread.
 
OP
OP
D

David P.

New Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2022
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
Location
Mississippi
Just to update everyone on this, all of the fish are doing fine and I can’t see the discoloration on the individual fish anymore. I’ve just been keeping the water clean, feeding the fish well, and trying to keep stress low. Not sure if we are out of the woods but things look good right now.
 

Most reactions

trending

Staff online

Members online

Top