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Old 12-09-2019, 02:43 AM   #1
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Every fish died but the one with neon tetra disease

I did SO MUCH research before getting these babies. So heartbroken to have lost 12/13 fish. This is my second time keeping fish-- the first was a goldfish who lived very happy and healthy.

-13 fish in a 15-gallon tank: 6 neon tetras, 5 endler livebearers, and 2 sparkling gouramis.
-aquarium is heavily planted with floating plants
-temp set to 78 F, which is acceptable for all 3 species (NT: 70-81, SP: 75-85, EL: 71.5-80.5)
-slow-moving sponge filter

I cycled the tank on its own for several weeks, added 3 endler livebearers, cycled it a few more weeks, and got the rest of my fish. They began to die off one by one. I tested for ammonia and pH and saw that the pH was a little above 7 at 7.3. My goldfish was able to withstand this level, but I wonder if these little fish are more sensitive.

then I realized one tetra had an extremely bloated belly after eating (tumor like bulge in the belly) and was swimming so fast that it prevented the other fish from eating. I began putting my fish in my traveling tank just for feeding. After some research, I worried the super-fast fish had neon tetra disease. I isolated it in the traveling tank for over a week and it seemed to heal-- its behavior returned back to normal (no more fast swimming, bloated belly, erratic movements) so I put him back in the tank with the others.

Weeks later, all of the fish have died except the fast-swimming one that i now believe might still have neon tetra disease. I am beginning to think the problem may not have been pH levels but this disease. Are other species capable of catching it ? and why would the original sick tetra remain the only one living ? I am afraid to get more fish in case he is still sick but I don't know how to determine if he is. I didn't think the disease was curable yet he seems fine once again.

Very confused. Seeking advice. thanks for reading!
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Old 12-09-2019, 04:04 AM   #2
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Welcome to the community.

So very sad to hear that you have lost your fish.

One article - link in my signature can help with the beginnings of fish keeping. Having a good colony of beneficial bacteria in the tank to start off is important. Fluctuations in water quality can stress the fish and make them more apt to get sick.

A tank cycle can take 4-6 weeks. And not rinsing the filter pad in chlorinated water, or replacing it, is also really important.

It seems like the one fish that is still alive might have had either a bloat constipation thing. Crazy swimming can also be a response to toxic water quality.

The pH is fine for the Neons at 7-7.5.

As for the fish dying, did you ever use a test kit to see what the water parameters were during that time?

It is more likely that the fish had a disease which killed them. Maybe the one you isolated was able to have better water conditions and was able to recover.

Adding a big group of fish would be an increase in Ammonia, leading to probable unsafe water quality for the fish.
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