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Old 02-07-2024, 01:29 PM   #1
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Fat tetra or illness?

Fat tetra, or illness?
Ive noticed one of my tetras grow a large belly recently. Heís always been one of the larger fish, but not noticed this before.

He seems perfectly fine, isnít gasping, is still eating, no issues swimming/floating, but as you can see, is a much rounder belly than the others. Is this something to be concerned about?
Nh3 - 0
No2- 0
No3- 0/5
PH- 8
KH - 11
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Old 02-07-2024, 02:52 PM   #2
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Fat tetra, or illness?
Ive noticed one of my tetras grow a large belly recently. He’s always been one of the larger fish, but not noticed this before.

He seems perfectly fine, isn’t gasping, is still eating, no issues swimming/floating, but as you can see, is a much rounder belly than the others. Is this something to be concerned about?
Nh3 - 0
No2- 0
No3- 0/5
PH- 8
KH - 11
Female Neon Tetras will be larger than males so your He getting a larger belly is actually a She becoming " gravid" ( meaning carrying eggs). You don't need to do anything about this and should continue doing what you're presently doing. Neons are egg layers and this type of fish can go an entire lifetime without breeding. Except for after eating, the fish should maintain the amount of roundness and only shrink after expelling some eggs. If you see her continue to grow rounder and start to struggle with swimming or breathing, that would be a different story.
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Old 02-07-2024, 02:59 PM   #3
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Female Neon Tetras will be larger than males so your He getting a larger belly is actually a She becoming " gravid" ( meaning carrying eggs). You don't need to do anything about this and should continue doing what your presently doing. Neons are egg layers and this type of fish can go an entire lifetime without breeding. Except for after eating, the fish should maintain the amount of roundness and only shrink after expelling some eggs. If you see her continue to grow rounder and start to struggle with swimming or breathing, that would be a different story.
Does the one in middle look a bit emaciated to you?
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Old 02-07-2024, 04:55 PM   #4
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oh amazing. Sorry if this is a stupid question, but shouild i be expectingm baby tetras, or will she just lay non-fertalised eggs?


i usually give them a pinch of flakes every other day ( have a bit of a snail and debris issue, which i read can be countere dby lowerign the feeding, and therefore waste) but ill up it to a daily feed
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Old 02-07-2024, 05:37 PM   #5
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Does the one in middle look a bit emaciated to you?
Yes. I noticed that too but the other male ( I believe there are 3 females and 2 males in pic #2) looked okay so I it could be just a one time not enough food thing.
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Old 02-07-2024, 05:59 PM   #6
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oh amazing. Sorry if this is a stupid question, but shouild i be expectingm baby tetras, or will she just lay non-fertalised eggs?


i usually give them a pinch of flakes every other day ( have a bit of a snail and debris issue, which i read can be countere dby lowerign the feeding, and therefore waste) but ill up it to a daily feed
Don't worry, it's not a stupid question if you don't already know the answer.
As for feeding, the fish should really be fed 2-3 times per day because the shop and the farm that bred them probably fed them at least that often. The secret to not overfeeding is to think of the amount of food you feed in a day as a pizza pie. There is a set amount you should feed during a day. If you feed once a day ( not the recommended way BTW ) you feed it all. If you feed 2 times per day, you split the total amount in half and only feed the half at each feeding. If you feed 3 times a day, you feed 1/3 of the total amount at each feeding. You could feed 8 times a day as long as you only feed 1/8 of the total amount at each feeding. The way to figure out how much food you need in a whole day is to roughly measure 2 equal piles of food. Feed one pile. If the fish finish the one pile in under 2 minutes, you need to add more and increase the amount in the pile you didn't feed. Do it again for the next feedings. Once you see how much the fish eat in a day, you have your total amount of food. A good way to feed your fish and keep them healthy is to feed multiple types of foods so the rule of thumb is always " as much as they will eat in 2-3 minutes " at each feeding.

Now, if you see that the first amount was too much and there is plenty of food left over after 3 minutes, you should remove it from the tank with either a net or siphon hose. This will help keep the snail population in check. At the next feeding reduce the amount of food you feed until you zero in on how much you need to feed. You will probably find that the fish will not eat the same amount at each feeding which is why you use the clock as much as the amount of food.

Hope this didn't confuse you.
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Old 02-08-2024, 01:25 PM   #7
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Don't worry, it's not a stupid question if you don't already know the answer.

im assuming then theres nothing i really need to do here, and just let nature take its course, and then wait to see if she lays eggs and if they ever end up hatching or not? ive had them in for 2 years or so and was under the assumption they were all the same sex, so was abit surprised by this haha



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As for feeding, the fish should really be fed 2-3 times per day because the shop and the farm that bred them probably fed them at least that often. The secret to not overfeeding is to think of the amount of food you feed in a day as a pizza pie. There is a set amount you should feed during a day. If you feed once a day ( not the recommended way BTW ) you feed it all. If you feed 2 times per day, you split the total amount in half and only feed the half at each feeding. If you feed 3 times a day, you feed 1/3 of the total amount at each feeding. You could feed 8 times a day as long as you only feed 1/8 of the total amount at each feeding. The way to figure out how much food you need in a whole day is to roughly measure 2 equal piles of food. Feed one pile. If the fish finish the one pile in under 2 minutes, you need to add more and increase the amount in the pile you didn't feed. Do it again for the next feedings. Once you see how much the fish eat in a day, you have your total amount of food. A good way to feed your fish and keep them healthy is to feed multiple types of foods so the rule of thumb is always " as much as they will eat in 2-3 minutes " at each feeding.

Now, if you see that the first amount was too much and there is plenty of food left over after 3 minutes, you should remove it from the tank with either a net or siphon hose. This will help keep the snail population in check. At the next feeding reduce the amount of food you feed until you zero in on how much you need to feed. You will probably find that the fish will not eat the same amount at each feeding which is why you use the clock as much as the amount of food.

Hope this didn't confuse you.

If they have been fed once a day for around 2 years, is it still worth changing?
I took your tips and fed and timed them today. i could see by the 2 min mark, they had just about finished it (except a few odd bits floating around), so would i then want to do the same thing later on in the day, until they are no longer finishing within 2 minutes? I always thought fish will just keep eating if theres food around, so always limited to one feed (made kept an eye that all ate some), and to help prevent waste buildup and muck/debris growing.
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Old 02-08-2024, 03:32 PM   #8
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Yeah, fish do not start out sexually mature so it takes some time for that to develop. If you look at livebearer fish fry ( Guppies, platies, Mollies Swirdtails, etc.), they all look like females until they become sexually mature. Then the males show their " true" colors. With Neons, That doesn't happen until the fish are at least 9-10 months old. When they spawn, the female and male will pair off and go into some frilly plants where she deposits her eggs and he fertilizes them. Unfortunately, they are not as highly developed as humans and quite frequently turn around and eat their own eggs as well. Breeding Neons on purpose usually requires a separate tank and the removal of the pair after spawning. People who get successful fry in a community tank get them by luck, not skill. An egg or 2 or 3 finds it's way into a space the parents or other fish can't get to so they survive. Considering that a Neon can lay between 50 to 100+ eggs at a spawning, having only 1 or 2 or 3 survive is not a good ratio.

As for feeding, as Aiken pointed out and I saw, the one male was very emaciated so obviously not getting enough food. ( The reduction in food may also have caused a delay in their maturity? ) I would suggest adding another feeding at least 4-6 hours later and again, what they eat in 2-3 minutes. If they are still full, they will eat less at the second feeding. This is why the more often you feed them, the less amount of food you want to feed. No, fish will only eat as much as their stomachs can hold but that doesn't mean you should stuff them to the gills at each feeding. They naturally eat more because they instinctively understand that there is no guarantee of a future food. In nature, a full fish may not eat again for days. They don't understand that they are in a fish tank and going to get fed again shortly. You can't breed that out of them but you can control it by small frequent feedings. This will let them use up the fuel from the last feeding before refueling with the next feeding. Think of it like this: You wouldn't eat breakfast, lunch and dinner all in one sitting would you? Well fish in nature don't either.

You don't control fish waste through food reduction. You use the proper filtration ( mechanical and biological) to compensate for the amount of fish waste. Food is not a reward. It's sustenance.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-08-2024, 05:14 PM   #9
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Thank you for that! Very helpful and alot for me to take away. Appreciate it
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Old 02-08-2024, 07:40 PM   #10
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Thank you for that! Very helpful and alot for me to take away. Appreciate it
Sadly there is a lot of information online and not all of it is true so if you get confused, it's no wonder. Your best information is going to come from people who have kept fish for a long time ( 5 years+) or are part of local fish keeping groups. ( Always a good idea to join local groups ) I offer my advice here because I have kept fish for over 50 years and was in the tropical fish business for over 45 years so I have a lot of experience with all kinds of fish and fish keeping. In the end, YES, there is a lot of information you need to know to have a successful fish keeping experience. Keep asking your questions.
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