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Old 02-28-2021, 04:48 PM   #1
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Exclamation Why do my neon tetras keep dying? Please help!

Hello, I have a 10-gallon freshwater tank and this week (Feb 21-28) I have bought 7 neons tetras. and throughout this week I have lost the majority of them. I have checked the ph, gh, kh, nitrite, and nitrate levels and everything is really good. I also have 3 dalmatian mollies and 3 ghost shrimps, but I've never seen them do any harm to the tetras. I now only remain with 2 of my tetras and even though they are cheap I don't want to keep wasting my money. PLEASE HELP ME!
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Old 02-28-2021, 06:05 PM   #2
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Hello,
Well, I can tell you that there are several fish that are usually kept in community tanks that I have problems keeping. One is neon tetras. I also have problems keeping gouramis and guppies. I have no idea why, other than perhaps breeding.

I have a school of black neons that do really well, and seem to live quite some time. And the oldest fish I had in my tank was a German Blue Ram which are quite touchy. The old guy was over 6 when he finally died.

Maybe someone else knows why, but my experience has been the same as yours.
D
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Old 02-28-2021, 07:46 PM   #3
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I've read before where neon tetras are hard to keep and are a very low ph black water fish
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Old 02-28-2021, 08:19 PM   #4
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Agree with @charliebankston.

Fish Which aren’t Recommended

And then there are fish decidedly not recommended for beginners. Topping the list:

Do not get Neons for a new Aquarium!

Neons are a “blackwater” fish which needs very bacteria-free, crystal-clear water that one only gets in a tank over four months old which is over-filtered. Similar blackwater fish not recommended for beginners include:
  • Neon Tetras
  • Ram Cichlids
  • Oscars
  • Discus
  • Rummy Nose Tetras
  • Hatchetfish
  • Clown loaches
  • Glass catfish
  • Neocardina shrimp
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Old 02-28-2021, 09:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishwonder View Post
Agree with @charliebankston.

Fish Which arenít Recommended

And then there are fish decidedly not recommended for beginners. Topping the list:

Do not get Neons for a new Aquarium!

Neons are a ďblackwaterĒ fish which needs very bacteria-free, crystal-clear water that one only gets in a tank over four months old which is over-filtered. Similar blackwater fish not recommended for beginners include:
  • Neon Tetras
  • Ram Cichlids
  • Oscars
  • Discus
  • Rummy Nose Tetras
  • Hatchetfish
  • Clown loaches
  • Glass catfish
  • Neocardina shrimp
That's what I read! Ha!
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Old 02-28-2021, 11:44 PM   #6
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Haha yeah, I don't know about my neon tetras anymore, I might exchange my 2 that are still alive and my 1 dead one for some ember tetras. I am new to this whole thing but I am very good at researching and have friends that work at aquariums that can help me.
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Old 03-01-2021, 09:26 AM   #7
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I love embers. I have 3 and tried to buy more but the store didn't have any the last time I went in.

The list of blackwater fish was very informative to me. I wasn't aware of this. After having a tank for about 15 years, there's still so much to learn. I just kind of learn as I go, but this forum has been a great help to me.

All responses are so appreciated by everyone, I'm sure.
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Old 03-01-2021, 10:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamroper View Post
I love embers. I have 3 and tried to buy more but the store didn't have any the last time I went in.



The list of blackwater fish was very informative to me. I wasn't aware of this. After having a tank for about 15 years, there's still so much to learn. I just kind of learn as I go, but this forum has been a great help to me.



All responses are so appreciated by everyone, I'm sure.
I learn something every day. I read the new threads on here even if it doesn't relate to me, just so I can pick up little tid bits here and there. Most tetras are pretty hardy. I've had good luck keeping bleeding heart, buenos Aires, penguin and lamp eye
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Old 03-01-2021, 04:10 PM   #9
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I had some black skirted tetras once, but they were too nippy.

I shop for fish in Colorado Springs, and there are only a couple of independent stores. I'm usually limited to Petco or Petsmart.
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Old 03-01-2021, 06:10 PM   #10
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I've never had a problem keeping Neons, but I have had problems on occasion with Cardinal Tetras. I've had a dozen neons in a community tank with other tetras for at least 18 months. I don't think they are that fussy about water conditions, but they are sensitive to water differences, so even though your water may pass your standards, it may be very different than that of the dealer's. You might want to check that.
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Old 03-01-2021, 06:52 PM   #11
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Yeah, thank you I never thought of that
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Old 03-01-2021, 08:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamroper View Post
I had some black skirted tetras once, but they were too nippy.



I shop for fish in Colorado Springs, and there are only a couple of independent stores. I'm usually limited to Petco or Petsmart.
Same here unless I drive up to Houston
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Old 03-02-2021, 09:28 AM   #13
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My favorite LFS pretty much focuses on cichlids. He has a ton of Malawi cichlids. He'll have maybe 4-5 tanks with community fish, but that's it. I actually get a better selection at the chain pet stores, but then you have different problems.
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Old 03-02-2021, 09:45 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Dreamroper View Post
My favorite LFS pretty much focuses on cichlids. He has a ton of Malawi cichlids. He'll have maybe 4-5 tanks with community fish, but that's it. I actually get a better selection at the chain pet stores, but then you have different problems.
Yeah, I understand. Hard to beat the prices of the chains too. But, ime, while pretty and good selection, those fish never seem to live as long. And they're tiny too
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Old 03-03-2021, 11:45 AM   #15
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I kind of figure if I buy 6, I will lose 1 or 2.

As far as being tiny, I kind of like that. Fish seem to grow really fast for me, so I enjoy watching them get bigger.
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Old 03-03-2021, 03:28 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Dreamroper View Post
I kind of figure if I buy 6, I will lose 1 or 2.



As far as being tiny, I kind of like that. Fish seem to grow really fast for me, so I enjoy watching them get bigger.
Haha! We always buy 1 or 2 extra of the little guys
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Old 03-04-2021, 08:25 PM   #17
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Sorry if I missed it but I didn’t see anyone recommend an ammonia test.

If your tank is new and uncycled your problem is probably ammonia! Some fish will be more sensitive than others but any fish you put in will have issues until you are cycled.
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Old 03-04-2021, 11:36 PM   #18
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Sorry if I missed it but I didnít see anyone recommend an ammonia test.

If your tank is new and uncycled your problem is probably ammonia! Some fish will be more sensitive than others but any fish you put in will have issues until you are cycled.
Good point.
I went back and saw where ammonia was not tested.
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Old 03-05-2021, 12:51 AM   #19
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I see now they said they had a few Dalmatian mollies in the tank already, so maybe not a new tank, so it could be a mini cycle. Just added too many at once perhaps.

I agree with everyone in this thread that, especially when purchasing from chains, itís normal to lose a couple. But that makes it even more important to check ammonia because when you lose those couple it can send ammonia through the roof very quickly in a small tank.

If ammonia isnít the problem then it could just be weak stock. I think a lot of the loss rate is effected by things that happen before the fish get to you when youíre dealing with chains. I brought home 20 healthy looking rummy nose tetras to a 55 gallon long established tank. Didnít cause a blip to water parameters but I still lost 60% of them over a few days and a week later I was having to treat for ich. The next week the store had a new shipment of rummies that were absolutely infested with the worst case of ich Iíd ever seen. Since Iíd just started treating my tank for ich anyway I brought them home to give them treatment and a fighting chance. Didnít lose a single one. Clearly that first shipment of rummies, despite looking healthy, had been through something...
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Old 03-05-2021, 05:41 AM   #20
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I see now they said they had a few Dalmatian mollies in the tank already, so maybe not a new tank, so it could be a mini cycle. Just added too many at once perhaps.



I agree with everyone in this thread that, especially when purchasing from chains, itís normal to lose a couple. But that makes it even more important to check ammonia because when you lose those couple it can send ammonia through the roof very quickly in a small tank.



If ammonia isnít the problem then it could just be weak stock. I think a lot of the loss rate is effected by things that happen before the fish get to you when youíre dealing with chains. I brought home 20 healthy looking rummy nose tetras to a 55 gallon long established tank. Didnít cause a blip to water parameters but I still lost 60% of them over a few days and a week later I was having to treat for ich. The next week the store had a new shipment of rummies that were absolutely infested with the worst case of ich Iíd ever seen. Since Iíd just started treating my tank for ich anyway I brought them home to give them treatment and a fighting chance. Didnít lose a single one. Clearly that first shipment of rummies, despite looking healthy, had been through something...
I bet they all were from the same supplier and his stock tank. Prob all same batch, just ich hadn't shown up on the first ones he sold the store yet. Glad you got it treated too
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