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Old 09-10-2008, 12:57 PM   #1
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Question Help me decide how many neon tetras this tank can support?

Petco 5 for $5 sale till sept 13
Well on my way home stopped by Petco, they are having their annual 5 for 5 sale. The ones on sale are neon tetras, black neon tetras, tiger barbs, gold barbs, cherry barbs, guppies, painted or sunset fire platies. The manager told me they get fish deliveries on friday morning.

My 20g tall tank currently has 5 shiny gold tetra, 3 silver tipped tetra, and a rummy nose tetra. A friend has offered to take the gold tetra, and the rest can go to a great lfs I found that is actually only 10min from my place!

Tank has a few real plants, java ferns, and 2 potted cryptocorynes, the lfs threw in a bunch of java moss. Also has a piece of driftwood in it. I took out all but one of the plastic plants as they were annoying me with the fake look. Filter being used is for a larger 25-55g tank.

I'd really like to have a large number of everyone's favorite schooling fish, the neon tetra. I plan to give away the fish mentioned earlier to make room for these guys.

How many neon tetra could I add to my tank initially? And how many could it support w/o getting too crowded?


Thanks
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Old 09-10-2008, 01:02 PM   #2
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Two dozen would be fine. You could do a dozen and keep you current fish.
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Old 09-10-2008, 01:03 PM   #3
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Well for a 20G tall, people like to stock it as a 15G because fish care more about (L x W) than they do height.

So 15 would be a good number to start.

Have you ever had them before?
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Old 09-10-2008, 01:04 PM   #4
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I'm not exactly sure on the maximum, maybe 10-15 if they are the only things in the tank. I wouldn't go any less than a school of six. I started with four, they swam and did their own thing all the time, never schooling. Then I added 6 more (2 died within the first 48hrs, very skinny.. possibly diseased from the start). The eight I have in my tank now are always schooling and are front and center in my tank, always.
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Old 09-10-2008, 01:11 PM   #5
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Two dozen would be fine. You could do a dozen and keep you current fish.
Thanks I wasn't sure too sure about that. The person I got the tank from, told me the tetra currently in tank were about 5-6 years old. I was worried their larger size might not work with the smaller neons.
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Old 09-10-2008, 01:15 PM   #6
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Well for a 20G tall, people like to stock it as a 15G because fish care more about (L x W) than they do height.

So 15 would be a good number to start.

Have you ever had them before?
This is pretty interesting in less than 20min I have replies, woo!

What you said about LxW makes sense, never thought of it like that. Figured I would ask before getting them in order to avoid overstocking it. Can't really seem to trust or believe in salespeople at petco for that sort of thing.

Haven't had the neon tetras before. Have read up on them a fair bit though.

Thanks
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Old 09-10-2008, 11:06 PM   #7
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Will the neons be the only fish in the tank?
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Old 09-10-2008, 11:37 PM   #8
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Will the neons be the only fish in the tank?
Yep just neons, though some here have and the lfs said they should be ok with the previous tetra too, so now I'm not so sure. Most likely I will end up giving away the old fish, before putting neon in the same day.
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Old 09-11-2008, 10:46 AM   #9
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If it's going to be planted you can get away with more. I wouldn't be afraid to put 30-36 of them in a planted 20L. They are most likely going to be small neons to start with anyway and some will probably die but I think 30 is fine number to shoot for in a 20L. If the tank is a 20H I'd only go with 24 or so of them. They'd like the extra swimming room the 20L would provide though.

As a side note, neons aren't really "everyone's favortive" schooling fish, but they are the most widely available schooling fish. Tens of millions are commercially bred every year and they are extremely common. I'd rather go with cardinal tetras, true rummynose tetras, black neons, or glowlight tetras over neons in a species only tank. That's just MY personal preference though.
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:56 PM   #10
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If it's going to be planted you can get away with more. I wouldn't be afraid to put 30-36 of them in a planted 20L. They are most likely going to be small neons to start with anyway and some will probably die but I think 30 is fine number to shoot for in a 20L. If the tank is a 20H I'd only go with 24 or so of them. They'd like the extra swimming room the 20L would provide though.

As a side note, neons aren't really "everyone's favortive" schooling fish, but they are the most widely available schooling fish. Tens of millions are commercially bred every year and they are extremely common. I'd rather go with cardinal tetras, true rummynose tetras, black neons, or glowlight tetras over neons in a species only tank. That's just MY personal preference though.
They are about an inch long at most I think. By everone's favorite school fish i just meant they are very popular/common hehe. The black neons and glolights are cool too, had considered them at one point.

The tank is a 20H, think I'll most likely go with 10 or so, then add another 10 in a week.

I appreciate all the help and advice I've gotten here!
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Old 09-11-2008, 03:04 PM   #11
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If the sale is now, get them all now as long as the tank is planted. That way you won't have to worry about high nitrates building up. Even then, all you need to do is add Prime to neutralize ammonia/nitrites/nitrates. Change 5 gallons of water 1-2 times a week for several weeks at most and you should be fine.
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Old 09-12-2008, 09:00 PM   #12
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In a 21 gallon tank, folks would go as high as 24 neons?
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Old 09-12-2008, 09:09 PM   #13
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In a 20L I'd go with 30-36 if it's heavily planted and there's no other fish. Neons are small and have a tiny bioload that's why more can be kept in there.
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Old 09-12-2008, 09:20 PM   #14
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Wow. I just set up a 21 gallon tank, and I'm going to get my first fish tomorrow. I had thought 3 guppies, 10 neons, and a honey guarami would fill it. Could I go higher?
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Old 09-12-2008, 09:21 PM   #15
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My LFS also has a 5 for 5 on neons: could I get those as first fish?
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Old 09-12-2008, 09:48 PM   #16
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We were talking about only neons in a tank. A gourami will add significantly more to the bioload than neons would. How long has the tank be setup? Neons would be okay to add first but if you add more than your tank can handle at once you are setting yourself up for failure. Your tank needs to be cycled first or you need to make sure that you have enough live plants to remove excess waste from the water.

As far as your original stocking goes you could add 3 corys to the list or something like that if you wanted.
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Old 09-13-2008, 06:35 AM   #17
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I don't want to hijack the original poster's thread. I've used river rocks/gravel as a substrate, and so I'm considering ghost shrimp over corys now.

I have had the tank set up for a few weeks now. I figure that if I don't find a honey, I will likely keep more of the guppy fry and hopefully have a tank of 10 & 10 with the guppies and neons. If I get the honey, I would limit the guppies to 5-6, and be popular with the folks needing young guppies.

As for the original poster, I can't see adding all of the neons at one time. I'm getting five today--that's it. Between my fishless cycling efforts, some commercial waste control additive, and the plants, I hope to be able to add 5 a week during the sale at my LFS.
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Old 09-14-2008, 02:18 AM   #18
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Hi quick update, I did give the silver tipped and rummy nose tetras away to someone. The tank has 5 neons and 5 black neons at the moment. Along with the 5 gold tetra from before. I plan to add in another batch of 10 neons in a week or so. Also I have added 3 more plants to the tank. I did remove the large piece of driftwood I was given with the tank, it was just taking up too much real estate.
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Old 09-16-2008, 07:56 PM   #19
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Well one neon died 2 days ago, another one last night sometime, woke up this morning to find him floating in an up/down direction. Ph, ammonia, etc.. levels are ok. Been checking with api test daily. A friend who went and got some neons the same time I did, has had 4 of his 25 die off. Petco neons a weak breed or this just a regular occurance? Read and heard from people here neons are a weak fish. The black neons seem to be more hardy.
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Old 09-16-2008, 08:13 PM   #20
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Sounds pretty normal for neons. Some people have no luck with them, me included.
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