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Old 01-24-2008, 07:21 PM   #1
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Black Phantom Tetras

In my 38g, I've always wanted a schooling fish, the one that looked nice to me was the black phantom tetras. Since I started with a school of 6, I have spontaneously lost at least that number for no particular reason weeks after I've purchased them with no warning signs or markings at all. The other fish in the tank, BN pleco, pearl gourami and striped raphael all seem fine as well, and they have been there long before the tetras.

My parameters are good and and 50% PWC's are done every 2 weeks. This has been going on for a while, I was down to 4 of them and brought my school back up to 8 where I have since lost 3 in as many months. Is there anything about these guys I'm missing, any particular sensitivities or needs...I don't think there is?

A while back I posted about tiny, transparent organisms living in my gravel substrate that I concluded were nematodes. When I vac my gravel they float up into the water and the tetras have eaten them before. From what I read at the time, I didn't think this was a problem or that the nematodes might be the cause of the deaths. I have since cut down the feeding in an attempt to thin the nematodes out.

Could these be the silent killers? I'm really baffled at the deaths and I'm considering switching to another smallish, schooling fish.
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Old 01-24-2008, 07:55 PM   #2
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Due to them eating the nematodes, did the feces look white and stringy? If not I do not think that they are the killers. Now if they had an internal parasite that would be your first clue.

What was your acclimation time? For Tetras like Phantom, Neons, Bleeding Hearts, and a few more I found an Hour Acclimation Period works best and they seem healthier. Did you notice anything wrong with them on the day you bought them?
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Old 01-24-2008, 08:33 PM   #3
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Have you been purchasing the tetras from the same lfs?
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Old 01-24-2008, 11:44 PM   #4
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James:

I typically acclimate the fish I have bought 20-30 minutes, but these are not dying days after getting them, it's in the order of weeks and months after the purchase. I don't think there's anything wrong with the feces, at least I haven't noticed any white, stringy stuff.

Zagz:

Including the initial purchase, I have bought these fish 3 times to keep the school around 6-8 fish. My first thought was also the LFS as I believe they were purchased at the same Petsmart (unfortunately for us here in Canada, Petsmart has bought all the Superpets). But I bought them months apart, probably 6+. It's puzzling because if it was some parasite or these nematodes I would have thought all fish would be affected, but that doesn't seem to be the case. =(
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Old 01-25-2008, 12:29 AM   #5
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I too am in Canada, Sask to be exact. I rarely buy from Petsmart due to their universal water system. I would try a smaller mom and pop type lfs and see if you have better luck. The tetras Petsmart are getting may be a weak strain and if they are getting them from the same supplier, time frames may not help.
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Old 01-25-2008, 12:01 PM   #6
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The only other alternative I have is Big Al's and they too have a universal water system. I have never been a fan of the small pet store chains in malls etc...much like the other types of pets they sell, they never seem to have nice looking fish or take proper care of their tanks.

A small mom and pop place is definitely lacking here. =(
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