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neon tetra - swollen belly and can't swim right?
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shubapie
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Joined: 07 Feb 2007
Location: Connecticut

PostPosted: 2007.07.21(Sat)15:31    Post subject: neon tetra - swollen belly and can't swim right? Reply with quote

Just noticed that one of my neon tetras has a very swollen belly and can't swim properly - it's sort of bouncing around in a vertical position with the head down, and then will sort of roll over and float up belly first before going vertical again. This must have come on very suddenly, as this morning all 8 neon tetras looked fine and were very calm. The color is fine, eyes don't seem to be popping out, don't see protruding scales. I tested the water parameters earlier today and the pH is 6.5, ammonia and nitrite 0, nitrate 10ppm. The tank has lots of live plants, sand substrate, and I do regular ~30% water changes once a week. All the other fish in the tank (white clouds, more neons, panda cories, a betta, and several shrimp) look fine. Any info/ advice would be very appreciated!!
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andiesch
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Joined: 15 Jan 2007

PostPosted: 2007.07.21(Sat)16:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

sounds to me like a swim bladder problem
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Kaycie
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Joined: 03 Jun 2005
Location: PA, USA

PostPosted: 2007.07.22(Sun)19:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

It could also be constipation. In my experience, bloated neons tend to recover after a day or two if left alone; if you are concerned or recovery seems slow, you can try feeding some cooked shelled peas to your fish. Mine eat them like candy, so I can't imagine you would have trouble getting them to eat the peas!
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shubapie
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Joined: 07 Feb 2007
Location: Connecticut

PostPosted: 2007.07.22(Sun)20:21    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, it must have been constipation - it's pretty wild, but today all the neons are fine and I can't even tell which one was the bloated one! I did feed them some peas last night but wasn't sure how much the bloated one got since all the fish go wild when there are peas, so I don't know if it helped at all, but whatever it was, it's gone! Smile
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sunjwd
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Joined: 07 Jul 2007
Location: Vaughan, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 2007.07.22(Sun)22:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, how do you serve the peas? DId you mash them up good? My neons are about 3/4".
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southsideandy
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Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Location: Chicago, Illinois

PostPosted: 2007.07.22(Sun)22:32    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey shubapie...
Although it appears you've reached the constipation conclusion, I will confirm that my neons (particularly when I had more than two) actually did this quite often--usually when they ate a few too many frozen bloodworms...I skipped the next day's feeding, and they were perfectly fine shortly after anyway.

So, it appears that this is somewhat common...in case you needed someone to second or third the notion that it was constipation. Smile
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shubapie
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Joined: 07 Feb 2007
Location: Connecticut

PostPosted: 2007.07.23(Mon)5:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Southsideandy Smile

Sunjwd: just take some frozen peas and steam them (I put them in a bowl, add some water, and cook them in the microwave) till they're soft - then peel off the shell, pull apart the two cooked halves, and stick them in the tank. I crush them a small amount while dropping them in, but if you crush them too much they make a mess. Fish love 'em!!
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spec v
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Joined: 07 Jan 2007
Location: Hamilton, ON, Canada!

PostPosted: 2007.07.26(Thu)20:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the same issue with a few of my neons...especially AFTER feeding...I think it is an issue of swallowing surface air, and it gets caught in their stomach...I have 2 neons, case in point, who have this happen to them regularly. It always remedies itself after a few hours though...I feed them, and the 2 culprits exhibit very bloated bellies, and swin vertical for awhile, as if fighting the urge to surface or be forced to the top. I find the fish usually 'pass' this idiosyncrasy, and are fine afterwards.
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newtoallthis!
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Joined: 18 Aug 2007
Location: Surrey

PostPosted: 2007.08.18(Sat)13:24    Post subject: Neon tetras with swollen bellies Reply with quote

The advice here has been so helpful! I only got my first tropical tank this week and am a total novice who is very keen to learn. My tetras have had swollen bellies today and I know now that although I thought I was being careful not to overfeed them, I think I actually have. Will remedy that immediately. They seem to be quicker to nick all the food than the Silver-tips. Is that common?

Also, can I have some advice about going away for a few days? I unfortunately need to be away for about four days next week and am not sure if I am better arranging for them to be fed, getting a holiday block of food or a timer, or leaving them without. Sorry to sound such an awful novice, but I really am one.
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southsideandy
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Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Location: Chicago, Illinois

PostPosted: 2007.08.18(Sat)14:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to fishkeeping...
Others may have differing opinions on this, but I'll give you my experience...I've gone on weeklong vacations and had someone come over and feed a small amount of food every 2-3 days. Fish are pretty resilient as far as food goes. If you skip a day, you won't starve them to death, so no worries.

EDIT: Make sure, of course, the person who will feed your fish is (a) reliable and (b) willing to learn from YOU how much to give the fish. My friend went away for a while on a trip and left it to a friend, and when he came back, his tank had flakes all over the bottom, and algae obviously taking over everywhere because his buddy overfed very, very badly.

I've never believed in those vacation tablets, especially since I once used one when I was a novice and returned to find that the fish had not even TOUCHED it. Seriously. It was on the bottom, pretty much uneaten. And the fish were fine.

I actually also skip a day of feeding after I feed my fish frozen bloodworms or frozen brine, because they really load up on the food and are pretty fat and happy for about two days. The little blocks of frozen food are slightly too much for my stock, so I skip a day, or they'll be perpetually fat. Smile

The nice thing is, this helps keep my nitrates and wastes under control as well. So I like my system... Wink

Again, others might have different opinions...this is just my experience with it. Good luck!
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38g: 6 cardinals, 2 glowlites, 6 black-skirts, 1 bristlenose pleco, 8 rummies, 3 gold white cloud mtn minnows, 3 algae eating shrimp.
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