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neon tetras losing their colour.
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amberstorm
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Joined: 18 May 2009
Location: johannesburg south africa

PostPosted: 2009.07.16(Thu)13:39    Post subject: neon tetras losing their colour. Reply with quote

hi everyone I will edit this with the correct pH, nitrates and nitrite readings probably at some point tomorrow, I have to dig the testing kit out the garage drawers. one of my neons seems to be losing his blue and red colours and I want to know if this is cause for worry? the tetras have just been introduced about 2 weeks ago and the tank is only about a month old.I did a water change yesterday only 20% at the most 25%, I usually do a 50% change once a week as I have guppies in the same tank and things get messy. iv also just added some lyssimachia to the tank.only the one seems to be losing his colour should I isolate him? all the other fish in the tank are very active even the golden snail. oh the water is heated to 24 degrees. thanks in advance for any help Smile
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Fern
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Joined: 26 May 2009
Location: SW Florida

PostPosted: 2009.07.16(Thu)15:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go ahead and quarantine him till you figure out whats going on with him.

Oh add tank size, occupants, and equipment info.(read the sticky) It will help people have a better idea on whats going on so they can help you fix it.
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nikelodeon79
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Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Location: Wisconsin, U.S.A.

PostPosted: 2009.07.16(Thu)15:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neon tetras are notorious for contracting diseases, many of them which can spread from fish to fish. There is, of course, the infamous "neon tetra disease" which is debatable as being an actual disease or just a name to cover up other unknown/undiagnosed conditions.

Regardless, I have seen tankfulls of neon tetras wiped out so quarantining should definitely be your first step. Put him in a quarantine tank with an airstone, filter, and heater, along with some plastic plants/decor for him to hide in. Make sure to seed the filter with gunk from the main tank so he doesn't have to deal with ammonia/nitrite issues.

Do post your levels of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate when you get the readings. Also, what is the tank size and all of the current inhabitants (including type of fish and numbers)? You said the tank is only about a month old... does that include cycling time? Were the guppies introduced at the same time as the neons?
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Ciklido
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Joined: 06 Aug 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 2009.07.16(Thu)16:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

The readings will give us clue as to a possible cause, it could also be your feeding, or it could be your large amount of water change, a 50 % water change is not recomended because it breaks the balance that is created. It makes for a very unstable water chemistry. If the neons are losing their color and are showing decreased activity it has to be either your feeding or your water quality.How many do you have?

A month old tank is very recent and neons need very good water, is your tank planted? How big is it? What filtration do you have? How do you do a water change?
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Wicked Cich
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Joined: 11 Jul 2009
Location: Aurora IL

PostPosted: 2009.07.16(Thu)18:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have found that neons tend to do better in more established tanks. If your tank is only a month old it probably is not cycled and is contributing to/causing the poor health of your neon.

One other thing to consider... Does the color fade around water changes or other stressful times and then later during feedings does the color come back? I think this is a normal reaction for neons. Smile Or is the color consistantly faded? If it is constant then I think you should quarantine, otherwise your whole group could easily be wiped out. Sad

Rob
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Topper
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Joined: 22 Feb 2008
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: 2009.07.16(Thu)18:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
all the other fish in the tank are very active


If by this you mean that the Neon with the faded color is not active - remove the fish from the tank immediately. If the fish is by itself, gasping or breathing quickly and not moving much it is safe to say that it is Neon Tetra Disease (sorry, Nik but I have seen this too often and in twenty-plus years nobody has come up with a viable underlying cause). This is ruling out water quality issues for the time being as the other fish are not exhibiting any telltale signs.

The timing (two weeks in new tank) is exactly what I have experienced and also experienced as a LFS employee with Neons and NTD. If the fish in question starts to get a "bent" posture (along with the other symptoms) - my only recommendation would be to euthanize it.
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nikelodeon79
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Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Location: Wisconsin, U.S.A.

PostPosted: 2009.07.16(Thu)19:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ciklido wrote:
it could be your large amount of water change, a 50 % water change is not recomended because it breaks the balance that is created. It makes for a very unstable water chemistry.

There is nothing wrong with a 50% water change, provided the fish are not used to poor quality water. Heck, I've done 90% water changes with no issues whatsoever. Very little of the beneficial bacteria is found in the water column, so no issues there.

The only issue I see is if the water you're putting in is drastically different in temp or pH... as may be the case with some tap water that changes chemistry as it sits... in which case you'd want to age your water regardless of how much you change out.
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nikelodeon79
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Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Location: Wisconsin, U.S.A.

PostPosted: 2009.07.16(Thu)19:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

Topper wrote:
Neon Tetra Disease (sorry, Nik but I have seen this too often and in twenty-plus years nobody has come up with a viable underlying cause).
Oh, I didn't mean to say that I did not believe it exists, merely that there is some debate about it, and IMO there often are cases of NTD being pointed out as the cause of fish deaths when in actuality it's something different altogether, like water quality.

I've personally seen a friends neons fade, become emaciated, and die in perfect water conditions. Sad
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Shai
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Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Location: Calgary, AB

PostPosted: 2009.07.16(Thu)20:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

nikelodeon79 wrote:
Ciklido wrote:
it could be your large amount of water change, a 50 % water change is not recomended because it breaks the balance that is created. It makes for a very unstable water chemistry.

There is nothing wrong with a 50% water change, provided the fish are not used to poor quality water. Heck, I've done 90% water changes with no issues whatsoever. Very little of the beneficial bacteria is found in the water column, so no issues there.

The only issue I see is if the water you're putting in is drastically different in temp or pH... as may be the case with some tap water that changes chemistry as it sits... in which case you'd want to age your water regardless of how much you change out.

Thanks Nik for pointing this out. I was hoping someone would, and if not, I was going to.

Ciklido, where do you find your information? Who exactly doesn't recommended 50% water changes? It's just that it's not the first time I have seen you post information which is questionable or contradictory to the experience of a lot of people on this board. If it's your personal experience then (just a suggestion) you might want to phrase your advice that way instead of using blanket statements.


Anyhoo, on topic: I have kept neons in the past and also had them fall prey to NTD. It's not pretty and it also spread to the other fish in the tank. I found that once I determined it was NTD, quarantine was a waste of time. In the end I euthanized the entire school of neons and I lost the rest of the tank. I will never keep neons again.
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Topper
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Joined: 22 Feb 2008
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: 2009.07.17(Fri)5:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I found that once I determined it was NTD, quarantine was a waste of time. In the end I euthanized the entire school of neons and I lost the rest of the tank.


In this case I think it is still a bit premature for whole scale euthanization, but this is also something to keep in mind if it is indeed NTD. Shai is correct and the experience is not uncommon.

Quote:
and IMO there often are cases of NTD being pointed out as the cause of fish deaths when in actuality it's something different altogether, like water quality.


One NON-scientific way that can rule out NTD is to observe the fish in question as it is eating (if it is eating). If the fish regains some color, it may not be NTD (could be stress or something else entirely). If the faded areas remain - chances are very good that it is NTD, especially if the other symptoms are present. Nik is right and it could just be the first symptom, in the first fish for something related to water quality and not NTD. That would actually be a good thing in this case as there might be a treatment and some hope for the other fish.

Any way you look at it - the fish needs to be removed immediately and the rest of the tank needs vigilant observation over the next couple of weeks.
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