Help - Aggressive Neons and New Tank
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Help - Aggressive Neons and New Tank

This is a discussion on Help - Aggressive Neons and New Tank within the Characins forums, part of the Freshwater and Tropical Fish category; --> Hi there, I have had a new tropical tank set up for about 10 days now. I set the tank up properly and used ...

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Help - Aggressive Neons and New Tank
Old 01-09-2011, 01:03 PM   #1
 
Unhappy Help - Aggressive Neons and New Tank

Hi there,

I have had a new tropical tank set up for about 10 days now.
I set the tank up properly and used the neutrafin cycle and aqua plus so that fish could be introduced as soon as the water temperature was right.

I started off with just transfering my male figther fish into it.
Everything was fine.
I carried out the course of the neutrafin cycle that lasted 3 days to build up the bacteria the tank needs.
I then went and bought 5 neon tetras 3 days later and introduced them, everything was running great two/three days later so decided to add another 5 neon tetras and one Plec.
Everything seemed fine, there was no aggression from the tetras, but a couple of days later, 2 neons had died during the night.
I thought it was just one of those things, kept a close eye on the tank, but then i noticed one of the neons was 'darting' at the others.
Another neon died a couple of nights later. I noticed little white spots on them, done some research and went to pets at home where they confirmed it as white spot.
I have used a two treatment solution (a horrid dark green stuff) and it seems to be working, the white spots are going away.
We read somewhere that we might be over feeding the tetras and that could be killing them (we were origonally feeding them a small amount 3 times a day - to the whole tank). We have reduced this to 2 flakes crushed up small in the morning, and at about 8pm again. Two flakes dont sound like a lot, but there is only the fighter fish, 1 plec and 6 neons - they all get some.

Today, i noticed that ALL the 6 neons are going at each other and they are all nibbling at my fighters fins! They are making holes in his fins and he wont seem to fight back.

Any ideas what I can do?
could it be water conditions? :s or just a bunch of bampot neons?!
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:29 PM   #2
 
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Heya, sorry to hear about your troubles. Have you by chance been keeping track of your water parameters? It is easier to gage your tanks cycle by actual readings than by going off of the instructions of a bottle. Some times tanks can take weeks to properly cycle, and even then it only finds the balance for how many fish you have in it at a time. I would be willing to bet that you might have added a little too many fish too fast. Would have to know the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels to know for sure though.

The white spots I am assuming are Ich? this is caused by a parasite if I remember that can take hold when your fish's immune system is lowered due to stress, from things like bad water, or aggression. I have never had this problem with neons before as long as they were kept in groups of at least 5 so I don't think it is a shoaling issue, but most likely a stress related issue? I would suggest doing a 20- 30% water change, get a liquid test kit if you don't already have one and take some readings. Then change water daily or every two days as needed to keep your water perimeters at non toxic levels until the cycle completes.
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:35 PM   #3
 
hmm. i didnt test the water at all :s
i'd do the water change but the bottle of stuff i got says to wait 7 days before doing a water change at all.
i got the tank about 10 days ago and im not sure how often i should be cleaning it, water changing it or anything.
turns out the place i bought the stuff is useless.
im not sure what to do now at all
i dotn want my betta dying, he was ok in his last tank which was cold water but he was sad so i put him in a heated tank and now he seems happier.
i have had him for 5 months and i dont want him to die!

if i do a water change will it effect the white spot treatment? i used the interum white spot stuff.
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:39 PM   #4
 
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I don't believe in quick cycling a tank with nutrafin. There are ways to "jumpstart" the cycle with beneficial bacteria from an established tank, but i don't believe for one second that nutrafin can replace weeks of cycle.

What is the temperature of your tank?
ammonia level?
nitrite?
nitrate?
I personally wouldn't keep a fighter fish with neon tetras, but i'm not an expert either. I don't think your tank ever cycled and the ich(white spots) on your fish. Depending on where your temperature is at, i would probably raise it up some. I don't use any chemical other than dechlorinator in my tanks. I believe all the treatments you have been using is stressing your fish out.

Do you have a test kit for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate? If you don't have one, my advice is to get one, a liquid test kit, mine is API. The test strips aren't accurate.

Hang in there you'll get it all balanced out. If you have a friend with an established aquarium i would ask him for some gravel or better yet some filter media. The people on this forum are really terrific and know a lot more than me. i'm sure someone can really help you out.

Good luck
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:41 PM   #5
 
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You know as far as it effects on the medication it is hard to say really. It is a pretty common opinion on this forum it seems that a good water quality and proper tank maintenance schedule (ie frequant water changes) are just as good, if not better than adding any chemical medication to your tank. Obviously taking out water decreases the amont of the medication in your tank, but having a good water condition helps fight the initial cause of the disease. I would probably do the water change every other day, and make sure when you medicate that you do so after the water change not before.

as far as how often you should do stuff, this depends 100% on your size of tank, whats in it, and your filtration. It is pretty standard however in a healthy tank to do 1-2 water changes weekly, of 20-30%
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:43 PM   #6
 
I used the dose of cycle and aqua plus for the first 3 days to apparently get the tank good for fish going in.
Then 6 days later it was the white spot treatment which was to be done on two occasions 3 days apart.

My temperature is at 27 degrees c
no idea about ph or anything else. Never been tested.

The big main pet store near me does free water testing so off to there i go tomorrow.

im just really unsure on when to clean it now and how to clean it or what to do really :s
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:46 PM   #7
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbirk View Post
You know as far as it effects on the medication it is hard to say really. It is a pretty common opinion on this forum it seems that a good water quality and proper tank maintenance schedule (ie frequant water changes) are just as good, if not better than adding any chemical medication to your tank. Obviously taking out water decreases the amont of the medication in your tank, but having a good water condition helps fight the initial cause of the disease. I would probably do the water change every other day, and make sure when you medicate that you do so after the water change not before.

as far as how often you should do stuff, this depends 100% on your size of tank, whats in it, and your filtration. It is pretty standard however in a healthy tank to do 1-2 water changes weekly, of 20-30%

It's a 35 litre (about 7.5 gallon) tank, using a stingray 10 filter (what came with it) a heater, and using an air pump with bubble stone :)

There is one male betta, 1 plec (pleco? sucker fish thing) and 6 neons.
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:00 PM   #8
 
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Well this is a little off subject, but your pleco will get way to big for that tank. i would reccomend taking it back, regardless of what the fish store people say, most plecos can get around or over 15 in long. You can possibly get some ottos for algae, but you will have to get at least 3-5 of them, and they will die if there is not enough algae for them to eat. regardless thats a separate subject. I would do a 20-30% water change today have your water tested tomorrow and take it from there.
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:33 PM   #9
 
Hi,
there i had almost the same problem in my friends tank, the only thing i did was (after a little research) to bump up the temp to 30c - 33c, the reason for raising the temp is that ICH can't live in water with that temp, when the temp is 30 they stop reproducing, and at 33c they die out. Raise the temp slowly and not to fast as it might create other problems, so raise the temp by a degree every hour, and for the cycling part as mentioned before do water changes for a couple of days till the cycle is completed.

and also while cleaning your tank NEVER clean it top to bottom, just syphon the gravel, or do a 100%- 90% water change if required, but u should do a 25% water change in every two weeks, your fishes will be much happier and less stressed.

hope this will be helpful. keep us update.
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Old 01-09-2011, 04:07 PM   #10
 
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Pixielou85, there are three very different (but closely related) issues in your tank, as you have described things. New tank syndrome, disease [presumably ich] and the inappropriate stocking. I'll try to explain each, and then how they relate.

First, new tanks take 2-8 weeks to become cycled, which is the establishment of the nitrifying bacteria necessary to handle the ammonia and subsequent nitrite. There is no quick start--except live plants with few fish--but seeding the tank with existing bacteria be it from an established tank or a live bacteria supplement helps--helps, but does not make the tank ready in 3-4 days for a load of fish. Here's a link to an article on cycling from the head of the Freshwater Aquarium section here that will explain cycling.
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...m-cycle-38617/

Second, ich frequently occurs when fish are stressed. Buying the fish and bringing them home is stressful, and then placing them in a new environment is stressful; when that environment is not "ready" (cycled and established) it is even worse. The only thing I will say about treatment for ich is to decide on one method and stick with it. Do not under any circumstance mix this and that medication, some of these are highly stressful in themselves and mixing them can cause even more stress if not death.

Third, the selection of fish is in my view inappropriate. I mention this aspect because here again we have a cause of stress [more on this in a moment]. A Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta splendens) is really a stand-alone fish in an aquarium, with perhaps some bottom fish. This fish is bred to be aggressive, and usually it will attack neons and similar small fish. In your case, the neons are attacking it, and that is due to stress to the neons. All tetra are shoaling fish, meaning they occur in large groups; most agree a minimum of 6 of each species is usually sufficient, but more is always better. When kept in smaller groups, or when crowded in too small a space, they can become aggressive. And the Betta's fins are too easy a target. This is all completely natural behaviour, which is why the fish should not be combined.

Stress: ichthyologists now know that just as in humans, stress in fish causes a weakening of the immune system (first). It can also cause internal damage. Weakening the immune system means the fish is less able to fight off parasites (ich) than it otherwise would be, and other issues like the ammonia or nitrite of a new tank will be even more stressful. The pH and hardness of your tank water could be another cause of stress if it is outside the fish's preferences, and these fish are all soft water, slightly acidic to slightly basic in pH. On its own this might not be an issue, but in combination with other factors, it can be.

I would advise that you decide if you want a Betta or not, and either keep it alone, or return it and go with smaller fish. A 7.5g tank is fine for the betta, and perhaps some bottom fish. It is not in my view sufficient for a group of medium-sized tetra (like neon or any other except dwarf species like Ember Tetra). They need some room.

Byron.
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