Neon tetras and platys - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 9 Old 02-17-2014, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
Neon tetras and platys

For the past year I cycled my tank have 3 betta fish that have passed and I let my tank sit. Full on algae walls on my live plants the sand everything. But I just recently got neon tetras and red platy from my LFS I ended up getting 6 neons and 3 platys. I scrubbed my tanks sides the decor and the plants to get rid of my algae which worked. I tested my water in my tank and everything was normal. I added tank water to their bags slowly over an hour making sure it wasn't a big change of water. Later I saw one neon with white patch over it, little color, didn't school. I found out about neon tetra disease and put him in a bowl, next morning the poor guy is dead. Then later in the afternoon my one platy is dead, didn't look infected or wounds nothing. So I pulled him out and flushed him. I have a air pump with a million bubbles coming out for air right. So now my neon is hanging around the top and is staying there so is one platy. They just stay at the top and not even try to come down. The other neons go up get air and come back down. I really don't want to loose more. And my platy keeps attacking the one that stays at the top. Is this a sign of rejection? Please and thank you!
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post #2 of 9 Old 02-17-2014, 07:56 PM
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Sounds like it could be a few things, velvet, columnaris, major ich infection, wrong temp on a big scale...But the two most likely causes are: You added nine fish to your tank at once, and toxins in the water(aside from mister white patch, that sounds like columnaris or velvet....what killed him was being moved to a bowl likely, no oxygen, no beneficial bacteria, probably no heater or filter).

What test kit do you use and what are your exact readings right now?

What is your temp?

How big is your tank?

Did you clean out your tank at all aside from getting rid of algae? It's highly likely there was something nasty lying in wait for them if all you did was get rid of algae and maybe do a small change of water, you can't leave a tank alone for several weeks/months/years, scrub off algae and then add fish in again just because parameters are normal...this doesn't mean you don't have nasty fungus, parasites and bacterias that have massed around to kill whatever alive you put in, some can survive for long periods without hosts, others can be laid in there by outside nasties.

Your platies attacking the one up top...I have a feeling you have columnaris or some other fungus in there, they're picking at it and eating off of it. I had that happen when I got a case of columnaris in my tank a while back.

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Last edited by Sylverclaws; 02-17-2014 at 08:01 PM.
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post #3 of 9 Old 02-17-2014, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
My test kit is API freshwater master test kit.
pH: 6.6
Ammonia: .25
Nitrite: 0

Temperature: 80 F

I own a 10 gallon. For the amount of time i didn't have fish i did have an ammonia added so my BB wouldn't die off. I did a 100% water change after cleaning the sides to make sure the algae wouldn't stay.

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post #4 of 9 Old 02-17-2014, 08:49 PM
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Any amount of ammonia, period, with your fish is deadly. The fact that you have ammonia and no nitrite or nitrate tells me you likely have already killed your beneficial bacteria off and that your tank may be about to go into a cycle.

The temp is a tad high for those types of fish too, though should be tolerable. It should be around 76-78 or so for these types, though 78 is considered on the high side for platies...again tolerable.

You have a ten gallon tank, this is 10 gallons too small for the type of fish you want. Platies need 15 gallons per group of three, neons need 20+ gallons, long, per group of five. These are a bare minimum, larger spaces would be better.

It's not enough space, you overloaded the tank adding too many at once, and you put too many in for the tanks size. This raised the acidity to unbearable levels and shocked your fish, likely knocking out their immune systems, if they had one(some shops give pretty poor care and the fishes immune systems are trashed when you get them), allowing nasties to take hold immediately and killing them.

The bioload from having nine fish in a ten gallon, especially fish that can't handle them and never should be in a ten gallon, would never settle down. You would have ammonia spikes anyways, likely even if you changed out 30% daily.

If you want these types of fish and this exact number of them, I'd suggest you go with a 25-30 gallon, long tank. Those fish LOVE to swim, neons are especially very active, and the platies can get 2-3 inches and are thick and heavy bodied. They get extremely aggressive and nasty when kept in small spaces, neons do as well since they like space and may fight for it. With two who may be aggressive anyways, you'd also be better off getting four or five of them instead of three. They can handle three's, but not if you have two bonded who will pick at another, provided they aren't picking at him because he's got stuff on him to pick off.

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Last edited by Sylverclaws; 02-17-2014 at 08:52 PM.
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post #5 of 9 Old 02-17-2014, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
I'm so sorry! I knew i should of done more research. Now these innocent fish are suffering. Is there anything i can do this second to help?

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post #6 of 9 Old 02-18-2014, 02:20 AM
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Well, helping them....If you can get a bigger tank and move -everything- over, filter included to keep what beneficial bacteria around that you may or may not have...more space would help a lot. The next is to figure out if it was the toxins or rise in acidity that killed them, or if they're sick and may need meds. Clean water is usually the way to go, it's the best medicine, but that depends on what they have. Otherwise you can take them back to the shop, and I suggest you do honestly, though that may or may not save them. It's...a touchy thing. You can try to add in bottled bacteria and stress coat+ that may help a bit.

For right now, bottled bacteria(like stress zyme+), stress coat+ as well, Seachem Prime to remove ammonia(though it wont remedy the problem because you have too many fish in a smaller tank that may or may not be as stable as you think), and will detoxify nitrites and nitrates that'll likely happen with ammonia in the water. Basically it'll help detoxify some of the toxins and lessen the burden on the fish. Use those with your water changes, and for now you will probably want to do a 10-20% water change per day until you can get them a new home or bigger tank.

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Last edited by Sylverclaws; 02-18-2014 at 02:22 AM.
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post #7 of 9 Old 02-18-2014, 03:19 AM
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I'd do daily ~50% water changes and keep an eye on the nitrates, nitrites, and especially ammonia.

In my opinion 6 neon tetras and 3 platies is a reasonable stock. Though I have never necessarily done this, it seems fine. That's all I would add though probably.

Your biological filter was probably dead, or if you were adding ammonia, not adequate to accommodate all those new fish at once. So, to fix the ammonia, do water changes often. And, whatever sylverclaws recommended is probably good... the cycling bacteria stuff you can buy. Never used it. I recently got neon tetras who had similar symptoms. Nothing developed from it, so far, luckily, with lots of water changes and heat at 86-88 F (to treat for ich), so hopefully this is the case for you. In my experience neon tetras who have poor coloration after purchasing usually wind up dead the next day... I'd almost suggest euthanizing them (if I had more experience than a few times) if you see this, so they don't die and contaminate the tank... Neon tetras are fragile. When I buy new ones, usually half of them die immediately even when spending a lot of care acclimating them... but the ones that survived last time I have had for 3 months now and seem healthy.
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Last edited by Austin; 02-18-2014 at 03:24 AM.
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post #8 of 9 Old 02-18-2014, 03:29 AM
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So sorry to hear of your troubles. No worries though, we will get you up and running! And no need to be sorry- we have all made mistakes as begginers.
Excellent advice from Sylverclaws. I would reccommend 25-30% ( or more) waterchange everyday to save your fish. Ammonia with no nitrite or nitrate is a problem- this is the first stage of a cycle. Platies are pretty tough fish, but neons are very sensative. I don't think your neons will survive the cycling process, sorry to say.
Another issue with your tank is the ph. Its going to be hard to grow bacteria in water that's acidic (ph under 7). I understand that you did 100% waterchange after cleaning your tank? If your tapwater is ph 6.6 you might have to add a buffer to raise ph. Please test your tapwater and post the results. There are a few things to try if you can't achieve a stable cycle due to ph.
This is just my OPINION ok, but I think a small group.of platies can live in a 10 gallon tank if that's all you have and your willing to do frequent water changes. Of course a 30 gallon would be ideal and I.would definitely reccomend a bigger tank if possible.
Live plants will help stablize your tank, but they might compete with your bacteria for ammonia and slow your cycle.
Another possibility for.the white patches you noticed on your fish is lymphocytosis. In clean water it usualy stays dormant. In bad water or when the fish is stressed or immune system weakened you get an outbreak. Symptoms are frayed fins/tail and white patches. As sylverclaws said clean water is yuour best medicine.
When fish stay near the surface they are usualy seeking higher oxygen levels or warmer water, or less commonly, may have swim bladder issues, parasites.
Seems like a huge list of problems but its not hopeless! Keep posting on this thread and well get you staightened out ASAP!
Good luck!
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Last edited by rsskylight04; 02-18-2014 at 03:32 AM.
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post #9 of 9 Old 02-18-2014, 07:30 PM
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I'd agree with larger water changes usually...but with Neons, like others said, they're so delicate, and if sick that may hurt them more. You can, and you should do larger changes daily, and if you have prime, stress coat/zyme+ it may even keep them from getting shocked. That would be my worry with it. However, risking it would help keep the water stable and ammonia down.

YES! A tap water test, can you get us one of those with your kit? I always forget that stuff, but some people have very hard, soft, or very acidic water that needs to be changed for what they have. It'd be nice to know what your tap or well water is.

As for platies living in a ten gallon? Yeah, three could survive in there. Key words there are "could" and "survive". It's a risky maybe.
Problem is, that's a very painful minimum, worse than most get. It'd be like keeping a pair of common goldfish in a 50 gallon tank which is exactly half of what they need to survive properly. More than that and you could hurt the bioload. The other problem is: They like their space and can and will get aggressive with each other, may even kill a partner. This will also make them stressed and lower their immune keeping them in small tanks isn't recommended because they're active, tough, and rather large fish. Well, large as in they get 2-3 inches, usually staying around 2.5 inches, an very thick bodied, and since they're active and like space, barely having three gallons to themselves is just not enough and can cause issues, lot's of them.

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