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Normal for Neons to swim downwards?

This is a discussion on Normal for Neons to swim downwards? within the Characins forums, part of the Freshwater and Tropical Fish category; --> Originally Posted by Termato How would you reduce water current Byron? Depends upon the filter. I base the filter on what I need for ...

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Normal for Neons to swim downwards?
Old 05-30-2012, 03:01 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Termato View Post
How would you reduce water current Byron?
Depends upon the filter. I base the filter on what I need for water movement. On my small tanks i only use a simple sponge filter, connected to an air pump on the very small tanks, and on the 33g I have a little Eheim sponge filter with a motor head. Sadly Eheim stopped making these, don't know why; this is a superb little filter. But it creates very little flow, and I aim the flow into the back wall and slightly down the tank. I use the same principle with my canisters. I place the spray bar horizontally along an end wall, with the holes directed toward the glass and slightly down. You can experiment with this to get a flow down the wall and thus across the substrate, or you could have it across the surface, or into the water column.

I can illustrate the effect water flow has on fish from my 115g (5-foot) tank. On this I have a Rena XP3 canister, and because I have some fish that do need some current--namely the Spotted Driftwood Cats that must have a chunk of wood with tunnels that stands in a water current--I removed the spray bar and placed the filter return spigot about a foot in from the end wall. The water flow is directed toward the end wall, and passes over the wood. The flow hits the end wall and then disperses down the length of the tank.

I have tetra in this tank that like the neon do not occur in flowing waters, namely Hyphessobrycon bentosi, Paracheirodon axelrodi, Hemigrammus pulcher. Ever since they were introduced to this tank, these fish have consistently remained centre and right of centre, which is the side with the least water movement. They move up and out to feed, and periodically to browse around, but 95% of the day they remain out of the water movement. And this is very instructive; given the option, fish will show you their preference. I also have a group of marble hatchets, Carnegiella strigata, in this tank, about 20 of them. They very rarely venture down close to the current, but the whole group remains at the far right end of the tank, at the surface, where the water is the calmest.

We sometimes forget that fish in tanks with currents have to battle the current 24/7, they cannot rest properly, and this simply wears them down. Characins have to control their buoyancy continually, those little jerking motions; faced with moving water makes this harder too.
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:53 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Well, I just watched the video again, as I want to be certain, and i still say there is too much water current. It would be easier to see if you held the camera steady in one spot so we could see the entire tank, as the camera movement does conflict with what I'm seeing in the way of plant and water movement, but it is pretty clear to me that there is a current from right to left near the front: first, the floating ring of plants is doing a spiral in this direction (clockwise from above it would be), and the neons are bucking the current when they swim from left to right. I also see plants swaying down in the tank, and that means far too much movement in the water column. Except right at the filter return, plants should not be moving at all. This then creates the water flow these fish were designed by nature to deal with. Half the year they live in flooded forest, which has basically no water flow at all, aside from thermal currents.

Bryon this will go to show you that the water flow indeed has nothing to do with the way the neons are swimming.

Watch this video:

Neons swimming Downwards (No water movement) video by BigFate - Photobucket
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:57 PM   #23
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Hmmm. Now I'm curious to see what others will say.
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:07 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
Hmmm. Now I'm curious to see what others will say.
That makes two of us ;)
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Old 06-03-2012, 01:50 AM   #25
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Patiently waits for a response
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Old 06-03-2012, 02:10 AM   #26
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I'm wondering if it is a swim bladder related issue? They almost look like their pulling their tails after them, and their tails are floating.
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:40 AM   #27
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Your Cherry Barbs and Danios seems fine.

The Neon Tetra's buoyancy has been affected regardless of what caused it. Just turning the filter off like that for a second wont make them swim normal that instantly. Although, that did allow us to see they are fighting and swimming in that direction no matter what the current.

I still would not rule out the hard current. It could still be a factor in the end, although may not be the direct cause. I think you should look more into diseases at this point if you don't want to lessen the flow of water.

A lot of people who have had this similar issue have reported it as a Swim Bladder issue but I am hesisntant to point towards that because of the fact they are still swimming with some force and it not struggling to balance itself (fish who do this flip over sidways usually).

How long have you had these fish?

This is a tough one...

Last edited by Termato; 06-03-2012 at 08:47 AM..
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:11 AM   #28
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Kidneys are a lot smaller, if it's kidney damage they'll still have control.
Anyways, I'm not sure how but try reducing current for a couple of weeks...
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Old 06-06-2012, 04:37 PM   #29
To me it looks like swim bladder/bloat issues, because if you notice when they pause they drift upwards towards the surface. Also, that looks very much like when one of my female Bettas is having buoyancy issues. Seems if it were the current they would be moving with that when they pause opposed to drifting basically straight towards the surface.

The only thing is that I'm not sure whether this makes sense given the information that apparently all of the Neons, and only the Neons, do this after a few months of being in the tank...I only did a quick search, but I couldn't find anything about them being more prone to these sort of issues.
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Old 06-16-2012, 02:22 AM   #30
I noticed one of the neons isnt swimming head down as much and when it stops swimming it does not rise like the others. I know bugger-all about neons but perhaps it is a buoyancy problem? Good luck with them.
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