04-07-2010, 03:23 PM
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From your information (thank you) I would suggest there are two possibilities.
First possibility, the fish had problems. Did you see anything amiss in the store tank, like some fish in the tank acting odd, or dead? This is something I used to miss, until I introduced something very nasty and now I am much more observant. The other issue here is, how long had they been in the store? If recent, they are still in shock from the transport, perhaps different water parameters in the store, etc. With characins I have found it advisable to wait at least one week, sometimes two before I buy them. I always do this with corys too, always, and since I have started this I have never lost a cory unlike previously.
My next idea concerns water parameters. I know they are tank raised (rarely will you find wild ones these days) but I also know that many authors still recommend soft, acidic water for neons long-term, and from what I have read here and elsewhere there are many neon losses among aquarists. The hardness may be more important in this. A pH of 7.7 with soft water may be fine, but with hard water not so good. Related to this, do you happen to know what the store maintains for pH and hardness? Some stores adjust their water so they can accommodate more fish with different preferences. I always like to know this about the store if I buy fish there, so I know what if any additional acclimating at home I may have to consider.
I had asked about other additives because characins are highly sensitive to all chemicals and medications. But that isn't an issue here.