Weird Tetra Behavior - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 24 Old 04-06-2012, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by calfishguy View Post
I'm sorry but I can't agree I have kept multiple fish for many years that like low ph at high ph and thy have all had above normal lifespans. I aslso googled the neon tetras ph and most sites say between 6and 7.8 is good. I also checked a few of my reference books and they all say not higher than a ph of 8 I the fish has been properly acclimated. IMO/E they are fine at higher ph if they ate acclimated slowly. However I you decide that your issue is because of your ph I don't recommend using buffers or ph up or down I suggest that you get a different tetra. Messing with your waters Ph can often be a nightmare.
I agree on the latter, messing with pH. But some questions must be asked and comments made concerning the soft vs hard water issue.

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I have kept multiple fish for many years that like low ph at high ph and thy have all had above normal lifespans.
Which species, and where did you find the normal lifespan statistics? [Hypothetical question perhaps, to raise the crucial point on this.]

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I aslso googled the neon tetras ph and most sites say between 6and 7.8 is good. I also checked a few of my reference books and they all say not higher than a ph of 8 I the fish has been properly acclimated.
Hypothetically again, but who authored the respective sites, and books? The source of the information is the key to its accuracy. As many members have lamented, one can find very conflicting information on the internet. Which should not surprise anyone, since any person is free to set up a web site and write anything without scrutiny from his/her peers. Books are a bit different, though the age can factor in since we are always learning more about fish physiology and the thinking today is not at all equal to what aquarists thought even 20 years ago.

This forum has a profile section, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page. I wrote most of the freshwater profiles. The neon tetra [when name is identical it will shade, you can click it for the profile] has pH less than 7 and GH less than 4 dGH. These are not numbers I dreamt up, they are from reliable ichthyologists and biologists who have spent years studying these fish. I have several sites I use, and it is rare that I find any conflicts in data, but if I do and the source is reliable, I mention it so that we have a very reliable data set.

Scientific opinion is highly scrutinized; other accredited scientists will challenge any findings, and in the end the truth is obvious. This does not happen with amateur ramblings.

The acclimation really does not do it. One example is the cardinal tetra. Kept in water with a GH above 6 and a pH above 6.5 it will live likely up to 3 years, often only 2. Maintained in very soft acidic water, it has a lifespan--a normal lifespan--of more than 10 years. The late ichthyologist Dr. Jacques Gery wrote this, and there are not many alive who can come close to his extensive ichthyological knowledge when it comes to characidae.

The fish may outwardly appear fine; there are not always external signs of trouble, like loss of colour or less-than-normal behaviours, though sometimes these do occur. Most of these fish will not spawn in hard water, and this clearly tells us again that something is wrong. Many develop blockage of the kidneys from the calcium in hard water; you can't see this externally, the fish just suddenly dies.

Last comment for the present, I have recently been reading more and more articles from prominent aquarists who are becoming stronger in their views about how absolutely essential it is to provide a fish species with water that is as close as possible to their natural preference. What we didn't know even 10 years ago we now do, that maintaining soft water fish outside their norm is causing severe stress because the fish is having to work much harder just to exist. There is a complex chain of internal chemical reactions that keep the pH of the fish’s blood steady, its tissues fed, and the immune system functioning. The fish has to regulate these constantly, and it takes energy; spending additional energy to maintain these functions when the fish is forced to live in unsuitable water means less energy for everything else, and that simply wears the fish down. As I mentioned in my article on salt, this is comparable to driving a car up a steep hill; it takes more gas (energy) to maintain the same speed as on level ground, plus it wears the car out faster (shorter lifespan).

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #12 of 24 Old 04-06-2012, 02:49 PM
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Wow what a post. I think we will never come to an agreement. I will put our opinions aside and try to figure out what is causing this neon's strange behavior.

Ps: there are quite a few threads on aquarium advice that discuss your ph topic you should check them out.
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post #13 of 24 Old 04-06-2012, 03:27 PM
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To add to my point my aunt who has tha same ph as me 8. Has 2 18 year old iridescent sharks. These sharks have a preferred ph of 6.5-7.5 and an average lifespan of 10-15 years. Here is proof that fish can surpass there average lifespans when kept in an aquarium with a higher ph than recommended.
I didn't see this post when I last responded. This is a different scenario. Moving from 7.5 to 8 is much less of a concern than moving from 6 to 8 as it would for the neon. This is like comparing apples to oranges.

We cannot mess with nature--you would think with all the environmental trouble the world is facing today we would all know this by now. Evolution/nature made each species of fish the way it is, and you and I are not going to alter this in a few generations. Perhaps over thousands of years, yes, as evolution and nature work that way. But to pull a fish like the cardinal out of the Amazon from water that has a pH below 5 and hardness (total dissolved solids) so low they cannot even be measured, and plunk it in a tank with water that is hard and a pH of 8, is just impossible without severely stressing the fish, no matter how much acclimation is done. Some species show more tolerance for change than others. Often their natural range would indicate this. But it has its limits.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #14 of 24 Old 04-06-2012, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by calfishguy View Post
Wow what a post. I think we will never come to an agreement. I will put our opinions aside and try to figure out what is causing this neon's strange behavior.
We have done that, basically. The fish is under stress from something. It may be an illness, internal injury, insufficient numbers, lack of proper environment meaning sufficient shelter, too bright overhead light, bullying tankmate,... It is now up to the OP to see if any of these may be relevant in this situation.

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Ps: there are quite a few threads on aquarium advice that discuss your ph topic you should check them out
Assuming that is the forum, I doubt much would be gained. Back to my point about the reliability depending upon the source. I can asure you, i have researched these issues very thoroughly, and I try to keep up with developments as best as I can. I will always concede to scientific evidence.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #15 of 24 Old 04-06-2012, 03:37 PM
i always feel i learn so much every time i just read posts. i never think of water ph and hardness like this. i have a ph of 7.8 and all my neon tetras died. couldn't figure it out. though this makes me relies why they did. thanks.

never stop learning, as new things are discovered everyday.
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post #16 of 24 Old 04-06-2012, 05:36 PM
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That's strange mine are at 8. And just to let you know Wikipedia says that they are fine at a ph of 7.8
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post #17 of 24 Old 04-06-2012, 07:19 PM
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That's strange mine are at 8. And just to let you know Wikipedia says that they are fine at a ph of 7.8
But you cannot rely on anything on Wikipedia. I use it myself as a starting point for many searches, but for important issues I would never rely on it unless I can find scientific evidence. As I mentioned earlier, you have to know the source before you will know how far to trust the information, and anyone can write on Wikipedia and there is no scientific scrutiny. I could join and change that to reflect my position if I wanted to.

How long have yours been alive? Ten years plus is their normal lifespan in a suitable environment. Most sources do mention that in the average tank without soft water they may last five years.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

Last edited by Byron; 04-06-2012 at 07:28 PM.
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post #18 of 24 Old 04-06-2012, 07:29 PM
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Okay then please give me the links to the websites That you use I expect that these websites have scientific proof for their data and that there were created by marine biologists.
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post #19 of 24 Old 04-06-2012, 08:18 PM
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Okay then please give me the links to the websites That you use I expect that these websites have scientific proof for their data and that there were created by marine biologists.
Yes they were, though not marine biologists but biologists and ichthyologists.

I use Fishbase [various biologists and ichthyologists depending upon the species]; Seriously Fish [owned and run by my friend Matt Ford who is a UK biologist]; Fish Channel; Diszhal.info [German but with an English translation]; California Academy of Science, Ichthyology [though this is relevant only for nomenclature]; any available reference works/articles by ichthyologists like Gery, Weitzman, Zarske, Kullander, and any others as I may come across them during specific research; Checklist of the Freshwater Fishes of South and Central America edited by Reis, Kullander and Ferraris [specific fish families are contributed by the authorities in those fields]; Joseph Nelson's Fishes of the World; papers in Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, Zootaxa, and others relevant to specific species or families.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #20 of 24 Old 04-06-2012, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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Yes they were, though not marine biologists but biologists and ichthyologists.

I use Fishbase [various biologists and ichthyologists depending upon the species]; Seriously Fish [owned and run by my friend Matt Ford who is a UK biologist]; Fish Channel; Diszhal.info [German but with an English translation]; California Academy of Science, Ichthyology [though this is relevant only for nomenclature]; any available reference works/articles by ichthyologists like Gery, Weitzman, Zarske, Kullander, and any others as I may come across them during specific research; Checklist of the Freshwater Fishes of South and Central America edited by Reis, Kullander and Ferraris [specific fish families are contributed by the authorities in those fields]; Joseph Nelson's Fishes of the World; papers in Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, Zootaxa, and others relevant to specific species or families.
Whoa umm I wasn't expecting an all out war here..I did learn alot I think I will up it to 6 because I have a 10 gal tank and eventually will want to upgrade to a bigger tank.. I appreciate all the input..it has been many years since I have had a tank lol..thanks everybody
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