Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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aegisknight 11-23-2012 11:53 PM

Neon Tetra, cloudy water
I liked fish when I was a kid, so I recently bought a 2 gallon bowl for some neon tetras to keep at my desk.

Well, not quite. First, I received a small bowl (not even sure the size) as a gift, so I got some rocks and some neon tetras. Since I was very impatient, I filled it with tap water and aquarium rocks, let it sit with the fish in the bag for an hour, then dumped it in. 3 of my 5 tetras died immediately, the 2 others survived happily for a couple weeks.

Every week or so, I emptied half the water into a small bowl with the fish, poured out the gravel, rinsed it under tap water (cleaned it as best I could), put them back, new water (at room temperature), and replaced the fish. This went on for a couple weeks, then I decided that I wanted more of the fish (tetras look kind of sad with just 2).

So I got my current 2 gallon bowl, some more rocks, and 4 more tetras. One of the originals had been pretty sickly since I did the last water change, and died a few days after the tank transfer.

So a week later, I have 5 living tetras. But the water is getting extremely cloudy pretty much immediately. I change the water about 1/3 at a time, yesterday I changed 2/3 of it over the course of the day to no real effect. The tetra's red stripes are starting to fade, and they are all swimming at the surface.

Is there anything I can do to address the clouded water? If there is a tiny filter for a fish bowl I would be interested, but I have seen nothing for under 10 gallons. I also don't want this to get much more expensive than it already has, I don't exactly have a huge budget to work with. The girlfriend has already commented on how much cheaper the cat is

TitanTDH 11-24-2012 01:35 AM

Hey mate, firstly welcome to the forum.

I am absolutely not an expert but 5 neons in a two gallon bowl with no filtration or aeration is a recipe for disaster. The cloudyness may indicate that ammonia is out of control and explain why they are gasping for air at the surface. All i can recommend is that adding some aeration via a stone and cheap air pump assembly may help with the O2 levels in the tank. Java Moss or duckweed in the absence of biological filtration may eat up some of the toxins in the water and make it a little more comfortable.

Also do you use a dechlorinater when you conduct the water changes. I would suggest PRIME as if it is ammonia then it should hopefully bind and cause ammonium which is not so toxic for the fish.

Thats about all i got. Im sure the experts will get on and get you on the right track



Romad 11-24-2012 06:29 AM

Neon tetras are one of the more sensitive fish to try to keep. Please read the fish profile here Neon Tetra by clicking on the shaded area. They can't live in your current setup.

Nothing is really suited for the setup you have other than one betta. Is the bowl even heated? A single betta would be ok without a filter because they can breathe at the surface but you will still need a heater for them. A 25w submersible heater that you can adjust the temp. on would be fine. And water changes twice a week using a good water conditioner like API Stress Coat or Seachem Prime will be necessary.

See if the store that you bought the tetras in will take them back for store credit or exchange. Good luck.

Geomancer 11-24-2012 07:09 AM

I'm afraid no mater what you do with that bowl, those fish will not live.

Tropical fish need:

1) A tank of suitable size (for neon tetras you could do a 10 gallon minimum)
2) A heater (they need temps in the mid to high 70's at all times of the day and year)
3) A filter (sponge filter is best for this size tank)
4) The aquarium cycled before adding fish (read here:
5) Decorations to provide cover and hiding places, live plants are best
6) Water needs treated for Chlorine before being added to the tank, all pet stores sell dechlorinators
7) At least 1/3 and up to 1/2 of the tank water needs to be changed every week

Fish are not like cats or dogs, you can't simply provide food and expect them to manage on their own. You have to create an entire environment to match their natural home as much as possible.

Even a Betta will not live its full life span in those bowels.

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