Neons dropping like flies... :(
Slowly but surely, I am losing the neons that I've just added to my 67 gallon tank. Well, I can't really say JUST added... I added 5 of them a few weeks ago (3 or 4 weeks maybe?), and added 5 more a week later. I've also got 9 harlequin rasboras (there were 10, but one died shortly after I bought them... the others seem to be doing well...), 3 dalmatian mollies, and 2 dwarf gouramis. There are rock caves for hiding places, and the tank is planted. I don't know the definition of lightly vs. moderately vs. heavily planted, but I've got plants along the back with maybe a couple inches between each one (hornwort, corkscrew vallisneria, amazon sword, and some type of grassy looking thing with a name that I can never remember)... and a couple of moneywort plants in the middle/foreground.
Using API liquid tests, Ammonia = 0, nitrite = 0, nitrate = 10-20. I'll post a table that I took from our city's website to show the pH and hardness... I'm thinking that's what's killing the neons - the water is really hard, and pretty high pH for them I think. I should mention that I had already lost 3 neons before adding the mollies and gouramis, so I don't think it's any of them killing them. When i've added new fish, I've never seen anything that I'd consider to be a dangerous ammonia spike... at most it's gone up to the point where I've thought MAYBE it's closer to .25 than it is to 0, but it's always been so hard to tell, and depending on which light I hold it under, it'll look like either 0 or .25. I've done small (10-15%) water changes after getting the possible ammonia readings just to be safe.
Anyways... at this point I'm ready to blame the alkalinity and hardness, but I was just wondering if anyone with more knowledge might have a different idea as to what's killing my neons?
Also, when I add new water I use TopFin Tap Water Dechlorinator.
You are talking about the tank in your profile? The Minbar one? If yes and the plants are the same as in your picture you can call it a lightly planted tank.
It could be the pH, which isn't given in your post but which I assume is high from what you say and the alkalinity number. The hardness in the chart at 203ppm is not that bad, that's about 11-12 dGH. Higher than "preferred" for any tetra/characin and rasbora, but probably manageable with tank-raised fish as these would likely be. However, a very high pH could still be trouble.
I wouldn't expect ammonia issues from adding 5 small fish to a 67g with even minimal plants. They will easily assimilate the ammonia (as ammonium), plus the bacteria could if necessary multiply sufficiently to handle it within a few hours [again considering the volume, fish and plant load].
Topfin declorinator (according to the info on their site) detoxifies chlorine, chloramine and heavy metals, so that is not an issue. Also, chloramine has a correlation with ammonia, so again I would not expect issues from that.
It is always possible that the fish themselves are in bad shape internally, this does happen. But I would have to think along the lines of the high pH.
The pH is around 8.0.
It's sad losing this many fish... I'm torn on whether or not I plan to replace these neons. I have angelfish in my long term plan, and I know there is risk of the angelfish eating the neons. But at the same time, I've also heard/read/been told that the more neons, the better their chance of surviving with angelfish. So... if I'm left with 4 neons, they'll probably just get eaten... maybe i can see if i can re-home the remaining neons. Or, start replacing the neons with cardinals and hope that they'll shoal together and that the larger cardinals will deter the angels... or... some third thing.
Hrm. After re-reading some replies to another thread where I asked about neons and angelfish... i'm not going to switch to cardinals. So I'll think of some third thing.
Well if it is the ph you can always make it drop by using co2...
Fast, easy, good for plants, bad for algae and also it does not mess up the tank balance. Chemicals that are supposed to drop your ph can and will make a mess of your tank.
After giving it some thought, I think it's best if I just don't have my neons in that tank, since they interfere with my desire for angelfish. I've been thinking of bringing my 3 rasboras home from my work tank, because I think they need to be in a larger group and I have 9 rasboras at home... and then I can bring the neons to work and maybe get a couple more of them to make them happier. I have RO water in that tank, and the pH is closer to 7-7.5.
Thanks for the tip about the CO2 though... if I was adamant about keeping the neons in the home tank, I'd probably strongly consider it. I never knew that CO2 lowers pH, so I definitely appreciate learning something new, anyways!
Glad the info was of use but if your ph is 7-7.5 it's not the ph killing your neons.
I kept neons in water with a ph of 7.5 before and never ever had any trouble with them.
And if Byron is right and i am sure he is about the hardness being 11-12 i dont think that's the problem either. Never had water that hard myself but IMO that is not something to make your neons drop dead like that.
Maybe some more water tests could be of use, get a test kit if you used all your API one(not those strip tests, they always lie) and do some tests, Ph should be first just to make sure it's not over 7.5 and also water hardness, perhaps the chart you posted is not valid for your water, you never know what hapens where along the water pipes...
Do you maybe use any water aditives of sorts? Not talking about the dechlorinator but about whatever other stuff you might put in the tank.
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