Bloated belly on neon tetra - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 19 Old 11-20-2006, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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Bloated belly on neon tetra

One of my neon tetras has an unusually large belly. Its been this way for maybe 3 days, I thought maybe he just overate. Its still pretty bloated. He is quite active and motivated by food, but doesn't really appear to be eating much of it.

He seems pretty normal except for the belly. Viewed from above, he looks lumpy, or maybe a little crooked.

What might be wrong with him, and can it be treated?

Water parameters are typical for this tank. The only recent change has been that I feed Hikari Tropical Micro Pellets instead of flakes, which they have really seemed to enjoy. I have noticed more recent "sparring" between pairs of neons, but no idea if that could be related.

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post #2 of 19 Old 11-20-2006, 05:32 PM
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A possible factor is that the neon was eating too much and I believe it was constipated. Green peas may be worth a try but unless it has tried eating one before, I can see that this can be a little difficult trying to make him eat one.

Good luck.:)

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post #3 of 19 Old 11-20-2006, 11:15 PM
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Keep an eye on it.

So it's swimming fine and hanging out with the others? That's a good sign. It's until he's breathing more rapidly than the others, hanging out by himself, and acting sluggish when it's a serious problem.

Try feeding them less for a couple days, and see how it looks. There could be a chance that the neon is pregnant too.

A picture would help as well.
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post #4 of 19 Old 11-25-2006, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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So I tried peas, but I can't tell if it ate any -- kind of just would swim up to the food and then swim away. Today was the first time that it did not even come out for food. It's belly still looks bloated, it may be losing weight though, because it seems smaller overall. It is breathing rapidly, stays in back more, and chases anyone away. Now I'm worried about another neon that is one of the larger ones, whose belly is getting somewhat pointed. It is very difficult to get a decent pic, but here they are:

the bloated neon (top):

the neon with the 'pointed belly':

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post #5 of 19 Old 11-25-2006, 09:39 AM
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Hi love_my_fish,

Can you detail exactly what you are feeding the fish and how often? Do you have days where you don't feed at all?
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post #6 of 19 Old 11-25-2006, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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Normally, I try to feed twice a day, but sometimes it's just once, in the morning.

For this tank, I've recently been feeding the micro pellets mentioned above. I use algae wafers or tetramin tablets for the cory and pleco. I've been feeding bits of peas every other day just this week, and have been feeding only once a day this week (in case it was overeating).

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post #7 of 19 Old 11-25-2006, 09:56 AM
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I think the problem could possibly be over feeding. I find that once per day is sufficient, and I always have one day per week where I do not feed at all.

I would perhaps try leaving off feeding for a couple of days and see if that helps.
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post #8 of 19 Old 11-25-2006, 10:39 AM
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what about constipation? i know that this can be a problem in fish, and the peas are supposed to help with that, but not if he isn't eating them...just a thought. good luck!


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post #9 of 19 Old 11-26-2006, 12:28 PM
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I had that happen to one of my von rio flame tetras. I think its constipation, but I'm not sure.

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post #10 of 19 Old 11-27-2006, 03:29 AM
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Something to keep in mind is that these are egg laying fishes, and when the female is full of eggs, the tummy area will swell for a period of time. As long as there are no other symptoms, I would simply keep an eye on it and see what happens. If the eggs are not fertilized, they will be reabsorbed back into the body until the next time. This is common many species of egg laying fishes and no reason for immediate concern.
If behavior patterns change, if there is loss of appetite, water quality problems, other symptoms, etc. then I would begin researching other possibilities. From the picture, it looks to me simply to be what is called "egg bound" and the problem should correct itself if given time.
I would back off of the feedings a bit, as was suggested in another post. A healthy feeding schedule would be once/day, what the fish can completely finish within 1 - 2 minutes. Anything beyond that is considered excessive and can quickly cause water quality problems and/or health issues with the fish.

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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