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Hello, Just today i purchased 10 Neon Tetras to add to my 40 Gallon Tank, Before i got them i had 3 neon tetras and a Peppered Cory, 9 of the Neon Tetras joined in on the school with the other 3 and swimming around normally but one of them is swimming along the surface almost Gasping for Air and occasionally dipping down for a swim for no longer than 30 seconds at a time. Is this just a result of stress or should i immediately remove it and put it in temporary quarantine?
 

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Hello, Just today i purchased 10 Neon Tetras to add to my 40 Gallon Tank, Before i got them i had 3 neon tetras and a Peppered Cory, 9 of the Neon Tetras joined in on the school with the other 3 and swimming around normally but one of them is swimming along the surface almost Gasping for Air and occasionally dipping down for a swim for no longer than 30 seconds at a time. Is this just a result of stress or should i immediately remove it and put it in temporary quarantine?
It's difficult to determine whether a neon is ill unless they get something like ich that you can see. Somtimes ammonia rises quickly when you add more fish. He could have suffered some gill problems because of ammonia rising in the bag on the way home. Watch to see if he recovers and starts schooling with the others or if any others start gasping at the surface. Check your ammonia levels and pH. The pet shops usually keep their central filtering at 7.0 for fresh water fish. If yours is less than 6.8 or higher than 7.2, there could be some mild temporary pH shock. If he remains at the top today, I would quarantine him.

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Neon Tetra "Air Gasping"

It's difficult to determine whether a neon is ill unless they get something like ich that you can see. Somtimes ammonia rises quickly when you add more fish. He could have suffered some gill problems because of ammonia rising in the bag on the way home. Watch to see if he recovers and starts schooling with the others or if any others start gasping at the surface. Check your ammonia levels and pH. The pet shops usually keep their central filtering at 7.0 for fresh water fish. If yours is less than 6.8 or higher than 7.2, there could be some mild temporary pH shock. If he remains at the top today, I would quarantine him.

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The points you make about ammonia and pH are good but missing something important - issues with the water have a tendency to impact all the fish living in that water. Does that mean if you only have a couple fish acting weird then your water is not a problem? Absolutely not. You can have a low grade problem with the water and have only some fish affected - it’ll hit the weaker fish harder and they’ll show signs of stress first. And like you said - you don’t know what kind of damage fish sustain before you take them home.

With some species, you have to assume you’ll have losses of new fish. Neons are one of them - the enormous breeding pressures on the hobby’s most popular fish have left them genetically weak. I swear sometimes they die if you look at them too hard. That’s why it’s important to use a quarantine tank - so the new fish can go in there and you can observe them, and treat them with meds if necessary. It also protects your old fish from any diseases your new fish might be carrying.


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