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FAQs on Characoids/Tetras & Relatives Nutritional Disease

FAQs on Characoid Disease: Characoid Disease 1, Characoid Disease 2, Characoid Disease 3,
FAQs on Characoid Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Infectious, Parasitic, Social, Treatments

Related Articles: Characoids/Tetras & Relatives,

Related FAQs:  Characoids/Tetras & Relatives, Characoid Identification, Characoid Behavior, Characoid Compatibility, Characoid Selection, Characoid Systems, Characoid Feeding, Characoid Reproduction,


Glowlight tetras with constipation? 8/9/08 Dear crew, <Evan> I was looking at my aquarium tonight when I noticed 3 of my Glowlight Tetras (Hemigrammus erythrozonus) were displaying the same symptom. All three had some sort of stringy clear/white excretion hanging from their anuses. I'm thinking it could be constipation but worried it could be internal infection/parasites. <or just...> I have never had this problem with my Tetras before. There are 7 in a 10G tank (parameters NH3=0, N02=0, NO3<5, pH=8.0, <Mmm, this is too high... I'd "fix" in the change-out water ahead of use> GH ~ 6, KH ~ 6, I change 30% water every 5-7 days). <Great> I feed TetraMin tropical flakes, freeze-dried bloodworms, occasionally sushi Nori. 6 days ago I added 5 Red Cherry Shrimp to the tank. 2 days ago I added some blanched cabbage to the tank for the shrimp to munch on. Last night I put some pantyhose (stockings) material around the intake of my power filter so any baby shrimp wouldn't get sucked into the filter. Could chemicals from the pantyhose cause this sort of reaction? <Mmm, not likely> Could the cabbage have done something to their bowels? <Yes> All of the fish have good color and energy, they have been eating well and otherwise show no symptoms of disease. Should I take any action or just wait and see? <Definitely the latter... Very easy in such a small volume, with the shrimp present, to induce troubles> I have included a couple pictures that tries to show the problem, they are a little blurry. <These are excellent images!> Thank you for your help. Evan <Bob Fenner, would just be patient here>

Tetra buoyancy 10/20/07 Dear Crew, <Hello there! Andrea with you this afternoon.> Today after feeding my Tetras I noticed that 1 of my Neons is floating toward the surface and actively swimming to stay lower in the aquarium. I feed them tropical flake food with the occasional freeze-dried bloodworms. <Sounds delicious...> I hadn't noticed this behavior before today so my theory is that he sucked in some air while eating. My water parameters are as follows: Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate all 0, pH 7.8. <pH is a little on the high side for Neons, but I wouldn't worry much. You might add some driftwood as a decoration to the aquarium to soften the water and bring it down. What does concern me is that the NitrAte is at 0. How long has the aquarium been up? Generally speaking, in the FW world, we want to see a little nitrate, as it lets us know that the tank isn't cycling. You should have something of a reading...5, 10, 15 ppm at least. What kind of test kits are you using? You might take a sample to the local fish store and have them test it. Having zeros across the board usually tells me that either the tank is brand spanking new, or the test kits have gone bad.> I do a 40% water change every 5 days. <Excellent regimen. Keep it up!> I don't feel that it is a water quality issue, he's not listing around or floating head up or down, but when he stops swimming he floats to the surface. <Could be swim bladder dysfunction. It's not fatal, just looks funny. Do a search on WWM for Swim Bladder for more information.> Is there anything I can do or is this just a "wait and see" type of thing? <If he is otherwise acting healthy, stool looks normal, eating well, I'd just let him be. Could be needing a good burp, could be the food is too fibrous, could be swim bladder, could be something else. You might also try giving him some mushed up blanched peas, in case he has a mild case of constipation.> If it is air and he can't expel it, is that a fatal condition? <No, the air will find a way out, one way or another ;-). They are kind of like us in that way.> Also, how long could it take for him to recover from this? <It really depends what it is. If it is swim bladder damage, he might always be that way, and it is just a quirk. If it is something else, it may pass, or it may not. Worst case scenario is he has some problem that is affecting him neurologically, such as a bacterial infection or parasite, but I'd say the chances of that are relatively slim if he is eating and otherwise well. Unless he shows other symptoms, I'd just call him "Bobby" or "Floaty" or "Bouncy" or something cute.> Thanks for your help, <Anytime!> Evan <Andrea>

Black neon tetra black spot?   3/4/07 Hi there... first of all, love this forum!  So informative. I'll give you a bit of background first.  I have got a 20gal freshwater tank.  Before Xmas had Neons, black Neons, guppies and zebra Danios...a few of each, we were gone for about 11days and I used one of those 12day feeder pucks... <Yikes... not nutritious at all... mostly a chalky mass. I would rather have risked leaving pre-measured foods out and a helpful neighbour... or purchased an automated (electric) fish feeder...> Not sure why it didn't work very well, could've been temperature of the house (we always turn it down when we're away) or lack of light?  (although in a well lit home lots of windows but made sure no direct sunlight so some blinds closed to be sure) When we came back I found the food puck was furry and guppies and Neons were all dead and decaying and stuck by the filter intake...quite a mess to come home to.  Is there any other way, or any suggestions why that process didn't work? <Yes... please see WWM re "Vacations"...> Anyway, since then I have tried to have an Oto for cleaning, and lost both, the last one had a string of clear poop and shortly thereafter died, and when I wrote to you found out that was probably a parasite.  I just recently got a Pleco, was holding off as they grow so big <Some species not so much...> and I have a few zebra Danios and black neon tetras left, was thinking of getting a couple of guppies and I was concerned w/Pleco taking after the fish. <This is rare... most don't chase, consume fish flesh unless they are dead...> Everything seems ok, he is doing an incredible job with the tank and since reading a few blogs have noticed that he too has a few 'lighter colored patches', that could be either an issue or just damage from being caught and transferred about (he came here that way) but acts good and eats well. <Good, and they are tough, and heal well> One of my black neon tetras has black spots, like pepper (although some are more like a dash - than a dot) on the upper side on the white part and just 2 spots on the white on lower part. Hopefully you can see it in the pic. <I do see them> I have found many places that say if it's black spot its easy to treat, however, if it's a tetra family using something like 'quick cure' with malachite green and formalin can be deadly and not good for the Pleco. <Correct. I would not use this, these compounds here> If this is a parasite that lives in the rocks (a fluke I think they called it) then wouldn't the Pleco probably be infected as well and just difficult to see with his coloring? <Mmm, if this were a trematode, it is highly likely it would be more species-specific, not "catching" across family lines...> I wasn't sure and kind of scared of treating the whole tank with quick cure as its quite noxious from what I've found... <Yes. Toxic> so I have a small 1/2gal fishbowl, moved the black neon into that and put an airstone in it and put about 1/3tsp aquarium salt in. <Mmm, I would not do this either... Characins of this sort don't "like" salts... and need a more stable environment...>   What now?  Is that right?  Is that enough to help him?  How long will it take?  I've also heard that the spots may not go away even though the parasite is...so how would I know when it's gone?  He's not flashing or anything, seems to eat well.  Also heard that salt dangerous for Pleco and the quick cure for both could be a problem too.....would love any and all feedback!  Thank you so much!!! Tamara <I would return this Black Neon to the twenty and not treat it actually at all. The spotted-ness is likely protozoan in nature... a Microsporidean... and neither really treatable nor that deleterious... I would leave this fish as is and not worry. Bob Fenner>
Re: black neon tetra black spot?  3/5/07 so...it's not black spot then? <?... many possibilities... granulomas, embedded Metacercariae...> Is that because some of them are dashes - instead of spots? <Is impossible to state for sure (w/o sacrificing the fish, examining microscopically), but this is a rather commonly occurring event...> What if we're wrong and it goes untreated? <Likely the same... nothing or death...> should it not be treated if its Microsporidean? Would it help if I increased water changes? <Mmm, in the case/possibility that this is a trematode... I would treat the system with Praziquantel... Is relatively non-toxic and specific to worm diseases. Bob Fenner>

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