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FAQs on the Black Neon Tetras

Related Articles: Cardinal Tetras; A School of Beauty, Part II,  by Alesia Benedict, Characid Fishes

Related FAQs:  Cardinal Tetras, Characid/Tetra Fishes,

marks on Black Neon tetra       8/10/15
Dear WWM Masters,
<Howdy Dev!>
Thanks a ton for the incredible service you provide to let us take better care of our charges. Much appreciated.
<Glad we can share>
The attached picture is of one of my shoal of 8 Black Neons. Any idea what the markings might mean? Others do not have anything similar. They are 4 months in the tank, no change in appetite or behaviour.
<Yikes.... Remove and isolate (or... destroy) the affected fish.... This appears to be an incidence of "Neon Tetra Disease" (Pleistophora, a Microsporidean)... yes, does infests other fishes.... Not curable (at this point)>
This 'warm water' tank is 30X15X12(H), about a year old, filtered by a 500l/hr HOB packed with ceramic and bioballs and a similar flow internal power similarly packed. NH3, NO2, NO3 0,0,<10; pH 7.3, kH 3, TDS 150, tankmates 6 Sterbai Cory, 4 each of Rummynose and Cardinal tetras, 1 male Pearl Gourami and a Red Lizard Plec. Crypts, Anubias, Java Fern, floating
pennywort and duckweed, Indian Almond leaves, submerged roots, river stones, caves, sand substrate. Temp is now above 30C from an Indian summer.
It has a laminar flow fan blowing across the surface, no artificial lights.
20% weekly water change, feeding from Hikari Micro pellets, sinking wafers, Ocean Nutrition Brine Shrimp plus and Spirulina flakes and Tetra bits.
Freeze dried bloodworms occasionally. I dose K2SO4 as per EI and Seachem Flourish Comprehensive and Iron.
Should I be concerned?
<Yes; and sorry to be the bearer of such bad news. DO search re the terms above... this could be another Microsporidean, Protozoan, even some worms.... As usual/always I (and I'd go far to say many other WWM Crew)
state simply what we would do given similar/same circumstances. NOT worth waiting... isolate or euthanize this black Neon>
Thanks again.
Devakalpa (India)
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: marks on Black Neon tetra         8/11/15
Dear Bob,
Thanks for the inputs. I shall act accordingly.
<Ah, good. Please keep us informed; send along your observations. BobF>

Re: marks on Black Neon tetra         8/17/15
Dear Bob,
Apologies for the delay in updating. I went the clove oil route the day I heard from you, it seemed to be the safest (but tough) option.
Since then no signs of contamination yet; the remaining Black Neons, Cardinals and Rummy Noses are doing fine.
<Glad to read>
Thanks again
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

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>

Black Neon Spawning 3.16.05 Hey... just came across this site by chance, LUCK! Hoping you could help. 3 of 5 black widow tetras have huge bellies, the other two are smaller in size. They all seem to have slight blood streaked abdominals. <Keep an eye on this, it could be nothing, or it could be a sign of poor water quality.> Do you think this is due to the shark chasing them a lot (maybe hurting them? <Doubt it, unless the shark is actually catching them.> Or that they are having little tetras of their own?? <Could be constipated as well.> If they are pregnant, then how can I tell when they are ready to burst? Last time my guppy had babies she went crazy on her own, so I felt bad and put her back in with the other and the poor little babies only lived for 2 hours.  <Try to remember the good times you shared.> HELP! Thank you....thank you, thank you :) Debbie x <Hi Debbie, although I have never tried to breed them I'm a big fan of the black neon myself. Unlike your guppies which are live bearers, Neons are egg layers. If your fish are getting frisky you will notice the male's colors will be enhanced and the females will be larger and rounder as they are full of eggs. If they do spawn, chances are they will eat all of the eggs. If you want to breed them, search the web for "Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi" you should find plenty of info on breeding techniques. Best Regards -- Gage > 

Tiger Barbs and Black Neon Pregnant Questions Hello. I really enjoy reading your site and I can only marvel at the dedication (and politeness) of your crew in answering questions to help out people like us. I wrote because I have a question on breeding. I am trying to get my tiger barbs to breed. I do have a separate tank and tried to follow what I have read on various websites on how to breed them but nothing seems to be happening. Is it absolutely essential to separate the male and female? Is it ok to leave the males in the main tank, put the female in the breeding tank, and when she's ready, that's when I put the male in? How do I even know if she's pregnant or just fat? I am also concerned about the female being kept too long in the breeding tank. When I first placed her there, she looked miserable. When I added two companions, she perked up. I also have black neon tetras. I think they are females and they look like they are going to burst in their bellies. I am not sure if they are fat or pregnant, or if that is even possible since I don't have male black Neons. They eat fine and I feed only once or twice a day. Do I leave them like that? They swim fine but I'm not sure if it is healthy for them to look/be that fat or pregnant. < When tiger barbs get ready to breed the female will fatten up and the male will be paying lots of attention to her. If you see the two side by side making runs at bunches of plants then they are getting ready to breed. The Neons do a similar motion but don't make the runs at the plants. To get egg scatters to breed I feed the fish heavily with live food for about a week and then heat up the tank to 80 to 82 degrees F. I clean the filters and do a large 50%  water change with soft to medium hard water. This usually gets them going but creates another problem. The eggs become scattered all over the tank and they now become a food source for the adults. To separate the eggs from the adults old timers lined the bottom of a bare breeding tank with marbles and allowed the eggs to fall between the pore of the marbles and then remove the parents from the tank. A coarse mesh suspended an inch or two off the bottom of the aquarium will do the same thing. It is nearly impossible to get the tiny fry out of an existing community aquarium. Females may become ripe with eggs without a male being present and will absorbed the eggs after awhile without spawning.-Chuck> Mei

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