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 Black Neons Spawning

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ddavis1979
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PostSubject: Black Neons Spawning   Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:13 am

I had an earlier thread about the hyper antics of the fish in the tank, and how it was related to the black neons spawning and the tiger barbs eating the eggs. Well....this morning was a zoo!

I noticed the same behavior again (and again I did not have my camera ready). But I did sit an watch for about an hour. I dont know how many instances I missed ( am sure there were some ) but I did witness at least 8 times where they released eggs. I started counting, and I have 5 confirmed females and 5 confirmed males, and 3 unknown.

The females are releasing groups of 10-15 eggs as the males rub gills with them, but I am assuming they are holding hundreds of eggs and releasing a little bit at a time. I am starting to think I need to seperate the tiger barbs and let these neons spawn without the harassment.

Any ideas?

Also I will get video of this as soon as I can.

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PostSubject: Re: Black Neons Spawning   Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:45 am

If you think the neons are stressed and aggravated by the barbs then it might be wise to separate them, because it could weaken their immune system and make them susceptible to disease.

If it is just a matter of the barbs preventing successful spawning then you'd have to decide if you wanted to try to breed the neons and set them up for it on their own. It can be a challenge to successfully breed tetras and it may be that if the barbs weren't there the eggs wouldn't hatch anyway, and this way the barbs are just getting a "free" meal.

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PostSubject: Re: Black Neons Spawning   Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:01 pm

The barbs do a lot of pestering, but only when the spawning is happening. An hour later, everything is calm and peaceful.

Given that most of the females are ejecting large numbers of eggs, what conditions would prevent them from hatching?

It might be a lost cause, I think one of the tetras was eatings its own eggs, and there are other fish in the tank that would most likely make a meal of them. But if I were to take the time to set up a smaller tank for just the tetras, chances are I would remove the conditions that are making the spawn.

I am envisioning putting a temporary net or plexiglass divide in the tank and having neons on one side and barbs on the other, but thats a long shot from now.

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PostSubject: Re: Black Neons Spawning   Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:35 am

Well . . . . I guess the excitement of spawning was too much for some of the neons. I have lost a handful of them over the past few days and I am not 100% sure why, there are a lot of factors and possible theories.

#1 - I rearranged a lot of the aquascape, which caused stress and stirred up a lot of sediment.

#2 - I added some new fish from the fish store and could have introduced some new bacteria to the tank which killed them.

#3 - After the tiger barbs learned that eggs/food comes from these guys, and after removing the more aggressive gourami from the tank, they harrassed these neons pretty relentlessly.

#4 - These black neons were pretty huge considering the max size of the species, and it could be that dying off was a natural part of the lifecycle after such a mass spawning session.

Three of them looked like they had trama in the belly region, 2 others had no signs of trama, and the last one was a smaller fish and wasnt much left of the body, pretty torn up.

Thoughts?

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PostSubject: Re: Black Neons Spawning   Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:10 pm

My first guess would be number 1 above, followed by 2. Not sure of the bacteria or illness factor from the store, although certainly a strong possibility which is why a quarantine if you have one such an important item to have. Neons in general have a pretty high mortality rate when introducing new ones, especially if there are already established fish in there. I would not rule out your Barbs either. They have a pretty nasty reputation with Tetra's especially peace loving Neons. I always figured God gave these little guys quite an unfare advantage in life being a baitfish, then giving them colors that pop out in contrast to their environ. Sort of flashing neon (excuse pun) lights saying "HERE I AM COME EAT ME"

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PostSubject: Re: Black Neons Spawning   Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:34 pm

I havent completely ruled out the tiger barbs, but signs are pointing away from them at this point. I have lost 4 more fish today, 1 black neon, 1 neon, and two cherry barbs. The tiger barbs never have paid attention to the cherry barbs, and there were no physical signs of trama on any of the new deaths. Also, 3 of the total black neon deaths were not the new fish, but the big old established fish. Also, I spent some time observing the tank tonight, and two more black neons are gasping right now.

I am going to do a large water change tonight and hope that helps. I am feeling a little down on myself because I feel like I made a rookie mistake by changing too many variables at once, and adding too many fish at once.

I wouldnt be surprised if I lost most of my stock, and I am a little gun shy about adding more until things are stabilized, but I am not sure what the issue is.

Do I need to put the bubblers back in....those things have been very annoying and difficult to work with.

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PostSubject: Re: Black Neons Spawning   Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:44 pm

it never hurts to add aeration if you're seeing gasping. I don't know if you do this or not, but since I don't have a quarantine tank, I just treat the tank with artemiss/herbtana (a natural product to boost their immune system to help fight off bacterial/parasitic diseases) with each new addition. Melafix/pimafix would be the same idea. Since starting that, the only mortalities have been with a new addition and doesn't affect the older tankmates. I started doing that after an outbreak of columnaris after adding a tetra school.
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PostSubject: Re: Black Neons Spawning   Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:26 pm

DDavis - have you checked your water params today?

- Ammonia

- Nitrite

- Nitrate

- PH

- Water Temp

Anything changed?

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PostSubject: Re: Black Neons Spawning   Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:54 pm

No, all parameters are good:

Ammo - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - barely readable on API test strip, its there but < that 20

PH - 6.7-6.8
Water Temp - 80

Karbonate Hardness is low, general hardness is high around 180.

I am really thinking that its oxygen depravation at this point. I have a lot of filtration, but I consistently keep the water level high to keep the noise down, and I put in a deflecter on the aquaclear 70 to re0direct the flow of water down the back wall of the tank and I took the bubblers out. Given the behavior of the fish, the additional plants, and the additional fish, I think I am forced to put the bubbler back in the tank.

I hate that thing.

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PostSubject: Re: Black Neons Spawning   Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:31 am

Although the bubbler is a great tool to help with the beneficial bacteria with cycling process to combat ammonia, nitrite, as well as oxygenates and moves water, I still think there was too much trauma. The radical change in the aquascaping/cleaning accompanied with adding new fish is stressful and hard on any fish, but Tetras IMO are less hardy than many other fish and don't handle the trauma well. I certainly would wait a couple weeks after you get control back and no more fatalities before adding more fish.
I've noticed when cleaning, and moving things around stirs up a lot of sediment. The fish think it's food and try to eat it. Often they are able to spit out but sometimes not. Some of the sediment is not only fecal matter but old uneaten food that is toxic. Most catfish won't even eat it.
Sounds like your water test has proven okay. The gasping, while sometimes an infection sounds more like oxygen deprivation. The reason I say the above suspicians is that is your Neons were mating, which normally requires healthy fish and good water. You changed the picture by re aquascaping and adding new fish at or near the same time. It may have been just to hard on them. I think your on the right track by partial water change, perhaps adding Melafix and Pimafix, and the aerator.

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PostSubject: Re: Black Neons Spawning   Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:05 pm

Well...I am very "under stocked" at the moment. I rehomed the tiger barbs, I re-installed the bubbler, and I added a dose of melafix to the tank, and I continue to lose fish.

There is no trama to the body, no discoloration, the fish totally look normal. Maybe 4-6 hours before death, the fish looks to be gasping and swimming funny. But its not like I lose a bunch of fish at once. I would say 1-2 fish every 24-48 hours.

What can you think of that would cause a pattern of death like that? Its pregnant fish, its male fish, its neon tetras, black neon tetras, and cherry barbs. Nothing else has been effected yet. I have noticed a significant drop in the carbonate hardness of the water, but thats the only parameter than has changed, and everything else looks healthy.

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PostSubject: Re: Black Neons Spawning   Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:35 am

I think the culprit is the new fish, either directly they killed the Neons or indirectly they brought a disease that did them in.

What species did you add?

I think there would be a much larger spacing between deaths if it was old age.

Another possibility is something was going wrong earlier and the spawning was actually a symptom. There has been some study of cories finding that those who are near death are actually more likely to spawn than healthy ones. It sort of makes sense from an evolutionary point of view to give it one last shot to pass on the genes.
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PostSubject: Re: Black Neons Spawning   Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:24 pm

Gasping can mean only one thing - oxygen deprivation.

Too much Prime can do that (I have had this happen) and ammonia/nitrite can do it. A spike in either of these values could do permanent damage to the gills, so the decor rearrangement could have disturbed your cycle, causing a spike that had recovered by the time you tested.

I can't tell you how many mysterious fish deaths I have had, so I know what you're going through! Sometimes you really have to break down every little thing and find the cause, and sometimes you never do. Keep a journal of everything that happens to your tank, and everything you do, and sometimes down the road you can get the answer. It took me a very long time to realize that I had overdosed Prime.

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PostSubject: Re: Black Neons Spawning   Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:31 pm

I would have said gasping can mean LOTS of different things - oxygen deprivation, excess CO2 (not an issue if you're not adding any), poisoning, low pH (less than 5.5), gill damage, and many possible diseases: bacteria, protozoa, flukes, etc.

My suspicion is infectious disease since your water qual params seem OK. Might try praziquantel + metronidazole. Its a shot in the dark if you cant ID the cause, but Prazi+Metro is a "shot" that often works.

@Liz wrote:
Gasping can mean only one thing - oxygen deprivation. .
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PostSubject: Re: Black Neons Spawning   Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:49 pm

Ok, I see your point, Gerald!

The other contributing factors lead me to a cycling issue, though.

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PostSubject: Re: Black Neons Spawning   Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:05 pm

Typically a bacterial issue has visible indicators, especially post mortem. I would also think that with many of the other factors that more fish would have been affected in a shorter amount of time.

Its been over a week, and the slow loss of fish, 1 or 2 a day just seems very odd to me. Not all strong fish survived, not all the weak fish died, and it spanned over multiple species.

Very odd.

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