5 Reasons Why Neon Tetras Die


Today I’m only talking about something that’s pretty sad and something that I find a bit too familiar in the aquarium hobby, and that is the reason why neon tetras die. Neon tetras are often referred to as very finicky fish and something that’s not considered to be very hardy.

These guys can be a little bit like, I wouldn’t even say finicky, they’re prone to a lot of different things than a lot of other fish, and the reasons for this is because these guys are just sold in huge numbers. In fact, there’re like millions of these guys sold every month and the repercussions from that, obviously, a lower quality of fish. Sometimes that doesn’t mean that there are not good distributors of neon tetras. Don’t get me wrong, there definitely are, but a lot of the time these guys have changed hands three or four times before they get to your house and by that point, there’s just a lot of stuff that can be wrong.

So today I’m going to try and diagnose exactly what can happen and why neon tetras just might start dying one by one and some of the reasons that are really common. As to what you can do to kind of fix these problems and when you bring them in what to do to make sure that you don’t have more problems, if that makes sense, smash just hair out to the end to get all of the information, I’m gonna try and give you as much detail as possible and try and help you out as much as possible.

Reasons Why Neon Tetras Die

Bad Genes

The first reason why these guys can die is simply bad genes. Now this can be really easily mistaken and that’s because a lot of the time people don’t want to take responsibility for a problem. Now bad genes happen because these guys are just produced like crazy amounts of bread in huge farms and there’s just millions and millions in these guys being pumped out and in fact, I’ve heard from aquarium co-op.

They have very good videos on this topic that basically, when they went to all these fish farms and like kind of stuff, they don’t even count out the fish at this point, because there’s so many what they do is they weigh the fish and they’ll just take a big scoop: they’ll weigh them or go okay. That amount that we’ve weighed is roughly about five per to neon tetras and then they’ll send them off.

So, there’s no quality check from the time that they leave, and I mean like normally the pet stores want to take them out really easily. Some deformities can happen. So, when you see like a huge bent, spire and stuff like that, that can come from the farms. Just having bad genes now, this isn’t a super common thing. I see a lot of people have the bent spines, and I think that we can kind of link this to the same kind of issues that we see with Guppies with the Ben Spies.

It’s just tons of inbreeding over a period of time and it just causes bad genes. Now I don’t really see the link between diseases being linked to the bent spires. I see the more separate issues I think the bent spines are mainly just genetic and they can also develop after you get a fish like you might be developing after the fish starts to grow. If you buy like a little baby neon tetra. So that’s my first reason: sometimes they just have bad genes and they just get bent spines and die off that way.


Now my second reason can be just simply from stress. They come into a wholesaler where there’s just thousands and thousands of these guys and totes outside or just like in the greenhouse, wherever they come from very stressful. They’re not getting fed enough and That can cause a lot of stress, but then they go to the fish shop or the pet shop. And then the same kind of treatment happens they’re just on a smaller scale. So, it’s very stressful and then they come to your aquarium and they’re already stressed. So, you kind of already got the short straw, but then, if you aren’t experienced aquarium keeper, you can easily stress these guys out.

So, they are known to come from lower pH areas. So, areas of the Orinoco River, where there’s just tons and tons of tannin in the water and the pH, is low and the harness is low and they also come from areas where there’s tons and tons of schools. These guys. These guys aren’t meant to be sold in schools of like two three kind called out school they’re meant to be solved in at least at least schools of over eight, so sometimes people will just buy them, not have enough for them to be a schooling fish, and its’s just in their genes and their natural living ways to have to have like all these other fish around to feel secure.

You can’t change that, and the best way to do that is to add more fish. The other thing can also be the pH a lot of time when they were too stressed out. Putting them in a really high pH is obviously not the natural environment which we’re trying to mimic, and that can also cause problems. So, you can just stress a fish out really easily, especially when they’re treated like the neon tetras on they just have so much hands being stuck in before they get to you. So I don’t know if that makes sense like the trading hands so many times before they get to you and that just causes stress with anyone.


Okay, so my third reason that neon tetras can die is kind of not a direct reason, but it can be a result of a lot of different things leading up to this issue. So, this issue is gonna be immunity and the capability for the fish to deal with certain environments and to be able to self-sustain itself through issues that its body’s going to face so illnesses like all kinds of stuff. So, basically, a fish, sometimes with really good. Immunity is going to be able to kind of shake off a disease or like some illness, and when you have a fish with really low immunity, it’s just going to quickly succumb to anything.

That’s really bad. So, a quick, pH drop or a quick temperature drop, or something like that or like just any shot, can really set a fish with bad immunity off. So we community comes from low oxygen levels in the water. They can also just be completely malnourished and famished, so that just comes from the fact that wholesalers try and produce and get these fish out with the least amount of feeding and the lowest costs attached, so normally neon tetras before they get to you most of the time, they’re going to be under fed and they’re going to be quite skinny.

This just happens because there’s just thousands and thousands of these guys being produced and it’s hard to feed the right amount, and I don’t know it’s just not easy to keep a healthy fish – and we just have so many thousands that we’re trying to take care of so that’s where we get the weakened immunity now. Basically, we won’t try and say: this isn’t really a direct cause. But the point I’m trying to get across is that this can be the issue, that something small and minor kill the fish.

So weakened immunity comes from being malnourished and famished. So, just not enough food in the last couple of stages before it got to you and then a lot of oxygen levels in the water. What I mean by that is just if you have like a really high-tech planted aquarium, it’s got lots of co2 and stuff like that. Yes, you might have plants in the aquarium. it’s just not enough to produce enough oxygen in the water for these guys to stay alive because having low oxygen in an aquarium, it’s a slow, slight killer.

It takes you down really slowly. It’s not like something That’s gonna kill you straight away. It just really slowly starts to break down your immune system and your body is not really able to deal with problems interfaces. So it’s the same for fish. A weakened immunity can be a common cause for death in Neal in an aquarium.


The fourth reason can be illnesses, so we’re not going to talk about neon tetra disease yet, but your illnesses like fin right, your internal parasites and stuff like that, can also be very common.

So some white edges on the fins of neon tetras, which isn’t neon tetras disease, it’s just some kind of bacterial infection or fungal infection, or something like that. It’s very, very common, especially when the fish is stressed and they’ve been going through. All these people before you it’s super common, so I’m trying to make this as simple as possible, so illness can be a killer. So, your fin rights and your fungal infections and stuff like that can all be killers.

So bacterial fungal infections and even internal power sites can also kill. They can also be like worms and stuff like that inside of your neon tetras that are eating the food that the neons are eating and slowly making them skinny and malnourished and then we’d normally don’t see this with neon tetras, we more often see this with white bears and gummies and stuff like that, but I have seen it happen to me. On tetras I haven’t really experienced internal parasites and neon tetras myself, but the really common ones are your bacterial thin rods, they’re just super common.

Neon Tetras Ease

Reason number five is gonna be neon tetras ease. Now this is something that’s very, very voodoo in the aquarium hobby. It’s something that a lot of people don’t really know a lot about and what it is. It’s a micro bacterium, it’s the most misdiagnosed disease that there is so it’s a disease that spread on from fish to fish. It causes a lot of like tumors growing on the fish and causes them to get really skinny, and it’s kind of induced, often by a lot of things I just talked about.

So that’s why I tried to talk about all of those things first, so you guys in jumped straight to this thing, because it’s a very, very hard thing to deal with. Often the best thing to do is to euthanize that fish now look, people are gonna. Have their own opinions on things? And yes, it’s sad to euthanize fish but in my opinion, it’s the best thing to do because what’s gonna happen is that fish is just slowly gonna letter to transfer from fish to fish to fish in an aquarium. And it’s just gonna slowly fester in that aquarium and marinate and cause issues.

So, it’s the most misdiagnosed disease that there is and it’s heavily induced by a lot of things. I was just talking about so high stress, you’re, low immunity. Also, if a fish already has like fin rot or something like that, it can also cause more susceptibility to getting neon tetras disease. So basically, we’re just trying to not let this first of all get into our, but then also not let it marinate. So it’s very hard to deal with. There’s not a lot of information out there to give you guys, but it is an issue just I wouldn’t be jumping straight to it.

Okay, so we’ve just talked about what other common causes of neon tetras dyeing. Why did your neon tetras die? Now I’m gonna try and give you some solutions to this problem.

How to Prevent Neon Tetras From Dyeing?


My first solution is going to be to quarantine your fish. Quarantine our fish is super important. What I mean by that is, every time you bring a new fish medicate them all the same way. I recommend, using a general cure, something to treat it and also an antibiotic. Now all these three things are going to get rid of any internal parasites. Any bacterial infections and all that kind of stuff ENIAC as well, and it’s going to be the most important thing to make sure that you prevent bringing any of this stuff in quiet evening, also takes into account watching and making sure that all of your fish.

Don’t start to develop any extra symptoms while they’re in quarantine, so you can take out any fish that become sick and separate them or euthanize them, or anything that you have to do depending on what method you’re going to take. And it’s just super important for making sure that you don’t encounter any of these issues later on.

Feed Heavily

My second solution is going to be to feed heavily like really heavily, not like a crazy amount that we just dirty up the water and cause ammonia, spikes and stuff like that, but to feed it generously and feed often. I’d recommend feeding very small amounts, but a lot of times during the day, instead of just giving them a huge amount and a big buffet and then just bloating them and like kind of stuff. So little mass of food, but frequently throughout the day and also feeding a varied diet.

While are you doing that so lots of little daphnia’s and I wouldn’t recommend doing frozen bloodworms because they are very, very big for these guys to eat. But Daphnia is really good. Some of the Cyclops some frozen brine shrimp, some baby bunch and that’ll vibe. I really good your micro pellets are good and your tropical flakes are all really good food, so it’ll get them really fat, get them to put on some size and build up their immunity.

Avoid Stressful Situations

That way, my third tip is going to be to obviously avoid stressful situations, so avoid trying to lower PHS and try and keep a stable aquarium.

Oxygenated Aquarium

My fourth tip is gonna be to have a highly oxygenated aquarium. So you do this simply through just adding an airstone with an air pump and I recommend to have an air pump or some kind of air flow in any kind of aquarium. So you can get this like a sponge filter or an airstone or any kind of means, and it is proven to add more oxygen to your aquarium. And this is going to help to build up their immunity and also for them to be able to fight off any diseases that are present and to not succumb to them.

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