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About Me

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  1. Hi all. This turns out to be a two-year-long story, so my apologies, and thank you for reading. tl;dr: Neons exhibited white lumps on mouth. Treatment did not work but they had QOL, so kept them. Bought new group of neons and cardinals that never showed those symptoms; recently added a betta and more neons. Betta is now developing a lump on bottom lip. Two years ago in February, my husband and I bought our first fish: a group of 6 neon tetras that developed what looks very similar to the tetras in this post: https://forum.aquariumcoop.com/topic/37980-what-is-on-my-fish. The tank had been cycled for a month and we carefully kept track of water quality after adding fish. We could not find the advice given in that post anywhere on the internet, and so gave up after two months doing treatment (detailed below) and added them to our display tank. We obtained new neon and cardinal tetras and they did fine other than stress ich; they were in quarantine for I believe 3-4 weeks before adding to the tank. On May 11 of this year, because our population had dwindled, we purchased 15 more neon tetras and an alien betta fish named Fonsi. All the new fish went into quarantine in our QT tank, but that tank has a HOB filter and I was worried about Fonsi's fins (I baffled as much as I could but was dissatisfied), so I moved him into the display tank on May 13, which had 7 cardinal tetras that looked fine, and 1 neon tetra from the original group. On May 25, I moved the 11 neons remaining in QT into the display tank. On May 14, Fonsi developed a tiny white lump; I kept an eye. I originally thought it might be an injury due to having fed him with tweezers and him bashing into them. I started doing 50% water changes daily on May 21 because I noticed some fin tearing. The lump seems the same size over the past week or so, but I'd like to head this off at the pass if that's something I can do. I added catappa leaves hoping that would help. He has no change in behavior or appetite; still ravenous and excited to see me. The current water parameters are as follows (I did the most recent 50% water change about 12 hours ago): - Display tank is 20g high. - Light is the Easy LED Light; it was the original light that came with the tank until May 23. Light was at 50% brightness for 6 hours a day until Sunday when I realized it might be stressing Fonsi out; now it is down to 30%. - pH: 6.6 (using ACO strip and verifying with API liquid test) - Nitrates: 10 (using ACO strip; this was probably at 20-40 when adding the betta; I did a 30% water change right before adding him and I did roughly biweekly 10%-30% water changes after adding him to the tank because I was motivated to work on removing some of the mulm and hair algae that had built up in the tank) - Hardness: 0-25 (using ACO strip) - Nitrite: 0 (using ACO strip) - Ammonia: 0 (using API liquid test kit) - KH/Buffer: 0-40 (using ACO strip) - Water Temperature: 77.5 (right now; last night it was about 78.5 but the house was also much warmer then too; the heater is set to the 79 switch instead of the 75 switch). - Food: Tetras always got hikari micro pellets and treats of either (frozen) brine shrimp or bloodworms. Fonsi got vibra-bites since we had them on hand. Bought Fluval bug bites which arrived Monday and they've since been getting a mix of that and hikari micro pellets (Fonsi gets bug bites too). Treatments we did with the original 6 neons (from memory) after they developed lumps: - salt treatments at Lvl 1 and likely lvl 2. I don't remember if we went up to level 3. - Full Maracyn treatment x2 - Maracyn 2 treatment - Kanaplex - Ich-X. - Treated for parasites - When not expressly contra-indicated by medication instructions, we did 30-50% water changes almost daily (skipping 0-2 days a week, not in a row) because many sources said that was key. - Treatment(s) continued for about 2 months total before we finally gave up. At no time did the neons look skinny or as if they were wasting away. They all ate and were interested by food. There is one survivor and he is pictured below. He looks essentially as he did two years ago when we finally gave up treatment. All of the cardinal tetras he is living with look great, except for one cardinal whose picture I have added. New fish look normal. Fonsi's lump is pictured below; first showing on May 14 and one picture as of yesterday (tail tearing in the second pic already looks healed as of this morning) Below is Fonsi when we first got him: Full tank picture, when adding Fonsi on May 13 (parameters were 0, 0, and 20 at this time) and as of this morning; : The tank has ramshorn snails and one tagalong shrimp (he swam into the bag with the neons we recently got). The banana plant and red wendtii are new, but the swords have been the sole plant survivors since we set up the tank. I suspect Fonsi the betta may have to be moved to my 10g quarantine tank, which I've been ghost feeding since moving the neons. I'm waiting on the ACO sponge filter which I ordered and which should arrive Friday; I'm hesitant to move the betta until I have that sponge filter, but I suspect he is either being fin-nipped by the neons or is rubbing against the stump I have in the tank; another reason I have been doing water changes and monitoring. I was expecting to receive some hornwort and floaters in the mail last week that would help break up the line of sight, but USPS lost the package and the seller is resending for it to arrive next week on Thursday or Friday. We rent from the people that live right below us and our lease allows for maximum one tank, with one temporary one for quarantine. I like our landlords. I don't want to end up having to set up multiple permanent tanks and I'm not interested in hiding a tank from them. One more element: we are going on a family hike with my in-laws in mid-June and will be gone some number of weeks. We have a person we trust to do water changes and we have the ACO automatic feeder. My questions are as follows: 1. Best course of action to help the betta survive and heal? 2. Should I euthanize the remaining original neon tetra? 3. Should the other tetras be returned to give the betta the best shot? 4. Should I remove the stump to prevent fin tearing in the betta? Have been currently keeping it for line of sight reasons. 5. Should I euthanize the cardinal tetra with the weird tail? 6. ETA: Do you have a suggestion for a water change schedule going forward? At this point, I am feeling extremely discouraged. Adding Fonsi the betta to the tank really re-invigorated my love of the hobby and I've been really enjoying the aquarium since we got him. But the drawn-out treatment of the neons and not having any answers the first time around pretty much destroyed my desire to have fish the first time around. I don't want to go through that again. There have been a few times before getting Fonsi when I was ready to take the tetras back to my LFS, but my husband is attached to them for nostalgia reasons and so I decided not to. However, I talked to him last night and he said he understood if that was the best course of action for Fonsi. I'm emotionally attached to Fonsi and watching him and interacting with him has been really healing; I haven't really had an emotional attachment to the tetras since the entire fiasco 2 years ago, and we bought new neons only because I think when I have purchased animals I owe them a healthy life free from stress, and the cardinals/neon were seeming to get more and more shy. Thank you again for reading and for any help you can provide.
  2. I'm looking into tetras for my 30 gallon aquarium. I like green neons, but also would like to consider cardinals and neon tetras. My main preference is hardiness, as I am new to fishkeeping and would prefer an "easier" fish while I figure out more and more 😁 I have heard neon tetras aren't very hardy and are short-lived. Is this the case? What about cardinals? What can I expect for any tetras? do tetras need a top / lid on the aquarium? My aquarium is stocked with 9 pygmy cories and I will likely increase that number. I also plan on three or four otocinclus and then the school of tetras. My pH is about 7.0 to 7.4, gH G and kH 7 - 8 . My temperature is 22/23 degrees in the winter and 24 degrees in summer (22 c = 71 f, 24 c = 75 f)* *I have changed my heater on my aquariums for a long while after realizing that where I live has harsh winters and hot hot summers (gotta love west of the Cascades, am I right? [yes, I am]), and to keep the water temperature more stable I simply adjust it depending on the season. Mimics the natural habitat a bit better as well.
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