Tetras dying ...

blakekr(Zone 5B, NY State)January 7, 2007

I'm a new fish owner, not very knowledgeable. I have four tetras, one catfish and one large plec. I'd like to get more when I know the tank is healthy, but ...

I recently brought home four tetras from the nearest pet store to keep the old surviving one company. It's a longish drive and I got caught in Christmas rush hour; they were in plastic bags for about 45 minutes. I expected deaths but the new guys did fine at first. Then one black-skirted tetra died a few weeks later and now one of the white ones looks ready to go. It's in the corner of the tank on the bottom breathing hard.

Like I said, I'm new, but have been doing religious water changes and gravel vacuuming. I dechlorinate the tap water using additives. My attempts at testing show relatively low nitrates (.5ppm no2, 20ppm no3) and almost no ammonia. The rest of the fish seem very active and happy. Even the catfish seems remarkably active since I started testing and cleaning more assertively. Appreciate ideas on what might be stressing -- well, killing -- my poor tetras.


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Late so maybe I am misreading.

What size tank. Pleco is pretty large (or gets to be)

That said, what is the ph of the tank... most not all tetras prefer lower ph... below 7... (what was in the bag your brought them home in) I do many hours slow dribble to move the ph from store (5) to mine 7.6. Now note I said tetres like lower ph. The ones I got and put into already cycled tank.. are pristella tetras and from my research are hardier and can handle higher ph and even brakish water then most tetras.

Should be no ammonia which means all is off in tank ie not best water. Tetras tend to be very sensitive to water conditions in my experience and research (again prestellas are often used to cycle - something I think no fish should be used strictly for) much hardier.

That said, not fish will do well with not best water conditions.

I would not put any pleco large or otherwise with any small fish. In spite of what you may or may not have read, mine (gone now gave away) would eat my smaller fish including cat fish (pregnant and really upset me, one of pair I was going to breed) you say large, so again what size tank... they could be getting stressed. They also get stressed when not in proper sized school.

Please write again or email me sherryazure@yaoo.com (not getting emails anymore and can't seem to correct) for info on tank size.

Are you over zeolous in cleaning vacumming thereby causing ammonia (bacteria has to start recylce all over again)... Please mentions size of tank so one can determine amount of water changes.... don't do all of gravel all at once. Unless you have live plants you don't need deep gravel..

I would wait to add anything until this is figured out.

Need tank size.



Type of filtrations

and actualy size of pleco for tank size.. they grow up to 12 inches and you need a huge tank eventually.

Live plants, any plants, wood for pleco... algae waefers fed to pleco...

The more informatin the better.

Any symptoms with re to fish prior to dying?

Again, though you mention ammonia. zero. Fish have gills that have delicate little arches. This is the area where oxygen transportation occurs. when this is damages (ie fish jumps, they collaspe) or ammnoia or other neg water (ammonia burns this area like acid to them) they then can't breathe and blood gets damaged so on.. breathing hard and lying on side is an indication of this.

Please post more info. Best Sherry

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 1:30AM
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