Green neon tetras becoming translucent - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014, 02:59 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Location: Kansas
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Green neon tetras becoming translucent

As the attached picture shows, I have two (one pictured) green neons that are becoming translucent. Their iridescence has also faded and become mottled.

This started about four weeks ago when I raised the temperature in the tank to 89 degrees to stave off what looked like a possible ich infection on a tank mate. The raised temperature continued for about two and a half weeks. No ich outbreak. I thought these guys would return to normal appearance after the tank was returned to 78 degrees. Now more than one week later, they still look translucent and dull. I have another green neon that appears normal. I have one cardinal tetra that also appears normal.

Other key factors:

1. The fish are behaving normally and have since the problem appeared. No flashing. No isolation. Swimming in normal movements/patterns, especially when compared to the other tetras in the group that have a normal outward appearance.

2. Their physical appearance is otherwise normal. Specifically, they aren't losing body mass and aren't suffering from any apparent skeletal deformities.

3. They are eating normally.

4. They are schooling with the other neons.

5. The problem hasn't appeared to get any better or worse since onset. In other words, the change appears stable.

Anyone experienced a similar issue? Any thoughts on a cause? I'm not overly concerned given the normal behavior and eating. Since it's lingered this long, however, I'm wondering if there is anything I can do to return their former appearance.

Thank you.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014, 03:32 AM
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I'll admitt I've never seen this before, so consider this just "average joe" advice.

89 is a pretty aggressive temperature to hold for 2 weeks, even for warm-water loving neons. Might have stressed em out a bit.

I would suggest maintaining a low-stress environment for a while. Make sure:
- tank/filter stay clean
- ammonia and nitrite are 0

I would also offer varied foods if you don't already, you have a better chance of covering all the nutritional bases that way. A lot of the colors in fish come from natural pigments in the foods they eat. You might have cooked the pigments out of their skin (not particularly harmful in itself). Foods with shrimp and spriulina or color enhancers should be in the diet somewhere.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014, 04:08 AM
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sounds like they are stressed to me. Take a look at profile

and try to match the water to them. As far as I know all green neons are still wild caught. So getting water to match closer to what they have in the wild is a little bit more Important to them.

I have only seen the washed out colors right after they were added to my tank, and very stressed.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014, 05:16 AM Thread Starter
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My water fits the profile. These fish have been in the tank for six months. I added three green neons at the same time. Two of those are the ones I wrote about. The third is unaffected. There haven't been any other recent changes in the tank other than the temperature issue I discussed.

I'm not being argumentative. Just trying to add any relevant pieces to the puzzle.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014, 06:10 AM
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Odd... Perhaps treat it like it's stress, just in case? If it doesn't help, I don't know what it is, but I don't think it's a major concern... If they don't otherwise seem affected, I think they're okay.
My adventures in keeping Indostomus crocodilus, the crocodile toothpick fish. AKA armored stickleback, paradox fish, and freshwater pipefish. Care is (to the best of my knowledge) exactly the same as Indostomus paradoxus.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014, 08:49 AM
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Did you introduce any fish/animals that would have caused the possible ich? If not, then it wasn't ich.

Did you gradually increase temperature over a period of a week or did you increase immediately? Sudden significant increase in temperature changes can cook pigment cells causing them to die.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014, 01:19 PM
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This happened to me with reg. Neons after I treated for ich, i think it's ntd, stress induced from the heat.. mine started washing out than twisting up.. they'd swim, school and eat right until the end. No cure, just remove asap after death or right before so nothing nibbles at it..
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014, 09:36 PM
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I just went through this a couple of months ago with three of my twelve GNT's displaying the same lack of color. I first thought NTD, then bacterial infections. When I got sick of dumping meds in the tank, I took a look at my water, the PPM's had climbed well out of their range. In my case I believe I got a little lax in my maintenance and after a major water change, these guys returned to normal within two days.

I'm now diligent in monitoring the hardness and haven't had a recurrence since.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-07-2014, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Green neon tetras becoming translucent

When you say ppm, what components were you testing for exactly?

My ammonia and nitrite are in order (both 0). I dose EI dry ferts for the plants, so I have other compounds floating in the tank. I wonder whether this is a contributor.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-07-2014, 11:01 PM
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dGH and dKH, I try to keep mine at 7 and 3 respectively.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-08-2014, 12:10 AM
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What is your Nirate level? I might also back the water temp down for a little while and build back up. I remember someone told me they do better in cooler water, I have a batch 15 strong with a sprinkle of regular neons mixed in.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-08-2014, 04:38 AM Thread Starter
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I've been running it at 78 since the ich treatment. That ended about four weeks ago.

I've got a kH of 7 and gH of 9. These guys appeared fine for months without any substantial change in water chemistry.

They continue to behave normally but, man, they are ugly.
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