Lemon Tetras dying - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2012, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Lemon Tetras dying

My lemon tetras seem to be slowly dying one by one. It seems that they seperate from the school and then once I find them they are having trouble swimming. Their bodies are curved and they cannot stay up in the water; they float down to the bottom of the tank all curved and sideways. I am not sure what is wrong with them. Also, it seems that it is just the biggest of the tetras, the smaller ones seem ok.

Here are the tank specs: 29 gallon, 8, now 6, lemon tetras, two Bolivian Rams. The tank has been running for a little over two months and is cycled. It is fairly well planted with two large swords, about 40 dwarf chain swords, two small Vesuvius swords, and a small amount of babys tears. The temp. is 80, ph 7.8, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 0, KH 8, GH 17. The fish are fed a good quality flake food and they have been in the tank for about 1.5 weeks. All the fish came from a LFS with a good reputation and no sick fish in the store tanks. They were all introduced at the same time and water quality was monitored.

Any ideas as to what is killing them? I have another lemon tetra now swimming at the top of the tank gulping air and I fear this one will be next. Any help will be appreciated.

Oh, I do not use CO2 for the plants.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2012, 09:59 PM
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Why are you setting it to 80 degrees? Seems hot. Bolivian rams don't need it that hot and for lemon tetras that's the upper limits for them... Was it just a random number you picked? Try setting it to 77 slowly, go 1 degree down an hour. The ph is also high but don't mess with that yet, try the temp change first. Hotter temps mean less oxygen which could be why your fish is near the top.

Edit- also when I suggest setting it to 77 make sure it's really that with a aquarium thermometer and not just what your heater says. If you set it to 80 on your heater then the added lights may increase it so get it to 77 with the lights on... Follow the thermometer and not the heater reading
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2012, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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The temp is from two thermometers, one floating and one stick on digital. When I first set up the tank the temp was around 83 and I have slowly been reducing it. This evening it is down to 79. The third tetra is now dead but the other five look great, as do the rams.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-13-2012, 01:17 AM
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The curved spines wouldn't be from lack of oxygen due to high temps tho.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-13-2012, 02:10 AM
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83? Weird, who's telling you to set it that high. Discus might do well at that temp but not your fish. In any case, it's true the temp might not be the cause of their deaths but there's no reason to set it that high as none of your fish or plants will benefit. I say continue to go down to 76 F.

Temps for Lemon Tetra: 73.5 - 82.5 http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/tetr...lemontetra.php

Temps for Bolivian Rams: 72-79 http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...82&pcatid=1082

I hope that helps. If the rest of your 5 lemon tetras survive, look to buy a few more in the future as 5 is a little too small of a shoal now. Good luck!
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 04:13 AM
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I kept lemons for years. They like 77.0-78.5 degrees best IMO - go a bit higher and that's breeding temp (and breeding behavior too). Your PH is way too high that's your main problem. They like a ph of 6.0 best, and a GH of about 7-8. They also like peat filtration. Your other fish have similar requirements, did you type your PH in correctly?

You know they are happy when the entire body has a lemony color. If they are silver, they are not happy. Personally they are one of my 2-3 favorite tetras, fantastic fish. They would be happiest in a shoal of about 16 with a dark substrata, and floating plants and a few dense planted areas, and a large swimming area. They don't like bright light and can be distracted by movement/noise around the tank.

Last edited by bags; 02-25-2012 at 12:53 PM.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Yes I did type my ph correctly. I have since added peat to the filter. After the three died, and they were the biggest three, the other five have been fine. I think it must have been something they came in with, or perhaps, since they were quite large, it was just old age. Anyway, the other five have been great, the Bolivian Rams are doing great, and now the five black Angles are also doing great.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reddhawkk View Post
Yes I did type my ph correctly. I have since added peat to the filter. After the three died, and they were the biggest three, the other five have been fine. I think it must have been something they came in with, or perhaps, since they were quite large, it was just old age. Anyway, the other five have been great, the Bolivian Rams are doing great, and now the five black Angles are also doing great.
Good to hear it. What is the PH and GH now? PH will go down with the peat, but unless your water is soft out of the tap or you are using RO/tap mix, the hardness may still be a bit high too.

What color are the lemons? They look like this when happiest:

http://www.google.com/imgres?q=%22le...0&tx=133&ty=93

Good luck!
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 01:08 AM
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Before you go playing wit your PH, what is the PH that they were being kept in at the LFS. Going down the road of playing with PH is a long and frustrating battle. If the fish were good at the LFS and you have around the same PH, then the problem lies elsewhere.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 01:14 AM
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LFS water is tap water, probably with a ph of 7+ fish stores cant afford RO for all their tanks or peat to lower it over time. PH is not the issue

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jersysman View Post
Before you go playing wit your PH, what is the PH that they were being kept in at the LFS. Going down the road of playing with PH is a long and frustrating battle. If the fish were good at the LFS and you have around the same PH, then the problem lies elsewhere.
There are different levels of good. Obviously they were alive, and yes the PH they were raised in would be crucial to know to make the best choice, but the PH in shops unless they are very serious is indeed aged tap - which may not be what they were raised in. A local breeder or a pond in Florida is liable to be closer to nature then tap since they are trying to make money by creating conditions that foster breeding.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 02:22 AM
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So what has happened with the lemon tetras?
How about a pic of the tank!
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