can not keep a school of tetras to save my life! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-19-2005, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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can not keep a school of tetras to save my life!

hi guys
I've had my planted tank for about 3 months now, not long I know. and for some reason no matter how hard I try, I can not keep a school of tetras alive. Its usually the same, I introduce a school of 8 or 9, loose a few right off the bat. Then after things look like theyre going good for about a day or two, I start loosing tetras one at a time. this time its rummynoses, but it has also been cardinals and neons. the rummys are in the middle of a die off right now. can someone help, its driving me nuts (getting very angry), theres nothing I want more than a nice school of tets.
is it possable my tank still isnt established enough?

thanks
Jack

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ph=6.8 kh=3 Ammonia=0 Nitrites=0 Nitrates=5
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-19-2005, 03:07 PM
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eating?

Do the tetras eat well?
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-19-2005, 03:11 PM
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Tetras should not give too much trouble if your tank is established. Has your tank cycled? Are you able to keep other fish without them dying off? What is your water parameters? Ph GH temp? Have you purchased other fish from where you get your Tetras? Many places will not quarantine their stock and just let the customers buy sick and dying fish.

You will probably get more questions to answer than answers to your question. Not until we all find out what is going on in your tank will you be able to get an answer,but if you can answer the questions your on your way to a possible solution.


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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-19-2005, 03:18 PM
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Tetras can be a PITA!!! I had the same prob for a long time. Sometimes it just seems like the batch is bad. Usually it is not your fault.

These are the things that I did on my last batch. (90% alive from purchase)

-Buy the fish from a store that is as close as you can.
-Try to resist buying them when they come in. The store will have the same luck as you if it is a bad batch. Try to reserve them. Buy them but leave them in the store for a week. They will die off there.
-There is a lot of contraversy over "acclimation". I dump the bag in a clean bucket, add a stress reliever, and start a slow drip for and hour. Then put them in a clean bag and float it for temp. Then release.

Hope this helps.

jB
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-19-2005, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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thanks guys

my water perameters are listed at the bottom of my first post, unfortunately Ive been having a lot of trouble testing GH, an havent got an accurate reading yet. could someone in manhattan post their GH, I bet mine would be close. the temp as of late has been a little bit "all over the place", due to the heat wave, but lately Id say my average temp has been about 82F. currently I have 3 threadfin rainbows, 3 Otos, 3 cherry shrimp, 2 bumblebee gobies, all have been alive and doing quite well for about 5 weeks, before that I had blue rams and they were doing well also. right now I have 5 rummynose tetras in there as well, but who knows for how long. some of the tetras are eating, most of them actually, but they die off one at a time. this is my 6TH batch of tetras to die off!! man... it sucks!
thanks for the quick replies guys
p.s. could someone quickly explain the "drip system" of aclimation to me, even though I dont think its an aclimation issue.
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-19-2005, 03:43 PM
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well water params look fine. Rummy's can be hard to acclimate...and in general my thoughts are either you're getting bad fish from the get-go, or the acclimation isn't good.
Float the bag 15 mins, then add a half cup of tank water to the bag. Float. Add a half cup.
repeat several times, then net the fish and put them in the display tank.
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-19-2005, 03:44 PM
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Just put the bucket near the aquarium. Use an airline hose and pinch it so that the water drips out of the tubing. Let it drip from the aquarium to the bucket for an hour.

Hope I explained that clear enough.

jB
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-19-2005, 04:35 PM
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I have two schools of tetras in a 15g. They're cardinals and rummy noses. I know that they're not the hardiest ones to keep. It seems like after an fairly brief acclimation period that they do just fine. One of the better LFS around here almost never gets in rummies because they lose so many. The manager said that they get too stressed from shipping and having so many together that they just die. He said that it seems like neons just look at each other and die. His cardinals seem to do fine. This place usually carries younger and smaller fish than the other place.
I have been testing my water and the LFS's water when I get home with them. Nothing elaborate, just quick. I use Mardel's 5 in 1 test strips for this. What I've found is that one LFS usually has a much higher nitrate reading than my tank and everything else is the same. It's higher because of the greater concentration of fish in their tanks. The other LFS's pH, KH as well as nitrates is higher than mine. I take a little longer to acclimate the fish from this place. Both LFS's have told me that if you take too long to acclimate them that they can die from stress as well.
In a nutshell, I test my water and their water first and I don't take too long to acclimate them. Mine are doing just fine.
Black Neons and Bloodfins are just as pretty and are hardier. I've read that Bloodfins can live for ten years.
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-19-2005, 04:55 PM
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Hey, daykinmade, you want my 7 Pristella tetras? We've had them since we started the tank, almost a year now, and the things just won't die --no matter what!

They survived the first two weeks of our new tank, when we did almost everything wrong, and before we discovered there is chloramine in our water. "Why are the ammonia readings so high? Quick, do a water change!"

They survived a CO2 dump that suffocated virtually everything else in the tank.

We brought in columnaris once when we didn't quarantine, and the little buggers never even flinched. Several of our more sensitive fish perished. (Yes, we learned our lesson!)

And most recently they've thrived through the high temperatures in our recent record-breaking heat (temps in that tank hovered around 83-84F).

They also spawn regularly, providing a fresh feast of caviar for their tankmates.

We'd love to replace them with something else, and we keep asking ourselves just how long do these little fish live??

--Rebecca

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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-19-2005, 08:07 PM
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Where are you buying your tetras from?

I've bought cardinals from New World and Aquatic Creations and have only lost 2 (one was sick to begin with).

My water in Manhattan:

PH 6.6
GH 300ppm
dKH 4

(I dose for KH and do DIY co2)

I have 4 cardinals in my 10g that are doing great.
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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-19-2005, 08:10 PM
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Union Square Petco.

I bought 6 over a year ago. I lost 2 in the first month, but still have the other 4.
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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-19-2005, 08:19 PM
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Eh, I've had ok luck with that petco, but you should try New World over on I think 38th and 3rd. It's not as easy to get to as union square, but it's not far off the 4-5-6.

I personally would rather pay more for the cardinals over neons, as I think they are much prettier, and I don't think petco carries the cardinals.

Then again, if you are having problems keeping them alive, neons are like 2/$1 vs like $3 for cardinals :/
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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-19-2005, 08:32 PM
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Ah, I went for Petco's price I head to New World for the more exotic stuff. Pacific Aquarium down on Delancy St. is good too.
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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-19-2005, 08:36 PM
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Over the past 10 years or so, serpae, red-eyes, and glow-lites have proven themselves tough for me.
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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-19-2005, 08:41 PM
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I've finally got my cardinal school up to around a dozen fish. But, I've had quite a time keeping them. Recently, I added 24. Within two weeks, there were about 10 of them left. So with my initial 3, I've now got a reasonable school.

I once was ordering 35+ from an lfs. They returned them to the seller 3-4 straight times. Finally, the guys just said 'here, take them all for free'. They warned me, but I ended up buying around 35 Carnials for $5. I think 1 or 2 of my original three were all that was left from that bag.

As to rummys, I found a decent looking batch that had been in an lfs for a week. I purchased around 10 of them, and they all made it.

So, clearly, experiences can differ greatly.
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