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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,
   I'm just getting into this fish thing.  I have a tank thats about 2 gal. with a pump for air and 3 neon tetras.  I know here I should've tested my water before putting the fish in, but that how I did it when I was little and my fishes lasted and I didn't know till I got on here.  I feed them tropical fish flakes once a day.  If anyone has advice I'd appriciate it.  Should I be changeing that water, using chemicals, what?  


If anyone has a 20 gal. or so tank and accessories for sale let me know.  Especially around my area.  
<<< Should say where I live over there on the side.
 

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Well welcome to the aquarium world, again.
I should start by asking a few questions.
Are you using tap water for your water source? If so are you treating the water?
There are many chemical in our water to make it safe for us to drink, along with heavy metals. These chemicals are toxic to fish especially delicate ones like neons. You need a dechlorinator at the very least. This will neutralize chlorine and chloramines from your water. There are various ones out there. I suggest getting one that adds electrolytes also.

Is there a heater in your bowl? Neons are tropical fish and thus need a steady temp of around 79 degrees. This is very important also as lower temps will stress the fish out and make them succeptable to disease.

Neons are also a schooling fish and need to be in groups of 5 or more. Any less and they are stressed. There is safety in numbers...........
Did you cycle the bowl? Fish excrete Nh4 which is a form of ammonia. This is toxic to fish. Bacteria grow to break this down into NO2 (nitrite). This is also toxic to fish. Again more bacteria grow to convert this into NO3 (nitrate). This is generally harmless to fish as long as it doesn't reach high levels (above 40). There are test kits you can buy to test for all these as well as test for PH GH and KH. Many say that a 2 gallon can't be cycled. I'm not sure. Water changes should be done at least weekly in a bowl that size. Neons really are suitable for that bowl either. If there is no filter, you will have a hard time keeping them alive in there.

A google search on cycling a tank and test kits is a good start. I hope everything works out for you. Feel free to ask many more questions. We're glad to help.



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Simpte - I assume you meant "Neon’s really are not suitable for that bowl...", but anyway, I concur and would add that neon’s are very sensitive fish. Many people (like myself) have a hard time keeping them alive in a regular size aquarium; I couldn't imagine keeping them in a bowl-like tank. For these fish, you really need a minimum of 10 gallons.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am using water out of our faucet. It is well water if that matters. Not really treated I don't think. I don't have a heater. The house is usually 70-74.
 

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These fish really do need a larger tank, and you need to buy a heater if you want to keep these fish.
If you want to keep a similar type of fish that is easier to keep, is hardier, and doesn't need a heater, then buy some poor man's neon tetra which are most likely to be called white cloud mountain minnows in the shop.
To keep the fish healthy in such a small bowl, to prevent the ammonia exeeding levels in a new system at least 30% of water every other day must be changed to stop pollution causing disease is such small confinement.
 

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Neons do not do well in tanks that are not mature. That means you really shouldn't have neons in tanks that have been set up less than 6 months or so. I find them a bad choice for beginners because of this. Once they settle in to your tank, they are a gorgeous fish though. Makes me want to get some more again.
 

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Now that eve2ybody's scared you out of fishkeeping!

After a period of time, a couple of months or so, you might add a corydoras catfish. They eat extra food that falls to the bottom, plus they are cute. Live plants would be good - helps to pull the nitrates out of the water, plus give the fish a place to hide if they need it.

I recommend a small sponge filter, that's runs off an airline.

Regular partial water changes - at least 10-20% a week. If it's well water, you don't need the water treatment stuff. The only test kit I recommend is a pH kit, but your store can probably test that for you. Neons do better in a softer water (lower pH) and well water is frequently too high a pH for them, but maybe you could use rainwater and mix it into the well water to do the water changes.

You can get a small heater for that size tank. Get a submersible one. It's way easier to deal with in a tank that size. Neons don't need a really warm temperature, but they do need a steady one.

Once you get a bigger tank, get some more neons to make a school (5 or more total). Another species of tetra would be pretty with them. Two corydoras, and maybe an otocinclus catfish to eat any algae. And I do recommend a bigger tank - the biggest you can afford when you get it.

Just do everything gradually - water changes, adding fish, changing temperature, etc. Fish can tolerate a lot, but need time to adjust. Cycling takes time to happen, so you don't add fish for awhile to let the bacteria catch up to increased fish loads. Feed tiny amounts. And try not to get discouraged by the huge amount of stuff everyone wants you to learn. Just relax, take a deep breath, and enjoy the learning process and the fish!
 

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judya said:
Now that everybody's scared you out of fishkeeping!
I would hope not, but the poster does need to be informed on what is the correct and incorrect way of keeping fish. Fish keeping can be very fun, but it is also a challenge. It is a challenge that is always changing and evolving - which is why I like this hobby so much.

judya said:
The only test kit I recommend is a pH kit, but your store can probably test that for you. Neons do better in a softer water (lower pH) and well water is frequently too high a pH for them, but maybe you could use rainwater and mix it into the well water to do the water changes.
pH shouldn't change too much, especially with well water. Unless you live in an area where there are waste lines under ground or a big farm nearby that uses lots of chemicals, it should remain stable. IMO and IME, nitrates are the most important thing to monitor after the tank is cycled. Not only do nitrates continuously change, but they are the major indicator of how healthy your tank is, overall. Ammonia and nitrites should stay at zero when the tank is cycled, which means those test kits aren't of much (if any) help to you.

I never trust the LFS employees to test my water. Unless you can be in the room with them when they do the test, I wouldn't rely on them as your source of water testing.

Good luck, enjoy the hobby! :fun:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks so much for your input and advice Judya. It made me feel better and less overwhelmed. Thanks everyone. I'm easing my way into this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So a corydoras catfish was suggested. I didn't see that specific name at the Petco near me, which is the only petshop in my area that I know of. I did see some little catfish that are about 2-3" max. They were octi-something catfish. They are grey/white w/ a black trip. They were about 1" in the petshop. I liked them. Would they work with my 3 neon tetras in my tank. I don't want to over crowd. Sounds like this would be good for keeping my tank cleaner. Any advice would be great. Thanks.
 

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otocinclus - yes good little catfish - algae eaters. Stay small and peaceful - but not yet! Get that tank good and cycled before adding anybody.

http://www.otocinclus.com/newoto.html

Corydoras, commonly called cory cats, are also small peaceful critters. They are much chubbier in the body than otos. They don't eat algae, do eat fishfood that falls to the bottom. They have cute little rolling eyes, and bustle around the tank bottom, and occasionally dash up to the top for a gulp of air. Many patterns in the brownish, striped, spotted or plain species.

http://petfish.net/cory.htm
 

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There are several different Corydoras species, some get rather big while most stay smallish, some very very small. But all the Corydoras catfish are schooling fish, so they should be kept in groups of at least 4-6 individuals to make them happy. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Oto catfish are very peaceful and only get to be about 2 inches. I've got 2 of them in my 12 gallon with 4 dwarf puffers
I bet his corys are happy as a pair....  I don't see how everyone knows what makes the fish happy and stress and excited and sad and all that.  I don't want to say everyone is wrong.   Its seems so complicated. I'm very new and I do want my fish as happy as possible and as healthy as possible.  Just a comment.
 

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I have an aquarium with 2 corydoras in a 20-gallon, among other fish as well, but as far as schooling, these fish don't seem to school or even care to stick together. I have corydora species together in groups of 5, 7, 8, and 12 and they all pretty much stick to their self. Hence, I do not feel bad for my pair of cories in the 20 gallon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm just saying how everyone says how it will stress them if you don't have like 4 or more or something like that. I think you're fine. I just think other people are worrying too much sometimes.
 

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Yes, for the most part, I agree with that statement. But you know it isn't so much that they worry too much - it is more that they follow what is commonly misrepresented on various forums/websites.

... Sort of like the 1" per gallon "rule". Thankfully that rule has gone out the window!
 
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