Strange Neon Behavior After Starting To Fertilize

CarissaT

New Member
Jul 2, 2019
12
3
3
Canada
I have a 75g tank (recent setup but has fully cycled canister filter) and I just added 12 neons to it about 10 days ago or so along with four Pearl Gouramis and two CAE's (they will be going back, they are just small right now). I also added a few plants as I am waiting for a shipment of plants to come in, so it's fairly sparsely planted at the moment. Low light and no co2 at present. Substrate is Fairmount pool sand.

For the first two - three days the neons would go to the top of the tank to eat as soon as I would put food in as you would expect. I then got my dry fertilizers in and mixed up a solution according to the directions (PPS - Pro). I added 1 ml / 10 gallons of the macros and .5 ml / 10 gallons of micros (Plantex CSM+B I'm assuming). The instructions say to add this every day, but since it's sparsely planted and low light I went with every second day.

The day after I added the ferts, when I fed the fish the neons were not really interested in eating at all. The four Gouramis were and continue to be fine, but neons totally lethargic and uninterested in food. I checked all water parameters, temp, no change (ammonia/nitrate 0, nitrate around 5ppm, KH 30ppm and GH 30ppm, pH around 7.3). Thought it was strange but left it for a couple of days. Still not interested. At this point they had been in the tank a week so I did a 25% water change and dosed ferts. No change. Watched the fish to see if there was a bully in the tank, no other fish were showing any interest in the neons. They just stayed near the bottom of the tank in one corner. No other signs of disease.

Seeing as how the only thing that changed was the fertilizers, and I can't come up with any other possibility, that's what I have become suspect of. Particularly the micros, since the macro dosing is fairly straightforward and I know I don't have high nitrates. Micros, there are various dosing regimens recommended, anywhere from 0.1ml/10 gallons up to 1 ml / 10 gallons. That's a big range. Anyway I stopped ferts right away, did a 20 % water change and the neons perked up a bit by the next morning, started eating (although not with the same zest). Did another 30% water change today and it remains to be seen how things will progress although they still seem to be at least somewhat back to normal in regards to wanting to eat. I have also lost one, but that may have nothing to do with this, out of 12 (very small) neons I'm not surprised to lose one or two. Could it be high iron that was causing some sort of stress? I read that with a clean tank, inert substrate and low KH that could have some effect on how high the iron actually stays in the water column? Also I may have some iron in my water, I have well water and although I know it's not ridiculously high because I don't get iron stains, there may be some.

Just checked on the dosing calculator, and what I was dosing would have increased iron by .05 ppm per dose. So probably was up as high as .15 ppm plus whatever is in my water. Could that have caused this behavior?
 
Last edited:

Phishless

Lifetime Member
Lifetime Member
Jul 13, 2017
1,116
970
113
Arnold, MD
I doubt it.
Originally EI dosing started as .50ppm (3x) per week.
Could possibly affect plants in a bad way but not phish.
 

CarissaT

New Member
Jul 2, 2019
12
3
3
Canada
Ok thanks. Still a bit mystified but I think I’ll chalk it up to having a lack of cover in the tall tank and that they just aren’t that hungry. We will see if things change once I get some more plants in there for them in the next couple of days.


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