Have you recently been noticing a decrease in the number of Neon Tetras in your fish tank? Have you been breeding them and wondering whether they are dying because of the breeding process?
The truth is Neon Tetras are not supposed to die after laying eggs. This means that there must be a different reason why your Neon Tetras die shortly after laying eggs. Hence, it is possible that your Neon Tetras are dying after they spawn because of a disease.
So, let us first look at what kind of diseases could be causing such serious implications. Then, we can move on to figuring out whether your Neon Tetras were actually pregnant or just sick.
Do Neon Tetras Die After Laying Eggs?
As mentioned earlier, it is not necessarily true that Neon Tetras die after laying eggs. There may be numerous reasons as to why this is happening in the case of your Neon Tetras. Hence, let us look at a cause with the highest probability.
Could It Be Due to a Disease?
The first thing that comes to mind when I think about why a Neon Tetra is dying soon after they appear to be pregnant, is because of a disease.
The main thing to note here is that Neon Tetras are not meant to get fat. Hence, if they do start gaining a lot of weight, it is usually because of a disease.
Furthermore, one of the most common diseases in fish that cause a swollen belly is Dropsy, which is also known as Edema or Ascites.
Dropsy is usually caused due to your Neon Tetras being infected by bacteria that are present in all aquariums. Hence, this means that if your fish is healthy and has a strong immune system, they will be able to fight these bacteria if the bacteria enter their systems. However, if some of your Neon Tetras are not as healthy or under stress, they will not be able to fight the disease.
Hence, the Tetras with weaker immune systems will experience skin lesions at first. Then their bellies will fill with fluids and start swelling, their internal organs will be damaged, and they will ultimately perish.
Although, just because their bellies are swollen does not mean that they have Dropsy or any other disease. It could simply mean that your Neon Tetra is pregnant too. For more information on how to differentiate between a pregnant and a sick Neon Tetra, keep reading!
Also Read: Tetra Fish Diseases and Treatments
Should You Get It Diagnosed for Neon Tetra Disease?
Now, this has been a serious worry for a lot of fish enthusiasts. Is it possible that your Neon Tetras have Neon Tetra Disease? To understand why this is or is not a possibility, you need first to understand the symptoms that indicate the presence of Neon Tetra Disease (NTD) in your Tetras.
First, your Tetra will experience a loss of color, usually on a small patch on their body. Eventually, these affected areas, where the small patches void of color start to appear, start to waste away. Finally, as the affected areas waste away it causes the spine to curve or become crooked due to the damaged muscles.
However, a reason for you to think that your Neon Tetras’ swollen belly might be due to Neon Tetra Disease is that bloating is one of the symptoms of this disease. Other symptoms of this disease include:
- Fin rot
- Cyst development, which causes the fish’s body to become lumpy
However, as mentioned earlier, the loss of color in small patches of the fish’s body is one of the first signs. Hence, if you do not observe this sign, then it may not be NTD after all!
Nonetheless, there are measures you can take to prevent NTD in the first place. For more information on this, check out the article, “How to Prevent Curved/Crooked Spine or Neon Tetra Disease”.
How to Tell the Difference between a Pregnant and a Sick Neon Tetra?
A simple yet necessary distinction to be made here is the one between a male and a female Neon Tetra. The best way to do this is by simply looking at them!
For instance, female Neon Tetras are ordinarily rounder and bigger, whereas, males are slender and smaller in comparison. Hence, this distinction will be easy to make.
However, to differentiate between a pregnant and a sick Neon Tetra might be a bit more difficult. I know this because a friend of mine who has at least 15 Neon Tetras had been excited about her female Neon Tetra being pregnant and was looking forward to watching the spawning process begin. Unfortunately, the “pregnant” fish ended up dying soon after. As it turns out, the female Neon Tetra was not pregnant at all.
Furthermore, once your Neon Tetras are of age, for breeding, it is necessary to observe their bodily changes. This will enable you to keep a record of whether it is a female or a male Neon Tetra, who has a swollen belly. Because if it is a male, then you would definitely want to look into it!
How to Tell if a Neon Tetra is Going to Lay Eggs?
Now another sure-fire way of determining whether your Neon Tetra is really pregnant and about to spawn is to look for the appropriate signs. Hence, the following are the ways to tell if a Neon Tetra is going to lay eggs.
The first sign is obvious: a swollen belly. Again, to be sure that your Neon Tetra is in fact pregnant, you need to observe and note whether it is a female or not. If it is a female and has a swollen belly, it may be because of the eggs that she is carrying.
Second, you need to be on the lookout for courting behavior by the male Neon Tetras. This will consist of the male Neon Tetras swimming in a square motion with jerky movements and will involve moments of stillness too. Hence, if you see this type of movement from the male Neon Tetras, it is because they are trying to attract the female Neon Tetras’ attention.
Furthermore, the males only exhibit this courting behavior when the females are ready to spawn. Therefore, keep a lookout for this behavior and you will know when the females are about to lay eggs!
How Often Do Neon Tetras Lay Eggs?
Furthermore, it may also help you to know how often Neon Tetras lay eggs. If they have just laid eggs, and their belly looks swollen again, is that normal? Or should you be worried? Keep reading to find out!
Something noteworthy here is that female Neon Tetras usually take a couple of months to start over with the breeding process. This is mainly due to them needing their health to be restored first. Hence, if you see a swollen belly within a few days or weeks of them laying eggs, it is unlikely that they are ready to spawn again. Hence, you may want to look for the actual cause for the swollen belly!
Do Neon Tetras Die Easily?
Despite their small size, Neon Tetras are in fact hardy fish. However, the previous statement is true only once they are settled in a new home.
Therefore, this indicates that they are still sensitive until they have adjusted to a new environment. This means that inconsistencies in things like water conditions and temperature can cause stress and diseases, which can lead to death.
Hence, this simply means that you will need to be very careful and monitor their health and the water conditions of the tank until they have fully adjusted to a new environment. Once this has been done, then you can enjoy the presence of these pretty little fish swimming around in your fish tank.
However, Neon Tetras are still sensitive to changes in pH, nitrate, ammonia levels so remember to keep these in check regularly!
Therefore, although it is not normal for your Neon Tetras to die right after laying eggs, it is not a completely bizarre occurrence. However, it is important to remember that there is usually a reason for this happening.
It could be anything from the water conditions not being ideal for them to them suffering from a disease. Hence, as long as you monitor them frequently and make the necessary changes to keep them healthy, you will be able to enjoy watching your beautiful Neon Tetras swimming around for many more years to come!
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