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Off topic: Mass Black Neon Deaths

My 20 gallon (future CO2 experiment subject) has 4 growing Angels, 5 gold
pristellas, 2 corys, 1 large and 1 dwarf pleco.  I bought 6 black neons
Saturday and the last one died last night.

I also bought the pristellas (6) last week.  One died the second night, but
the previous day I had noticed that there was a pink mass inside of it's
head and one of it's eyes were bulging out a little, so I knew he would
probably be a goner.  The black neons are a mystery.  I bought them from the
most reputable LFS here in Nashville.  All looked healthy and swam and ate
without trouble.  Never showed any signs of stress.  They hung out with the
pristellas.  But, one by one they died, and all without me witnessing one
death.  I would check all the fish in the morning, all would seem fine, no
external signs of parasites, etc. and I would leave home for work and come
back for lunch and a black neon would be dead.  I'd feed in the afternoon
(lights out is 6pm, tank's lights are on a 12 hour timer), check the fish,
everyone seems great.  Lights come on at 6am, I'd find maybe two dead.

Eventually, 5 were dead and one left.  He continued to hang out with the
pristellas.  I looked at him yesterday afternoon and spoke to him.  "You're
the last one, my friend.  Are you gonna die tonight?".  Lights out at 6pm.
Before I went to bed (about 10) I checked the fish once more.  I spotted the
pristellas schooling together in the darkness, the black neon was nowhere to
be found.  I looked around the plants and driftwood - nothing.  I turned on
the lights with a sick feeling in my stomach and there he was - dead as a
doornail, laying upside down in the midst of a barclaya.  No signs of attack
or external disease.

I've suspected my Angels in the beginning.  They're quite big, but I've
never seen one of them even look at the neons with a lustful eye.  Plus, the
pristellas are doing fine and are the same size as the black neons.  It's
all weird.  When I would turn my back, a fish would be dead.

I don't get it.  I mean, it's just a dang tetra, right?

"Thanks for the sour persimmons, cousin".       <--- really!!!!!!!!
  -- Daffy Duck (Duck Amuck)

Kelly Beard, Cat IV, Team Allanti
President, Allanti Cycling Club
Race in Tennessee - <http://www.tbra.org/98-road.shtml>