What is Neon Tetra Disease

Are you noticing some symptoms in your neon tetras? Are you scared your fish might have neon tetra disease? Will it die as the disease progresses? This article contains all the details you need about neon tetra disease.

Neon tetra disease is a degenerative disease caused by a Microsporidian parasite. The condition is most common to neon tetras but not uncommon to other species. The disease’s neon tetras symptoms include fish discoloration, restlessness, swimming difficulty, lumpy body, etc.

Symptoms of Neon Tetra Disease in Fish

It would be best to look out for common symptoms when keeping neon tetra to prevent diseases. The neon tetra disease can be a bit of trouble for the fish, so you have to take action. Here are common symptoms of neon tetra disease.

  • Restlessness: Restlessness is more of a symptom of the disease’s initial stage. It is the only symptom you will notice in the fish at the disease’s initial stage. You will see the fish not schooling with other fish and swim erratically.
  • Fish loses color: Another common symptom of neon tetra disease is the fish starts losing its colors. The discoloration happens as the disease progresses and becomes more intense. The muscle tissue, area around the color band and areas along the spine starts becoming white.
  • Lumpy body: The symptoms start to become more evident as the disease progresses in the fish. As the muscle’s cysts begin to develop, you will notice your fish having lumpy bodies. The lumps start giving your fish a rogue look or appearance.
  • Swimming difficulty: Your fish will also experience swimming problems when contracted with neon tetra disease. The fish starts to experience deformation in the spine and other body parts. It starts gaining a curving structure, making swimming very challenging.
  • Fin rot and bloating: It is not uncommon for fish to have these symptoms when suffering from neon tetra disease. These symptoms might not be a direct symptom of neon tetra disease but a sign of secondary infections.

Causes of Neon Tetra Disease

The main cause of neon tetra disease is the parasite that causes it. Pleistophora Hyphessobryconis’s parasite affects the fish by getting ingested by the fish in its spore forms. Fish can ingest it through eating infected food or infected live food.

When the parasite gets into the fish body, it will start eating the fish from the inside. It will begin with the stomach and digestive tract before moving to skeletal muscles, producing cysts. The cysts damage the tissue, and the tissue begins to have paler color.

The fish will start looking weak and tend to stay in one position rather than move around. You have to have in mind that neon tetra disease is highly contagious. It can quickly spread from one fish to another.

Whenever a fish gets infected, you should remove it from the other fish to prevent the disease from spreading. You do not have to worry as the disease is not transmittable to humans. The disease’s main cause is the parasite, so one of the best ways to save your fish is to get rid of the parasite.

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How to Treat Neon Tetra Disease

Treating your neon tetra disease fish can be challenging as there is no profound cure for the disease yet. Most neon tetra disease cases resulted in euthanasia, where you would have to ease your fish its troubles.

To ensure you do not lose all of your fish, you have to make sure you remove the infected one from the tank. You also have to remove diseased fish from the tank to prevent other fish from eating them. The best treatment mode for neon tetra disease is its prevention; prevent your fish from contracting it, and you will be fine.

How Long Can a Fish Live with Neon Tetra Disease?

The amount of days it takes a fish to live after contacting the neon tetra disease varies. It depends on the type of fish infected and the environmental condition. Hardy fish like angelfish do spend more time than most fragile fish.

If the environmental condition suits your infected fish, it will have more time to live. The food you feed to the fish will also determine how long it will last. If you provide medications for the fish, it will spend more days alive.

Depending on the sickness’s severity, a fish can live three days to 3 weeks with the neon tetra disease. Trying to keep your fish alive with the disease might be a futile effort as most cases recorded did not get cured. You might have to euthanize the fish to help it eliminate its worries.

How to Prevent Neon Tetra Disease

Prevention is the best cure for neon tetra disease in fish. There isn’t any known cure for the disease, meaning you have to put more effort into preventing the disease than curing it. If you can successfully prevent the disease, your fish will be fine.

The best way to prevent neon tetra disease is to avoid introducing infected fish into the tank or pond. Ensure the fish you buy or add to the tank is healthy and free from the disease. You also have to make sure the live foods you feed to your fish are not hosts to the parasite.

Be sure of the live food you give to your fish, and make sure they are parasite-free. It is easy to locate infected fish, so you should avoid them. You also have to quarantine new fish for weeks before adding them to the tank.

It will help you check out the fish well before adding them to the tank. You also have to provide top-notch water quality for your fish. Feeding them with high-quality food will also do a great job.


Neon tetra disease can lead to the death of your fish, so your best bet at the disease is prevention. Prevent your fish from contracting the disease at all costs. There isn’t any known cure for the disease, so you should do all you can to keep your fish safe.

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