The 5 Characteristics Help You Know About Neon Tetra Disease Symptoms

There are a number of parasitic diseases that cause the neon tetra disease symptoms. While this type of disease is fast-spreading and deadly to fish, it is also easy to treat. 

Until recently, no one had heard of a disease named tetra-coccus, named after the fish species that was first shown to show symptoms of it. 

In addition to the tetra family, other popular aquarium fish families are also at risk for this disease. 

Cichlid species, such as angelfishes and cyprinid species, such as rasboras, danios, and barbs are also susceptible to the disease. The disease can even affect common goldfishes. 

There is a surprising difference between the cardinal tetras and the similarly-looking neon tetras when it comes to their resistance to this disease. 

A fish likely contracts this condition when it consumes infected live food or consumes the remains of an infected dead fish in the aquarium. It is not uncommon for fish to lose coloration, develop cysts, and have difficulty swimming when they have been infected by this disease. 

Eventually, the infection progresses to severe infection and the fish dies. Neon tetra disease does not have a known cure, so prevention is the best way to prevent this disease from occurring. 

What Is Neon Tetra Disease Symptoms?

In comparison to Neon Tetra, their disease is a condition that is caused by a parasite called microsporidian. It affects a wide range of fish species, not just neon tetras. 

Degenerative disease means that the disease starts mild, but progresses rapidly to become very serious at a very young age. 

When a fish is infected and the parasite has reached its muscle tissues, the parasite takes control of the fish and often will cause secondary infections.

A Description Of The Symptoms Of Neontetra Disease In Fish

Symptoms of neon tetra disease

Neon tetra disease typically has symptoms that show up in a predictable pattern based on the parasite’s progress. 

The following are the symptoms that aquarium owners may observe when their fish become infected:


It may be the only symptom for the first few days after beginning to experience the disorder, particularly at night. 

The first sign that something is wrong with the aquarium is that the affected fish no longer school with the others – something that is obvious to anyone who owns a fish. 

After a while, the fish’s swimming patterns become more erratic, and it becomes quite evident that the fish is not in good health.


After the disease has progressed, the involved muscles begin to turn white, usually beginning with the color band and areas around the spine. 

Eventually, the pale coloration expands to a greater extent as more muscle tissue becomes affected.


Once this parasite enters the fish’s muscles, cysts begin to form as a result of the parasite-infected areas. 

When the parasite-infected areas create a lumpy appearance on the body, then it may indicate parasitism.

Inability To Swim

Muscle damage may cause the spine to bend or deform, making it harder for the fish to swim, thereby causing a lack of coordination. 

Even those without curved spines, who suffer from musculoskeletal impairments, will experience issues with their movement.

The Spread Of Secondary Infections

There is often bleeding in the body of the fish or rotting of its fins (particularly the caudal fin). 

There is some truth in this statement, however. These conditions are not directly the result of the disease itself, but rather secondary infections.

Factors Contributing To Neon Tetra Disease

Factors contributing to neon tetra disease

A parasite called Pleistophora hyphessobryconis is responsible for causing neon tetra disease. 

Spores gain entry into fish through two main methods: as food or as an airborne organism like bacteria.

An infected dead fish is consumed by fishes that ingest its body

The parasites that are present in this parasitic waterborne food are ingested by the fish in their diet

If one fish does become infected with the parasite, it can spread to its offspring through transovarial transmission from parents to offspring or its damaged skin or gills. 

Once the parasite has been able to penetrate a fish’s digestive tract and stomach, it will then eat the fish from the inside out, beginning with the digestive tract. Cysts are formed by spheroplasts, which grow within the intestine, burrow through the wall of the intestine, and form inside the skeletal muscles.

Cysts damage the tissue, resulting in paler tissues and weakened muscles – two signs that the tissues have been damaged. The disease was first identified in neon tetra fish and named after them. 

However, in addition to this cichlid species, it has also been reported in such species as angelfish, cardinal tetra, goldfish, and several others as well, including cyprinid species including danios, rasboras, and barbs (and more common ones can also be affected).

What Is The Contagious Nature Of Neon Tetra Disease?

In order to reduce the risk of neon tetra disease, it is imperative that you understand the exact nature of the disease. 

The spores can survive in water for more than a year. The bacteria in an infected fish can easily spread through a tank if healthy inhabitants accidentally consume the body of an infected fish. 

In a sense, the fact that this disease can’t be transmitted from human to human is somewhat comforting.

How To Diagnose Neonate Disease In Fish

There is no obvious way to diagnose Pleistophora hyphessobryconis infection unless the tissue of the infected fish has Pleistophora hyphessobryconis pores in it. 

In determining whether this parasite is the cause of the disease, its symptoms can be compared to those of similar diseases, though it is unfair to say that such ailments in fish cannot be treated. 

Whenever signs of infection are first noticed, it may be advisable to quarantine the fish in an effort to monitor their progress and rule out other causes.


Can neon tetra disease be treated?

Neon Tetra disease, or neon sickness, is a disease that affects many fish species all over the world. 

There are many diseases in fish that can be treated, but this one is very harmful to the health of the fish and should not be treated.  A fish that gets infected with a bacterial condition won’t be able to be treated. 

As soon as the neon tetra shows signs of the illness, they are immediately isolated in another fish tank to prevent the further spread of the disease. 

There is an immediate need to separate the fish from the community tank if the same thing happens in your own aquarium. 

That way, the disease can be prevented from spreading.

How do I prevent neon tetra disease from spreading to my fish?

In spite of the fact that neon tetra disease cannot be prevented, it is curable.  It is advisable to remove your neon tetra from the tank as soon as possible if it contracts the disease since the infection is highly contagious.  

As a result, prevention is key if you want the best for the fish in the tank and also for the tank in general.

Adding new fish to the tank in a quarantine tank is the best way to ensure that this never happens. 

By doing this, you reduce the chances of the health problem spreading to other fish in the tank and therefore causing them to be affected as well. 

In case you find something amiss when you are quarantining the new fish, you should avoid adding them to the tank.

What is the efficacy of anti-bacterial treatment?

It can be treated with anti-bacterial treatment if the bacterial infection is confirmed to be neon tetra disease.

The prognosis for neonatal tetanus and many simple infections can very much be improved by an anti-bacterial treatment, even if it is not neonatal tetanus.

The bacteria can be inhibited from reproducing in this way, reducing the risk of further infections.

What is its value of it?

In order to prevent further outbreaks of bacterial infections, anti-bacterial treatments are essential. 

I recommend antibacterial treatments such as API Melafix Antibacterial Fish Remedy, which has been shown to be effective. 

Despite the fact that it is an inexpensive and effective treatment, this makes it the perfect method for beginning aquarists. 

In addition to healing any wounds or injuries, the fish may have, the treatment also speeds up the healing process.


The problem with Neon Tetra Disease is, at the end of the day, that it can be one of many illnesses an individual fish may suffer from. 

As hard as it is to cure, it is a relatively rare disease, and yet, it is certainly one of the harder ones to cure. 

You can strengthen your fish’s health and keep them strong if you take good care of them!

Video About Neon Tetras Disease Symptoms

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