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Cardinal tetras dying

Discussion in 'Fish for Planted Tanks' started by eddtango, Nov 18, 2006.

  1. eddtango

    eddtango Prolific Poster

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    What is the lifespan of Cardinal tetras? Do these tetras have a particular weakness? I gave some Cardinal tetras to a friend and they died one after the other. The tank has a pair of Med sized Angels, Rams, SAEs,Clown loach and Otos. Some Cardinals were bought 3 weeks ago and they also died one by one. Of the 20 Cardinals,only 7-8 are left. What's causing the death of these fish?
     
  2. Jimbob

    Jimbob Junior Poster

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    First things first: What are all of the vital paramters (e.g. temp., dH, pH, NO3) in your friends tank? Knowing what the values are might help us help you better!

    In my experience and through speaking with some of my friends who have been involved in the aquatic trade through the years, I would state that cardinal tetras generally have one of the higher mortality rates amongst all of the tetras. Capture and shipping probably accounts for a lot of the losses. Also, this fish is very hard to breed in captivity and thus, most of them are wild-caught in the Amazon Basin of South America during the dry season; meaning that they are subjected to a fair amount of water parameter shock upon arrival to the LFS and they are already somewhat weakened and skinny.

    Also, though rare, the Oto's in that tank could be attacking the cardianl tetras. Some Oto's seem to prefer the slime coating on fish more so than algae and they will attack fish of similar size in order to get their fix of slime coating... determining if this was the cause would likely require hours of careful observation to determine if any such behavior was noted. Also, they do not always fair well with cichlids, so those blue rams could be attacking them too.

    One thing I know for sure though is that cardinal tetras are generally more hardy at higher temperatures... say between 81F and 85F (similar temperatures to a discus tank). They also do best in fairly acidic water with a pH of 5~6 and slightly softer-to-mid hardness 2~6dH. They also like heavily planted tanks with some shadowy spots to hide and tend to do better with darker colored substrate.

    -Jimbob
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    With excellent plant tank conditions, moderately to soft KH's, good acclimation, 82F and warmer temps, well fed, they do exceptionally well, maybe 5% losses at best.

    Some batches seem to vary , but over all, you cannot tell till it's too late and with being a fish pathologist, it is very difficult to see if it's the fish or you and somethign you have done.

    So, with that in mind, the above list will help you isolate the potential causes much better, using the 5% or less as a guide for successes.

    Slow acclimation is really critical for many species.
    Take your time.
    Feed well, they can almost 2x their size with good feeding in 1 month.
    Ick is common when they have NH4/Cold temps etc.

    I have 600 in a client's tank we have lost less than 5% and these came directly from the wholesalers....not quarentined fattened up fish in LFS.

    I have lost them in past many years, but just focused on common sense things to minimize fish losses.

    Large frequent water changes, I did that prior to having fully planted fish tanks. Good food, I learned that when breeding fish.
    Good acclimation: slow steady acclimation, this goes without saying but even still......many folks...........:rolleyes:
    Smaller the fish, the more frequent the feedings.
    Warmer temps and softer water will help many species from such waters.
    Varies depending on species etc.

    Try applying these basic things.
    Then see if you lose many fish.
    My bet is will not and if so, it's due to one of those or incompatible inhabitants.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. vidiots

    vidiots Prolific Poster

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    My cousin used to have a tank with angels and neon tetras. One day the angels desided they didn't like the neons any more and began attacking & killing them.
     
  5. sherry

    sherry Guru Class Expert

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    just something I have noticed with my Cardinals.. when I feed par boiled kale (for otos and for farlowella's - the cardinals eat it too. I ordered a dozen, lost one in transit, and have had all 11 remaining for the past 2 months. also have 6.1 ph, soft water, highish temps .
     
  6. Greg Watson

    Greg Watson Administrator
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    Sherry ... if they are eating it that will be really good for them ... the genetics of a lot of cardinal breeders has really degraded ... so depending upon the source, sometimes I have had great Cardinals and other times I have experienced the significant losses that you have experienced in the past ...

    They always did well with my Discus ... but I think that was primarily because I paid a little greater attention to the water quality ...

    Congratulations and keep up the good work ...

    Greg
     
  7. sherry

    sherry Guru Class Expert

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    I get a lot of my fish from mark at annubias design. He buys direct from importers and does a nice job quarantining before selling.

    I've got eques pencils from his as well that are doing beautifully. This is the first time I"ve tried his cardinals and I they are just gorgeous and again tonight eating kale :)

    groups@yahoo.com for annubias design. He is PA so is an especially good source for east coasters as overnight shipping is ONLY $20. :)
     
  8. MTechnik

    MTechnik Junior Poster

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    Quoted For Truth.

    I have had some rather vicious angels. One pair in a 65g tank would destroy any cardinal tetras I'd try to keep.

    -MT
     
  9. Russ

    Russ Guest

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    I bought 40 from Mark at Anubias Design 3 months ago. Lost one in transit and one afterwards, the rest are fine.

    I use tap water that's around 7.4 rested and lowered to 6.1 with CO2. Maintain 82ºF at Tom's suggestion and no other special treatment. Absolutely glorious fish.

    -Russ
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    In LARGE tanks, such behavior issues with Angels are very rare.

    If you only have a few Cardinals, do not acclimate them good, have less than optimal conditions, many fish will perish, feeding them enough is also an issue.

    I have little issues with Angels and Cardinals, but the cardinals tend to be very good sized and healthy.

    A sick fish is a meal, and healthy one is not.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  11. sherry

    sherry Guru Class Expert

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    I never heard that feeding cardinals enough is an issue.. how much is enough?
     
  12. Dusko

    Dusko Prolific Poster

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    Some of my friends kept the longest one alive for 10 years. The same is with Neon tetras. Good fish life - long fish life :D

    Kind regards, Dusko.
     
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