This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Cardinals and quarantine - done

Discussion in 'Fish for Planted Tanks' started by Gerryd, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,618
    Likes Received:
    17
    Hey all,

    I think I am done trying to get more cardinals into my tank.

    I have a nice school of about 85-100 in my 180 and want to add some more.

    I have a mature 45 gal quarantine tank with some cories and platies as permanent residents.

    Got 44 very nice cards at the LFS on Sunday.

    Have already lost 10. 2 or 3 had neon tetra disease, but the rest seem to just go........

    They look fine at noon, and come 5:00, a few more stuck dead to the filter or on the substrate.

    I lost 5 today between noon and 5:00. All ate at noon, looked fine, etc.

    The ones with neon tetra disease are ez to spot, but these others seem to have no symptoms of any type...........

    The remaining ones look great, no spots, are eating well, etc, but bet they will be dead in 7-10 days.

    I took 2 hours to acclimate them this time to the tank by adding a little water to the LFS water (all in a bucket).

    I have no issues with any other fish in this tank or with quarantine in general.

    I have no idea why I struggle with cardinals. Once they make it to the display, they live for years, and I very rarely lose any except to age.

    Does anyone else have this issue, or is it just me?

    I have purchased cards from various sources (at least 6-8) and pretty much lose 80-90% of them. LFS, internet, etc.

    It is just not worth the money and aggravation for these fish, no matter how attractive...

    Sorry for the rant, but am really starting to get frustrated, as these are the ONLY fish I struggle with to get through quarantine.

    Good news is that I do use a quarantine tank :)
     
  2. tedr108

    tedr108 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Messages:
    514
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is your water soft in FL?

    With 30-40GH water here in LA, my cardinals survived, but were easily knocked off by another diseased fish -- a sick rummy nose did mine in once. And, once the cards started dying, they usually ALL went. I since have a quarantine tank.

    I now have cards in a non-CO2 tank, and since there are no water changes, I decided to put RO water in it. My cards' water is now nice and soft. I can definitely see a difference in their behavior: more spunky, eat more ravenously, just happier overall. My guess is that they are much more disease resistant in a soft water environment.
     
  3. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,618
    Likes Received:
    17
    Ted,

    I would say medium hard to hard, not soft for sure......

    I have another 100 coming this week (my last attempt), so I hope it goes well.

    Thanks,
     
  4. tedr108

    tedr108 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Messages:
    514
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, if it were me, I would do enough of a water change in my quarantine tank with RO water to get the hardness down to 8 GH or below (4 - 6 GH sounds even better to me) before the new cards arrive. I think that this would help them get through the initial stressful period, and then they would easily adapt to your tap water afterwards. I believe that most cards are still wild caught, but not sure on that -- they like soft water. My water here in LA is liquid rock basically (30 - 40GH). My local RO water store charges $1 for 5G ... pretty cheap.

    Maybe some of the experts here on this site will shoot holes in my soft water idea ... I hope they do, if I'm wrong. As mentioned, I can definitely see a big difference in my cardinals' and panda corys' behavior since switching to the non-CO2 tank with very soft water ... under 8 GH. I started with 100% RO water, but the hardness crept up to 8 fairly quickly and has stayed there.
     
  5. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,618
    Likes Received:
    17
    Ted,

    That is a good idea to change the quarantine tank water a bit...

    I always wondered if the cards I lost got sick in my tank or were infected before I got them.

    I am pretty sure my cards coming have been in posession of the vendor for 7-10 days. I will ask what their water parameters are. That should help me get ready.

    Keeping my fingers crossed................
     
  6. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,618
    Likes Received:
    17
    Update:

    I have about 70+ in quarantine now since delivery Thursday afternoon.

    Kept them in natural daylight for 1.5 days. 1 full day before first feedings. Doing 10-20% daily WC with prime. Using Tetra flakes, crisps, scrambled egg, roasted chicken several offerings per day.....

    Fish are now FAT and apparently happy, normal behaviour, good color and getting better, etc.

    None 'look' bad or appear to be 'loners' which is never a good sign for me....

    Schooling well and normally, active, etc.

    About .5-1.0 total most on the smaller side, but is what I would prefer.

    Keeping the faith :)
     
  7. tedr108

    tedr108 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Messages:
    514
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gerry,

    Glad it is going so well for you. Kudos to you for taking good care of your new charges, and the supplier for sending some healthy fish. I think a lot of it has to do with the time of year for mail orders too. I have received some ridiculously hot and ridiculously cold live shipments and was not surprised that I had a number of fatalities from each.

    Do your cardinals actually eat roasted chicken? How the heck do you chop it small enough for them to eat? Or, do you just let them pick at big pieces?

    By the way, if you don't hatch baby brine shrimp (BBS) because it is too much of a PITA, you might want to look at this:

    Equipment & Supplies: Hatchery Dish

    I cannot believe how effective and simple this thing is. Hatch rates are equivalent to one of the more expensive and complicated setups. I now make BBS virtually every single day that I am not out of town, because it so easy. I get a less than 24 hour turnaround on hatches, mostly because it is warm here (probably where you are too). On colder days I hatch the shrimp in the vicinity of my heater which I set to like 65° F at the most, and I still get a less than 24 hour turnaround.

    The only issue with these hatchery dishes is the quantity of BBS that you can make -- not as much as a standard setup. With your large quantity of fish, you may need a couple of them (I bought 2 myself). All of my schooling fish just love the BBS. Even if they don't get a full meal from the BBS, I still think it keeps them happy. And, I've always had great luck getting new fish to eat BBS.
     
  8. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,618
    Likes Received:
    17
    Ted,

    I was going to the LFS tomorrow to pick up some BBS eggs lol

    I just use a quart or half gallon tupperware with a little saltwater salt and get a good hatch with 24-30 hours at room temp down here.

    I think the bbs are a good food and use them a lot when acclimating pencils as they have very small mouths........

    Yes outside temps make a huge difference in shipping fish! I am doing mine now while temps are in the 60-75 range........

    Vendor for this shipment is Anubias Design at:

    Current Stock

    Mark is the owner/operator and has great customer service. Healthy stock and well packed. Shipped wed and delivered thurs afternoon.

    If these go well will go back for more cards or some pencils.........however, Mark certainly delivered on his end! Now to do my part.........
     
  9. tedr108

    tedr108 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Messages:
    514
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just added Anubias Design to my favorites and will keep them in mind for fish/plant orders. Do you know where they ship from?
     
  10. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,618
    Likes Received:
    17
    PA in the northeast............


    Cross my heart and hope to die lol Strange but true............

    Yes, they really do eat it! Most fish will I have found IME. I rub a few pieces together between my fingers for smaller particles and leave a range of sizes. I see some fish like the minute particles and some like to rip apart bigger chunks. Some larger chunks will get torn apart by a cardinal 'frenzy' of 5-7 fish :) It can break up into 'dust' which is great for tiny fry and/or small mouthed pencils.......... You can see their bellies are swollen after feeding. I just usually do a WC after feeding this type of food. I dig it out from the middle of the breast where it is softest. They also like cold chicken, I just hold it in the water for a few seconds while they sniff it out. Then I release it and it breaks up very easily. Even the smallest fish can tear into it.

    I always wait a full day to let them get hungry to try these things. Just a bit. A few eat it right away and that enourages the others...Give it a couple of attempts!

    My dwarf cichlids LOVE it and have gotten them into breeding condition using this and the egg routine.

    While I am sure that the flesh they eat in the wild is NOT 'lemon pepper roasted', they do eat carcases from time to time that may be in the water, so it is not that unnatural IMO.

    One thing I have NOT fed are live blackworms. I have a suspicion that they are not good for new cardinals, although I feed them regularly to my display tank with no issues.....This is probably rank superstition but the last several attempts at cards, I fed these and immediately after started seeing sick fish. Cause and effect? Not likely, but I usually do see bad signs by this time, and I see none without feeding them, soooooo.
     
Loading...

Share This Page