cardinal tetras keep dying

Moe

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I am trying to get a school of cardinal tetras in my tank but I am having no luck. I got 6 a few weeks ago and only 2 lived. Yesterday I got 6 more I floated the bag for 30 minutes then dumped them in to a net then into my tank. This morning only 2 of those are left. (The 4 dead ones are in a bag in the freezer until I can get back to LFS to swap them for living ones) LFS said they don't transition well and that once they are acclimated they are easy fish to keep. But how do I get them to survive the transition. Is there a secret that I don't know about?
 
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Moe

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Water params are fine. LFS and I have same water company. PH is the same, I've even checked it to make sure.
 

Alien Anna

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I know this is going to sound like heresy, but don't float your fish!

Seriously, put the tank temperature up to a nice comfortable 80-82F and get the fish from the LFS into your tank as soon as you possibly can. I've been researching now for quite a while what goes wrong with cardinals (and some other delicate fish) and my conclusion is its the ammonia in the fish bag. Most fish can cope with a tiny amount of ammonia (lower than that that can be tested) but cardinals really can't, so you need to get them into a cycled tank ASAP.

If the tank is warmer than the bag, the temperature shock won't be significant and pH changes don't kill them provided they are not too extreme.

The other thing you should do is net your fish from the fish bag and put as little of the LFS water into the tank as possible. Once they are in the tank, turn off the lights and keep everything as quiet as possible for 24 hours - don't be tempted to fiddle about with the tank to check on your new fish.

There are risks to this technique (it does require you to get healthy fish from a good source) but it actually works. I've done it once but I know people who do it all the time (serious fish people).
 

Tragic Avenue

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Hurray,Someone else does the same as I do with cardinals.
I dont feel so bad now just dumping them right in :D
 
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Moe

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AA - I'll try just dumping them right in and see if it works it can't be worst than my previous attempt will keep light off too. I don't put LFS water in my tank. I specifically tried floating them for a long time yesterday because I thought maybe the temp change killed them last time. It is getting pretty cold out here. I am either going tonight or tomorrow to replace them thanks for advice - I'll let you know.
 

Cian McLiam

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From speaking to various pet shops, all agree cardinals do not travel well. Two have stopped buying them in because of the loss rate. Only three of my regular shops will have them often and 2 of them get them from the Czech republic. A high percentage of the fish available are wild caught but the czech ones are of very high quality and are just that little bit hardier. I stopped putting them in my tank as most died in a 40 litre quarantine tank I used to have before I moved house, the rest hid most of the day from the bright lights needed to grow plants. They need a darkend tank with dark gravel/sand, although it has been proved recently that they aren't black water fish as had ben previously thought, they have a light phobia and require some shade. The LFS keps them in an almost pitch black tank with Salvinia covering 80% of the water surface and black crushed glass substrate, and they look really stunning.
As far as introducing them to an established tank goes, Anna has all the info you need here already!

Good Luck,
Ken
 

FanOFish

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I think neons are much hardier fish, or at least they transition well. My ten were the first fish I introduced to my tank and all ten are still doing well.
 

aernympha

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thats funnys cso i heard/read that neon were less hardy beacsue they have been bred too much and have becaome weaker fish due to too much inbreeding, and that the cardinal tetra was hardier than neons beacause it was wild caught... :thumbs: :blink: :huh:
 
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Moe

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Well, I got the 4 replacement cardinals today. Ran home from LFS and quickly transferred them into the tank, lights off, fingers crossed. They all look OK so far will keep you all posted. Thanks for the help.
 

ryan

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ammonia in the bag is a problem. i transferred my previous cadinals twice in the 20 minutes.

10 mins in bag
10 mins in bowl half bag water half tank

and then put the fish in. i hope your aquarium is very well matured because after transportation cardinals are sensitive to even the slightest change in water parameters. i would also do 5-10% water changes every 3-4 days to keep the levels regulated and under control. after a couple of weeks they should hav calmed down and settled in, adjusting to the water chemistry and becoming more hardy to water parameter changes
 

yhbae

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Curious, can we use one of the chemicals that are supposed to convert the poisonous ammonia into less poisonous form? I think there's few around, including the one called ammolock... If ammonia is the main reason, shouldn't this help?

I'm curious too since I plan to add some cardinals in the near future...
 

Alien Anna

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yhbae said:
Curious, can we use one of the chemicals that are supposed to convert the poisonous ammonia into less poisonous form? I think there's few around, including the one called ammolock... If ammonia is the main reason, shouldn't this help?

I'm curious too since I plan to add some cardinals in the near future...
I was wondering about that myself.

Tri-Mar, from whom I buy my fish online, fill the bag with pure oxygen. Ammonia kills fish by blocking respiration, so super-saturating the water with oxygen reduces the effects. Unfortunately, this ceases to be true the second you undo the bag - which is why I literally dumped my new fish into the new tank yesterday, without floating.

I don't know if ammo-locking chemicals would work but it might be worth a try. If you try it, tell us how it goes.
 

TS168

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How about try to monitor it after u play them into ur tank.

Did they swim very fast around aimlessly? If so it the water that is stressing the little cardinal fish.

Else then they might not be properly transport and has been already stress out while at ur LFS.

These are some of the point i do note when keeping my tetra.

Hope all this could help. Maybe i m wrong as i from singapore. It could be of the environment that i do not get much problem here. Only abit stress when i change water once. N i did notice they swim very fast around none stop. I myself also get abit stress up seeing thme do that. So worry they could me gone the next day.

Cheers. Everything will be fine ....
TS :rolleyes:
 

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