Cardinal Tetras slightly pale

wasmewasntit

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Did you feed right after putting the main lighting on?

If the aquarium has been in total darkness all night, the sudden glare of the lighting often will show fish as faded. They don't need the bright colours at night time, so they naturally dim them down. It's quite possible that they had not regained their full colours when you fed them and will perk up after they re-aclimatise to the brighter lighting

A bit like a human first thing in the morning when first waking up....never look our best
 

GaryE

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It's normal for them to fade at night. Some fish have completely different night-time colours.

if you want intense colours, the key isn't food. You need a dark substrate and a lot of growing plants, along with a larger group - 6-10-50... They'll show better colours in softer water, and like a temp up around 25.

I can intensify colours on my rainbowfish with foods, but I have never seen any indications that cardinals deepen their colours with colour foods. I've kept them off and on for many years, and seen no change with diet. You must do 25-30% weekly water changes with them to get the full show for their fairly long lifespan.
 
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StripySnailGirl04

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Did you feed right after putting the main lighting on?

If the aquarium has been in total darkness all night, the sudden glare of the lighting often will show fish as faded. They don't need the bright colours at night time, so they naturally dim them down. It's quite possible that they had not regained their full colours when you fed them and will perk up after they re-aclimatise to the brighter lighting

A bit like a human first thing in the morning when first waking up....never look our best
I normally put the corridoor lights on first so the fish adjust, then put food in, then turn the main lights on. After more than 11 hours, the tetras are still pale.
 
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StripySnailGirl04

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What are the parameters of your tank, pH etc. Please put up a picture of your tank.
Will soon find out my water parameters.
Here is my tank. I will improve it:
 

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StripySnailGirl04

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It's normal for them to fade at night. Some fish have completely different night-time colours.

if you want intense colours, the key isn't food. You need a dark substrate and a lot of growing plants, along with a larger group - 6-10-50... They'll show better colours in softer water, and like a temp up around 25.

I can intensify colours on my rainbowfish with foods, but I have never seen any indications that cardinals deepen their colours with colour foods. I've kept them off and on for many years, and seen no change with diet. You must do 25-30% weekly water changes with them to get the full show for their fairly long lifespan.
OK. My water is very hard but I didn't know that cardinals needed soft water when I bought them. Temp is approx 24 degrees celcius. I have a dark substrate. I will eventually add lots more plants. Might get a larger group. I have 4 but there were initially 6; 2 died on the first day.
 
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StripySnailGirl04

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They hate hard water as well. Cardinals need Soft/acid water. Bring the pH down and your hardness will follow. Start with more driftwood, more plants, and smaller water changes.
My water changes are extremely small. As for the driftwood and plants, I hope to visit a good aquatic plant shop in the holidays.
 

Colin_T

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I woke up today to find 2 of my cardinals completely white with only the blue stripe and the other to still slightly pale.
If it happens first thing in the morning it could be the lights coming on.

TURNING LIGHTS ON AND OFF
Stress from tank lights coming on when the room is dark can be an issue. Fish don't have eyelids and don't tolerate going from complete dark to bright light (or vice versa) instantly.

In the morning open the curtains or turn the room light on at least 30 minutes (or more) before turning the tank light on. This will reduce the stress on the fish and they won't go from a dark tank to a bright tank instantly.

At night turn the room light on and then turn the tank light off. Wait at least 30 minutes (or more) before turning the room light out. This allows the fish to settle down for the night instead of going from a brightly lit tank to complete darkness instantly.

Try to have the lights on at the same time each day. Use a timer if possible.

You could put a picture on the back of the tank too, it would make them feel more secure.
 

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