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Old 01-10-2019, 06:35 PM   #1
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Shy Cardinal Tetras

In my 10 gallon, I have a school of 8 cardinal tetras, but youíd have no idea looking at the tank. Iíve had them for several months and assumes theyíd start swimming up front more after a couple weeks. They currently hide behind the plants all the time Iím in the room (not sure what they do when Iím not in there) with the exception of a couple coming out for a few seconds every now and then. I have a heavily planted tank with tall, thick plants across the entire back and halfway down the sizes that they hide in. The only other inhabitants are a couple Ottos and Amanos, so nothing to be afraid of. Even when I feed them, they donít come out if Iím around and they wonít bite food off the surface, but wait for it to fall. I have to feed them then walk out of the room so they eat.

Does anybody have any ideas as to why theyíre so shy? What can I do to get them out of hiding and swimming in the huge open space in the front of my tank?
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:29 PM   #2
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They're probably afraid they're going to get eaten. Some species are like that. The solution is to put a few more outgoing fish in the tank: the cardinals will see there's no danger and come out more. Rachel O'Leary has a good video on this:



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Old 01-11-2019, 06:21 PM   #3
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They're probably afraid they're going to get eaten. Some species are like that. The solution is to put a few more outgoing fish in the tank: the cardinals will see there's no danger and come out more. Rachel O'Leary has a good video on this:



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Old 01-11-2019, 11:26 PM   #4
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I would be careful with betta fish. Some can be super peaceful and others will attack everything that moves. You say they won't come out when you are around. How often are you around this tank and for how long? Maybe they just aren't accustomed to you being there? I have a blue gourami that's probably 4-5 years old that is sensitive to me coming to the tank now since I don't look into or am around his tank as much as my other tanks. He used to be in my 60 gallon and would come right up to the glass but now he is in a 40 gallon plant grow out tub that i only check on 1 time a week other than a fast feeding every day.Likely not the problem but just a thought.
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:42 AM   #5
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I would be careful with betta fish. Some can be super peaceful and others will attack everything that moves. You say they won't come out when you are around. How often are you around this tank and for how long? Maybe they just aren't accustomed to you being there? I have a blue gourami that's probably 4-5 years old that is sensitive to me coming to the tank now since I don't look into or am around his tank as much as my other tanks. He used to be in my 60 gallon and would come right up to the glass but now he is in a 40 gallon plant grow out tub that i only check on 1 time a week other than a fast feeding every day.Likely not the problem but just a thought.


Any other fish ideas then? Iím worried to add too much since the tank is already pretty well stocked.

The tank is in my bedroom, so Iím in there a lot!
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:07 PM   #6
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Maybe a killifish or 2? A single dwarf gourami? I personally love celestial pearl danios but they like to be in groups of daniels least 6 and can be hiders also.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:45 PM   #7
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Shy Cardinal Tetras

Well, I went to the fish store to look around at different types of fish and may have strayed from better judgement and come back with a betta. I found a beautiful white betta who I couldnít leave behind. I thought Iíd give him a trial and return him if he didnít work out.

Heís super docile, no chasing, just happily swimming around. Within minutes of putting him in, the cardinals were straying out. After a few hours, 6 of them are swimming around when I was right in front of the tank taking a picture. I put in some food and went a few feet away. All 8 cardinals are swimming around and eating off the water surface!

Thankfully this dude worked out, because Iím quite fond of the pop of white in my tank! I appreciate the help in coming up with the idea of adding a social fish! I canít believe my cardinals are finally out after months of hiding!

http://i66.tinypic.com/j94nwk.jpg
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:35 PM   #8
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Heís super docile, no chasing, just happily swimming around. Within minutes of putting him in, the cardinals were straying out. After a few hours, 6 of them are swimming around when I was right in front of the tank taking a picture. I put in some food and went a few feet away. All 8 cardinals are swimming around and eating off the water surface!

Great news!


Bettas are tricky with tankmates: some are chill, some hate everyone, and some are fine until, one day, they put on a goalie mask and change their name to "Jason." Glad you found one who seems to be fitting in.
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:44 PM   #9
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Beautiful fish and tank! Your betta is so pretty with the neons in attendance.

I'm happy for you!
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