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Old 04-23-2015, 08:11 PM   #1
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Cardinals...or no Cardinals?

My tank has been set up since January with 6 Lemon Tetras. It is very stable now, so I decided to add a few more fish.

I went to the LFS to get 7 Cardinal Tetras, 1 Albino Bristlenose Pleco, and I got a baby Bolivian Ram because the LFS couldn't sell him (he only has 1 eye).

Brought them all home and carefully acclimated by floating for 20 minutes followed by removing/adding water from my tank about 250cc for 3 cycles(about an hour total). Then, put them in the tank.

The Ram and Pleco are doing fine. But 4 of my 3 Cardinals died overnight Tested my water and it was 0 ammonia, 0 Nitrites and 10 Nitrates. The fish store said I should have left the light on longer to help acclimate the fish and keep them alert and my Lemons may have felt threatened by the Cardinals.

So, the LFS gave me 5 more Cardinals (total: 8) and also gave me 7 Rummy Nose sized Tetras to draw the attention away from the little Cardinals.

Well, 24 hours later, I have less dead fish, but I think 2 more of the Cardinals died. One for sure, but the other one is MIA. They are a little hard to count, but I think I only have 6 now.

All the fish look healthy and they didn't seem to be fighting today. The one fish I found was stuck to the intake tube of the filter. I don't know if he was dead before or after that happened.

So, my question is are Cardinals too small to live peacefully with my other fish? I love their color but can't stand them getting assassinated! My tank is in transition as I want to move to a semi planted tank, but for now, it has just a few fake plants in one corner to provide shelter.

Any Advice would be great either for Cardinals, against Cardinals or for other fish with bright color!
btw, I have a 29 gallon with an AC 70 filter. Total stock at the moment:
6 Cardinal Tetras
6 Lemon Tetras
7 Rummy Nose Tetras
1 Ablino Bristlenose Pleco
1 Bolivian Ram

Sorry for the long post!
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:16 PM   #2
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Cardinals can be much like neons, if you get a bad stock half will die for almost no reason. Just have to find some healthy stock. Speaking of stock I would say IMO you are fully stocked.


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Old 04-23-2015, 10:06 PM   #3
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Cardinals...or no Cardinals?

I would push it a little bit more stocked by taking away the pleco. lol

Anyways, I totally agree on knowing the stock before you buy. It is usually not the time to buy cardinals if the store just receive them.
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Old 04-24-2015, 02:35 AM   #4
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Not New Stock, I'm told

I was told that the Cardinals were not new. The store told me that they have had them for a few months. They are a small local store and sell mostly cichlids, so their community stuff lasts a long time...either that or they get the exact same community fish all the time that seem to decrease slightly in numbers every time I go!

I'm now down to 6 Cardinals I saw one a minute ago that was at the bottom of the tank. It almost looked like it was rooting around in the gravel, but it must have been sick or injured.

Yes, I agree that I am fully stocked at this time. It is all because I felt sorry for the Ram (not on my original stocking plan) and for the random unnamed tetras (I called them Rummies for sake of size).

Would love to keep Cardinals for their color, but I'm just not sure if they will be able to live with the bigger Tetras that I have. Any suggestions on more colorful fish that I can add if the Cardinals don't make it?
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:50 AM   #5
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If you like the cardinals' colour, you can try with neon tetras. They've been easier to keep than cardinals, at least for me.

Anyways, check out pink danios, White Cloud Mountain minnows.
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Old 04-24-2015, 08:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IllusionX View Post
If you like the cardinals' colour, you can try with neon tetras. They've been easier to keep than cardinals, at least for me.

Anyways, check out pink danios, White Cloud Mountain minnows.

Lol. I'm just the opposite. I couldn't keep neons at all. My cardinals last quite a while.


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Old 04-26-2015, 01:40 PM   #7
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I'm trying to figure out the keep the lights on longer comment. I've always turned out the tank lights while acclimating and for as long as possible after releasing them so the entire tank is calm and the new guys can get comfortable. I was taught the tank lights cause fish stress when they're in the bag and turning off the lights tends to shut down the existing occupants so there's less aggression risk (I've never considered lemons all that aggressive though).


With cardinals it's tough to tell. I've had real good luck with mine, but I've been pretty picky about choosing them. I avoid cardinals out of a tank that have flat or sunken bellies and poor color. I had to go to a couple places to find ones I like. After that it's a matter of good water quality. I'm changing out about 60 percent of my water the day before any fish purchase, that's on top of regular water changes.


Assuming you have no obvious disease, keep your water in good shape and hope for the best. Good luck.
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