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Old 05-23-2012, 04:02 PM   #1
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Cardinal Tetra

These guys look pretty cool, but I hear are super fragile, and are a challenge to keep. Post about yours here, any experiences, tips, warnings, and overall advice about 'em. Doin' lots of research about these guys, I hope you guys can help me out!

1. Do you have to be really experienced to care for them?
2. Can they survive in 8.0 pH?
3. Is a 50% water change weekly enough?

Thank you!!
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Old 05-23-2012, 04:05 PM   #2
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Seek out captive bred fish and you'll have much better luck than you likely will with wild caught.

1. No
2. Probably if acclimated to it slowly and captive bred though they will prefer lower.
3. Yes
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Old 05-23-2012, 10:44 PM   #3
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Ok. I'll have to look for some captive bred ones. Thank you!

Anyone else wanna chime in?
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Old 05-24-2012, 02:46 AM   #4
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1) No
2) Yes, although TDS plays a bigger role than pH
3) Sure
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:09 AM   #5
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I don't have cards specifically but I have a tetra tank with neons, black, and glow-lights. They are doing great at a ph of 8. It is my easiest tank to care for.

I do a 30-50% pwc weekly.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:45 AM   #6
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Agree with Aqua chem and HN1.

Be prepared to lose some, even with a cycled tank and a 3+hr drip acclimation. I personally put them right up there with Rummynoses in terms of sensitivity and die-offs. The first two weeks are the most critical ... IMO. If they make it through that, chances are they'll do great.

Not to many freshwater fish that can match their incredible red/blue coloration. A school is really is a great sight ... especially in a planted tank with dark substrate and background. Neons go great with them, they'll school together and are generally a little less expensive.
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:30 AM   #7
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A week ago I added 9 cardinals to my tank with a ph of 8 maybe a little less without drip acclimating and so far so good. I think the fish survival that you buy depends on whether their captive bred, wild caught, and the store you buy them from. The only LFS that I buy my fish from keeps logs on all their fish to keep track if any die or get sick, they display their tanks parameters on the glass, and will advice you not to buy their fish that have just arrived or that have shown signs of sickness. I've never had a single fish die after buying from this store. (knock on wood)
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daxhua
A week ago I added 9 cardinals to my tank with a ph of 8 maybe a little less without drip acclimating and so far so good. I think the fish survival that you buy depends on whether their captive bred, wild caught, and the store you buy them from. The only LFS that I buy my fish from keeps logs on all their fish to keep track if any die or get sick, they display their tanks parameters on the glass, and will advice you not to buy their fish that have just arrived or that have shown signs of sickness. I've never had a single fish die after buying from this store. (knock on wood)
Ok, I'll start with 3 Cardinals, they'll school with my neons. If they survive, I'll get three more.

Thanks for the replies, keep 'em coming!
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:19 PM   #9
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Always consider a QT. No reason to lose your current fish.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:26 PM   #10
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I have 25 for I don't know how how long now never lost one single cardinal they are in 8.5 ph and are with rummynose terra also 25 in a 50 gallon tank with 25% water changes and I have forgotten the odd water change I find them EXTREMELY hardy for a tropical schooling fish

Now neons is another story are you sure your confusing them because I have never heard of cardinals being anything but hardy
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HN1
Always consider a QT. No reason to lose your current fish.
Heck, if my dad would have let me, I would have gotten a QT months ago. I had a hard time getting him to let me transfer my Betta from a bowl to a 2.5 gallon tank.

I would like nothing more, but I can't.
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan-peddle
I have 25 for I don't know how how long now never lost one single cardinal they are in 8.5 ph and are with rummynose terra also 25 in a 50 gallon tank with 25% water changes and I have forgotten the odd water change I find them EXTREMELY hardy for a tropical schooling fish

Now neons is another story are you sure your confusing them because I have never heard of cardinals being anything but hardy
It is the other way around down here. The neons are much more hardy and the Cardinals are quite fragile.
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:06 AM   #13
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I believe both can be fairly hardy depending on how they are born, captive bred is obviously better than wild caught. I think alot of the confusion comes from buying wild caught neons/cardinals, they perish and everyone thinks they are fragile. I've seen the neon/cardinal debate on several forums and depending on who ya ask you'll get a different answer on which one is hardy and which one is fragile. I think it all boils down to where the fish come from.
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:20 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenixkiller View Post
It is the other way around down here. The neons are much more hardy and the Cardinals are quite fragile.
+1
Out of the dozen or so cardinals I've purchased, I've got 3 left. On a Sunday Two months ago I bought 6 cardinals to go with the surviving 4 in my son's old 10gal ... by the next Sunday, I had 3 left. My neons proved hardier.
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Old 05-25-2012, 03:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcolon

+1
Out of the dozen or so cardinals I've purchased, I've got 3 left. On a Sunday Two months ago I bought 6 cardinals to go with the surviving 4 in my son's old 10gal ... by the next Sunday, I had 3 left. My neons proved hardier.
Huh that's weird I have had the same 25 cardinals for years without special treatment or without a loss I guess we have a good breeder same with my rummynose never lost one of the 25 and people say they are fragile and shy too I guess it comes down to the breeder
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Old 05-25-2012, 03:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sake View Post
I believe both can be fairly hardy depending on how they are born, captive bred is obviously better than wild caught. I think alot of the confusion comes from buying wild caught neons/cardinals, they perish and everyone thinks they are fragile. I've seen the neon/cardinal debate on several forums and depending on who ya ask you'll get a different answer on which one is hardy and which one is fragile. I think it all boils down to where the fish come from.
Also factor in fish farms that maintain weak lines.
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:07 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan-peddle View Post
Huh that's weird I have had the same 25 cardinals for years without special treatment or without a loss I guess we have a good breeder same with my rummynose never lost one of the 25 and people say they are fragile and shy too I guess it comes down to the breeder
I'm jealous ... Wish i had your luck! if I never would've lost a cardinal or rummy, i'd have 19 between them. However, the cardinals, neons, rummies and bloodfins really add nice color to my 75 gal.
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