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Author Topic: help?! my cardinal tetras have gone pale?  (Read 4485 times)
meowcatroar
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« on: August 17, 2009, 05:46:23 PM »

i have six cardinal tetras in a 60litre tank and have had them since thursday (four days) their colour was fine earlier today but i have just come home and their red stripe below the blue stripe has gone all pale and hardly red anymore... please can someone help me??
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Muffuletta
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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2009, 06:02:04 PM »

Most certainly
Cardinal tetras turn their red stripe off when they are sleeping.  Mine stay active as long as some light is on somewhere in the room.  But they go inactive when there is no light. 
Since cardinal tetras are a schooling fish they use the stripes to help stay together.  At night when they are inactive there is no need for the stripe so they turn off the red stripe to conserve some energy. 
Just wait until you see them floating right above the bottom with no color when you turn the lights on in the morning. 
Provided your cardinals are healthy the red stripes comes back within 15 or 20 minutes.
 
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meowcatroar
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« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2009, 06:08:30 PM »

oh ok so i just leave them and check again in morning (its past midnight for me!) ?
thanks
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Karen
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« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2009, 08:49:45 PM »

Is their tank cycled?  That is a species of fish with a good reputation for doing poorly in an uncycled tank.  Chances are the problem is indeed as Muffuletta has suggested, but its good to rule out water quality as well.  What are your current readings for nitrite and ammonia?
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Muffuletta
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« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2009, 09:43:27 PM »

It is true cardinals are, at least in my experience, hard to intro to a tank, especially a newly started one. 
Quite frankly the quality of cardinals from most lfs is really pretty bad.  I only see them in my area very rarely these days.  When I do see them the color of the red stripe is just terrible or barely showing at all.  Of course, it took me looking at mine for a while to realize how bad the ones in the store really are.
The best thing for them is good fresh water.  So post your numbers and see how things are going.   
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winn0923
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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2009, 01:10:19 AM »

If you are willing, keep them with soft water with pH around 6 or less, esp with tannin stained water.  That is when they will show their best color.  I kept them in blackwater tank with pH of 5 before and they look absolutely gorgeous in there.  IME, cardinal is one of those that would require really soft and warm water to thrive (78F or above).  Since most are wild caught, they can adapt to pH of 7 but are more prone to disease at higher pH.

Do not use chemical product to lower or soften the pH!
Use RO water if needed or add driftwood to the water.  Also, make sure you have a kit to monitor pH, KH, GH.
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meowcatroar
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« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2009, 12:11:49 PM »

my cardinal tetra is spinning around upside  down and just being moved around by the flow of the tank it is still flapping and opening its mouth
please help?!?!?!
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GunMan
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« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2009, 12:13:37 PM »

Do you just have a cardinal tank in there? Because they need schools. Or what seems to be a big problem is what are your water parameters? How big is your tank?
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Karen
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« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2009, 12:15:13 PM »

Is their tank cycled?  That is a species of fish with a good reputation for doing poorly in an uncycled tank.  Chances are the problem is indeed as Muffuletta has suggested, but its good to rule out water quality as well.  What are your current readings for nitrite and ammonia?

I merged your threads as they are about the same tank and the same fish.  Please answer the questions asked of you.
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meowcatroar
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« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2009, 12:22:11 PM »

60litre tank have 6 tetras no other fish two plants it was set up for 8 days before i put fish in they've been in for five days now , i added the chemicals it came with but dont have any water testing kits...
also their colour had gone back to normal in the morning nd they were fine
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Karen
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« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2009, 12:27:06 PM »

Sounds like ammonia poisoning to me, you might loose them all.

Your tank isn't cycled.  The 8 days you waited was for no known reason.  A tank won't cycle with out a source of ammonia.

Do an 80% water change right now.  Do another 50% tomorrow.

Buy a test kit, you won't be able to cycle the tank with out one and still keep the fish alive.

What "chemicals" are you adding?  The only thing you need is dechlorinator and LOTS of clean water.
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meowcatroar
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« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2009, 12:30:58 PM »

the chemicals i added were auqa plus to remove chlorine and chloramine and cycle which says on the bottle it reduces fish loss. Only one of the fish is affected, should I remove him? I will do the water change now.
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Karen
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« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2009, 12:42:23 PM »

Cycle is useless, save the trouble and stop using it.  Its just a sales gimmick.  Aqua Plus is your dechlorinator, use that.  There are better dechlorinators on the market, but use what you have for now.

I doubt the fish will survive.  The easiest way to euthanize a fish is to place it in a cup of water and put that cup in the freezer.  You can bury the "fish cube" in the garden later.  Please don't flush it.
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meowcatroar
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« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2009, 01:07:52 PM »

i removed the one fish and its at the bottom of a jug on its side (still moving mouth) is there any way to save it?
i did a 50% water change and added aquaplus the five remaining fish are swimming around but there red stripe is pale again...
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Karen
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« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2009, 01:21:49 PM »

Ammonia burns their gills.  Imagine breathing in a lot of ammonia fumes, it would burn your lungs too.  Lots of clean fresh water is the best medicine. 

Today's water change was to be 80%, tomorrows was to be 50%.  Basically you need to get the ammonia levels down below 1ppm.  And unless you can test the water, you have to presume they are high.  Since you did a 50% now, do another 50% before bed time, and get a test kit ASAP. 
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meowcatroar
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« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2009, 01:35:55 PM »

okay how long shall i leave it before another water change as its 7:30pm where i am?
also what do i need to test for because at my lfs there is lots of separate ones and they are quite expensive...?
im not sure whats its supposed to be like but there seems to be a current in my tank?!
thanks for helping
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Karen
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« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2009, 01:53:21 PM »

Right now you need ammonia.  Next week you will need nitrite.

API master fresh water test kit will get you all that is needed.  In a pet store it costs almost double what it costs to order one on line.  http://www.marinedepot.com/ps_viewitem.aspx?idproduct=AP3321&child=AP3321&utm_source=mdcsegooglebase2&utm_medium=cse&utm_campaign=mdcsegooglebase2

If you order one on line, plan to do 50-60% water changes every day until it arrives.  All you can do is presume your water is bad if you can't test it to prove otherwise.

Its 7:30PM where you are?!!?  You must live on the other side of the pond!  Do the next change first thing in the morning then followed by one when you get home from work.  The point is to do an extra 50% change in this first 24 hours to help offset the week with out any.
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meowcatroar
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« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2009, 02:02:24 PM »

i live in england =) and i shall buy an ammonia test kit tomorrow but i am going away for 12 days on saturday and dont have anyone to water change ect. only feed so is there enough i can do inthat little time??
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winn0923
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« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2009, 05:11:28 PM »

well, in that case, you might wanna kiss your fish goodbye =( maybe you can bring it back to the lfs and they can hold it for you? they will not survive without the water change at this point
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Karen
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« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2009, 06:26:02 PM »

The absolute worst thing you could do, is feed them and not change the water.  I doubt the fish will be alive when you come back, but if you have them fed, I know they won't be.

Do you understand the nitrogen cycle?  There is a stickied post at the top of this board that explains it nicely.
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