Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Neons & Cardinal - Improving colors (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/characins/neons-cardinal-improving-colors-120512/)

ChengKo 11-20-2012 11:24 PM

Neons & Cardinal - Improving colors
 
Does anyone know how to improve the coloration of Neons & Cardinals? I'd LOVE to hear what ANYONE has to say because the red on my Neons and Cardinals are not to my expectations. I've tried feeding them on a diet & they're still on it now that consists of daily whiteworms(live), raw shrimp, and flake food from time to time. Any suggestions?! Thank you!

aussieJJDude 11-20-2012 11:38 PM

Do the have a secure environment, if so post pics of there tank/s.

ChengKo 11-21-2012 02:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aussieJJDude (Post 1319495)
Do the have a secure environment, if so post pics of there tank/s.

Well, they are never scared of me or any other fish in the aquarium, but the tank is mostly bare for now since I'm going to be planting it as soon as I'm able to buy all the stuff I need. Their red shows, but it's not a glowing red like it should be; some of them have a see through red stripe instead of a solid red. Maybe they've got some bad genes, I don't know.

thekoimaiden 11-21-2012 07:56 AM

The bare tank would be the reason. These fish come from shaded forest streams and live with a lot of cover around them. In sparse and bare environments they will look washed out. Floating plants will help them gain a little more color while you finish planting the tank.

ChengKo 11-21-2012 11:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thekoimaiden (Post 1319670)
The bare tank would be the reason. These fish come from shaded forest streams and live with a lot of cover around them. In sparse and bare environments they will look washed out. Floating plants will help them gain a little more color while you finish planting the tank.

I forgot to mention that I have a ton of mini water lettuce already for shade. Do you guys think it may as well just be a genetic flaw? I've also got a few driftwood in there and no fish that's bigger than an inch and a half (minus the khuli loaches which the neon don't even give a care about).

1077 11-21-2012 11:51 AM

Would help to know water parameter's.
Fish mentioned prefer soft acidic water as opposed to hard alkaline water.(If water does not suit them,,their color's won't be as dark).
Substrate color can also affect the fish.If the substrate is white,or light colored, the color's will not be as nice on fish than if they are kept over darker substrates.
Temperature also play's a factor, the neon's prefer cooler water around 75 degrees F while the cardinal's prefer a bit warmer temps closer to 80 degrees F. IMHO

Byron 11-21-2012 12:28 PM

All the suggestions from others are pertinent. Water parameters (GH especially, also pH, and temperature), the physical environment [both species prefer thickly-planted tanks, or alternatively tanks thick with branches and floating plants], minimal light, minimal water movement, a dark substrate, and tankmates. Food plays an important role too, but with the highly-nutritional prepared foods available today, this is not the aspect most likely to affect colour.

Neon tetra are not as colourful now as the cardinal, far from it. The years of inbreeding the commercially raised neons are caused considerable weakening of this fish. The cardinal in many areas are still mostly wild caught, though tank-raised fish are becoming more common in some parts.

Byron.

ChengKo 11-21-2012 10:19 PM

Alright, so I've got Cardinals from both Forest Lake Pets (a lfs) and from PetSmart. The ones from PetSmart aren't greatly colored & the ones from my lfs are great, dark red and shiny blue. Same situation with the Neons that I have. Should I just stay away from PetSmart? I'm sure it's genetic, but I just want to see if there are any ways of coloring up the fish.

Byron 11-22-2012 09:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChengKo (Post 1320831)
Alright, so I've got Cardinals from both Forest Lake Pets (a lfs) and from PetSmart. The ones from PetSmart aren't greatly colored & the ones from my lfs are great, dark red and shiny blue. Same situation with the Neons that I have. Should I just stay away from PetSmart? I'm sure it's genetic, but I just want to see if there are any ways of coloring up the fish.

I'm not a biologist, but if there is a genetic issue then I would expect nothing can be done. But before jumping to this conclusion, understand that how the fish is treated from source to store to your tank can make a difference, and with a suitable environment and nutritious foods this may improve. I would certainly acquire fish from reputable dealers when given the option.

Neither of these fish like light; cardinals in fact are said to have a light phobia. Neither do these fish appreciate strong filter currents. And they must have lots of cover, be it plants and/or branches; and floating plants are essential. Then water parameters; very soft and on the acidic side. And peaceful tankmates. Provide all this, and feed nutritious foods (prepared foods as I mentioned previously are fine, I use a combo of New Life Spectrum, Omega One and Hikari brands). With all this, any lack of colour due to stress will reverse.

Byron.

ChengKo 11-22-2012 10:22 AM

Thanks, Byron; I've got the fish on a great diet and I do know that they hate strong filtration so that's why I've got them on 2 big sponge filters with pretty heavy surface planting. I have a few driftwood pieces & so on but I don't understand why their colors are still not showing. I'm beginning to lean towards the "genetic issue" side. I may just give up on hoping they'll improve colors. Who knows, maybe they will sometime in the future. Thank you all for your information! If anyone still has something to say, feel free!


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