Cardinal Tetra vs Neon Tetra
I was just curious, I continue to attempt to put together a few neon tetras in my tank. I hear everywhere that you should keep an odd number, whether that is fact or fiction, I still am uncertain.
Anyways, I keep trying to keep 5 neon tetras together, but they keep on dying. I tried 6, and 3 died. No matter what, it seems like one or 2 die within 2 weeks of purchase. I heard they can carry Neon Tetra Disease, and also that it's common for them to die easily.
So will it be worth the money to pay the extra to get some cardinals together instead, or will I have the same problem?
Most of the time neon tetras are very fragile and should only be pun into an aquarium thats already well established and has a completed cycle, but crdinal tetras are a little more hardy In my expirience and should do ok in an established aquarium, also when putting fish in an aquarium you should only put in 3 tops every few days, not 6 in one day, putting in too many could cause an ammonia spike that can kill them easily. I hope this helps.
i can't agree there. if your tank is establish meaning your toxin levels are depleted within 8-12 of getting a reading, you can nearly max out your tank. one of the main benefits if you do a fishless cycle. cardinals and neons both can be fragile. the main thing that will determine life or death is were they are supplied from. wild caught ones tend to be more hardy than ones raised in captivity. inbreeding will weaken the species. putting in oneies and twoies here and there will cause a more harsh pecking order. as a larger grow, they tend to tolerate others of the same kind better. the other main thing that is key is acclimation. careful and properly done, your fish will tolerate harsher conditions. fish are very adaptable.
Generally I much prefer cardinals. They do not loose their color as they age like neons. Also, being less commercially popular, they are not as intensely bred, which generally results in a healthier population. In fact, my LFS doesn't even stock neons. However, I've definitely seen entire shipments of very unhealthy cardinals- definitely check with the store on how long they have been there, and how they have been doing since they arrived.
Neon Tetra Disease is not that common, in fact its very rare. Most deaths that people blame on NTD are not NTD related. They are however small fish and like any small fish they don't respond well to rapid changes in their environment or excess pollutants.
Is your tank cycled?
What are your water parameters?
Also, cardinals are more healthy in the long run, but they are very easy to kill right off the bat. Domestic Neons have been born and raised in higher pH water, wild caught are coming from the Amazon and likely used to a much lower pH than what is in your aquarium. They'll require an extended acclimation and close montioring.
I do have both neon and cardinal tetra schools in two of my tanks. There are not less than 7 fishes in each school. They have been with us for quite a long time now, and I should say we have lost only one fish - a neon tetra due to some mysterious condition.
Its body got twisted in a strange way and it suffered a lot. I put him into a quarantine tank - his last home. The others from the same tank, both cardinals and neons are alright. I do have a strange problem with a blue tetra, though.
I guess that as soon as you get your tank established it will be safe for tetras.
I did not know that Cardinals are captive bred. As a former Aquarium retailer, I used to bring 1000 to 2000 wild Cardinals at a time and same goes for Captive bred Neons from SE Asia. IMO, most of diseases are stress related, no different from us. Being shipped itself is very stressful condition for fish. I always practiced holding the fish until I am satified that they have recovered from trip which can be few days to weeks. I do not know whether your lfs receive directly from supplier or from local wholesaler. One way to tell is to see how many lfs receives. Usually, direct shipment means at least 500 Cardinals/Bx. Look for the lfs who gets as much at once. check them out first before you buy. Go back few days later to check the condition of the fish. They can develop the symptoms few days later. Go back week later to check the condition of fish. Since cardianls are schooling fish, such behavior can be noticed. If you happens to see that the majority of fish are not schooling, monitor and wait until you feel that they are in good conditions. If you happen to have many characins in your tank, I suggest quaranteeing the new arrival which should be prepared before the purchase using water from main tank. Since QT is ususally smaller than Main Tank, monitor the water closely but no massive changes. you can also always have simple sponge filter operating in main tank which can be moved to QT when needed. If main tank well established, just avoid extreme pH at the time of purchase. Depending on you bio-load, you should add school of at least 20 Cardinals at once. This way you don't have to buy them constantly. Take a chance once.
I hope this helps. Good Luck!
I know some cardinals are captive bred, but not that many, most of the ones you see in the trade are wild caught.
No Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi) that you see in stores are captive bred. They are almost impossible to breed in captivity and even few experienced aquarists have succeeded. To get back to your question, your fish do not have Neon Tetra Disease. It's probably a pH shock. From my experience P. axelrodi are easily killed by temperature fluxes or large differences between water pH. The way you are describing the deaths of your fish leads me to believe that it is poor introduction to new water.
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