cardinal tetra is having trouble swimming straight? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 18 Old 09-24-2008, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
New Member
wendex's Avatar
cardinal tetra is having trouble swimming straight?


one of my 6 cardinals is having trouble swimming straight he tilts to one side like he's laying flat b4 straightening himself out again, pretty much continually. And I just caught him resting on the bottom but he swam off when I tried to fish him out.

Did a water change, cleaned filter last night and just added water conditioner. (due to a mistake the water change didn't get done last week so it has been a fortnight since the last water change but when I checked the water b4 changing the nitrite, amm. levels were both 0, checked just now and all is ok still - using liquid testing kit)

There are no other visible signs of sickness on the fish and his neon blue stripe is still shining.

What should I do just leave him in, take him out away from the other fish, I've only got the one tank so unfortunately i can't keep him separate for long.

hope you can advise.
wendex is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 18 Old 09-24-2008, 09:39 AM
1077's Avatar
cardinal tetras in my expierience are sensitive To nitrates. WEEKLY water changes are a must to keep nitrates in check. They also like somewhat warmer and softer water than say neons. Water conditioner should be one that addresses ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. PRIME is the one i prefer. Water conditioner should be added to new water BEFORE you add the new water to the tank .Filters should be cleaned in old aquarium water that you draw out during water changes not tap water. You do not say whether the gravel is being vaccumed but doing so each week will help keep ammonia and nitrates in check. It is also possible if these are new fish that one was not healthy.You do not say how long you have had them in the tank or how long the tank has been running with fish in it. I hope some of this helps you.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
1077 is offline  
post #3 of 18 Old 09-24-2008, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
New Member
wendex's Avatar
thanks 4 reply

nitrates about 30 - not sure what is a good level for cardinals.

No new fish added recently and tank been going for a good few months now.

I do hoover the bottom and do a 30%weekly change, wash filter in tank water one pad at a time weekly, but did all the filter this time cos i missed change and it was really dirty.

i think that it's the missed water change that's caused it and I feel really awful. Just need to know what to do for the best now, I feel like I should remove him and quickly end it but I'm not able to do that sadly.

I'm hoping I can go get something to add to the water which might help. I've got some cycle which I kept for when I add new fish would that help? I'm hoping someone can advise b4 it's 2 late. He has rested on the bottom a few times and I thought he was a gonna but when I went to fish him out he has swam quickly off to join the others and I don't really want to cause him any more stress???? what can I do?
wendex is offline  
post #4 of 18 Old 09-24-2008, 12:06 PM
iamntbatman's Avatar
I can't speak as to the sensitivity of cardinals to nitrates, but if they are, 30 ppm of nitrates is quite high. I would suggest doing another water change to bring them down to the 10-20 ppm range.

4 8 15 16 23 42
iamntbatman is offline  
post #5 of 18 Old 09-24-2008, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
New Member
wendex's Avatar
ok will do thanks
wendex is offline  
post #6 of 18 Old 09-24-2008, 03:03 PM
New Member
Cardinals are tempermental fish. I think you did too much at once and would have been better off to have done a water change OR cleaned the filter. For a cleaning scedule I suggest: 15% water change once a week and 25-30% once a month. Keeping in mind not to change the filter media on the same week as the large water change. It tends to strip out too much of the healthy bacteria.
Chrisseh is offline  
post #7 of 18 Old 09-24-2008, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
New Member
wendex's Avatar
hi thanks for the advice, do you think I should add some cycle.

The other fish in the tank appear to be ok thankfully.
wendex is offline  
post #8 of 18 Old 09-24-2008, 08:14 PM
New Member
I have never used cycle, from what I hear is that it works okay. I would recheck your ammonia levels fist. Just to make sure the water is clean. You want Ammonia to be 0 - .25. Nitrates are harmful to fish (especially our littlest ones), so we try to keep the levels as low as possible. Nitrates are decompossed ammonia (from fish urine). The only way to get Nitrates out of the tank is by water changes, otherwise live plants will use it for food. I think you should consideradding plants to your tank. Your nitrate level seems really high for just missing one water change. I think plants would help to keep the levels in check, you still have to do water changes though.
Chrisseh is offline  
post #9 of 18 Old 09-25-2008, 04:31 AM Thread Starter
New Member
wendex's Avatar
hi yeah I think it's about time to get real plants.

I've not had a fish die in my tank b4 but when I got the cardinals one died in transit, so I don't know how it goes but the little fellow is fighting it cos he's still alive this morning. he rests or rather just gives up the effort and sinks to the bottom lays completely still then swims off again tilting and turning. I really don't know - but surely if he was ill he would be dead now is it possible he's been injured by another fish or even the filter and he can't swim properly?

It's been over 24 hours I've noticed him being like this - can anyone let me know if they've had a sick fish behave this way for so long. I don't know if the kindest thing would be to end it for him or just wait and see if he gets better?
wendex is offline  
post #10 of 18 Old 09-25-2008, 05:26 AM
New Member
One of my books suggests that it might be a bacteria infection. You could try an antibiotic. But none of the other fish seem sick, so I don't know if that's it. An injury is possible, but unlikely if you have not seen anything fall on him. I would give it another day and see how he is. You might have to euthanize him.
Chrisseh is offline  

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cardinal Tetra vs Neon Tetra paytheplayer Characins 12 12-14-2008 12:55 PM
cardinal tetra needs help Mirta Characins 5 02-08-2008 03:22 PM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome