Cardinals losing colour

chatony

Member
hey guys, heres the story. 3 swordtails and two bristlenoses in my tank died last week!!! only 1 swordtail and 1 bristlnose survived.(both in hospital tank...) I cleaned out my tank, replaced the gravel with finer gravel, changed the water with 50% fresh water, 50% water from my other clean angelfish tank. I bought 4 cardinals, the next day, the cardinals lost their red colour!!! What happened?
 

Luniyn

Member
Water from your other tank isn't enough to cycle your tank but could have added some ammonia, nitrite, or even nitrate without any good bacteria to eat all of it. Cardinal tetras are not a hardy fish and like to have a fully cycled tank in order to do well. Either or take it to your pet store and let them do it (though if they use test strips then you are better off with the liquid kit). What are your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels at? Also what is your pH? How long did you let the tetras sit in the bag in your tank before you transfered them and did you put some of your water into the bag over time to let them get used to your water? Generally fish lose their color because of stress, and just the trip from the pet store to your house could be enough to stress them out even with a fully cycled tank. If you tank water is within normal levels then it could just be travel stress and all the need is time, but my first guess is water quality problems really. If your Angel tank is fully cycled and you have a hang on back filter that's been in a while, you could cut a piece of that off and stick it into the filter on the tetra tank. That will help seed the bio filter with good bacteria. Another thing you can do is take a handful of the gravel from your Angel tank and put it into some pantyhose and hang that into the tank to help seed the tetra tank with the good bacteria. Let us know your water levels and we can go from there.
 
  • Thread Starter

chatony

Member
I find they lose their colour only at night... they are doing ok. I'm going to buy a ph kit soon and the filter I'm using is an established one already. thank you!!! how many tetras do you need to school them?
 

vin

Member
chatony said:
I find they lose their colour only at night... they are doing ok. I'm going to buy a ph kit soon and the filter I'm using is an established one already. thank you!!! how many tetras do you need to school them?
typically 5 tetras is a good start.
 
  • Thread Starter

chatony

Member
I have 4, I'm going to get another 4 tomorrow and bout 3 rummys the next week.... then I'm gona plant my tank with more plants!!!!
 

vin

Member
Is this for the 5 gallon you have listed in your sig or do you have another larger tank? If it's for the 5 gallon then I'm afraid you're well overstocked as it is....Yod have only enough room for either the swordtail or the bristlenose....
 
  • Thread Starter

chatony

Member
sry.. my swords andthe bristlenose died... haven't changed the sig yet...
 

vin

Member
Sorry about your swords and bristlenose....But even with that, 7 tetras in a 5 g is too much....Remember when stocking fish - the general rule of thumb is 1" of ADULT size fish per gallon...Meaning you can have a total of 5 inches of fish in a 5 gallon tank or the equivalent of 3 tetras aas when they reach adult size they'd be about 5.5 - 6 inches in length.
 
  • Thread Starter

chatony

Member
vin said:
Sorry about your swords and bristlenose....But even with that, 7 tetras in a 5 g is too much....Remember when stocking fish - the general rule of thumb is 1" of ADULT size fish per gallon...Meaning you can have a total of 5 inches of fish in a 5 gallon tank or the equivalent of  3 tetras aas when they reach adult size they'd be about 5.5 - 6 inches in length.
il remember that. thnx
 

Gendarme

Member
I also have Cardinals that lose their color at night. Their color comes back within 5 minutes or so of me turning the light on in the morning. Usuall it is just the red that goes and it returns almost as I watch. Anyone else seen this? I was curious as to whether it was some sort of defense machanism they use when it is dark so they can hide.
 

Zer0sk8er

Member
they may just be stressed out in the tank. sometimes it may just be from lack of nutrision in there diet.
 

eric_m

Member
mine loses some color at night.. they come back when the light is turned back on.. one time I forgot to turn the light off and the colors were bright..
 

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