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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V5 #489

Aquatic Plants Digest wrote:

>Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 07:19:54 -0500
>From: "Dave K" <kysard55 at suscom_net>
>Subject: Re: Subject: Re: Breeding cardinal tetras
>>We are working on this problem, change the way way >fishers and local buyers are managing the fish.  We just ?>had finished a first expedition with NEAq and NAIB >vets to check the stress conditions from the fishing >grounds to exporters.  
>This is the real issue here for me,  I've bought a lot of sick/puny cardinals from pet stores.  
>Yesterday I was talking to famous discus breeder about cardinals.  He recently went halves on a 1000 cardinals with a pet store.  When they arrived they were young.  He took his half and fed them live artemia three times per day, in three weeks they doubled in size and he lost only a handful.  The pet store lost 488 and said they would never order any again!  So the moral of the story is the wild fish collectors and the exporters aren't at fault  AND if you want cardinals buy them the day your LFS recieves 
>them and feed them well.
>Dave K

>Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 10:10:18 -0500
>From: Mike Wickham <mewickham at compuserve_com>
>Subject: Re: Breeding cardinal tetras
> >> ...of the millions of cardinals stripped from the wild, less than 1
> >> percent actually survive the shipping and the pet stores.
>Where'd you get that statistic? Are you sure of its accuracy? As a former
>dealer, I can vouch that cardinals have a higher mortality rate than most
>fish, but I doubt that its near 99%.
>Indeed, cardinal tetras often arrive at the pet store exceedingly
>emaciated. It's partly due to poor care between time of capture and time of
>arrival at the pet store. It's also partly natural. Some researchers
>actually consider cardinal tetras to be an annual fish-- that is, few
>survive more than a year in the wild. The ones collected are collected when
>waters are low, when fish are concentrated, and when competition for food
>is excessive. The fish are skinny when captured. Many of these fish are
>destined to starve, or even dry out, in the wild. Being captured for the
>aquarium may actually be a source of rescue for them.
>Mike Wickham

My previous tank was a cardinal tank, 55gal with live plants.

First I tried cardinals when freshly setting up the tank. I got myself 
30 of them to start. Within two weeks they were dead.
I switched to tiger barbs for about a year. I then returned them in 
exchange when cardinals became available and purchased some more on top 
of those. This time I went home with 22 cardinals. All of them lived 
without incident until I broke down the tank three years later. I left 
my canister filter for  as long as 3 months between cleanings  by  
lazyness/accident. No deaths. Fish load was low however.

Moral of the story... don't start your tank with cardinals... their 
sensitive after shipping and cannot be used to establish a tank, even 
if  you use a product like cycle.