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cardinals biting eachother, is this normal?
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katybobady
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Joined: 04 May 2005

PostPosted: 2005.05.05(Thu)19:26    Post subject: cardinals biting eachother, is this normal? Reply with quote

Sorry, this is my first post on here- this site has now bcome my bible to fish keeping.
I have a va 380 10g topical tank. Its still in the cycling stage and my fish shop assured me 6 cardinal tetras will do fine to cycle a tank ( I've now found that is WRONG). So I've been trying to combat white spot that they have just contracted, and I'm now finding that they have started to bite eachother! It has been happening over the last few days and now I have a cardinial with part of its lower fin bitten off- I'm afraid they will pick on him till death.

ill now tell you what I can about my water parameters because I know this is your first question-

pH is 7 ( I know this is to high, going to try reduce it with discus buffer- seachem. what do you think?)

Nitrite level is only 0.25 (have been doing regular 10% water changes to combat it.)

Temp is set at 24 degrees celsius

so far I have used 'white spot remedy' by 'Science' , and last night I added more Stress Coat to try repair fin damage.

What are your thoughts? how can I stop them biting, should I isolate the injured in a container anchored on the tank?

I also notice after water changes they don't seem to bite at all- could the biting be signs of stress?

Sorry for all the question but I just want to do everything possible for my fish.
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Nadias_Nana
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Joined: 25 Feb 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA, USA

PostPosted: 2005.05.05(Thu)21:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, Katy, you've learned the first lesson in fish-keeping: don't listen to the people in your LFS (local fish store)! Cardinals are hard enough, but they NEVER should have sold you these to cycle your tank! If they won't take the fish back, you'll have to try to combat the problem on your own.

I'm not familiar with the medication you have, but make sure it is for ich. Make sure that you remove the carbon, or charcoal from your filter, or the medication will be absorbed before it can do any good. Raise the temp on your tank, about a degree a day over the next few days. Search the forum on Diseases and Disasters, most people who keep fish end up with ich at one time or another, and there is a lot of good information here on the whats and whys.

You can try to separate the cardinal with the chewed up tail, but remember that if you put him in water that's not cycled, he'll be battling that, too.
For the sake of time, since you have the problem now, let me tell you that chemical pH uppers and downers only work for a short period of time, and then it will return to whatever it was to begin with. Then your fish will also have to battle the stress of dealing with the changes in the pH. Although cardinals usually do better with a lower pH, 7 isn't extremely high for them, and they will usually adjust. If you want to lower it later, after you have dealt with the problem at hand, there are other ways.

There is a lot of info on this site, I personally think it's the best out here. I am glad you found it, and good luck with your cardinals, they are really beautiful fish!

All said though, really you should go and put a guilt trip on your LFS and make them take the fish back. If they refuse, see if they will give you a gallon or two of the water they had the cardinals in, or a cup or two of the gravel from their tank, so that you can get some beneficial bacteria in your tank, that will help cycle your tank faster. There are also a few products out there that claim to cycle a tank, maybe someone else can give you the names of the products; I have suddenly lost my train of thought...
Good luck.
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Hasi
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Joined: 16 Apr 2005
Location: Australia - Melbourne

PostPosted: 2005.05.05(Thu)21:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey welcome to the board and AoA.

Like yourself I was too sold tetras even though my LFS knew I was in the cycling process of my tank. Without knowing better I had bought 10 neons and after a month they are still fine, I check up on them a 100 times a day although no matter what you do they will still stress from the cycle.

Anyhow you will need to do constant water changes as soon as you get high readings of Ammonia and Nitrite, make sure you test your parameters everyday day or two. The bad news is that the water changes you will have to do will delay your cycle so its a bit of a downer.

If you can, your best option would be to return the fish and read up on fishless cycling, do a search on this site and follow the article...

Goodluck!
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Susan Wright
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Joined: 09 Mar 2005
Location: Tulsa, Ok

PostPosted: 2005.05.05(Thu)21:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

Getting water from the lfs tanks isn't what you need, the bacteria doesn't live in the water. Its on the rocks and filter media. Ask them if they can give you some of the media, but preferably get some from a friend that has an established tank that you know is healthy.

You can get some AmQuel + it will help remove toxins already in your tank also start doing some water changes treated with AmQuel and at the same temp of your tank. It will help a lot of the stress and damage the cycle is doing with the poor fish.

As Nadias_Nana says search the forum it will help you a lot in getting this fixed for you. There is also an article section that can answer a lot of questions on cycling and diseases and such.
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katybobady
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Joined: 04 May 2005

PostPosted: 2005.05.06(Fri)22:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the promt replies guys- but I'm still stumped as to why they are biting Confused .
from the research I've done- they are a peaceful fish- they are the only inhabitants in a 10 gallon tank and are fed well. I have not been able to sex them yet- I know the big one is definately a female ( she does most of the biting).
There is two average size plants for cover and now a peice of drfit wood to hide in?
Any ideas
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supaoopa
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Joined: 16 Mar 2005

PostPosted: 2005.05.08(Sun)1:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

weird, I have 4 cardinals in my 10G with no problems. Do you still have all 6 tetras? Maybe they are irritated from the cycling process and the ich, causing them to nip a bit?
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katybobady
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Joined: 04 May 2005

PostPosted: 2005.05.08(Sun)18:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

I now only have 4 Sad , I found the poor little guys dead this morning. There is definatley a problem though with biting- the one that had his fin bitten off had his tail bitten off last night as well, he has passed now so I will see if they start to pick on any others- may have just been a weak/sick fish.
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