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Are the cardinal tetras from Petsmart farm-raised? I bought 8 wild ones from a shop on Friday and now I have 3 left. They looked like they died from stress. They literally flipped out if I came near the tank. They were always hiding in a corner together. They're the only fish in the tank, it's heavily planted.

So I think farm raised might be a bit more reliable... Does anyone know if the ones from petsmart are?
 

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When I got my 10, they too were skittish for the first 2 days. I think having 3 horny and active male guppies helped out a lot because they are out and about and don't shy away for anything...even when I put my hand in the tank.
 

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I don't think the Petsmart ones are simply from the price tag: $4+.

If they are so skittish, it indicates they have no place to hide or the light is too bright. It can take many days for them to acclimate, assuming the water is very soft to their preference.

And having other fish that are not skittish does help a lot.
 

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Are the cardinal tetras from Petsmart farm-raised? I bought 8 wild ones from a shop on Friday and now I have 3 left. They looked like they died from stress. They literally flipped out if I came near the tank. They were always hiding in a corner together. They're the only fish in the tank, it's heavily planted.

So I think farm raised might be a bit more reliable... Does anyone know if the ones from petsmart are?
I would guess no.....
I usually wait for their sale of 1.00 or what have you ea. before I buy the Cardinals. I have just one left who hangs with the many neons which have NOT died unlike the 7 cards I initially got from Petsmart.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
From what I've been reading (other members experience on TPT) for the past few weeks, yes.

Are neons not an alternative for you?
I have neons in the tank right next to the one with the cardinals. They look really bland compared to cardinals, to be honest.

So I think I'd rather have cardinals if I could find tank-bred ones. I wouldn't think Petsmart would import countless wild ones, so they must be tank-raised. $5 x 8 fish is a lot though.
 

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Cardinals are just so fragile when first put in a tank, make sure your water parameters are as near to perfect as you can get, give ample hiding spots, loads of plants are always good and then leave the lights off for 24 or more hours, don't feed or hover over the tank just leave them to settle, once acclimatised they are pretty tough.
 

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I have neons in the tank right next to the one with the cardinals. They look really bland compared to cardinals, to be honest.

So I think I'd rather have cardinals if I could find tank-bred ones. I wouldn't think Petsmart would import countless wild ones, so they must be tank-raised. $5 x 8 fish is a lot though.

Yeah, they do look nicer.

$5 is a lot for a single Cardinal. My LFS has them for $1.99 each. I wasn't able to find them in any of the 5 Petco's I tried though.
 

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Farm raised are a lot pricer than wild caught (as cardinals were not being successfully farm/tank raised until relatively recently), and especially based on their general health, I'm going with wild caught for petsmart. You can catch them for $1 each if you wait for the right sale. I can't keep cardinals (although neons do fine) because I have hard water with a ph of 8.3 (which is the extreme opposite of what they need), but in my several attempts, I had MUCH better luck with the couple batches of farm raised ones that I found vs. the wild caught. They still didn't survive past about 6 - 9 months in my tanks, but the petsmart/wild caughts typically didn't make a week.
 

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I highly recommend farm raised rather then wild caught. I picked up 22 from my LFS, all were under an an inch or under and I have not lost any. I have hard water and ph of 7.2. I have bought wild caught cardinals from Petsmart out of 10 I lost 2, the rest lived over 2 years but were very shy compared to the young cardinals I bought bought last week.
 

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I had captive raised cardinals once upon a time, they do cost a lot more so I doubt the petsmart ones are farm raised or anything. But they are worth the extra cost since they tend to be larger and hardier.

Another option would be trying to source green neons, I know Rachel (msjinx) carries them.
 

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I've regretted every single fish purchase I've ever made from a Big Box store. Every single time, I've had to treat fish for SOMETHING and usually lost at least some percentage of the fish within the first 48 hours.

When it comes to Cardinals (which are my VERY favorite fish), I am very willing to pay $2-3 per fish to source from a reputable breeder/importer. I prefer farm raised, but those are very hard to come by.

I always quarantine, quarantine, quarantine. Keep them warm in QT (in the low 80s unless you have some evidence of Columnaris), and if they're WC I always worm them.
 

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If you have an LFS, you might ask if they could special order some. If they order from Segrest Farms, I've heard that sometimes they get some in from Florida farmers?

I don't know if there are any Sponsors here who have access to them, but I've bought them off of some previous forum sponsors (who unfortunately are no longer active in the business).

They can be hard to source, as JustJen pointed out, shipping in WC ones is a lot cheaper than farming them.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If you have an LFS, you might ask if they could special order some. If they order from Segrest Farms, I've heard that sometimes they get some in from Florida farmers?

I don't know if there are any Sponsors here who have access to them, but I've bought them off of some previous forum sponsors (who unfortunately are no longer active in the business).

They can be hard to source, as JustJen pointed out, shipping in WC ones is a lot cheaper than farming them.
I have 3 left... If my killies don't eat them when they come, I'll get a couple more and see how they do. If they die before then or get eaten, then I'll find another schooling fish. I guess I'll just pick a few out at the LFS and try to get a small established school of maybe 6-8...

Why are all the pretty fish so pissy omf.
 

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Most cardinals are still wild caught. On one hand it's not a bad deal conservation-wise, because the cardinal fishery in Brazil keeps several villages full of people well-fed and gives them a MAJOR incentive to keep their corner of the forest pristine (i.e. they don't want it turned into a soy plantation). On the other hand wild-caught cardinals will tend to be more fragile than farm-raised ones. Luckily I have bought a few from Petsmart with no losses. This may be because I've used them to augment what was then my already-existing cardinal school. It's probably a crap-shoot whether a particular batch has been taken care of well enough to ensure majority survival in the transit-sale-acclimation process to get from their breeding grounds to our tanks. I must echo the above sentiments: treat them VERY gently for the first few weeks until they recover their resiliency.
 
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