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murphysart, i'm no expert, but i've had 3 galaxies for almost 2 years and about 20 cardinals for almost 3 years, i bought 5 galazies, 2 of them died in the first week, the other 3 have since been fine, happy, and fat, the 20 or so cardinals... i still don't know how they are alive because their supposed lifespan is about 1 to 2 years and i know i got them at least 6 months old! i use water out of my tap (in houston) and it is usually about ~8ph, a lot of people go crazy with all the technical details, but the truth is a lot of the ph type of water parameters are applicable to wild caught specimens as they are used to those water conditions in the wild, most of the fish you see in the stores these days are not wild caught (although i have heard both CPD's and cardinals are more likely to be wild caught than tank raised compared to many other species), anyway, the point i'm trying to make is that its most likely tankmates or bad stock like JJ said, the only other thing maybe if they are getting too stressed during transport or abruptly thrown into a very different water without any time to adjust to temperature or something like that, one experiment can be to keep the betta in a jar next time you get a batch of either and see how they do w/o him in the tank (although i doubt he is the psycho serial killer of CPD's and cardinals)
 
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