Cardinal Tetra Breeding Log

Professor_fish

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I have started to condition and get some Cardinal Tetra's ready to breed.

I thought i would do a log on it. At the moment the males and females are separate and have been fed up for the last two weeks, I will grab some pics of the breeding set up in the next couple of days.

The plan is 20 females and ten males, the method is one i use alot for Cardinals and if it goes to plan......We should have a spawning in around 10 days time.

I will give more details tomorrow as its nearly 2AM here! Current PH is around 6.7 and will slowly be dropped over the next week, I will also move the fish to the spawning tank, and lower the water level over the same period.

As i live in Scotland we have very peaty dark well water, i will autoclave some of this for the tannin's, we dont use the well now for drinking as we have mains water. But its great stuff for breeding!

The spawning tank is set up with a V bottom so the eggs fall through and the fish cant get them, all fish are around 18 months old. Currently feeding part home discus mix and alot of mixed live food.
 

CarpCharacin

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It sounds like a cool project! I have watched this thread, so I get notifications when you update it.
 

Professor_fish

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So its Tuesday and the pH is around 6.3-6.4, the nitrates are slowly building up and currently stand at 25ppm. I am adding potassium Nitrate to top the nitrates up by 3-5 ppm per day, how much depends on how much nitrate the fish have produced.

It looks like i will slightly overshoot my nitrate target by 10+ ppm, this shouldnt be a problem though. The tank is having the water lowered by 1/4 inch each day, this will increase to 1/2 inch a day from tomorrow.

Water is being changed at around 10-15% a day, i am being very very careful to make sure i dont drop the nitrate levels with the water changes!

Feeding is now mainly protein in the form of grated frozen discus mix (home made), this will continue for a few days then a switch to live food.

Tannins are added each day and the water is slowly getting darker, fish are plumping up and starting to get a good colour.
Lights are only on for 5-6 hours a day and fairly subdued.

Hopefully update tomorrow if i get a chance, i might have to induce spawning a couple of days before i had planned.
 

Professor_fish

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Tuesday 1:30am...........

Peeked in at the fish and found the males flashing at the females......... Not sure why they have started this behavior early, it maybe because i have only lived here 3-4 years. The water is alot darker and alot more peat in it from the well than i am used too, this may account for the behavior. It is also a funny time of year to trigger breeding, i normally dont breed cardinals over the winter, mainly because i like to use my own live food and winter isnt so good for culturing it.

This year i have moved my cultures and the room is alot warmer than it used to be, so i have plenty of live food.

I might drop the light levels a little more and hope this calms them down a bit, the PH and hardness is still a little too high for my liking or i would let them spawn.

A little like Discus, Cardinals will spawn in harder water but the outer membrane of the egg is harder, this makes penetration harder. So just like Discus for best results your better with softer water, the water isnt 'hard' as such but is harder than i prefer.

I will look tomorrow and see how they are, they are in the spawning tank so if they do spawn it isnt a utter disaster!
 

Professor_fish

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I thought i should update this!
Things did not go to plan, i was set and ready as were the fish. However life popped up and got in the way! I tried to put things on hold as i had to go away for several days at very short notice, the fish however spawned back in the main holding aquarium i use for them, no eggs were saved :(.

It will have to wait until the new year now before i start again, I will start feeding them up and conditioning them. I really dont want the hassle of spawning them over the holidays, besides i rarely have much luck this time of year with Cardinals. Jan and Feb are not much better to be honest, but it can be done if you use good artificial light and keep the aquarium completely dark at other times.

This is the main downside of the job i have, i often need to travel at short notice, it plays havoc with projects at home :D,.
 
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