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Cardinal: keeping and breeding aquarium fish

In recent years, wildlife has undergone significant changes under the influence of man. Because of this, the natural habitats of the cardinal fish have also changed dramatically.

At one time this species was considered completely extinct, but then its population was discovered in China. Today, the cardinal is considered an extremely rare fish and is under the protection of the Chinese government program.

All aquarium fish of this species are raised in captivity.

The cardinal fish is one of the most beautiful, but also the rarest species.

The cardinal is distinguished by its small size and very bright attractive color. The length of his body can reach 4 cm.

Life expectancy, like all small fish, does not exceed one and a half years. Under natural conditions and artificial reservoirs, the cardinals prefer to swim in the upper layers of the water, rarely sinking into the bottom areas.

This fish has no tendrils. The dorsal fin is located with the anal on one longitudinal axis. The body color is brownish-bronze, along the entire body from the tail to the head is a bright fluorescent strip.

The golden cardinal fish is distinguished by the color of the body, corresponding to the name, which ends near the tail with a black dot. On the tail and fins, the cardinal may have a bright red spot, and the tail fin is partially transparent. The abdomen has a lighter color compared with the back.

Fry is characterized by the presence of a blue strip on its side, which disappears with age.

The Cardinal is one of a kind that can withstand wild changes in water temperature – from 15 to 30 degrees Celsius.

Several species of fish were bred artificially – albinos and cardinals with veil fins.

Males and females of the species Cardinal do not have obvious external differences, but their gender can be determined by color, size and body shape:

  • males are smaller;
  • coloring in females less bright;
  • the body of the male is oblong, and the female has a more round belly.

At the age of 6-13 months, the fish reach sexual maturity. From now on, males begin to attract taking out females and “bragging” to each other, exposing the brightest parts of their bodies and straightening their fins widely.

For keeping cardinals in the home, it is better to use an oblong aquarium. It is not necessary to look for a large capacity, 15 liters can be enough for a flock of 5-7 individuals. However, ideally, you need to settle such a group in a spacious 40-liter aquarium.

The height of the water level should be at least 20 cm.

As a substrate, you can use small pebbles, as well as not very densely planted aquarium plants.

The optimal conditions for keeping a cardinal aquarium fish are as follows:

  1. Water temperature is preferably from 18 to 22 degrees. If the water is warmer, the cardinals will begin to lose their bright color, and their life expectancy will be reduced. Sudden changes in water temperature are unacceptable – from this the cardinals decrease their resistance, and they get fungal infections.
  2. Water hardness is preferable from 4 to 20 °, the reaction medium – 6.5-7.5.
  3. It is very important to provide aeration and a good filter. Once every 7-10 days, water should be replaced by 30% of the total.
  4. The cardinals definitely need bright lighting, so additional artificial lighting will be needed.
  5. Soil to the bottom is better to choose dark. You can put small pebbles or sand.
  6. It is better to plant the algae in such a way that the entire water column to the very bottom is well lit and the fish have enough space for games and swimming. The best plants – with small leaves. Elodea, Rodentum Ludwigia, Wallisneria, Limnophila, etc. are well suited. A duckweed can be lodged on the surface of an aquarium.
  7. You can decorate the space of the aquarium with the help of smooth stones and snags.

In general, this species is distinguished by unpretentiousness and is recommended for contents even by inexperienced aquarists.

Feed this species can be a variety of feed. It should be borne in mind that the cardinal fish is able to take food only from the surface of the water. This is due to its anatomical features.

Slices of food should not be too large.

In the beginning, the fry can be given live dust, ciliates and finely chopped bloodworms, and after a few weeks – fine cyclop and daphnia.

Fish can be given the following types of feed:

  • the living – bloodworm, daphnia, pipe;
  • frozen;
  • granulated – scraped beef heart;
  • vegetable – white bread, steamed semolina;
  • dry – gammarus.

For dry food you can add vitamins of group B.

Cardinals are distinguished by high activity and mobility, but they are peaceful and livable. They get along well with different fish.

The larger the flock, the more comfortable the representatives of this species feel. If there are less than 5-6 individuals in a flock, they begin to hide in secluded corners, lose their bright attractive color. In one aquarium with cardinals you can settle:

  • guppy;
  • danios;
  • mollies;
  • Rodostomusov;
  • ternition:
  • red neons;
  • glass perch;
  • non-aggressive cichlids;
  • catfish tarakatumov.

Compared to other species of fish, Chinese danios are slower and cannot defend their territory, therefore it is better not to settle them with nimble cardinals.

Cardinals are peaceful aquarium fish which are recommended to contain flocks of 6-8 pieces.

Extremely undesirable neighborhood with predatory species:

  • astronotus;
  • Sumatran barbs;
  • pyranies;
  • scalars (especially large ones);
  • gold fish

Cardinals are capable of breeding year-round. There are 2 ways of breeding these fish at home:

  1. You can get offspring right in the general aquarium. However, there should be only cardinals living there. Representatives of this species usually do not touch the fry and spawn, so the number of young individuals will be high.
  2. You can transplant manufacturers in a separate spawning aquarium. Its capacity may be about 20 liters, the quality and temperature of the water is the same as in the general aquarium. Be sure the presence of plants and aeration. Soil in spawning can not lay.

In order to obtain offspring, 5 females and 2 males are deposited in the spawning chamber and begin to feed them abundantly. After some time, each female lays about 300 eggs.

Adults after this is recommended to return to the general aquarium, but it can be left in the spawn. Fry will appear in 36-48 hours.

After a few days they will be able to eat on their own.

During spawning in an aquarium it is very important to regularly replace some water.

You can feed them with the following food:

  • “Living dust”;
  • infusoria;
  • rotifers;
  • pounded egg yolk.

As they grow up, daphnia and small cyclops are introduced into the diet.

Cardinals have a disease that is unique to this species. It proceeds in the form of tumors affecting all parts of the body of the fish. The first manifestations can be found on the upper lip.

At first, the tumor resembles a small, round grain, which may have a gray or black color. Other symptoms of this disease is not observed. Fish while not losing appetite and mobility.

Tumors are not contagious and do not pose a danger to other individuals from the bevy.

With proper care, regular water filtration and quality feeding, the cardinal will delight the owner with his brightness, excellent health and mobility.

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