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Cardinal tetras... buy wild caught or pond raised?

3042 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Six
I was somewhat involved in a heated debate regarding cardinal tetras during this years' Ohio Cichlid Extravaganza in November. (Yes! a tetra debate at a cichlid convention!) The debate was, are wild caught or pond reared cardinal tetras better for the environment and the hobby?

As it turns out, buying wild caught cardinals is not only sustainable, it is also beneficial to the fish's natural environment. The fish's habitat is important to preserve due to the fish in the rivers. If the fish were no longer important and beneficial to the native people, nor would the fish's environment and therefore the forests and river systems.

Just thought this would peak the interest of some of the members of the forum. It's an interesting story to me because you would think that aquaculturing fish would be the best thing.

Here's a link to the information and a very good fish magazine:

What do you guys think?
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Fish farming is causes other problems too. Water is diverted and lakes altered to accomodate them, plus escapees getting into new environments. And then there's the food which has to be caught, transported, often processed and then fed. There's a lot of transport miles in farmed fish...

The only thing is a lot of fish aren't sustainably caught in there wild environments and their harvesting isn't managed well, if at all. Some populations can't sustain regular harvests as they aren't as fecund as Cardinals either.
Nearly all cardinals seen in the hobby will be wild. Neons on the other hand are commonly farm raised with estimates of as many as 2 million being brought into the U.S. each month. Only about 2 hundred thousand wild neons are harvested annually. I think it will be difficult for you to find a commercially bred cardinal IMO.
With successful programs breeding Neon Tetras, I would hope a similiar program with Cardinal Tetras would be initiated. There is a demand for such and the benefits would be good for consumers and relax importation of such a sensitive fish .
Even if people did small scale breeding in fish rooms and things, might help a bit. I am currently trying to breed Celestial Pearl Danios.

Praxis, on any tf forums?
I think some local stores have the option of getting in pond raised cardinals. At least where I live.
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