The Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi) is a very popular schooling community fish. It is very similar to the Neon Tetra, but has more neon red and blue coloration, is often somewhat hardier, and is slightly larger. Its care and behavior are nearly identical to the Neon Tetra.
The Cardinal Tetra typically occupies the top and middle level of the water column, although it can often be seen swimming and feeding in the middle and bottom levels as well. They are safe with other peaceful, small fish. Adult dwarf shrimp are generally safe as well, but adult Cardinal Tetras may eat small dwarf shrimp and their fry. Larger, peaceful invertebrates can also make good tankmates. Cardinal Tetras must be kept in schools of 6 or more. Since they are tank-raised, Cardinal Tetras are fairly adaptable, but their natural habitat contains soft, acidic water rich in tannins and leaf litter.
While not a picky eater, the Cardinal Tetra will thrive and remain very colorful on a varied diet of meaty foods. High-quality flake food, pellets, and frozen or freeze-dried tubifex and bloodworms will all be readily accepted.
What We Like About This Fish:
- Beautiful neon red and blue coloration
- Peaceful disposition with fish and peaceful invertebrates
- Very active and noticeable fish in any aquarium
- Excellent for inhabiting the top of the aquarium
RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS:
Temperature: 64° - 82° F (18° - 27.7° C)
pH: 5.5 - 7.0, more acidic water is preferred
KH: 4 - 8 dKH
Minimum tank size: 10 gallons
Diet: Omnivorous. Will easily accept high quality dry and frozen foods.
Social behavior: Peaceful, schooling/shoaling.
Origin: Tank-bred, but indigenous to South America
Average adult size: 1 - 1.5 inches (2.5 - 3.8 cm)
Average purchase size: 1/4 - 1 inch (0.6 - 2.5 cm)