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Cardinal Tetra Fish For Sale | Live Tropical Aquarium Fish Tank | Splashy Fish
Cardinal Tetra Fish in Tropical Aquarium Fish | Community Fish | Schooling Fish | Splashy Fish

Cardinal Tetra Fish

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Most people may recognise Cardinal Tetra Fish (Paracheirodon axelrodi) as Neon Tetra since they are quite identical in their appearance. Both have a torpedo-shaped body marked with brilliant neon blue and red stripes. However, as for Cardinal Tetra, its red stripe extends the entire length of its body compared to that of neon tetra (only about halfway to the nose). In addition, you may find Cardinal Tetra is hardier and larger than neon tetra. 

Like neon tetra, Cardinal Tetra is native to warmer streams of South America which are normally covered by dense rainforests. As such, they preferred shaded areas with slow-moving water. The use of rock work, plants, and driftwood makes your aquarium a good replica of these fish’s natural habitat. Cardinal Tetras live in shoals, whether in their natural habitat or in an aquarium fish tank, so keeping them in a group of six or more is recommended. Their favorite place in the aquarium is the top and middle level of the water column thus, you may find them swimming around there most often. As being considered peaceful fish, they can make good tank mates with larger and peaceful invertebrates or other tetra species. 

Cardinal Tetras are also sensitive to changes in water parameters. You should be careful when acclimating them to your tank (newly cycled tanks are not really recommended).

What You Can Expect From This Fish:

  • Noticeable fish in any aquarium due to their vivid neon red and blue coloration
  • Peaceful disposition with fish and peaceful invertebrates
  • Love inhabiting the top of the aquarium


  • 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: Mix of frozen foods including daphnia, baby brine, cyclops, and bloodworms are acceptable to them. 
  • Social behavior: Peaceful, schooling/shoaling.
  • Origin: Tank-bred, but native 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)

See more details about the care guide for Cardinal Tetra here.

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