Tetra - Cardinal

Alternative Name
Scientific Name: Paracheirodon axelrodi

Basic Info

A Cardinal Tetra can reach a length of five centimeters at maturity. Females can be distinguished from males by their stomachs, which tend to be larger than those of males. Cardinal Tetras can be distinguished from Neon Tetras by the red line, which runs the length of their bodies horizontally. In Cardinal Tetras, this line runs all the way along the body. Although peaceful, the Cardinal Tetra has teeth because it is related to the piranha! These oval shaped fish have darkly iridescent bodies that are accented by the cardinal red stripe that characterizes the breed!


Cardinal Tetras are prone to white spot when moved from tank to tank or newly imported into your home. This particular Tetra is also prone to Plistophora, a disease that only seems to affect Cardinal Tetras. Breeding Although they may be a bit difficult to breed in captivity, Cardinal Tetras are egg layers. Breeders should be kept at 24 degrees Celsius and a pH of 5.8. After breeding, remove the adults from the tank. Generally, they will lay in the evening and oviposition the spawn on a perlon mat. In order to prevent fungus from growing, the tank should be covered. Usually, the fry will have hatched in about 24 hours, and the young Cardinal Tetras should be offered fry food.

Tetra - Cardinal

Fresh water fish - found in slow moving bodies of water in Columbia


The Cardinal Tetra, a lovely little fish originating in South America, makes a lovely addition to anyone's freshwater aquarium. Cardinal Tetras do best when kept in schools, and this also serves to make them more highly visible and beautiful! These non-aggressive little fish are quite active. They do very well in tanks with other fish, provided the other fish are not of a type that will eat the Cardinal Tetra! Because Cardinal Tetras do not do well in direct light, they will need aquatic plants or dim lighting. Cardinal Tetras do best in soft acidic water. They often die if kept in hard alkaline water. pH levels should be kept between 6.0 to 6.8. The water temperature should remain between 76 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Because Cardinal Tetras do so well in groups of four or more, they are best kept in a 20 gallon tank, although a ten gallon size is also acceptable. These fish will do well on flake food. Because they are so beautiful and hardy, Cardinal Tetras make good fish for beginners.


South America


Native to South America, wild Cardinal Tetras are found in slow moving bodies of water in Columbia, Venezuela or Brazil. These little fish are extremely popular as pets and are a beautiful addition to a beginning or an established community tank.

Common Foods


Related feeds
Dog Cat Horse Birds Fish Snake Turtle Tortoise Salamander and Newts