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Cardinal Tetra

The Cardinal Tetra is one of the aquarium hobbies most popular schooling fish. This is due to their striking blue and red color that stands out great in any aquarium. They look closely to a Neon Tetra yet the differences are evident.  The Cardinal tetra is a bit larger than the Neon Tetra to start.  Cardinals come from warmer water than Neon Tetras.  In coloration, the Cardinal Tetra’s red line runs the whole length of the body.  The red in the Neon Tetra only goes from the tail to about the middle of the body then the color changes to silver. Finally, Cardinal Tetras enjoying warmer water makes them a great choice for aquariums that house Discus (Symphysodon aequifasciatus) or one of the many color strains of Rams (Mikrogeophagus ramirezi).  They are a stunning addition to aquariums because of their high contrast against planted tanks and dark substrates. We recommend them to anyone that wants an easy to care for and beautiful fish. They prefer to be kept in schools of 5 or more to make them feel the most comfortable.

Please Note: All fish shipments have a 100% Live Arrival Guarantee when shipping with Overnight (1 Day) option. All other options void our Live Arrival Guarantee for fish. 

The Cardinal Tetra originally came from the warmer streams of South America. To replicate their natural habitat, the use of rock work, plants, and driftwood should be included in the aquarium. They also enjoy tannins in their water, so the use of Indian Almond or Guava leaves is highly recommended. We would not recommend keeping this fish with shrimp colonies due to the likeliness of the cardinal tetra eating baby shrimp and potentially picking at adult shrimp.

The scientific name for the cardinal tetra is: Paracheirodon axelrodi

We feed our Cardinals a mix of frozen foods including daphnia, baby brine, cyclops, and Bloodworms.

Our Tank Parameters

  • Ph:7.2 to 7.5
  • Gh: 8 to 16
  • Kh: 4 to 7
  • TDS: 180 to 250
  • Temp: 74 to 78

Tank Recommendations

  • Leaves: Indian Almond or Guava
  • Wood: Mopani or Malaysian
  • Cones: Alder Cones
  • Other:Buffered substrate to lower pH, not required

Customer Reviews

Based on 48 reviews
Eric Matey
Cardinal tetras

I picked up my cardinal tetras last week. The fish were healthy, colorful and are very happy in my tank. I will definitely purchase again. Thank you!

George Wilson
Great Shipment

I ordered 14 cardinal tetras and 6 pygmy corys I received 16 tetras and 7 corys all healthy and great looking.

Matthew Williams

All arrived healthy and active, packaging was great, they colored right up and are all active and exploring their new home. Thank you guys! They look super healthy!!

Nile Nickel
Health and Beautiful Cardinal Tetra

Great fish delivered with my shrimp. Add so much color to the tank.

Great quality looking fish

Fish arrived in great shape. So far they all have been doing great