Neon Tetras and Cardinal Tetras

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Neon Tetras & Cardinal Tetras

Incorporating a colorful fish into your tank can make it pop and stand out. Your tank can be the centre of attention. However, adding more than just a few new fish may not be bold enough for you. Adding a whole school of fish to your tank may give it the look you want. From far away, your tank can be eye-catching as a school of small, colorful fish dance their way into view. A school of Cardinal or Neon Tetras could be your next perfect addition to your aquarium.


The Tetra Family

Two of the Tetra fish are great for adding color to your tank. The Cardinal Tetra and the Neon Tetra are two popular choices that you can easily incorporate into your tank.

The fish are similar in nature and require similar tank conditions. Both the Neon Tetra, and the Cardinal Tetra are schooling fish. Schooling fish need more friends than just a few. You need to have the right number of fish in your tank to feel secure and happy. The absolute bare minimum you could have is 6, but it is best advised that you add even more to your tank within a few weeks. The Tetras need to be able and willing to follow the flow of the crowd in order to thrive. Both the Cardinal Tetra and Neon Tetra love plants. Their tank should be equipped with plant cover that allows them to hide.

Apart from these two basic requirements, adequate numbers of fish or plants to start an aquarium, there are some differences in the Cardinal and Neon Tetras. Here, we have highlighted details about each Tetra that can help you decide what best suits your aquarium needs.

Paracheirodon axelrodi Cardinal Tetra

This Tetra’s full name is the Paracheirodon axelrodi Tetra. However, they can be referred to simply as the Cardinal Tetra. While the Cardinal Tetra is most commonly wild-caught, there are some captive-raised versions. These fish are harder to raise in an aquarium setting and the retail price is reflected in this element.

The Cardinal Tetra, which is larger than the Neon Tetras, has a blue and a red stripe that runs from its head to the tail. They have a distinctive look, and they are often the most visually appealing of both Tetras. Though don’t be fooled! From a distance, both fish do look similar and are hard to tell apart.

Good ethics stores are often reluctant to take wild fish from the wild. In most stores, the common price is $3-$4 per fish. Although many stores would prefer to stock and offer captive-raised fish, they are difficult to find and expensive to raise.

It is crucial that you are responsible for stocking the fish in the right amount to make a school, or to not keep them at all. The best way to keep these fish is to honor their nature and provide them their safety in numbers.

Neon Tetra

Although the Neon Tetra may look different from the Cardinal Tetra in many ways, they share a similar appearance. The Neon Tetra is smaller than the Cardinal Tetra and the blue and red does not run the length of their body. Neon Tetras have a blue head with a redtail. They are not as striking as the Cardinal Tetra’s colors, but their colors are still vibrant.

Most Neon Tetras are also captive raised. They are more readily available because they don’t have to be sourced wild. Their price is therefore lower than the Cardinal Tetra. Neon Tetras are more likely to be purchased at $1-$2 per piece.

It’s Up to You

It is up to the individual to decide which school of fish they want to add to their tank. Both Tetras will make an excellent addition to an aquarium. The Neon Tetra is a better option if you are looking to save money. You may be tempted to buy the brightly colored Cardinal Tetras. No matter which color you choose, they are sure to be a bright addition to your tank. Keep in mind that both the Cardinal Tetras as well as the Neon Tetras must live in a school environment with lots of plant cover. This will ensure that they will live happily in your aquarium!