Animal Stories - Cardinal Tetra

Animal-World Information about: Cardinal Tetra

The startling coloration of the Cardinal Tetra is all natural and arguably unsurpassed by any other freshwater fish!
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Savanna - 2017-08-28
I have 3 of these fish (all the store had) along with some ember tetras, white cloud minnows, ghost shrimp and a betta. The beauty of cardinal tetras cannot be overstated when provided with an optimal environment.I recently picked up fish keeping again after a hiatus due to divorce, and went our of my way to get cardinals. All of the tetras get along so far and more or less swim together, along with the white clouds,and they are definitely the star of the school. I have a few tall and medium live plants ranging from swords to wisteria and more and they really seem quite content. I've only had them a few months but they have been fairly easy for me to keep happy. I take great care to measure my tank chemistry every other day and do 20% water changes roughly once a week, and all decor other than live plants is cleaned once every 2 to 3 weeks. I feed a mix of bloodworms, micropellets and an enriched flaked food (as well as a couple of sinking pellets for shrimps.) My bettas pretty much ignores the others. I've kept bettas males and bettas sorority tanks before and was thinking of adding two more female bettas (the one in the tank is female.) But I digress... Cardinals,highly recommend for adding distinct beauty to your tank. Would definitely make sure you have plenty of plants and rock formation decor for them. In my opinion, easier to keep than this article suggests, but I've been keeping fish a long while so maybe it's just second nature now. :)

Ron Gargas - 2017-06-06
I've recently purchased 20 of these incredibly beautiful fish, and in my community 92 gallon bow front tank, they've all seem to be peaceful. Darting and frolicking in the current of my 750 gph circulation pump. My other tetras 8 black skirts, 2 emperor tetras 2 candy cane tetras, 8 red eyed tetras, 3 plecos, 9 flower shrimp, and 2 vampire crabs, peaceful coexistence. All the tetras swim together in and amongst my driftwood and live plants, 5 amazon swords two rather tall wisteria,the amazon swords have runners with 3 -5 baby swords on each runner, 3 apple snails, which exist in pure harmony, the Color of the tetras boldly show brightly against the rich green of their leaves(10–12 inch long leaves) I was skeptic at purchasing because of their small size, but when they school with everyone it really brightens my tank

BJ. - 2015-02-23
I have had 5 Cardinal Tetras in my tank for a year now.Lately,one of them has been acting strangely.It started by keeping itself away from the other fish and seemed to prefer a quiet corner.Now it seems to have a problem when it stops swimming because its tail goes up and it ends up being vertical.It still feeds with the others,but not so eagerly.I have just spotted a brown patch on top of its tail fin.Has anyone any ideas about this?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2015-02-24
    It's really hard to say what's going on with that one Cardinal. These fish are known to swim vertically if there is a water problem, usually its from chlorine, which can be introduced with a water change if the replacement water isn't' treated.
Connor - 2014-10-15
I have 3 of these cardinal tetras and they are lovely fish and get on with everyone in my tank such as neon tetras, glow light tetras, lemon tetras, cherry barbs and zebra danios. I am planning on getting some more in my community tank because they show lovely colours and they bond with other fish and swim with them especially neon tetras. I would advise you to get these lovely fish in your tank.

Angie Higgs - 2014-06-27
I have twelve of these guys with my Neon Tetra's and my green Neon Tetra's which is sometimes called the False Neon Tetra. They are all Cousins and all school together and they also group off and they mix up, so I'm unsure if they see each other as all the same. The Cardinal Tetra is Beautiful, but so are their cousins, and if anything the Green Neons are colouring up just like my Cardinals. They love to School in the Flow and its a Beautiful Sight. The Green Neon Tetra's usually start this and then the Cardinals join in and the Neon Tetra's. They all seem so happy together and make my tank look Beautiful. I just can't stop watching them!

Kate - 2006-06-08
I bought 6 of these fish for my 30 gallon tank over a year ago now. By no means an 'expert' fish keeper at the time i didn't expect to have much luck with them (Especially as they were very very small at the time of purchase). The store owner recommended many 'Cardinal water products' that i declined and i took these fish home and hoped for the best. A year later i have 5 healthy and quite large Cardinal tetra's (i lost 1 within a few days of purchse).
These fish really are beautiful and peaceful. They live happily with my Lemon and Flame tetra and a recently purchased pair of dwarf gourami. The flame tetra often show courting and mating behaviour which seemed to 'excite' the cardinals into courtship and mating behavour themselves. Although i don't intend to breed them - for those who do they seemed most willing to mate whilst they were younger.
All in all i havn't found them anymore difficult to keep than any other fish and have avoided the use of expensive 'Cardinal specific products'.

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  • john j hanley - 2011-11-09
    take 2 cups of real peat moss put into a cotton sock boil with one gallon of water and to four gallons of water adjust temp and chlorine use this for your water change all your tetras will love it
Kurt van Wyk - 2009-02-27
I have a shoal of only 5 guys in my 110 liter tank with 3 amazon algae eaters. I am restocking my fish tank soon but until then these guys are being the most perfect fish you can get! I love this site by the way.

Yee Loon - 2007-07-05
Cardinal Tetra... As suggested, it is one of the most popular fishes in the world. I bought about 80 fishes for my 3 and 1/2 feet tank. All the fishes were great and displayed shows of blue and red colorizations. Needless to say, it is my favorite charachin of all time next to the neon of course.
Still, i would recommend all aquarists to buy this fish, but it will be at its best when the substrate is dark and soft and acidic waters. It does better in a heavily planted, well-balanced aquarium.
By the way, Great Site!!!

Ethan - 2009-11-20
I have 4 of these fish in my 20 gallon tank with 2 congo tetras, 2 albino congo tetras, 2 corydorus catfishes, 2 glowlight tetras, 2 orange von rio tetras, 1 von rio tetra, zig zag eel, and a dwarf african clawed frog. These are very cool fish and when you have a group they school very good. These fish are compatible with all fish of the same size range. Cardinal tetras are very popular fish and are from the amazon, one of the rivers in the amazon which is the the Rio Negro has many cardinal tetras and when Cardinal tetras are wild caught they usually come from this region. overall...these are nice fish.

Ray Nicholson - 2010-03-24
I have 5 of these guys right now. I was thinking of adding some Neons and was wondering if they will all skoal togther. If they don't, I will probably just add more Cardinals instead.

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  • fish boy - 2011-05-05
    These fish will not know the difference between them and they will school together. I just bought three and they started to school with my lonely neon tetra.
  • Brandon Smith - 2011-06-25
    Yes. When I had 4 neons and 4 glolites, they school together.