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FishDeals.com | Characins | Tetra Species | Cardinal tetra
 
Characins - Tetra - Cardinal tetra
(Paracheirodon axelrodi - cardinal tetra, red neon tetra)

Cardinal tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi) > Quick Stats
Scientific Name: Paracheirodon axelrodi
Origin: Orinoco and Negro Rivers in South America
Adult Size: 1.25
Social: Community
Lifespan: 3 Years
Tank Level: Smaller
Diet: Smaller Foods
Breeding: Medium
Care: Easy
pH: Slightly Acid (6.6)
Temperature: Range: 72-82 F
Availability: Easy


Diet/Food & Feeding Habits

    The cardinal tetra is a very popular aquarium fish but is less widespread than the neon tetra because until recently it was difficult to breed in captivity.

Compatibility/Tankmates:

    Along with the livebearers, gouramis, small sharks, and active tetras are good fits.

Sexing:

    Males are slimmer often with more vivid coloring.

Breeding/Spawning:

    Apart from the stringent requirements with respect to water chemistry, one of the major difficulties mitigating against success in captive breeding of the species is the nature of the newly laid and fertilised eggs. The eggs of the cardinal tetra are photosensitive, and will die if exposed to bright light. Consequently, after spawning, the fishes should be removed and the aquarium covered to darken it, thus providing the developing eggs with the conditions necessary for development.

Coloration/Fins:

    the cardinal tetra has the striking iridescent blue line characteristic of the Paracheirodon species laterally bisecting the fish, with the body below this line being bright red in color. The cardinal tetra's appearance is similar to that of the closely related neon tetra, with which it is often confused; the neon's red coloration extends only about halfway to the nose, however.

Habitat/Care/Maintenance:

    Perhaps due to their wild-caught origins, cardinal tetras tend to be somewhat delicate in captivity. In the wild, these fish inhabit extremely soft, acidic waters, but seem to be tolerant of harder, more alkaline water conditions; a greater concern is probably polluted tank water (including high nitrate levels.) They prefer warmer water temperatures (in the upper 70s F or warmer), and will readily accept most forms of dry food. Captive-bred cardinals tend to adapt to hard water better than wild-caught cardinals.

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The Essentials Related Web Links
Photo Image Gallery of Characins Photo Gallery of Characins
Catfish Forum Discussion Characin Forum Discussion
External Web Resources
 Characins @ Aquabid.com
Popular Tetra Species
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  Wikipedia Related Link

Follow the above recommendations and you should have a joyful Cardinal tetra experience. Send any questions, comments or pictures to Ask An Expert If you are interested in helping out visit our contributions page.



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References/Further Reading

Berra, T. M. 2001. Freshwater Fish Distribution. Academic Press. San Diego, CA
Gery, J. 1977 Characoids of the World. T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City, NJ. 672 pp.
Hubbs, C. L. and K. F. Lagler. 1947 (and other editions). Fishes of the Great Lakes Region. Cranbrook Institute of Science, Bulletin No. 26.
Moyle, P.B. and J. J. Cech, Jr. 2000. Fishes: An Introduction To Ichthyology, 4th Edition. Prentice Hall, New Jersey.
Myers, G.S. 1972 The Piranha Book: an account of the ill-famed piranha fishes of the rivers of tropical South America. T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City, NJ. 128 pp.
Nelson, J. S. 1994. Fishes of the World, 3rd edition. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, New York.
Page, L. M. and B. M. Burr. 1991. Peterson Field Guides: Freshwater Fishes. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.
Paxton, J. R. and W. N. Eschmeyer. 1998. Encyclopedia of Fishes. Academic Press, San Diego, CA.
Shulte, W. 1988 Piranhas in the Aquarium. T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City, NJ. 128 pp.