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Cardinal Tetra

Author : Efrain Silva


The Cardinal Tetra is a true sport : This fish looks classy and fresh all year long — just like a Buick. But enough about cars. Let’s talk fish!

This fish, you will notice, looks like a true cardinal, indeed (red stripe across its body, with silver and in some cases blue). You can’t get more patriotic than that, some would say. This fish is a relative of the Neon Tetra. It measures about an inch in length, and now let’s talk about what it eats every day….


Its diet is omnivore. This fish also requires plenty of vitamins for full function — its unique vitamin needs surpass those of many other fish out there, though, for some reason, people at the fish store do not seem to mind not talking about this all that much…..sad.

Anyways, you, as a fish owner, can do something about that and change your fish’s life for the better! Most of the food you give it (about 75 % of the time you feed it) ought to be quality - flake food ; this will help much. These fish like to be fed several times daily until they’ve met their ‘quota’ or appear satisfied.


This fish comes from the one and only Characidae family of Tetra fish and belongs solely to the Animalia kingdom, where it holds exclusive rights as a premium member (kidding, but who knows? Fish talk differently amongst themselves, in a whole ‘nother dialect we can’t understand or hear).

This fish comes from a glorious scientific, technical name as well, which is Paracheirodon axelrodi. As for its original ethnic origins, it is South American entirely but has now seen the world (people export it and import it everywhere, thanks to modern capitalism and the technological, global progressions in our current society).

Roommate Situation

This fish is super social ; it goes to all the Super Bowl hangouts, bowling events, and God knows what else occurs in everyday aqua life. But kidding aside, it belongs in major aquariums of at least 6 fish or more.

Community tanks are great for it (just ask the other fish if it’s okay with them, before bringing on a new roommate)! And by “ask the other fish”, I do mean do your research on peaceable fish, because those like - minded ones are the ones you want to put in the same tank with this guy, to keep the harmony. Speaking of which, here are a few ideas as to which roommates may fit just right in the tank, alongside your Cardinal Tetra —- Dwarf Gouramis, Danios, Rasboras, other Tetras, and even some Catfish (of the small kind, or at the most, medium - sized ones….but ones not too large, which can swallow up your fish for breakfast).

Other Facts to Note

Be mindful of the simple fact that this unique breed of fish does best in water pH levels of 5 or below, just not at 6 or higher. Also, subdued lighting is best for its tank.