Cardinal Tetra
Alternative Name(s):
Scientific Name(s): Paracheirodon axelrodi
Category: Tropical
Maximum Size: 5cms
Minimum Tank Volume: 65 litres
Minimum Tank Size: 24" x 15" x 12"
Water Temperature Range: 24-29°C
Water pH Range: 5.5-6.5
Water Hardness Range: 1-8 dGH

General Information: Fantastic when kept in a shoal of six or more. Prefers a mature tank with lots of hiding places, good planting, caves, and dark substrates for cover and psychological comfort. Long lived for size.
Tank Requirements: Either a biotope set up with blackwater conditions, sand, rock and bogwood or heavily planted. Shows its best colour in a densely planted tank.
Diet Requirements: Omnivore, eats most foods. For longevity provide good variety, occasional frozen live foods, and vegetable treats like blanched lettuce for fibre.
Compatibility: A peaceful fish, suitable for community tanks without large predatory fish. May potentially fin nip other common fish like Bettas, but generally peaceful. Works best with species from the same location - Apistogrammas, Cories, other Tetra etc.
Recommendations: Must be kept in a shoal, better in groups of 10 plus than in the usual 6. Well planted tank. Well embellished Amazon setup hugely preferable. Because the bulk of these fish are still obtained from the wild, acicdic conditions are a MUST if they are to thrive. pH should be kept at 6.5 or below.
Common Problems: A sensitive fish that needs good water quality. Mycobacteria. Suffers reduced longevity in high alkalinity. pH at 6.5 or below preferred for wild caught specimens. Aeromonas infections often cause necrosis of gut. Needs quarantine.
Similar Species: Often confused with the Neon Tetra.
Sexing: Sexually mature females are generally a little fatter and longer than the males.
Breeding: The Cardinal is not easily bred and many are still imported from the wild, though tank bred stock is appearing more frequently.
Author(s): Fishadmin, andrewtest, Violet, Fishlady | Photo: Fishadmin | Views: 39317
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 Care sheet observation

Considering many keepers won't know if their fish are wild caught or captive bred these fish should be kept at a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. You run a very real risk of killing fish at a pH of 7. Even captive bred fish are used to acidic water. And when you consider that wild fish may be shipped from exporters in South America with very acidic water on monday, arrive at a wholesaler on wednesday, shipped to an LFS on thursday and then in your tank on thursday / friday you'll appreciate the stress that these delicate fish go through. KEEP THEM IN ACIDIC WATER if you want them to do well!

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