Neon Tetras and Cardinal Tetras

Neon Tetras and Cardinal Tetras

Incorporating a colorful fish into your tank can make it pop and stand out. A tank can become the center 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

There are two Tetra family fish that will add color to your tank. The Cardinal Tetra and the Neon Tetra are two popular choices that you can easily incorporate into your tank.

These fish have similar characteristics and require the same tank conditions. Both the Cardinal and Neon Tetra are schooling fish. Schooling fish require more than a few friends. To feel safe and live happily, you’ll need to invest in the proper number of fish for your tank. 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. For the Tetras to thrive, they need to be able to follow the crowd. Both the Cardinal and Neon Tetras like plants. The tank they are housed in should ideally have plant coverage in which they can use 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

Paracheirodon axelrodi Tetra is the full name of this Tetra. You can refer to them as the Cardinal Tetra. Although the Cardinal Tetra is usually wild-caught, you can also find them captive-raised. These fish are harder to raise in an aquarium setting and the retail price is reflected in this element.

The Cardinal Tetra is bigger than the Neon Tetras. It has a blue-red stripe running from the head to its tail. They have a unique look and are often the more visually appealing of the two Tetras. Don’t let this fool you! From a distance, both fish do look similar and are hard to tell apart.

People with good ethics will not hesitate to buy wild fish from stores. The average price for a fish in most stores is between $3 and $4. Many stores would much rather stock and provide captive-raised fish but because of their cost, source, and difficulty raising them most stores do not usually stock them.

Again, it is important that you take the responsibility to stock the fish with the correct amount to make a school or not to keep them at all. Respecting these fish’s natural instincts and providing them with safety in large numbers is the best way to ensure their survival.

Neon Tetra

Although the Neon Tetra may look different from the Cardinal Tetra in many ways, they share a similar appearance. The Neon Tetra has a smaller body than the Cardinal Tetra, and the red and blue do not extend to their entire length. Neon Tetras have a blue head with a redtail. Although their colors aren’t as vivid as those of the Cardinal Tetras, they are striking nonetheless.

Many Neon Tetras can also be raised in captivity. This makes them more available, as they do not have to be sourced from the wild. Their price is therefore lower than the Cardinal Tetra. Neon Tetras will be most commonly sold for $1-$2 per fish.

It’s up you

Ultimately, the choice of what school of fish you want to add to your tank is up to you. Both Tetras will make an excellent addition to an aquarium. The Neon Tetra will save you 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. Remember that the Neon Tetras and Cardinal need to be kept in a school with plenty of plants. This will ensure that they will live happily in your aquarium!