Neon Tetras and Cardinal Tetras


Neon Tetras, and Cardinal Tetras

Incorporating a colorful fish into your tank can make it pop and stand out. Your tank can be the centre 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

Two of the Tetra fish are great for adding color to your tank. Two popular options that you can incorporate into your tank are the Neon Tetra and Cardinal Tetra.

The fish are similar in nature and require similar tank conditions. Both the Neon Tetra and Cardinal are schooling fish. Schooling fish need more than just a handful of buddies by their side. You need to have the right number of fish in your tank to feel secure and happy. You can have 6 fish, but it’s best to add more fish in the next few weeks. For the Tetras to thrive, they need to be able to follow the crowd. Both the Cardinal Tetra and Neon Tetra love 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. The Cardinal Tetra is typically wild caught, though you can find some that are captive raised nowadays. These fish are harder to raise in an aquarium setting and the retail price is reflected in this element.

The Cardinal Tetra is larger than the Neon Tetras and features a blue and red stripe that runs from the head to the tail. They have a distinctive look, and they are often the most visually appealing of both Tetras. Though don’t be fooled! 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. Most fish are sold at a price of $3-$4. While many stores would rather stock and sell captive-raised fish than not, most stores don’t stock them due to their high cost, difficulty, and source.

It is crucial that you are responsible for stocking the fish in the right amount to make a school, or to not keep them at all. These fish are best cared for by those who respect their natural habitat and ensure their safety.

Neon Tetra

Although the Neon Tetra may look different from the Cardinal Tetra in many ways, they share a similar appearance. The Neon Tetra is smaller than the Cardinal Tetra and the blue and red does not run the length of their body. Neon Tetras have a blue head with a redtail. Their colors are not as vibrant as the Cardinal Tetra, but they are still striking.

Many Neon Tetras can also be raised in captivity. Because they are not wild-sourced, this makes them more accessible. Their cost is less than the Cardinal Tetra. Neon Tetras will be most commonly sold for $1-$2 per fish.


It’s up to 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. The vibrantly colored Cardinal Tetras may appeal to you and you might be open to considering a lower price. No matter which color you choose, they are sure to be a bright addition to your tank. Just remember that both the Cardinal and Neon Tetras need to live in a school and have plenty of plant cover. This will ensure that they will live happily in your aquarium!