Neon Tetras & Cardinal Tetras


Neon Tetras and Cardinal Tetras

Incorporating a colorful fish into your tank can make it pop and stand out. Tanks can be the focal point 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. The Cardinal Tetra and the Neon Tetra are two popular choices that you can easily incorporate into your tank.

Both fish have similar natural characteristics and require similar tank conditions. Both the Neon Tetra, and the Cardinal Tetra are schooling fish. Schooling fish need more friends than just a few. To feel safe and live happily, you’ll need to invest in the proper number of fish for your tank. While 6 is the minimum number of fish you can keep, it is best to have more in a matter of weeks. For the Tetras to thrive, they need to be able to follow the crowd. Both the Cardinal Tetra and Neon Tetra love plants. Their tank should be equipped with plant cover that allows them 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

The full name for this Tetra is the Paracheirodon axelrodi Tetra, though you can also refer to them simply as the Cardinal Tetra. While the Cardinal Tetra is most commonly wild-caught, there are some captive-raised versions. These fish are harder to raise in an aquarium setting and the retail price is reflected in this element.

The Cardinal Tetra, which is larger than the Neon Tetras, has a blue and a red stripe that runs from its head to the tail. They are visually more appealing than the other Tetras due to their unique appearance. 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. In most stores, the common price is $3-$4 per fish. 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. The best way to keep these fish is to honor their nature and provide them their safety in numbers.

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 and their bodies are not as long as the Cardinal Tetra. Instead, Neon Tetras often feature a blue head and a red tail. Although their colors aren’t as vivid as those of the Cardinal Tetras, they are striking nonetheless.

The majority of Neon Tetras are also 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

It is up to the individual to decide which school of fish they want to add to their tank. 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. Keep in mind that both the Cardinal Tetras as well as the Neon Tetras must live in a school environment with lots of plant cover. This will ensure that they will live happily in your aquarium!