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Paracheirodon axelrodi - Cardinal tetra


  • Paracheirodon axelrodi - Cardinal tetra

    Photo thanks to Aquasaur

    Photo thanks to Watfish

    Scientific name: Paracheirodon axelrodi - Cardinal tetra
    Common name: Cardinal tetra

    Country of origin:
    South America

    pH: 3.0 - 7.5
    Temperature: 24 - 29c
    Hardness: 18 - 215ppm
    Water flow: standard
    Oxygenation: standard

    Maximum size: 3.5cm

    Diet: dry fish flakes, live food, frozen food

    Breeding: It used to be only wild caught, but is now being bred in overseas aquariums.

    Tank companions: They are not good with shrimp, as they are large enough to take adult shrimp if they work together.

    They are peaceful tank companions with other fish. They will school well. They do not nip fins or harrass other fish.

    Keep in mind that they are a comparatively small fish, and can be eaten by larger fish.

    They are hardier than neons, and less prone to disease, so although they are more expensive, they are often a better financial choice, as they have a longer lifespan.

    They tolerate higher temperatures than neons, so are wonderful tank companions for discus, blue rams and other fish requiring higher temperatures.

    Photo thanks to Watfish

    Often confused with the common Neon tetra - the red on the neon only comes halfway to the nose, and the blue is less vibrant.
    Also confused with the less common Green Neon - The blue stripe on the green neon extends through the tail, where the cardinal's stops on the body.

    Paracheirodon axelrodi are legal imports to Australia as of 20/10/2013:

    The IUCN Red List reports Paracheirodon axelrodi as a species which has not yet been assessed at 20/10/2013:

    It is very important not to release any aquarium specimens into our waterways. Any that are not sold or re-homed/ given away, can often be re-sold to aquarium stores. If they are homed in ponds, care should be taken that they cannot escape in run-off into our waterways. Even if fish are native & local they should not be moved from one waterway to another, as this can transfer disease. If they are not local fish, they can both spread disease and either out-compete or eat local fish, shrimp & plants, causing their demise.

    They are a good fish for beginners.

    Photo thanks to Plantbrain

    Photo thanks to Plantbrain

    • vladguan
      vladguan commented
      Editing a comment
      DE, I think you should update their maximum size. Some of mine are 4cm now and most sites say they can get to 5cm.

    • DiscusEden
      DiscusEden commented
      Editing a comment
      Vlad, can you please clarify for me - standard length is from the nose to the base of the tail (the tail is not included) - are yours 4cm to the base of the tail? Some sites include the tail, which of course makes the fish seem larger.

      This discussion will show up in the article too.

      Oh, and thankyou for your contribution!

    • vladguan
      vladguan commented
      Editing a comment
      No worries. Ahh OK. Yes. I am going from tip to tip so take off 5mm. Some of mine are monster in size, in that they are very fat as well.
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