/ Cardinal Neon
Cardinal Tetra, Cardinal Neon
axelrodi, Hyphessobrycon cardinalis
PD: The body is elongated and laterally compressed.
An iridescent blue to green stripe extends
across the body from tail to snout.
Below the stripe is a bright red band that also extends the whole length
of the body.
The fins are colorless and the back and belly of the fish is silver in color.
SIZE: To 2.8" (7 cm)
SS: Neon Tetra ( Paracheirodon
innesi), False Neon Tetra
HAB: Shaded areas in small, slow-moving, clear and blackwater creeks.
South America; in the Rio Negro and
S: bottom, middle
TANK: 20" (50 cm) or 10 gallons (38 L) is sufficient, although slightly larger tanks
Use a well-planted tank with some floating plants to diffuse the light.
Have a good air supply and try to keep
waste levels low, as Cardinal Tetras are sensitive to these toxic compounds.
The tank should be arranged in dark
colors to bring out its beautiful colors.
WATER: pH: 4.5-7 (6.0); 2-8 dH (6); 75-82°F (24-28°C)
FOOD: Flakes; live; insect larvae, Brine Shrimp,
SEX: The males are more slender and may have tiny hooks on anal fin
B: The pair should be selected when about a year in age.
Separate the pair and condition them
on insect larvae and crustaceans.
Use a 20" (50 cm) or 10 gallon (38 L) tank for breeding.
Its water properties should be as follows:
a pH of 5.5, a water hardness of 0-2 dH, and a temperature around 82°F (28°C).
Provide a great deal of fine leafed
plants to serve as spawning substrates and use no light.
The female will spawn in the evening, laying
about 500 eggs which fall to the gravel and into plants.
The pair should be removed after spawning.
eggs hatch in 24 hours and the fry are free-swimming five days later.
The tiny young are difficult to raise.
feeding the fry with paramecia.
Later the fry can be fed on Brine Shrimp nauplii.
Frequent partial water changes should
A challenging fish to breed-this is why most fish available are wild-caught.
SB: A shoaling fish that must be keep in groups of at least six.
A good community fish that can
be kept with other small fish.
The Cardinal Tetra will fall prey to large fish, such as Angels.
SC: Tetras, Corydoras,
Apistogramma, Discus, gouramis, Hatchetfish.
R: The neon stripe of the Cardinal Tetra and other characins serves to keep the shoal together
where water is dark.
The Cardinal uses external light for the source of neon stripe.
Iridescent particles in pigment cells
of neon stripe capture light and reflect it.
the angle of light, the stripe can change from
green to blue.
At night, the reflects have no light to reflect and the fish are a brownish gray color,
It takes about 15 minutes for the reflectors to start reflecting light again.
nature, the Cardinal is a feeder fish for many fish.
They die by the thousands and are very common.
In 1993, over 30 million Cardinal Tetras
were left unsold in Brazil alone!
These fish were caught by fishermen, who receive about $1.50 in U.S. dollars for every
thousand Cardinals they capture ( T.F.H.
#459, Axelrod 197).
In well-maintained tank, individuals have been known to live an excess
of 10 years.
Since most Cardinal Tetras come from the wild, newly imported fish have trouble acclimating to aquaria.
a danger period of three weeks, when these fish are very susceptible, the fish become hardy.
A hardy and delightful fish recommended for a community tank, that does best under a regime
of frequent partial water changes.
By Rhett Butler , Mongabay.com
- Community-based conservation project in the Brazilian Amazon focused on fisheries and rainforest conservation