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 Cardinal and Neon Tetra are schooling fish. Schooling fish require more than a few friends. You need to have the right number of fish in your tank to feel secure and happy. While 6 is the minimum number of fish you can keep, it is best to have more in a matter of weeks. The Tetras need to be able and willing to follow the flow of the crowd in order to thrive. 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
This Tetra’s full name is the Paracheirodon axelrodi Tetra. However, they can be referred to simply 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 larger than the Neon Tetras and features a blue and red stripe that runs from the head to the tail. They have a unique look and are often the more visually appealing of the two Tetras. But don’t be deceived! Both fish look very similar from a distance and can be difficult to distinguish.
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. These fish are best cared for by those who respect their natural habitat and ensure their safety.
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. 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. Because of this, their price is lower than that of the Cardinal Tetra. Neon Tetras are most likely to be sold at $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 is a better option if you are looking to save money. If you are drawn to the vibrantly colored Cardinal Tetras, then you may be willing to budge on price. Whatever you choose, you can be sure they will be a colorful 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!