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Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi)

Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi)

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Cardinal Tetra Care Guide with Aquarium Size Requirement:

1. Species Overview:

  • The Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi) is a small, vibrant fish known for its stunning blue and red colors. Native to the Amazon Basin, it is a popular choice among aquarium enthusiasts.

2. Aquarium Size:

  • Provide a tank with a minimum size of 10 gallons for a small group of Cardinal Tetras. However, a larger tank, around 20 gallons or more, is recommended to create a stable environment and allow for a larger school.

3. Water Parameters:

  • Maintain a stable water temperature between 74°F to 78°F (23°C to 26°C).
  • Aim for a slightly acidic to neutral pH level, ideally between 6.0 and 7.0.
  • Keep the water hardness in the soft to moderate range.

4. Size of the Fish:

  • Cardinal Tetras typically grow to a size of around 1.2 to 1.5 inches (3 to 4 centimeters).

5. Tank Decor:

  • Mimic the natural Amazonian habitat with soft, dark substrate, driftwood, and live plants. Provide areas for hiding to make the Cardinal Tetras feel secure.
  • Ensure the tank has subdued lighting, as these fish come from dimly lit environments.

6. Diet:

  • Cardinal Tetras are omnivores. Feed a balanced diet of high-quality flakes, small pellets, and occasional live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp and daphnia.
  • Include a variety of foods to ensure proper nutrition.

7. Behavior:

  • Cardinal Tetras are schooling fish and thrive in groups of at least six individuals. Keeping them in larger groups reduces stress and enhances their natural behavior.
  • They are peaceful and should be kept with non-aggressive tank mates.

8. Tank Mates:

  • Compatible with other small, peaceful community fish. Avoid aggressive or nippy species.
  • Good tank mates include other small tetras, rasboras, and peaceful bottom-dwelling fish.

9. Tank Maintenance:

  • Perform regular water changes of 25-50% every week to maintain water quality.
  • Use a gentle filtration system to avoid creating strong currents.

10. Breeding:

  • Cardinal Tetras can be challenging to breed in captivity. If attempting, provide a separate breeding tank with soft, acidic water and fine-leaved plants for egg deposition.
  • Condition the breeding pair with a high-quality diet.

By following these care guidelines and providing an adequately sized and well-decorated aquarium, Cardinal Tetras can thrive, showcasing their vibrant colors and active schooling behavior in a community setting.

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