Cardinal Tetra Care Sheet



Cardinal Tetra, photo by Leino88
  • Scientific Name: Paracheirodon axelrodi
  • Lifespan: Approximately 4 years if proper care is given
  • Size: Up to 2 inches
  • Care: Easy
  • Community: Yes, as long as you have lots of room for them to move around. They do better in groups of 6-10.
  • Lifestyle: Diurnal, active during the day.

Tank Requirements

  • Minimum Tank Size: 15 gallon tank
  • Water Temperature Range: 75 – 84 °F
  • Water pH Range: 5.5 – 6.5
  • Water Hardness Range: 1-8 dGH

Perform a 10%-25% water change weekly. If you do not have a filter in your tank, do a water change twice a week.


A hood is recommended as it aids in helping your fish stay in the tank. Also, the hood keeps debris or dust from falling into the tank.


For Lighting: Full spectrum lighting – T5 is recommended.


Every fish and tank is different, so it is important to know what you’re dealing with. Some fish love a lot of current and others love no current at all like bettas. Some fish tanks are tiny and some are huge. Knowing what you have, or what you are going to have will help aid you in deciding which filter to go with. Check this article here to select which filter you should go with.


Silk plants, live plants, and decorative ornaments may be put into a cardinal tetra’s tank. These guys love a heavily planted tank with lots of hiding spots. If choosing to use fake plants, try to use mainly silk fake plants which are smoother for the fish’s skin. Some fake plants are very rough and can scrape the sides of your fish’s skin if rubbed the wrong way. This is just something to take into consideration when going plant shopping. Hides really aren’t needed in a goldfish’s enclosure.


Most cardinal tetra’s eat a variety of foods and can be fed primarily on a high-quality tropical flake food. As a treat, you may feed your cardinal tetra(s) worms such as small silkworms and blood worms. You may also feed other small living organisms like small shrimp. A varied diet will decrease the risk of malnutrition.


The majority of people who house cardinal tetras will usually use a sand type substrate. Others use a very fine gravel and have had no problems with their tetras. If you want your cardinal tetras to stand out, try using a black sand substrate.


Note: The information on this cardinal tetra care sheet is not a substitute for veterinary care.

Leave a Reply