Aquarium Atlas Vol. I
Cheirodon axelrodi, Hyphessobrycon
2", 5 cm
Peaceful community aquarium. School
fish; groups of at least 10 fish
Omnivore; meat and plant eater
Eggs scattered; dark; <500 eggs
pH: 4.6-6.2, Temp: 23-27°C, 73-81°F
Min. Aq. Size
from 30", 80 cm
Bottom - Middle
For advanced hobbysts
Cardinal Tetra is one
of the finest and most popular species. It is a small school fish which must
be kept in groups of at least ten individuals. The more the better; a large
school is not only more natural for this shoal fish but also a much more
impressive sight in a home aquarium.
natural habitat is slow or standing waters of Amazon. It prefers clear water
and dim-light areas shaded by terrestrial plants. Especially the fry has a
kind of light phobia. The eggs are generally laid at night in total darkness.
Cardinal Tetra inhabits rather shallow waters up to a depth of 40 cm and
avoids fast currents.
Cardinal Tetra is a relatively difficult task most specimens sold in pet
shops are wild caught animals. The acclimatization of such wild caught fish
might present some problems due to the weakened immune systems caused by the
stress of transport. First weeks are very critical and substantial losses are
common. But once successfully acclimatized Cardinal Tetra is not a difficult
fish which may live five or more years in a home aquarium. Especially wild
caught fish are prone to kidney disorders if kept in hard water. Soft and
acidic water (GH < 4 d, pH < 7.0) is recommended for a long-run health.
required very soft and acidic water for breeding. The breeding aquarium must be
located in a shadowy place. Ideal water conditions: Conductivity as low as
15-20 micro siemens (GH almost zero), pH 5.5-6.2, temperature 26-28 C. Pure
water from reverse-osmosis can be used for breeding after peat filtering. A
young pair (7-8 months old) must be chosen for breeding. Up to 500 adhesive
eggs are scattered around on fine leaved plants. Parents must be removed
after spawning because they are notorious egg eaters. The eggs hatch in about
Raising the young
requires patience because the fry of this species needs fine food for quite a
long period of time (up to 8 weeks). Freshly hatched brine shrimp larvae must
be supplemented with infusoria.