cardinal tetras - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-14-2011, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Question cardinal tetras

i know that neon tetras are a no no with angels but are cardinals okay because of their larger size? i know its only half an inch difference but im just wondering.
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-14-2011, 04:01 PM
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Cardinals prefer the same water parameters as Angels but you always run the risk that the Angels may find them a snack. If you start with adult size Cardinals and smaller sized Angels you may have a better chance that the Angels will not view them as food and leave them alone.

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post #3 of 6 Old 02-14-2011, 05:19 PM
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Kym is right. Young angels that do grow with the cardinals around will leave them alone more easily as they learn to coexist well. It's not 100% guarantee but it's worth a try IMO.

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post #4 of 6 Old 02-14-2011, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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I think ill play it safe and stick with a shoal from the rosy tetra claude. Is there a particular type that you guys prefer from this group or have had success with?
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-14-2011, 07:47 PM
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I also concur with Kym and Lupin on the cardinals. As angels mature, they attain 6 inches, and they are a predatory fish by nature. I know of aquarists who have had them eat full grown tetra like cardinals without any hesitation. It is always a risk.

On the rosy clade, my favourite is Hyphessobrycon bentosi or Roberts Tetra. I have these, and they are incredibly beautiful, a deep dark mauve colour, the males turn close to black, like the colour of port wine, when they display. The closely-related Hyphessobrycon rosaceus is very similar but not quite as intense or dark.

Some species like Bleeding Heart Tetra are said to fin nip angels; I believe our member Lisa had that problem. It is not "normal" but you never know, it's like the angel/cardinal question, when temptation is put in front of them... Bleeding hearts are a bit larger.

The Black Phantom Tetra and Red Phantom Tetra are also in this clade, and they are fine. A group of Black would actually look nice with either of the afore-mentioned rosy or Roberts, I had this combo, very interesting as they all three remained together in the lower half of the aquarium, among plants. They, like the angels, dislike bright overhead light. Floating plants help with this.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-28-2011, 04:23 PM
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From experience, cardinal tetras are good with angelfishes, but the catch is, they must grow up together when the angelfish is younger. That way, the angelfish will no longer see cardinals as a food source. I know this because I have fully grown angelfishes living peacefully with cardinal tetras. If they don't grow up together in the same tank, any new additions, the angelfish will stalk and try to eat them. When I added hatchetfishes into my tank, my angelfishes were in their stalking mode, staring at them from below, fins flared, "getting ready to strike pose." But since there was no way a hatchet fish could fit inside the angelfish's mouth, I left. When I came back, all the hatchetfishes were killed off.

As you can see, the smaller cardinals were left alone, while the much larger hatchetfishes were killed off. The moral of this story, add angelfishes last into the tank
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