Neons and cardinals? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 06-06-2010, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
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Neons and cardinals?

Just out curiousity will the 2 school together? Will neons school with the other color variations like black or green neons?
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post #2 of 5 Old 06-06-2010, 05:18 AM
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Nope. All of the fish you mentioned are actually different species and will not school together. Also, some of them have different care requirements than others (specifically, neons prefer cooler water than cardinal tetras).

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post #3 of 5 Old 06-06-2010, 01:29 PM
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Agree. Perhaps I could explain a bit about the difference between schooling and shoaling, since tetras are strictly speaking shoaling rather than schooling fish.

Marine fish (some species) school which means they move in large groups to avoid predation and feed. Freshwater fish (those that need to be in groups) however tend to shoal rather than school, which means they are less stressed in groups of their own species though few actually move (swim) about regularly as a tight group. They shoal for protection and some species have a sort of social order within the group. Observations in the wild and in aquaria have shown that the environment (plants, wood, rocks, etc) can influence the size and behaviour within the shoal.

There are a few tetras that shoal in group formation quite a bit; the rummynose tetra is probably the best, and cardinal tetras also do this. But they eat individually, and the fish within the group will often go off on their own, or in smaller groups of 2, 3, 4 etc. Some of the tetras have elaborate display and pre-spawning rituals, and these are only observed if the fish is in a shoal or group.


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 #4 of 5 Old 07-07-2010, 04:02 PM
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I have 2 cardinals, two neons and three platinum tetras. The cardinals and neons like to hang out together ( not sure if I can say 'shoaling when their is only 4). My platinums don't 'shoal' with the neons and cardinals, though.
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post #5 of 5 Old 07-12-2010, 10:07 AM
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No they wont school together because there is only 2 of them and that really isnt enough if your neons or cardinal tetras, they need to be in a group of at least 5-6
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