07-20-2009, 09:12 AM
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The neons, cardinals and zebra danios will be peaceful together, but their water requirements are a bit different. Maintaining fish in an aquarium that have the same basic requirements will enable you to provide the best environment for healthy fish.
The main difference here is temperature. Zebra danios occur in faster flowing streams and prefer cooler water, around 64-74F (18-24C). This also suits the neon tetra. Cardinals on the other hand prefer slightly warmer temperatures, 78-79 is ideal, and they can tolerate low 80's (neons and zebras would not do well at this high a temperature). Neons and zebras also adapt to different water parameters better than cardinals. The latter are soft, acidic water fish, and while many aquarists are able to adapt them to less favourable water conditions, their overall health is better in soft and slightly acidic water. They can live for more than 10 years in the corrct water, but seldom reach anywhere near this age when maintained in harder, alkaline water.
All three species are shoaling fish, meaning they live in groups and will be more comfortable and thus healthier if maintained that way in an aquarium; a group of six of any of these species would be good, or more if space permits. A 10g is limited space, but a group of 6 neons and 6 zebras would be OK if you do a regular weekly partial water change and don't overfeed. Alternatively, a group of 9 or so cardinals in a 10g with live plants would be a stunning site.
Last edited by Byron; 07-20-2009 at 09:15 AM..