Thinking about cardinal or black neon tetras - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-17-2014, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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Thinking about cardinal or black neon tetras

So I want some color in my 20g which is why I am leaning towards cardinals (neons are fine as well, I hear you can mix the two in the shoal) but I like the black neons as well!

I am looking for a group of about 10 small tetras. My betta is pretty peaceful; in fact, he's narcissistic and prefers to watch his own reflection over chasing the frogs or shrimp. I already looked at the profiles from this site and wikipedia and someone's tetra blog so I know I can get away with these 2 types.

Do you have any preference? Why? any pictures?


I plan on picking them up this week at the LFS (not a chain store) so it will also depend on what they have on hand. I am also getting floating plants to help cover.
Thanks!


ETA- I have naturally colored gravel (see avatar), it is planted but I intend on planting more, it has 6500k bright LED light run about 6 hours a day, one side is shaded with silk plants, running a Marineland penguin 150 filter, change about 10-20% per week, Not sure on parameters or hardness (if needed I can toss an IAL in for lowering pH)

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Last edited by Laki; 03-17-2014 at 11:03 AM.
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-17-2014, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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this is my AqAdvisor for 10 neons.. I did the same for 10 cardinals and it warned me against mixing betta with cardinal tetras.... Then again it warned against the red cherry shrimp too and they live peacefully.
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post #3 of 8 Old 03-17-2014, 12:18 PM
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While the Black Neons are nice looking, I would go with the Cardinals or regular Neons. Their colors really stand out much more.

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post #4 of 8 Old 03-17-2014, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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I know they do! I fear neons will all die on me and I read that cardinals prefer sand, low light and gentle currents and without specific parameters they could get sick :/ My understanding is that BNT are hardier. I would love their shocking blue and red stripes in my tank though.

And why would AqAdvisor warn me about pairing bettas with cardinals but not bettas with BNT?

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post #5 of 8 Old 03-19-2014, 02:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laki View Post
I know they do! I fear neons will all die on me and I read that cardinals prefer sand, low light and gentle currents and without specific parameters they could get sick :/ My understanding is that BNT are hardier. I would love their shocking blue and red stripes in my tank though.

And why would AqAdvisor warn me about pairing bettas with cardinals but not bettas with BNT?
Black Neons might be hardier in general due to parameters; however, that has nothing to do with keeping them with Bettas. Size and behavior seem to indicate that all of the fish you have mentioned would all get along similarly in the company of a Betta. Keep in mind that their behavior and swimming area are different than those of the current tank mates. Try to have a "Plan B" in place just in case.

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post #6 of 8 Old 03-22-2014, 04:25 PM
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I don't foresee any issues with keeping neons, regardless of color or cardinals with your betta if kept in a proper group like you plan. Only concern would be fin-nipping and the theory is that proper group sizes will keep that to a minimum. I agree to have a back-up plan just in case, however. I also wanted to add that I don't think substrate makes a huge difference as far as middle-dwelling fish go. The light I wouldn't worry about either unless you have some serious high-beams going.
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-24-2014, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everybody!
(because I cannot operate fully on this site [I use BF.com], I had no idea how to get notifications for this thread so I just searched it on the bar)

I bought 11 cardinals after speaking with the fish guy at the fish store. They are all abundantly healthy with hearty appetites. They shoaled at first because they were nervous but now they're inquisitive and watch me all the time. Sometimes they break out of their group and it's not uncommon to see them all kind of separately swimming around. I figure this is a sign that they feel safe in the tank?

They're adorable and bright and shiny. I never dealt with a large group of fish like that before so when I feed them I get a kick out of how they all dart into the slowly sinking cloud of flakes. I bet they'll eat bloodworms when I feed my frogs today.

I think the warning on aqadvisor was because they can nip. I spotted one or two following my betta but they didn't get close enough to nip. They are a lot quicker than the betta and the frogs (it was cute watching a frog try to hunt a tetra).

Nope I bought them a week ago today and they're all doing fantastic. The fish store imports the tetras but breeds most of their other fish (cichlids, angels, plecos, bettas etc) so I was worried about these ones being susceptible to parameters but they're good :)

I will get a picture later when I turn the light on! For now here's a pic of the tank setup:
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post #8 of 8 Old 03-24-2014, 11:08 AM
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The tank looks great! I'm glad you're enjoying your new additions.
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