Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi)

Imported European Fish

7 reviews Write a Review


Tank-bred in Germany and imported from Aquarium Glaser! There is almost no person in the world who has not seen this fish at some point in their life, and almost no hobbyist who hasn’t kept this fish at some point in their life, this is the cardinal tetra! The cardinal tetra, or Paracheirodon axelrodi, is arguably the most famous fish in the world, and it’s easy to see why, when you see a large school of these nano tetras swimming around in a tank. The top side of this fish is a neon glowing blue from tip to tail, running straight through the eyes, and the belly side is a deep red, also from tip to tail. These bright colors and small body size make it a popular fish to add to any size aquarium.

In the wild these fish have a vast range, covering the majority of the course of the amazon river, and so are fairly adjustable anyways, but ours are European tank bred, which means they are even more readily adapted to aquarium life, and ready to grace your aquarium! Coming in at about an inch currently, you can expect them to get up to double that, but most specimens will cap out around 1½ inches. These tetras really appreciate decorations such as branches and plants to swim in and out of, and these will contribute greatly to more natural behavior. Contrary to what you might think, more hiding places tends to bring fish out into the open more to search for food, as they have a secure place to dart back to if a threat does happen to emerge, which does not happen in your home tank. Some slow flowing water is a good thing as well, and since they are small fish that don’t eat too much, a sponge filter which moves water slowly would be good to have. These fish will thrive in water that is acidic to slightly alkaline, and you will want to keep the hardness of the water under 150ppm. Although these fish can adapt to harder water and still be healthy, their colors will tend to wash out slightly, and never be as vibrant.

When considering tankmates for the cardinal tetras, it is best to remember that they are a fish which requires a school to thrive, and you should consider getting at least 8 of this species, with more always being better as long as your filter is capable of handling it. Besides more of their own kind, you might also consider some bottom dwellers to clean up the food that makes it past the cardinals, as they will not feed from the substrate, and only eat while the food is in the water column. A very popular choice in this regard is some corydoras, and just the two kinds of fish can make a very attractive display alongside some plants and wood. These shoaling fish do NOT ship individually bagged. 

Please Note: Live Animals delivered with UPS are 100% covered by our Dead-On-Arrival Guarantee Coverage as disclosed in our Terms & Conditions. Live Animals delivered with USPS are not covered by our Dead-On-Arrival Guarantee Coverage. For complete details, please read our Terms & Conditions prior to ordering.

Extra Information

Imported European Fish

Warranty Information

Please see our Terms & Conditions for all Warranty and DOA Guarantee Coverage Information

    7 Reviews

  • Posted by Deborah Black on Jul 7th 2023


    12 healthy cardinals

    This is my second order of 12 captive-bred cardinals from RedFishBlueFish. After a 3-day journey across the continent I received 12 large, vigorous and healthy fish, carefully packed and in excellent condition. I can't imagine ordering from any other source. These cardinals are healthy; their captive breeding ensures that they're not carrying endogenous diseases that can wipe out my existing cardinal community; and they're already adapted to aquarium life.

  • Posted by Ganesh M on Aug 1st 2022


    Very colorful

    They're very colorful and super active from the start. They look really healthy when arrived and doing really good in my tank so far.

  • Posted by Deborah Black on Jul 15th 2022


    Czech-bred cardinals - the best!

    11 of the 12 cardinals survived their 5-day journey across the continent thanks to RFBF's careful packing. Unlike the frail cardinals from the retailer stores which have a huge mortality, these are healthy, robust and active; not one has died. I have them in a heavily-planted 10 gallon isolation tank in Brita-filtered water; adding Brightwell Blackwater extract daily for optimal water conditions. Be careful not to feed and keep the lights dime for the first 48 hours to reduce stresss.

  • Posted by Cody H on Apr 20th 2022


    My first love

    Cardinal tetras will always be one of my favorites. The ones from redfishbluefish are excellent and healthy. I’ve got some wild caught that are over 2 years old and the ones from Jason were bigger than mine. I will be ordering a couple dozen more soon. If ya live near Seattle and u haven’t visited redfishbluefish what are u waiting for? The quality and premium selection cant be beat. A+

  • Posted by xanadu-doo on Apr 15th 2022


    Grade aaa+++ -- wonderful fish. super healthy and happy and STUNNING!

    I had one tatra come in w/ popeye -- probly injured in transit, and RFBF made good on it when not really needed. Amazing store and amazing fishkeeper. Buy here every time, folks.

  • Posted by Susi Schuchard on Jun 17th 2021


    Czech Cardinal Tetra

    Until you've seen these Czech Cardinals, you haven't seen Cardinals at their best. There's a difference...and these are the top shelf. Fantastically packed and shipped!

  • Posted by Mark D. Ingbritson on Feb 6th 2021


    really nice fish

    Beautiful, healthy fish and really awesome customer service. Highly recommended for sure.