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Just like many other commonly kept tetra fishes, the Cardinal tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi) is a small South American egg-laying freshwater fish that belongs to the familyCharacidae in the order Characiformes. The Neon tetra is one of the most frequently kept fish species among aquarists, and is especially popular among beginners. The Cardinal tetra is not as commonly kept as the Neon tetra, but it is still found in numerous freshwater aquariums all over the world. The Cardinal tetra is often confused with the Neon tetra, and the Cardinal tetra is sometimes referred to as “red neon tetra”. Both species are decorated with a characteristic iridescent blue line that bisects the body. You can easily distinguish a Cardinal tetra from a Neon tetra by looking at the lateral red stripe that is found under this line. If the red stripe extends no longer than roughly halfway to the nose, you are looking at a Neon tetra. If the red stripe is longer, the fish is a Cardinal tetra.

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