Cardinal Tetra is good fish and one of the best community fish kept in community tank. They are shoaling fish which swim in a group which makes a better coloration kept in a larger group. As I said before, the fish are peaceful and which makes many aquarist keeping cardinal tetra in a community tank. Before keeping the fish in the community tank, there are thing you need to concern about cardinal tetra compatibility.

The fish prefer soft and acidic water with dim lighting in the tank. Don’t forget to consider water temperature and pH level which are flexible and tolerate to cardinal tetra. Considering about the environment of the tank are also part of the cardinal tetra compatibility.

The fish are small which you need to concern of choosing a suitable tank mates but not a fish consuming cardinal as fish food. Cardinal Tetra is a nature prey for most freshwater fish even the tetra itself. I would introduce cardinal tetra tank mates which can guide you adding them into the tank. Here are the freshwater fish you can consider as cardinal tetra compatibility.

Neon Tetra

Neon Tetra Fish

Neon Tetra Fish

Neon tetra and cardinal tetra are the same genus which most aquarist confuse of this two fish. They come with the same coloration but neon tetra show a red strip on it lower body in the middle of it body. Cardinal tetra come with full red stripe from the head to it tail.

Neon Tetra can tolerate acidic and soft water which makes it one of the perfect tank mates you can add.The size of the fish are same and both of the fish are shoaling fish. If you own a 10 gallon aquarium, you can add 6 neon tetra and 6 cardinal tetra in the tank.

Neon Tetra prefer slightly cold water in the temperature of 22-24°C and cardinal tetra prefer warmer water. Install a heater to maintain the water temperature in 23°C which are fair for both fishes.

Dwarf Cichlid

South American Dwarf Cichlids

South American Dwarf Cichlid

Dwarf Cichlid are colorful fish and it display a wonderful behavior. They are peaceful fish which you can add them into the tank together with cardinal tetra. Dwarf cichlid come with many different varieties which I would suggest keeping the South American dwarf cichlid together with cardinal tetra. The fish prefer soft water and able to thrive in any white water, black water and clear water which makes them the perfect tank mates.

The fish can only reach to 10cm of the size which makes it suitable to mix with cardinal tetra and other freshwater fish. The fish prefer bigger space for them to swim around and I would suggest a minimum of 20 gallon tank are great to add together with cardinal tetra.

Harlequin Rasbora

Harlequin Rasbora

Harlequin Rasbora

Harlequin Rasbora come with velvet violet triangular shape in the middle of the fish body. The body of the fish are relatively tall and the fish come with a length of 5 cm. The fish can adapt to any water parameter which it makes a perfect tank mates for cardinal tetra.

You house a 10-15 fish in a 20 gallon tank which decorate the tank with live plant. The fish are also shoaling fish and also peaceful fish. The fish prefer a water temperature of 24 -27°C and keeping them in a dim lighting tank.

Tiger Plecostomus (Loricariidae)

Tiger Plecostomus

Tiger Plecostomus

If you planning adding a pleco into the cardinal tetra tank, tiger plecostomus would be the best choice. The body of the fish come with brown strip from top body to its fin. The eye of the fish are also come with striped with a pattern which resembling the head of the fish. This fish are a peaceful fish compare to its own species and it prefer stay in the bottom of the tank.

The fish can grow up to 12cm and it is not big compare as other pleco fish. The fish is algae eater and helps to clean the tank. The fish prefer soft acidic water and make sure the pH level are in between 5.8 -7. Set the water temperature of the tank 27°C.

If you plan to keep tiger plecostomus, prepare a 55 gallon size tank to house them and provide more hiding place for the fish to hide.

Discus Fish

Discus fish

Discus fish

Most aquarist keep discus fish together with cardinal tetra because discus fish prefer soft and acidic water just like cardinal tetra. The fish will grow up to 12cm and keeping them together with cardinal tetra wouldn’t be problem.

The fish prefer a 50 gallon size of tank and the fish itself is a slow swimmer. There another point of view which most aquarist kept discus fish together with cardinal tetra because of the coloration of the fish makes the tank colorful.


My Own Opinion

Always keep in mind that the cardinal tetra are peaceful fish which choosing the right tank mates will lead to different conclusion. Don’t forget to consider about the pH and water temperature which are suitable to be cardinal tetra compatibility. If you own a cardinal tetra as pet, you can share your opinion other than this 5 fish which are cardinal tetra tank mates you would suggest.