How Long Do Cardinal Tetras Live? The Ultimate Answer

Cardinal Tetras are a freshwater fish species famous in the aquarist community due to their gorgeous color.

They are among the most famous freshwater aquarium species as they are hardy, affordable, and easy to care for.

Nonetheless, if you intend to retain this species, you should be aware of its longevity. How long do Cardinal Tetras live?

It’s time to refer to this article to learn the lifespan of these freshwater fish!

Cardinal Tetras Overview

Cardinal Tetras, also called Red Neon Tetras, come from the Characidae family. They are mainly common in bodies of freshwater.

These aquatic creatures don’t grow large, with an adult measuring no more than 2 inches long.

These fish dwell in enormous numbers, and you may see hundreds of these creatures swimming together.

Although this species enjoys freshwater environments, its preferred water environments are mild or acidic water having a pH of 4.5 – 6.

These creatures are abundant in densely populated areas and love to eat tiny crustaceans and worms.

cardinal tetra

Overview of this species

How Long Do Cardinal Tetras Live?

Cardinal Tetras have varying lifespans depending on the level of care and maintenance.

Cardinal Tetras can live at least five years if you give them proper and good care.

Average Lifespan

On average, the lifespan of these fish is from 5 – 7 years if kept in a good environment and with healthy water quality.

Every rule has an exception. Some will live longer, while others will die sooner.

For instance, if the water quality in your tank is not appropriate, your pets will only survive for about two years.

It’s best to feed these freshwater fish properly if you want them to be healthy.

To determine whether they’re healthy, you should pay closer attention to changes in their behaviors.

Factors Affect The Lifespan

Some factors influence the fish’s longevity. If you can keep these things under control, your pets can live longer and happier.

The water temperature:

If the water temperature in your tank drops too low, it will impact your pet’s metabolism, lifespan, and growth rate.

Food quality:

Food influences development and resistance to illnesses, which can help these fish live longer and in better health.

For this reason, it’s best to provide your pets with high-quality food.

Water parameters:

Your pets will have a longer lifespan if the water in your aquarium is clean.

The compatibility:

The harmonious coexistence of these creatures with other species also affects their lifespan.

They are suitable for community tanks. However, it doesn’t mean you should keep many fish at once.

These freshwater fish with long fins may get hurt or bitten by other tank mates like angelfish or guppies.

Tank size:

Tank size is another factor affecting the longevity of your pets.

Although these creatures aren’t active, offering them enough space to swim and explore is advisable.

group of tetras

The lifespan of Cardinal Tetras

How To Increase The Longevity Of Cardinal Tetras?

Proper maintenance and care is the vital factor in guaranteeing your pet’s longer, healthier life.

Below are some tips for improving the lifespan of your freshwater fish. Let’s scroll down!

Provide A Healthy Diet

It is ideal for feeding your fish a range of fresh vegetables and greens, like zucchini and spinach.

The dark leafy vegetables give these creatures an extra boost resembling their natural feeding supply.

Feeding this species once to ensure they get enough required nutrients twice weekly is best.

If you want to learn more about the diet of this species, you can watch this video:

Pay Attention To Tank Environments And Water Parameters

As shared earlier, the water quality also affects the lifespan of your fish.

For this reason, it’s better to check pH, nitrite, nitrate, and ammonia levels in your aquarium before introducing any new species.

Additionally, regular water changes are also essential to have a clean tank. You should change around 25% of the tank water weekly.

These fish require temperatures between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

These fish flourish well in soft waters with a neutral and alkaline pH. Therefore, you should keep your tank conditions in mind while you keep them.

It’s also a good idea to leave enough room for these creatures to move around or do some exercise.

If you don’t prepare enough space for this species, it may suffer a spine curvature.

tank of cardinal tetras

Check the tank conditions

Avoid Overcrowding

Most aquarists suggest keeping only one kind of Cardinal Tetra in a tank.

You may keep these aquatic creatures with others but ensure two male Cardinals are apart since they will fight and hurt each other.

Also, ensure they have adequate areas to move around in the environment you raise them in.

Furthermore, while selecting tankmates for these fish, remember that they might be aggressive with other species, particularly smaller-size creatures.

As a result, keeping them in tanks with more friendly tankmates who won’t bite at or nibble their fins is preferable.


Are Cardinal Tetras Easy To Keep?

The short answer is yes! These aquatic creatures are not picky and can flourish if kept in the appropriate conditions.

Which Is Better: Neon Or Cardinal Tetra?

Both two varieties will be fantastic aquarium additions.

If you prefer something affordable, opt for the Neon Tetra. If you have a bigger budget, it’s wise to invest in Cardinal Tetras.

How Big Can Cardinal Tetras Get?

When fully developed, the standard Cardinal Tetra measures about two inches long. As a result, they are little freshwater fish that are ideal for keeping in relatively small aquariums.

How Often Should I Feed My Cardinal Tetras?

If you only feed your pets once or twice a day, give them something they can consume in around five minutes.

Nevertheless, feeding them daily many times is preferable, precisely giving what they will eat in approximately three minutes.

How Many Should Cardinal Tetras Be Together?

It is ideal to house these fish in groups of six or more. A larger group will boost the fish’s confidence and maintain them healthy.

The Bottom Line

How long do Cardinal Tetras live? In short, this species can live up to 7 years if provided with good care and proper maintenance.

Several factors affect their lifespan, including food quality, water parameters, compatibility, and tank conditions.

Therefore, if you want your pets to live longer and healthier, it’s best to always pay attention to these elements.

Thanks for reading!