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Cardinal Tetras Or Neon Tetras?

Author Topic: Cardinal Tetras or Neon Tetras?  (Read 6350 times)

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Offline notungz

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Cardinal Tetras or Neon Tetras?
« on: May 30, 2013, 11:45:56 AM »
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Hi All.

Please forgive my stupidity, but how do you tell the difference between Cardinal Tetras and Neon Tetras?

I am new to the hobby and only bought my set up 3 days ago. It's a 60 litre tank that came with everything including 14 fish. I have already established that the seller didn't really know what he was talking about after chatting on here (thanks Sue and Colin :)) and he had wrongly identified some of the fish.

I thought I had worked them all out (mainly concentrating on the ones I now know are unsuitable for this tank). Finally I thought I would turn my attention to what he said were 6 x Cardinal tetras. One of them definately seems to be a Black Neon. He/she doesn't have the same colourings as the others. Are the others Neons I wonder? And one of them is completely different. It is about half the size of the others. Its body is only about 1cm long with a very long tail about the same length again. At least the bottom part of his tail is, I don't know if the top was the same and has been nipped. I have attached a photo, but it is blurred, because he is quick and he is so tiny I had to magnify it a fair bit. Any ideas? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks, Ian.   

TigzFish

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Re: Cardinal Tetras or Neon Tetras?
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2013, 12:12:13 PM »
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The picture is way too blurred, but it isn't a Black Neon Tetra, and based on colour pattern I'd guess its a Neon Tetra, not a Cardinal.  Black Neon's are quite distinct from the similar "Cardinal" and "Neon" Tetras.

http://www.thinkfish.co.uk/fish/neon-tetra.html
http://www.thinkfish.co.uk/fish/cardinal-tetra.html
http://www.thinkfish.co.uk/fish/black-neon-tetra.html

The Cardinals are much more striking in colour, but they are distinct in markings.  The Neon has its lower colour covering the rear part of its body, whilst the Cardinal has the it all along its body.

Offline notungz

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Re: Cardinal Tetras or Neon Tetras?
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2013, 01:08:43 PM »
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Thanks Dave.

These are Neons. They only have the red at the back of there body. I hadn't noticed that difference on the fish profile.

The pic isn't of the Black Neon, but another smaller fish that doesn't look like any of the ones in the fish profile. Sorry it's blurred. My camera is only 5 pixels and I had to magnify it a fair bit.

I'm fairly certain now that I have 4 x Neons, 1 x Black Neon (especially after seeing the orangy coloured eyes in the fish profile) and the little tiddler in the pic. 

TigzFish

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Re: Cardinal Tetras or Neon Tetras?
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2013, 01:34:57 PM »
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The green bits have me foxed, but what is the shadow at the rear lower section? Is that part of the tail-fin?


Offline jesnon

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Re: Cardinal Tetras or Neon Tetras?
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2013, 01:37:21 PM »
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Isn't that an endler? The blurry photo and size / speed sound very much like one of my black barb endlers

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TigzFish

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Re: Cardinal Tetras or Neon Tetras?
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2013, 01:40:28 PM »
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Ooo jesnon might be on to something, especially if that shadow is part of the tail.

http://www.thinkfish.co.uk/fish/endlers-livebearer.html


Offline notungz

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Re: Cardinal Tetras or Neon Tetras?
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2013, 01:51:16 PM »
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Thanks guys.

Yes that "shadow" is a tail fin.

It looks like it could be an endler, especially if they come in a wide variety of colours. This is silver, gold and black, with a bit of green. It's very inquisitive and comes to see me if I go to the tank.

Thanks again.   

Offline jesnon

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Re: Cardinal Tetras or Neon Tetras?
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2013, 02:01:27 PM »
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Hmm he definitely sounds very endler-like to me! However my experience of fish keeping is very limited to er... endlers! So I may have a habit of spotting them everywhere ;-)

Endlers are really varied looking fish, but the most common colours are red, green etc and what yours looks a little like (from the blurry picture) is one like this:



Does he look like that? My endlers always 'swarm' at the front of the tank when I sit next to it almost 'begging' for food! If he is one of those they're great little fish, but I think you will need a few more of them for him to be happy in your tank (any more experienced fishkeepers, especially Sue as she is a bit of an endler expert will probably tell you more / correct me here!)

 It sounds like your Ebay seller really didn't know what he was talking about at all from what I've seen in the introduction thread and here! But luckily it sounds like you are more dedicated and looking for answers!

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Offline notungz

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Re: Cardinal Tetras or Neon Tetras?
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2013, 02:08:38 PM »
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Yes, he is certainly similar to that. Something must have been nibbling at his tail fin though, because he only has the bottom bit  :( 

I think you might have cracked it.

I'm keen to learn more and I thought a good starting point is to know exactly what fish I have got. It appears I have too many fish and some will get too big. I'm already considering getting a bigger tank.

Thank you.

Offline jesnon

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Re: Cardinal Tetras or Neon Tetras?
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2013, 02:11:40 PM »
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Poor little guy :-( Perhaps his tank mates are a little too big / mean for him! No problem :-)

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Offline Sue

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Re: Cardinal Tetras or Neon Tetras?
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2013, 04:30:00 PM »
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Several years ago I had some pure bred endlers which came with a pedigree back to the man who collected them form the wild. Pure endlers have transparent tails and the bars reach to the end of the tail. One sign of an endler-guppy hybrid is bars that extend beyond the tail proper like tiny swords. Others have bars that stop short of the end of the tail. The endlers in shops are hybrids with guppies and this does throw up some unusual colour patterns. Have a really good look at your endler's tail. It is possible that the bar at the top edge is stops short and there may well be some transparent tail further past that stump of colour.

Have you seen the pics of Jesnon's and my endler-guppy hybrids? That'll give you some idea of the variations you can get. Mine are here at the bottom of page 1 and Jesnon's are here


Whenever I go into a shop that sells them I always have a good look to see if there's a different one I can add to my shoal  ;D



Edit - I'm not surprised you had problems photographing your endler. They never stay still for longer than a microsecond  ;D

Offline notungz

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Re: Cardinal Tetras or Neon Tetras?
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2013, 05:12:51 PM »
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Hi Sue.

I think you may be right. It looks like there is a transparent tail fin there. It's difficult to spot it because it is going nineteen to the dozen all the time. He seems to have very similar colouring to the ones in your pic.

He really is a little character. I wish I could get him some friends, but my tank is already overstocked and I will need to sort out what to do with my inappropriate fish. I am already looking at larger tanks.  :)

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