Can betta fish and cardinal tetra live together?

In this article we will discuss betta fish and cardinal tetra.We will also discuss their relationship & other tank parameters which are suitable for them to survive together in aquarium settings.

Overview

In this blog

  • Can betta fish and cardinal tetra live together?
  • Key specifications of betta fish and cardinal tetra
  • Where are betta fish and cardinal tetra found?
  • How long do betta fish and cardinal tetra live?
  • What tank size do betta fish and cardinal tetra need?
  • Are betta fish and cardinal tetra aggressive in nature?
  • What do betta fish and cardinal tetra eat?
  • Are water parameters the same for betta fish and cardinal tetra in aquarium conditions?
  • Do betta fish and cardinal tetra need the same aquarium plants in their tanks?
  • Do betta fish and cardinal tetra need the same light intensity in their tanks?
  • Do betta fish and cardinal tetra need similar substrates in their tank?
  • Is it easy to care for betta fish and cardinal tetra together in the same aquariums?
  • Are betta fish and cardinal tetra both perfect community fish?
  • Are betta fish and cardinal tetra beginner friendly or for experienced aquarists?
  • Can betta fish and cardinal tetra live in the same aquariums?
  • Summary
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Reference

Can betta fish and cardinal tetra live together?

Yes,cardinals and bettas can be tank mates under the right circumstances.Cardinals are similar to neon tetras, but are a bit larger.

Cardinal tetras can be a great addition as they are schooling fish,so make sure you have at least 6 of them together and remember they need a large tank of at least 20 gallons to swim in their tank.

Key specifications of betta fish and cardinal tetra

Key specificationsBetta fish Cardinal tetra
Scientific nameTypes




Family 
Betta splendensDragon scale bettaButterfly bettaMarble bettaKoi bettadumbo bettaDifferent tailed bettasOsphronemidaeParacheirodon axelrodiLarge neon tetraRed neonRoter neon


Characidae 
Temperament Territorial and AggressivePeaceful
Diet CarnivoreOmnivore 
Habitat Freshwater of Southeast asiaFreshwater fish of South america 

Where are betta fish and cardinal tetra found?

Betta fish habitatCardinal tetra habitat
Native- Southeast Asia/Tropical AsiaSouth america 
Distribution-Northern Malay PeninsulaCentral and eastern ThailandKampucheaSouthern Vietnam.Cardinal tetras naturally inhabit flooded woodlands, shallow streams, and tributaries of major rivers in South America.
Water type-Freshwater bodiesFreshwater fish
Water movement-Slow moving water bodies.Slow moving water bodies.

How long do betta fish and cardinal tetra live?

The typical lifespan of a cardinal tetra is four to five years when healthy.These fish are known to live longer in captivity than in the wild. In many areas,they are considered short-lived one-year species.

Bettas can live up to five years in an ideal 2.5 gallon tank with a filter and heater.But if they are kept in bowls,they live less than half the average lifespan, sometimes less than a year.

What tank size do betta fish and cardinal tetra need?

Tank size for Betta fish

  • Minimum tank size for a single betta fish is  3 gallons.
  • Additional tank size for each fully grown bettas is 1 gallons.
  • The ideal tank size for single male or female betta is 5 gallons.
  • Bettas do pretty well in bigger and spacious tanks.

Tank size for Cardinal tetra

  • Minimum tank size for a cardinal tetra fish is 20  gallons.
  • Always keep four tetras per gallon.
  • In a 5 gallon tank, weekly 25% water changes can keep 6-9 of them.
  • Bigger tanks are always better for cardinal tetras.They do well in bigger tanks.

Are betta fish and cardinal tetra aggressive in nature?

Being alone can be stressful for cardinal tetras and they become more shy, and lose their color too.They cannot protect themselves, so they are easily bullied by aggressive fish.

Like most Tetras, they are peaceful and make a great addition to the community’s aquarium, but they can also be stored in seed-only aquariums.

Betta splendens are also known as Siamese fighting fish because of their native species and aggressive nature.These fish are very aggressive and males often fight each other until they die.

Even female bettas can be aggressive, but usually more sociable than male bettas.

What do betta fish and cardinal tetra eat?

Frozen brine shrimp and red worms or bloodworms are particularly popular and delicious foods for bettas.You can also feed your betta live food to stimulate them.

You can also feed your betta filets as food. Fish filets are an inexpensive and easy-to-store food option.While Cardinal tetra is an omnivorous fish that eats a variety of foods in the wild.

In the wild, they also eat a variety of insect larvae and very small insects,brine shrimp and other small crustaceans,some plants,and algae.This fish has high needs for vitamins.As a result, about three-quarters of their diet should be dried flakes or pellets.

Are water parameters the same for betta fish and cardinal tetra in aquarium conditions?

Water parametersBetta fishCardinal tetra
Water typeTemperature 
Breeding temperatureWater pH
Water hardness
Water movement
Freshwater 75F-80F
78F6.8-7.5
3 to 4 dGH and 3 to 5 dKHCalmer water
Freshwater 73°F to 81°F (above 75°F is preferred)77 degrees F.5.0 to 7.5 (below 6.0 is ideal.2 to 6 KH
Slow movement

Do betta fish and cardinal tetra need the same aquarium plants in their tanks?

Tank plants for bettas:

  • Java fern is one of the most well-liked plants in the aquarium hobby because of its long,thick leaves & low maintenance care. 
  • Anubias,marimo moss ball,cryptocoryne,water sprite,betta bulb, sword plant,vallisneria.

Tank plants for cardinal tetra:

  •  Cardinal tetra loves tall plants such as Ludwigia repens,Brazilian pennywort (which also acts as a floating plant), vallisneria, cabomba and Cryptocory Wendtii.
  • They also likes floating plants such as frog bits, dwarf water lettuce, and red river floaters.They swim around in the roots hanging on the water column.

Do betta fish and cardinal tetra need the same light intensity in their tanks?

Cardinal tetras, like any other tropical fish, need light over their aquariums for about 12-14 hours.This will ultimately help them maintain their circadian rhythm.

You may prefer a light that can be set on a schedule and betta fish need light to be truly physically and behaviorally healthy.

Remember that you provide them with a regular day and night cycle so that they have a dark period when they can rest.

Do betta fish and cardinal tetra need similar substrates in their tank?

Cardinal tetras can live in all kinds of environments.However, it is usually found in shallow rivers and streams which are surrounded by a lot of vegetation.

They stick to the middle of the aquarium,but this does not mean that you can ignore the substrate.Your best choice will be fine sand for bettas.

The two best substrates available for tanks are gravel and sand. Gravel is excellent because it makes it easier to fix plants and produce more beneficial bacteria.

Sand is good because it is easy to keep clean and less likely to hurt Betta. You can use marble or no substrate for them.

Is it easy to care for betta fish and cardinal tetra together in the same aquariums?

The cardinal tetra is an easy-care fish.They are fairly undemanding and can tolerate a range of water conditions and structures. However, like all aquarium fish, they can get sick if they are not given the right water conditions and healthy diets.

Betta is very aggressive and threatens other species alongside similar aquariums, so it is not so easy to take care of.They need a spacious aquarium to swim freely with proper aquarium filtration, warm water, and plenty of hiding space to hide when they feel overwhelmed.

They need nutritious food to maintain their finnage color and tank maintenance is must for bettas,as they produce lots of waste in the tank,which ultimately produces ammonia spikes,which is very highly dangerous for them.

Are they both perfect community fish?

Cardinal tetras do well in captivity and have a peaceful nature and add a wonderful element to community tanks large and small.They get along well with others and usually stick to the upper and middle of the water column.

With some careful planning, these fish can easily be part of a diverse fish population.Bettas can be a good community fish but they cannot live with brightly coloured species,finnippers, aggressive fish and multiple male bettas together.

Female bettas are more sociable than male bettas.Male bettas get aggressive with one another and fight with each other to death.It is very important to have male and female bettas ratio maintained in tanks to avoid clashes.

Are they beginner friendly or for experienced aquarists?

Cardinal tetras are the perfect fish for beginners.They are hardy, easy to care for and colorful. A bunch of them are perfect for showing off their vibrant colors, and their synchronized movements are almost hypnotic.If you want to keep these fish, you need to understand their ideal conditions, diet and tank mates.

While bettas are good for both newcomers and experienced fishkeepers.They are very attractive, especially male bettas.These have specific water parameters and food habits to maintain their finnage colourtion.

Summary

  • Both cardinal and bettas are freshwater species and they like slow water currents in their tanks.
  • Both cardinal and bettas have almost similar water parameters preference,so it won’t be a difficult thing to maintain in the tank.
  • Both cardinal and bettas prefer dense vegetation as it provides  lots of hiding spaces to them to feel safe and secure.
  • Cardinals can be kept with bettas in a group of six together to swim freely.
  • Cardinals are perfect beginner fish ,while bettas can be handled well by experienced betta enthusiasts.
  • Cardinals are perfect community fish,while bettas are not and bettas prefer to live in solitary tanks.
  • Bettas are carnivores and need lots of protein in their diet,while cardinals are omnivores and accept a wide range of food in their diets.
  • They both need light to maintain their circadian rhythm.

Frequently asked questions

What is the size of betta and cardinal tetra? 

In the wild, this fish grows overall to about 1.25 inches or 3 cm in length and weighs 0.004 ounces or 0.13 grams.Females are slightly larger and wider than males.The average length of a betta fish when fully grown is 2.25 inches or 5.7 cm, and under the right conditions, betta fish can grow to 3 inches or 7.6 cm long.

Reference

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siamese_fighting_fish#In_the_aquarium

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