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I've been away from the hobby for about 20 years but I remember keeping cardinal tetras quite easily. Now that I'm back into it, I've noticed I just don't see them anymore, just the neon tetras. They're nice too but I remember likeing the cardinals because of they had better color .. more red. What's up with that?
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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I've been away from the hobby for about 20 years but I remember keeping cardinal tetras quite easily. Now that I'm back into it, I've noticed I just don't see them anymore, just the neon tetras. They're nice too but I remember likeing the cardinals because of they had better color .. more red. What's up with that?
I had to have my lfs order mine as I can't find them very many places anymore.
 

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i see them in everyplace except big chain stores. its because they are getting rarer, i believe.
 
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These are probably some of the most popular fish kept by the home aquarist, millions are caught and shipped from Brazil, every year, but very few if any are bred in any commercial quantities. The recent shortage of these on the market, may be linked to the now pretty poor economy, the cost of shipping in terms of fuel costs, and the orders that are placed by the LFS in your area. I agree that they are more attractive than the neon, however they also demand a higher price tag in most cases, and are the end consumers, given the current economy, willing to pay for the added value of a better appearance??? If the LFS cant sell them the orders stop going in.
 

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The Cardinals are much easier to keep some fish with and have a better and less hyper temperment. I would not consider any other type of tetra in my tanks as there are betta fish involved and do not believe the neons would leave their fins alone. The Cardinals are, as you say, more beautiful too in my opinion.

I do not know why they are not available where you are as I do all my ordering online and there does not seem to be a shortage there but as they say, the shipping costs are high.

Rose
 
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If you cant find cardinal tetras, there are a wide variety of tetras just as colorful as them.
Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma ( bleeding heart)
Hyphessobrycon rhodonstomus (rummy nose)
Hyphessobrycon serpae (serpea tetra )
Aphyocharax anisitsi (bloodfin)
Nematobrycon palmeri (emperor tetra)
I know this doesnt answer your question, thats because there are alot of factors that determine what, why, where. Mostly its a guess as to why.
 
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