Banggai Cardinal Fish

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The Banggai Cardinal Fish, sometimes referred to as Kaudern's Cardinal Fish is a remarkable looking specimen having a silver body with vertical black stripes. The Banggai Cardinal Fish body is covered in small white spots that are more easily seen on the dorsal, pelvic, anal and caudal fins. It is interesting to note that these Banggai Cardinal Fish are only found in a rather small area around Banggai Island off Sulawesi. This fish is very close to being placed on the endangered species list because of over collection. Before you purchase a Banggai Cardinal Fish, ask the retailer where they come from. If they say that is was wild caught, please don't buy them. Only buy captive raised or aquacultured specimens. Doing so will help those wanting and willing to aqua culture this species and we definitely want to reward these breeders. Another benefit from getting captive raised Banggai Cardinals is that they usually acclimate much easier than wild caught fish.

The good news is that these little guys are one of the easier saltwater species to breed. The male Banggai Cardinal Fish are mouth brooders which should increase the chances of successfully raising the young. The difficult part is figuring out if you have a pair. You may only be able to accurately tell once they've paired off. If you're really interested in breeding this fish and you have the appropriate equipment and tank setups you can buy a group of 3 and see if 2 of the 3 start to pair off. If they do, you may also notice them going after the third cardinal fish. If this happens and they are in a smaller tank, you will need to remove the third before it is hassled to death.

If your Banggai Cardinal Fish end up breeding you may notice that the mouth on the male will be bulging at the jawline and they aren't eating anything. They won't even go after their favorite foods! The male will mouth brood the fish and then release them after 20 days or slightly longer.

Take your time when acclimating these cardinal fish to your tank water. Once introduced they may hide out for a day or two but should come out once food hits the water. Give them lots of security by providing hiding places (think live rock) and they may be out in the open more.
Feeding Banggai Cardinal Fish can be challenging when first introduced to your tank. They can be quite finicky and will probably not go after flakes or pellet foods. You may need to start with frozen or live fish food and then try to get them onto vitamin enriched flake foods. Aqua cultured specimens should be a little easier to feed.
You may be able to keep multiple Banggai Cardinal Fish in the same tank if it is sufficiently large enough. If you cramp multiples into a smaller tank you will probably see aggression among them, especially once a pair has formed.
Banggai cardinal fish seem to be fairly disease resistant but you still need to take proper pre-cautions and use a quarantine tank before introducing them into your main tank. Keeping them in quarantine can also give you a chance to get them eating without any competition from others.

Banggai Cardinal Fish Profile Facts and Care Information

Scientific Name : Pterapogon kauderni

Common Names : Banggai Cardinal Fish, Kaudern's Cardinal Fish, Longfin Cardinalfish

Banggai Cardinal Fish Care Level : Easy to Moderate

Size : Up to 3 inches (8 cm)

Life span : 5 years, perhaps longer

pH : 8.1 - 8.4

Temperature : 75°F - 82°F (25°C - 28°C)

Specific Gravity : 1.023 - 1.025

Carbonate Hardness (dKH) : 8 - 12°

Origin / Habitat : Indo-Pacific, specifically around Banggai Island

Temperament / Behavior : Avoid keeping more than mated pairs in smaller tanks. May be able to keep more in larger aquariums. Watch for aggression among individuals and remove some if necessary.

Banggai Cardinal Fish Breeding / Mating / Reproduction : This fish has been bred in the home aquarium and among saltwater fish, this is one of the easier ones to breed. They are mouth brooders, or more specifically, the male will mouth brood the fry until they are ready to be released. You will need to separate the adults from the young once released. Do a search on "Frank Marini" who has written some excellent articles on the breeding of this fish. His cardinal fish breeding articles are well worth the read if you are the least bit interested in breeding this fish.

Tank Size : 30 gallon (114 liters) minimum

Compatible Tank Mates : May be able to keep a small school of these in larger aquarium setups with peaceful tank mates. Could be considered a reef safe fish.

Reef Tank Compatible? : We've kept them in a reef aquarium with snails and shrimps and anemones and they shouldn't pose a problem with corals.

Fish Disease : Saltwater Fish Disease - Diagnose, Symptoms and Treatment

Diet / Fish Food : Primarily a carnivore, they are thought to feed on smaller crustaceans in the ocean. Getting them to eat can be a problem when first introduced. You may need to start with frozen foods and maybe even live foods to entice them. Try to get them on vitamin enriched flake foods and supplement with frozen fish food. That may be easier said than done though. They may need a steady supply of frozen and live foods for some time.

Tank Region : Mid to top levels mostly

Gender : It can be difficult to determine the sexual differences between male and female banggai cardinalfish until they are ready to breed. The male's lower jaw may be more rounded (for mouth brooding?) whereas the female's jaw may be more straight lined. Another sign may be a much longer second dorsal fin on males. You may only be able to determine that you have a male/female combination when they pair up.

Comments (1)

  • Manikandan


    27 August 2012 at 10:07 |
    You need a whole lot of money to start with. Marine tanks are very expensive to set up. In aoitiddn to everything you would need for a fresh water tank, you also need a protein skimmer, a hydrometer, a salt water test kit, and I don't know what all else. I haven't tried it, because I don't have that kind of money or time to invest.It is also advisable that you be experienced and successful at keeping a tropical fresh water tank before attempting to keep a marine tank. They are much more complex and complicated, so it pays to have a good basic understanding of aquarium keeping before attempting it.It does not appear you have any sort of experience, and have not done much research. One of the first things a person learns is that you MUST cycle your tank before adding fish. That can take several weeks, up to a month or more to accomplish. Just letting an empty tank run does nothing but waste electricity. You have to learn how to properly cycle it.I strongly suggest you go to a book store and/or library and get some beginner's books on aquarium keeping. You can pick up a volume or two on marine tanks to study if you like, but you are no where near ready for that yet. Once you are successful and confident about your ability to maintain a healthy fresh water tank, then you can attempt a marine tank if you wish.Considering the expense, and the fact you are dealing with living creatures, this is really the best way. Good luck!

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