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FAQs about Banggai Cardinalfishes, Family Apogonidae

Related Articles: Cardinalfishes

Related FAQs:  Cardinals, Banggai ID, Banggai Behavior, Banggai Compatibility, Banggai Selection, Banggai Systems, Banggai Feeding, Banggai Disease, Banggai Reproduction,

A Banggai Cardinal in captivity.

Banggai Cardinal... singlet, feeding    6/28/12
Hi there.
About a week ago my partner and I bought a Banggai Cardinal
<Like most Apogonids, this is a social species... doesn't live singly>
 and from what we see, he hasn't eaten anything at all!
The tank is 100ltrs with one small Chromis and a small Blue velvet Damsel which are very happy. The Cardinal seems happy and looks perfectly healthy, he is very active and has great colour. Would he be eating at night? Are there any foods to try that are perfect for him?
Thank you, Kimberley
<Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/banggaifdg.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Banggai fry   2/7/10
my Banggai cardinal had babies. I have netted some of them and need to know what they eat. I am trying Cyclop-eeze. any suggestions.
thank you rick
<Yes Rick; read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/banggairepro.htm
and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cardreprof.htm
and the linked files where you lead yourself. Bob Fenner>

Hello! RetT endeavours, New Blue Zoo, WWM not advertising, Banggai pop./Fisheries ignorance    ~ 01/12/09 Hola, Bob! <Hey Ret> I am so itchin' to travel sooner rather than later, although the 80s over the weekend did make Laguna feel nice. How are you? <Fine... am out in HI> I wanted to update you on a couple of things. First, Blue Zoo Aquatics is back with some new features for 2009 including WYSIWYG (they call is Collector's Choice). The new structure at the company is really solid in my opinion, and some of the issues with which both you and I had experience should no longer be an issue (i.e. getting paid...lol). I did hear in conversation that the former owners still might owe you a check, however. If that's true, will you let me know so I can help you resolve that. Thanks. <Thank you> In other news, I have been blogging a little for Saltwaterfish.com, and Scott Hughes (the owner) told me they were going to start advertising on their forum pages. I asked if I could approach a couple of folks first and offer them an "introductory rate," and Scott said "sure." I don't know if you have any interest in advertising WWM on the Saltwaterfish.com forums, but if you do, I can offer you a block as small as 10,000 units for only $75. <Nah... no thanks... we don't really want/need to generate any more traffic... Not to be misunderstood, but WWM takes way too much of my time already... I'd rather invest it else-other-wise>  In terms of stats, the forums at Saltwaterfish.com see, on average, 1 million page views per month with 3500 visitors a day. At present, there are 300,000 threads, 2.5 million posts and 45,000 members. On any given day, there are three visitors online for every one member. <Is a bunch...>  Obviously no pressure, as it doesn't affect me one way or the other, but if you're interested, do let me know. Finally, have you been following the full-court press against wild-caught Banggais in the rags? <Have seen a few popular articles... None by anyone who has the slightest knowledge of fisheries statistics, modeling... Nor any real assay data... More B.S.... sort of like how the U.S. has been run the last eight years... sensation w/o facts. No thanks> I am just reading Marine Fish and Reef, but TFH is on board as well. I feel like this is a very one-sided conversation that is probably not in the best interest of the hobby given some of the more significant issues we could/should be addressing. Do you have thoughts? <I've already stated them... This species is not threatened in its range... which has been greatly expanded... Folks should put emphasis where emphasis lies... Forget about the "greed" on Wall Street, Madhof... continuing lies by the gov't... these are minor matters, smoke screens. Get on w/ firing half the folks that really don't work... for the gov't, getting rid of their lifetime retirements, perks... These, they are the root cause of "imperialistic" moves that are ruining the planet... Get on with it! I say. Cheers, BobF> All the best, Ret www.RetTalbot.com

Banggai pregnant?   12/25/06 Hi again :) <Joe> One of my two Banggai's has a bulge in the stomach and is always harassing, ( I don't know if it's for attention or aggression???) the smaller one, I have only had them both for a month. Is my bigger Banggai pregnant or is it just fat (or is it a growth or infection :( she has not lost any colour and is still eating and very healthy but I am not ruling it out). Should I remove the other fish and the smaller one? Please help From Joe <Mmm, might well be that the one fish is developing eggs... Can you sex it and the other one? Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/banggairepro.htm Bob Fenner>

Banggai On A Hunger Strike?  - 10/24/06 Hi there I wrote a couple of months ago asking about whether I could get a Banggai Cardinalfish, it turns out my LFS had a captive bred one so I bought and it has settled in fine. <Good to hear...Captive-bred is always a great choice.> I have had him/her don't know which sex yet but I think it is a male) for about 3 months now. He was eating perfectly for the last 3 month (I was feeding him frozen brine shrimp) and now he has stopped!!!!!! :( <Hmm...> I have tried lettuce, flake food, flake Spirulina, and marine tucker (a mix of meaty and vegetarian foods! <I'd stick to the "meatier" foods.> I don't know what is wrong the water is fine... PLEASE HELP ME it would be very much appreciated! from Viv <Well, Viv- it was good that the little guy was eating for a while. I think that you should take into account the fish's natural diet of copepods and small crustaceans. I'd try purchasing/growing some live copepods, Mysid shrimp, or amphipods. Tempt the fish with some of it's natural food items (some are available frozen, by the way) and you may see it come around. Keep a really close eye on the water conditions and I'll bet that this fish will eat again! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Banggai Cardinal Deaths...Very New System - 07/27/06 Hi there! <<Hello!>> I have a 72G reef ready Oceanic tank being filtered by 110 pounds of cured live rock and a 20G refugium w/protein skimmer.  I only run the skimmer for about a week in six. <<Mmm...am a firm believer in running skimmers 24/7>> I perform a 15% water change every 10 days.  Water parameters are all spot on.  Ammonia & nitrite at zero.  Nitrate never above 25ppm. <<This is a reef tank?  Nitrate should be below 5ppm.  If this is a FOWLR/FO you should still strive to keep nitrates below 20ppm>> The tank was started on May 6th of this year, as defined by the placing of the rock in the tank. <<Ah, a very "young" tank indeed>> To date, livestock consists of 5 Blue/Green Chromis, 1 Six Line Wrasse, 1 Blood Shrimp, 2 Turbo Snails and about 12 Blue Legged Hermit Crabs.  All of these animals have been doing great since their introduction into the tank.  The problem occurred when 4 Banggai Cardinals were added.  They all started out great.  Eating enthusiastically and swimming vigorously.  After two weeks they started (one by one) losing their appetites, becoming lethargic, demonstrating labored breathing (some had stringy white feces) and dying.  Per fish this process took about 3 days from loss of appetite to death. <<Possibly environmental, compounded with stress from conspecific aggression>> All of the other fish are still doing fine.  Can any one tell me what is happening. <<Banggai Cardinals are generally hardy once acclimated to a "mature" system.  They also can be quite intolerant of conspecifics unless in mated pairs.  The problem you describe may be a combination of a "too new" system (for this species) and aggression related stress>> I have a Purple Firefish in the quarantine tank and I'm afraid to put it in the main tank until I have some clue.  Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated as I'm new at this. I would give this system a couple more months to mature/reach a balance before adding more cardinals...or the Firefish for that matter.  Letting your skimmer run continuously will also be of great benefit, in my opinion>> Thanks!! Jan Harrison   <<Happy to assist.  EricR>> Re: Banggai Cardinal Deaths...Very New System - 07/27/06 Dear Eric, <<Hello Jan>> Thanks for the response. <<Is my pleasure>> I'll certainly utilize your advice. <<Ah good, for the best overall really>> Jan <<Regards, Eric Russell>>

Stocking Pterapogon kaudneri/Small Tank Aggression - 07/16/06 Hi Viv here, <<Hello Viv...EricR here>> This is the first time I have written to you guys <<gals here too!>> but I've had a good look at your site keep up the awesome work! <<Thanks!  We shall try>> Anyway I have been running a 20 gallon marine tank (which is my first marine setup) for 8 months now.  I have a Ocellaris Clown and a Six-line Wrasse (who are both doing brilliant), no invertebrates as yet. <<Mmm, do keep an eye on the six-line.  These get/are very pugnacious (to down-right mean)...will be worsened by the small confines of this tank>> I think I have around about 9 lbs of live rock in the aquarium.  I regularly check the tanks water condition, salinity, etc.  The water quality is good with no ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate and pH is 8.2. <<Very good>> I was wondering if I could add 1 Banggai Cardinal. <<Speaking purely from the aspect of stocking density, yes...but the presence of the six-line already in the tank concerns me>> However I now have mixed thoughts as I have read on your site and others that these fish have been known to die within weeks and that they do best in groups and have a picky appetites.  But I have also heard that they are a generally hardy fish and can be kept singly (which is what I hope to do). <<Mmm yes, differences of opinion/experience.  In your tank, if you decide to add this fish, as single specimen is best.  While generally peaceful toward interspecifics, Pterapogon kaudneri can be quite intolerant of conspecifics...again, with this behavior magnified by the confines of a small tank.  As for hardiness, I have found that once acclimated, this fish proves to be quite hardy/aquarium suitable (have had mated pairs breed regularly)...and with a voracious appetite>> I really would like to have this beautiful fish in my aquarium but I do not want to see one die considering how they are doing in the wild! Would this fish survive in my tank providing I feed it and acclimate it and that the water quality remains high, etc.? <<Carefully choose a healthy specimen that has survived for a couple weeks/is feeding at the LFS and yes, I think so...but you may have to remove the six-line wrasse>> Please help it would be greatly appreciated Thanks Viv <<Regards, Eric Russell>>

Question on Banggai Cardinalfish  - 04/22/2006 Greetings!  I have a Banggai Cardinalfish who recently has stopped eating (at least while I'm watching the tank).  I purchased the Banggai several  months ago, after several failures with them -- previous Banggais did not feed very well, then stopped feeding, then started breathing heavily, and then died.  The current Banggai, though, has been doing great for months. Eats regularly, remains active, and has grown quite large.  But this past week, he's stopped eating, and now his breathing appears heavy -- behavior I'm familiar with, unfortunately. <Disturbing...> The tank is a 30-gallon reef tank; the readings on temperature, salinity, and so forth are all in the normal range.  The Banggai shares the tank with a yellowtail damsel, two Firefish gobies, and a blenny, as well as a few invertebrates (shrimps, crabs, snails).  There doesn't seem to be excessive competition among the fish -- I'm feeding them brine shrimp (not live) <Mmm, hopefully not exclusively> , and up until early last week the Banggai as well as the others have liked the food and have seemingly been able to get enough of it.  But now, the shrimp float up in front of the Banggai, and he ignores it completely.  Not good. I've been reading readers questions on the FAQ page about Banggai Cardinalfish, and it seems that most of the problems that develop do so shortly after purchase -- not several months down the road.  Is my Banggai just old, or is this normal, or ... what? <Don't know here... perhaps a crowding component... definitely nutritional deficiency possibility...> I think they're one of the most beautiful fish I've ever seen, and I would love to continue to have one (or two, or three) in my tank -- but not if something I'm doing or not doing is killing them.  Any thoughts? <A comment... am out at the Western Marine Conference and some of the speakers and attendees have mentioned the lesser hardiness of this aquarium species in recent years... Given the size of your system, the presence of the damsel... I would hold off on keeping Banggais here... and a last note... I would only feed frozen/defrosted Artemia occasionally... perhaps every few days. Bob Fenner> --Eric Scott Quick Stocking Question...someone that actually cares about over-stocking!! Yippee! - 4/11/2006 I have a one-year-old 125-gallon SPS/Clam tank with 150lbs of Tonga and Fiji live rock that is well lit, well circulated, well skimmed and it has good, stable water quality.    <<Awesome!>> Besides the usual collection of snails, hermit crabs and worms, I have a 3.5 inch Maroon Gold Striped Clown, a 3 inch Watchman Goby, a 3 inch Lawnmower Blenny, a 2.5 inch Six Line Wrasse, and two Yellow Tail Blue Damsels.  What would you think about adding two tank-raised Banggai Cardinals? <<I think you could add more than two, if you plan you future stocking around them.>>  While reading your outstanding site on a daily basis has taught me enough to be successful in almost every aspect of this noble endeavour, I do not add/keep enough fish to understand all of the parameters of stocking. <<That’s alright!  I think a trio of Banggai Cardinals would be a great addition to your tank.  You could look into a few more fish as well, perhaps some schooling Chromis.>> Thank you in advance for your help. <<Glad to help Dan!>> Dan Pellissier Tank-raised Banggai Cardinals 03-21-06 Good Day Crew, <<Hello, Travis here with you today.>> I've been a great admirer of Banggai cardinals since they first started appearing in the market some years back.  At that time they were rare and very expensive.  After doing some research, I've found that they are on the brink of being added as an endangered species in the wild. <<This is correct.>> <Actually... not so... more abundant and transplanted than ever... RMF> At the same time their price has continued to drop, currently $11.99 at one LFS.  Is the price drop just because of a greater number of wild caught specimens on the market, or are tank-bred specimens starting to make an impact?   <<I have not witnessed a price drop in my area, but it is most likely due to wild Banggai not lasting more than a week in captivity. This is due to a nasty strain of internal parasites that have not been responding well to typical medications.>> I would love to add a pair, but I don't want to contribute to a dwindling wild population.  What's your opinion?   <<Captive bred Banggai may cost more initially, but you will be much happier with your purchase in the long run. Travis>> Thanks much!          

Banggai Cardinal  - 03/09/2006 We have 2 Banggai Cardinals.  The very tip of their front dorsal fins (approx.1/16")has turned white and appears to just wave around  with movement.  They have been this way for about 3-4 weeks and the white area seems to be getting larger, but very very slowly.  Any idea what it is and what we should do about it? Bob & Jinni Horn Tank info: Tank size in Gallons?:...75................ Age of tank :..6 months................. Total amount of liverock aprox..60 lbs............. Substrate 3" of live sand............. Temp.....78 degrees Sump  12 gallon............ Prefilter Yes.............. Wooden hood over the light........... Aprox amount of evaporation per day:.1 gallon............ Frequency of water changes &amount changed: 5 gallons Bi weekly Salt mix:.."Red Sea.".......... Additives used:. Kent Marine Concentrated Iodine, Reef Success Coral Grow............... test kit:. Saltwater Master Liquid Test Kit................. adding calcium:. Manual as needed................ Aprox water turnover X times (filter) per hour:....7............ Lighting:. HO Fluorescent........... Bulbs:..2 white 2 blue............... Total watts of lighting (all lamps):...440............ Timers ...Yes......on 12 hours per day Water:.. RO/DI............. Protein skimmer .Venturi.......... Tank parameters.........   -Calcium...................320 mg/L   -Magnesium.........Unknown   -Alkalinity........................12 dKH   -Ammonia..........................0 mg/L   -Nitrites..............................0 mg/L   -Nitrates.............................0 mg/L   -Phosphates.....................  .5 PPM   -Specific Gravity.............1.023   -Water Temp..........................78f    Water Flow > 7 times tank volume per hour <I suspect there is nothing awry with your cardinals here... "just" normal color/growth. Your set-up and water quality looks to be acceptable to fine. Bob Fenner> Livestock/Marine/Pterapogon kauderni   2/23/06 Hi, <Hello Chelsea.> I work at a pet store, and we have had a lot of trouble keeping Pterapogon kaudern's alive to the point that we don't even get them anymore. <Unusual.> These happen to be one of my favorite saltwater fish!  I would really like to get a school of them, but I'm really worried they're all going to die. Can you give me some specifics on keeping them.  Things like, what size tank do they need?  I want to keep enough to see them school, what is the smallest amount I could keep to be able to see them school?  What can I do specifically to keep them alive?  Are there any tricks to it?  Specific ways to decorate the tank so that they are more hardy.  And any other useful tips.  <Read here and the related FAQ link in the title box.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cardinal.htm  This should give you all the info you need.  Unusual that you are having trouble keeping these as they are a hardy fish. Thanks! <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Chelsea Stocking Levels/Compatibility  2/18/06 Hi Guys, <Hello Alan.> Let me just state that you guys have an absolutely great site! I just wished I'd have found you guys 9 years ago...you'd probably have saved me a lot of grief! <Thanks.> But, I don't want to waste your time with my joyful raving so I have a question for you, and I'd like an honest opinion. I have a 100 gallon reef with numerous mushrooms, anthelia, various Zoanthids, xenia, and a Entacmaea quadricolor. I know I'm not supposed to keep mobile cnidarians with sessile life, but for the 3 years it's been in there nothing horrible has happened yet...(fingers crossed).<Keep them crossed.> I have an arc eye Hawkfish (4in), a yellow tang (6in), one mandarin (2/12-3in), a flame angel (4 1/2in), a maroon clown (4in) and a barred goby (3in). Ah, also a pair of cleaner shrimp. The filtration is kind of bare bones, an Aqua C Remora Pro and a home made refugium (hang on type, capacity about 2 1/2g). Water quality parameters are good, but sometimes nitrate levels go to 1ppm between water changes. All the fish have been in there for at least 3 1/2 years with the exception of the maroon, whose been in there for 2 years. Lately I've been wanting to add  a pair of Banggai Cardinals, but I'm not too sure if my system can handle it. <Your system can't handle anymore.  Cardinals are not the type of fish you want to add to the schoolyard with bullies present.>  Everything has been going great for years and I really don't want to wreck it. <Ah, leave well enough alone.> I'm contemplating installing a sump style refugium, as large as I can fit. Would that help greatly if I am considering adding a pair of these fish? Your thoughts. <Adding a refugium is a good idea but still wouldn't add cardinals to your system.  The Banggai's do much better in the company of other docile fish and do much better in groups of three or more.> Thanks so much for your time, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Alan

Banggai Cardinal & Coral Beauty angel questions  12/17/05 First let me tell you that I have a 60 gal tank w/a protein skimmer, wet/dry filter, a UV sterilizer; and 32 lbs of live rock.  In the tank now are a bicolor blenny, two Banggai cardinals and a coral beauty angel.  I took a water sample to a very reputable fish store a week ago, and everything tested great. <Non-informational> Now, about my Banggai cardinals.  I feel pretty stupid asking this, but here goes.  I purchased two Banggai cardinals a week ago.  They have been doing great.  They hid and hardly came out for about 3 days (I didn't even see them eat).  But then they started to come out a little more each day, and now they are out almost all the time and eating well.  Here's my question.  I noticed tonight that there a white spots on their fins.  I didn't notice these spots before, but then, I didn't really look.  The problem is, these fish have spots all over them.  Do they normally have spots on their fins, or could this be ich? <Do have spots as coloration... Crypt looks different... smaller, more discrete, raised> My next question is about my coral beauty angel. I have had this fish since June of this year and it has done great.  Two weeks ago I got rid of my Picasso trigger because I kept hearing that it would limit me on any more fish purchases and would eventually cause a problem with the fish I currently had.  In order to catch the trigger, I had to rearrange all of the live rock.  After the trigger had been gone about 3 or 4 days, my coral beauty started hiding more (I did create more hiding spots when I rearranged the rock), and stopped eating.  It stays near the bottom all of the time (it is swimming upright, not on it's side).  I feed Spirulina, frozen brine shrimp, Prime Reef flakes and green marine algae.  At the recommendation of the fish store, for the past two days I have fed the fish a frozen angel and butterfly diet.  Last night I saw the coral beauty take one bite of it. When I fed the fish today, the coral beauty started moving around more, but I never saw it eat.  I know that it could be getting food that goes down into it's hiding places and I not see it eating.  There are no spots on the fish, no torn fins, and it's not looking thin.  The only thing I really notice is that the color on its head seems to be fading some. <The behavior of this fish sounds about "normal", some loss of color can occur...> Otherwise, it looks okay.  Do you think the hiding and not eating is because of the change in the fish and moving the rocks around? <Likely this has had an effect, yes> Any suggestions?  Once again, thanks so much for your help. LaVonda Black <You are quarantining new livestock before adding I hope/trust. Do take a look on WWM re Banggai Cardinal appearance, Centropyge behavior. Bob Fenner> Finicky Banggai Cardinal  12/13/05 I have a Banggai Cardinal that will only eat Cyclop-eeze (twice a week I soak it in Selcon).  I've tried Sweetwater plankton, enriched brine shrimp, baby daphnia, and all kinds of frozen & flake foods, and he always sucks these foods into his mouth, but then spits them out (no matter how small the piece of food).  The only food he'll swallow is the Cyclop-eeze, and he's voracious with that, so I don't think his selectivity is a matter of not being hungry.  I'm worried that eating only Cyclop-eeze will not sustain him.  Any suggestions? <Steve, the Cyclop-eeze is a pretty good diet high in protein.  You don't mention how long you've had the cardinal so all you can do is to continue to offer other foods and maybe he start eating it in time.  I never liked pizza when I first tried it. Mmmm now.  James (Salty Dog)> Steve

Banggai Problems  11/12/2005 Bob What is the problem with Banggai cardinals? <Mostly handling...> They seem to do well for the first week but very suddenly they all die! Perry <Too much "stress" from the process of breeding, rearing, moving... mostly.  BobF>

Banggai breeding information 10/19/05 I am looking into the breeding of the Banggai cardinals and was hoping you might be able to help me with web sites, giving me more detailed information about breeding these fish. Anything is a help, thanks, Jason <Hi Jason, do employ the search function as there are many, many links that will provide you with proper information. Here is a good few to start you off: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/banggaifaqs.htm , http://www.reefs.org/library/talklo...ini_020799.html , http://www.breedersregistry.org/Art...rini/marini.htm , http://www.reefs.org/library/article/f_marini.html, Good luck Jason, I see some nice and healthy chubby Banggai babies in your future. - Ali> Banggai Cardinal Hi Crew <Howdy> I have a beautiful Banggai Cardinalfish, in a 200 gallon marine reef  tank in the UK. I have no problem with him, other than he makes a 'clicking sound'.  I  have read your articles on the Banggai cardinal fish and I cannot see anywhere,   where is says a clicking noise is made.  Is this usual? <Mmm, no... just requires that folks listen carefully> Perhaps, he/she is asking me to feed him/her? <Maybe... or communicating with other life in the system> I wonder if you could tell me about the clicking noise they make, and what it indicates? I have had the fish for almost 7 months now and he is a very happy fish,  not at all shy.  He has plenty of live rock and places to hide around, but  he is always on display and chases around his smaller Pyjama fish, tank  mates.  He also like to go inside the Malu anemone and plays with the clowns. Thanks for an awesome website. <Welcome> Could you reply to me by email if possible, as I have just had spinal surgery and cannot sit for long at the PC at the moment. Linda <We reply directly to all, as well as post on WWM... Sorry to read of your surgery, Bob Fenner, who tweaked his lumbar area a few weeks back in HI pulling weeds and is still mal-affected> Injured Banggai Died in Quarantine, Now What? >Hi, >>Good morning Kim, Marina here. >I bought two Banggai Cardinal fish last week, and the LFS injured one of the fishes' front dorsal fin when netting.  >>Poor, they should have held the fish for you. >I placed both of them in my 12g QT. The fish seemed okay, but then on Saturday I noticed that its tail fin was rotting off.  >>Mmm.. moved that quickly? >I started treating the QT with Maracyn (sp)... >>Correct. >...on Saturday (removing the activated carbon filters).  >>Good, I would have done the same, though probably would have chosen a different antibiotic, but this is quibbling. >The parameters in the tank on Saturday were: pH=8.2, temp 78F, 1.025 sg, ammonia=0, nitrite=0, nitrate=2.5.  >>Oooo, high nitrate, very high. Water changes are quite necessary in quarantine, copious, large, to keep such levels down. This can and will depress immune systems, adds further stress. >The fish died last night (Sunday). My question is should I continue to treat the tank even if the other fish looks okay (had no injuries during transfer)?  >>If the other is apparently clear, I would discontinue, perform some large water changes, add carbon (and change out after about 24 hours). >Also, I will get another Banggai. Should I wait until this one is done in the QT and transferred to the display or can I add it to the QT after this treatment and partial water change?  >>Knowing that Banggais can be somewhat aggressive with each other, and IF the next one is from the same batch, I would probably place it in the quarantine with the surviving fish. I would prefer to establish them in the display together. Be sure to have plenty of chunks of PVC for hiding places, and do watch carefully for the aforementioned aggression. >Thanks so much for your wonderful site. Kim >>Most welcome, and give 'em hell for selling fish THEY injured (if it were my shop you'd get a credit on that one). Marina Wayward Banggai Hi crew! As always, props on the great site. I've got a quick question about my Banggai Cardinals. I bought 3 Banggais about a year ago. As so often happens, one fell out of favor and was isolated from the other 2. I went downstairs one morning about a week later and there were only 2 left. Fast forward 'til today. I was doing some work on my Iwaki return pump (another question, pump isn't pushing the 2000 gph that it used to, haven't found the cause yet). While working on the pump, I spied a Banggai in the sump among all the extra rock I have down there. I assume that it is the one that was bullied a year ago although I guess that it could be offspring from the remaining two. Finally, a question, should I remove the rock from the sump to catch the isolated Banggai and return it to the show tank? Or would it be wiser to pretend that it doesn't exist and not mess with the peace of the remaining two in the show?  <I would see if I could exchange it for a female. I'm thinking this is another male and that's where hell broke loose. I don't think it is an offspring. Seems hard to believe that only one would make it, but possible. These fish do better in groups of three or more, preferably with only one male in the group. James (Salty Dog)>

- New Banggai Cardinals - Hi, I have a 55 gallon saltwater tank and just got the go ahead from my local store to purchase my first fish. The water sample was good. I purchased 2 peppermint shrimp on 2/3 and put 2 Banggai Cardinals on hold as they were not ready to leave the store until 2/6. The shrimps did great. On 2/6, we picked up the Cardinals and 2 more peppermint shrimps. The 2 new peppermint shrimps died before the evening was up, the 2 cardinals seemed fine and even ate a bit that night when I fed the two original shrimps.  <You probably need to take more time acclimating your invertebrates - they don't do well when the salinity swings drastically and often the salinity at the store is very different from your own tank. I always ask them what the salinity of their tanks is for the animal I have purchased and then adjust my acclimation time accordingly.>   The next morning, I noticed the larger of the Cardinals near the bottom in a hidden spot and breathing heavily. I called the store to tell them of the shrimp dying and to ask about the Cardinal. I took more water in for testing and it turned out to be fine. I was told to keep the lights off for another day and to wait and see. Well, he comes up very occasionally, but is still breathing hard; the other one appears fine and the other shrimps are still fine.  <Do these fish have anywhere to hide? Generally speaking, cardinal fish are timid and when moved from system to system need to be able to "chill" somewhere that seems safe to them.>  He didn't eat this morning, but the other one did. I don't notice any lesions, sores, bumps or anything to suggest an illness, but am concerned I am going to lose another new occupant. Any ideas?  <Give it some time.>  I acclimated them according to the stores recommendation. I am very new to the hobby and could only find that sometimes fish go to the surface and gulp if stressed; mine is at the bottom; he's not sideways, upside down or anything funny.  <They also do this when stressed - similar to people, two identical fish in identical circumstances will often react two different ways.>  The two were swimming nicely together last night after about six hours in a dark tank; both were in the same tank in the store.  <Give it time... sounds like stress which often takes several days to a week to abate.>  Thanks for any help. <Cheers, J -- >

Banggai Cardinals 28 Jan 2005 I'm having bad luck with Banggai cardinals. I have a 16 gal. reef tank that has been running for more than four years. It has a variety of SPS, LPS and softies.  It is equipped with a rear protein skimmer and sump.  I have a gold stripe maroon clown and a Firefish along with a Fromia starfish, scarlet shrimp, and clean up crew.  Since owning the tank I have tried 3 different times to add a Banggai (not with the same fish I currently have), with the same unfortunate resulting death each time.  After introducing them to the tank they have either eaten little or none at all for a couple of days (I have fed them frozen meaty foods). Just when I decide it's time to try feeding them something live they then start to breathe quickly for a couple of more days until eventually dying.  Prior to breathing quickly I have watched at least one of them eating copepods and the others seem to be looking for food in the water column. The most recent fish I purchased a few days ago I selected only after visiting the LFS several times over a 6 week period and each time when the salesperson fed the cardinals they acted uninterested in any food given to them. <I can frankly tell you that a healthy Banggai will chow down on food and jump at both live brine and frozen Mysis.> They have usually been there a week or more before I ask them to try.  The last one I bought did eat but not real aggressively. <I've also seen that they need to have frequent feedings, several times a day; at least as they are becoming established. I asked the store if they were tank raised and was told that unless the sign indicated they were tank raised they are not. <Lots of Banggais are still being imported.> But I thought wild Banggai populations were declining and therefore were not allowed to be harvested anymore. <I have heard this as well but I know for a fact that they are still being imported. Perhaps the areas they are coming from have changed a bit?> I really like this fish and would like to have one but I am reluctant to try again.  Is my experience very common?  I am frustrated because I have read several sites stating that they are a hardy fish but I read in your description of this fish that the success rate "is dismal". Do you have any suggestions I should try in the future or should I look elsewhere? <In my experience, they often do not ship very well and that's the problem that they are having when settling into the store. They do need to be pretty much babied when they arrive and fed quite often a day to get them settled and doing well. I really think you need to only purchase a fish that is going aggressively for the food, and if they are not do NOT purchase it. A fish that doesn't eat for a week is starving to death. One thing that concerns me with your current fish is that I believe if you do find a healthy Banggai that you are going to have a problem with the clownfish out competing the other fish for foods. Good luck, MacL>

Banggai's having their tails eaten? Hey, One of my Banggais was missing a chunk of the gliding tail, the one on the bottom, and I thought it was the bigger Banggai. However, tonight the bigger one was  missing a chunk is missing too. They don't seem to be frightened, what could of caused this. << Other fish in the tank?  Some sort of aggressive crab or shrimp. >> Fighting, but they've bred before. could it be the   flame Hawkfish or more of the orchid Dottyback? << Possible, but I don't think of either as highly aggressive. >> I never seen these kind of problems in the bigger tank with the other Dottybacks and Banggais( there are 4 Dottybacks and 2 Banggais)! << I'd probably just keep an eye on them but wouldn't worry too much. >> I need to know which one to remove... thanks... << Blundell  >>

Acclimating and Preventive Dip Procedures I have your book, The Conscientious Marine Aquarist, and am enjoying all the valuable information it has to offer. I'm expecting a shipment of a school (5) of Banggai Cardinalfish next Tuesday. I have a 20 gallon quarantine tank set up and understand the process of acclimation. I was also considering doing a preventive dip for the fish. I'm confused in wondering if I acclimate the fish first and then do a preventive dip wouldn't this undo the results of the acclimation process. Because I have a quarantine tank maybe I don't need to do the dip? The Cardinalfish will be the first fish placed in a 72 gallon tank with live substrate and 45 lbs. of liverock. Is it safe to place all five fish in at the same time? I appreciate your advise in these matters. Thanks. >> Thank you very much for contacting me re clarification on this matter. I'd do the dip first and then quarantine your Banggais for two weeks. And I would place them all at the same time. This Cardinalfish (family Apogonidae) can be territorial amongst its kind, and putting them in all at once will minimize chances for agonistic behavior. Bob Fenner

Banggai loss Bob, I had a Banggai Cardinalfish which only lasted for 5 days. I could not identify any source of trauma and the fish was eating up until the last day. The only changes I could identify was that my salinity dropped to 16. I only had one of these fish, and someone suggested that death could have been caused by stress due to the fact that it was not  introduced in a school with others of its own kind. Any thoughts on  this? If they do need to be in a school, how many fish constitute this? >> Hmmm, maybe this was an isolated circumstance... like an internal parasite... or...? Have been in the diving and ornamental aquatics interest a very long time (least it seems this way... check with me in a few years, maybe it will seem shorter then), and off to the north of Lombok in Indonesia even and seen Banggai's in the wild. They don't really live as adults in groupings... and have witnessed MANY folks keeping them in captivity solo... But they can be kept in a school, better to have just one larger male (you know the spots on the dorsal fin...), in a small, odd number of individuals (3,5,7).  Bob Fenner

Banggai cardinals I have them in a quarantine tank the only other fish I have in the tank is a Sohal tang it eats all the time the tank has been set up for 3 months no live rock do you think I need to put them in my main tank I have live rock it is a FO tank thanks >> Yes, definitely. Cardinalfishes are already very shy. In a quarantine tank with a boisterous Sohal Tang they're likely very intimidated. Do move them. Bob Fenner Banggai cardinals  I mail ordered 2 Banggai Cardinals 3 weeks ago and I can't get them to eat  my water quality is good I have tried live brine shrimp black worms (live)  and frozen food can you give me any suggestions.  >>  Hmmm, need more clues. What do you have that IS eating? Do you have live rock, live sand? Do the cardinals look like they're getting thin? I'll bet  they're eating stuff at night when you can't see them. Try feeding after the   lights are out. Do you have access to baby livebearers? These fishes mainly eat small crustaceans (like the brine you've been offering) and small  fishes... at night. Bob Fenner

Stocking questions Hello Bob, It's been a while since I've written. Your advice is always great, so I haven't had any problems to write about! But I do have some questions I hope you can help me on again. I have a 125 gal with 160 lbs live rock. My current inhabitants include a blue damsel, percula clown, coral beauty, 2 Banggai cardinals, yellow tang, purple tang, and a few cleaner shrimp, snails, scarlet crabs, and a brittle star. All my fish are happy and eat well. The 2 tangs tussle from time to time, but are usually fine with each other. My first question is about one of the cardinals. I checked the FAQs and couldn't find anything there. One of them always looks great. Nice colors and eats well. The other one looks a bit different, though. The parts of his/her body that are normally white/silver (on these cardinals) always appear to be a very dark gray, almost black sometimes. However, at feeding time, he darts around for food, and his color comes back. You can't even tell the two apart when they're eating. But, when the food is gone, the one turns dark again. I keep thinking he is sick, but he's been this way for about a month. Isn't breathing heavy, always eats, never gets picked on (that I can see). Any ideas? <Yes, one is sub-dominant, likely both are males, and the smaller, weaker one is signaling its subdominance by changing its color, and likely by its behavior> Like I mentioned earlier, everyone else in the tank looks great. I soak all food in vitamins at least 3 times a week. I also wanted to ask your opinion on my stocking options. There are three more fish I would love to have in this tank: a Naso tang, a bi-color blenny, and a flame angel. Do you think that three tangs in a 125 is too many?  <The Naso will get quite large here, in time. The Blenny and Angel are better choices, s/b fine> I think the Naso is the only one I have worries about adding. Please let me know what you think. It is always good to hear your thoughts. Thanks much in advance! <You're welcome my friend. Be chatting. Bob Fenner> Jason

Missing Banggai Cardinalfish Hey there again, just trying to keep my queries separated. <Appreciate this> OK, new issue. My Banggai Cardinal simply vanished!! I've been looking all over the tank for him and he is gone. He stopped eating for a while but this was following what appeared to be a mating ritual with (what I thought was) his partner. The larger one, I think to be the male, is the one that is missing. Is this guy really missing, or just hiding out before he "belches" out a bunch of fry from his mouth?  <Don't usually hide that much... Very likely either jumped out (any smiling cat cats about?), or died and was quickly consumed or decomposed...> I'm scared that he may be lost and can potentially foul the tank. How long should I wait to not see him before I panic?  <No panic necessary, warranted. Look about the outside of the tank, amongst the decor/rock... keep an eye on your tests for ammonia...> And when I say panic, I'll take apart the reef in an attempt to find him if it means keeping the rest of the stock. In other strange disappearance news, my Scott's Wrasse that I told you about earlier has been acting strange. Is it possible that he is being bullied by my two tangs? (Kole and Indian Ocean Hippo)  <Maybe> Every time that he goes to settle to hide out (if he is spooked) one of the tangs will rush to the area behind the rock and flush him out.  <You likely need more "caves", nooks and crannies... some "blind" (with no opening in their back> I like it because it keeps him into he open. But now, after he's been in the tank for about a week, he is GONE about 3 hours before the lights turn off. Also, Recently I caught him belching out brown material, he looked not so good. . . Like the Cardinal, we have searched everywhere and cannot find him every three hours before the lights go off. . . What gives? <Hiding... probably in the substrate/gravel... to avoid the Tangs, possibly you... No worries though... will learn to come out in time> For your reference our light cycle is as follows: ON --> Actinic 2:30 PM Daylight 3:30 PM Off --> Daylight 11:30 Actinic 12:30 AM Thanks so much, Separate query on the way! <Can't wait. Bob Fenner>

Help, I got baby Cardinals Holy Mackerel, I got baby Banggai Cardinals. <Congrats!> I looked in my tank this morning and there they were. I new something was up because the male wasn't eating and had his mouth full. I moved them to my 30 gallon newly established refugium. What do I feed them to keep them healthy and alive. What a fantastic surprise. I just want to do what's best for the babies. <Hmm, an assortment of live foods of mouth size would be best... freshwater or marine in origin is fine. And do ask on the various listservs for folks opinions who have actually "been there, done that"... like the knew svc. through WWM: http://talk.wetwebfotos.com/ Bob Fenner> Thanks Bob Your reefing friend Rick

Banggai Cardinalfish Hi Bob, Is it ok to add a small school of Banggai Cardinalfish to my 180 gal FOWLR setup which contains large, non-predatory-yet-aggressive eaters such as tangs? I'm worried that the shy nature of the cardinals might put them at serious disadvantage when feeding time rolls around.  Thanks in advance, Dan <Due to the size, shape of your 180, and the fact that, though they look like "creampuffs", these Cardinals are far from this, I give you good odds in housing a small group here. As long as their food offerings include sinking, zooplanktonic food items they should be able to get their share. A proviso to have plenty of cover, and not too-small fish to start with (3/4" or larger). Bob Fenner>

Captive bred Banggais Hi Bob, I've been trying my hand at breeding Banggai Cardinals. I have posted a log with all the pertinent information at <A HREF="http://www.users.qwest.net/~mkm4/Banggais.html">Banggai Log</A> . If you have time, please take a look and tell me what you think. <Very nice work... both the "doing" of the Banggai culture and your site, relating of "how you did it"... > Is there anything I could have done differently, and does the plan for the next batch sound better? <Hmm, not really "better"... as in nothing succeeds like success. Maybe give a read over at "The Breeder's Registry", link on our Links pages if you can't find it... about other acct.s with this species of Apogonids, and offer your link to them as well...> Thanks in advance for your help! Kathy p.s. I like the new format on the WWM site! <Thank you. Have sent this msg. to Mike's, he's the function and looks side (thank goodness) to WWM. Bob Fenner>

Banggai cardinal Dear Mr. Fenner, I'm still in a state of total flabbergast! About a month ago I had a nice Banggai cardinal (Big Daddy) that took a gulp of food, did three seconds of somersaults and died!!!! I could think of no other reason except my home made food (your recipe), which was a long shot. I threw the rest of that batch out and started over. I reported this on a web forum and nobody had a clue. Well, this morning about 30 seconds after I fed (Brine shrimp plus and pellets), another Banggai did the same thing. Only this time it recovered after a few minutes and seems fine now. WHAT'S GOING ON? Thanks, Linda <Bizarre! Maybe they're choking? Perhaps your tank has some other "eager eaters" that are conditioning your Banggai Cardinals to gulp their rations? Try smaller food items... less competitive tankmates? Bob Fenner>

Banggai cardinals death Dear Mr. Fenner, I wrote to you last week concerning my Banggais that would take a bite of food, then apparently choke and spiral out of control to the bottom of the tank. Here's my experience that I'd like to share with you. When this occurred the first time a couple of months ago, it really looked like the fish choked. It took a bite of food and spiraled out of control and died. The second time (that I wrote you about), it happened shortly after feeding and I assumed the same thing happened. Three days later I find a dead cardinal in the tank--not the one that had previously "choked". My husband and I had decided to buy another cardinal since they look so pretty as a pair. But this morning when I got up, I checked the hospital tank first, then turned around in time to see the remaining cardinal spiraling to the bottom. I tried to revive him without success. I had not fed any of the tanks yet. Since I had planned to try raising these fish, I have a few web pages bookmarked. A couple of articles on breeding mention this phenomenon occurring in the fry, particularly after feeding. If the fish is squirted with the turkey baster it will (usually) recover. If left alone it will die. I have lost four adult Banggai cardinals in the past 3 months; one because it was "odd man out" and I didn't remove it soon enough, and three from terminal seizures. These fish have come from different sources, 2 locally, and 2 internet (Aquacon). If others are having this experience, it might be a problem to address. In the meantime, no more Banggais for us, even though they are really cool fish. Sincerely, Linda Kuehn <Interesting, and still frightening... I wonder if a lack of dissolved oxygen could be at play here... since you mention the revival with a turkey baster... Do you have sufficient aeration, circulation in this system. Anyone with a D.O. meter, test kit you could use? Bob Fenner>

Re: Banggai cardinals death Dear Mr. Fenner, Thank you for your quick reply. Oxygen saturation is something to consider. Using the turkey baster, I mostly prodded the fish rather than blew water onto it, however, even reviving it that way suggests it might not be getting enough O2. <Agreed> Here's my set up in this tank. It's a 40 gallon, 36 " long, 15 " tall. I have two Penguin bio-wheel filters, one at each end, and a protein skimmer (not great, but adequate). One medium size live rock and several not live, and lots of Caulerpa. (I grow it for my tangs in the big tank). Here's something I was wondering about. There are large bubbles on one of the rocks on the left hand side. I can knock the bubbles off, but more just form. Could this be an indication of lack of O2 due to poor circulation? <Yes, perhaps... the available low oxygen and possibly related higher carbon dioxide may be fostering enhanced photosynthesis...> Can you suggest a remedy? Thanks, Linda Kuehn <Yes, certainly. Do add a long airstone (with pump, tubing, check valve) along the inside edge of the tank... and/or powerheads with intake lines to blow air and water together... Mix your water up in all directions... practically speaking, there cannot be too much water circulation. Bob Fenner>

Banggai cardinals? I'm interested in setting up a species tank dedicated to Banggai cardinals.  The set up would consist of 125 gal aquarium 100lbs of live rock, fluidized bed, Berlin H.O skimmer and 4 48" fluorescent lights. My question would be if I purchased a large shoal of them say 20-30 would fighting break out or would they live in a school peacefully with the possibility of breeding or would it be a disaster? My last question would be should I add dither fish such as Chromis or something in that nature. Thanks Bob >> A grouping of ten or so would be fine... no fighting... and they would/will breed, little doubt. Yes to dither fish... to add excitement for you as well... And maybe some soft corals... and Xeniids... and.... Bob Fenner

Banggai old with new Unfortunately, one of our two Banggai Cardinals died this weekend. I would like to replace it with another, as I have been told that cardinals do better in pairs or in small schools. Would you recommend adding one or two, if any at all, and do I need to worry about conflict with the existing cardinal? Should the size of the potential tank inhabitants be taken into consideration? Thanks, Mitch  >> Some Cardinal species (family Apogonidae) are more social by far than the Banggai... especially when young/small... but I need to know how big your system is, and as you suggest what the other species and their sizes are... If it were up to me, and the tank was under 80 gallons, I'd just stick with the one... If it is one hundred or more gallons, and the other livestock are not terribly aggressive... you would do best adding two more...  Bob Fenner

Cyanided cardinal??? Bob, A quick question for you, and a bit of a mystery to me. One week ago today, I purchased 4 Banggai Cardinals. Unfortunately, they have not fared as well as my other livestock, and from their behavior/mortality rate, I was wondering if you feel there may be a possibility they were collected via cyanide techniques, and if so, if there is a way of saving the remaining specimen(s). Within 12 hours of placement, 1 perished. A couple of days ago, a second one died mysteriously, and now a third is laying on the bottom, leaning against a rock and "gasping" (rapid/exaggerated mouth and gill movement). All four specimens have been extremely lethargic during the time I've had them... even at night. So much so that when showing the new acquisition to a family member they thought there were plastic fish hanging in the tank. All other livestock is doing well (fishwise: 3 damsels, 2 yellow tangs, 1 scooter blenny, 1 clown, 1 pink Pseudochromis) in a 90 Gallon reef. All invertebrates/corals are fine as well. All tank measurements/parameters are fine. I'm figuring the "gasper" is probably beyond being saved and will die within the next few hours. Is there anything I can do for him, or the only remaining "healthy" specimen?  <Unusual... I agree... considering the size of your system, the other livestock... that they don't seem to be acting strangely... I think there may well be "something" wrong with these Cardinalfishes... in their transport, acclimation... But not cyanided... almost all are captive produced... and the ones in the wild are not hard to hand collect... no need for poisons in their capture> In the 5 months the tank has been set up, outside of the "starters" I've only lost 1 other fish, and I hate it when it happens. My wife ends up naming all of the fish, and cries when they die. Any thoughts to saving the remaining cardinal? Could these have been collected via cyanide (suspicious after reading section in TCMA)? <Again, not at all likely... have you talked with your supplier? Others who bought fish from this "batch"?> Thanks again for your help... past/present/future. <You are welcome my friend. Bob Fenner> Matt

Re: Hey Bob ;) (Banggai Cardinals) OK, Bubble Tip Anemone and a Banggai Cardinal (Pterapogon kaudneri) Is there a chance that a Banggai Cardinal will take to a Bubble Tip Anemone? <Mmm not really... as in purposely touching.> He is almost always by him and at times even gets sort of "stung" by him every now and again. . . He is almost always right next to him (I mean, like, only a millimeter away from him).  <They do hang around dangerous animals to avoid predation. See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cardinal.htm> If a Chromis comes near the Anemone he chases him away. Needless to say, the Tomato Clown that I just got goes not where near the anemone, at least not when the Cardinal is by it. . . Any clues? Oh yeah, the web page just keeps getting better and better. <Yes. Thanks. Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Rich

More Questions about Feeding <<JasonC here...>> I just got a small Banggai Cardinal and on WetWebMedia it said they need more meaty foods. What do you recommend? Pygmy Angel Formula goes in there for my Flame and so do Brine Shrimp. Anything else that would be good to buy? <<Mysis shrimp. Mix that up with those two and your cardinal will be fine. Cheers, J -- >>

Re: more feeding <<Hello, JasonC here...>> I read on the FAQ's that Male Banggai Cardinals are the ones with white spots on their dorsal fin. But I have noticed that they have two dorsal fins. My Banggai has spots on the second dorsal fin in succession, but nothing on the first dorsal fin. Is it male or female. Thanks <<It's my understanding that this means for sexing the Banggai is not that precise, so half the time you would be wrong based on this ID. Were you thinking of breeding or just curious. If your cardinal is old enough, you can do a non-scientific sexing by dropping a second cardinal... if your first one tries to kill the second one, they are the same sex. How's that? Cheers, J -- >>

(Sexing Banggai Cardinals) << <<It's my understanding that this means for sexing the Banggai is not that precise, so half the time you would be wrong based on this ID. Were you thinking of breeding or just curious. If your cardinal is old enough, you can do a non-scientific sexing by dropping a second cardinal... if your first one tries to kill the second one, they are the same sex. How's that? Cheers, J -- >> >> That works, I guess one would become dominant and the other may change color to black too. <<Ahh, ok then - good enough. Cheers, J -- >>

Banggai Cardinals Hello again, Bob... First off, let me say that I am really jealous about your upcoming trip to Taveuni...the one in Fiji?  <Yes, the "Garden Isle"> We honeymooned in Fiji two years ago. It was our first dive trip after certification. Strange weather front, rocky seas (really scary kind) but what little diving we got in was fantastic. Anyway, say "hi" to those beautiful reefs for me. <Will do so> We're looking into taking another dive trip next spring/early summer. Any ideas for the Caribbean (we've been to Cayman twice in the past year, looking for something else this time)? <All sorts... Bonaire, Cancun/Cozumel, the Virgins have about the most consistent clear water... but the Sandals Resorts on Antigua, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Turks/Caicos... all-inclusives are very nice (two dives a day generally is all) for couples... What do you want to see? Big animals, topography, shore-based attractions? Have you been to Belize?> Hoping to have a week to spend somewhere nice with good diving. Now for the real question...I would love to have a mated pair of Banggai Cardinals for my 75-gallon reef tank (so far, inhabited by a lone bicolor blenny on the fish side). However, I'm having a difficult time locating tank-raised specimens, much less in Dallas, TX. Any ideas on how I could acquire these fish? <Should be available most any/everywhere. I'd check with your local fish shops and marine club/s: http://www.dfwmas.com/ The Dallas/Ft. Worth Club is hosting the next MACNA... they surely have members who have tank-bred Banggais... Contact them. Bob Fenner>  Thanks again for all of your help... Kind regards, Misty Johnson

Re: Banggai Cardinals Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. RE Diving...haven't been to Belize but have heard good things. So far, have only been to Cayman and Fiji. One year, I'd love to hit Turks/Caicos in Feb or March to see the whale migration. As far as diving, haven't seen anything really big (tarpon is about the biggest, and a huge grouper). As I get more into reef-keeping, I think I'll appreciate the little things more (just like a big window shopping trip!). <Agreed. Fellow divers and their staffs often comment that they can't believe (perhaps understand) how little apparent area I investigate per dive... Am so fascinated with how much is in one area, down to as small as I can appreciate is there, going on...> So right now, I'm pretty much a blank slate. We're not big "sit on the beach" people, so diving fits us pretty well. Wouldn't mind some land hiking either. Good food is a plus as well. <Do consider, look over options in Belize... many good airline flights out to there from TX... folks speak English (better than anywhere else), the Mayan ruins are spectacular... much else to see/do. Maybe Caye Caulker, Tenerife... or down to Placentia, or simply where more than half the folks visiting go, to Ambergris Caye/San Pedro... the Hol Chan preserve and environs...> Anyway, I inquired at the last DFWMAS meeting and plan to ask again this month (supposed to be the 21st, but not sure when they will reschedule due to Thanksgiving). Anyway, will you be attending MACNA next year in Dallas? Would love to meet you if you're around. <I'd like to... will have to see if the committee there wants me to come out to give a pitch (seems MACNA can only take me every other year or so!). Chat with you soon. Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Misty

Banggai Cardinalfish Hey Bob, Long time reader, first time writer. <welcome my friend... Anthony Calfo in your service. Bob is still in Indonesia> I'm trying to set up my first saltwater community tank. It has been up and running for about 2 months now. The tank is ~82 gallons with an extra 20 gallons of water in the sump. It is powered by a pump running at about 1000 gph and filtered with filter pads and 5 gallons of bioballs. It is also equipped with a Berlin turbo classic protein skimmer. There are also a few powerheads in the tank for current. This was originally going to be a predatory tank, so the flow was kept quite high. <very wise... keeping the heavy or increased load of solids in suspension for skimmers and filters> After the predatory tank turned out to be a little too predatory (resulting in attacks and death of a bicolor goatfish from a snowflake moray of all species), I decided to go community. I really enjoy cardinals, Banggai in particular. I'm also partial to pajamas as well.  I am fully aware that I can only have one male Banggai cardinal in a tank this size. I would like to get a male and female pair IF I can figure out how to sex them.  <no worries... they are fairly conspicuous once mature. Large buccal cavity, larger pectoral fins with more spots, extended soft dorsal rays>> Would this male be aggressive to a group of say 5 pajama cardinals, as they would to other Banggai?  <yes... quite likely> I would like to avoid any problems this time before they actually happen. Thanks for your help, Dave <best regards, Anthony>

R.O device, Banggai Cardinals Hi Bob, > <I use a two hundred dollar unit from Home Depot... this is what I suggest  you get> I bought one yesterday. I'll try to get it hooked up soon. <Ah, good. Make it known if you'd like some help> Here is an article I found on the Banggai Cardinalfish. A few years ago, someone at the reef club said they where being over fished. http://www.animalnetwork.com/fish2/aqfm/1999/july/eq/default.asp <Thank you for this. Will post on WWM. Bob Fenner> Cheers, Madison

Colonel Green in the Kitchen with the Wrench Hi JasonC aka Bob Fenner! <<hi...>> Quick question: I came home from work today, and found that Luigi, our Banggai Cardinal had died. At first I thought he had been eaten by my Hawkfish (as per your warning yesterday), but looking around the tank, I noticed that he was wedged between some pieces of live rock at the bottom of the tank. (And actually, the Hawkfish doesn't seem to be attacking any of the other residents, and gladly eats the foods I'm providing. As you also said, he's a beautiful fish!) I tried to get Luigi, but only wound up shoving him farther into the crack, and now (some 8 hours later), that's where he lies. #1 Do you think the rest of my aquarium will find a way to use him up without hurting anything, or should I take of my shirt, stand on a ladder, reach way down in and get 'em out? In my 2-month old, 150 gal reef, I have a Mithrax crab, many hermits and snails, a maroon serpent star, a sand sifting star, a coral banded shrimp, a red scooter blenny, a blood red hawk, a yellow tang, a Solomon island damsel, a pajama cardinal, and an ocellaris clown fish. <<oh, for certain... you just may have to stare at the corpse as it goes away, but most definitely, your tank will take care of it. Do you have a protein skimmer? This would help keep the water from becoming fouled - perhaps run some activated carbon.>> #2 (sorry my questions are multiplying!). What could have caused his untimely death. He had been eating ok... with a decent mixture of good quality flakes, slow sinking meaty pellets, daily prime reef frozen mix, frozen brine shrimp, and chopped up frozen scallop. I alternate soaking some of the food in either garlic or Selcon, or just putting it in plain. Also, I have seaweed selects red & green available to him on a lettuce clip. He hadn't been showing any signs of harassment, and was fairly good size (maybe 2.5"). He had been resident in my tank for just over a week. My water looks good, as follows: SG = 1.0225, Temp = 76.5F, pH = 8.2, Alk = 3.2, Ammonia = 0, Nitrite = .1 or .2, Nitrate = .4 or .5, Calcium = 350. <<hard to say without a postmortem look under a microscope. If not tank raised, it could have been the collective traumas of collection, but these things are hard to know for certain. Did you/do you use/have a quarantine system where you might isolate newcomers before they enter the show system to help identify problems like this? If not, think about setting one up and doing this next time. It will save much anguish. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm >> Thanks so much! for your ongoing assistance. Jim Raub <<my pleasure. Cheers, J -- >>

Baby Banggais! Help! My Banggai cardinal's spawned. <Congrats!> The tank is a 29gallon reef with 2 Perculas, 2 cleaner shrimp and a royal Gramma. What do I do? how long will they stay in the male's mouth? I was planning on setting up a 10g tank for the male. Any help will be appreciated. <Well, generally, young Banggais are released at around 21-25 days, at which time they can begin to feed on items such as brine shrimp nauplii (ok, not the most nutritious food, but if the nauplii are fed Selcon or other supplements, passable for a while), rotifers, copepods Mysis, etc. Many who have bred these fish advise dividing up the brood into smaller groups as they begin to feed, as some youngsters will dominate the others and prevent them from feeding properly. I have not experienced this- but it may make sense. Ideally, the young fish should be in their own aquarium, as you planned. Do a search on the wetwebmedia.com site for more information on the breeding and rearing of these cool fish! Best of luck to you! Regards, Scott F>

Baby Banggai Cardinalfish I wrote Steven Pro a week ago about my baby Banggai Cardinals, and hatching baby brine. <I remember.> He suggested getting Cyclop-eeze which I did at a good chunk of cash (that stuff is not cheap). <There is an old expression, "Good things are seldom cheap and cheap things are seldom good."> My question is now that I have it, I have tried to feed it to them and they go for it at first but then look past it. <Banggais are known to be very finicky.> I want to know what you guy's think about how to get them to eat that and get away from nauplii cause the nutrition data on the Cyclops-eeze is way better then anything I have ever seen on any brine nauplii. <And so much more convenient.> How should I go about getting them to switch from on to the other? <I would try feeding both at the same time. Hopefully, in their frenzy they will be less discriminating.> Any suggestions would be great. So far 14 hatched and 14 still living and getting bigger. <Great! So, when should that article be coming our way for posting on www.WetWebMedia.com?> Thanks, James Wesley <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Breeding Cardinals Just wanted to write and say thanks to Steven Pro. I wrote a few weeks ago about my Banggai Cardinals breeding and he gave me the idea of a mock urchin for the tank to get the fry out of the main reef tank. It worked well and now I have 14 new Cardinals swimming and eating in a grow out tank. They are cuter then the pics I have seen of them, quite interesting to see them school around the tooth picks of the mock sea urchins. I am now feeding them newly hatched brine shrimp nauplii fed with phytoplankton and fine filter food. I have two batches of brine going daily so they don't get large enough to diminish there nutrient quality. <All very good. Perhaps try some Cyclop-eeze. It is a newer product that is supposed to be a good alternative to hatching brine shrimp. It comes frozen and freeze dried from Argent Laboratories. I would still keep the brine shrimp going until you are sure the babies are eating enough of this stuff, but it could make your life a lot easier.> Thanks again Steven, James Wesley <You are quite welcome. Please consider recording your work and observations in the hopes of writing something to help others. -Steven Pro>

Cardinal Rules Mr. Fenner, <Scott F. this morning!> I just bought my first fish for my tank!! Yeahhh!! Anyway it was a Banggai cardinal. The tank is a 20 long with 25lbs of live rock. It has two powerheads on it each rated at 145g/h. From reading your FAQs on them it seems they can be some trouble, is this really the case?  <Like any fish, they appreciate high water quality, proper diet, and non-aggressive tankmates, but they are usually great aquarium fish> After acclimating it under just a little ambient lighting from the room, and tank lighting off I turned up the room lights a bit and gave it a little brine shrimp which it took a few pieces (5-10 shrimp). I know it may have been stressed so I was happy with him taking anything. After that I left it go to get used to its new home. Is that much circulation too much for it? Will it be ok to just hovering there during the day with all that current, however there is a few slower moving parts?  <That should be fine, as long as there are quiet areas and nooks and crannies for him to retreat to once in a while> My other question is this: I've read they eat copepods or in other words the critters that crawl about on the live rock. I have two peppermint shrimp, and a fire cleaner, which also share these meaty delights too if I'm correct. Will my 20 gallon tank with 25lbs of live rock be able to supply enough of these critters? Exactly what are these little things, shrimp? They are whitish and have little antennae.  <Sound like amphipods, and they are a nice supplement to the fish's diet. However, it's unlikely that you have a sufficient population of these creatures in your tank for your fish to gain all of his nutrition from. You should continue to feed appropriate foods ( frozen Mysis, "formula" foods, finely chopped seafoods, etc.) to your fish as the bulk of his diet.> And lastly how can I sex the cardinal without being able to compare it to others of its type? <Tough to do- the most reliable indicator seems to be the larger size of the males, which is not much help when you just have one!> Thanks, Mike <Good luck, Mike-and enjoy this great fish!>

Re: Banggai Cardinalfish (update) Anthony (and Bob, etc.), <Cheers!> Thanks for your advice on the Banggai's. Because of your help, I was able to understand that many marine fish don't just dislike others of the same species, but others of similar shape as well. <great to hear> Well, the LFS finally put up some Banggai cardinals once they were acclimated to the store. I went in thinking about everything that I've read and heard so far, but ended up walking out with a male and two females. You were right, they were easy to sex. I knew for a fact that two males would not work, but I thought a 1:2 trio might. The male and one female immediately paired up. Twenty hours later, the lone female joined the group quietly. Twenty four hours after adding them to the quarantine tank, the previously lone female was white and floating in the top near the canister filter return. This is exactly where your web page noted you'd find harassed Banggai's.  <yes... paired cardinals can be aggressive especially in smaller vessels like QT> I managed to put her in an acrylic box in the quarantine tank. She survived until morning and looked spectacular. Instead of tempting fate, I sold her back to the store. <very wise> Later that day, I found the other female in the exact same place! I couldn't believe it. I tried separating her too, but she died, unfortunately. While the male was eating frozen brine shrimp well, this female never ate under my care. It is possible that she was stressed about the move and it had nothing to do with the male.  <yes... very possible> I decided not to push my luck by forcing another cardinal in there, even if it may have worked. I never saw any visible aggression by the male. <it often occurs at night> Your advice was right on track the entire time. Thanks and I'm sure I'll pick your brain soon again. Dave <best regards, Anthony>

Hello WWM crew (Banggais, Phony Echinoids, Mandarin Worries) Hey Bob and fellas, I have a breeding pair of Banggai's in my reef tank this is the third time now they have bred but the last few times I had a Coral beauty that would harass the male till he would spit out the eggs or swallow him. So you know what I had to do (say bye coral beauty). I didn't flush him, just sold him to a buddy. This is the first time that they have breed since. I have done a lot of reading on this subject. I do not want to remove the male from the tank cause of all the liverock (35-40 lbs.) in my tank this would cause more stress on him and the other inhabitants then what I am willing to do. I have a continuous culture of brine shrimp nauplii going at all times that I dose the tank with 3 times a week. I read that they will eat brine nauplii right away and this is one of the better foods to grow them out on till they can eat Mysis shrimp. I do not feed my fish or corals adult brines imp. Should I go out and pick up a Longspine sea urchin for the young or catch what I can when they are born and put them into another tank. <From the sounds of it, I am guessing your tank is kind of small, due to 35-40 pounds of rock. A long spine urchin could quickly become a problem in anything under 55 gallons. It would end up being difficult to put your hand in there for routine maintenance. I would consider making a surrogate urchin for the babies out of underwater epoxy and tooth picks. I think it was Martin Moe that showed how to do this in a SeaScope article. It is pretty simple and supposedly works well to cluster the young and facilitate removal.> I just don't want to destroy my tank trying to catch him plus then run the risk of having him spit out the eggs and or swallowing them. What do you guy's think is the best way to go about it without catching him. By the way I have a RedSea Sailfin tang, Goldstripe Maroon Clown and a Mandarin fish <I do not like to see a Mandarin in with 35-40 pounds of rock. Very likely it will starve in time.> that are also in this tank. Love the site as always keep up the good work. Thanks, James Wesley <Good luck! -Steven Pro>

Re: Chubby Mandarin, Faux Urchin, Luck O' the Irish Hey thanks for the idea of a fake urchin never thought of that. <You are welcome. I was trying to find the Moe article, but found this instead http://www.breeders-registry.gen.ca.us/Articles/v4_i4_marini/marini.htm> As far as the Mandarin fish goes he is fat as heck eating the pods in the tank. He will also will eat frozen Mysis shrimp. I have had him for about 2 years he was about an 1 1/2 inch when I first bought him now he's about 3 inches. Very cool fish one of my favorites. Yea my tank is a 40 long I went with the idea of 1 pound of rock per gallon a lot of the rock although is in large show size chunks. I bought the Mandarin fish cause there was so many pods that I had to have something for control of the population of them. <You are truly the exception to the rule. Please try to pinpoint how you are able to keep such a large population of pods in such a small tank and write up something for both or publication and for pay magazines. Plus, if memory serves you had a Tang, Dwarf Angel (subsequently removed), a pair of Cardinalfish, and a Clownfish. This tank is certainly not wanting for predators of pods.> Once again thanks for the idea and the quick response and as always keep up the good work. <And you keep up the good work. Please also understand that we answer questions both for the questioner and the readers of our webpage. Many times we mention something that has nothing to do with you or your question, but specifically for our readers. -Steven Pro>

Cardinal not eating (02/25/03) Dear Friends <Hello! Ananda here today....> I recently purchased a Banggai cardinal to complete my aquarium stock- 5 fish -yellow tang, royal Gramma, percula clown, coral beauty, the tank is 35 gall. <You'll need a larger tank for that yellow tang...they do like to have quite a bit of swimming space. So does the coral beauty, for that matter, even though it is a smaller fish.> All fish are healthy and eating well but the cardinal, I have tried tiny pellets, flakes, chopped shrimp but it does not seem interested in any, please help. <I would try chopped marine fish and other crustaceans. If none of those work, you might try live brine to get him to eat. It is possible he is stressed in this somewhat-crowded tank.> Thanks Roy  Halford <You're welcome. --Ananda>

Cardinal Solo? I would really like a Banggai Cardinal for my 50 SW.  However, I know this is a schooling fish and only have room for one.  Will a single Banggai do o.k., or will the lack of schooling stress it out? <Not particularly. I have seen them kept successfully in groups in larger aquariums. The problem in groups is that one or more of the fish will "fall out of favor" with the "alpha" fish, resulting in the individual being subjected to constant harassment, which can lead to. well- you get the picture! One will do just fine! Good luck Regards, Scott F>

Cardinal Fish Hello, I would like to know if the Banggai or spotted cardinal fish is the easiest overall to keep. <This fish is very hardy, but so are many others.> I have heard that the lights should be kept off most of the time with these fish as they are nocturnal. <I have not heard this.> Is this true?   <I have not heard this, but wouldn't they just come out when the lights are off?> Also, is it better to get a pair of three?   <Depends on the tank size and other inhabitants.> Thank You. <Take care James, Don> James

Banggai Cardinal & LTA Oh ye knowers of all fishy things! First off, Bob, it was great meeting & chatting with you at Aquatic Gallery the other weekend.  Lots of fun, and a bunch of knowledge passed on too. <Great fun!> I recently acquired 4 baby Banggai Cardinalfish from a hobbyist who's fortunate to get them to breed in her tank.  In the past week, I'd lose 1, then another, and last night, I found the culprit, my Sally Lightfoot crab has been putting the snatch on them!  Poof, off to the sump with that dude!  My remaining Banggai has decided to take up residence in the tentacles of my long tentacle anemone.  I know that they reside in & amongst the spines of urchins as babies, but I've never heard of one living with an anemone. <Indeed they do.... Have some very nice pix of them together in the Lembeh Strait (N.E. Sulawesi, Indo.)> This LTA has a pretty strong sting.  The tentacles will stick to my finger if I bump into one, so needless to day, I'm a bit concerned about the Banggai. I've chased it out twice, and it runs right back in.   Have you ever heard of this?   Thanks, Neil <Enjoy my friend. Those Pterapogon know what they're doing. Bob Fenner>

- Banggai Cardinals - Hi Crew, I have a 180 gallon FOWLR aquarium and I would like to add three Banggai Cardinals.  My concern is with the existing inhabitants (Powder Blue Tang, Hippo Tang, Yellow Tang, Purple Tang, Kole Tang, Foxface Lo, pr. of Maroon Clowns, Diamond Goby).  I have read that these slow, peaceful fish might be stressed by constantly-swimming fish such as tangs. <Potentially... although I'd be worried about stress in general with that mix of tangs.> What is you opinion - would a small group of Banggai Cardinals be happy and healthy in such an aquarium (provided ample hiding space / Live Rock) or is this a potential disaster in the making? <With or without the cardinal fish, I'd be worried you may already have a disaster in the making. That mix of tangs has me worried.> Thank you for your advice! -- Greg <Cheers, J -- >

"High fin cardinals" Hello again,  a LFS in the area has some cardinal fish, that look exactly like the Pterapogon kaudneri.  They are selling them at less than half the cost I usually see them for. <many people are captive raising them and they have come down on price a ton>   The only thing is that they are calling them "high fin cardinals".  They look exactly like the Banggai cardinal as I stated above that they are commonly called in my book.  Are the "high fin cardinal" and the Banggai cardinal one in the same? <yes common name>   Is there a difference I should look for to differentiate the two?  They look exactly like the Banggai that I have come to know and love and would like to buy a few if possible.  How many should I buy at the same time if they are one and the same?  I understand that to place them in an aquarium you must put them in in groups?  Is that correct to ensure that they will survive?  Or is there a specific number that would be best?  3?  5?  or does it matter? <Unless you want to make a mated pair I would only add 1 some times you can get away with 2.If you add 3,4,5,6 they will pair up like clowns do, and fight with each other. Most of the time until the other ones dies Good luck Mike H>   Thanks again for your help, Jeff

Pairing up Highfin cardinals Hello, <HI> yes I would like to have a mated pair.  How do you tell them apart or do they change sexes like clownfish do? <You can't tell them apart and no they do not.>   <<Actually... can be sexed at size. RMF>> Anthias as well? <really depends on what kind of Anthias (most of the time the males are different from females> Should I add 3 to my tank and see what happens?  Thanks for any help, Jeff <the best way I have found is to take 5,(better odds of getting males and females) put them in a tank together and you will start to notice over time, that 2 will start to hang out together all the time. you will also notice them chasing the other ones all the time. remove the ones they are chasing and you have you self a pair. Good luck MikeH>

Feeding a Banggai cardinal - 11/10/03 Hello,   I hope all is well. I have a question. A friend of mine asked me to adopt a Banggai Cardinalfish (Pterapogon kaudneri ).  He purchased him but was getting picked on in his tank. Obviously, I accepted him so he would not die. But it does put me at a crossroad. My current list of fish are: Ocellaris Clown (Amphiprion ocellaris ) Pacific Blue Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus ) Foxface (Siganus (Lo) vulpinus ) My problem is feeding. <Well, the Banggai Cardinal would never cross paths with any of its fellow inhabitants.> I use flake food with Nori two to three times a week. I have researched this species and have concluded that they do not fair well on flake food and will essentially starve. <Well, most likely anyway.> It looks like he needs meat baby! <More or less. He needs mysids more aptly. Brine is not a suitable alternative unless gut loaded (and I mean gut loaded) with phyto foodstuffs> I have been thinking of trying other foods but I have not due to everything has been doing fine on flake for so long and as they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it! <Well I believe it is broke as you have a fish that will not accept flake, right?> Well, with my new addition, I think it broke. <Ahhhhh. Right you are!!> Do you have any suggestions on what to feed all my fish? <Have looked on our information and FAQs regarding this fish? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cardinal.htm and do search with your favorite search engine for information regarding this animal. Take a look at the various forums for acclimating this fish to new foods.>  I'm kind of lost now and am in need of your guidance. Should I mix it up with different foods?? <Absolutely. Should be doing that anyway. Banggai's will often take frozen mysids.> If so, what or how often? <Mysids would be a good start maybe brine just to get the feeding response. Thaw them slowly in a bit of the tank water. Feed your other fish first with whatever it is they eat, then try to feed the Banggai. He is a slow eater and not aggressive so be sure he is not scared away from the feeding process by the other fishes aggressive behavior. Try to get these guys to eat at least once a day but it is preferable to have them eating twice a day. You're well on your way. Good luck. -Paul> Just trying to give a fish a happy and healthy home, <This is hopefully what we all are striving for> Jason P.S. I'm not smart enough to know those fancy scientific names (I'm just a simple  Alabama boy), I just copied and pasted off of your website. <Well, good enough, Jason. You are making the attempt and that is what counts!!>

Bizarre Buckaroo Bonsai Banggai! >Hello Bob & Crew: >>Hello, O! Owner of odd ones. >This may be unusual but I just purchased a pair of Banggai Cardinal fish (about 11/2 to 2") and they are obsessed with my BTA (6 to 8").  The anemone doesn't seem to be stinging them (they go right into it sometimes) but I'm a little concerned.    >>Yes, they're clearly completely whacked.  Nothing you can do about it now, you've got crazy fish.  J/K.. though I'm not familiar with cardinals of any species hosting anemones, I do know that Clownfishes are not the only fish that will host anemones, and I have seen pics of Banggais schooling around Longspine urchins.  As long as they're not being stung (and subsequently eaten), then I would enjoy the mystery. >By the way the BTA hosts 2 Ocellaris Clowns.   Any advice would be appreciated, I like these fish.   Thanks, Rich >>Just enjoy them, they're beautiful fish, one of my favorites, actually.  You might want to post this behavior in some reefing forums as well, just so it's (further) documented.  Marina

An Assortment of Issues (5/1/04)   Hi Steve <Hello again.>   I emailed you a little earlier, but I have another question.  This is about my Banggai cardinal fish.  As you know, I have a fish in QT with Popeye.  I am medicating him.  It is hard to tell if my cardinal fish has Popeye or not, since his eyes normally seem to bulge out. <Yes, they have big eyes.>  The odd thing is that he has not been eating well.  He does not seem to be able to find the food when I put it in. I just tried feeding him some live worms by hand, and he ate!  As the uneaten worms fall, he does not follow them.  However, if he feels them touching the sides of his body, he will whisk around and eat them.  This is the first time I have seen him eat.  My question is, does Popeye affect the fish's eyesight? <Not sure.> Can he see? <Worrisome for blindness. I can't remember--did you put any medication in your main tank?> Should I also put him into QT? And with my clownfish. <If he does not act normal soon, you may have to.> I only have one other fish left in my display tank, a Dottyback, who seems to be fine (at least for now). Also, if this is bacterial, I am not sure how they got it.  It must be my water. <Most bacterial infections in aquariums are opportunistic pathogens that strike when something else does the initial damage.>   I have QT all new fish, <good> and have had these in my tank for approximately 8-10 months.  I do have well water.  Who knows what bacteria thrive in it. <I trust you treat it somehow.> I am sure it changes with weather conditions. After reading your website, I also retrieved information about the Kold Ster-il System, by Poly-Bio-Marine. <A very popular and effective unit.> It is a little more expensive, but it is less wasteful, and since I have a well, I thought it might be better, especially when drought season comes along, and we have to be careful with water usage. <Agreed. I should have bought one too, rather than using RO here in drought-stricken Utah.>   PS.  I am also curious, you said that DI water is better, than why is Bob Fenner (I have his book) so high on RO water.   I don't get it.  If DI is better, and waste less, why does anyone prefer RO. <Where water is abundant, RO is cheaper than DI. For many, it is a good choice.> I must be missing something! <Check the copyright. The book is six years old. Many things change. That's why he created WWM. It's very hard to keep a book current. Being in medicine myself, I am acutely aware of this. That's why the web is so wonderful.>

Lonely Banggai?  >Hi guys,  >>Hey girlie.  >I have a follow up question regarding someone else's post titled "Tank Set Up and Livestock Review." The response to that email suggested that both the Banggai cardinal and the Ocellaris Clownfish would do better in pairs...  >> While I sort of agree with the clown assessment, I can't agree with the Banggai at all. These fish are known to be aggressive with conspecifics, and if you're going to have more than one, you should have a group in a LARGE tank. (Disclaimer: I am not a Banggai expert by any means - am going with general consensus and experience with this species.)  >Funny, since I currently have a 72 gallon tank that's 8 months old with only one fish - a Banggai cardinal (and 6 Lysmata shrimp and two hermit crabs), and I was going to get an ocellaris clown and an as yet unknown third fish before I considered the tank fully stocked!  >>I would NOT add another Banggai in there. >Now, I'm thinking of just two clowns and two cardinals.  >>I would be a little worried for the new cardinal.  >The pair of clowns is easy since I can make sure I have a male and female that get along while they are in QT. As for the Banggai, I could do my best to get a female as I'm pretty sure I have a male, but by the time I realizes that the "pair" wouldn't work, it would already be too late to do anything about it -or at least very painful to do something about it.  >>I couldn't agree more, and don't think it's a good idea. I've gone round and round with some folks who insist on putting these fish in small groups when adults, and they invariably post back saying, "Well.. the dominant cardinal harassed the subordinate, and now it's injured/sick/dead."  >And now to the question -is it worth the risk to get a second Banggai cardinal, QT it and then release it hoping that I did end up with a male and female who like each other!?  >>Not in my opinion. If you had a 200-300 gallon tank with plenty of cover and other fish to help distract, then maybe. Otherwise, if you're going to try this then start with a group of juveniles.  >Basically, how lonely is a single Banggai cardinal?  >>This is a philosophical question on which I will take an agnostic stance. Of course, you could always try the mirror trick.  >As always I'm grateful for all the assistance that you guys have provided in the past. Don't have anyone else who can answer these questions.... Thank you,  Narayan  >>An empty existence to be sure. Hope I've helped. Marina

Lonely Banggai? Reply >Thanks Marina. >>You're welcome.  I'm glad to help (and glad for the question). >I'll skip the second Banggai and just get a pair of clowns. >>Sounds like the plan, Narayan. >My Remora pro is in the mail. >>So is my Kiehl's.  Gotta have my Kiehl's, or my hair.. can you say, "Medusa"? >I think I'll wait until I bury my Red Sea Prizm before I get any more livestock. >>Hee! >A burial is actually too good for a Prizm! Only the SeaClone sucks more. >>Oh BOY have I got a guy for you.. <giggle>  He *swears* by his SeaClone, and took umbrage with Steven Pro's (and everyone else's) assessment of it. >And I have one of those too!!! >>D'oh!

Banggai eating up all the pods! - 4/12/04  Hello crew!  I do not have a problem, just an observation and I want to double check with one of you. Great!> I have had a Banggai for about 10 months. He is healthy and happy. Before I purchased him, I had a nice size population of pods. I really never gave much thought about it but now that I look back, I realize that my pod population has lessened. <Well, populations do go through growth gains and losses through a cycle. Predation also seems to cull quite a few out. Banggais will eat amphipods and copepods to supplement their diet for sure. What other potential predators do you have?> Could it be?! <Absolutely> Am I actually supplying him natural food? <Sure. For how long will be determined by a refugium (place for these creatures to grow without predation) or depending on how bug the tank is> Do Banggais eat pods? <Sure> I know they are nocturnal just like the pods. <Sort of> I had worried that he only ate Mysis (which is every fourth feeding) but he has always been the fattest booger in the tank. <They love Mysis and Cyclop-eeze> That's my guess anyway. Oh, and for those that think they are slow and boring, let me tell ya, when the Mysis hit the water, he swims circles around my blue tang and Foxface. <Yeah, they can hang in most cases> He looks like a silver bullet streaking across the tank. <What type of Mysis (brand) do you feed?> They are quite fast when they want to be. <I agree>  Anyway, take care guys and gals, <Thanks for the update. A valuable observation! ~Paul>  Jason

Pseudochromid compatibility and Banggai cardinal breeding 12/16/04 I have a few important issues regarding my aquarium. Firstly, I just added a pair of sunrise Dottybacks (a definite pair!), <I believe it... if they are not trying to kill each other, then they most likely are a pair> and a orchid Dottyback, <a poor choice mixing Pseudochromids, and this one prefers to be in shoals> to accompany the existing one. However, this orchid seems to be quite aggressive, but its size is not as big as the old one. There is definitely enough  hiding spaces, will killing be an issue over a duration of time. <very likely... do separate them please> Also, I have a 10 gallon mini tank with two Banggais which I purchased about 2 months ago. The purpose was to achieve success in the breeding of these fish. Recently I added a flame Hawkfish in hopes to quicken this activity and one week later boom! Today one of my Banggais mouth was super full it, it was sticking out, and it kept on trying to keep something in its mouth by opening a bit and closing. If I am not mistaken is the male carrying babies. If so what methods, procedures, and materials do I need. <there are many thorough spawning reports on this fish at big message boards like reefcentral.com as well as the Breeders Registry reports online... do some keyword searches my friend and enjoy the journey towards resourceful enlightenment> How much preparation time will be needed (the flame Hawkfish might eat everything.) <remove the Hawkfish, mate... its too aggressive and the tank is too small> Another concern is will the fish even make it through this time span (these fish do not seem very old, the male has a super long fin though.) Food is also another concern, there is no place where I can find baby brine shrimp or live ones.... Thanks..... <no worries... the babies are large enough to eat fine dry foods... mail order online some freeze-dried and frozen Cyclop-eeze. Best of luck! Anthony> Banggai Highfin cardinal sucking air Hello, I have a Banggai Highfin cardinal that is at the top of the tank acting like he needs air. He has appeared to be happy for the last month since I added him. everyone else seems happy. Its a 55 gal. tank with 60 lbs. of live rock, a dual regent filter and a power skimmer. This is my first salt water tank (3 mo.s since start). If you need more info let me know. Thank You Mike Snow >>>Hello Mike, What other fish are in the tank along with the cardinal? It sounds to me like he may be stressed, perhaps from being harassed by another fish. Have you noticed any aggressive interactions in the tank? Cheers Jim<<<

Banggai Cardinal Breeding/Gestation 11/9/04 Hi Crew, <howdy> It's been a while since I've written.  Though I continue to read WWM on a daily basis. <good to have you along my friend> I was wondering if anyone in the crew is a B. Cardinal guru.  I have a male that is carrying eggs/fry.  I noted that he stopped eating more than 3 weeks ago.  He has that "I'm so full I could hurl" look (see picture attached).  After three weeks of guessing, I plopped him into the fuge in hopes that I can keep some of the fry.  I already have a teaming fuge and have started the baby brine hatchery.  My question, which I find an answer NOWHERE on the web is "How long does he carry" before I can expect free swimming fry?   <Hmm.... with all due respect, David, and we all need a tweak like this now and again :), I must correct you on the "looked everywhere" comment. Through our actions, archives here at WWM, we aspire to help fellow aquarists to help themselves. learn and enjoy the journey. We are here to answer questions, but not enable. You may have dropped the ball on this one, mate ;) In an effort to help you find this answer (which I did not know/recall myself)... I went to the fab and famous Google search tool that is plastered all over our website and well-known at large. I typed in "Banggai cardinal gestation" and the first page and first hit/link on that page came up with the answer. A fine article by the experienced aquarist/author Frank Marini: http://www.reefs.org/library/article/f_marini.html> I want to ensure that I get Mr. Male out of the fuge shortly after he spits them. <it seems like the fry are due to be released according to Frank, et al. You can also see more information at the Breeders Registry online with spawning reports and details of many marine creatures> Any and all information, pointers, links you can provide are appreciated. <and my apologies for using you here as an example my friend :p All good-natured. And indeed, a reminder as to what an incredible (and under-exploited) resource the Internet really is> Keep up the good work. and remember when and if you ever get back to Boston, Mi Casa es Su Casa. David <a beautiful city... looking forward to seeing it again/meeting you perhaps. Kindly, Anthony>

Banggai Cardinal Gestation II 11/10/04 Cheers, David Anthony, <<and my apologies for using you here as an example my friend :p All good-natured. And indeed, a reminder as to what an incredible (and under-exploited) resource the Internet really is>> No apologies required.  I'm not only a reef enthusiast, but a baseball coach, and Cub Scout volunteer.  I understand the use of "examples" in teaching and your "coaching" is greatly appreciated.  For what it's worth, I did browse the various FAQs but never used the search bar.  Brain cramp I guess. Thank you for all your help and the information provided.   <no worries my friend... thank you for understanding. indeed, I do live by the philosophy of "teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime." Giving it like I appreciate receiving it.> I wasn't as eager and nervous when my own sons were born! David <hehee... I promise I wont tell your wife, else you'll need to build a bigger doghouse... even if you don't own a dog <G> Anthony>

Banggai Cardinal Hi Mr. Fenner <Hello Doris, MacL here with you this fine and lovely night> I have a 46 gallon fish only saltwater tank with a watchman goby and one yellow clown goby. Today I bought 3 Banggai cardinal fish. The biggest one of them has spots on his side fins which resemble ich. <Youch, did you see that before you bought them?> My question is this: Is it possible to help a fish over a mild ich infestation with the addition of vitamins introduced into the tank and vitamin enriched food? <If its a mild infestation and the tank is optimal and you include some cleaners like cleaner shrimp you can sometimes and let me emphasis sometimes stop it that way> I have a small saltwater tank with 2 tomatoes clowns and a lawnmower blenny also. When the clown fish started showing signs of cauliflower disease I introduced vitamins, minerals and vitamin enriched food to them. Their small lesions are almost gone. <Lymphocystis is often characterized by poor nutrition or bad tank conditions, and your good tank conditions took care of that> I have kept fish for quite a while and really do not want to introduce chemicals into tanks right away. <Very understandable.> What would you do?  <I keep cleaner shrimp in my quarantine tanks actually> P.S. I acquired a long slender blue goby today. He is about 2 inches, slender eel like, and has some black on his tail. He is complete sky blue. Is this indeed a goby that has been sold to me? Do you know anything about this fish? <Bar goby maybe?> Thank you very much for your time Mr. Fenner. It's great to be able to talk "fish" with someone who really knows. <Good luck!> D.B.

Banggai Stocking Hi, I have a 55 gallon tank, few corals, a pair of clowns, a cleaner goby, a dwarf angel, a royal Gramma, a lot of snails and a few serpents.  I also have a recently added a Banggai who seems to be doing well after a two week quarantine and a two week introduction into the tank.  The Banggai seems to be a she based on the mouth.  I would like to add another, preferably an obvious male to the tank and am wondering if I can still do this.  I would like to wait as long as possible to ensure that I do in fact have a female as well as make the tank situation smooth without too much upset and aggression.  Thank

Banggai Cardinal Mortality 7/04 Hi Bob.  I was wondering if you could help me out. <Hi Alois, Adam here and glad to help.> I am a importer of marine fish in new Zealand.  I have been importing Banggai cardinals over the last 2 months.  So far out of 100 they have all died. <This has been a sad but common experience here in the states too.> They do well for 2 weeks, eating very well then they breath heavy and have white faeces, then they die.  Any ides?  Regards, Alois <Some folks have necropsied Banggais that died soon after import and found large numbers of internal parasites.  If you have the equipment and someone with the ability, I would strongly suggest doing the same.  Unfortunately, I can't find any of the sources that discussed this, but I do believe that it was discussed at www.reefcentral.com.  Whoever did the necropsy seemed certain of at least the major group that the parasite was is, so treatment may be possible.  In the mean time, do consider breeding these guys!  They eat Selco supplemented baby brine from day one and are marketable in about 8-12 weeks.  You should be able to easily satisfy the New Zealand market.  Best Regards, Adam> 

Banged-Up Banggai! Guys, <Scott F. your guy tonight> I know you are currently understaffed, so I'll make it quick. My Banggai cardinal -the only fish in a 72G with 6 misc. Lysmata shrimp and 2 Hermit Crabs, seems to have scratched himself last night during a routine water change. Now there is a pin-head sized fuzzy growth on his left eye. I was afraid this was going to happen some time, with the way he'd dart around wildly whenever my hands enter the tank. I'm currently feeding him Mysis or daphnia or minced cocktail shrimp soaked in either Selcon or Vita-Chem. <Nice supplementation...!> I want him to OD on food and let his own immune system handle this, because the stress of capture and quarantine may make matters worse. Beside, the QT has an ocellaris clown which has 3 weeks of QT left! My nitrates don't even register on test kits and the tank has been set up for 8 months now with an Eheim wet/dry and a Prizm skimmer and as of last night a Remora which is yet to produce anything but noise... <Give it time!> Thank you!!! Narayan <Well, Narayan, I think that you're doing the right thing here. Just maintain the most pristine water conditions possible, and keep a close eye on this fish to make sure that the condition doesn't worsen. If you don't want to subject the fish to a quarantine system, you could net him and give him a dip in tank water with some Methylene blue, which has strong anti-bacterial properties. In the end, though- you be the judge. Hopefully, with your continued dedicated care and tank maintenance, the fish will make a full recovery with little additional intervention on your part. Hang in there! Regards, Scott F>

Banquet For A Banggai? (Feeding Competition) Guys, <Scott F. your guy tonight!> My Banggai is healthy again! His eyes are crystal clear -knock on wood. Thanks for your advice and support. Also the false percula clown is doing fine in spite of the abbreviated 2 week quarantine -I need my QT for an Orchid Dottyback that needed some TLC. The Dottyback's fins have grown back in a mere 5 days!!!! The new growth is clear now... hopefully the color will return soon. Three more weeks before I tear down my unsightly QT!!! Can't wait! <I'm thrilled to hear that things a re going well...And, how cool it is to hear that your quarantine system is working well! Congrats!> My only problem is feeding. Currently the fish get Sweetwater Plankton and Mysis shrimp as their staple. <Two fine foods...> With the Mysis, I am unable to prevent the Banggai from eating too much and at the same time, the clown doesn't seem to get more than just one Mysis shrimp before they are all gone! <Go figure- an aggressive Cardinal!> They are on a more even footing with the daphnia. The Banggai has been in the display for about 4 weeks, and the clown for 6 days. Will the clown be able to compete with time? <I think that eventually, the clown will become more assertive, and he'll compete more effectively once he settles in.> My observation is that while the 3" Banggai swallows everything whole, the 2" clown prefers to bite little chunks off. It amazes me that with this strategy, the clown would actually aim for the largest piece of Mysis near him, rather than all the bite size pieces floating by him. The cardinal does not discriminate... <Interesting observations!> Based on observing the Dottyback in QT, his feeding style is more like the clowns. Target feeding isn't always an option, because I feed the fish 3 or 4 days a week and an automatic feeder is used for the rest -I travel a lot. I use freeze dried Mysis and plankton with the feeder. <As long as the food is dispersed well, then everyone should get a crack at it!> Thank You, Narayan <Well, Narayan, I'd just keep doing what you're doing...The clown will eventually get his share of food. Of course, in the mean time, be sure to continue to observe carefully, and get a little extra food in there if you can. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

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