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FAQs about Banggai Cardinalfish Selection

Related Articles: Cardinalfishes

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

Will everything else leave your Banggais alone?

Adding additional Banggai     5/25/16
I have had my current Banggai for about 4 years. I had two but the female died 6 months ago. I know that they are a sociable fish,
<Actually; no; not really... DO tolerate sympatrics given space... but an argumentative species with its own kind>
but I am hesitant on adding more. I have a 120 gallon system, 48"x 26"x 22" deep.
Would it be safe to add more Banggai or will the one I have attack them or be attacked.
<I would add two or four more individuals... of much smaller size OR about the same size... and keep your eye on the present one. It may serve to isolate it; float it in a plastic colander for a few days, to allow the new fish to rest, become established>
He is a very good fish, not aggressive and eats very well. My wife wants to get more Banggai as they are her favorite fish.
When I had the other one, they had babies a couple of times, but other than that they didn't really hang together much. Do you think it would be safe to add more. Also, do Banggai and PJ Cardinalfish get along.
<Better to have just one or the other; unless the system is HUGE>
Thank you.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Banggai Cardinal; stkg./sel., comp.     4/30/13
The more I read the more I'm beginning to wonder if I should add two more of these fish to my tank. Right now I just have the one plus two Percularis clowns.
My tank is a 29 gallon Biocube.
<Mmm, may well bicker (to too large a degree) in such a small volume.
T'were it me, mine, I'd just stick w/ the single one>
Right now it seems quite peaceful in the tank, but would the addition of two more of these Banggai overwhelm the tank?
<See WWM re their compatibility>
Would adding only a second be asking for trouble? Any suggestions would be helpful, thanks!!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: re: Need Advice, now Kaudern comp./beh.   5/16/13

Thanks, and your comment already came true.
<These may bicker, fight with time, growth>
During most of the feeding time they are ok but as soon as it dwindles one is off to the corner.
<Ah yes. BobF>

Infected Banggai Cardinals   8/23/11
After a numerous attempts to introduce Banggais to my display they all have died the same way. After a vigorous first week eating well ... they suddenly stop eating, become lethargic. Final phase is with stringy feces and dye one day after that. Tried every medication possible but nothing has worked. Looking in the www I found the article that seems to explain everything and it is getting very serious. They are infected with a non reversible disease... a time bomb: Iridovirus.
It seems that the problem is a Iridovirus witch has no cure that has infected the collection and distribution channels of this little fish.
Please read the article posted bellow and help us all Fish lovers to better understand this issue and try to reduce the wild caught doomed Cardinals.
Systemic Iridovirus infection in the Banggai Cardinalfish
<Thank you for sending this along. Hopefully folks will add this knowledge to the weight of purchasing locally/regionally cultured specimens of this species... and these will not in turn become like tank-bred Colisa lalia.
Bob Fenner>
Cardinal Banggai   8/24/11
It is me again. troubling with the Banggai virus.
This time my question is related to the correct temperature for these little ones.
Almost everyone mentions in the web mention a 75 F 82 F temp range BUT reading from the Banggai islands and technical reports they mention temps of 82 F to 89F ( 28 - 32 C )!
This is a huge difference... and let me tell you that the ones I had in quarantine tried to be near the thermostat for a reason... could it be?
<Not likely temperature, but habitat... Juveniles "hang" out amongst urchin spines, large anemones... Not in the open>
Is it possible that we all are very wrong about the temp they need to be in??
<Don't think so... I've been diving in their islands... the water is rarely more than 82 F.>
Thanks for your reply
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Identifying Parasites from FW Dip, now Banggai stkg./sel.    2/17/11
Hi again crew,
Thanks again to Bob for the recent advice on my fluke-ridden Firefish. Once I get the Firefish back in his permanent 29-gallon home, I was thinking of adding a Banggai cardinal. In an FAQ today, Bob says the Banggai is a social fish and keeping a solitary specimen is a big problem.
<Can be... if there's room they should be kept in a grouping>
But when I look at the archived WWM material on this fish, I find the statement:
"Banggai Cardinals share much in common with the above mentioned PJs. One very important behavioral difference is that a single Banggai is quite happy by itself."
<In small volumes... as yours>
My LFS says it's okay to keep a solitary Banggai, but that one can (with some uncertainty) try to find a male/female pair or two females, and that this will work too. They say it's only two males that will fight.
<Commonly, yes>
Is this the reason for the discrepancy in the above statements?
<Mmm, for me, the circumstances... space>
I know fish have their individual behavioral quirks, but I'm trying to make a decision about how to stock my tank.
Thanks again,
<I'd start w/ a small/er specimen (1" or so; smaller ones die like proverbial flies), tank-bred if possible. B>

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, perq.s... 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 Boycott? sel. f'   9/22/08 Bob, Your letter is up, and I hope we can foment some debate on Eric's presentation to MACNA, MASNA and concerned hobbyists. http://en.microcosmaquariumexplorer.com/wiki/Portal:Letters Cheers, James <I do hope so... or better, to urge discussion of this assertion. Cheers, BobF>  James M. Lawrence Editor & Publisher MICROCOSM Ltd.

Bob, Great letter on Banggais on Microcosm Aquarium Explorer.  9/22/08  Thanks for that. Ret <Got's to stand up for reality at times. B> Ret Talbot

Re: Banggai sel., ongoing... Ret Talbot & RMF   9/22/08 lol...I hear ya. I guess my perspective is that the fishery is currently not being well-managed <Mmm, as far as I'm aware, not managed at all... that is to state, there are no folks at all on site, no counts really... no real data whatsoever. Seemingly "just" folks elsewhere spouting off>

Bob, Your so-called rants are always welcome here! Thanks again. I agree whole-heartedly that we need good data and that good data does not currently exist. Without good data, it is pointless (IMO) to put any management plan in place. Anyways....cheers for your honesty and willingness to share. All the best, Ret. Ret Talbotwww.RetTalbot.com <Ahh, a pleasure. Be seeing you, BobF>

Re: Banggai Blog  9/22/08 http://microcosmaqx.typepad.com/ret_talbot/ <Thanks James. Well-thought out, composed. BobF>

Hardiness of Pajama Cardinals vs. Banggai Cardinals   2/13/07 Hi again crew, I have been having the same problems with Banggai Cardinalfish that I have read about on your site-- they cease to eat, start breathing rapidly, and then die. <Does happen... and all too often... and this should not be the case... That is, Apogonids such as these can be, should be raised in captivity... regionally... and be well-ready to withstand the rigors of moving, captivity...> All of this happens very quickly. I'm not sure, but I think I remember them having stringy, white feces as well. Recently, I lost eight! I bought these eight in groups of three, three, and two, so they did not all come from the same shipment.  I quarantined them in a 30 gallon bare tank, first all together, and then separated the next batch into three 10-gallon compartments. I tried FW dips before quarantining, and when that batch died, I skipped the FW dip. None of this made any difference.  I have kept many more difficult fish successfully, but I just can't keep the Banggais alive (yes, the water parameters are all where they should be). <Mmm... I want to say a few things (thanks for this prompting)... the vast majority of Pterapogon ARE cultured (somewhat), but still imported (from Indonesia mainly)... and they ARE way too often BUNK! Your experiences are not atypical...> The only answer I can comes up with is the mysterious parasite  I have read about which supposedly infects Banggai Cardinals. I was told the fish I purchased were tank-raised, but who knows if this is true-- and maybe tank-raised Banggais carry this parasite as well. So here is my question: are Pajama Cardinals susceptible to the same parasite? <... not as far as I'm aware, but have not seen definitive proof of such a parasitic involvement in the high incidental mortality of this species> I have not seen much written on your site about the Pajamas since they have been so overshadowed by the popularity of the Banggais. <Are old-timey favorites... the two principal species...> Have you been receiving emails with Pajama Cardinals suffering from the same symptoms and dropping dead? <Not as far as I recall, no> Also, I read that while a group of Pajama Cardinals will establish a pecking order, they do not display conspecific aggression ( aggression to other  Pajama Cardinals, if I used the term incorrectly) to nearly the same degree as Banggai Cardinals, making it easier to keep them in a group. Is this true in your experience, or reports from your readers? <Mmm, yes... though Sphaeramia can indeed be territorial... though not as often to as the degree as Banggais> As always, thanks for taking the time to read this and for offering your advice. Art <Thank you for asking. Bob Fenner>

Quarantine tank Questions - 02/09/2007 Good afternoon crew, We have a 90G display tank, a 29g QT and a 10G 'pod breeder. The 90's current denizens are a Coral Beauty Angel, 2 Sebae Clownfish, a Lawnmower Blenny, 2 Lysmata cleaner shrimp, a serpent star, a dozen or so zebra hermit crabs and a large assortment of snails, an umbrella mushroom coral, 2 small Fungias and a small Ricordea. In the attached 3.5G 'fuge there are some snails, small feather dusters and 3 cleaner clams. <Neat> NH3, NO2, Phosphate are 0. NO3 is less than 5ppm. We have a 30X turnover of water every hour. In the QT (above chem. numbers apply there too) we have a golden damsel as a permanent resident and a soon to be moved Kole Tang and Royal Gramma. It has bare glass for a bottom and some 4" PVC pipe for hiding places. Nobody in the QT has shown any signs of sickness or required any treatment since arriving 2 weeks ago. Assuming that stays the same for 2 more weeks (when the Tang and Rocket Propelled Gramma are moved), how long should I wait before adding new fish to the QT (after a 10G water change)? <Mmm, no time really> Our next occupants (for 4 weeks) will likely be a Copperband Butterfly and Six Line Wrasse with an egg crate divider if you think that's a good idea. <Likely not necessary> Following them will be 50# of uncured LR (for 4 weeks followed by a complete WC) <Likely a few during as well> to augment the display tank and lastly either 2 or 4 Banggai Cardinalfish (for 4 weeks).     In Bob's CMA (my bible) he talks about needing a mature tank with LR to supplement the BC's feeding. Should I bring LR from the main tank for them (the only light on the QT is ambient room light)? <Mmm, not a bad idea> Will weekly additions of 'pods be sufficient? <Should be yes... as long as the fish don't start "too thin"> Also, given the bioload for the main, can we get away with 4 BC's or should we just do 2? Thanks for your terrific support,  -Ed <I would go with four here... enough room, and will give you much more to enjoy behavior-wise. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

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

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>

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

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

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)>

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!          

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

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