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FAQs about Cardinalfishes, Family Apogonidae 1

Related Articles: Cardinalfishes

Related FAQs: Cardinalfishes 2, & FAQs on: Cardinal ID, Cardinal Behavior, Cardinal Compatibility, Cardinal Selection, Cardinal Systems, Cardinal Feeding, Cardinal Disease, Cardinal Reproduction,  Banggai Cardinals, Banggai ID, Banggai Behavior, Banggai Compatibility, Banggai Selection, Banggai Systems, Banggai Feeding, Banggai Disease, Banggai Reproduction,

A Banggai Cardinal in captivity.

New aggression in Cardinalfish   1/23/07 Hi, I have a 75 gal FOWLR tank that we just recently got back together after a nasty bout with Ich - lost many of my fish... 3 blue green Chromis, 1 Banggai cardinal, 2 yellow tail blue damsels and 1 Foxface rabbit survived  - I broke down the tank, put them into a quarantine tank for 45 days - copper treatment - and then put them back into the big tank which also has 3 cleaner shrimp, 3 peppermint shrimp, 2 oysters, a Featherduster and a few hermit crabs and snails ... they were all fine with each other before and also in the q tank but when they went back into the big tank the damsels attacked and almost killed the cardinal - all his fins were gone and he was bleeding... a peppermint shrimp had dragged him under the rocks for a snack - he shot out of the rocks and I scooped him out and ran him into the q tank which was still operating - it is an absolute miracle that he survived... he didn't eat for over a week and then I tried feeding him live feeder shrimp ... It took over a month but he has grown all his fins back, <Good. This is a quick recovery> is eating his regular diet (frozen and pellet) and I moved him back to the main  tank , caught the 2 damsels (with the help of a trap) and returned them to my LFS (very nice people there),   I decided to add just 2 more special fish to the tank and to keep it that way for a while - I bought a Majestic angel (3 1/2 inches) <Yikes... a touchy species, sub-genus, and needs much more room... see WWM re> and a Lined Fairy Wrasse (4 inches) - both absolutely beautiful fish.  I had them in the q tank for over 3 weeks and moved them into the main tank .... here's the issue .... after 3 weeks, the Cardinalfish has begun to harass the other fish ... not the wrasse or the angel but he is terrorizing the Rabbitfish!  The poor guy is raising his spines constantly and trying to hide all the time ... The cardinal is also going after the Chromis ... I know that I changed the dynamic in the tank adding the last 2 fish ...  I hate to give up the Cardinalfish ... he is such a special guy to have survived his ordeal... <Perhaps another tank?> but I just noticed a few tiny white spots on the wrasse's fin ... please advise.... should I just see if things settle back down and keep an eye on them ?... do they usually work this out in the tank, there are plenty of places to hide and swim ? <Mmm, not in a 75 gallon box there isn't> - they seem to do better if I keep them well fed (3-4 times a day) but I'm afraid to overfeed-   Yikes!   I REALLY don't want to deal with another Ich break out . Thanks, Beverly A <I would remove the cardinal... just observe the rest. Do read on WWM re. Bob Fenner>

Compatibility - 10/13/06 Do you think two Nemateleotris magnifica and one Sphaeramia nematoptera can be kept together? <<Indeed...should not be a problem>> Thank you so much for your advice. <<Quite welcome, EricR>>

Seahorses and Cardinals    9/22/06 Hi, (to whom gets to answer my questions today:) <That would be me, Leslie> I have a 30 gallon hex tank with 2 captive bred seahorses (I'm not sure what kind they are, but they are about 4" long) a yellow Watchman Goby and a Cleaner Shrimp. For filtration I have a Rena 3 canister filter with the flow turned down so the seahorses don't go flying around the tank. The whole setup has been running and happy for over a year now and the question that I have is.....would it be okay to add 2 or 3 PJ Cardinals to this system? Some websites say yes others say no and on WWM I have not been able to find an answer. <Well they would do fine with seahorses and do well in small groups. They do however get to be close to 4 inches long and are wide dorso-ventrally. IMO a 30g hex is to small and does not have enough horizontal swimming space. Instead you might want to consider a captive bred Pseudochromis fridmani (Orchid Dottyback); an Assessor either the A. flavissimus (Yellow Assessor) or the A. macneilli (Blue Assessor); a Firefish either the N. decora (Purple Firefish) or the N. magnifica (Fire Goby); or a Ecsenius midas (Midas Blenny)> Thank you for your time and expertise, Diana <You’re most welcome, Leslie>

Pajama Cardinal Fish Disease   7/28/06 Dear Crew, <Paul> One of my Pajama Cardinals developed a white fuzzy growth along its mouth and stopped eating. <Mmm, likely "banged" into something> A portion of the filamentous growth was about a quarter inch long and dangled from its lower jaw.  After a week the fuzz disappeared and the fish is starting to eat a bit, but there appears to be a small hole in its lower jaw. The growth did not appear to be an isopod or parasitic invertebrate.  It does not seem to be affecting the other cardinals, blue damsels, clown fish or hawk fish that share the 75-gallon reef aquarium.  What could the disease have been? <A physical trauma>   Is any treatment required at this point? <No, not likely of benefit. Too likely too stressful to all.> Thanks very much! <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

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>>

Cardinal hiding in algae   2/2/06 Hi Crew, This morning I opened the top of my 10 gallon tank to feed the fish and I saw a bright orange in of my Chaeto which is a fairly tight Brillo ball. Well, It was my spotted cardinal tightly encased and I was sure he was dead. It took some doing do untangle and get him out and within a minute he started to move around. Being that his shape is disc type I can not figure out how he got in that deep. I like the Chaeto because (I think) it keeps my nitrates down to zero. It used to always be around 20. <Can, do. 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

Cardinal swallows shrimp, Legs still sticking out. 12-06-05 Hello Crew, <Hello> A pajama cardinal ate our skunk cleaner shrimp last night after it molted. The shrimp doesn't fit in the cardinal's stomach as legs and antenna are sticking out of the mouth. <I must say this is a first.> My wife called me with this info at work, so I haven't seen it yet. Will the fish die, too? <The fish should be able to evacuate the shrimp on its own. If it does not do so, or looks to be laboring then you may need to help it out.> Anything that can be done to save it? My wife saw the empty molt, so she's sure it's the actual shrimp that got eaten after it molted. The shrimp is full grown and almost as long as the cardinal and I never thought it would try to eat it. <They will try anything that will try to eat anything that will fit in their mouth. Travis> 
Re: Cardinal swallows shrimp, Legs still sticking out. 12-06-05
Thanks for the reply, but it turns out my panic was unwarranted. <That is good. Always better to waste worry than to be right for worrying.> Over the course of the day, the legs and antennae slowly disappeared into the fish until they were gone a few hours after my initial mail... and it grabbed the largest piece of food at dinner time when I fed the tank. <Sea pigs.> I assumed the shrimp was too large to fit in the cardinal's mouth. It seems I was wrong.  <It does seem so...> Pajama cardinals won't be going into my next reef.  I'm looking at threadfins to fill the niche instead, in hopes that they won't eat my beloved Lysmata shrimps. <You will greatly enjoy the thread fins. They can also be kept in schools which is nice. Travis> Thanks, Ben 

Mixing Cardinals As always you guys rule.  <Thank you> I have 3 PJs whom I love, living in my 75. One has been with me for years and years, she's my "other woman." It's her eyes :). (I know its a she because one of the new guys had to carry her eggs quite a few times). Anyways, I have some space for a few more fish, not many but like maybe 2. I always wanted Banggais, and I am trying to find out if 3 PJs and 2 Banggais would be happy in my tank. My utmost concern is for the PJs with the usual irrational exuberance for new fish that is shared by most people with my affliction as a secondary issue. The only other top fish is a royal Gramma and a tomato clown that has a anemone. Lots of rockwork. Thanks again and again for all the information over the years. <James, definitely go with the Banggais. The tomato is not a good choice to mix with cardinals. James (Salty Dog)> 

Pajama cardinal/elegance coral Hello again Bob, I hope you can save the day again… The little pajama cardinal seems to have taken a liking to my elegance coral Always hovering.. picking at it, yet I do not see damage and the coral does not recoil..  Is the coral safe?, should I be concerned? <These associate in the wild... no problems... the cardinals likely receive some protection from predation... Catalaphyllia sting like no tomorrow...> The little sweetie would be impossible to catch and a shotgun to a 20g nano might prove destructive….don’t you agree? <A twenty gallon system is too dangerously small for this Euphylliid> Thanks for being there. Ellen <Bob Fenner>

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.>

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!

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

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

How to breed pajama Cardinalfish 3/28/04 hi, right now I have 3 pajama cardinal fish that I've had for about a year in a 75gal reef tank.  a few months ago I moved the three of them into a 20 long because they seemed a bit stressed out by the other fish in the 75.  so I set up the 20 gal just for these three fish and was wondering if anyone had any info on breeding this species of fish.  I've looked all over the web and cannot find anything that's helpful in any way.   thanks, Sara <these fish and several others in the family have been spawned in captivity... do look up spawning reports and information on the subject at the "Breeders Registry" online and be sure to look up reports for related species. Best of luck! Anthony> -

Breeding cardinals of different species- Hi Bob, <Kevin here in his stead.> I was doing research on Pajama Cardinal fish since I just bought a new one to add to my 65 gallon that already had one male.  I thought I was buying a female but after viewing the species photos on your web page: http://saltaquarium.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wetwebmedia.com%2Fmarine%2Ffishes%2Fpart2.htm I realize that I actually have two different species of Cardinal fish and perhaps the new one is a male, which would account for the aggressive behavior of the original Pajama Cardinal towards the new Pajama Cardinal.   Will this be a continuous problem? <Likely, they usually will take to each other fairly quickly if it's going to happen.> The new fish is not shy about eating, though the bigger older fish will eventually chase it away.  I was hoping to breed a pair but seeing that they are slightly different in species I realize that this will not happen. <Unfortunately, you're probably right. The best you can hope for is them to just get along, which may happen. Just keep an eye out for the new guy so it doesn't get beat up! Good luck! -Kevin> Mike

Cloudy eye on PJ cardinal and quarantine practice. Hello, <Hi Laurie.  Adam here today.> I have a 3 year old 46-gallon bow front reef tank with 1 Percula, 1 Bicolor Angel, 1 Neon Dottyback, and 4 Bar Gobies.....all healthy.  I also have many  mushrooms and polyps and a couple leathers.  I recently added 3 small Pajama  Cardinals.  I am 50/50 about quarantining.  If the fish is a strong one (like  my Dottyback), I will quarantine.  These guys are so delicate I chose not to. <I am befuddled by your logic.  I am strongly in favor of quarantine for all subjects, particularly those that are "delicate" or disease prone.  They are exactly those that are likely to carry or contract disease, not eat, etc.  In other words, they are the fish that quarantine is designed for!>   After 24-hours they are fine.  Eating well and acting quite normal.  Only an  occasional curious peck from the Dottyback.  No one is really bothering them  too much at all. <Good to hear.  Such docile fish are often the subjects of aggression.  Beware also that with three, two are likely to pair off and shun the third.> One Cardinal, however, has a cloudy eye.  I don't want to take him out into the quarantine tank and put him back into the reef only to stress him out even more.  Will the cloudy eye go away by itself or do I need to treat it somehow? <Effective treatment in a tank containing inverts is not possible (another good reason for quarantine!).  The cloudy eye could have many causes including Amyloodinium (velvet) which spreads and kills rapidly.  I would absolutely remove this fish to a quarantine tank ASAP.  One of the best ways to do this is with a tiny (#20 or so) barbless fish hook designed for fly fishing.  Bait the hook and catch the fish.  It may sound cruel, but it is quite effective and much less stressful than a chase with a net.  If you have the containers to do so, you could also drain the tank to within a few inches of the bottom, net the fish and re-fill.  Inverts should tolerate this for a few minutes to a half hour with no problem.> A challenge in a reef with live rock, etc.  (I have a UV sterilizer with a brand new bulb.) <See above tips for removing fish from a reef tank.  Also, you may want to move the UV to the quarantine tank if practical.> Thank you in advance for your help. <Good luck!  Adam> Laurie

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) vulpinis ) 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

The Cardinal Rules of Feeding... I am a new hobbyist.  I have a tank with live rock, and two starfish in it.  I recently put a cardinal fish in about a week ago, after having him in a Q-tank for two weeks. <Glad that you're quarantining new arrivals>   He seems healthy enough, but I never seen him eat.  I have been giving him frozen food.  Yesterday, I gave him live worms and shrimp, both of which I saw him eat.  I fed him the worms, again today, and he also ate.  Am I going to be able to wean him eventually onto frozen food? <These fishes are usually fairly simple to wean onto frozen and other prepared foods, but it may take time with some specimens.> And how do I do that? <Well, the easiest way is to simply keep trying a variety of foods with this fish. Eventually, he'll come around. I'd try items like frozen Mysis, some of the "formula" foods, etc. Just be patient> I have two more cardinals in my Q-tank, and I am not sure what to feed them.  They were all fed live worms at the store.  I am not sure I can continue to feed worms forever, since the store that supplies them is quite a distance.  I could feed live shrimp, because a local store has them, but I heard they are not as nutritious.  I would really like to eventually get them on all frozen.  Will they eventually eat frozen if they are given nothing else.  Since my first cardinal looked so healthy, I assumed he was eating at night, off the bottom.  Is this possible? Any advice would be appreciated. thanks, Debbie. <It certainly is possible that the fish is eating at night; these fish engage in a fair amount feeding activity during this time. As long as the fish appears healthy, active, and alert, I would not be overly concerned. Just keep trying to tempt him with different foods. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Pajama cardinals I have one pajama cardinal fish. I want to buy another one so I can mate the two.  The problem is I don't know the difference between a male and a female.  Can you please help?  The sexes are not much differentiated but may be distinguished by the males slightly larger size and the girth of gravid females. They are some of the few marine mouthbrooders with the males generally doing the incubating. Young are released after about a week, and develop as plankton for a couple of months in the upper water column., good luck, IanB> Thanks, Wendy

Apogon margaritophorus - They bred! >Hello Guys, n girl,   >>Hee.. I've had SOME effect!  Ladies, unite!  VIVA CHE'!  Oops.. wrong movement.  :D >I need some info, my Apogon margaritophorus just spawned last night.  Is the male going to keep the young in his mouth after they hatch? Or will they develop as pelagic young?  I'd like to give a try at raising the lil' critters, any idea what they would take to eat?  Will DT's work? WOW I'm shocked!  This is cool.  I will get pics, just for the heck of it. Thanks, Jen >>Well, Jen, I have discovered that there is a true DEARTH of information regarding this fish at ALL, let alone its breeding habits.  I know that there are folks here and in Brazil breeding the Banggai, so I'm going to strongly suggest you go to one of the following sites - http://www.reefs.org (register, and post your question in the Captive Breeder's Column), or, give http://www.TheReefTank.com a try.  If we're lucky, you MAY find someone who has something of value to offer.  I don't think that the fry go pelagic, but that's a best guess based on the Banggai breeding I read of.  DT's, rotifers, and other microplankters would also be my guess at foods, but I truly don't know if the fry need to be reared with such special care as, say, Clownfishes.  However, they've now "done it" once, they WILL do it again, so you can have a chance to prepare.  Sorry I can't be of more help, but do let us know if you find anything more.  Marina HERPS RULE! <<RMF does not agree with pelagic young for Apogonids, nor the use of micro-phytoplankton as foods for young>>

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

PJ Cardinalfish >I did finally get to go back to that fish store and check out the eel gobies a little bit better and I have discovered that they were convict blennies/engineer gobies.  I just wanted to thank you for all of your help and now I have a couple of new questions for you.   >>You're very welcome, Sara.  Shoot. >I have recently acquired a pajama Cardinalfish.  I had been searching for this fish for over a month before I finally found it, but I'm now having a problem with it being very picky about what it eats.  the PJ will take a bite of whatever I'm feeding and then just spit it out and ignore the rest of the food.   >>The fish may not feel comfortable.  For instance, it would probably be happier if you had two more in the tank.  However, not knowing your tank's capacity (I skimmed the previous here, maybe I've missed it?) I can't say you must, or even should.  If you can give me a rundown of the basis system (tank capacity, stock, filtration, water flow/pump ratings) that would be quite helpful.  I'm going to link you to a good article, and suggest that you try some frozen Mysis shrimp, don't give up just yet.  Also, try crushing a very few of the pellets, and keeping the lights a bit dimmer when feeding this fish.  As I recollect, they're one of the more nocturnal, reclusive fishes.  They appreciate having ledges and caves, as well, but make them very "open". >I've tried 3 or 4 different types of flake foods, 2 different types of pellets and so far only 2 types of frozen foods.  the PJ did seem to like the squid that I threw into the tank but still didn't seem very interested in eating.   >>Try chopping it very fine. I do feed my tank twice a day. once in the morning and once in the evening before the lights go out.  do you have any suggestions on what may help my PJ to eat?  also I was wondering if I should add another PJ to my tank (if I can find another one), and should I construct a few caves for it to hide out in?  it just sits in the middle of my tank where I have no live rock.   >>Ok, addressed above the lighting, add two (assuming generous tank dimensions and light stock load), caves/ledges, try the Mysis, and other meaty foods, and see this link--> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cardinal.htm the right side of the tank has been taken over by my pair of coral banded shrimps (where no fish is brave enough to go) and the left side belongs to a Sailfin tang and an orange tail damsel.  so do you think the PJ is ok where its at or should it have lots of places to hide during the day?  well thanks for any info you can give. >>Some rearrangements (and additions of the darkening ledges and a couple more cards) would probably be in order.  The other fish you've noted tend to be a bit aggressive, but I've never seen them go after cards.  However, they're daytime fishes, the cards are night owls, so you've got to help it hide out during the day.  Good luck!  Marina

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>

Looking for marine fishes for research Dear Sir or Madam: <Hello> My name is Kim Akers, a research biologist at the New Jersey State Aquarium.   We are trying to purchase ~30 Pterapogon mirifica and possibly as many Vincentia conspersa.  We are interested in obtaining live fish to conduct a study on their reproductive biology in comparison with other Cardinalfish, and for some phylogenetic work. Would you have any ideas on whom I should contact?  I have tried almost every online US fish store and supplier, plus several more in other countries, to no avail.  If you have any thoughts, I would appreciate hearing them... <I have cc'd friends/associates in the marine livestock wholesale industry above. I am confident they will follow-up and contact you in turn. If you would like my further assistance, please feel free to contact me here. Bob Fenner> Best regards, Kimberly Akers Research Biologist NJ State Aquarium Looking for marine fishes for research Wow, thanks for the prompt reply and for sending this request out....I'll be keeping my fingers crossed! <Glad to be of service, link between the science and trade. As stated, please make it known if these folks don't get back to you expediently, and I'll do some prodding. Bob Fenner>

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!! yeahh!! 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 Faq's 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 brine shrimp. 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>

Question on where to acquire Apogon leptacanthus in the U.S.? Hi Bob, <Anthony Calfo in his stead> I've been searching for these cardinals (A. leptacanthus) for a while now. I've contacted The Marine Center, who is usually good about finding rare fish  <agreed... a fine choice> (but they told me they only come along as a "fluke") and Walt Smith, who lists these as one of his products, but he replied back and said that he doesn't believe he exports these at this time. I noticed that next to your description by the photo of these fish, you mention they're from a friend's tank?  Would you happen to know where they were purchased or of another source where I may be able to find these fish? <Hmmm... Bob can check this out when he returns from Indonesia> Thank you very much! I really find your site helpful and useful! Thomas <let me suggest too that one of the very best places to get rare and cherry picked fishes is by contacting an aquarium service person in LA (use Internet Yellow Pages). These are chaps that visit the biggest wholesalers several times weekly in the course of their business and can keep and eye out for you and monitor status of special orders. SDC, Quality Marine, Walt Smith and a dozen other of the biggest wholesales are all virtually within walking distance of each other. Do consider hiring a jobber to peep for you. Best regards, Anthony>

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 -- >>

Cauliflower Disease? Robert: I have a Cardinal Fish that appears to have Cauliflower disease. I have had my tank for about 8 weeks and added the Cardinal Fish two weeks ago. Attached is a picture of my fish (I know the picture doesn't show great detail but that was the best I could do) can you tell me if this is Cauliflower Disease?  <Not from the images... but this condition (Lymphocystis) is not uncommon on this species.> From the research I have done, Cauliflower Disease appears to be the only fit. Also, from what I have read, there doesn't appear to be any real cure. I have done a fresh water dip and he appears to be breathing rather heavily right now. Do you have any advice? Can this spread to my other fish? Your help is greatly appreciated! <Yes. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lymphfaqs.htm and backwards through the links mentioned there. This is really an "environmental disease"... best "treated" by improving such. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Scott

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 -- >>
Re: more feeding (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

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 in 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 Apogonid, 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 MikeK, 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

Old and new Banggais 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

Feeding Cardinals What do cardinals eat? I just bought 2 and they don't yet seem interested in commercial foods. I understand they are nocturnal and have seen them moving about at night - would they be eating then? They normally just hover in one area during the day. Thanks! >> In the wild, most all Cardinalfishes (family Apogonidae) are nocturnal.. and eat small live plankton: crustaceans, worms, little fishes... Try feeding some meaty, if possible live foods a few to several minutes after you turn your lights off. In a few weeks they will be more accepting of prepared foods... including during "daytime". Bob Fenner

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

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