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Cardinalfish

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seabass
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Cardinalfish

Pterapogon_kauderni4.JPG

Cardinalfish are a great addition to a peaceful marine aquarium.  Provide plenty of live rock with caves, overhangs, crevices, as well as an open area for swimming.  In the wild, they hide in seagrass or may use long spined urchins for protection and camouflage.  In captivity, these hardy fish will enjoy moderate water flow and taking refuge from other tankmates in macroalgae such as Caulerpa prolifera.

 

Cardinalfish, a mouthbrooder, will often breed in captivity.  Once spawning has occurred, the male will carry the eggs in his mouth to develop in safety.  After the fry have been released, and with appropriate care, it's possible to raise the young into adulthood.  Captive raised Cardinalfish tend to be hardier than their wild harvested counterparts.

 

In the wild, Cardinalfish eat small fish and crustaceans.  While Cardinalfish can be particular feeders, it's usually not that difficult to meet their needs in captivity.  Many Cardinalfish have nocturnal tendencies, so feeding shortly after light out might induce finicky fish to feed.  It's best to feed small quantities of food several times per day.  Include frozen mysis shrimp and/or other frozen marine fish food.  Some species (and individual fish) will accept quality dry foods; and larger Cardinalfish will accept live marine feeder shrimp and fish.

 

Red Spot Cardinalfish (Apogon parvulus)

Max Size: 1.5"

Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons

Care level: Moderate

Temperament: Peaceful

Reef Compatible: Yes

Origin: Western Pacific, Indo-Pacific

Red_Spot_Cardinal_Fish.jpg

 

Red Belted Cardinalfish (Apogon townsendi)

Max Size: 2"

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Peaceful

Reef Compatible: Yes

Origin: Western Atlantic Ocean

 

Yellow Cardinalfish (Ostorhinchus luteus)

Max Size: 2"

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Peaceful

Reef Compatible: Yes

Origin: Guam

 

Threadfin Cardinalfish (Apogon leptacanthus)

Max Size: 2.5"

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Peaceful

Reef Compatible: Yes

Origin: Indo-Pacific, Fiji

Apogon_leptacanthus.JPG

 

Longspine Cardinalfish (Zoramia leptacantha)

Max Size: 2.5"

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Peaceful

Reef Compatible: Yes

Origin: Indonesia

 

Kaudern's Cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni)

Max Size: 3"

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Reef Compatible: Yes

Origin: Indo-Pacific

Pterapogon_kauderni_en_acuario.JPG

 

Orangestriped Cardinalfish (Apogon cyanosoma)

Max Size: 3"

Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Peaceful

Reef Compatible: Yes

Origin: Indo-Pacific, Red Sea, Australia

Apogon_cf._cyanosoma.JPG

 

Pajama Cardinalfish (Sphaeramia nematoptera)

Max Size: 3.5"

Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Peaceful

Reef Compatible: Yes

Origin: Fiji, Indonesia, Sri Lanka

Pajama_cardinal_fish_Sphaeramia_nematoptera.jpg

 

Orbic Cardinalfish (Sphaeramia orbicularis)

Max Size: 4"

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Peaceful

Reef Compatible: Yes

Origin: Indo-Pacific

Species Notes: The Orbic Cardinalfish prefers to be kept in groups.

Sphaeramia_orbicularis-Orbic_Cardinal.jpg

 

Flame Cardinalfish (Apogon maculatus)

Max Size: 4.5"

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Aggressive

Reef Compatible: Yes

Origin: Caribbean, Costa Rica

Species Notes: Due to its aggressive nature, it shouldn't be kept in groups; however, it does well in a mated pair.  Larger specimens will accept live marine feeder fish and shrimp.

 

Twospot Cardinalfish (Apogon pseudomaculatus)

Max Size: 4.5"

Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Peaceful

Reef Compatible: Yes

Origin: Western Atlantic, Brazil

Twospot_cardinalfish_(_Apogon_pseudomaculatus_).jpg

 

Ochrestriped Cardinalfish (Ostorhinchus compressus)

Max Size: 4.5"

Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Peaceful

Reef Compatible: Yes

Origin: Indonesia, Sumatra

Species Notes: Larger specimens will accept live marine feeder fish and shrimp.

Ostorhinchus_compressus_JUV_01944.jpg

 

Five Lined Cardinalfish (Cheilodipterus quinquelineatus)

Max Size: 5"

Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Reef Compatible: Yes

Origin: Fiji

Species Notes: A small group can be kept in a 6' aquarium, where they will establish a strict hierarchy without aggressiveness.  Feed chopped meaty seafoods, pellets, and (depending on size) live marine feeder shrimp and fish.

Cheilodipterus_quinquelineatus.jpg

 

Photos by image.png.764b7df6a2818ad7ca0b4ddd2d888742.png

 

Saltwater Fish Index

 

Edited by seabass
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Tritone

Can these be kept in groups? Specifically the yellow ones…

 

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seabass
8 minutes ago, Tritone said:

Can these be kept in groups? Specifically the yellow ones…

I assume Ostorhinchus luteus.

56723_5bbdc35c7d0d1.jpg

 

Here are a couple of link:

So apparently they congregate within groups in the wild and will maintain this instinct in captivity.  I'm not familiar with this specific species, but I'd recommend introducing a small group all at once.

 

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Tritone
1 hour ago, seabass said:

I assume Ostorhinchus luteus.

56723_5bbdc35c7d0d1.jpg

 

Here are a couple of link:

So apparently they congregate within groups in the wild and will maintain this instinct in captivity.  I'm not familiar with this specific species, but I'd recommend introducing a small group all at once.

 

Oh, thank you. Must investigate them a bit further before adding “yellow” to my tank.

 

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