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FAQs about Banggai Cardinalfish Compatibility

Related Articles: Cardinalfishes

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

Generally get along with all that get along with them. Amphiprion sandaracinos

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

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

Re: recommended quarantine time; and now Banggai comp.      7/12/12
Hi Bob,
<Jeff>
So we gave them a quick dip and put them in the long 110 gallon Display tank last night after all was dark in there. I checked on them periodically during the night and became a bit concerned about what was happening. Our sole Banggai (sole, because I'm pretty sure he killed another when we first got him and put them in our quarantine tank) was chasing one of the two Bannerfish all over the tank.
<Unusual in this size volume>
The Bannerfish was turned sideways to get away. I had rearranged the rock beforehand to create some hiding places but they didn't go near it. There was just a lot of chasing back and forth.
I knew there would be some jockeying with the older fish claiming their territory and the new fishes while needing to explore also need to learn all the boundaries but given the cardinal's history I made an executive decision to remove him and put him in the quarantine tank for a few days to give the Bannerfish and tang (which has yet to come out of hiding) to settle in for a few days and find their places. Please tell me if I was wrong.
<You were not. Is what I would have done>
I was also wondering also if in general these species get along or given his history do I just have a very territorial, aggressive cardinal (he's fine with his other tank mates, two black and white clowns, a royal gramma, dragonet and shrimp goby) that needs to be rehomed.
<Banggais can be very territorial; aggressive mostly to/with their own kind>
Many thanks again,
Jeff
<Welcome. B>

Tailspot Blenny Compatible with Banggai Cardinal?/Cardinalfish/Compatibility 11/28/11
Hi Crew,
<Hello Jerry.>
I'm interested in adding a Tailspot Blenny to my 29 gallon tank. The tank currently holds a Banggai Cardinalfish, a Neon Goby, a Yellowbanded Possum Wrasse, and a Red Firefish. On a few websites (such as aquarium wiki), I find cautions about keeping the blenny with "such fish as Cardinalfish." I haven't seen any more detailed information, and I don't know why a cardinal would be particularly aggressive with the blenny, or vice versa. Do you know of any concerns about keeping the blenny with my Banggai Cardinalfish?
<Your Cardinalfish can be a little aggressive  towards conspecifics but should behave well with your present fish as well as the Tailspot Blenny.>
Thanks,
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>
Jerry

Acreichthys tomentosus question, comp. w/ Banggais 12/2/10
Dear crew,
<Zach>
Thank you for the service that you provide. My boys and I enjoy your website daily.
<Ahh, welcome!>
I have been able to raise 12 Banggai Cardinalfish babies to 1" size.
<Nice>
I am currently housing them in a 75 gallon tank until I can sort out who may be interested in pairing up. The aquarium has an assortment of macroalgae, live rock, and some mangroves. I was wondering if it would be safe to house a pair of 2.5" and 4" Bristletail Filefish, Acreichthys tomentosus, and a 4" Copperband Butterfly in the same aquarium or if the babies would be in danger.
Thanks for any help you can provide,
Zach
<Mmm, well, this File species has fallen out of "darling" status as a pest anemone control... I have seen it chasing other fishes in the wild... I'd go w/ the Chelmon but leave out the Acreichthys myself. Bob Fenner>
Re: Acreichthys tomentosus question 12/2/10
Thanks for the quick response. Would larger peaceful fish such as Dispar Anthias or McCosker's Flasher Wrasse be better tankmates for the Bristletail Filefishes or would they incur some chasing from them also?
<Mmm, for wanting to principally raise and not disturb the Banggais, I'd go w/ something/s more placid.>
Would the Bristletails cause too much stress for the Copperband?
<Maybe>
We want to do all we can to provide a low-stress home for the Copperband to aid in it's survival.
Thanks again,
Zach
<Welcome. B>

Banggai Cardinal Question/Compatibility/Associations 6/14/10
Hey James...
<Jordan>
its been awhile since I've had to come to you guys for an answer. My question regards banghai <Banggai> cardinal fish...or cardinal fish in general. I've read that they will host an anemone, but every time I try to find something about it something about it, clownfish results pop up. I have a bubble tip anemone that my wild caught ocellaris clown just randomly stopped hosting. So what I want to do is replace the anemones host, I was thinking of getting a clarkii clownfish, but when I saw something saying cardinal fish like anemones, I thought, well hey, a cardinal fish in an anemone would be cool and unusual, and my local fish store sells Banggais cheaper than Clarkiis. So if you have an answer that would be very much appreciated.
<Young Banggai Cardinalfish are most commonly associated with sea anemones, juveniles and adults occur most frequently among long-spined sea urchins and branching corals, as well as hydrozoans and mangrove roots.>
thanks in advanced.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Banggai Cardinal Question/Compatibility/Associations 6/14/10
Ok cool. Thanks. My local fish store sells Banggai (sorry for the mis-spelling) very very tiny about an inch long so I may add 1 of those to my tank.
<OK, and you're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Banggai Cardinal Fish Comp. with Lysmata 12/17/08 Hello All, <Mike.> Long time reader, first time questioner. <Welcome to WWM!> I have a Banggai Cardinal in a 90Gal reef tank. I've had him for 4yrs and he is doing well. Recently, I've added 3 skunk cleaner shrimp to the tank. Over the past 2 weeks, the numbers have seemed to dwindle. Today, when I went to do a water change, I noticed the long white antennae sticking out of the mouth of the Cardinal. From what I've read on other websites, the Banggai should be reef safe. <They are.> What has been your experience on Cardinal fish kept with cleaner shrimp? <No issues, the fish was likely taking advantage of a free meal, either a dead shrimp or possibly even cleaning up after a shrimp molt.> BR, Mike Becker <Scott V.>

Banggai compatibility questions   9/5/08 Hi, folks. Thanks for this site--I've avoided making some very bad, uninformed choices while learning about this hobby thanks to the reams of information you all provide for free. Now that I've buttered you up <g>, I have a quick question for you. I have a 75 that I'm keeping as a sort of Banggai Cardinalfish biotope. Right now, the livestock includes a pair of tank-raised Banggais, one tank-raised Meiacanthus grammistes, a couple of aquacultured Nephthea corals, and assorted motile inverts (a couple of Brittlestars, one royal urchin, <Ahh! Useful for housing the young...> and the usual motley CUC). Filtration is via a 20-gallon refugium w/Caulerpa and Chaeto and a Super Skimmer. <Sounds very nice> I saw some ORA-raised Apogon leptacanthus for sale online, and was wondering if a small group (maybe 4-6) would be compatible with the Banggais. <Mmm, should be, yes. Have seen these two Apogonid species housed together in this sort of size/shape volume before> I'm worried that the Banggais might pick on the milder-mannered cardinals, especially if they begin breeding. I also don't want to overcrowd the tank. I've seen questions about keeping Banggais with PJ cardinals (apparently not a good idea), <Mmm, correct... "occupy" too much of the same part of the water column...> but none about blue streaks, so I apologize in advance if I've overlooked something. Thanks for your time and help. Kristina <I give you good odds that they will cohabit peacefully here. Bob Fenner>

Re: Banggai compatibility questions, and Tunze skimmer input  9/21/08 Hi, Mr. Fenner. I just wanted to let you know that your advice on my Cardinalfish compatibility issue was right on target. (I wrote in a couple of weeks ago asking about combining Banggai cardinals with Apogon leptacanthus.) I added a small school of 7 ORA threadfin cardinals to my reef tank about 10 days ago, and have had no problems at all. They actually seem to almost act like dither fish for the skittish (even though they were also tank-bred) Banggais. <Ahh, very good all the way around> I also have to put in my two cents' worth about Tunze skimmers. I recently bought a Tunze DOC 9005 skimmer to replace the Coralife skimmer I was originally planning to use on this setup. I never actually was able to get the Super Skimmer functioning, because a crucial part broke off while I was trying to set it up and I couldn't find a replacement. But it turned out to be a blessing in disguise--I can't say enough good things about that Tunze skimmer. About 12 hours after I had it up and running, it had already pulled about a quarter cup of muddy-looking water and "crud" out of the tank. (And this is after I'd done a major water change just a week before.) The water is clear as air, the corals' polyps are fat and fully extended, the algae is disappearing--even the lighting looks brighter. I also like its compactness and ease of setup--no parts to assemble, just plunked it in the sump and allowed it to fill with water. It was a strain on my budget, but in the long run, I think it will be well worth the extra money. <Thank you for the Apogonid follow-up and your intelligent input re Tunze. Will share. Good day, BobF>

Banggai comp.  11/5/07 Bob, <Gino> Hey....first I must say Conscientious Marine Aquarist was my first book I read in this hobby and to this day is my favorite reference book. I've recommend this book and your website to quite a few people I've met in this hobby. <Ahh!> So that being said. I thought I would throw this question at you. I have a 21 gallon acrylic cube tank. its loaded with live rock, Zoas, mushrooms, various snails and hermit crabs and one Orchid Dottyback. He's a good eater and like you said in your book...Unlike the other Dottybacks... He seems to mind his own business, although he's pretty feisty, but doesn't bother any of the inverts. <Good> So I debated on what other fish I could put in with him. Well I ended up having a friend give me 2 Banggai cardinals... <... might not get along...> I thought they were male and female. But couldn't really tell if the female was female or not. I really didn't have the room in my bigger reef tank for them. So I thought I would take a chance and put them in the 21 gallon. Well not more then a day went by and the female had half her fins torn off...and I assumed right from the get go...it was the Orchid Dottyback who was guilty. The female died.. But then the male has been in the tank for another week and swims around by the Dottyback...and is perfectly fine. <Hmmm> Not a scratch. The Dottyback pays no attention to the Banggai at all. Even swims over by him to get food. Then yesterday I was reading on Reef Central.com <http://central.com/> that if you put only 2 Banggais together and they are both male that the bigger one will kill the smaller weaker one. But was not sure if there was any truth to this or not. Everything ive read on your site and in your book, would suggest Banggais are not aggressive at all. So I thought I would see what your take is on this. who's guilty? <I'd guess the other Banggai> Also wanted to add Am a professional photographer and ive decided to get into scuba diving and am planning on putting a book out of Reef photography some time in the future. <Neat! Make it known if I can be of assistance> Am also thinking of moving to Melbourne Australia next year. So I probably will be emailing you with lots of scuba questions at some point. <Wow! Some changes now!> Thanks for sharing all your knowledge!! Hope to hear from you! Gino Carlini <Our ISP changed unilaterally... so we lost all the *@wetwebmedia.com addies. Hope to see you about... above and below water! Bob Fenner> Banggai Cardinal...Mixing Cardinals in a 500+ gallon system. - 7/20/07 Greetings fish lovers <Now that's a title I can go with! Hi Ian, Mich with you tonight!> I have a 2500l <660 gallons> full reef system housing about 30 various fish. <Wow! That's a mighty big tank!> I have two Pajama cardinals that have been resident for some time and would like to introduce a couple of Banggai cardinals. Would they get on together if I could try and match the size? <Mmm, generally no, but in a system of this size I am fairly confident this shouldn't be a problem. But my recommendation, as always, is to watch and observe for signs of trouble, but in tank this size I'd be surprised if they ever saw each other!> I thought that it would be better to get at least two newbie's to divide the initial harassment or would there never be acceptance? <I think you will be ok simply because of your tank size, though I would try to acquire a mated pair. These fish have been successfully bred in captivity. More info here and the related links in blue: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cardinal.htm > At the moment nobody messes with them so do not really want to turn their world upside down. <Understandable and respectable.> Thanks for your time and the advice. <You are most welcome!> Cheers <And to you! Mich> Ian

Adding Two Banggai Cardinals 6/14/07 Hi guys. Your site is awesome for beginners to advanced aquarists alike. <Thanks> I currently have a 30 gallon breeder tank 36" 18" 12" (35lbs of live rock) that contains the following inhabitants: 1 Fire Fish, 2 Fire Shrimp, 2 Feather Dusters, 1 Sun Coral, and many snails and hermits. I'm running a CoralLife Super Skimmer 65 and a Whisper 40 filter as well as two small Maxi Jet Powerheads. Sadly, no sump at the moment. <Sounds nice.> I would like to add two Banggai Cardinals to my set up. In the future possibly a Clownfish as well. I am going for a very docile community tank. Do you believe that two Cardinals would be okay with a Fire Fish in my tank? Thanks so much. Phil Allen <This should work fine. Try to find captive breed cardinals if at all possible, they have a much better survival rate than wild caught, along with being much easier to feed and less likely to harbor diseases.> <Chris>

Re: sick little goby - please help!! Crypt, NO3 red., Banggai comp.    3/11/07   Hello Bob and gang.   Thanks, Bob, for your response to my previous question.  Unfortunately, my little goby died about an hour after I sent the email.  After this entire ich experience I am definitely never listening to a word the folks at the LFS say, no matter how informed and smart they seem!!!  I did a lot of reading youre your site (sometimes its tough to know exactly what to read and find exactly what youre looking for, even when using the search feature) prior to my last email, and I have done a ton more reading since receiving Bobs response. <The... non-Boolean logic of the present arrangement is about the best I could/can devise... the placing of the queries/responses, articles is intentional... We want folks to gather pertinent useful data, opinions, methods, attitudes... and "make up their own minds"... Reasonable?>   I will be removing all of the fish this afternoon and moving them to the quarantine tank.but I have some questions before I do so.  I think I know the answers, but I dont trust my gut 100% in this area.         I have 12 fish to house outside of the main system (sailfin, unidentified tang that looks like a Thompson's with a longer snout, 4 P.J. cardinals, 2 engineer gobies, keyhole pygmy angel, small pink skunk clown, large black and white clown, yellow tail damsel) while the system runs fish-free for a month or so.  I never expected that I would have to house all of my fish in the quarantine tank at once, so it is only 30 gallons. <Mmmm, may still work out... often, crowding all such animals all at once imposes a sort of "truce" amongst them...> Is it acceptable to house them all in this tank for a few days until I get a second tank up and running (I have to pick up a few things at the LFS to make the second tank suitable for them)?   <Yes> Also, just double checking, is 30-35 days long enough to have them out of the tank before putting them back into the main system? <Yes, should be> Do any of you have an opinion of Mardel CopperSafe (use or find something else)?   <It is a worthy product of a worthy company> Also, while I am here, I have a couple more questions regarding my system that are unrelated to the ich.  Again, my system is a 180 gallon tank that has been established for more than 10 years.  I have what I am estimating to be 250-300# of live rock in my tank, maybe more.  The system has a what looks like a 40 gallon sump (not exactly sure, <Easy to measure... multiply the dimensions, divide by 231... cubic inches per gallon or so...> and the previous owner is no longer speaking to me, so.), but no refugium. <This sump could be converted... input re on...>   The trickle-down area of the sump has a 15x12x5 area filled with bioballs, and an area the same size filled with a carbon sack, phosphate removal sack and silicate removal sack.  I am running a Berlin 250 gallon protein skimmer.  My nitrates are pretty high (was one of the things that I tested frantically before moving the goby to the quarantine tank) well over 150 ppm. <Yikes... you need to address this... Now, what site could I refer you to...?> I am wondering if I should reconfigure the sump and add a refugium, <! Oh, yes> simply remove the bioballs with no refugium or try some Nitrate controller (came with the tank, but its like medicationI dont want to use it if there is a better way). <There are... reading...>   I have read and read and read.and now my head is spinning.   <Deep breaths... walks... pull weeds (my fave...)> I am contemplating removing the bioballs and reconfiguring the sump to include a small refugium.  This seems like a huge undertaking at this point, so I am just looking for another opinion before I get started. <This is what I would do>     To wrap up, just a quick fish question.  I have had the 4 P.J. cardinals for over a year.  One is slightly larger than the other 3, and I have recently noticed him nipping at the fins of the other three.  Is this normal? <Yes... not atypical behavior... likely a/the male of the group> Everything I have read says that they are peaceful fish.  Should I be overly concerned?   <Mmm, no... in a system of this size, this number of specimens... not really an issue>         Thanks again for such a wonderful resource!  I have been reading and researching on your site (I should have completely ignored the LFS guy) since before I took over my system  2 ½ years ago.  This is the first time I have had occasion to write in; hopefully it will be the last!!  Have a great weekend! Susan <You as well Susan. BobF>

Banggai Bully   2/11/07 Hello, <Hi.> I have a 125gal fish only community tank with a mellow population of zebra darts 3, clowns 2, chalk bass 5, fairy wrasse 1, dragon wrasse 1, Fiji puffer 1, rusty angel 1, orange spot goby 1, cromis 3, Allen¹s damsels 3 and a single Banggai cardinal. All have been getting along fine. Recently I decided it would be good to have more of the cardinals and I added two more to the mix. The resident cardinal did not like this and began to bully the new guys keeping them in hiding all the time. I guess that behavior is not unexpected. <Correct.> So I devised a plan to get them acclimated: I captured the resident bully and put him in a floating cage in the aquarium (one of those clear plastic devices for keeping breeding fish from eating their young) so he could see the new guys but not go after them. <Good idea,< I kept him there for a few days and then let him out. At that point he was somewhat friendly with one of the new guys but still went after the other. After some more time it looked like maybe he was after both of them again. So I recaptured him and put him back in the box. The question is: If I leave him there long enough will he adjust to the new guys and live in peace or is it trade in time? <If he does not appear to be physically harming the others...they are still venturing out and eating, etc.. I would observe for a few days and see if "they" can decide who is the alpha...it is possible you have multiple males.  If it continues, try isolation again or remove.> Thanks, David Austin <Adam J.>

Banggai Cardinals comp.  - 12/06/06 Hi <Hey Joe, JustinN with you today> Three days ago I purchased a small aquacultured Banggai to hopefully make friends with my other one. My original Banggai is a lot bigger than my new one almost twice the size). The small one is always in the corner hiding but comes out for food and then dashes back into the corner. My larger Banggai is pushing against him/her in the corner of the tank. Is this aggression towards having a new fish that is in his/her territory, could they both be males, or will it just pass overtime. Any help will be appreciated and full praise of your website it is so informative! From Joe <Thank you for the kind words, Joe. What you describe sounds like what would be to be expected when adding a new cardinal to an existing system. You don't mention how large of a tank, or how much live rock you have available. Assuming that you're not seeing any physical damage, you have a tank with enough hiding spaces to allow the forming of coexistence, I would just stay the course here and not worry. If there is no physical harm being done, likely they will learn to coexist with time. Hope this helps you! -JustinN> 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.>

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

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

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

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

- 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 -- >

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>

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>

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 -- >>

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>

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

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

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>

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

Stocking Levels/Compatibility  2/18/06 Hi Guys, <Hello Alan.> Let me just state that you guys have an absolutely great site! I just wished I'd have found you guys 9 years ago...you'd probably have saved me a lot of grief! <Thanks.> But, I don't want to waste your time with my joyful raving so I have a question for you, and I'd like an honest opinion. I have a 100 gallon reef with numerous mushrooms, anthelia, various zooanthids, xenia, and a Entacmaea quadricolor. I know I'm not supposed to keep mobile cnidarians with sessile life, but for the 3 years it's been in there nothing horrible has happened yet...(fingers crossed).<Keep them crossed.> I have an arc eye Hawkfish (4in), a yellow tang (6in), one mandarin (2/12-3in), a flame angel (4 1/2in), a maroon clown (4in) and a barred goby (3in). Ah, also a pair of cleaner shrimp. The filtration is kinda bare bones, an Aqua C Remora Pro and a home made refugium (hang on type, capacity about 2 1/2g). Water quality parameters are good, but sometimes nitrate levels go to 1ppm between water changes. All the fish have been in there for at least 3 1/2 years with the exception of the maroon, whose been in there for 2 years. Lately I've been wanting to add  a pair of Banggai Cardinals, but I'm not too sure if my system can handle it. <Your system can't handle anymore.  Cardinals are not the type of fish you want to add to the schoolyard with bullies present.>  Everything has been going great for years and I really don't want to wreck it. <Ah, leave well enough alone.> I'm contemplating installing a sump style refugium, as large as I can fit. Would that help greatly if I am considering adding a pair of these fish? Your thoughts. <Adding a refugium is a good idea but still wouldn't add cardinals to your system.  The Banggai's do much better in the company of other docile fish and do much better in groups of three or more.> Thanks so much for your time, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Alan

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

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