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FAQs about Banggai Cardinalfish Health/Disease

Related Articles: Cardinalfishes

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

can anyone help my poor Banggai Cardinal??     9/30/13
I'm emailing to see if anyone out there can help my poor Banggai Cardinal..
I noticed maybe a week ago the he wasn't eating as aggressively as he normally does with the other fish during feeding time, but I thought nothing of it. He lives in a 55 gal tank and his tank mates are 2 clowns, a blue damsel and a very shy Firefish. We have had our cardinal for 18 months and he was originally one of a pair but our other cardinal died inexplicably many months ago while in my girlfriend's care.
    Now my girlfriend is my wife and we  noticed that our poor cardinal was just skulking at the bottom of the tank contrary to his normal behavior where he likes to hang out and swim all over with our two clowns. This morning he was having the same behavior but worse. His equilibrium seems to be out of whack and he's swimming really drowsily often resting on rocks or the side of the tank to keep himself upright. What little movement he does when I try to stimulate him is short and sporadic.
    I just quarantined him to get him out of the motion of the tank, and he's even worse. He's either swimming upside down in the QT bucket, or just laying on the bottom. It's horrible. He is still breathing, and I can get him to swim for maybe a second, but I feel that makes it even more stressful for him.
     PLEASE HELP!!! I don't want to loose another one!!
<This reads like an animal that has encountered, likely consumed something... problematic. Nothing much you can do than wait/hope for spontaneous remission. Bob Fenner>

Banggai Female Thin   9/8/13
Good Evening Wet Web Crew,
<Good morrow to you Wendy>
Thank you for taking my question.  I have a breeding pair of Banggai Cardinal fish for 3 years now.  They have raised eggs to fry at least 6 times.  I have cared for 2 of their "batches" of fry.  (Separated male, divided tank with Plexi glass, purchased long tentacle urchin, male spits fry in urchin, move male out, feed fry cultured rotifers 4 + times a day, wean fry to bigger food, and have given the matured fry away)
Anyhow, the female is looking thinner and thinner, especially along her spine.  The male looks great, lots of meat on his bones.  I don't know why she seems to be wasting away.
<A few categories of possibilities... nutritional, social, water quality...>
 She eats well.  The female Banggai looks normal around her lower body-tummy, but along her back bone and tail she looks thin.   I feed 2x a day a variety of different foods (Cyclop-eeze, brine shrimp, Mysis shrimp soaked in Selcon , sinking pellets
<Spectrum? There are other worthy ones, and some not so much; I would add/soak foods in a vitamin, HUFA mix like Selcon, and occasionally dose the system w/ iodide-ate (yes, for the fishes as well as non-fishes)>
 and flakes-sheet algae for the tang/bristle tooth ).  Once a week I feed tiny diced silversides, live minnows or small ghost shrimp.  She still eats very well.  Lately, she hangs out in the upper level of tank.  This is unlike her normal middle of tank area.
1.  Is she thin due to all the eggs she has made?  How long do breeding Banggais live?
<Likely egg-production is taking some toll; can/do live several years in ideal circumstances>
2.  Is she thin due to a parasite that may have been inside a minnow?  And if so, what do I do?
<Not inside the silversides; if they've been frozen...>
3.  Is she thin due to a 3rd power head being on a little longer each day
than normal?  (only 15 minutes more)
<Possibly a contributor>
4.  Should I move her to my refugium to feed her extra?
<A good idea>
5.  Should I move male with her to refugium to decrease stress?
<I'd do 4. first; but 5 is a possibility as well>
I am leaning to moving her and mate to refugium to feed and dose with anti-parasite meds.  The current is slower there, much less action and less competition for food.
<Ah, good>
Tank Mates: breeding pair pajama Cardinalfish, 4 golden belly damsels, 1 Bartlett Anthias male (the most aggressive fish in tank),
<Should have females present; for interaction...>
 Zebrasoma
Desjardinii, orange line bristle tooth tang, skunk shrimp, peppermint shrimp, emerald crab, various hermits, various snails, rose bubble tip that split into 2, LPS, SPS and soft corals.
None of the fish are new.  I have not noticed anyone chasing her or bothering her.
165 gallon reef tank
1.025 specific gravity
420 calcium
11dkh alkalinity
pH 8.1
80 degrees (this is normal temp for my tank this time of year in Florida, 78 in winter)
Orphek LEDs
AquaC EV 240 skimmer
LifeReef sump
LifeReef Calcium reactor
18 gallon refugium
3 power heads (1 on timer)
20% weekly water changes with Gulf of Mexico water taken 2 miles out (mixed salt water when bad weather or red tide)
<Sounds very nice indeed>
Sincerely,
Wendy
I will send another attachment with smaller photo...
<Thank you; this one is/was fine. Bob Fenner>

Banggai Death    6/10/12
Good evening,
<Rob>
I just lost my first Banggai tonight after having him for only 15 days.
<Such "anomalous" losses are unfortunately all too common w/ this species>
 I never saw him ever eat. In fact I even tried feeding after lights out so the other fish would not be so aggressive at dinner time. The fish I have in the tank are as follows, 2 Percula Clowns, 2 yellow tail Damsels, and a Coral Beauty. I also have a Skunk shrimp, 2 Peppermint Shrimp, 2 Emerald Crabs, Brittle Star, assortment of snails and hermit crabs. I also have a BTA.,
<Mmm, the Anemone and Mithraculus might be involved, implicated somehow>
2 Zoanthid colonies, pompom xenia, and green star polyps. My tank is a 55 gal. been running for 2 months with live sand and about 60# of live rock.
My parameters are:
Salinity 1.024
PH 8.2
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0
Phos .25
Ammonia 0
Temp 80 deg.
KH 161.9/9deg.
Calcium 360
The Banggai seemed ok at first. He would be mid column and pecking at particles in the evening when the lights were low. As the days went by I saw no physical changes just that he was starting to spend more time in the lower corner of the tank. Then eventually he would stay down there all the time. One day he had a long white feces hanging out that dropped off. He basically seem to decline as the days went. Again as I said I never saw him eat. Other than the feces I never saw any other physical signs of distress.
I also never saw any aggression from the other fish.
I guess my question is can I keep this species in my tank and do you have any suggestions of how I can get one to live in the tank.
<Yes, and all is posted... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/banggaidis.htm
and the linked files above>
I have read through all of your files on Banggais. I guess is it better to get a tank raised?
<Yes>
 Are my parameters ok?
<Yes; mostly as confirmed by the viability for the other life you list>
 Are the other fish in the tank ok.
<Should be; though more room would be better for all>
Thanks for all your help.
Rob
<Welcome. Bob Fenner> 

Indirovirus & Cardinals     4/29/12
Jeff,
I was absent from the WetWebMedia for a while. Just went in to see if their were more post on Indirovirus/Cardinals Banggai and saw your post.
I live in Mexico City so the fishes I bought could follow a different distribution channel from the ones imported to US. If you need I could try to find out from what country they are finally imported to Mexico.
<Let's see if it/this is pertinent>
The cases that I mentioned in the Wet web media are at least 3 attempts. In total of 8 fishes.
Around July - August last year.
First  try: I started with a adult pair. Had them quarantined with copper at a intermediate distributor since I had my quarantine busy. After the 21 days of treatment transferred them to my quarantine.
As received at home they ate perfectly ( a mixture that I make myself :
shrimp, clam, Spirulina, Selcon, frozen brine, Cyclops, Krill ), They ate super for a week and then suddenly stop eating my mixture, the only thing they ate for another 2 days was very few just hatched brine shrimp. After that they start to loose wait and produce a white string feace and die 3 days later. ( the time periods are as I remember  them, approx. ).
<Mmm, not copper toxicity, nor exposure to "capture" chemicals...>
Second try was about 2 weeks after the first failed attempt, In this occasion I purchased 4 and when two died I replaced them with another 2.
At the end all die the same way.
In this last attempt 2  made it  ( a couple ) to the display tank ( Sept 14 ), they ate perfectly (See picture bellow dated  Sept 17, they ate voraciously, full bellies!! ), then... suddenly nothing. They both stop eating ( 5 days apart ), became lethargic, excrete a thin white string and died after 4- 5 days.
<Perhaps a lumenal (internal, gut) parasitic issue...>
All these fishes were purchased from a local whole sale ( live fish market ), they all were fine very active and eating brine shrimp.
I always quarantine new fish in a 15 gal aquarium ( with hiding places / pvc pipes, bare bottom, partial water changed ( 25 % ) form display tank every 3 days  ) . My prophylactic procedure includes: acclimation, then treatment with Metronidazole, then Kanaplex then Cupramine 21 days then one to two weeks of observation.
<I like the (one time) treatment w/ Metronidazole... Would add an anthelminthic... likely Prazi/quantel if you can get it/this>
If all goes well I introduce them in the display tank. In this case no FW , nor Formalin Dips were necessary.
Hope it helps.
I'll probably try some other time another Tank Bred couple imported from US. They are no TB in Mexico.
<Mycobacteria are everywhere humans are found>
Feel free to contact me at XXXX
<Nos vemos. Bob Fenner>

Re: Indirovirus & Cardinals     4/29/12
Bob, thanks for your reply.
<Thank you for your query Eric>
A) Cardinals Kaudern:
    Some important facts related to his case:
1. The dealers agree that there is something VERY wrong with this type of fish.  Some believe that the fish are damaged from capture chemical / liver failure or they are by nature very delicate.
<At least quite delicate when caught/shipped too small... 1 cm. standard length is way too small... this fish/species should only be captured and transported when 2 cm. or larger>
I personally do not think that they are so delicate and that something else is the problem. Maybe something related with a gut infection or parasite with cyst/cycle of around a month as you mentioned.
<Possibly>
In my experience other fishes ( of all kinds and family )  that share the same aquarium at the local dealer do not show these symptoms. Why? maybe the incubation period is longer that the other fish stock do not get the disease because usually the Cardinals are sold the fist week they arrive.
Some last 2 weeks at the store before they are sold or start to die. OR the Cardinals ( from their origin  ) are susceptible to a virus that other fish are resistant to.
Anyone has seen these symptoms in any other fish and diagnosed the illness?
<Not as yet w/ confidence, no>
2. Anyone has seen this illness in tank break Cardinals? anyone had this symptoms with tank-breads?
<Again...>
B)  Quarantine:
My prophylactic procedure, as described below, includes A 4 day formalin or Dips  and fresh water dips if appropriate. In the last phase at the end of Cupramine treatment ( 21 days ), I change of quarantine tank (previously washed and  "Sun dried" ) so the observation period of two weeks is done in a new environment without the possibility of any cysts survival in the equipment ( bottom, pipes... ).  So, besides the addition of the Prazi Quantel that you recommend, what would you do differently ?
<Perhaps cut the copper exposure to one week>
And at last: has anybody already defined a Standard Robust best quarantine protocol to avoid all of us: invent, learn from our errors ?
<Not for this species as far as I'm aware>
 if so where can I find it if not I am sure that there are aquarist out there that have the experience to define such methodic routine from scratch assuming fish can be carrier of any of the most common contagious maladies.
In other words a wide range recipe.
Thanks for your help! Hasta luego!
Eric
<Folks need to work out Pterapogon's wild parasite fauna en toto. This has been done for other fish species. Bob Fenner>

Banggai Cardinalfish Iridovirus 2/13/12
Dear WWM Crew,
<Jeff>
I am a research student with an interest in iridoviruses, and recently came
across a couple of postings from one of your members as follows (from "FAQs about Banggai Cardinalfish health/disease"
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/banggaidis.htm ):
"Infected Banggai Cardinals   8/23/11
Crew,
After a numerous attempts to introduce Banggais to my display they all have died the same way. After a vigorous first week eating well ... they
suddenly stop eating, become lethargic. Final phase is with stringy feces and die one day after that. Tried every medication possible but nothing has worked. Looking in the www I found the article that seems to explain everything and it is getting very serious. They are infected with a non reversible disease... a time bomb: Iridovirus.
It seems that the problem is a Iridovirus witch has no cure that has infected the collection and distribution channels of this little fish.
Please read the article posted bellow and help us all Fish lovers to better understand this issue and try to reduce the wild caught doomed Cardinals.
Eric
Systemic Iridovirus infection in the Banggai Cardinalfish ...
http://vdi.sagepub.com/content/21/3/306.full
<Thank you for sending this along. Hopefully folks will add this knowledge to the weight of purchasing locally/regionally cultured specimens of this species... and these will not in turn become like tank-bred Colisa lalia.
Bob Fenner>
Cardinal Banggai   8/24/11
Gentlemen,
It is me again. troubling with the Banggai virus.
This time my question is related to the correct temperature for these little ones.
Almost everyone mentions in the web mention a 75 F 82 F temp range BUT reading from the Banggai islands and technical reports they mention temps of 82 F to 89F ( 28 - 32 C )!
This is a huge difference... and let me tell you that the ones I had in quarantine tried to be near the thermostat for a reason... could it be?
<Not likely temperature, but habitat... Juveniles "hang" out amongst urchin spines, large anemones... Not in the open>
Is it possible that we all are very wrong about the temp they need to be in??
<Don't think so... I've been diving in their islands... the water is rarely more than 82 F.>
Thanks for your reply
Eric
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>"
Eric mentions "numerous attempts" but I was hoping to contact him for some further details (how many attempts, over what sort of time period, when (e.g.. month) fish were purchased, conditions under which the fish were kept etc).  Is there any way in which you would be able to put me directly in contact with Eric?
<Unfortunately no. We don't retain or post others email addresses w/o their express desire>
Many thanks in advance for any assistance that you may be able to provide.
Regards,
Jeff
<If you'd like, do write back w/ contact info. on how Eric, others might contact you and we'll post. Bob Fenner>
Re: Banggai Cardinalfish Iridovirus €“ 2/14/12

Dear WWM crew,
I am a research student with an interest in iridoviruses.  I have recently come across a number of posts on the internet by hobbyists such as Eric's posting here at WWM "Infected Banggai Cardinals   8/23/11"
(http://www.wetwebmedia.com/banggaidis.htm  ) describing their experiences with mortalities in Banggai Cardinalfish consistent with Iridovirus infection (with signs including inappetance, lethargy and particularly white stringy faeces).
I would be very interested in hearing from hobbyists such as Eric who have experienced such mortalities, as I am interested in some further details from these events (such as how many occasions this has occurred on, over what sort of time period, when the fish were purchased, conditions under which the fish were kept
etc).  I can be contacted through iridovirus@hotmail.com
and would be most appreciative if you could post this on my behalf.
Many thanks for your assistance.
Regards,
Jeff
<And you Jeff. BobF>

Banggai Cardinal Fish Injury or Disease?  9/4/11
First of all, thank you for all of your great articles and information you have shared over the years. This is my first time writing you guys but I need some help.
<Please, just hundreds of Kbytes per image... the Net speed in Fiji is painfully slow>
I have a 34 gal RSM. Running for 2 years now. two very healthy clowns, two Banggai cardinal fish, a tiny yellow watchman goby, blue fairy flasher wrasse (newest member) I have had the two cardinal fish (they are a pair) for 7 months or so, with no problems. Tank is packed with corals, a cleaner shrimp, and pistol shrimp. I noticed their behavior of the cardinal fish was weird today; one huddled towards the back wall the other lower in the tank.. they normally stay together. Once the lights went out tonight they were swimming together again but I noticed a big puffy patch my the one cardinal's gills and by his eye.
I tried to take pictures,
<I see this clearly in your cropped image>
I attached the best shot I was able to get.
I am really looking for some advice here? QT him? Is there a disease that looks like this? Could a wrasse that is smaller than him have done this? It looks like an injury but I honestly am not sure.
<This appears to be a tumorous growth of some sort... akin to cancers of sorts... Not treatable, not "catching">
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! - Dan
<I'd leave this fish where it is, hope for the best. Bob Fenner>

Infected Banggai Cardinals   8/23/11
Crew,
After a numerous attempts to introduce Banggais to my display they all have died the same way. After a vigorous first week eating well ... they suddenly stop eating, become lethargic. Final phase is with stringy feces and dye one day after that. Tried every medication possible but nothing has worked. Looking in the www I found the article that seems to explain everything and it is getting very serious. They are infected with a non reversible disease... a time bomb: Iridovirus.
It seems that the problem is a Iridovirus witch has no cure that has infected the collection and distribution channels of this little fish.
Please read the article posted bellow and help us all Fish lovers to better understand this issue and try to reduce the wild caught doomed Cardinals.
Eric
Systemic Iridovirus infection in the Banggai Cardinalfish
...
http://vdi.sagepub.com/content/21/3/306.full 
<Thank you for sending this along. Hopefully folks will add this knowledge to the weight of purchasing locally/regionally cultured specimens of this species... and these will not in turn become like tank-bred Colisa lalia.
Bob Fenner>
Cardinal Banggai   8/24/11
Gentlemen,
It is me again. troubling with the Banggai virus.
This time my question is related to the correct temperature for these little ones.
Almost everyone mentions in the web mention a 75 F 82 F temp range BUT reading from the Banggai islands and technical reports they mention temps of 82 F to 89F ( 28 - 32 C )!
This is a huge difference... and let me tell you that the ones I had in quarantine tried to be near the thermostat for a reason... could it be?
<Not likely temperature, but habitat... Juveniles "hang" out amongst urchin spines, large anemones... Not in the open>
Is it possible that we all are very wrong about the temp they need to be in??
<Don't think so... I've been diving in their islands... the water is rarely more than 82 F.>
Thanks for your reply
Eric
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Tiny whitish 'egg' on Banggai fin   4/28/11
Sigh. I quarantined my pair of Banggai Cardinalfish for a month, and put them in my DT yesterday. Now today I noticed something weird on one of them (but not the other).
I can't believe that I missed it during quarantine, but I might have.
On the fin over its left gill, there is attached to the fin a whitish cylindrical thing about 1 mm long and 1/2 mm in diameter.
What is interesting is that it has a slightly smaller version of the same thing attached to the exact same spot on the fin on the right side!
This is definitely not a 'white spot' as in the several diseases. This is an actual object attached to the top end of the fin about 2 mm from where the fin attaches to the body.
I looked through several references of external parasites, including parasitic copepods, and I can't find anything that looks remotely like this.
It is smooth, and I'd almost swear it's an egg, except that it's clearly attached to the edge of the fin in some way.
I hate to stress the fish by netting it and giving it a freshwater bath.
(I don't have any treatment chemicals here, and getting out to get something in the next day or two would be difficult).
Should I try a bath? Or just wait it out? I sure hate to contaminate the main tank, now that the fish is in it!!
Thanks for any advice!
Tim
<I've seen these unusual protuberances on different marine fish before, particularly crepuscular or nocturnal species like Cardinalfish and Soldierfish and they appear to be something like a copepod or isopod. Copepods, in particular come in many forms. They may be similar to the ones commonly found on shrimps of the genus Lysmata. They do not seem to affect the animals in a way that hinders their normal behavior. The other possibility is that they may be flukes. Both parasites are rather unsightly, though and if large enough, may affect the fishes' equilibrium.
It seems to me that some of these parasites are embedded in the skin while others are loosely attached and might be easily removed...although cautiously! This is merely an opinion based on your description so,
honestly, a photo may be more useful for positive identification!
Good Luck! Send a pic if possible!
Sam Scalz>
Whitish egg on Banggai Cardinal (More information!)    4/30/11

Hi. Sorry for the repetition, but I just got more information. Here is my prior email, with the new information added. Once again, I'm sorry to trouble you with the repeated email.
<No worries. Sam appears to be "out", so I'm responding>
Sigh. I quarantined my pair of Banggai Cardinalfish for a month, and put them in my DT yesterday. Now today I noticed something weird on one of them (but not the other).
I can't believe that I missed it during quarantine, but I might have.
On the fin over its left gill, there is attached to the fin a whitish cylindrical thing about 1 mm long and 1/2 mm in diameter.
What is interesting is that it has a slightly smaller version of the same thing attached to the exact same spot on the fin on the right side!
<More and more curious>
This is definitely not a 'white spot' as in the several diseases. This is an actual object attached to the top end of the fin about 2 mm from where the fin attaches to the body.
I looked through several references of external parasites, including parasitic copepods, and I can't find anything that looks remotely like this.
<Many parasitic ones look nothing like crustaceans>
It is smooth, and I'd almost swear it's an egg, except that it's clearly attached to the edge of the fin in some way.
<Might actually be eggs... as you likely are aware, Apogonids are mouthbrooders... these may be "escapees">
I hate to stress the fish by netting it and giving it a freshwater bath.
(I don't have any treatment chemicals here, and getting out to get something in the next day or two would be difficult).
Should I try a bath? Or just wait it out?
<This last is what I'd do>
I sure hate to contaminate the main tank, now that the fish is in it!!
<Not to panic>
Thanks for any advice!
New info: I put a big magnifier on the tank wall and got a close look at the thing. It is featureless. I looked at many pictures of parasitic pods et cetera, and those pics always show 'creature features' like legs, lobster tail, et cetera. This has no such thing. it is perfectly smooth, featureless, and egg shaped.
<Bingo>
In fact, I could almost believe that it is a tumor of some sort, a bulbous thing attached to the fin.
<Not on both sides, no>
And I do find it an interesting coincidence (?) that it has a smaller mate in exactly the same spot on the other side. (The other cardinal has no such thing.)
<The female...>
Thanks!
Tim
<Do see the Net re Pterapogon reproduction. Bob Fenner>
Re: Whitish egg on Banggai Cardinal (More information!)    4/30/11
Bob - Thank you for the extended response! An egg? Interesting possibility. I never thought of that.
I am keeping a close eye on it. The fish seems perfectly healthy, swimming happily with its friend and eating voraciously. So I'll just wait and see.
Meanwhile, I'm keeping a close watch on the water. Ammonia, nitrite, and even nitrate are all perfect zeros, so the fish is getting all I can give right now.
I'm discovering something annoying about myself and this new hobby: I may be too much of a worrier to keep fish.
<Mmm, well, on the other hand, It's my long opinion that the hobby is good for "teaching patience" and much more>
Every time I see even the tiniest imperfection in one of them, I imagine the worst and spend the next ten hours searching the web and books for hints about what might be wrong. I'll have to either toughen up or get a new hobby.
Tim
<Or more learning perhaps. IF you lived nearby I'd loan you a copy of Ed Noga, "Fish Disease, Diagnosis & Treatment", either edition... and have you read, go through the front section on "trouble shooting". Again, not to worry. Worrying will assuredly not change the future. BobF>

Hungry new Banggai Cardinal too buoyant?   4/5/11
Four days ago I bought a pair of Banggai Cardinalfish from my LFS and put them in my 28 gallon NanoCube quarantine tank.
They have eaten very little because they hang out in their cave and largely ignore the Selcon-soaked thawed Mysis that I drift in the water for them.
They are eating a little, but not much.
<Familiarity w/ such new foods takes time... days, weeks>
This morning I thought one of them was very sick. Instead of hiding in its cave as usual, it was floating an inch below the water surface, extremely sedate.
It wasn't gasping or breaking the surface, just hanging there almost motionless.
<A natural behavior>
I tested the water, and everything is great (NH3 and NO2 zero, NO3 about 0.2 ppm).
Now, hours later it is in about the middle depth, nose-down about 45 degrees.
<Mmm, not natural>
It is rapidly bobbing up and down a fraction of an inch, as if something is making it buoyant and it is weakly struggling to fight the buoyancy. This is totally abnormal behavior for it, as until now it's just hid in its cave.
Any thoughts on how to get them to eat more, and what this unusual behavior means?
<Both, just waiting, being patient. The one fish may have suffered some damage in shipping, handling. Small specimens of this Apogonid are notorious for such. Will either "fix itself", or perish. Bob Fenner>
Tim
Re: Hungry new Banggai Cardinal too buoyant?   4/5/11
Bob - Thanks for the reply. Today the fish is much better, and eating a little. This new hobby of mine sure does teach patience!
<Ah yes... definitely a positive trait/characteristic. Oh, if only we could bottle and sell such!>
The Banggais lack of eating was totally new to me.
<Happens. Not to worry>
I have a pair of false percs, a trio of blue/green reef chromis, and a royal gramma. They all eat up a storm, right from day one. I think if I tossed leftover spaghetti and meatballs in the tank they'd eat it. So when these two Banggais went for three days without eating a thing, just hiding, I was terrified. I'll learn. Thanks again.
Tim
<Welcome Tim. BobF>

Need help ID a Banggai Cardinal problem!  12/10/10
Hello all,
<Hi there Brian>
I have had this Banggai Cardinal for less than a week. He's in a QT as follows:
10gallon (80% from DT, 20% new)
HOB filter with biomedia from DT
Temp: 80 F
pH 8.0-8.2
Salinity: 1.025
Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates = undetectable.
Airstone for movement / aeration
Ball of Chaetomorpha, 2 Peppermint shrimp (I know most say that you don't really need to QT shrimp, but they are in there too for now). I haven't seen any interaction between the shrimp and fish. Fish hangs out like a Cardinal, and the shrimp pick through the Chaeto
He looked fine from Sat when I purchased him to Wed, yesterday, but today I noticed these pink spots near his gills, and also on his back and tail.
There's a post on WWM which has a pic very like this and they say it's probably damage from shipping / transport,
<I do agree. Have seen such "blems" before. Generally self-healing in time... days, weeks.>
but I don't know anything that would damage him on both sides (under gills is pretty much identical on both sides) and on back that quickly, and he was fine previously.
WWM - http://www.wetwebmedia.com/banggaidis.htm - pic about half way down
Any thoughts? What is this and what can I do to help him? He eats fine and his fins are erect.
Thanks for your help!
-Brian
<I would not despair, or treat this fish chemically. Just good care and time going by. Bob Fenner>

Re: Need help ID a Banggai Cardinal problem!  12/10/10
Ok, thanks for your expert advice and comfort. I'll just keep giving him TLC and let you know how it goes!
<Thank you>
Also sorry for the spelling error.
I think some LFS put Banggai on their tank and I've had a problem spelling it ever since.
-Brian
<Ahh, a note on the evolution of language eh? Cheers, BobF>

Swim Bladder Disease 11/1/10
Hello Bob, Its been quite awhile since I've emailed.
<James here today as Bob is likely 20 foot deep in one of the Fijian Reefs. <<Much more than this>> I will try to help you as best as I can.>
I'm having issues with my Banggai cardinal that I suspect is swim bladder disease. For the last 2 days he was facing downward at an angle and today...he is floating around the tank trying quite hard to maintain balance and just can't do it. He flips upside down and keeps floating toward the top. I looked on WetWebMedia...but didn't find exact info on what to do? Should I move him to the hospital tank and what should I attempt as far as trying to medicate him? I read on a few sites something about feeding the fish peas as a cure for swim bladder problems..but all those sites were on Koi and goldfish. I also want to mention that this same Banggai around a month ago had what looked like a small red cyst with white spots on his lower belly....which cause concern...but within a few days was gone. At that time..the Banggai was swimming, eating and acting normal. My tank is 4ft x 3 ft x 12" 110 gallon shallow reef.. Water quality is excellent and all parameters are normal. I feed with New Spectrum pellets and San Francisco frozen Marine Cuisine carnivore, omnivore, and brine shrimp which I dissolve in a cup of tank water before feeding. The other tank occupants are 4 Pajama Cardinals,1 Bristle Tooth Tang,1 Pacific Sailfin Tang,1 female true perc clown, and 1 blue/yellowtail damsel who are swimming and behaving normal.
<Lets first list probable causes. One is external factors such as trauma which includes being beaten by another fish, rapid changes in water parameters, and rapid changes in water temperature. There are also genetic factors that can cause this as the fish grow older. Cancer and tuberculosis can be another factor if the affected organs are close to the swim bladder, or the swim bladder itself. Poor diet is another cause as foods low in nutrition and roughage can cause constipation which results in an enlarged abdomen which prevents the swim bladder from working properly. And last, bacterial and parasitic diseases can indirectly cause swim bladder problems. Since there is no known cure for swim bladder disease itself, I suggest you place him in a quarantine tank and treat with Metronidazole or Quinine. Although this will not cure the swim bladder problem, it will help cure any, if present, bacterial or parasitical problem that may be responsible. The use of copper would be my last choice as this will further stress the fish out. If I erred somewhere here, Bob will likely email me and I can relay any information he may suggest to you.>
Any Help is greatly appreciated!!! Thanks!!!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Gino
Re Swim Bladder Disease 11/1/10

Hey James (Salty Dog) thanks for responding and helping me out.
<You're welcome.>
First I've ruled out Trauma from being harassed by other fish. He has no external wounds and these fish have all been together for years and never bothered the Banggai. He pretty much stays to himself or swims with the Pajama Cardinals that are all smaller them him.
<OK, trauma eliminated.>
Also like I mentioned before..my water parameters are near ideal and haven't changed at all. I test regularly. I've fed the Banggai the same diet for the last 4 years which is San Francisco frozen Marine Cuisine carnivore, omnivore, and brine shrimp which I dissolve in a cup of tank water before feeding. So I will follow your instructions and quarantine him tonight. I've never heard of Metronidazole or Quinine..
<Can be found here. http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+4615+4 753&pcatid=4753>
Would it be ok to use Seachem Paraguard and StressGuard? I've used both these together before and had great results in fighting parasites.
<The Stress Guard isn't going to help you much. If you have Paraguard on hand, give that a try.>
I had an issue with gill flukes with my clowns a year ago. I called Seachem and they said it is ok and recommended to dose both of these together. I had great results.
Please let me know...
Thanks James!!! I appreciate your help...I'm reefaquatics on reefcentral.com if you are ever on there..
<Gotcha. James (Salty Dog)>
Gino
PS.. Tell Bob I said Hello! I'm a photographer and I'm planning on, at some point doing an underwater photography book on Coral Reefs..I was talking to him about this before...
<OK.> <<Hi there Gino! Hope we meet someday (soon!) above and below water! BobF>>

Banggai Cardinalfishes, mortality    5/4/10
Hi Bob and Crew
<Gabe>
I recently received a shipment of Banggai Cardinalfishes. I have always done well with these fish when I had a retail store as well as now that I concentrate on custom setups. Generally I order a dozen or so at a
time and they are quarantined in 40gallon (long ) aquariums with Liverock a power filter and UV. I quarantine all fish (where appropriate), a practice I adopted since first doing systems back in the 1980's, although I no longer use a prophylactic "cleansing" treatment up front.
<Mmmm, maybe you should>
This last shipment contained three individuals with the following symptoms within the first 48 hours:
One breathing heavily died during acclimation.
Second breathing normally was showing white stringy feces by the next morning. Placed into a hospital tank (with water from the quarantine system) it died about an hour later, before I could administer any anything for internal parasites.
Third Heavy breathing and white stringy feces. I am assuming a bacterial infection as well as intestinal parasite. Moved to hospital tank (a cycled 14 gallon Biocube ). Water in the hospital tank is kept to match the quarantine systems. I added Kanamycin and was planning on administering Praziquantel in food. Died within two hours. First hour it looked the same as when first introduced. During second hour the cardinal hid under a piece of live rock and died with its mouth wide open and pale gills with just ends of the gill filaments brown in color. The DO level of the tank is good so I am assuming that the whatever triggered the labored
breathing interfered with oxygen transport.
<Likely so>
At this point everyone else looks good and they are eating. Do you suggest I wait and see what happens with the other fish or should I prophylactic treat the remaining cardinals and if so what do you recommend
<I would continue to preventatively treat all such fishes, esp. Pterapogon if wild-collected (and not buy too small), with Metronidazole and  Praziquantel or other anthelminthic>
Thanks again for your continued help
Gabriel
<Welcome. Bob Fenner, who knows that Banggais "come in" bad in batches quite often>

I've woken this morning and found my little Emperor Cardinal dead under a rock.   9/28/08 Hi Everyone , I'm calling from England UK , and am desperately needing to find out why my little Emperor <aka Banggai> suddenly died suddenly overnight. I have a 100 litre marine aquarium <A small volume...> which is currently stocked with 2 clown fish, <Their territory> 1 large Emperor cardinal , (the little Emperor who has now perished) , 1 fire shrimp , 6 red legged hermit crabs , 6 blue legged hermit crabs , and 1 coral introduced 1 week ago. <Mmm, what species?> The aquarium is stocked well with live rock , and I have stringently followed all recommendations since starting my hobby some 3 months ago. All the other fish appear well - and this little guy was actually the more active of the two - and he also appeared to feed better too. We couldn't find him this morning - and it took ages to locate him - he didn't appear to be previously unwell - and he and the others don't seem to look any different at all. Nothing appears untoward and they were both purchased from a reputable stockist which quarantines prior to sale and were sharing the same tank at the store. We found him wedged under a rock and I can't understand how he could have got himself there. I conduct weekly 10% water-changes , and add 'Gamma NutraPlus' reef feed 3mls daily as recommended. The fish are fed a varied diet of flake and frozen feed and I have had no other concerns until this morning. He was such a character - and I can't believe he just died like that with no apparent cause - as I say - he looks just as he did when I bought him. The water is tested weekly and has been excellent at last test 7 days ago: salt 1.022; <Too low, esp. for the "coral"> PH 8.17 ; phosphate 0.14 ; KH 11; calcium 480. <Mmm, a bit high> I only started using the reef feed 1 week ago - could this be linked??? <Doubtful> Thank you for your time Grainne .Birmingham. UK <Likely just "stress" from being in such a little world, with agonistic fishes (the Clowns) it couldn't get away from... This is a social species... that lives in small shoals... of spaces about the size of your couch... I would not add any more fish here. Bob Fenner>

Cardinal Fish with something stuck its gill!   2/11/08 Help! My Banggai Cardinal has something white stuck in its gill! <I see this> I turned the lights on this morning and noticed it for the first time! Photo attached, notice the white blob around his gill slit. What should I do? <Be patient, perhaps add a purposeful cleaner, read... here: http://wetwebmedia.com/lymphfaqs.htm and the linked files above... on Viral Disease ID, etc... Bob Fenner>

Banggai cardinal with red at base of fins 12/3/07 Hi crew, We recently (a little over a week ago) bought a juvenile Banggai cardinal and two firefish. The isolation tank we have them in is a 20g with sand and live rock. While everyone seems to be eating fine, yesterday we noticed the cardinal had a faint red streak at the base of his clear side fins, and today the red was much more pronounced. <I see the mark in your excellent photo> I thought maybe it was worms <Mmm, doubtful... Looks like a bite injury... likely from one of the Firefish... could be a mark from getting whacked in the process of handling... But no use in treating...> and moved him to the quarantine tank, but upon doing some reading, now we think he might just be really sensitive to water quality. We tested the water in the isolation tank today and while ammonia and nitrite were at 0, the nitrate was at 15. Could this just be an environmental case? <Yes... but again, looks like an injury site to me> He's not breathing hard and still eating well. <Good signs> (We also tested the quarantine tank and the test read .25 ammonia, .25 nitrite, 5 nitrate. For whatever reason it's difficult for us to keep the barren quarantine tank levels at 0. <A common situation... might be better to either introduce some LR, other means of nitrogen cycling, or summarily dip/bath and move this specimen to the main display... This latter is what I'd do. MUCH more likely to recover in that setting, and likely small chance of passing along a problem in terms of infectious or parasitic disease> If this is just an environmental issue, do you think the cardinal should go back to the isolation tank that has sand and rock, and we'll just do more water changes?) <I'd just move some of the rock, sand to the QT or the fish to the main tank period, as stated> I will enclose a photo, hopefully you can see the red well. ~Ashlin <I hope this is clear, complete... am not quite awake. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Banggai cardinal with red at base of fins 12/4/07 Thanks for the stellar advice. We'll move him to the main display tank. We have another Banggai, so we're hoping they'll be opposite sexes and get along! Otherwise, we'll need to figure out something else. Again, thanks. ~Ashlin
<Thank you my friend. Life to you. BobF>

Injured Banggai, I think... Expecting, Cigars... 12/3/07 Yesterday I did some very thorough tank cleaning that included some removal of nuisance bubble algae. I have two tank-bred Banggai Cardinals, one of which is very skittish. Afterward I noticed that the two Cardinals were staying very close--nearly touching--while the other fish had all relaxed after the 'trauma'. The skittish (larger) Banggai looked off somehow. I could not explain why at first, except that he looked more bulldog-like. I decided to feed the tank and the Banggai in question would rush up to food but not eat--not even open his mouth. He is a very picky eater (disappointing for tank-bred) but this was not his normal behavior; usually he spits food out but always tries it out. It's been more than 24 hours and I have yet to see him open his bulldog mouth. I am worried that in his terror during the cleaning he snagged himself on some dead coral or rock work. I took some pictures, so I was wondering if you could offer your opinion on them. http://www.lancealan.com/banggais.html Thanks. Lance <Oh! Nice pix... and pass out the cigars! Your non-feeding individual is a male carrying young in its mouth... Won't eat till they're released... No worries. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/banggairepro.htm and the linked files above on the right. Bob Fenner... Mr. and Mrs. below>

Sick Bengais  11/24/07 I hope you can help me with this question. I have looked at all the articles on WWM and have not been able to find a specific answer. I have a 6 x 1.5 x 1.5 foot tank that has been running uneventfully for 4 months after a 5 month quarantine (following a wipe out due to "ick"). I purchased four Bengaii <... these are called Banggai... after the Indo. island group where they were discovered.> cardinals about 3 weeks ago. They were eating well at the store, and were there for about 2 weeks...although wild caught (all are in Australia at present) I felt they were a good risk. For the first 2 weeks they did great. Two paired up and were courting, but then one of those became lethargic, increased respiratory effort and stringy white feces. It also had reddening to the skin below the dorsal and both pectoral fins. <Good observations, description... bad signs> All other fish (Kole tang, percula clown and a blue damsel) are fine, as are 2 bubble-tip anemones, crabs and shrimp. I first tried a 60% water change, but to no avail. Then I treated the Bengaii with antibiotics <Of no use here> (after it had been sick for 2 days) but it died that day, and I noticed that another one had reddening to the fins. I isolated this one and treated it with antibiotics, but it also died in 2 days (eating until the last day). The other 2 have been fine for the last week or so but today the larger one has stringy white feces and some fin reddening. I asked about the second fish on your chat room, but no-one had any specific treatment advise <advice> other than it was probably not water quality. I read on WWM about the fellow in New Zealand who lost 100 (!) with similar symptoms, and from my reading I also did a necropsy on the second fish. The intestines were dark red...but maybe they are anyway? I am resigned to losing another one, but is there any suggestion as to how to deal with the last survivor? All the other residents of the tank are also fine. Thanks in anticipation, Tony <If it were me/mine, I'd treat successively for protozoans and worms... (with Metronidazole and Prazi-)... all covered (including treatment moda and importantly, cautionary statements) on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Parasite or disease? Need Help! <Neoplasm likely> 7/9/07 Hi First of all let me say that wetwebmedia.com is a fantastic website. I learn a lot from your site. Anyway, I try to find out what's wrong with my cardinal. My Banggai cardinal develop some kind of yellow cyst on his gill. I attach some picture with it. He still eats and swims around OK. How can I get rid of this THING. By the way. He has the same stuff on his tail (the yellow cyst) but it heal by it seal but you still can see the scar. I do not want to dispose him. Water Parameter: Temp: 79 PH: 8.3 SG: 1.023 30 Gallon Tank Water change 5 gallons weekly Thank you Mak <Mmm... can't tell much definitively though your pix are excellent... These areas appear to be infectious (bacterial), purulent, diffuse... I doubt a course of treatments with antimicrobials would be efficacious (I.E.P), but would try an immersion bath in a Furan compound nonetheless. Please see WWM re... the search tool... Bob Fenner>

Injured Banggai Cardinal - 06/27/07 Dear WWM Crew, <Hello> I bought two nice Banggai Cardinals a few days ago. <Nice fish.> After drip acclimating for 2 ½ hours I put the Cardinals in my tank. <No QT?> I noticed the next day that one of the Cardinals had an injured fin. I didn't notice it at the LFS or in the bag during transport so I don't know where it came from. <From my QT soapbox I would say that if you had it in a QT tank you would know.> His right fin is slightly red and fleshy at the point it meets his body. His fin is not clamped against his body. <Good sign.> It is out at his side, but I have not seen him use it to swim, he's using his other fin exclusively. He's eating well, appears normal in all other regards, and seems to be getting around quite well... <Good> I'm planning on feeding him good frozen foods and watching his progress. <Hope he excepts these, they can be picky eaters.> I've had a few friends suggest MelaFix. <Junk, Tea Tree oil.> Is this safe with inverts? <Probably in low doses, but worthless.> Any other ideas? Thanks a million. <It may just be a shipping injury, for the moment I would just monitor closely, make sure nothing is picking on it and it continues to eat well. Be ready to separate and treat with an antibiotic if symptoms worsen.> Tank specs: 30 Gallons / 35 lbs live rock, pH 8.4, temp 78-83. Tank mates include: 1 Firefish, 2 Fire Shrimp, 1 Sun Coral, Featherdusters, snails and hermits. <Sounds nice.> <Chris> Re: Injured Banggai Cardinal 6/27/07 Thanks for the response. A quick update for you. <Shoot> I have no QT tank at the moment unfortunately or he'd surely be in there. Bummer I know. <Definitely limits your options.> His right fin is basically gone. He still has the outlining edges of the fin, but the inside part of the fin is gone. What's left of the fin is still not clamped to his side though. He's using the other fin to swim and stay stable. He's mostly staying in one spot of the tank, but will swim to get food. He eats the Vitamin Enriched Brine Shrimp and Mysis Shrimp I've been feeding him so far. <Ditch the brine, the Mysid is much better, try adding a vitamin supplement to it such as Selcon.> I have to shoot it at him so he thinks it's alive otherwise he watches it float by. <A common problem with this species.> Any other food that might help? <Try some New Life Spectrum pellets, these are often accepted by even very finicky eaters.> I do not have another tank that I could put him in if his conditions worsen. I am not sure what I would do! I will not bother with Melafix since you said it's worthless. I have heard that water changes may help give him some of the trace elements he needs to repair his wounds. <Improved water quality is always helpful, but the replacement of trace elements is really not a concern here. But keep up those water changes.> I just want to help him in anyway I can. Any other additional advice??? Thanks Chris. <Without the ability to separate him and give him some quiet to heal in best you can do is keep up the feeding and water quality as you are doing. Try to get some Selcon to boost the food.> <Chris>

Banggai Cardinal lip growth    5/7/07 Hello folks, I have 130gal FO tank a variety of compatible fish and most all seem to be happy and healthy. I have wet/dry filtration and skimmer and water quality is good. <Not useful... need real data> One of my Banggai Cardinals has a couple of strange looking growths on its lower lip. <Likely "lymphocystis"... a semi-strange environmental/nutritional/viral condition...> They look like warts and are similar in color to the fish. They do not look like anything I have been able to find on any site about fish diseases. The fish seems to be fine, it eats well, hangs out with Banggai #2 and chances the Banggai #3 off into hiding. None of the other 20 or so fish have any sign of any such growth. Any ideas? Thanks, David Austin <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lymphfaqs.htm and the linked FAQs files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Banggai Cardinal lip growth  -- 05/07/07 Bob and Crew, Thanks very much for the response and the great job you are doing. It is hard to imagine how you have the time and patience to deal with all of us. I think your suggestion of Lymphocystis is correct based on the articles and photos you referred me to. I tried removing the growths from the fish with no luck. So if he is not too traumatized by that effort perhaps the disease will run it's course and he will be okay. Meanwhile, it is back to working on water quality and good nutrition. Thanks again, David Austin <Thank you for your kind words. If there is room (and likely no predator problems) I do encourage you to add a purposeful cleaner organism as well... Perhaps a Lysmata species... will help clean off... and greatly reduce the element of stress... very important here. Bob Fenner>

Banggai Cardinal Fish Cyst, Lymphocystis 5/3/07 Hello Crew- <Hi> I love your website, as well as Bob's 'Conscientious Marine Aquarist Book'.  <Thanks> I realize you folks are quite busy, but I am concerned with one of my tank inhabitants.  (I tried to register on the 911 chat forum, but registration seems to be offline.)  <Hmmm, have heard that a lot lately, will have to bug the folks over there.> Attached are two photos of one of my Banggai Cardinals, as you can see she has developed some sort of cyst at the center of her body near her fin.  She has lived in my 4 month old tank for about 2 months. <Yep, see it there.> Based on Bob's book and what I see in the web forums I am led to believe that this is a case of Lymphocystis, but I would appreciate someone confirming my diagnosis.  The appearance of a faint pinkish color around the cyst is concerning, perhaps it is just inflammation related to the cyst?  <I would agree, looks like Lymphocystis, but hard to tell for sure from the photo.  The pink area is fairly normal here, result of the swelling.> From my reading of Lymphocystis some make reference to environmental issues in the tank.   My water quality is actually very good right now.  I have a protein skimmer and an UV sterilizer in my 29 gallon BioCube.  <Is a virus so not directly related to environmental conditions, but poor conditions leads to stress, which leads to lower immune system response, which leads to the virus being able to take hold.> I added some "slime coat" to the water to aid in healing, but I didn't realize that it would take my sapphire aquatics skimmer offline by causing it to foam like crazy.  <Will do that, and no real help in treating this condition.> The Cardinal's tank mates don't show any troubles (assorted snails, hermits, cleaner shrimp, fire shrimp, one other cardinal fish, a coral beauty, a false percula clown, two fire fish, and three green chromis.)  No other signs of stress or disease in any other fish. <Wow, way to many fish here, that alone is a cause of stress, especially in a secretive and passive fish like the cardinal.  Looking at most 4 fish in my opinion, and definitely not the angel, needs a tank almost double in size.>   But I want to make sure I am not looking at a contagious disease. <Not very contagious, little need to worry here.> I should note a significant stress that hit the tank about two weeks ago, when I first introduced the UV sterilizer there was a near catastrophe that likely stressed these poor fish severely.  I plugged the UV sterilizer into my battery backup system along with all of my other equipment... but apparently that was too many things plugged into the unit.  A couple of hours after I had left for work the battery backup decided it was overloaded and completely shut down, including my circulation pump. Luckily my partner came home early in the afternoon and noticed the fish were very unhappy, including some floating up on the surface of the water.  The power was restored and amazingly everyone seemed fine within an hour.  Not sure exactly how long they were without oxygen, but I wonder if this has any connection to the Cardinal's issue.  <Would guess this was the event that tipped the scale in the virus' favor.> (I've since removed everything from battery backup except for the critical circulation pump and heater.  I also put in a backup-backup air supply consisting of a float switch in the sump and a battery powered airstone.  I don't want that to happen again.) Any assistance you can provide in diagnosing and treating my cardinal is greatly appreciated. Thank you, -Gregory Twiss <No real treatment for virus' such as this currently.  Best bet is to provide a healthy, minimally stressful environment to allow the fish's immune system to recover.  Usually this condition is not fatal, just unsightly.  See here for more http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lymphfaqs.htm .> <Chris>
Re: Banggai Cardinal Fish Cyst 5/4/07 Thank you so much for your great advice and fast response.  It is greatly appreciated. <Welcome> I've been wanting to get a 2nd larger tank, I suppose that would make a much better home for the more active members of my tank.... leaving the cardinals in peace. Thanks again! -GT <Now you have an excuse for another tank, always a fun thing.> <Chris>

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>

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.

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.>

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

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>

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

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

Injured Banggai Died in Quarantine, Now What? >Hi, >>Good morning Kim, Marina here. >I bought two Banggai Cardinal fish last week, and the LFS injured one of the fishes' front dorsal fin when netting.  >>Poor, they should have held the fish for you. >I placed both of them in my 12g QT. The fish seemed okay, but then on Saturday I noticed that its tail fin was rotting off.  >>Mmm.. moved that quickly? >I started treating the QT with Maracyn (sp)... >>Correct. >...on Saturday (removing the activated carbon filters).  >>Good, I would have done the same, though probably would have chosen a different antibiotic, but this is quibbling. >The parameters in the tank on Saturday were: pH=8.2, temp 78F, 1.025 sg, ammonia=0, nitrite=0, nitrate=2.5.  >>Oooo, high nitrate, very high. Water changes are quite necessary in quarantine, copious, large, to keep such levels down. This can and will depress immune systems, adds further stress. >The fish died last night (Sunday). My question is should I continue to treat the tank even if the other fish looks okay (had no injuries during transfer)?  >>If the other is apparently clear, I would discontinue, perform some large water changes, add carbon (and change out after about 24 hours). >Also, I will get another Banggai. Should I wait until this one is done in the QT and transferred to the display or can I add it to the QT after this treatment and partial water change?  >>Knowing that Banggais can be somewhat aggressive with each other, and IF the next one is from the same batch, I would probably place it in the quarantine with the surviving fish. I would prefer to establish them in the display together. Be sure to have plenty of chunks of PVC for hiding places, and do watch carefully for the aforementioned aggression. >Thanks so much for your wonderful site. Kim >>Most welcome, and give 'em hell for selling fish THEY injured (if it were my shop you'd get a credit on that one). Marina Banggai Problems  11/12/2005 Bob What is the problem with Banggai cardinals? <Mostly handling...> They seem to do well for the first week but very suddenly they all die! Perry <Too much "stress" from the process of breeding, rearing, moving... mostly.  BobF>

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

Banggai Cardinal  - 03/09/2006 We have 2 Banggai Cardinals.  The very tip of their front dorsal fins (approx.1/16")has turned white and appears to just wave around  with movement.  They have been this way for about 3-4 weeks and the white area seems to be getting larger, but very very slowly.  Any idea what it is and what we should do about it? Bob & Jinni Horn Tank info: Tank size in Gallons?:...75................ Age of tank :..6 months................. Total amount of liverock aprox..60 lbs............. Substrate 3" of live sand............. Temp.....78 degrees Sump  12 gallon............ Prefilter Yes.............. Wooden hood over the light........... Aprox amount of evaporation per day:.1 gallon............ Frequency of water changes &amount changed: 5 gallons Bi weekly Salt mix:.."Red Sea.".......... Additives used:. Kent Marine Concentrated Iodine, Reef Success Coral Grow............... test kit:. Saltwater Master Liquid Test Kit................. adding calcium:. Manual as needed................ Aprox water turnover X times (filter) per hour:....7............ Lighting:. HO Fluorescent........... Bulbs:..2 white 2 blue............... Total watts of lighting (all lamps):...440............ Timers ...Yes......on 12 hours per day Water:.. RO/DI............. Protein skimmer .Venturi.......... Tank parameters.........   -Calcium...................320 mg/L   -Magnesium.........Unknown   -Alkalinity........................12 dKH   -Ammonia..........................0 mg/L   -Nitrites..............................0 mg/L   -Nitrates.............................0 mg/L   -Phosphates.....................  .5 PPM   -Specific Gravity.............1.023   -Water Temp..........................78f    Water Flow > 7 times tank volume per hour <I suspect there is nothing awry with your cardinals here... "just" normal color/growth. Your set-up and water quality looks to be acceptable to fine. Bob Fenner>

Livestock/Marine/Pterapogon kauderni   2/23/06 Hi, <Hello Chelsea.> I work at a pet store, and we have had a lot of trouble keeping Pterapogon kaudern's alive to the point that we don't even get them anymore. <Unusual.> These happen to be one of my favorite saltwater fish!  I would really like to get a school of them, but I'm really worried they're all going to die. Can you give me some specifics on keeping them.  Things like, what size tank do they need?  I want to keep enough to see them school, what is the smallest amount I could keep to be able to see them school?  What can I do specifically to keep them alive?  Are there any tricks to it?  Specific ways to decorate the tank so that they are more hardy.  And any other useful tips.  <Read here and the related FAQ link in the title box.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cardinal.htm  This should give you all the info you need.  Unusual that you are having trouble keeping these as they are a hardy fish. Thanks! <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Chelsea

Tank-raised Banggai Cardinals 03-21-06 Good Day Crew, <<Hello, Travis here with you today.>> I've been a great admirer of Banggai cardinals since they first started appearing in the market some years back.  At that time they were rare and very expensive.  After doing some research, I've found that they are on the brink of being added as an endangered species in the wild. <<This is correct.>> <Actually... not so... more abundant and transplanted than ever... RMF> At the same time their price has continued to drop, currently $11.99 at one LFS.  Is the price drop just because of a greater number of wild caught specimens on the market, or are tank-bred specimens starting to make an impact?   <<I have not witnessed a price drop in my area, but it is most likely due to wild Banggai not lasting more than a week in captivity. This is due to a nasty strain of internal parasites that have not been responding well to typical medications.>> I would love to add a pair, but I don't want to contribute to a dwindling wild population.  What's your opinion?   <<Captive bred Banggai may cost more initially, but you will be much happier with your purchase in the long run. Travis>> Thanks much!          

Question on Banggai Cardinalfish  - 04/22/2006 Greetings!  I have a Banggai Cardinalfish who recently has stopped eating (at least while I'm watching the tank).  I purchased the Banggai several  months ago, after several failures with them -- previous Banggais did not feed very well, then stopped feeding, then started breathing heavily, and then died.  The current Banggai, though, has been doing great for months. Eats regularly, remains active, and has grown quite large.  But this past week, he's stopped eating, and now his breathing appears heavy -- behavior I'm familiar with, unfortunately. <Disturbing...> The tank is a 30-gallon reef tank; the readings on temperature, salinity, and so forth are all in the normal range.  The Banggai shares the tank with a yellowtail damsel, two firefish gobies, and a blenny, as well as a few invertebrates (shrimps, crabs, snails).  There doesn't seem to be excessive competition among the fish -- I'm feeding them brine shrimp (not live) <Mmm, hopefully not exclusively> , and up until early last week the Banggai as well as the others have liked the food and have seemingly been able to get enough of it.  But now, the shrimp float up in front of the Banggai, and he ignores it completely.  Not good. I've been reading readers questions on the FAQ page about Banggai Cardinalfish, and it seems that most of the problems that develop do so shortly after purchase -- not several months down the road.  Is my Banggai just old, or is this normal, or ... what? <Don't know here... perhaps a crowding component... definitely nutritional deficiency possibility...> I think they're one of the most beautiful fish I've ever seen, and I would love to continue to have one (or two, or three) in my tank -- but not if something I'm doing or not doing is killing them.  Any thoughts? <A comment... am out at the Western Marine Conference and some of the speakers and attendees have mentioned the lesser hardiness of this aquarium species in recent years... Given the size of your system, the presence of the damsel... I would hold off on keeping Banggais here... and a last note... I would only feed frozen/defrosted Artemia occasionally... perhaps every few days. Bob Fenner> --Eric Scott

Banggai Cardinal Deaths...Very New System - 07/27/06 Hi there! <<Hello!>> I have a 72G reef ready Oceanic tank being filtered by 110 pounds of cured live rock and a 20G refugium w/protein skimmer.  I only run the skimmer for about a week in six. <<Mmm...am a firm believer in running skimmers 24/7>> I perform a 15% water change every 10 days.  Water parameters are all spot on.  Ammonia & nitrite at zero.  Nitrate never above 25ppm. <<This is a reef tank?  Nitrate should be below 5ppm.  If this is a FOWLR/FO you should still strive to keep nitrates below 20ppm>> The tank was started on May 6th of this year, as defined by the placing of the rock in the tank. <<Ah, a very "young" tank indeed>> To date, livestock consists of 5 Blue/Green Chromis, 1 Six Line Wrasse, 1 Blood Shrimp, 2 Turbo Snails and about 12 Blue Legged Hermit Crabs.  All of these animals have been doing great since their introduction into the tank.  The problem occurred when 4 Banggai Cardinals were added.  They all started out great.  Eating enthusiastically and swimming vigorously.  After two weeks they started (one by one) losing their appetites, becoming lethargic, demonstrating labored breathing (some had stringy white feces) and dying.  Per fish this process took about 3 days from loss of appetite to death. <<Possibly environmental, compounded with stress from conspecific aggression>> All of the other fish are still doing fine.  Can any one tell me what is happening. <<Banggai Cardinals are generally hardy once acclimated to a "mature" system.  They also can be quite intolerant of conspecifics unless in mated pairs.  The problem you describe may be a combination of a "too new" system (for this species) and aggression related stress>> I have a Purple Firefish in the quarantine tank and I'm afraid to put it in the main tank until I have some clue.  Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated as I'm new at this. I would give this system a couple more months to mature/reach a balance before adding more cardinals...or the firefish for that matter.  Letting your skimmer run continuously will also be of great benefit, in my opinion>> Thanks!! Jan Harrison   <<Happy to assist.  EricR>> Re: Banggai Cardinal Deaths...Very New System - 07/27/06 Dear Eric, <<Hello Jan>> Thanks for the response. <<Is my pleasure>> I'll certainly utilize your advice. <<Ah good, for the best overall really>> Jan
<<Regards, Eric Russell>>

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