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FAQs about Banggai Cardinalfish Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

Related Articles: Cardinalfishes

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

 Paracheilinus mccoskeri. Having other, fast-moving fishes present may put your Cardinals off feeding.

Cardinal fish not eating      9/23/19
Good evening,
<Hey Travis>
I have a Banggai Cardinal fish that isn't eating. He has been in our 20 gallon tank for approximately 2 years (he/she was our first fish.) We haven't added any new fish or changed good recently. We did notice was looks like a bump behind his eye.
<I do see this in your excellent photos...looks like physical trauma, it should heal in a few weeks.>
He seems to be swimming fine, although he is only using his clear fins to swim, but he is upright and moving around. Any advice on what to do?
<Without further information is a bit difficult to help, could you please send your water parameters (numbers)?...Wil.>

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...>
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>
I will send another attachment with smaller photo...
<Thank you; this one is/was fine. Bob Fenner>

Couple questions; Pterapogon fdg., Scler. stings   1/2/13
Hi Crew and a happy New Year, I haven't asked anything in a while so here are two issues. I bought 2 pair of Banggai Cardinals over the past six months and all starved. The would spit out the food. I guess they wanted only what they were used to. I tried pellets, flakes, decapsulated brine shrimp eggs (which most fish go crazy for), my own home made minced fish.
They were all in good shape but they lasted 2 weeks and that was it. And they were from different stores. You would think they would take anything if really hungry.
<... I'd have tried live and frozen/defrosted foods of appropriate size>
Anyway, I decided to try once more and after a week of watching them spit out everything I went back to the LFS and asked them what they think will work. And they suggested Hikari frozen brine shrimp. Well, it really worked. They are now much livelier and run for all the foods but they still spit out all except the bs. It does contain supplements so do you think they can survive on it.
<I'd expand on the menu... Read here:
and for Apogonids in general>
I had a really nice Lobophyllia. It was oval about 3 inches long and 2
wide. Red outside and bright blue center. Had it about 3 years. Any time an Acan or candycane fell on it they melted away
<?! why are other Scleractinians falling?>
and you could hardly see any mark on the lobo. Recently an Acan fell on it with the same results. About a week later I rearranged my rock so that my Trachyphyllia would have room to spread so I removed all my coral, rearranged everything and put the coral back. The next day I felt a bad sting on a finger and it took a week till it felt normal. And then the Lobo just disintegrated in about 2 days. What could have triggered this event. Thanks, Sam
<The contact with both. Bob Fenner>
Re: Couple questions; Banggai fdg., attaching corals    1/2/12
Thanks Bob, This morning the cardinals did go for Mysis so I am hoping they will continue to expand their diet.
<Ah good>
The reason things fall is because I do not glue them and my snails manage to topple them every once and a while and sometimes they fall onto another coral. Why don't I glue them, well, I like to rearrange things every once and a while.
<Best to situate on/with rock about so they are more stable. BobF>
Thanks again, Sam

Help with Banggai Cardinal and what he eats    8/12/11
Hello WetWebMedia Crew,
<Hello Stuart>
I have a concern that I am hoping you could help me with, first than anything a little background, I have been reefing for more than two years and I have a JBJ 28G NanoCube with an LED upgrade, with mostly LPS/ SPS, a few softies and a Clam.
I am very methodic with my water changes (5Gls per week), I have my reef under the Prodibio system, I run Rowaphos and GAC 24/7, my skimmer is working all the time (Remora C) of course I had lost a few frags at the beginning but now everything seem so go great!
<Ahh, good>
Until now I had 3 fishes a Firefish, an Ocellaris and a Flasher Wrasse (I know I am pushing it here according to some readings), they have been with me since the beginning (of course I did not introduce all at once) so now I decided to introduce a new fish I bought a Banggai Cardinal.
He had been with my LFS for one month before I got him and now he has been with me for 2 weeks he was eating fresh water live feeders fishes, so now that he is at my home he is eating the same.
<We do not recommend feeding feeder fishes at all, ever, never. Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/goldfshfd.htm. Banggai Cardinals will take Mysis shrimp, and later on pellets and flake just the same as most other fish will>
I have been feeding him every night to avoid the competition, especially from the wrasse, well I know this kind of diet is not going to be enough to sustain the Cardinal health for long term and after some time he is going to be weak and he would be pray of any disease.
<.....then stop with the feeders>
I am feeding the fresh water feeders with flakes in the attempt to make them fatter and have some nutritional value, but I am still aware it is not going to be enough.
Well I am pretty sure by know you have figure out where my questions are going to, so before asking I will tell you what I have been doing in order to correct this problem
<Feeding an appropriate food instead perhaps?>
The first few days I just let him eat the fresh water feeders until he was comfortable with his new home and with me.
I discovered that if I give him a lot of freshwater feeders he was only going to get 4 or 5 and the rest just die, since he lost the interest on them really quick, so instead of that, as soon as my lunar lights come on, I am giving him 3 or 4 and an hour later another 3 or 4 and an hour later another 3 or 4 (just 3 rounds since the last one ends by midnight).
And at the midday I giving a few more, the other fishes usually get the most but the Cardinal still eats 1 or 2.
Every night after the first round of food I am offering him some krill in gel or some frozen krill/Mysis or some bites of dried krill or some pellets.
At first he had no interest in these foods but now he is taking them and spiting out (especially krill) I am thinking this an advance or am I wrong?
<Just keep trying with the different alternatives.. he will take them. And next time you purchase a fish, make sure it is feeding on the foods that you will be feeding at home>
I don't want to put a lot of pressure on him so is better do this exercise every other day or am I on the right track doing it every day?
I give to my other fishes some dried Cyclop-eeze every morning but he has no interest in it too.
I am going to start offering him live Brine shrimp with Selcon since I am thinking the Selcon is going to make it more nutritional than the freshwater fish feeders or am I wrong here?
<No, this is fine, although I prefer Mysis with Selcon>
If this is the case is best to substitute the freshwater feeders with the brine + Selcon or complement one with another until I make him to eat something more nutritional?
<Leave out the feeders>
What I am doing sounds like a good plan? Or do you have any other advice? I really want to get this guy to eat something else than live freshwater feeders before his health start to decline.
Well thanks a lot for any help you could give to me I don't want this guy to be my first fish lost specially from bad nutrition,
<Good luck Stuart, Simon>
Re: Help with Banggai Cardinal and what he eats   8/18/11

Hello Simon
<Hi Stuart>
thanks a lot for your answer, well I have changed my action plan after read it, I have discontinued the freshwater feeders,  <Well done> I have to tell you that here (I don't live in USA) the feeders are the general rule to everyone that has these guys, I am the only crazy that is trying to give my Cardinal something else and took time to read about it.
<Again, well done!>
My LFS told me that I can have my own Molly culture to sustain him in long term, because after the molly acclimates to salt water is going to be as nutritional as any salt water food but I am not buying it, do you have any opinion about that?
<Mollies can be acclimated to saltwater, yes, but it is still not best practice, although breeding your own can reduce problems such as introduced parasites>
Well now I am only giving him Brine with Selcon, and I am offering him everyday frozen krill, Gel krill and Cyclopeeze, why just krill? Well I am looking that he is more inclined to accept krill than Mysis so when he accepts krill I will start with Mysis.
I started to hatch my own brine and when I start to see the little guys swimming around I am adding Selcon and 8 hours later I am giving it to him, am I doing it right?
<Yes this is great>
The only concern that I have now is how much brine he will need to eat to be healthy until he takes something else, there is some way I could measure it?
< I would not worry too much.. introduce the brine at the same time as the frozen and he will begin to associate the two together as food>
For now I am feeding him at night with the pumps off for an hour and after that I am assuming he had eaten enough, I am mixing it with Cyclopeeze to trick him but is not working, at least not yet.
<It should, is he very small? I would expect him to take Mysis first>
Once again thanks a lot for the help on this matter, with your help I am pretty sure he is going to have a long and healthy life!!!
<I hope so Stuart, and I wish the same to you!>

Mysis+Selcon Okay For Banggai Cardinals Long Term? -- 04/12/11
I bought a pair of Banggai Cardinalfish ten days ago. For the first four days they ate nothing (just cowered in their cave) which terrified me.
<<Does happen'¦with new acquisitions>>
But now they are eating thawed/rinsed/Selcon-enriched Mysis voraciously. Yay!
<<Very good>>
My LFS where I bought them tells me that this is not good for them long term, and I should switch them to (mostly) New Life Spectrum pellets ASAP, which is what I feed my other fish.
<<Good advice'¦ The Spectrum product is an excellent (nutritious and palatable) food>>
Every third meal or so I try a few pellets, but they just watch them drift down past their noses and ignore them.
<<Perhaps with time>>
I suppose I could starve the fish until they ate the pellets, but I hate to do that!
<<I do not advise this>>
I've read everything here about Banggai Cardinals, and Mysis is an extremely popular food.
<<Oh yes! ...with many/most all species we keep>>
So... How long do you think they will be able to eat just Selcon-enriched Mysis before I have to do something drastic to get them to eat pellets?
<<Mmm'¦ I doubt there's anything you 'can' do other than to 'present' some variety'¦the rest will be up to the Cardinals>>
Can they eat just Mysis forever???
<<It's not the ideal scenario'¦. Do try some frozen Glass Worms and Blood Worms as well, I find that many fishes that accept Mysis will also accept these (I have a very finicky Copperband, myself). Some 'enriched' frozen Brine Shrimp is also worth a try'¦and keep presenting the NLS pellets too!>>.
Thanks! Tim
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>
Re: Mysis+Selcon Okay For Banggai Cardinals Long Term? -- 04/12/11
Eric - Thanks for the advice!
<<Quite welcome, Tim>>
I tried frozen bloodworms, and they ignore them. In fact, my other fish in another tank (2 Ocellaris clowns, 3 blue/green reef chromis, and 1 Royal Gramma) also ignore bloodworms.
<<Does happen'¦but I have found that continuing to present them often results in their eventual acceptance as a food item. These Cardinals are likely wild-caught (based on their reaction to your feeding attempts) and these and other 'freshwater' fare may not be seen/recognized initially as food/prey items'¦and the same goes for processed foods (e.g. -- the NLS pellets). But that aside, I still recommend trying the Glass Worms. I use these to entice finicky feeders, and have not found a healthy reef fish yet that didn't come to love them>>
The other fish love the NLS pellets, devouring them as fast as I drop them in.
<<And to the benefit of their long term well-being (I am a huge fan of the NLS pellets)>>
So I'm surprised that the cardinals ignore them.
<<Just a matter of time, I think>>
I'll keep trying every few days.
<<Sound good!>>
Thanks again!
<<Always welcome'¦ EricR>>

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>
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.
<Welcome Tim. BobF>

Banggai not eating   2/15/11
I have been Reading the website trying to find a reason of why a Banggai cardinal could have stop eating. Unfortunately it seems to be common and leads to the loss of the fish.
<Is a too-common event>
I have a tank of 135 gallons FOWLR. I have not seen any aggression from other fish (purple and fire fish, royal gramma and small flame angelfish).
I purchased the cardinal one week ago,
<The? This is a social species... big problem>
I decided to get this one because it was very alert in the LFS and looked very healthy. Once in the aquarium he ate almost immediately. I gave him frozen Cyclops and mysis, which he was eating with gusto. Two days ago it stop eating and breathing a bit heavier. Based on other experiences I found in WWM, it seems that there is little I can do to save him. I noticed there was a white poo strip coming out from the fish, so I suspect about parasites. Would do any good to remove the fish and treat it with Metronidazole/Flagyl
<I'd add this to the foods>
or it is better to leave it in the tank to not give him additional stress and hope it recovers by himself and responds to live food?
Thanks a lot for help.
<And add conspecifics. You state you've read on WWM, I'd go back, re-read re this species. Bob Fenner>

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

Banggai On A Hunger Strike?  - 10/24/06 Hi there I wrote a couple of months ago asking about whether I could get a Banggai Cardinalfish, it turns out my LFS had a captive bred one so I bought and it has settled in fine. <Good to hear...Captive-bred is always a great choice.> I have had him/her don't know which sex yet but I think it is a male) for about 3 months now. He was eating perfectly for the last 3 month (I was feeding him frozen brine shrimp) and now he has stopped!!!!!! :( <Hmm...> I have tried lettuce, flake food, flake Spirulina, and marine tucker (a mix of meaty and vegetarian foods! <I'd stick to the "meatier" foods.> I don't know what is wrong the water is fine... PLEASE HELP ME it would be very much appreciated! from Viv <Well, Viv- it was good that the little guy was eating for a while. I think that you should take into account the fish's natural diet of copepods and small crustaceans. I'd try purchasing/growing some live copepods, Mysid shrimp, or amphipods. Tempt the fish with some of it's natural food items (some are available frozen, by the way) and you may see it come around. Keep a really close eye on the water conditions and I'll bet that this fish will eat again! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Banquet For A Banggai? (Feeding Competition) Guys, <Scott F. your guy tonight!> My Banggai is healthy again! His eyes are crystal clear -knock on wood. Thanks for your advice and support. Also the false percula clown is doing fine in spite of the abbreviated 2 week quarantine -I need my QT for an Orchid Dottyback that needed some TLC. The Dottyback's fins have grown back in a mere 5 days!!!! The new growth is clear now... hopefully the color will return soon. Three more weeks before I tear down my unsightly QT!!! Can't wait! <I'm thrilled to hear that things a re going well...And, how cool it is to hear that your quarantine system is working well! Congrats!> My only problem is feeding. Currently the fish get Sweetwater Plankton and Mysis shrimp as their staple. <Two fine foods...> With the Mysis, I am unable to prevent the Banggai from eating too much and at the same time, the clown doesn't seem to get more than just one Mysis shrimp before they are all gone! <Go figure- an aggressive Cardinal!> They are on a more even footing with the daphnia. The Banggai has been in the display for about 4 weeks, and the clown for 6 days. Will the clown be able to compete with time? <I think that eventually, the clown will become more assertive, and he'll compete more effectively once he settles in.> My observation is that while the 3" Banggai swallows everything whole, the 2" clown prefers to bite little chunks off. It amazes me that with this strategy, the clown would actually aim for the largest piece of Mysis near him, rather than all the bite size pieces floating by him. The cardinal does not discriminate... <Interesting observations!> Based on observing the Dottyback in QT, his feeding style is more like the clowns. Target feeding isn't always an option, because I feed the fish 3 or 4 days a week and an automatic feeder is used for the rest -I travel a lot. I use freeze dried Mysis and plankton with the feeder. <As long as the food is dispersed well, then everyone should get a crack at it!> Thank You, Narayan <Well, Narayan, I'd just keep doing what you're doing...The clown will eventually get his share of food. Of course, in the mean time, be sure to continue to observe carefully, and get a little extra food in there if you can. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Banggai eating up all the pods! - 4/12/04  Hello crew!  I do not have a problem, just an observation and I want to double check with one of you. Great!> I have had a Banggai for about 10 months. He is healthy and happy. Before I purchased him, I had a nice size population of pods. I really never gave much thought about it but now that I look back, I realize that my pod population has lessened. <Well, populations do go through growth gains and losses through a cycle. Predation also seems to cull quite a few out. Banggais will eat amphipods and copepods to supplement their diet for sure. What other potential predators do you have?> Could it be?! <Absolutely> Am I actually supplying him natural food? <Sure. For how long will be determined by a refugium (place for these creatures to grow without predation) or depending on how bug the tank is> Do Banggais eat pods? <Sure> I know they are nocturnal just like the pods. <Sort of> I had worried that he only ate Mysis (which is every fourth feeding) but he has always been the fattest booger in the tank. <They love Mysis and Cyclop-eeze> That's my guess anyway. Oh, and for those that think they are slow and boring, let me tell ya, when the Mysis hit the water, he swims circles around my blue tang and Foxface. <Yeah, they can hang in most cases> He looks like a silver bullet streaking across the tank. <What type of Mysis (brand) do you feed?> They are quite fast when they want to be. <I agree>  Anyway, take care guys and gals, <Thanks for the update. A valuable observation! ~Paul>  Jason

Feeding a Banggai cardinal - 11/10/03 Hello,   I hope all is well. I have a question. A friend of mine asked me to adopt a Banggai Cardinalfish (Pterapogon kaudneri ).  He purchased him but was getting picked on in his tank. Obviously, I accepted him so he would not die. But it does put me at a crossroad. My current list of fish are: Ocellaris Clown (Amphiprion ocellaris ) Pacific Blue Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus ) Foxface (Siganus (Lo) vulpinus ) My problem is feeding. <Well, the Banggai Cardinal would never cross paths with any of its fellow inhabitants.> I use flake food with Nori two to three times a week. I have researched this species and have concluded that they do not fair well on flake food and will essentially starve. <Well, most likely anyway.> It looks like he needs meat baby! <More or less. He needs mysids more aptly. Brine is not a suitable alternative unless gut loaded (and I mean gut loaded) with phyto foodstuffs> I have been thinking of trying other foods but I have not due to everything has been doing fine on flake for so long and as they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it! <Well I believe it is broke as you have a fish that will not accept flake, right?> Well, with my new addition, I think it broke. <Ahhhhh. Right you are!!> Do you have any suggestions on what to feed all my fish? <Have looked on our information and FAQs regarding this fish? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cardinal.htm and do search with your favorite search engine for information regarding this animal. Take a look at the various forums for acclimating this fish to new foods.>  I'm kind of lost now and am in need of your guidance. Should I mix it up with different foods?? <Absolutely. Should be doing that anyway. Banggai's will often take frozen mysids.> If so, what or how often? <Mysids would be a good start maybe brine just to get the feeding response. Thaw them slowly in a bit of the tank water. Feed your other fish first with whatever it is they eat, then try to feed the Banggai. He is a slow eater and not aggressive so be sure he is not scared away from the feeding process by the other fishes aggressive behavior. Try to get these guys to eat at least once a day but it is preferable to have them eating twice a day. You're well on your way. Good luck. -Paul> Just trying to give a fish a happy and healthy home, <This is hopefully what we all are striving for> Jason P.S. I'm not smart enough to know those fancy scientific names (I'm just a simple  Alabama boy), I just copied and pasted off of your website. <Well, good enough, Jason. You are making the attempt and that is what counts!!>

Cardinal not eating (02/25/03) Dear Friends <Hello! Ananda here today....> I recently purchased a Banggai cardinal to complete my aquarium stock- 5 fish -yellow tang, royal Gramma, percula clown, coral beauty, the tank is 35 gall. <You'll need a larger tank for that yellow tang...they do like to have quite a bit of swimming space. So does the coral beauty, for that matter, even though it is a smaller fish.> All fish are healthy and eating well but the cardinal, I have tried tiny pellets, flakes, chopped shrimp but it does not seem interested in any, please help. <I would try chopped marine fish and other crustaceans. If none of those work, you might try live brine to get him to eat. It is possible he is stressed in this somewhat-crowded tank.> Thanks Roy  Halford <You're welcome. --Ananda>

More Questions about Feeding <<JasonC here...>> I just got a small Banggai Cardinal and on WetWebMedia it said they need more meaty foods. What do you recommend? Pygmy Angel Formula goes in there for my Flame and so do Brine Shrimp. Anything else that would be good to buy? <<Mysis shrimp. Mix that up with those two and your cardinal will be fine. Cheers, J -- >>

Re: more feeding <<Hello, JasonC here...>> I read on the FAQ's that Male Banggai Cardinals are the ones with white spots on their dorsal fin. But I have noticed that they have two dorsal fins. My Banggai has spots on the second dorsal fin in succession, but nothing on the first dorsal fin. Is it male or female. Thanks <<It's my understanding that this means for sexing the Banggai is not that precise, so half the time you would be wrong based on this ID. Were you thinking of breeding or just curious. If your cardinal is old enough, you can do a non-scientific sexing by dropping a second cardinal... if your first one tries to kill the second one, they are the same sex. How's that? Cheers, J -- >>

Banggai cardinal Dear Mr. Fenner, I'm still in a state of total flabbergast! About a month ago I had a nice Banggai cardinal (Big Daddy) that took a gulp of food, did three seconds of somersaults and died!!!! I could think of no other reason except my home made food (your recipe), which was a long shot. I threw the rest of that batch out and started over. I reported this on a web forum and nobody had a clue. Well, this morning about 30 seconds after I fed (Brine shrimp plus and pellets), another Banggai did the same thing. Only this time it recovered after a few minutes and seems fine now. WHAT'S GOING ON? Thanks, Linda <Bizarre! Maybe they're choking? Perhaps your tank has some other "eager eaters" that are conditioning your Banggai Cardinals to gulp their rations? Try smaller food items... less competitive tankmates? Bob Fenner>

Banggai cardinals death Dear Mr. Fenner, I wrote to you last week concerning my Banggais that would take a bite of food, then apparently choke and spiral out of control to the bottom of the tank. Here's my experience that I'd like to share with you. When this occurred the first time a couple of months ago, it really looked like the fish choked. It took a bite of food and spiraled out of control and died. The second time (that I wrote you about), it happened shortly after feeding and I assumed the same thing happened. Three days later I find a dead cardinal in the tank--not the one that had previously "choked". My husband and I had decided to buy another cardinal since they look so pretty as a pair. But this morning when I got up, I checked the hospital tank first, then turned around in time to see the remaining cardinal spiraling to the bottom. I tried to revive him without success. I had not fed any of the tanks yet. Since I had planned to try raising these fish, I have a few web pages bookmarked. A couple of articles on breeding mention this phenomenon occurring in the fry, particularly after feeding. If the fish is squirted with the turkey baster it will (usually) recover. If left alone it will die. I have lost four adult Banggai cardinals in the past 3 months; one because it was "odd man out" and I didn't remove it soon enough, and three from terminal seizures. These fish have come from different sources, 2 locally, and 2 internet (Aquacon). If others are having this experience, it might be a problem to address. In the meantime, no more Banggais for us, even though they are really cool fish. Sincerely, Linda Kuehn <Interesting, and still frightening... I wonder if a lack of dissolved oxygen could be at play here... since you mention the revival with a turkey baster... Do you have sufficient aeration, circulation in this system. Anyone with a D.O. meter, test kit you could use? Bob Fenner>

Re: Banggai cardinals death Dear Mr. Fenner, Thank you for your quick reply. Oxygen saturation is something to consider. Using the turkey baster, I mostly prodded the fish rather than blew water onto it, however, even reviving it that way suggests it might not be getting enough O2. <Agreed> Here's my set up in this tank. It's a 40 gallon, 36 " long, 15 " tall. I have two Penguin bio-wheel filters, one at each end, and a protein skimmer (not great, but adequate). One medium size live rock and several not live, and lots of Caulerpa. (I grow it for my tangs in the big tank). Here's something I was wondering about. There are large bubbles on one of the rocks on the left hand side. I can knock the bubbles off, but more just form. Could this be an indication of lack of O2 due to poor circulation? <Yes, perhaps... the available low oxygen and possibly related higher carbon dioxide may be fostering enhanced photosynthesis...> Can you suggest a remedy? Thanks, Linda Kuehn <Yes, certainly. Do add a long airstone (with pump, tubing, check valve) along the inside edge of the tank... and/or powerheads with intake lines to blow air and water together... Mix your water up in all directions... practically speaking, there cannot be too much water circulation. Bob Fenner>

Banggai 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 cardinals  I mail ordered 2 Banggai Cardinals 3 weeks ago and I can't get them to eat  my water quality is good I have tried live brine shrimp black worms (live)  and frozen food can you give me any suggestions.  >>  Hmmm, need more clues. What do you have that IS eating? Do you have live rock, live sand? Do the cardinals look like they're getting thin? I'll bet  they're eating stuff at night when you can't see them. Try feeding after the   lights are out. Do you have access to baby livebearers? These fishes mainly eat small crustaceans (like the brine you've been offering) and small  fishes... at night. Bob Fenner Finicky Banggai Cardinal  12/13/05 I have a Banggai Cardinal that will only eat Cyclop-eeze (twice a week I soak it in Selcon).  I've tried Sweetwater plankton, enriched brine shrimp, baby daphnia, and all kinds of frozen & flake foods, and he always sucks these foods into his mouth, but then spits them out (no matter how small the piece of food).  The only food he'll swallow is the Cyclop-eeze, and he's voracious with that, so I don't think his selectivity is a matter of not being hungry.  I'm worried that eating only Cyclop-eeze will not sustain him.  Any suggestions? <Steve, the Cyclop-eeze is a pretty good diet high in protein.  You don't mention how long you've had the cardinal so all you can do is to continue to offer other foods and maybe he start eating it in time.  I never liked pizza when I first tried it. Mmmm now.  James (Salty Dog)> Steve

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