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FAQs about Cardinalfishes, Family Apogonidae, Behavior 

Related Articles: Cardinalfishes

Related FAQs:  Cardinalfishes 1, Cardinalfishes 2, & FAQs on: Cardinal ID, Cardinal Compatibility, Cardinal Selection, Cardinal Systems, Cardinal Feeding, Cardinal Disease, Cardinal Reproduction,  & Banggai Cardinals, Banggai ID, Banggai Behavior, Banggai Compatibility, Banggai Selection, Banggai Systems, Banggai Feeding, Banggai Disease, Banggai Reproduction,

How old and how big 1/24/10
Hello there. I was just wondering what the longest time was for a sea hare to live in a home aquarium.
<At least years. Some Aplysia California for a decade or more reportedly>
I am also wondering what the longest Pajama Cardinal grew to be in a home aquarium.
<Four inches, ten cm.s or so>
I think I may have some record breaking specimens, but would like to know the answers to the above questions before I do anything else.
Thank you for your time!
Austin Rice
<Bob Fenner>
Re: How old and how big 1/24/10
4 inches and 10 cm...from tip of the face to tip of the tail, or tail not included? Thanks.
<Not standard length (SL) as in fisheries, ichthyology, but overall length as in pet-fish. B>

Orbiculate Cardinal Observation: Cardinal Behavior 10/8/2009
Howdy Wet Web Media Crew,
<Hi Liz>
First, I have to offer forth a healthy dose of well deserved praise for the dedication y'all employ in maintaining what is by far the absolute best research resource on the web for marine aquarium keeping. I'm sure your other FAQ compilations are equally wonderful, just haven't needed to browse through them (yet). Y'all are the best!
<Thank you, happy to hear you find them helpful.>
I've been reading through your FAQs on Cardinalfish <amongst other things>.
I just recently purchased an established 125g set up. All in all, it's been quite an adventure! The inhabitants of the aquarium had endured some loss of interest neglect and are now tolerating my very new to saltwater fish keeping status. I think they get together in the evenings and laugh at me, but otherwise we are all getting on together quite well.
<Good to hear.>
Back to the point at hand... amongst other mature aggressive residents the tank came with a school of 4 Orbiculate Cardinalfish. My observations may be a real 'Well, no duh!" kinda thing for those who are experienced, but I've had a few surprises in the last couple days I thought would be worth sharing for any other newbie's like me. Especially those considering getting Cardinals, or adding other fish to a tank with mature Cardinals.
<Fire away.>
First, in researching what kind of fish I want to restock with (after rehoming the tanks current residents) I've read that Cardinals are generally peaceful nocturnal fish. Hmm. I think there needs to be a great big caveat somewhere that reads 'Peaceful towards others as long as they don't fit in their mouth"! And these guys have *big* mouths!
<Very true. Most 'peaceful' SW fish are far more aggressive than most people think, and more likely to eat whatever they can fit in their mouths.>
I learned this when trying to feed some live minnows to the snowflake eel.
No sooner did the minnows hit the water than the Cardinals raced over and ate them right up out muscling other supposedly more aggressive fish to do so. We moved up to larger feeder goldfish. Some nearly as long nose to tip as the Cardinal's bodies. Those were devoured by the Cardinals as well, sometimes in a tug of war match resulting in a single feeder getting torn in two! I was very, VERY happy to learn this via feeders and not by placing a smaller much wanted fish in the tank. I'd previously been considering keeping the 'peaceful' Cardinals when restocking. Won't now as I'm sure I'll be restocking with smaller <immature> fish and I don't want them to become snacks!
<Going to chime in here that live foods are a very poor choice - Significantly increases the risk of introducing disease to your tank.
Further, Goldfish are very poor choices as feeders. Have a read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/goldfshfd.htm >
Second, on the topic of feeding, the Cardinals seem to much prefer live/previously live foods. Much more so than the blue damsel and Sgt Majors I also have in the tank. I've fed bits of chopped fish and shrimp
which get picked at by the other fish and voraciously devoured by the Cardinals. The Cardinals will eat flake and pellet foods, but they don't display the same level of eagerness. Just a thought if someone is having a hard time feeding new Cardinals.
<This is generally true for most fish - it smells and tastes more 'natural' to them.>
Third, these 'peaceful' fish are holding their own just fine in the tank with a snowflake eel <who we discovered will happily take food from a blunt BBQ skewer, so much easier than trying to get live fish past the Cardinals to him, blue damsel and two Sgt. Majors.
<In all fairness, the Snowflake is a very peaceful eel, which is also a crustacean eater rather than a fish eater.>
The fish were all placed in the tank at the same time a year or so ago (long before I bought the tank, wouldn't have been my choice of fish but oh well). I do have a lot of live rock with many small tunnels, caves and hiding spots. However, these are mostly occupied by the damsels (who race around fussing at each other). They show no signs of stress or aggravation over their more boisterous companions. They mostly just hover near the back of the tank (out of the way of most of the activity).
They are neat fish, though very plain and don't provide much movement/interest to the tank (aside from at feeding). Sure not fish that invite adding smaller new tankmates once they are mature which is something
to think about when stocking!
<Thanks for sharing.>
Keep up the great work,

Re: Orbiculate Cardinal Observation   10/8/09
Thank you so much for your quick response Mike.
<Hi Liz, my pleasure as always.>
On the subject of feeding the snowflake eel, what do you suggest from a standpoint of economy and easy of feeding that would also be nutritious for the eel.
<Shrimp, some clam, mussel, perhaps some crab meat.>
I had a feeling that feeding him feeder fish/minnows etc. was not the best choice. After all, they wouldn't be eating those in the ocean!
I'd also read about their penchant for crustaceans (so I haven't added any cute shrimp to the tank!).
<Would likely become a rather expensive snack.>
Right now I'm feeding the eel perch and gulf coast shrimp (just the meat).
The perch got a so-so response, he loved the shrimp! I worry that he'll need more diversity though. I'm also going to pick up some liquid vitamins to soak his food in.
<Good, Try some other shellfish as well.>
He's really a beautiful animal and very neat.
<They are.>
He's more active than I would have thought. We see him often moving through his network of tunnels that
he's burrowed out under my base rock. What do you think the odds are of him catching and eating small fish if he's otherwise well fed?
<Always a possibility - but as long as it is well fed, not likely.>
I'd love to keep him, but he's very large (truly about 18"). He really did not seem interested in the minnows which is why most went to the voracious Cardinals!
<Not at all surprising.>
Thank you again.

Pajama Cardinal sick... just lonely    9/25/07 I have a pajama cardinal fish for about 3-4 weeks now, he started out as the only fish in the 120G aquarium. He was initially housed with 3 peppermint shrimp. He was a pig, the only thing I can get him to eat as of today though is Mysis shrimp, he has no interest in anything else (especially formula 2 pellet). Currently his tank mates include 2 black ocellaris, and a blue green Chromis, all 4 of these fish are under an inch and a half long. Ammonia is 0, nitrite is 0, and nitrate is around 15, the only problem I seem to having more recently is a slight microbubble problem, first we thought it was the pump, I took it apart and checked all the connections, and after further testing we figured out that it was the Euroreef RS135 skimmer. In the last day or so my cardinal stopped being quite so outgoing, no one bothers him, but he started being slightly less interested in Mysis, normally he is a pig, but now he takes one and then goes and hides, not his normal personality. <Actually... about what usually happens... with solitary Cardinals> I took a much closer look at him and I found he seems to have some sort of off colored fuzzy irritated area on his rear underneath his rear flipper. I have a picture of it right here, I have no Q tank atm... let me know what you think this might be and what possible treatments are...Any help is appreciated http://i242.photobucket.com/albums/ff274/pedanpedan/cardinal.jpg its sort of where the lower black part of his black stripe fades off, normally that's solid black <Stress...> This guy is my baby, my first fish in the tank would love any advice you can give. Thank you so much again... Josh
<Are social animals... I'd get two more... Bob Fenner>

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

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