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FAQs about Cardinalfishes, Family Apogonidae 2

Related Articles: Cardinalfishes

Related FAQs:  Cardinalfishes 1, & FAQs on: Cardinal ID, Cardinal Behavior, 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,

Regarding the site/ improvements/ inputs etc.    2/16/08 Well Bob and the rest of the crew, I have to say the site is good as is though some ideas as to what might make it better I can only suggest maybe going over the FAQ's and picking some info out of them to flesh out the initial discussion of the species, <A worthy suggestion... I'd go further and suggest that someone with a discerning mind could likely re-organize the FAQs contents themselves (as I do almost daily in "splitting up" FAQs files into sub-FAQs categories...) taking them out of the present "order" (mostly chronological in series of pages), and placing them as being more pertinent and thorough, to less so...> there is a great difference in the discussions in some of them versus others. <This is so!> Much great info is in the FAQ sections though I am apt to agree with other users they are difficult to navigate. <And I'll brook no disagreement with this... What I am up against is practical limitations on my time... it takes about all I have to finish answering, fixing spelling/grammar, other formatting issues, and placing, building content... the hand-ful of hours per day is all there is... I must need "earn my daily bread"... and four other categorical daily patterns... All told, am limited...> Now even still this being the case, one can't really complain about these things, and please know I am not complaining in any way, heck if you have to dig for it so be it the site is FREE!!!! <Mmm, but I do know there are ways of presenting the information better... and have only thanks for the MANY hours friends have aided my efforts here... IF I had or could make the site/s more profitable, I would likely hire/pay for professional help in making the content easier to search and more attractive...> You all are very helpful and while yes everyone has their own personal writing style when you reach out for free help, not a paid consultant, its hard to complain of the answer you get. Now regarding the obvious question that my own question poses, which is " All right Forrest if you think some one should go through the FAQ's then who is gonna do it?" well while I in no way consider myself knowledgeable enough to create new content I would give it a shot to distil some reoccurring info from the FAQs of course I too have a Full time job so I can't say I could donate a great deal of time to this endeavor, only would like to help the people that help me as best I know how. <Ahhh! I thank you for coming forward> If you want me to take a stab at it I will, If I have been presumptuous I am sorry, If I have offended, again I am sorry. <Nay, no offense at all. I am grateful for your input and help> I would like to close by saying thanks to all of you who give of your time and efforts to pass on your hard earned knowledge FOR FREE, This is admirable and should be appreciated by the people that are writing you. I am sorry that some do not appreciate it, and am also sorry if I ever seemed I did not. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Thanks Crew, Forrest <Please do "pick" a category/FAQs series if you will... consolidate, modify as you think best, and send to me for posting. I do want to encourage you to consider becoming a content provider in our interest... A sure-fire way to learn for sure, and I will gladly help you, provide image work if I can, and help you in what other ways I may... including introducing you to the 'zine (pulp and e-) editors. Very easy to make outlines and fill-them-in while scanning through the FAQs files... Bob Fenner>

Re: regarding the site/ improvements/ inputs etc. will give it a stab, as this will take much time how do I submit to you? in email? rtf. txt. <I think most all formats will work. Rich Text is fine> etc. thanks as to content providing, all I can say is not yet :) I know my qualifications, the best I can do is maybe deal with some "Beginner type questions and try my best to refer to texts, FAQ areas etc. <Ahh! This is the larger part of the "market"> also, while Familiar with Patent Law know nothing of Copyright Law so do not want to do anything wrong, need not end up in a "Fair Use " legal action :) <Mmm, don't think this is, will be a concern> I guess I will start with Cardinals as a Live stock category as they are my favorites behind the gobies and there is just too much to deal within the goby section as a first attempt. <Great!> Will do my best, will absolutely use spell check and Grammer check, I am the king of Typos and know it. <I have learned the better part of English from the corrections of these devices... an ongoing process> Though we never touched on the topic, of course this is gratis, just want you to know I know that I am volunteering. <Heeeee! I also> Thanks for the opportunity if nothing else in this regard , of course thanks again for the valuable info and time :) Forrest
<Thank you. BobF>
Re: regarding the site/ improvements/ inputs etc. hey convenient you should get back to me at this moment, yes I keep my email open at all times, yes I know that is sad, so I am taking notes from the pages, wondering if you have a preference as to how to lay this out, current idea is to have a short "blurb" followed by some "fun facts" then a bit about the "family" then break into specifics for BC's PJ's and then some "others" there seems to be little that deals with the other members of the family, I know these guys are the biggies, heck they are the ones I like. :) well I am gonna keep taking notes :) oh you want me to do Fresh and brackish also? as I have time of course. <I leave all the specifics here to you. Develop the layout as you deem fit. BobF>
Re: regarding the site/ improvements/ inputs etc. oh one other suggestion, if at all posible, would be great if the links at the tops of a page within a group, such as the card I am working on right now, were all the same. know this maybe take a bit off effort, hopefully not too much, but might be helpful to everyone. Thanks again and I just finished reading am compiling notes right now :) <Mmm, could you send along an example? BobF>
Re: regarding the site/ improvements/ inputs etc.    2/16/08 well here is a first attempt, let me know what needs changed if anything. Thanks and lets all hope this cuts down on redundant questions <Forrest... this is a wonderful rendering. Boost it a few hundred words, toss in some pix (which I'll gladly lend you gratis)... and I'll help you sell it. Very nice indeed. Bob Fenner>

Re: regarding the site/ improvements/ inputs etc., Apogonid pc. first...  2/18/08 wow really?!! I will give it hell Bob I'll give it hell. I have some other sources I can use to flesh it out more, at first just trying to pull only from te FAQs but if you say so I will give it a shot, thanks for the vote of confidence. Forrest <My friend... your synthesis, syncretization is that good. I wish to encourage you further.... for all's edification, gain. BobF>

Re: regarding the site/ improvements/ inputs etc. 2/21/08 I would like to say how much that really means to me. You suggest boosting it a few hundred words, would you suggest a deeper discussion of the already mentioned species? <Or aspects of the family's biology, captive husbandry> feeding etc. ? or add in more species? Thanks for the help. <I'd stick with the most popular species... Do you want me to send along my hard drive pix of the Apogonids? Do you mind loading Pando.com? BobF>

Re: regarding the site/ improvements/ inputs etc.  2/23/08 ok now that I am on my personal computer, I have downloaded Pando. I can get to work on the bio and husbandry sections soon, should be able to finish by tomorrow night. Thanks again, Forrest <Will send you my Apogonid pix... after am done with the gig of crustaceans going out to LynnZ. B>

Cardinal Fish, The family Apogonidae.    2/16/08 By Forrest Phillips

These beautiful slow moving and generally peaceful mouth brooders make excellent aquarium pets when kept with other peaceful tank mates.

Some interesting facts about these fish:

  1. They are Gonochorist Paternal Mouth brooders, meaning they do not change sex, they are hatched a sex and stay it, and that the father holds the eggs and sometimes the babies in his mouth.
  2. They are carnivorous and will attempt to eat most things that will fit in their mouth, including crustacean and fish.
  3. In the wild Cardinals, Banggais come to mind, will associate with Long Spine Urchins, But in the confines of aquaria have been observed to hide in the tentacles of corals and anemones such as elegance coral and Long Tentacled Anemones.

Some species specifics:

PJ cardinals, Sphaeramia nematoptera, are best kept in odd numbered groups, say 3,5,7 etc. Solo PJ's have been known to waste away over time, even formerly voracious eaters may stop eating if kept alone.

Some compatible fish to go along with your PJ's include the fire goby (Nemateleotris magnicifica ), seahorses, and most other peaceful fish that will not harass or attempt to eat them. These fish also go by the name of Polkadot Cardinal fish.

PJ's will eat most carnivore preparations. Please, please, PLEASE, do not feed them a diet of only brine shrimp. Gut loaded brine shrimp or baby live bearers may be necessary to elicit a feeding response initially, but do switch to a more nutritious food such as mysis shrimp, Cyclops, or other carnivore prepared foods as soon as possible. Sweetwater plankton and New Life spectrum pellets are also good choices. A varied diet is always best.

Some tank mates to be avoided include Sally light foot Crabs, and for that matter all true crabs, larger clownfish, Flame Hawkfish Tangs and other "Fast Movers" as well as Banggais in most systems. There are of course other poor choices, do research on the other fish especially anything that could potentially eat these peaceful fish.

Banggai Cardinals (Pterapogon kaudneri ) are interesting in that the young exit the males mouth fully formed, and are ready to eat newly hatched Artemia, Baby Brine Shrimp as they are commonly known.

Banggai Cardinals share much in common with the above mentioned PJs. One very important behavioral difference is that a single Banggai is quite happy by itself. The aggression between Banggais, called conspecific aggression, is often fatal to the subdominant fish. A subdominant BC will usually demonstrate a color of dark gray to black and shy and subdued behavior.

There is good news however for those wishing to keep more than one. If you have a large enough system, BC's can be kept in large shoals, say 10 or so individuals, this does require a large system though. Another option is to keep a breeding pair. If you can, watch them at the fish store and look for a pair. They will be seen together and trying to push away the others in the tank. If however this is not possible obtain a small group. A group of 5 is a good number, this will give you a good chance of getting at least one male and female in this Gonochorist fish. Once a pair has formed they will begin to harass the remaining three fish. At this point you will want to isolate the pair from the remaining fish.

The male will hold the eggs for approximately 21-25 days, though this is temperature dependant. It is a good idea to keep on eye on the male once he stops eating and observe him for behavior of holding. If you want to raise the babies there are a great many articles on this topic, a google search is in order, and a trip to the breeders registry.

As is mentioned above they will eat eagerly newly hatched Artemia and it has been suggested to slip some Cyclop-Eeze into the feeding frenzy to increase the nutritional value of their diet. Pleas report any success using such a feeding regimen.

If you succeed in keeping a group of these fish and one dies off, your safest bet is to leave the remaining fish alone and not try to introduce new fish. If however you still wish to introduce some new fish, Dip them Quarantine them then once they are eating what you are feeding the main tank introduce the new cardinals at the same time as a group, of at least 2 to disperse aggression from the invaders.

Some good tank mates for these cardinals include those suggested for the PJ's and a Flame angel may also work well if the system is appropriate for the angel. In larger systems they may be ok with Tangs but exercise due caution. These fish are easily scared especially upon introduction.

If you can include a Pod Fuge, a refugium for growing Amphipods and Copepods, your fish will have access to food all day. They also enjoy such fare as Mysis shrimp, Sweetwater plankton, and shredded seafood. They have been observed to be pretty indiscriminate about the size of their prey items, though be sure it will fit in their mouths.

If they are being finicky then live brine shrimp and baby livebearers can elicit a feeding response. Once eating move in the more nutrient rich foods, they might not notice in their eagerness to feed on their known food.

Banggais can be obtained from captive bred sources and it is best to get them as such. They will be better acclimated to aquarium life and prepared foods. Wild Banggais are often host to internal parasites such as worms and protozoans. White stringy Feces is indicative of an internal parasite. Yellow cysts have also been observed and likely linked to a bacterial infection. The typical Saltwater diseases will strike at cardinal fish, such as Crypt and Velvet. Velvet has been observed to appear as a "cloudy eye" in the Cardinals. Banggais may also be listed as Hi-fin, High fin, and Banner cardinal fish.

There are other species of Cardinal available and for the most part their captive care falls in with the above mentioned species. Do research individual species before purchase.

Pajamas having babies? 10/2/07 Hello Crew, I have 3 PJ Cardinal in my 30 gallon tank for 2 years. Yesterday i found out that one of them not eating, and it was hiding behind some corals. Its mouth was full, like keeping something in its mouth. <Mmm, yes. I see this> So i did a quick search online, seems like the PJ Cardinal with a mouth full is a 'male' that carrying eggs/fry. <Yes... this and the Opistognathids are the two marine fish families with male mouthbrooding...> I just want to make sure my information is correct, so i have attached a picture of the mouth full 'male' (hope the picture is clear enough. As the PJ is hiding whole day, only manage to take a shoot during the MH light is off) Please tell me is 'He' carrying eggs or is 'He' sick.... Thanks.
<Very likely the former. Bob Fenner>

Breeding Pajama Cardinals? 10/2/07 Hello - <Hi there> Yesterday we noticed that one of our two pajama cardinals is holding eggs in his mouth. <Congrats> I have tried searching online, however most references about raising cardinal fry are specific to the Banggai. Do you have any advice on how to try to raise the fry? <Mmm... a bit... Mostly to set aside enough system... and start culturing small crustaceans as food...> I have found out that the pajama cardinals have pelagic larvae... <Yes... as the majority of reef fishes> and that's about the extent of it. This leads me to believe there isn't a high success rate, but if it can be attempted within reason we'd like to give it a try. Thanks, Jim & Pauline <There is much more in print than on the Net/electronic... Have you scanned through for Apogonids Reproduction in general? Tried reading through the Breeder's Registry online? Bob Fenner>

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>

Banggai Cardinal...Mixing Cardinals in a 500+ gallon system. - 7/20/07 Greetings fish lovers <Now that's a title I can go with! Hi Ian, Mich with you tonight!> I have a 2500l <660 gallons> full reef system housing about 30 various fish. <Wow! That's a mighty big tank!> I have two Pajama cardinals that have been resident for some time and would like to introduce a couple of Banggai cardinals. Would they get on together if I could try and match the size? <Mmm, generally no, but in a system of this size I am fairly confident this shouldn't be a problem. But my recommendation, as always, is to watch and observe for signs of trouble, but in tank this size I'd be surprised if they ever saw each other!> I thought that it would be better to get at least two newbie's to divide the initial harassment or would there never be acceptance? <I think you will be ok simply because of your tank size, though I would try to acquire a mated pair. These fish have been successfully bred in captivity. More info here and the related links in blue: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cardinal.htm > At the moment nobody messes with them so do not really want to turn their world upside down. <Understandable and respectable.> Thanks for your time and the advice. <You are most welcome!> Cheers <And to you! Mich> Ian

Small Water Column Fish -- Revisited, Apogonid sel.  -- 06/15/07 Hey thanks once again Mich. <Welcome!> I have access to some Apogon cyanosoma (yellow-lined or gold striped cardinals). Some folks seem to be ok keeping them long term in a small group, others experience aggression as they mature. Any thoughts on these? <I have never kept this species of fish, so I'm not able to draw on personal experience here, but the literature describes these as one of the "bolder" members of the family and recommends keeping a group of 5-7 individuals, all introduced at the same time. You may want to consider dimming your lighting when they are introduced. There is more info here, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cardinal.htm but nothing as far the behavior of this species versus others in the genus. It can be difficult to predict behavior as it can vary greatly between the individual. Other fish in the system can also impact behavior. I would avoid overcrowding and provide plenty of hiding places. Good luck! Mich> Randall Douglas

Hardiness of Pajama Cardinals vs. Banggai Cardinals   2/13/07 Hi again crew, I have been having the same problems with Banggai Cardinalfish that I have read about on your site-- they cease to eat, start breathing rapidly, and then die. <Does happen... and all too often... and this should not be the case... That is, Apogonids such as these can be, should be raised in captivity... regionally... and be well-ready to withstand the rigors of moving, captivity...> All of this happens very quickly. I'm not sure, but I think I remember them having stringy, white feces as well. Recently, I lost eight! I bought these eight in groups of three, three, and two, so they did not all come from the same shipment.  I quarantined them in a 30 gallon bare tank, first all together, and then separated the next batch into three 10-gallon compartments. I tried FW dips before quarantining, and when that batch died, I skipped the FW dip. None of this made any difference.  I have kept many more difficult fish successfully, but I just can't keep the Banggais alive (yes, the water parameters are all where they should be). <Mmm... I want to say a few things (thanks for this prompting)... the vast majority of Pterapogon ARE cultured (somewhat), but still imported (from Indonesia mainly)... and they ARE way too often BUNK! Your experiences are not atypical...> The only answer I can comes up with is the mysterious parasite  I have read about which supposedly infects Banggai Cardinals. I was told the fish I purchased were tank-raised, but who knows if this is true-- and maybe tank-raised Banggais carry this parasite as well. So here is my question: are Pajama Cardinals susceptible to the same parasite? <... not as far as I'm aware, but have not seen definitive proof of such a parasitic involvement in the high incidental mortality of this species> I have not seen much written on your site about the Pajamas since they have been so overshadowed by the popularity of the Banggais. <Are old-timey favorites... the two principal species...> Have you been receiving emails with Pajama Cardinals suffering from the same symptoms and dropping dead? <Not as far as I recall, no> Also, I read that while a group of Pajama Cardinals will establish a pecking order, they do not display conspecific aggression ( aggression to other  Pajama Cardinals, if I used the term incorrectly) to nearly the same degree as Banggai Cardinals, making it easier to keep them in a group. Is this true in your experience, or reports from your readers? <Mmm, yes... though Sphaeramia can indeed be territorial... though not as often to as the degree as Banggais> As always, thanks for taking the time to read this and for offering your advice. Art
<Thank you for asking. Bob Fenner>

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