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FAQs about Cardinalfishes, Family Apogonidae, Foods/Feeding/Nutrition 

Related Articles: Cardinalfishes

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

 

Feeding Cardinals What do cardinals eat? I just bought 2 and they don't yet seem interested in commercial foods. I understand they are nocturnal and have seen them moving about at night - would they be eating then? They normally just hover in one area during the day. Thanks! >> In the wild, most all Cardinalfishes (family Apogonidae) are nocturnal.. and eat small live plankton: crustaceans, worms, little fishes... Try feeding some meaty, if possible live foods a few to several minutes after you turn your lights off. In a few weeks they will be more accepting of prepared foods... including during "daytime". Bob Fenner

PJ Cardinalfish >I did finally get to go back to that fish store and check out the eel gobies a little bit better and I have discovered that they were convict blennies/engineer gobies.  I just wanted to thank you for all of your help and now I have a couple of new questions for you.   >>You're very welcome, Sara.  Shoot. >I have recently acquired a pajama Cardinalfish.  I had been searching for this fish for over a month before I finally found it, but I'm now having a problem with it being very picky about what it eats.  the PJ will take a bite of whatever I'm feeding and then just spit it out and ignore the rest of the food.   >>The fish may not feel comfortable.  For instance, it would probably be happier if you had two more in the tank.  However, not knowing your tank's capacity (I skimmed the previous here, maybe I've missed it?) I can't say you must, or even should.  If you can give me a rundown of the basis system (tank capacity, stock, filtration, water flow/pump ratings) that would be quite helpful.  I'm going to link you to a good article, and suggest that you try some frozen Mysis shrimp, don't give up just yet.  Also, try crushing a very few of the pellets, and keeping the lights a bit dimmer when feeding this fish.  As I recollect, they're one of the more nocturnal, reclusive fishes.  They appreciate having ledges and caves, as well, but make them very "open". >I've tried 3 or 4 different types of flake foods, 2 different types of pellets and so far only 2 types of frozen foods.  the PJ did seem to like the squid that I threw into the tank but still didn't seem very interested in eating.   >>Try chopping it very fine. I do feed my tank twice a day. once in the morning and once in the evening before the lights go out.  do you have any suggestions on what may help my PJ to eat?  also I was wondering if I should add another PJ to my tank (if I can find another one), and should I construct a few caves for it to hide out in?  it just sits in the middle of my tank where I have no live rock.   >>Ok, addressed above the lighting, add two (assuming generous tank dimensions and light stock load), caves/ledges, try the Mysis, and other meaty foods, and see this link--> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cardinal.htm the right side of the tank has been taken over by my pair of coral banded shrimps (where no fish is brave enough to go) and the left side belongs to a Sailfin tang and an orange tail damsel.  so do you think the PJ is ok where its at or should it have lots of places to hide during the day?  well thanks for any info you can give. >>Some rearrangements (and additions of the darkening ledges and a couple more cards) would probably be in order.  The other fish you've noted tend to be a bit aggressive, but I've never seen them go after cards.  However, they're daytime fishes, the cards are night owls, so you've got to help it hide out during the day.  Good luck!  Marina 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>

The Cardinal Rules of Feeding... I am a new hobbyist.  I have a tank with live rock, and two starfish in it.  I recently put a cardinal fish in about a week ago, after having him in a Q-tank for two weeks. <Glad that you're quarantining new arrivals>   He seems healthy enough, but I never seen him eat.  I have been giving him frozen food.  Yesterday, I gave him live worms and shrimp, both of which I saw him eat.  I fed him the worms, again today, and he also ate.  Am I going to be able to wean him eventually onto frozen food? <These fishes are usually fairly simple to wean onto frozen and other prepared foods, but it may take time with some specimens.> And how do I do that? <Well, the easiest way is to simply keep trying a variety of foods with this fish. Eventually, he'll come around. I'd try items like frozen Mysis, some of the "formula" foods, etc. Just be patient> I have two more cardinals in my Q-tank, and I am not sure what to feed them.  They were all fed live worms at the store.  I am not sure I can continue to feed worms forever, since the store that supplies them is quite a distance.  I could feed live shrimp, because a local store has them, but I heard they are not as nutritious.  I would really like to eventually get them on all frozen.  Will they eventually eat frozen if they are given nothing else.  Since my first cardinal looked so healthy, I assumed he was eating at night, off the bottom.  Is this possible? Any advice would be appreciated. thanks, Debbie. <It certainly is possible that the fish is eating at night; these fish engage in a fair amount feeding activity during this time. As long as the fish appears healthy, active, and alert, I would not be overly concerned. Just keep trying to tempt him with different foods. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

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

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



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