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FAQs about Cardinalfishes, Family Apogonidae, Reproduction 

Related Articles: Cardinalfishes

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

Pregnant Cardinal???/Cardinal Fish/Breeding 11/20/09
<Hello Crystal>
I purchased my pair of Pajama Cardinals 51 days ago. Both eat well. Both are much healthier than when I received them. pH 8.4, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 10, salinity 1.026, temp 78, calcium 150
In the last week one has not been eating. Today it was pushing out and sucking back in what appears to be a group of bubbles. Could this be mouth brooding? I was not able to get a photo.
<Without observing, I would lean that way, yes.>
If this is mouth-brooding should I remove him from my 120 gallon tank?
<Mmm, the fish is likely to expel the eggs once removed from the water.
Bob may input here.>
I am concerned my other fish (a Humu Trigger, 2 Clowns, a Hippo Tang, a Royal Gramma, a Plate Coral, a Hairy Mushroom, and approx 200 Zoanthids) will find the hatchlings very tasty.
<Definitely, and I might add that Triggerfish are not good tankmates for cardinal fish and are best kept with fish of similar behavior.>
I can quarantine him and her in my hospital tank to keep other fish from eating the hatchlings? However would the process of removal be too traumatic?
<Unless you intend on raising these fish, and are prepared to feed the fry the needed foods, they will likely die anyway. May want to read the FAQ's on breeding Banggai Cardinal Fish here.
If this is not mouth brooding, then what?
<It likely is. Do send a pic if you can capture.>
Thank you for your time and expertise,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

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>

Baby Banggais! Help! My Banggai cardinal's spawned. <Congrats!> The tank is a 29gallon reef with 2 perculas, 2 cleaner shrimp and a royal Gramma. What do I do? how long will they stay in the male's mouth? I was planning on setting up a 10g tank for the male. Any help will be appreciated. <Well, generally, young Banggais are released at around 21-25 days, at which time they can begin to feed on items such as brine shrimp nauplii (ok, not the most nutritious food, but if the nauplii are fed Selcon or other supplements, passable for a while), rotifers, copepods Mysis, etc. Many who have bred these fish advise dividing up the brood into smaller groups as they begin to feed, as some youngsters will dominate the others and prevent them from feeding properly. I have not experienced this- but it may make sense. Ideally, the young fish should be in their own aquarium, as you planned. Do a search on the wetwebmedia.com site for more information on the breeding and rearing of these cool fish! Best of luck to you! Regards, Scott F>

Baby Banggai Cardinalfish I wrote Steven Pro a week ago about my baby Banggai Cardinals, and hatching baby brine. <I remember.> He suggested getting Cyclop-eeze which I did at a good chunk of cash (that stuff is not cheap). <There is an old expression, "Good things are seldom cheap and cheap things are seldom good."> My question is now that I have it, I have tried to feed it to them and they go for it at first but then look past it. <Banggais are known to be very finicky.> I want to know what you guy's think about how to get them to eat that and get away from nauplii cause the nutrition data on the Cyclops-eeze is way better then anything I have ever seen on any brine nauplii. <And so much more convenient.> How should I go about getting them to switch from on to the other? <I would try feeding both at the same time. Hopefully, in their frenzy they will be less discriminating.> Any suggestions would be great. So far 14 hatched and 14 still living and getting bigger. <Great! So, when should that article be coming our way for posting on www.WetWebMedia.com?> Thanks, James Wesley <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Breeding Cardinals Just wanted to write and say thanks to Steven Pro. I wrote a few weeks ago about my Banggai Cardinals breeding and he gave me the idea of a mock urchin for the tank to get the fry out of the main reef tank. It worked well and now I have 14 new Cardinals swimming and eating in a grow out tank. They are cuter then the pics I have seen of them, quite interesting to see them school around the tooth picks of the mock sea urchins. I am now feeding them newly hatched brine shrimp nauplii fed with phytoplankton and fine filter food. I have two batches of brine going daily so they don't get large enough to diminish there nutrient quality. <All very good. Perhaps try some Cyclop-eeze. It is a newer product that is supposed to be a good alternative to hatching brine shrimp. It comes frozen and freeze dried from Argent Laboratories. I would still keep the brine shrimp going until you are sure the babies are eating enough of this stuff, but it could make your life a lot easier.> Thanks again Steven, James Wesley <You are quite welcome. Please consider recording your work and observations in the hopes of writing something to help others. -Steven Pro>

Cardinal Rules Mr. Fenner, <Scott F. this morning!> I just bought my first fish for my tank!! yeahh!! Anyway it was a Banggai cardinal. The tank is a 20 long with 25lbs of live rock. It has two powerheads on it each rated at 145g/h. From reading your Faq's on them it seems they can be some trouble, is this really the case?  <Like any fish, they appreciate high water quality, proper diet, and non-aggressive tankmates, but they are usually great aquarium fish> After acclimating it under just a little ambient lighting from the room, and tank lighting off I turned up the room lights a bit and gave it a little brine shrimp which it took a few pieces (5-10 shrimp). I know it may have been stressed so I was happy with him taking anything. After that I left it go to get used to its new home. Is that much circulation too much for it? Will it be ok to just hovering there during the day with all that current, however there is a few slower moving parts?  <That should be fine, as long as there are quiet areas and nooks and crannies for him to retreat to once in a while> My other question is this: I've read they eat copepods or in other words the critters that crawl about on the live rock. I have two peppermint shrimp, and a fire cleaner, which also share these meaty delights too if I'm correct. Will my 20 gallon tank with 25lbs of live rock be able to supply enough of these critters? Exactly what are these little things, shrimp? They are whitish and have little antennae.  <Sound like amphipods, and they are a nice supplement to the fish's diet. However, it's unlikely that you have a sufficient population of these creatures in your tank for your fish to gain all of his nutrition from. You should continue to feed appropriate foods ( frozen Mysis, "formula" foods, finely chopped seafoods, etc.) to your fish as the bulk of his diet.> And lastly how can I sex the cardinal without being able to compare it to others of its type? <Tough to do- the most reliable indicator seems to be the larger size of the males, which is not much help when you just have one!> Thanks, Mike <Good luck, Mike-and enjoy this great fish!>

Pajama cardinals I have one pajama cardinal fish. I want to buy another one so I can mate the two.  The problem is I don't know the difference between a male and a female.  Can you please help?  The sexes are not much differentiated but may be distinguished by the males slightly larger size and the girth of gravid females. They are some of the few marine mouthbrooders with the males generally doing the incubating. Young are released after about a week, and develop as plankton for a couple of months in the upper water column., good luck, IanB> Thanks, Wendy

Apogon margaritophorus - They bred! >Hello Guys, n girl,   >>Hee.. I've had SOME effect!  Ladies, unite!  VIVA CHE'!  Oops.. wrong movement.  :D >I need some info, my Apogon margaritophorus just spawned last night.  Is the male going to keep the young in his mouth after they hatch? Or will they develop as pelagic young?  I'd like to give a try at raising the lil' critters, any idea what they would take to eat?  Will DT's work? WOW I'm shocked!  This is cool.  I will get pics, just for the heck of it. Thanks, Jen >>Well, Jen, I have discovered that there is a true DEARTH of information regarding this fish at ALL, let alone its breeding habits.  I know that there are folks here and in Brazil breeding the Banggai, so I'm going to strongly suggest you go to one of the following sites - http://www.reefs.org (register, and post your question in the Captive Breeder's Column), or, give http://www.TheReefTank.com a try.  If we're lucky, you MAY find someone who has something of value to offer.  I don't think that the fry go pelagic, but that's a best guess based on the Banggai breeding I read of.  DT's, rotifers, and other microplankters would also be my guess at foods, but I truly don't know if the fry need to be reared with such special care as, say, Clownfishes.  However, they've now "done it" once, they WILL do it again, so you can have a chance to prepare.  Sorry I can't be of more help, but do let us know if you find anything more.  Marina HERPS RULE! <<RMF does not agree with pelagic young for Apogonids, nor the use of micro-phytoplankton as foods for young>>

How to breed pajama Cardinalfish 3/28/04 hi, right now I have 3 pajama cardinal fish that I've had for about a year in a 75gal reef tank.  a few months ago I moved the three of them into a 20 long because they seemed a bit stressed out by the other fish in the 75.  so I set up the 20 gal just for these three fish and was wondering if anyone had any info on breeding this species of fish.  I've looked all over the web and cannot find anything that's helpful in any way.   thanks, Sara <these fish and several others in the family have been spawned in captivity... do look up spawning reports and information on the subject at the "Breeders Registry" online and be sure to look up reports for related species. Best of luck! Anthony> -Breeding cardinals of different species- Hi Bob, <Kevin here in his stead.> I was doing research on Pajama Cardinal fish since I just bought a new one to add to my 65 gallon that already had one male.  I thought I was buying a female but after viewing the species photos on your web page: http://saltaquarium.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wetwebmedia.com%2Fmarine%2Ffishes%2Fpart2.htm I realize that I actually have two different species of Cardinal fish and perhaps the new one is a male, which would account for the aggressive behavior of the original Pajama Cardinal towards the new Pajama Cardinal.   Will this be a continuous problem? <Likely, they usually will take to each other fairly quickly if it's going to happen.> The new fish is not shy about eating, though the bigger older fish will eventually chase it away.  I was hoping to breed a pair but seeing that they are slightly different in species I realize that this will not happen. <Unfortunately, you're probably right. The best you can hope for is them to just get along, which may happen. Just keep an eye out for the new guy so it doesn't get beat up! Good luck! -Kevin> Mike

Banggai Cardinal Breeding/Gestation 11/9/04 Hi Crew, <howdy> It's been a while since I've written.  Though I continue to read WWM on a daily basis. <good to have you along my friend> I was wondering if anyone in the crew is a B. Cardinal guru.  I have a male that is carrying eggs/fry.  I noted that he stopped eating more than 3 weeks ago.  He has that "I'm so full I could hurl" look (see picture attached).  After three weeks of guessing, I plopped him into the fuge in hopes that I can keep some of the fry.  I already have a teaming fuge and have started the baby brine hatchery.  My question, which I find an answer NOWHERE on the web is "How long does he carry" before I can expect free  swimming fry?   <Hmm.... with all due respect, David, and we all need a tweak like this now and again :), I must correct you on the "looked everywhere" comment. Through our actions, archives here at WWM, we aspire to help fellow aquarists to help themselves. learn and enjoy the journey. We are here to answer questions, but not enable. You may have dropped the ball on this one, mate ;) In an effort to help you find this answer (which I did not know/recall myself)... I went to the fab and famous Google search tool that is plastered all over our website and well-known at large. I typed in "Banggai cardinal gestation" and the first page and first hit/link on that page came up with the answer. A fine article by the experienced aquarist/author Frank Marini: http://www.reefs.org/library/article/f_marini.html> I want to ensure that I get Mr. Male out of the fuge shortly after he spits them. <it seems like the fry are due to be released according to Frank, et al. You can also see more information at the Breeders Registry online with spawning reports and details of many marine creatures> Any and all information, pointers, links you can provide are appreciated. <and my apologies for using you here as an example my friend :p All good-natured. And indeed, a reminder as to what an incredible (and under-exploited) resource the Internet really is> Keep up the good work. and remember when and if you ever get back to Boston, Mi Casa es Su Casa. David <a beautiful city... looking forward to seeing it again/meeting you perhaps. Kindly, Anthony>

Banggai Cardinal Gestation II 11/10/04 Cheers, David Anthony, <<and my apologies for using you here as an example my friend :p All good-natured. And indeed, a reminder as to what an incredible (and under-exploited) resource the Internet really is>> No apologies required.  I'm not only a reef enthusiast, but a baseball coach, and Cub Scout volunteer.  I understand the use of "examples" in teaching and your "coaching" is greatly appreciated.  For what it's worth, I did browse the various FAQs but never used the search bar.  Brain cramp I guess. Thank you for all your help and the information provided.   <no worries my friend... thank you for understanding. indeed, I do live by the philosophy of "teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime." Giving it like I appreciate receiving it.> I wasn't as eager and nervous when my own sons were born! David <hehee... I promise I wont tell your wife, else you'll need to build a bigger doghouse... even if you don't own a dog <G> Anthony>

Pseudochromid compatibility and Banggai cardinal breeding 12/16/04 I have a few important issues regarding my aquarium. Firstly, I just added a pair of sunrise Dottybacks( a definite pair!), <I believe it... if they are not trying to kill each other, then they most likely are a pair> and a orchid Dottyback, <a poor choice mixing Pseudochromids, and this one prefers to be in shoals> to accompany the existing one. However, this orchid seems to be quite aggressive, but its size is not as big as the old one. There is definitely enough  hiding spaces, will killing be an issue over a duration of time. <very likely... do separate them please> Also, I have a 10 gallon mini tank with two Banggais which I purchased about 2 months ago. The purpose was to achieve success in the breeding of these fish. Recently I added a flame Hawkfish in hopes to quicken this activity and one week later boom! Today one of my Banggais mouth was super full it, it was sticking out, and it kept on trying to keep something in its mouth by opening a bit and closing. If I am not mistaken is the male carrying babies. If so what methods, procedures, and materials do I need. <there are many thorough spawning reports on this fish at big message boards like reefcentral.com as well as the Breeders Registry reports online... do some keyword searches my friend and enjoy the journey towards resourceful enlightenment> How much preparation time will be needed (the flame Hawkfish might eat everything.) <remove the Hawkfish, mate... its too aggressive and the tank is too small> Another concern is will the fish even make it through this time span (these fish do not seem very old, the male has a super long fin though.) Food is also another concern, there is no place where I can find baby brine shrimp or live ones.... Thanks..... <no worries... the babies are large enough to eat fine dry foods... mail order online some freeze-dried and frozen Cyclop-eeze. Best of luck! Anthony>  

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