Banggai Cardinal Fish

the fish profile

Banggai Cardinal Fish

This marine aquarium fish is known as Banggai Cardinal Fish, Kaudern’s Cardinal, Longfin, Banner Cardinal and the correct latin name is Pterapogon kauderni. The family that this marine fish species belongs to is called the Cardinal family. (e) It's origin is Western Central Pacific. (e)

Character and suggestions regarding care

A peaceful Cardinalfish.

Banggai Cardinal Fish can grow up to 8 cm what is approximately 3 inches. In general, 1 specimen requires at least 960cm2 of water surface which is approximately 148 square inch. This species will require to be kept in a tank that is medium. (e) Medium aquariums have at least 113 Litres (30 US Gallons). Large aquariums have at least 265 Litres (70 US Gallons). Very large aquariums have at least 700 Litres (185 US Gallons).

It is easy to keep the Banggai Cardinal Fish. (e) The specific gravity (SG) should be between 1,020 and 1,025, the temperature between 23°C (73.4°F) and 26°C (78.8°F). The pH level should be stable, varying between 8.0 and 8.3 which is usual for marine fish.

Over recent years the Banggai Cardinal Fish is proving to be more popular with saltwater fishkeepers, the following article is provided to give you some tips on their basic care such as housekeeping and feeding plus some tips on how to breed these fish if you wish to follow that route.

The Banggai Cardinal fish are also commonly known as the Longfin Cardinal or the Banner Cardinal due to their extended fin shape and markings but they are all the same species. Their Latin name is Pterapogon kauderni and they inhabit the waters of the Western Central Pacific. They are classed as one of the more peaceful species of Cardinal fish, some of their relatives can be very aggressive but as with all fish you should keep an eye open for any signs of aggression or bullying towards their tankmates.

These fish are ideal for newcomers to saltwater aquariums as they do not demand perfect conditions compared to more delicate species but having said that you should provide them with the best conditions possible to keep them in top health and happy, they are a little skittish and can hide away a lot so never keep these fish with aggressive tank mates such as Angels or other Cardinal species. As they are more peaceful they can also be kept in larger groups but bear in mind that the more you keep the larger aquarium that is required. Their adult size will attain a maximum of 3 inches so a small group of these can be kept in an aquarium of 30 gallons (120 litres), they are not reef safe as they tend to nibble at corals so provide hiding places with rock. You can add more shade by using saltwater foliage such as sea grass, as long as there are caves and shady areas for these fish they will be happy.

Temperature wise the minimum that they can be kept at is 22°C (72°F) but they will tolerate higher temperatures up to 26°C (78°F). As no corals are added to the aquarium, the lighting can be softer, they do not like bright lighting, this can cause them to hide away all day until lights out. The specific gravity needs to range from 1.020 up to 1.025 and the pH needs to be maintained above a level of 8.1 with a maximum of 8.5. As you see they do accept a wider range of paramters which does give you a bit of leeway when controlling the water parameters. The substrate is purely your choice but personally I tend to go for sand with a rocky set up and if coral sand is used this can help maintain the pH levels.

Feeding the Banggai Cardinal Fish

Feeding these fish is not a problem, they have good appetites if kept in the correct conditions but the key is to provide them with a varied diet. Use good quality foods, cheaper brands may not contain all the supplements that are required, a good quality flake food can be used for the staple diet but vary this with live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, chopped prawns or mussels, remember that these fish only have small stomachs so provide them with small regular meals rather than one large one. 2-3 times per day is ideal.

Breeding the Banggai Cardinal Fish

As mentioned above these fish will breed in the aquarium if given the correct conditions, the water quality needs to be high and there needs to be a good supply of food so that they can build up strength for the spawning process and if there is plenty of food it replicates good times in their natural world where they would normally reproduce. It may help by offering more live or frozen foods rather than flake food at this time.

Obviously to be successful you need to have both sexes to breed, sexing these fish is a little tricky and sometimes keepers can get it wrong but a general guide is that mature males tend to have extended dorsal fins whereas the females will have a rounder and plumper body shape.

The easiest way to obtain both sexes is to purchase a small group of juvenile fish, you should be able to guarantee getting at least one breeding pair from this group as they develop.
The parent fish need to feel at ease so it may be best to transfer them to a separate breeding tank to ensure a higher chance of success, stress from chasing away other tank mates can affect their breeding behaviour.

The Banggai Cardinal fish are mouthbrooders in order to protect their fry, this has the advantage that once the fry are released, they will be more developed than fry from other species of fish thus giving them a higher chance of survival.

As expected the aggression level will rise during the breeding process hence the need to keep the parent fish isolated if possible. Once spawning has taken place the female will incubate the eggs in her mouth initially but the eggs will be passed to the male who then takes over the parental care. He will gather the fry once hatched until he feels that they are large enough to fend for themselves and at this stage will spit them out permanently, due to their larger size, the fry can be fed on newly hatched brine shrimp from day one but they will require meals on a regular basis throughtout the day as their stomachs can only hold so much food with each feed.

They should grow quite quickly but they will also become aggressive towards each other, the larger fry from the batch turning on the smaller fry and taking the food first. Because of this it is wise to size grade the fry as they develop and separate them into different tanks so that the smaller fry can catch up in size with their siblings.

We hope that this article has been beneficial to you and if you do have any questions regarding the Banggai Cardinal Fish please feel free to use the comments section below.

Banggai Cardinal Fish picture 1

Banggai Cardinal Fish picture 2

Banggai Cardinal Fish picture 3

Thanks to Kenneth Leonard for the pictures. Copyright Ken Leonard.

Banggai Cardinal Fish, picture no. 4

Banggai Cardinal Fish, picture no. 5

Banggai Cardinal Fish, picture no. 6

Banggai Cardinal Fish, picture no. 7

Banggai Cardinal Fish, picture no. 8

Banggai Cardinal Fish, picture no. 9

Banggai Cardinal Fish, picture no. 10

Banggai Cardinal Fish, picture no. 11

Banggai Cardinal Fish, picture no. 12

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Document modified on Sun Nov 17 19:53:10 UTC 2013
Document created on Fri Dec 21 11:30:57 UTC 2007
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