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FOTW ~Pterapogon kauderni~

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NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
Fish of the Week this week is Pterapogon kauderni, also known as the Banggai Cardinalfish (along with Longfin Cardinalfish, Banner Cardinals, Hi-fin Cardinals).

There are many members that successfully keep these fish, so I would love for you to share your experiences. I will touch on the basics of the Banggai Cardinal.

These black-and-silver Cardinalfish are members of the family Apogonoidae, and grow to a size of about 3 inches. They are found in the Western Central Pacific, Banggai Islands, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Thanks to Dr. Gerald Allen’s expedition in the 1990s this fish has gained great propularity. Their color pattern is striking, as are the fins.

The males are mouthbrooders, carrying the eggs and fry in their mouths until they are free-swimming (around 20-25 days), at which time the fry are released to fend for themselves. Given a proper diet and the right environment, these fish will breed in the aquarium.

The diet of the Banggai Cardinalfish should consist of quality meaty foods - crustacean flesh, mysid shrimp, brine shrimp, marine fish, frozen meaty foods, to name a few.

Banggai Cardinals prefer rockwork with ledges and hiding places to retreat to when threatened. They can be found in association with the long spined urchin (Diadema setosum), where they will flee when frightened. Some have found the cardinals within anemones, as well.

This is a great article for those looking for more information: Captive Care and Breeding of the Banggai Cardinal Fish “Pterapogon kauderni” by Frank Marini, Ph.D.

Here is a post quoting an article: Cardinalfish Association with Sea Anemones

Overall, these fish make excellent additions. Let’s hear about your experiences....what do you feed, how do they get along with others, and how many are in your system?

Below are a couple of awesome photos! The second one is a Banggai in a LTA.



 

DrDeano

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 21, 2003
Messages
69
Location
Monroe, WA
I had a pair for nearly the last three years until a month or so ago when the both mysteriously died (no idea whatsoever...)

My pair had batch after batch of babies. My wife and kids would stay up into the wee hours of the morning "delivering" babies as they left dad's mouth. He would release them one at a time, and if mom didn't eat them they would typically get pulled into the overflow and then my wife/kids would net them and transfer them to the refugium (nursery :) where they could grow undisturbed. I would hatch live brine shrimp for them to feed on and whatever else would float their way. The largest batch that I successfully "raised" to an age old enough to sell/trade numbered 16. Typically I would end up with 4 to 6 of them that would make it to an age that I could sell/give them away. All in all I probably raised around 60 babies. I believe a number of them are in tanks of members here on the board. We were quite sad to have the parents pass, and I hope to try it again in the future. They are beautiful, shy, and amazing to watch.

So there's my story.

Dean
 

Angelscrx

Import Fish
Joined
Jul 30, 2004
Messages
1,103
Location
Ettrick, VA
DrDeano said:
I had a pair for nearly the last three years until a month or so ago when the both mysteriously died (no idea whatsoever...)

My pair had batch after batch of babies. My wife and kids would stay up into the wee hours of the morning "delivering" babies as they left dad's mouth. He would release them one at a time, and if mom didn't eat them they would typically get pulled into the overflow and then my wife/kids would net them and transfer them to the refugium (nursery :) where they could grow undisturbed. I would hatch live brine shrimp for them to feed on and whatever else would float their way. The largest batch that I successfully "raised" to an age old enough to sell/trade numbered 16. Typically I would end up with 4 to 6 of them that would make it to an age that I could sell/give them away. All in all I probably raised around 60 babies. I believe a number of them are in tanks of members here on the board. We were quite sad to have the parents pass, and I hope to try it again in the future. They are beautiful, shy, and amazing to watch.

So there's my story.

Dean
Now heres a good story! I always thought they looked to much like freshwater fish. Our LFS has them for sale. I like the brooding thing the daddy does though.
 

DrDeano

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 21, 2003
Messages
69
Location
Monroe, WA
It really is quite cool to watch the entire process.

For a week or two before he delivers them you can see them "peeking" out from his open mouth, then when he does deliver them he "lets them go" one at a time. They are quite neat themselves as they are exact miniatures of mom and dad (about 4-5 mm in length). Quite amazing that the dad doesn't eat for the amount of time necessary to hatch/raise them, he then gorges on food and does it all over again.
 

DrDeano

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 21, 2003
Messages
69
Location
Monroe, WA
very much so!

i am trying to locate some offspring of the offspring of my deceased pair to reestablish them in my tank

my family and i miss the fun of raising them
 

Angelscrx

Import Fish
Joined
Jul 30, 2004
Messages
1,103
Location
Ettrick, VA
Ok time to get a bigger tank! Do these little guys school or find a mate and establish a territory? I see them in groups at the LFS.
 

Curtswearing

Mantisfreak
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Messages
2,203
Location
St. Louis, MO
Yes, they will school but it is recommended that you only keep two unless you have a very large tank. Once the mates pair off, they become aggressive towards unpaired Cardinals.

From Nikki's link
Actually they often find pair mates during this schooling, and its quite a beautiful site to see 10 banggais all hovering together. A dominant male will force his way to the top of the pecking order, and will put a little stress on the other fish, but not too bad. However when two of them reach sexual maturity (male and female) and pair off, youÕll have a bundle on your hands. The paired fish will make short work of any unpaired banggai, and often drive them into hiding so bad that the unpaired fish will whither and die. I have tried repeatedly to suggest that people not sell trios of these fish, because unless you can guarantee all three males/females, there will be one fish unpaired and possibly killed off. I have seen trio coexist peacefully in huge reef tanks (greater than 200gal-with lots of rockwork), but even in a large tank a pair will certainly pick on the unpaired animal. I had problems in my holding tanks when a few pairs became sexual mature, almost overnight, they would drive 10 of their brothers and sisters into the corners of the tanks and behind the rocks. So again my recommendation is probably 2 max. unless you can guarantee all the same sex.
 

MzWeazelle

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 11, 2004
Messages
169
Location
WA State
We aquired one of these fellows when we bought out a tank and I've been interested in getting him / her a companion. I've heard that they can be quite territorial and I didn't know if he / she would accept a new fish. Any experiences there? Of course, it would be great to have a pair, but I'd be happy with same gender friends, if they don't fight.
 

BlennyBabe

Rachel
Joined
Oct 7, 2003
Messages
260
Location
Gig Harbor Wa
I have three. One Im pretty sure is a male and the other two I have yet to come to any definate conclusion. They are in a 300 gallon reef. They act peacefully enough, though sometimes there is aggression about aquiring food. They are very cool fish. I would love to breed them, but there is just no way to get the babies out of that huge reef if they were to breed.
 

MzWeazelle

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 11, 2004
Messages
169
Location
WA State
A couple days ago I noticed that my Banggai was "making friends" with my GBTA, and of course I wasn't too surprised since I'd just read in this thread that it happens. What did surprise me was that it's the same anemone my clowns are in, and they didn't seem to mind the third body!!! Anybody have any more info on this phenom?
 
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