Banggai Cardinal

The Banggai cardinal is a truly wonderful fish for the marine aquarium; so much so that it has been overfished to the point of possible extinction in the wild. Fortunately, it is also one of the easiest marine fish to get to spawn, and raising the babies is a fairly easy task. The babies are brooded in the mouth of the male for a month or so, and when released they are perfect little miniatures of the parents, able to take enriched live brine shrimp from the moment they are released. In the wild the babies are released into, and hide among the spines of the long-spined sea urchin. Giving them the same cover in the aquarium greatly increases their chance of survival.

The Banggai cardinal is a very peaceful fish, and needs to be kept with other nonaggressive fish. Doing just fine in a reef tank, this fish will not bother any invertebrates or corals. The fish can be kept in groups if the tank is large enough. Normally a pair will form and break off from the group. However, the pair may also make life miserable for their brethren, especially once they spawn and the male is carrying eggs. Feeding the Banggai is easy, as it will take any kind of meaty food as it drops through the water column. Make sure the fish gets enough to eat. Males carrying babies do not eat for the entire incubation period, and it is a good idea to isolate brooding males.

Breed Details

Scientific Name:
Country of Origin:
Banggai Islands of Indonesia – facing extinction in the wild due to overfishing for the aquarium industry
3 inches
Apogonidae (Cardinalfishes)
74 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit