Fish of the Week: Banggai Cardinalfish

The Banggai Cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni), also known as the Kaudern’s

Banggai Cardinalfish
Banggai Cardinalfish

Cardinalfish, is a member of the cardinalfish family and one of the few tropical fish that are successfully bred in captivity. This is important because some tropical fish species are found only on their home reefs. Removing these individuals can harm the ecosystem by removing important pieces of the food chain. Wild populations have been decreased so significantly that the Banggai cardinalfish is currently an endangered species.

Banggai cardinalfish are found around the Banggai islands of Indonesia. They like to live in large groups around coral reefs. Male and female mating pairs will establish a spawning area and keep the others of their group away. These fish are mouth brooders, meaning that Dad will take the eggs into his mouth and keep them in his mouth until the eggs hatch into tiny mini fish! During spawning, you will notice the male’s mouth bulging out and he will not eat at all.

These black and white striped fish can be kept in a home aquarium. It is important that you have 7-9 in order to keep a normal social grouping. Only buy captive-bred individuals. When introducing your new fish, it is typical for them to hide for the first few days. Make sure you give your fish plenty of places to hide! They are known to be very finicky eaters, so be patient and try lots of different foods. For more information on tank requirements at home, check out this page on FishLore.

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