The Banggai Cardinalfish is also known as the Kaudem's Cardinal and the Longfin Cardinal.
It comes from the shallow waters of the Banggai Islands in Indonesia. Unfortunately, it
is so popular that it is near extinction in the wild from over collection. Most
cardinalfish are red but the
Banggai is an exception. It has a colorless/white base with black stripes, many
white spots and elongated fins.
Banggais are an excellent choice for the beginning saltwater aquarist and
they are slightly more popular than the
Cardinal. They transport well, are inexpensive and adapt well to aquarium life.
They are also easy to breed, so tank raised specimens may be available.
They should have a tank of at least 40 gallons with rocky areas. Banggais
swim slowly and usually do not shy away from spectators. They tend to hover
in one place and like to remain stationary under rock ledges. In the wild
they hide among sea urchin spines when they are threatened. Anything that
simulates this arrangement is a useful addition to the tank.
Wild caught Banggais should be started off on live shrimp and introduced to
flake foods gradually. They can be fed chopped shrimp, chopped fish, chopped
clams, brine shrimp, ghost shrimp, bloodworms and flake foods. The Banggai
may attack very small crustaceans in a tank, but will not disturb corals. They
tend to feed at night in the wild.
Banggai Cardinals are easy to breed in an aquarium and they tend to do so once a
month. Females can be distinguished at breeding time by their broader width and
extension in the gravid area. Separating the male and ensuring he is well fed can
help ensure success. Males will take the 10 - 40 fertilized eggs into their mouth
until they hatch. The young are released within about three weeks. If the male has
bred in the main tank, it should be moved to a separate raising tank just before the
release of the young. Males will also take the juveniles back into their mouth for a
day or two after hatching, as a security measure. After the young are released, the
male should be removed, though there is no danger of the male eating the young for
several days. The fry are ready for frequent feedings of small amounts of live brine
shrimp within 24 hours. Young Banggais easily die from stress, including being moved,
scared by humans or overfed. Hiding places that mimic a sea urchin are helpful. The
young can all be raised together, as groups don't become incompatible until adulthood
at an age of about 1 year. Once pairs form, Banggais become very aggressive and the
pairs must be isolated.
||22 - 26 C; 72 - 79 F
||8.1 - 8.4
||8 - 12
||1.020 - 1.025
||8 cm; 3 inches
Best kept singly or in a pair. Suitable tank mates
include Blennies, Clowns, Damsels, Small Angels,
Gobies, Hawkfish and Tangs. Cardinals are prey for