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Beautiful Banggai cardinalfish from Indonesia

Banggai cardinalfish

A small and visually appealing shallow-water reef fish, the Banggai cardinalfish is also known as the Banggai cardinal and goes by the scientific name Pterapogon kauderni. It is very common in the marine aquarium trade.

Only the waters of Kab. Banggai, Central Sulawesi, is home to the ornamental fish known as the Banggai Cardinal Fish. The endemism and uniqueness of this fish give it a very high economic worth.

Banggai Cardinalfish Morphology

Banggai cardinalfish

The tail is split in half and the body is flat and silvery; There are white spots on the body; the body’s length from the tip of the mouth to the fork length (Fork Length/FL) varies from 1.2 to 7.9 cm; three solid black stripes cross the head and body from the upper edge to the underside of the dorsal and anal fins; the mouth is wide enough to pass through the vertical mid-pupil line; and the male oral cavity is larger than the female oral cavity.

It inhabits a variety of habitats, including as branching-coral fields, seagrass beds, and less frequently, open habitats, in shallow seas that are less than 4.5 m deep and typically between 1.5 and 2.5 m deep (low branching corals and rubble).

Seagrasses, sea urchins, sea stars, sea anemones, soft corals, and corals are all favorites of juveniles. Adults find refuge between the sea urchins’ spines as well as amid anemones, coral, stony hydrozoans, rocks, and man-made objects like jetties.

Sea urchins (Diadema setosum), which are typically found in coastal waters, and Banggai Cardinal Fish coexist in harmony. The symbiosis is carried out by attempting to merge the thick black lines on their bodies into a straight line with one of the sea urchin spines, which seeks to hide and protect against predators. This fish has a second place to hide in addition to sea urchins, which it does by using its small size to slink between sea anemone threads. The traits of bio-ecology are:

Fish from the Banggai cardinalfish reside in communities of four to thirty individuals each;

usually observed in calm waters on the seagrass beds of Enhalus acoroides;

most frequently discovered at depths of 0.5 to 2.5 m;

Pterapogon kauderni has a silver body with three distinct, broad black bands that run vertically, with a little cluster of white dots between the second and third bands. It can reach a maximum length of 8 cm. By having a tasseled first dorsal fin, elongated anal and second dorsal fin rays, a deeply forked caudal fin, and a color pattern with three black bars running across the head and body as well as noticeable black anterior edges on the anal and second dorsal fins, it can be easily distinguished from all other cardinalfishes.

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A noticeable, expanded mouth cavity that is only seen when a guy is brooding might be used to distinguish him from a female.

Banggai cardinalfish Taxonomy

Classification of Banggai Cardinalfish

SpeciesPterapogon kauderni
Common NameProud Cardinal Fish
Local NameBanggai Capungan Fish, Bibisan Fish, Banggai Cardinal Fish

The Limited Protection Status of the Banggai Capungan fish (Pterapogon kauderni) Kepmen KP No. 49/KEPMEN-KP/2018, which forbids fracking, was established by the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries in order to maintain and guarantee the existence and availability of the population, which is the original germplasm in the waters of the Banggai Islands and has experienced a drastic decrease in the number of fish populations in nature.

How to Care Banggai cardinalfish?

Banggai cardinalfish

The minimum tank size for Banggai cardinalfish is 30 gallons, and they require water that is between 24 and 26 C, a pH of 8.0 to 8.4, and a specific gravity of 1.020 to 1.025. They are safe to keep with any invertebrate that won’t annoy them because they won’t pick at corals or other invertebrates.

Due to their gregarious nature, it is crucial to keep Banggai Cardinalfish in good-sized groups (8 or more) in the home aquarium. Attempt to get fish that are of the same size and add them all at once.

Although it is a calm fish, it occasionally will pick on its own kind and become very solitary when other loud fish are around. When settling them into their new home for the first time, be sure to give them a dark, ledge-like shelter where they may hide and lower the lights to lessen stress. They prefer dim lighting because they spend much of their time at night.

A carnivore, Pterapogon kauderni eats meat. As a result, there is always a possibility that it will try to feed on smaller fish or other aquarium inhabitants. They can, however, occasionally be a little finicky about their diet. So, while feeding them for the first time, it’s generally a good idea to experiment with a few different items.

The ideal food for them to eat is live or frozen brine shrimp as well as frozen mysis shrimp. Feed sparingly three times daily, with least one of the feedings being after lights out.

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Banggai Cardinalfish Reproduction

The pair leaves the group after a female chooses her mate, and they create their own area, which they may defend violently if required. After the eggs hatch, which takes around 20 days, the freshly formed embryos continue to develop in the male’s oral pouch. The young are discharged after another 10 days, when they are around five to six millimeters long. The male cares to the brood by often flipping the eggs and discarding dead eggs and embryos during the 30-day brooding phase while abstaining from food.

In captivity, Pterapogon kauderni can be bred. If you have a small group where relationships will organically grow between couples, the likelihood of costs will be higher. A couple of days or three before they spawn, there are some behavioral changes in the couple. The female initiates the courtship and exhibits characteristics such as body vibration, “positioning” parallel to the male, and sporadic touches flank to flank. During the same time frame, the male can exhibit specific recognizable “yawns”. Several meters distant from the main group, mating pairs establish spawning territories and fiercely guard them.

After a nighttime procession, the egg is laid. There are no more than 90 eggs total. The male will gather his eggs in its mouth after spawning and allow them to incubate. Males can also recognize dead eggs and eject them from their lips. For up to 30 days, the male will keep the eggs in his mouth while without eating. You should not be concerned about this conduct because it is typical.

After hatching, the larvae spend a further ten days in the male’s oral cavity. We may observe that the larvae are already miniature versions of their parents when they are ultimately let out. They remain near the surface and the light source, are active, and photophilic. They are always scanning the water’s surface and middle for food. The growth is immediately recognized as well-fed. Young animals that have just been released can consume reasonably large prey like rotifers and brine shrimp nauplii. When possible, adding probiotics and omega 3 fatty acids to rotifer or Artemia nauplii might be beneficial.

The Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries established the Banggai Capungan Fish (Pterapogon kauderni) Limited Protection Status in KEPMEN NUMBER 49/KEPMEN-KP/2018 Concerning the determination of the limited protection status of the Banggai Capungan fish (Pterapogon kauderni), where it is prohibited to catch during the height of the spawning season (figure 2). Through cultivation efforts, one can lessen the impact on natural populations brought on by the removal of Banggai ornamental fish from the wild. BCF cultivation has been successfully accomplished at LINI Bali and BPBL Ambon.

Nooru Ariyoushi

Nooru Ariyoushi

Nooruariyoushi has been a fish hobbyist for 20 years and is now a blog writer sharing information about fish and how to care for them.

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