How Many Banggai Cardinalfish In A Fish Tank

A unique appearance with white dots on the silvery body with black strips makes Banggai cardinalfish an eye-catching option for aquarists. These fish have a special appearance and many other unique aspects. This article will cover and discover different elements including Banggai cardinalfish care, the Banggai cardinalfish tank size, and suitable companions – Banggai cardinalfish tank mates.

You’ll also learn how many Banggai cardinalfish can live in a tank and their breeding method. In the end, You’ll also know some care factors and suitable tank mates for them.

banggai cardinalfish care

Banggai cardinalfish care

Banggai Cardinalfish

Banggai cardinalfish is a marine beauty that has a unique appearance. These marine bonny fish are originally endemic to the Indonesian Island, Banggai Archipelago. They live in calm shallow waters, coral reefs, and seagrass beds. They are carnivores. Their diet includes copepods and planktonic organisms. Due to habitat destruction and large-scale harvesting, NOAA fisheries categorize them as a threatened species.


They have six fins, i.e., two tesseled first, two large anal, and two forked dorsal fins. They have a contrasting black and slivery body, which have white spots. Males and females almost look alike but vary in mouth size. Males have larger mouths than females. This size is distinguishable during the brooding period. They can reach up to 3.4 inches in length, with about 0.025 pound weight.


The female partner starts intimidating the male partner, and after courtship, the female lays eggs. She lays eggs in the male’s mouth in small clutches of 90 eggs within 2 minutes. During egg transfer, the male partner is unable to catch all eggs. This way, some eggs are lost and act as a diet for the other fish.

The male takes care of these eggs, and they hatch after 30 days. After hatching, they go through different stages, i.e., larvae, juvenile, subadult, and adult. On average, they live up to 3 years and maximally can live up to 5 years.

Ideal Tank Size for Banggai Cardinalfish

Banggai cardinalfish are bottom dwellers, peaceful, and easy to care for. Due to these qualities and beauty, they are the first choice for beginners and home tank owners. They live in pairs, i.e., male and female. During breeding hours, they might show aggression toward the same species. Here are the ideal tank sizes for the different life stages of Banggai cardinalfish.

Growth Stage Tank Size (gallons) Number of Fish
Juvenile 10 One Pair
Adult 30 One Pair
how many banggai cardinalfish

How many banggai cardinalfish

How Many Banggai Cardinalfish Are in a Fish Tank?

Whatever the size of your tank, you can keep only a single or a pair of Banggai cardinalfish in your tank. They are peaceful to other species, but at sexual maturity, they become aggressive toward the same species. They kill each other, or the aquarist has to eliminate extra fish to avoid aggression.

Banggai Cardinalfish Care Facts

They are easy to take care of and suitable for beginners. However, they require specific conditions to show optimal growth in captivity. Here are some salient care factors.

Tank Size

A minimum 30-gallon tank is required for optimal growth.

Water Parameters

Maintaining water parameters is very crucial. Here are optimal water parameters.

Parameter Value
Temperature 73–84°F (23 – 29°C)
pH 8.1 to 8.4
Specific gravity 1.022 to 1.025
Ammonia 0 ppm
Nitrite 0 ppm


Introduce decorations and hiding spots in the tank. For hiding spots, you can grow live plants and place live rocks at the bottom of the tank. These hiding spots allow them to rest. In nature, they live in shallow and calm reef environments or on seagrass beds. Therefore, you can also keep them in a reef tank.


Use drip acclimation before introducing them into the tank to avoid shock or catastrophe. For smooth transfer into the tank, use the following method.

  • Hang the sealed bag into the tank for at least 20 minutes to create a balanced temperature between the tank and the bag’s water.
  • Insert airline tubing in the fish bag and set 2 to 4 drops of tank water per second in the bag for 2 hours.
  • Dim the light of the tank during the acclimation period.


Feed them twice a day with desired quality food. Their diet includes the following options.

Brine shrimps Marine worms Zoobenthos Fish larvae Red plankton
Mysis shrimp Mollusks Mobile invertebrates Lobster eggs Copepods
Black worms Benth crustaceans small fish Fish eggs Flake food

During the early days, feed them on live food.

Disease Management

These tropical Banggai cardinalfish are susceptible to some diseases, although they are hardy. It includes iridovirus and fin rot. A new Megalocytivirus virus is causing a higher mortality rate in this species. To avoid these diseases, you can adopt the following methodologies.

  • Use commercial medication, i.e., Metroplex and Kanaplex, and improve water parameters in iridovirus.
  • In case of fin rot, improve water parameters and use medication according to the type of infection. Its medication includes Erythromycin, Ciprofloxacin, Kanamycin, Amoxicillin, and Penicillin.
  • Feed the fish metronidazole-soaked food.
banggai cardinalfish tank mates

Banggai cardinalfish tank mates

Cardinalfish Tank Mates

Banggai cardinalfish are peaceful toward other species. So, you can keep them with a variety of peaceful fish. Here is the list of suitable Banggai cardinalfish tank mates.

Lawnmower blenny Royal gamma Fairy Wrasses Azure Damselfish
Clownfish Long nose hawk Firefish Snails
Coral beauty angelfish Gobies Jawfish Cleaner Shrimp

End of the Line

Banggai cardinalfish is a beautiful species of cardinalfish. They are famous among aquarists due to their unique appearance and peaceful nature. These mouth breeders require at least a 30-gallon tank. Proper water parameters and acclimation, optimal decor setup, and adequate feeding frequency keep them alive for a long time, i.e., five years. Always keep only a pair with suitable tank mates to help you elevate your overall beauty.

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