Cardinal fish is a very good aquarium fish for beginner aquarists. These fishes are mouthbrooders, so if you are thinking in captive breeding, then cardinal fishes are the best choice.
The cardinal fishes are very large spread species; they come in many varieties and colors. Some are salt watered fishes while other species are fresh water species.
The color patterns on the fishes also differ and have beautiful textures, which add a bloom to your aquarium set up.
These are slow moving fishes and mingle very well in the larger fish communities of the aquarium. They are vey cordial to other fish species and are excellent additions to your large aquariums with different species. Some cardinal fishes are also aggressive and tend to hurt other cardinal fishes.
The characteristics of cardinal fish:
Normal size of the cardinal fish is 2-7 inches. Some species are just limited to 2 inches and look small even after the full growth. The life span of the cardinal fishes is up to 5 years. The character of the cardinal fishes is cordial and calm towards other species fishes.
But, in rare cases, the cardinal fish attacks the same species small fishes. To avoid this aggressive behavior, place the hostile fish in big aquarium. These fishes are almost compatible with all fish species, but get along well with angel fishes, clown fishes, blennies, gobies and puffers and large fishes like damselfish, groupers, tangs, wrasses and pseudochromis.
Some cardinal fishes are carnivores while some cardinal fishes are herbivores. The basic staple food for carnivore cardinal fishes are worms and other live baits while the herbivore cardinal fishes feed on different fish foods such as flakes, tablet and pellets.
The basic equipments needed for the cardinal fish growth:
Choosing cardinal fish for home aquarium is easy, but you need to know some basic needs to fulfill the requirements of the cardinal fish. The cardinal fish is compatible to many conditions, but by arranging different necessary equipments, you can bloom the growth of the cardinal fishes.
- Appropriate size of the aquarium
- Water conditioner
- Aquarium salts and test kit
- Aquarium plants, as these are very shy fishes and hide behind the plants when feel threat
- Full spectrum light to provide lighting to the plants
- Heater in time of breeding season
Mouthbrooders breeding care:
Always give a company to the cardinal fishes. When placing cardinal fish couple in the aquarium, see that the fishes are of opposite sex. The breeding is seen in the spring season and the breeding is different from the other fishes.
After the breeding is successful, the female cardinal fish lays eggs and the male cardinal fish carry the eggs in its mouth till the eggs hatch into small cardinal fry’s.
This is a rare case in breeding that male cardinal fish takes care of the fishes and hatch the eggs. Some species of cardinal fishes carry the hatched cardinal fry’s too. Carrying the fry’s for a week develops immunity system.
Once the cardinal fry’s are out of the male cardinal fish mouth, they look exactly like cardinal fishes but in a smaller size. Feed with large quantities of food when the cardinal fry’s are out of the male cardinal mouth.
The big cardinal fishes consume most of the food and these fry’s are left out with no food. So, it’s better to separate these fry’s from the big fishes aquarium for a better growth.