About Banggai Cardinalfish

Pterapogon kauderni, Koumans, 1933. Image: Alf Jacob Nilsen

Pterapogon kauderni, Koumans, 1933. Image: Alf Jacob Nilsen

The Banggai Cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni) is an excellent aquarium species, strikingly handsome and easy to keep, even for beginners. In smaller aquariums, it is best kept singly or in known pairs, as males will fight each other to the death if closely confined.

Mating pairs may become aggressive to tankmates, especially in smaller community settings. In a spacious community aquarium or a species tank, they are eyecatching and ideal reef fish.

Many reports suggest that wild-caught Banggai Cardinals are prone to dying within weeks of being imported. Some observers have blamed a “mystery virus” and/or a mycobacterium.

Additionally, collection pressures on wild populations may be putting this species at risk. It was listed as “endangered” on the IUCN Red List in 2007.

Captive-bred specimens are highly recommended.