Pajama Cardinalfish

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Sphaeramia nematoptera - (Bleeker, 1856)
Pajama Cardinalfish

A great aquarium fish, peaceful and curiously pigmented. Scott W. Michael

[edit] Overview

This is a wonderful reef fish, chromatically bizarre, and one of the best species for beginning marine aquarists. This bold species will spend most of its time in full view. Regular feedings of color-enhancing rations, at least several times weekly, will help avoid loss of its fantastic coloration.

Family: Apogonidae

Other common name(s):

  • PJ Cardinal, PJ Cardinalfish

Native range:

Habitat: Reef. Associates with branching Porites coral colonies in quiet bays. Will also use rocky crevices and caves for shelter.

Maximum length: 7.9 cm (3 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 76 L (20 gal)

Water: Marine 24 °C (297 K, 75 °F) - 28 °C (301 K, 82 °F)

General swimming level: Mid-level.

[edit] Feeding

Carnivore. Meaty foods, including chopped seafood, mysid shrimp, and frozen preparations for carnivores. Feed twice a day.

[edit] Aquarium Compatibility

The Pajama Cardinalfish is a nocturnal species that may take refuge among branching corals or near a crevice during the day, becoming more active and foraging for food at night. It is very disease-resistant and may spawn in the home aquarium.

[edit] Breeding/Propagation

Mouthbrooder. Aquarium spawning is not uncommon. Eggs are brooded in the male's mouth (buccal cavity), and fry emerge as fully developed miniatures of their parents.

See Banggai Cardinalfish.

[edit] Notes

This fish often does best when housed with members of its own kind. Group members will set up a pecking order, with the largest individual being the most dominant. Fortunately, ­aggressive exchanges within a social group usually consist of the occasional chase or nudge.

Color variant.

If you are hoping to acquire a male and female, it has been reported that males have a longer filament on the second dorsal fin than females (this has not been confirmed by ­internal examination). They usually ignore other fish species, although they may exhibit some mild aggression toward other cardinalfishes.

Reference: 101 Best Saltwater Fishes
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: SWM
Facts about Pajama CardinalfishRDF feed
Common name Pajama Cardinalfish  +, and PJ Cardinal, PJ Cardinalfish  +
Family Apogonidae  +
Genus Sphaeramia  +
Image credit SWM  +
Maximum length 3 in  +
Minimum aquarium size 20 gal  +
Native range Java  +, Fiji  +, Ryukyu Islands  +, Great Barrier Reef  +, and Tonga  +
Reference 101 Best Saltwater Fishes  +
Specific name nematoptera  +
Swimming level Mid-level.  +
Text credit SWM  +
Water max temp 301 K (28 °C, 82 °F)  +
Water min temp 297 K (24 °C, 75 °F)  +
Water type Marine  +