Banggai Cardinalfish
(Pterapogon kauderni)

francais anglais
Banggai Cardinalfish

Banggai Cardinalfish
(Pterapogon kauderni)

This magnificent fish is ideal for beginners because it is robust and easy to maintain. However, pay attention to its temperament! It is very territorial and can become a real terror towards its congeners. Discover this beautiful fish in this sheet.


Scientific name
Pterapogon kauderni

Common name
Banggai Cardinalfish
Schwarzweisse Kardinalbarsche (DE)


what are its countries of origin?

Origin: Indonesia, sea between Sulawesi Islands and Banggai
Natural habitat: algae meadows and rocky areas


what are the physical differences between males and females?

The male has «pockets» on its mouth allowing it to increase the capacity during the incubation of its eggs.





what is the minimum volume for this species?

200 L / 44 Imp gal / 53 US gal for a couple
600 L /132 Imp gal / 158 US gal for a group


what are the water parameters for the maintenance of this fish?

T°: 23 à 26°C or 73 to 79°F
pH: 7.5 to 8.5
Density: 1021 to 1026





what is the maximum size of this fish?

7 cm (2.8 inches)


what is the average life expectancy of this fish?

3 to 4 years

Living zone

in which area of the aquarium does this fish live?

Middle and depth


sociability of the species

2 (couple) or group (6)

Alternative species

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  • None (for the moment!)

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Notre sélection de produits pour cette espèce


How to feed the Pterapogon?


How to feed the Pterapogon?

It is a carnivorous species, so you can distribute artemia 2 or 3 times a day. Top with krill, mysis, mussel meat or minced fish or fish roe. Vary your menu regularly for better health. This fish may be satisfied with dry food if you give it a habit.

Since this fish is rather nocturnal, prefer to give the meal before the extinction of the lighting.


What kind of behavior does the Palette Pterapogon have?


What kind of behavior does the Pterapogon have?

oeil du pterapogon kauderni

Fish rather nocturnal: it is well adapted to this lifestyle because it has developed large eyes capable of capturing faint glows. They remain nevertheless visible during the day, with a reduced activity.

Of calm and very peaceful temperament, it is rather static.


Who can live with the Pterapogon?


Who can live with the Pterapogon?

Cohabitation with other species of fish of identical size and calm pose no problem. Faster or more agitated fish can stress Kaudern Apogon and subject them to too much food competition.

group of pterapogon kauderni

In fact, it simply ignores the other fish. On the other hand, this is not the case with the members of its own species, with whom it is very territorial. This is the delicate point of its maintenance: its aggressiveness towards its congeners. Indeed, if it is kept in too small numbers, like an individual or a couple, it will eventually take too much dominance over other individuals. They will then harass and chase their roommates who will end up exhausted, sometimes until death. It should be noted that cohabitation will go very well at first, but that this kind of behavior will most likely happen. It is therefore recommended to maintain only a male / female couple in 200 liters or 44 Imp Gal or 53 US Gal, or a small group of at least 6 individuals in an aquarium of at least 600 liters or 132 Imp Gal or 158 US Gal, then add 100 liters or 22 Imp Gal or 26 US Gal per additional specimen.

The presence of Diadema setosum reassures and encourages breeding (see “breeding”). This cohabitation is highly recommended. Be careful, however, to the potential damage that a Diadema setosum can cause to corals in small volumes.

pterapogon kauderni et oursin

Note that the association of Pterapogon kauderni and invertebrates is no problem, their compatibility is excellent.


How to breed the Pterapogon?


How to breed the Pterapogon?

Pretty easy: captive breeding is quite common. However, because of the territorial nature of this species, it is necessary to consider a consequent installation because the fry as they grow up will quickly be aggressive between them. It will sometimes be necessary to separate them in different tanks.

The chances of costs will be higher if you have a small group in which couples will form naturally. The laying takes place after a nocturnal parade. It comprises between 25 and 30 eggs. Pterapogon kauderni is an oral incubator: after spawning, one of the parents (often the male), will collect its eggs in its mouth and let them incubate. The incubation lasts between 21 and 33 days (sometimes more). The incubator parent stops feeding during this period. This is normal behavior and you shouldn’t worry about it.

incubation pterapogon kauderni

The newly expelled fry measure about 1 cm or 0.4 inch and are perfectly autonomous: they swim and feed alone. They find refuge between the quills of the Diadema setosum. It has been observed that sometimes a sea anemone or corals can also play this role (eg Stichodactyla mertensi, Heteractis magnifica, Stichodactyla mertensi, Heteractis crispa, Stichodactyla gigantea).

Fry food: Artemia nauplii freshly hatch (less than 12 hours). Enrich your nauplies with Super SelcoTM, DC-SelcoTM or MicroplanTM from Preis AquaristikTM. Distribute meals at least 3 times a day, ideally 4 to 5 times a day. In fact, hungry fry will supercharge during their next meal and may die. Keep this pace the first fifteen days. After 6 to 8 weeks, switch to chopped adult artemia and increase the size of the pieces as the fry grow. They will reach their adult size after a few months. The survival rate of fry is very good.

Its aquarium

Which aquarium for the Pterapogon?

Its aquarium

Which aquarium for the Pterapogon?

Pterapogon kauderni and anemone

It is the perfect inhabitant of reef aquariums. Its decor will be composed of rocks, algae and corals.

As it is a nocturnal species, create areas of shade and rest so that your fish can take refuge during the day. The more hiding places available, the more secure the fish will be and the more likely they are to show themselves!

Good To know

Find all additional information!

Good To know

Find all additional information!

Robust, this species is not very prone to disease, although sometimes the fish develops a fungal infection on the mouth (if this does not disappear after 2 weeks, switch to antifungal treatment). Other conditions may be swim bladder problems or fin rot. These cases are rare.

Pterapogon kauderni can temporarily withstand temperatures up to 30°C or 86°F.

Victim of its success, this fish almost disappeared in its natural environment. It is not yet subject to CITES regulations.

There is a variant «Panda» obtained following a selection process (Pterapogon kauderni Panda):
Pterapogon kauderni panda


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