Species Name : Apogonichthyoides Melas
Care Level : Easy
Temperament : Peaceful
Color : Black
Diet : Carnivore
Reef Compatible : Yes
Water Conditions : sg 1.020-1.025, 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4
Family : Apogonidae
Origin : Indonesia
Max. Size : 4½"
Minimum Tank Size : 30 gallons
Apogonichthyoides Melas commonly referred to as Black Cardinalfish.
The Black Cardinal fish is a shallow-bodied fish with large eyes and a blunt snout and slightly projecting lower jaw. Juvenile Black Cardinalfish exhibit a white, almost translucent posterior half with a pitch black anterior half. As they mature the white color recedes to only the unpaired fins. Finally as mature adults, they lose any trace of white color and range from dark mocha to pitch black depending on their mood. This species also exhibits ocelli or eyespots at the base of the second dorsal and anal fins. They hardy and a great choice for a beginner.
Some are nocturnal and will hide for most of the day but others will remain out in the open during the day once acclimated to the aquarium.
A 30 gallon or larger aquarium with a cave and peaceful tank mates is suitable for this slow and methodical swimmer. Best maintained fish-only aquariums with subdued lighting, yet can also be maintained in reef aquariums, with both having several rocky caves/hiding areas. It tends to hide in sea grass or other plants, or may use long spined urchins for camouflage.
If a larger aquarium is available, it will handle a small group of this species. As a group, they will establish a strict hierarchy without aggressiveness.They will not bother corals or most inverts; some often swim and hover in and around the branches of corals and spines of larger urchins.
Most cardinals are not picky eaters. With time, they may accept flakes and pellets but they can be giving a varied diet of meaty foods like brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, planktons and other similar items. Depending upon the environment in which its maintained, the best time of the day to feed are early morning and evening hours.
Size: Extra Large: 2" to 4"
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