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Thread: Banggai Cardinal Eggs

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    Banggai Cardinal Eggs

    Hello everyone, Long time no talk to… Sorry its been so long I’ve been so busy with work lately. Anyway I wanted to give you all some great news! My Banggai Cardinals have paired off and the male has a clutch of eggs in his mouth! I am in the process of getting 29G tank and a 20G sump from some friends here in Raleigh. They offered to donate them asking only for some young Banggai once they are big enough to leave the nest .

    I was hoping to get some feedback and suggestions about taking care of the parents and raising the young. The parents are both wild caught as far as I know. I purchased the male about a month ago and had the female for about 9 months. The male is a little smaller than the female. The male has been eating okay although he is a little on the thin side. The female is a lot bigger and has a good size belly.

    Aquarium Setup:
    Do you think a 29G will be big enough for the parents? My plan was to let the parents hatch the eggs and then move the hatchlings to the 20G sump that I was going to partition into 3-4 sections using tank dividers. Each section will have live rock except the last one where I was going to put the return pump. The main tank will also contain live rock and a live sand bed. I may also add some dividers to it if they spawn more than once in the next 30-60 days.

    Feeding Parents:
    From what I have read you need to almost overfeed the parents especially the male since he goes the longest without eating.

    They are currently eating a mixture of frozen Mysis shrimp, brine shrimp and Cyclopeze soaked in Garlic Guard. Like I mentioned earlier the female eats well and the male is a little thinner and hasn't really caught up in size compared to female, although he is pretty close

    Feeding the Fry:
    I am currently in the process of starting a brine shrimp culture. I ordered some Brine Shrimp Cysts from Florida Aqua Farms last week. My plan was to setup a 5G tank and some smaller containers to culture the shrimp and start culturing Rotifers as well for my corals and Ocellaris clowns if they ever decide to start spawning, but I digress…

    From what I've read you can setup a continuous drip of the brine shrimp into the sump that will provide ample food for the Banggai Cardinal brood and eventually wean them over the frozen food like their parents.

    This is all still new to me and I still consider myself a novice reefer and 1st time fish parent, uncle, surrogate father/mother ... whatever you want to call it, so any advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    Kindest Regards,
    Dave
    Last edited by FishFinder; 01-27-2009 at 08:25 AM.

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    Grand Master Reefer CarmieJo's Avatar
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    Hi Dave,

    That's Great! Congratulations!
    Carmie


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    Assistant Moderator rayme07's Avatar
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    Congrats on the Cardinals breeding Dave.
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    Grand Master Reefer saltaddict's Avatar
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    Very cool Dave - can't wait to see the babies.

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    Parents

    Thanks everyone! I'll try to get a picture of the parents today for everyone to see.

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    Grand Master Reefer Amphibious's Avatar
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    Pterapogon kauderni, the Banggai Cardinal fish is a great fish in high demand due to their peaceful disposition, ease of care and readiness to spawn in captivity. With demand so high for the Banggai, and the price remaining fairly high (usually $25), I'm surprised more hobbyists are not taking on a breeding program. Even at a wholesale selling price of $10, that's pretty good money. Wouldn't you like to have a machine that cranks out $10 bills? Because there are few doing it, there must be a problem or two. I believe it's lack of preparation and a solid plan to succeed. No offense to you Dave. Most people have a chance spawn and no plan.

    Here's what usually happens... The mail incubates the egg mass for 30 days and refuses all food. The most important thing on his mind is survival of the brood. Most hobbyists leave the pair together. During the 30 day incubation period she eats her normal fare and becomes ripe again. When the male releases the clutch of youngsters, the female is ready to spawn and the male accommodates her. He's just doing his thing, right? Now he's faced with another 30 day incubation period. He may make it through but at the end he will be so emaciated it's likely he will not survive. AND, the female is ready to spawn AGAIN. The problem is easy to understand when you study the habits of the species. So Dave...

    You need to separate the female from the male. Allow him the 30 days for incubation. Once the fry are released they are ready to eat baby brine shrimp. You need to catch the male and separate him from the brood, not the other way around. The babies are very prone to dying of shock just from moving them EVEN IF the water is the same. They do not take well to capture and movement. Leave the young and remove the male to separate quarters separated from the female. They must not even see each other, like through a divider. They will spawn at the site of each other and that spawn will be wasted. Feed the male heavily for two weeks minimum and put them back together. Most of the time, they will spawn immediately. AND, then you start the process all over.

    A typical successful set up for Banggai Cardinals would consist of 3 aquariums, say 20 gals each, with the associated filtering devices. One would be the "breeding" tank, another the female recovery tank and the male recovery tank. The breeding tank would double as the nursery. Of course the pair would be ready to spawn again before the young are of salable size so a fourth tank could easily be justified. AND, the hobby expands!

    The above is simplified of course but, comes from personal experience.

    I hope this helped.

    Dick
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    Amblyeleotris randalli commonly, Randall's Goby.

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    Grand Master Reefer saltaddict's Avatar
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    Dick - very good advice but I have to say that it is a "Nice" change of events when it is the male having to do all the work, go hungry, get exhausted and not have much recovery time!!!!

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    Dick,
    Your advice is always welcome and appreciated! I actually did have a plan but based on your message I am going to make a few changes. I will put the male in the 29 gallon and leave the female in my DT. Once the babies are born I will move the male to the sump of the 29G so I can focus feed him until he gets his strength back. It will also allow me to care for the babies. My sump is a 20 long so it should be big enough and peaceful enough for him to recover. Once he is eating and looks healthy again I’ll put him back in the DT with the female so they can begin the process all over again.

    The other option would be to move the female in with the male (sump). Do you think they would prefer to breed in the DT instead of the sump? If I keep them in the sump I would only have to move the female not the male, which in the long run might be better so he would not have to get moved around so much and it would be less stressful.

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    I didn't read the last part about the 3rd tank. I suppose I could put a divider in the 29G once the babies are born and move the female to the sump and keep male with the babies on the other side of the divider. If that's not an option I'll do what you recommended and get a 3rd tank

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    Quote Originally Posted by saltaddict View Post
    dick - very good advice but i have to say that it is a "nice" change of events when it is the male having to do all the work, go hungry, get exhausted and not have much recovery time!!!!
    I'd better get in some strength training before attempting a brood like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1NC
    Do you think they would prefer to breed in the DT instead of the sump?
    Wow, I could have fun with this BUT, being a family friendly forum I'll just say, it wouldn't matter to them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1NC
    I could put a divider in the 29G once the babies are born and move the female to the sump and keep male with the babies on the other side of the divider.
    That would be a good option.

    Dick
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    Amblyeleotris randalli commonly, Randall's Goby.

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    i want to breed a pair of cardinals now. =D

    After reading up on a bunch of peoples success (And apparently being the easiest fish to breed) i am gonna start reading up on these guys.
    "Momma says life is like a box of live rock, never know what kind of hitchhikers you're gonna get" - Forest Sump

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    What plans have you, or are you, going to implement to be successful? I assume you read my first post in this thread? While breeding Pterapogon kauderni, the Banggai Cardinal is easy, rearing the young is a different matter. Yes they are relatively easy but you need a rearing system and a plan of action. What are your plans?
    Amphibious

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    Insightful Reefer FishFinder's Avatar
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    Dick is absolutely right. Since moving my pair to a 40G breeder they have not done anything. It is great gesture to want to breed these fish, but getting the parents in the correct environment and rearing the young is an entirely different story.

    I would love to hear your plans as well. Do you currently own a pair? Are they wild caught or tank raised?

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    Well, i am gonna be reading up on it first. I am new to this, and want to try. I still have yet to buy a pair of (tank raised) cardinals.

    I dont know how a breeder tank works, but i will be setting up something similar to that, with water lines hooking directly into my DT for good water. I will also have a 1inch sand bed, 1 piece of LR, and some micro algae in the tank for both the parents, and the fry to hide behind. I wont go into this bull headed and hope for success. I will do my research, and hope for the best.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. And please dont knock me cuz im a beginner. I've had plenty of success with fresh water fish breeding, and this is my first time with salt water fish. I know it will be harder, but its something i will like to try.
    "Momma says life is like a box of live rock, never know what kind of hitchhikers you're gonna get" - Forest Sump

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    Insightful Reefer FishFinder's Avatar
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    We are here to help. Please don't ever hesitate to ask!

    I totally understand where you are coming from. Your experience with freshwater will definitely help! I used to do fresh before switching to salt over 3 years ago and haven't looked back since.

    When you are ready to buy your Bangaai's I would definitely buy a pair that are tank raised if you can find them. I know there some LFS who buy tank raised from ORA so you may want to find out if anyone has any of those. Try to stay away from wild caught if possible. If you can afford it try to get 3-4 Bangaai’s if you can’t find a mated pair. You may get two to pair off.

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    I was actually thinking about it. getting 3. My dad has a large male cardinal, and my mom wants to get him a female. This way i will have my own pair, and my dad will have a pair. And if i wanted to really start with the breeding (intense) i can have my babies mate with my dads babies (No incest for me). I just really wanna get this right the first time. Also, can 2 males and 2 females be in the same tank? Cuz at times (if we dont want more babies atm) i might put the 2 females in my tank, and the 2 males in my dads or vice versa.

    I really am not doing this for the money, but more for the fun, and the experience. I hope to own an LFS one day (The best part is that i will give valid answers) , and this would help. But as you all know, i wont be able to house 30+ bangai cardinals, so i will most likely be selling/giving them away.
    "Momma says life is like a box of live rock, never know what kind of hitchhikers you're gonna get" - Forest Sump

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