Lets Talk Pyjama Cardinals!

Who's ready to read all about this month's Marine Fish of the Month... our Pyjama Cardinals?!

These dazzling little fish are so named due to the polka-dot pattern across the tail end of their bodies, resembling a spotty set of pyjamas. Their spots develop as they mature, with juvenile fish having darker black spots which gradually turn red as they grow older.

In an aquarium setting, these fish tend to be best kept in groups of 6 or more, providing there is ample space within the aquarium itself to be able to house this number comfortably. They are very similar to our previous Fish of the Month, the Banggai Cardinals, in that they enjoy exploring their surroundings and hunting for food during the night, so feeding at darker periods will be beneficial to these fish.

In order to keep them happy in your home aquarium, plenty of nooks and crannies should be provided as well as lots of shaded hiding spaces to allow them to rest throughout the day. They tend to thrive in a spacious aquarium provided with lots of space to swim around and explore. Occasionally (again very similar to the Banggai Cardinals) Pyjama Cardinals can squabble amongst themselves within the tank by engaging in chasing and nudging between more dominant individuals. The results of this are usually harmless and the aggression should be diluted amongst the group (provided these fish are housed in a large enough aquarium). You should aim to create as many visual barriers with the rockwork within your tank as possible to make sure fish can escape the stresses of more dominant fish if necessary.

Care should be taken when choosing tank mates for these fish as they do not cope well with fish that are too large and boisterous. Other small, peaceful varieties of marine fish should be considered and added with care. Other species of Cardinal fish such as the Banggai Cardinals can often make good tank mates in adequately sized aquariums. Pyjama Cardinals are known to be a micro-predator meaning they may see any tiny fish or small crustaceans as food, so keep this in mind when looking to add any new fish to your aquarium.

Due to their enjoyment of tiny foods, a variety of live and frozen foods should be offered including Mysis, Brineshrimp, and finely chopped Krill. To enable them to spread their energy out throughout the day we would recommend feeding 3 times a day at least, including at least one feed after the lights have gone out in the tank to allow their nocturnal hunting instincts to kick in.

Have these spotted-wonders captured your attention? Why not pop into your local store to take a closer look at them? You never know... you may end up taking some home with you!