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Old 07-16-2004, 09:46 PM   #1
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Banggai Cardinalfish acting a little weird...

So last week I picked up 4 Banggai Cardinalfish ... they are pretty cool. The first few days all 4 of them swam around the tank, staying pretty close together. They were all eating and everything seemed fine.

Now the past few days I notice that 2 of them hide out in the caves or the back of the tank, while the other 2 continue to swim around the front of the reef and in the open water like before.

Now I read up on these fish and supposedly they are nocturnal and generally do hideout in caves, under overhangs, etc. during the day. Which is weird because none of the 4 were doing that at all the first few days in the tank.

So now I'm not sure which pair to be concerned with - the 2 that continue to swim around in the open or the 2 that seem to have reverted to their "natural" behavior?

I did notice something with the 2 that are now hiding out most of the time. Their gills are huffing and puffing quite a lot, almost like they can't breath or something. This is all new to me and I'm not sure what that means but it doesn't look like a good sign. Are these 2 sick or just not liking the new tank or something?

Or do I just need to wait it out since they are still new to the tank and just see if/how they settle in to a routine?
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Old 07-17-2004, 02:25 AM   #2
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Unfortunately you need a very large tank to keep more than one Male Banggai. The two swimming out front have bonded and will be spawning in the near future (cool!). The problem is that they're not going to be tolerant of any other Banggai in the same tank and will try remove them from their area. This sometimes includes killing them off.
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Old 07-17-2004, 03:03 AM   #3
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I forgot to mention, all 4 are males - at least based on what I've read and my analysis of the body shapes and tailfin. Is it odd my LFS would sell me 4 males? They said "Oh yeah all 4 will just hang out together". It's a 150 gallon tank...
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Old 07-17-2004, 11:51 AM   #4
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Had they all been females then there was a chance they might hang out togeather. They would at least ignore each other.

I've handled a LOT of Banggai. After considering body shape, Tail fins, and mouth angles my guess rate is still just 50%. I do know people that can sex them but I can assure you it's not as easy as it sounds.
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Old 07-17-2004, 12:23 PM   #5
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Oh OK ... I was under the impression it was pretty cut and dry ... the info I read made it seem that way. So I guess I don't really know what I have.
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Old 07-17-2004, 11:02 PM   #6
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Update ...

I hadn't seen the 2 "suspect" Banggai's since this morning. I just found one of them who's dead body is currently being picked apart by a bunch of hermit crabs. I'm expecting the same thing to happen to the other one ...

Meanwhile the other 2 that seem healthy have settled into a weird pattern. As you know they generally don't swim around a whole lot, or swim very fast ... they often just meander around. Well now 1 of them literally just floats in the same spot staring at a coral for hours on end. The other one swims around a little bit here and there but is never far away.
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Old 07-17-2004, 11:06 PM   #7
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That actually just confirms my statements.
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Old 07-18-2004, 12:50 AM   #8
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Yeah I guess we will just stick with the 2 for now. How many would you recommend for a 150 gallon tank? It was cool to have 4 of them the first few days when they would swim around the tank together in a school ... just like the chromis.
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Old 07-18-2004, 03:55 AM   #9
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One last question...

If the pair do indeed make babies, am I a bad daddy if I just let them become food for the other fish? I am in no position to set-up another tank, etc. Will the 2 Banggai's get really mad at me for letting their offspring die?
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Old 07-18-2004, 12:58 PM   #10
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In a 150 gallon tank I recommend one male and one female.

Not collecting the offspring isn't a crime. Once in a while one will make it though especially if you have an Anemone.
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