Pajama Cardinalfish: Care | Breeding | Feeding And Cost

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Written By Fun Fish Tanks

I Love my Fishes 

With the scientific name Sphaeramia nematoptera, the Pajama Cardinalfish is one unusual fish to look at. It has an odd patterned body, but this is what makes this fish extremely unique.

Their body is an array of odd magnificence and can be noticed easily in an aquarium. In the center of the body, a vivid black band divides the greenish-yellow front, while the dorsal part is off-white with vibrant red-orange spots or polka dots.

They have a big orange-colored eye that stands out, and is probably the first thing everyone notices about this fish. 

Hailing from the Western Pacific Ocean, these species are easy to care for and can adapt to your established aquarium.

Pajama Cardinals are fascinating to observe because, instead of a wiggly swimming technique, they float with their bodies immobile, darting from place to place. Pajama Cardinals will mark their territory and choose a spot in the tank to call home.

They return to their home spot even when they go out for food or exploration. If there is an overhanging rock or coral pattern, you can be sure they will pick that as their home base.

Care of Pajama Cardinalfish

Tank size of Pajama Cardinalfish 

Pajama Cardinalfish is best if you keep them in a group or school. A 30-gallon tank is perfect for a small school of this species, although this size is the minimum size of tank you can keep them in. If you want a bigger school of Pajama Cardinalfish, only go for it if you have a larger tank.

What is the maximum size of a Pajama Cardinalfish? 

A Pajama Cardinalfish can get to about the size of 3 to 3.5 inches when they are fully grown. 

Temperature and Water Parameters 

Warmer water temperatures between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for pajama cardinals. Maintain a pH of 8.1-8.4, a salinity of 1.023-1.025, nitrates and ammonia levels of 0 ppm, and dKH of 8-12 for optimal health. These species of fish can adapt to your aquarium quite well. Although you must keep the water parameters constant and not let them fluctuate too much.

Tankmates for Pajama Cardinalfish 

The Pajama Cardinalfish is a peaceful and non-aggressive fish. These fishes should be kept with species with a similar temperament. It is not wise to keep them with aggressive fishes. To give the Pajama Cardinals enough area in the middle of the tank, pick tank mates who live in the lower and upper regions. Fast swimmers in the region may surprise or upset these fish, who are sluggish swimmers.

The best tankmates for these fishes are Clownfish, Dragonets, Gobies, Dwarf Angels, Dartfish, and Filefish. 

Is it possible to keep a group of cardinalfish together? 

As mentioned before, these species of fish do well in a school. It is highly recommended that you introduce a school of about 6 Pajama Cardinalfish in your tank. This helps them with survival as well. As they are non-aggressive fishes, so they will do well in a group and have a sense of security when they are together with their kind. 

Males can show a little aggression towards one another during breeding. This is the only exception where they are inclined towards hostility.

Diet of Pajama Cardinalfish

These species of fish come as carnivores. In an aquarium, they need to be given foods enriched with protein. You will also need to feed them many times in a day and each time a small quantity.

You may need to train them to eat throughout the day because they are nocturnal. Feed your cardinal vitamin-fortified brine and Mysis shrimp, as well as other finely chopped meaty pieces and good pellet and flake food. They also fancy bloodworms.

These species have a huge diet and must eat well to get adequate nutrients. As they swim slow, they can fall into competition for food with fast swimmers.

Tank Setup of Pajama Cardinalfish 

Aside from the maintenance of the water parameters for these species, they have some other preferences in the aquarium as well. You must provide this species with live rocks, caves, and plants so that they can have hiding places.

As they are submissive fishes, they will look for hiding places. So you should keep them in a group. Never pair them up with larger and aggressive fishes.

They also prefer faster currents, so get a strong filtration. Despite the fact that they are a resilient species that can tolerate less-than-ideal water conditions, aquarium care should not be overlooked. 

If feasible, lighting should be kept to a minimum and low to provide the finest viewing chances. When selecting Pajama Cardinalfish, it’s critical to make sure the specimens you choose are healthy to avoid introducing illnesses or parasites to your aquarium.

Healthy specimens will have a strong appetite, and clear eyes, and all of their fins will be intact and unharmed.

Sexing Pajama Cardinalfish

It’s hard to differentiate a male Pajama Cardinalfish from a female, as it is with many other fish species. The male, on the other hand, is somewhat bigger and has a longer secondary dorsal fin, but the female has a broader, rounder body than the male. Males brood the eggs as well, and their huge enlarged mouths make them easier to recognise during this period. 

Breeding of Pajama Cardinalfish 

Breeding the Pajama Cardinalfish is not that hard. If you want to breed these species you must get a school of mixed males and females.

As they grow they begin to pair. There are no extra requirements for them to breed, so that makes it a bit easy.

All you need to do is to feed them high-quality protein-rich foods to prepare them for breeding. Pajama Cardinals are mouthbrooders, which means that the males will go without food while holding the eggs in their mouths until they are ready to hatch. The ladies will safeguard the males throughout this period.

Adding Pajama Cardinalfish to your aquarium 

It is also necessary to adapt the Pajama cardinalfish before releasing them into a quarantine aquarium or their final home.

This may be accomplished in one of two ways: drip acclimation, which is often used for less hardy, more sensitive species, or floating acclimation, which is typically used for more hardy species like Cardinalfish.

Turn off the lights in the aquarium as well as any other lights in the room. Fish that have been kept in the gloom of their container may be stressed or traumatised by bright light. Place your fish bag in the tank and let it to float for around fifteen minutes.

The bag may be floating in your aquarium while open if you open it and roll the lip down.

12 cup aquarium water should be added. Step four should be repeated every five minutes until the floating bag is completely filled with water, then discard half of it.

Before netting the Pajama Cardinalfish and placing it in the tank, repeat steps 4 and 5. Remove any remaining water from the bag. This water should not be added to the aquarium

Cost of Pajama Cardinalfish 

A Pajama Cardinalfish will cost you around $15. 

The Pajama Cardinalfish is a magnificent addition to your aquarium. They have an unusual but beautiful body and will make your aquarium a showpiece.

On top of that, they are easy to keep and maintain. They are reef compatible and won’t disturb the reef habitat of the aquarium. You will have to keep them with non-aggressive tank mates. Keep all the parameters constant and not let them fluctuate. These fishes are sure to make your aquarium delightful.

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