Pajama cardinal fish is from western pacific ocean and is quite popular social fish in aquarium trade. Because of it’s appearance, long life span and harmless behavior it is prefect for home aquarium setup. They are also considered as reef tank compatible as they hardly bothers other fishes, invertebrates in the tank but being carnivorous they do eat small shrimp.
Size & Color: They grow up to size of about 3 inches (8 cm). There is quite a color variation of this fish. Color varies from brown, orange and gray white so they’re available in multiple colors.
Image Credit – Allen County Public Library
Ph & temperature: Pajama cardinal fish prefers low temperature inside the tank. You should maintain at least 72°F – 80°F inside the tank. You also need to keep ammonia, nitrite and nitrate in control. Ph should be maintained at 8.1 – 8.4 and carbonate hardness should be at 8 – 12°dKH. As they require quite clean tank you need to place brisk filter inside the tank to keep it clean.
Breeding: Juvenile pajama cardinal fish’s gender is hard to find out but as they mature you’ll be able to find their gender. Males are slightly larger than the female. Like Banggai cardinal fish it is also mouth-brooder so this is one another sign with which you can find out gender of pajama cardinal fish. They’re quite hard to breed in captivity but there are many cases which reported to breed them in home aquarium.So like banggai cardinal you can buy this fish in group for your large saltwater tank and see if you can breed any pair. Once they spawn you’ll find fry takes week or two to eat live foods and swim with adult pajama fish.
Food: They’re carnivorous in nature and require meaty food often in their diet. You can feed them frozen food, live food. Varying their diet is one good way to keep them healthy and active. In placed in reef tank they will often eat small shrimp as well. They don’t prefer pellets and flakes much so you can avoid that.
Behavior : Their lifespan is 5 years or even longer than that. You can keep them in a group of 4-6 in one tank if tank is large. If any pair comes up out of it then keep the rest of the others into another tank or separate the pair in quarantine tank. It is peaceful so you can place them with other community fishes and in peaceful saltwater fish tank. Being a nocturnal fish they’re active during night. They’re also reef tank safe though they do eat shrimp once in a while. They’re mostly resistant against some fish diseases but you need to check their diet before purchasing. You can keep a live rock, spiny sea urchin and stone shelter for them to hide as they often hide if get frightened and come out only when there is darkness.
They cost about 20-25$ in aquarium shops and in comparison to banggai cardinal they’re seen more in aquarium shops. It is one good social fish to keep in community aquarium so buy atleast pair or get a group of about 4-6 pajama cardinals.