PJ Cardinal


The most common and hardy species of cardinal available



Name: Sphaeramia nematoptera

Difficulty: Moderate

Max Size: 8cm

Origin: Coral Sea, Indo Pacific

pH: 8.1-8.5

Temperature: 21-26°C

Minimum Tank Size: 60 litres


The Spotted Cardinalfish is a rainbow of playful colors. It has a greenish-yellow face, bright orange eyes, and a silver-based body dressed with a bold black scalar margin and a posterior dotted with orange polka-dots. Though its bold coloration may stand out, Sphaeramia nematopterahas a peaceful nature that lets it blend perfectly into any community saltwater aquarium.

For the best care, the Spotted Cardinalfish should be kept in small schools in suitably sized aquariums of at least 60 litres. Because the Spotted Cardinalfish is a slow and methodical swimmer, it should be housed with peaceful tankmates and offered a plethora of hiding places amongst rockwork or plants. Most Spotted Cardinalfish will tend to hide in sea grass or other plants. Some may also camouflage themselves against long spined sea urchins.

Like many other schooling fish, the Spotted Cardinalfish will form a strict hierarchy when kept in small groups within the aquarium. However, unlike some social fish, this member of the Apogonidae family does not use aggression to exert dominance over other cardinalfish.


The diet of fish such as cardinals and anthius should consist of a variety of meaty protein rich foods such as Frozen Hikari Mysis Shrimp and Krill as well as high quality dry foods such as Hikari Marine S or Marine A. Depending on the size of the fish live feeders such as live prawns or blackworm can be fed as a treat.