Species group: Cardinalfish
Other common names: Longspine Cardinalfish
Scientific name: Zoraima leptacanthus
This active, schooling fish is a great choice for novices and makes a hardy, inhabitant of Nano or community reef tanks.
The Longspined Cardinalfish is native to the waters of Indonesia, where it lives in schools on and along coral reefs
Appearance / health:
The 6.3 cm (2.5 in) body is rather transparent, but not at all dull as it bears numerous neon-blue and yellow marks and an iridescent blue eye-ring.
Longspined Cardinalfish are hardy and long-lived when cared for properly. They are alert and fast-moving, but may be injured by large fishes and aggressive invertebrates.
Behavior / temperament:
Longspined Cardinalfish are shy when kept alone or in bare tanks, but otherwise will be seen swimming in schools or darting among corals and rockwork. They will not trouble coral, but may harass tiny shrimp.
The Longspined Cardinalfish requires a well-filtered Nano or larger aquarium that is provisioned with moderate currents and numerous rock and coral structures to provide a feeling of security. Live sand and live rock, which will produce supplementary food in the form of micro-organisms, should be utilized if possible. They are ill-at-ease unless kept in groups of 5 or more.
The following water quality parameters should be maintained in order to assure long-term health: Temperature: 22.7-25.5 C (73-78 F); Specific Gravity (Salinity): 1.020-1.025; pH: 8.1-8.4.
The diet should be varied, and include chopped clams, mussels, scallops, and prawn, live and frozen Mysis and brine shrimp, and flakes/pellets designed for carnivorous marine fishes.
Several Cardinalfish species regularly reproduce in captivity, and others that have been studied follow similar breeding strategies. The sexes are difficult to distinguish visually. Males brood the eggs in their mouths until hatching. The fry are large enough to consume newly-hatched brine shrimp (naupli).
Written by Frank Indiviglio