Pajama Cardinal – Central Pacific (Sphaeramia nematoptera)
- Care Level: Easy
- Temperament: Peaceful
- Diet: Carnivore
- Reef Safe: Yes
- Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
- Max Size: 3 inches
- Water Parameters: pH 8.1-8.4, Salinity 1.020-1.025, Temperature 72-78°F
The Pajama Cardinal, also known as the Spotted Cardinalfish, is native to the Central Pacific region. It can be found in shallow lagoons and reef slopes in small groups or pairs. They prefer areas with plenty of hiding spots, such as coral branches or rock crevices.
The Pajama Cardinal is considered reef-safe as it does not typically bother corals or other invertebrates. However, caution should still be exercised when introducing them to a reef tank with delicate corals.
The Pajama Cardinal can grow up to 3 inches long.
These fish are peaceful and generally get along well with other tank mates. They are not aggressive and can be kept in community tanks.
There are no significant differences in appearance between males and females.
The average lifespan of a Pajama Cardinal is around 3-5 years, but they can live longer with proper care.
Diet in Aquariums:
In the aquarium, Pajama Cardinals are carnivorous and should be fed a varied diet consisting of high-quality frozen or live foods such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and small pieces of fish or shrimp. They can also be supplemented with high-quality dry foods specifically formulated for carnivorous fish.
Provide plenty of hiding spots using live rock, coral branches, or artificial structures. The Pajama Cardinal enjoys swimming in and around these structures, so creating a natural-looking environment with ample hiding places will make them feel more secure.
Captive Bred Availability:
Yes, the Pajama Cardinal is available as captive-bred specimens. Captive-bred fish are generally hardier and more adaptable to aquarium conditions than wild-caught specimens. They also help reduce the impact on wild populations.
Compatibility with Other Fish, Invertebrates, or Corals:
The Pajama Cardinal is generally compatible with many tank mates, including other peaceful fish, invertebrates, and corals. However, avoid keeping them with aggressive or large predatory species that may harass or eat them.
Five specific tankmates that are good choices for Pajama Cardinals:
- Clownfish: Clownfish are peaceful and can form a symbiotic relationship with anemones, adding color and activity to the tank.
- Firefish: Firefish are peaceful and have vibrant colors, making them great companions for Pajama Cardinals.
- Gobies: Gobies are small, peaceful fish in various colors and patterns. They make excellent tank mates for Pajama Cardinals.
- Blennies: Blennies are known for their comical behaviors and unique appearances. They are generally peaceful and can coexist with Pajama Cardinals.
- Cleaner Shrimp: Cleaner shrimp not only add visual interest to the tank but also provide a cleaning service by removing parasites from other fish.
Other Common Names:
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Popular Questions and Answers:
Q: What is the ideal tank size for Pajama Cardinals?
A: Pajama Cardinals can be kept in a minimum tank size of 20 gallons, but providing more space is always beneficial for their well-being.
Q: Can Pajama Cardinals be kept in a reef tank?
A: Pajama Cardinals are considered reef-safe and can be kept in a reef tank. However, caution should be exercised when introducing them to delicate corals.
Q: How often should Pajama Cardinals be fed?
A: Pajama Cardinals should be fed small amounts multiple times a day. Aim for 2-3 feedings per day to ensure they receive adequate nutrition.
Q: Can Pajama Cardinals be kept in pairs?
A: Pajama Cardinals can be kept in pairs or small groups. They are social fish and will often swim together.
Q: Do Pajama Cardinals require any special water parameters?
A: Pajama Cardinals prefer stable water conditions with a pH of 8.1-8.4, salinity of 1.020-1.025, and a temperature range of 72-78°F. Maintaining these parameters within the recommended range for their overall health and well-being is important.