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Longspine Cardinalfish

(Zoramia leptacantha)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 3"
• Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.022-1.025
• Diet: Carnivore   • Origin: Indonesia
• Family: Apogonidae   • Species: Cardinalfish   • Aquarium Type: Reef Compatible

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Longspine Cardinalfish native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Longspine Cardinalfish (Zoramia leptacanthus) is a shoaling fish species that is found living in large groups of individuals in the wild. In the wild they stay very close to the coral reefs in their native Indonesian waters, where they rely on the reef for both food and protection from larger fish.

It is important that hobbyists keep Longspine Cardinalfish in groups of at least 4 or more individuals (10 plus being ideal) in order for them to feel comfortable and do well long term in the aquarium environment. Shoaling species depend on living in groups of individuals in order to feel comfortable and to maintain a social group that they need in order to live natural lives.

Hobbyists keeping a single specimen or pair of Longspine Cardinalfish will find that they will be reclusive, reluctant feeders and will do poorly overall. However, when kept in a social group the Longspine Cardinalfish will spend its time out swimming in the open waters and will readily feed on a variety of meaty food items. Once acclimated to aquarium life, groups of Longspine Cardinalfish are considered to be quite hardy and long lived.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Longspine Cardinalfish in the home aquarium.

Longspine Cardinalfish are ideal fish for both reef aquariums and peaceful community aquariums. While not the most colorful fish individually, a group of Longspine Cardinalfish swimming tightly together with flashes of blue and yellow is an impressive site.

Despite needing to be housed in groups, Longspine Cardinalfish do not put out a high bio-load which makes them ideal for many reef aquarium environments. They are peaceful in nature and can get along with a wide variety of other peaceful community fish species. Longspine Cardinalfish will not bother corals, sessile invertebrates or crustaceans, but they may prey on extremely small shrimps.

Longspine Cardinalfish do best in aquariums with plenty of live rock or reef aquariums with plenty of rock and corals, both of which will give them a place to retreat to when threatened. Proper aquarium decor will give the Longspine Cardinalfish the confidence to swim out in the open knowing that they can retreat to safety if necessary.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Longspine Cardinalfish.

Longspine Cardinalfish are carnivorous micro predators that feed on small crustaceans in their native coral reef habitats. However, they will quickly adjust to aquarium life and will readily feed on a variety of meaty based commercial foods including: flake, micro pellet, frozen and freeze-dried marine based meaty foods. Larger specimens may prey on extremely small gobies or very small shrimp.

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