The Banner Cardinal, Pterapogon kauderni, also known as the Longfin Cardinalfish, Banggai Cardinal, or Kaudern’s Cardinal. Featuring an off white color body, and 3 black stripes with white spots along the stripes. Standing out from other members of the family Apogonidae, with their tasseled first dorsal fin, elongated anal and second dorsal fin rays and a deeply forked caudal fin. They are also the only member of the species that is diurnal, meaning they are active during the day.
The Banner Cardinal is a slower swimmer, but can become aggressive towards other Cardinalfish or smaller similar looking fish. They can grow to be about 3″ fully mature, and should be kept in a tank with plenty of live rock or plants to offer hiding places. They are also known to take refuge Sea Urchins, as they have the ability to hide among the spines without being stung, allowing the Urchins to provide protection for the Banner Cardinal. Not only will the Banner Cardinal hang out around Urchins, but is also found to have a fondness for Anemones, Soft Corals and Mangrove roots.
Due to their social needs, the Banner Cardinal does best in small groups or schools of 3 or more as long as they are kept in an appropriate sized tank of no less than 30 gallons, and can be kept in a tank of 20 gallons individually. Larger tanks could allow for larger schools, and like many other schooling fish, the Banner Cardinal will form a strict hierarchy when kept in small groups within the aquarium. They are an excellent choice for beginner aquarists as they are active, hardy, easy to care for, and easily adapt to captive feeding.
Banner Cardinals are carnivorous, and should be fed a diet of vitamin enriched Brine or Mysis shrimp, along with other finely chopped meaty preparations. They will thrive in a temperature range of 72-78°F and a pH of 8.1-8.4.