Described as the guppy of the saltwater world, the Banggai cardinal is extremely easy to breed. More importantly, populations in their native range are threatened, get this, by over collection for the marine hobby. This equation seems like a no brainer: cool fish + easy to breed + threatened = everyone should breed them. They don’t take much space to work with, the males carry the eggs until they hatch, and raising the fry is an excellent introduction to home culturing because raising baby brine shrimp to feed the fry is also extremely easy. Breeding these fish is an great learning experience and if enough of us do it, could have a real world impact on wild populations.
I have two pairs of Banggai, one captive bred and one wild caught, and with extreme minimal effort on my part I have produced over 60 little cardinals in the last year that have gone to pet stores, reef club members and public aquariums. Thats 60 fish that weren’t taken out of the wild, and weren’t subjected to the chain of custody that produces so many Banggai cardinal mortalities. It didn’t take much work, it was easy to place the fish, and my wife and my 6 year old daughter love having the cute little fish around.
So many of us have been pining for a way to actually make a positive difference in the hobby we love, and here it is. Got an empty tank laying around? You should breed Banggai cardinals. Got a sump with some space? You should breed Banggai cardinals. Got some kind of refugium? You should breed Banggai cardinals.
There is lots of info all over the web, but click here for an article in Reef Hobbyist Magazine that can help you get started: