Banggai Cardinal feeding Help!

jesfromdax

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I have a very picky Banggai Cardinal going through Quarantine and refuses to eat. His mate eats everything but he's being dramatic and refuses. My question is does anybody know any LFS in the greater NYC Tri State area (I'm willing to travel) that has live Brine/Mysis Shrimp. I want to gut load them and then offer it to him. My hope is he might be holding eggs, but I want to buy the shrimp just in case. Thanks.
 
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As an experienced breeder of these guys, what you need isn't so much live food, but food that the fish thinks is alive. So take some frozen mysis, thaw it out, then insert them in front of a powerhead so they shoot out. The fish will instinctively strike. It may take a few tries for it to recognize it, but once its trained, it'll be fine. So back to mysis, once it shoots out, it may float or sink slowly. At this point the fish will think its dead and not strike, so I use a pipet or turkey baster, suck it up and shoot it out again. Keep doing it, as long as the shrimp is whole. I've used this method till I started feeding chopped shrimp. If you have long tweezers, you can also dance the food around, or a probe with a long pin on it.

I would not recommend live brine, because if it trains to that, it may not train to mysis at all, and if brine is not enriched, the fish will slowly starve.

OH, its possible that you have 2 males, the big one has staked its territory in the feeding zone and may be preventing the other from feeding. Just a thought, separate out the feeding fish for a few days till the other trains. Then eventually, you'll have to trade one in till you get a female. Very hard to sex, but males will not tolerate other males, females do.

If I wanted to breed them again, I'd start with 4 or 6, put them all together, then a alpha male and female will be in the center, with secondary males all forced to the edge and the other females sort of in between. Capture the pair, move them out, then a secondary male and female will form up in the center (if you have more that is) till you have just a single sex left. Sell the extras back.
 
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jesfromdax

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As an experienced breeder of these guys, what you need isn't so much live food, but food that the fish thinks is alive. So take some frozen mysis, thaw it out, then insert them in front of a powerhead so they shoot out. The fish will instinctively strike. It may take a few tries for it to recognize it, but once its trained, it'll be fine. So back to mysis, once it shoots out, it may float or sink slowly. At this point the fish will think its dead and not strike, so I use a pipet or turkey baster, suck it up and shoot it out again. Keep doing it, as long as the shrimp is whole. I've used this method till I started feeding chopped shrimp. If you have long tweezers, you can also dance the food around, or a probe with a long pin on it.

I would not recommend live brine, because if it trains to that, it may not train to mysis at all, and if brine is not enriched, the fish will slowly starve.

OH, its possible that you have 2 males, the big one has staked its territory in the feeding zone and may be preventing the other from feeding. Just a thought, separate out the feeding fish for a few days till the other trains. Then eventually, you'll have to trade one in till you get a female. Very hard to sex, but males will not tolerate other males, females do.

If I wanted to breed them again, I'd start with 4 or 6, put them all together, then a alpha male and female will be in the center, with secondary males all forced to the edge and the other females sort of in between. Capture the pair, move them out, then a secondary male and female will form up in the center (if you have more that is) till you have just a single sex left. Sell the extras back.

Thank you for the great advice, I'm going to try everything you suggested. Your right the one not feeding is the smaller of the two, so maybe that is the reason why he won't eat. Are there obvious displays of aggression when you have 2 males because I have not seen it yet.

I have a spare 10 gallon tank that he can live in while I attempt to get him to start feeding. I really hope I don't have two males.
 

gobywon

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+1 on frozen mysis.
Put some tank water in a little cup, toss in a small amount (a small part of one cube), let it thaw, swish the cup around a bit and pour near a power head, they'll both likely jump on it, like a cat jumping on mouse.
 
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Cardinal males don't physically attack each other, they display and establish dominance very quickly and its done before you know it. You don't need to move it to another tank, just put a floating box or net in. That will break its dominance. Once the possible beta male starts feeding, let it get comfortable with the food and fatten up for a few days or a week. Release the alpha male and watch. See if there's a display and a light fight. it won't last long and it'll be over very quickly. Then the winner will claim the tank. it may be difficult to determine if its a male/male fight or a male/female courtship.
I really cant describe it, but in the end, the alpha will force the beta to the corner, but the female will be allowed to stay and feed.

I've placed all my notes on this matter on the link in my signature.
 

jesfromdax

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Cardinal males don't physically attack each other, they display and establish dominance very quickly and its done before you know it. You don't need to move it to another tank, just put a floating box or net in. That will break its dominance. Once the possible beta male starts feeding, let it get comfortable with the food and fatten up for a few days or a week. Release the alpha male and watch. See if there's a display and a light fight. it won't last long and it'll be over very quickly. Then the winner will claim the tank. it may be difficult to determine if its a male/male fight or a male/female courtship.
I really cant describe it, but in the end, the alpha will force the beta to the corner, but the female will be allowed to stay and feed.

I've placed all my notes on this matter on the link in my signature.

Thanks again for your help, unfortunately the little guy passed this morning. The other one is doing really good and is eating like a pig. I always take a loss of one of my fishes personally. When I upgrade to a much bigger tank I'll apply everything you've written, but until then I'll wait on adding another Banggai.
 

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