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school of pajama cardinals - how many?

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I want to do something different with my tank. I don't like the way pajama cardinals look as individuals, but I thought they might look nice in a group.

 

I ordered 5 of them, but I think I should have ordered more. I would like to hear what other people have to say about the numbers before I add to my order (hopefully some folks who have experience with schools of them). They are small fish which don't require large amounts of space, plus they are nocturnal which means they will do most of their roaming when the other fish are at rest.

 

The tank is a standard 75g (48" long). My rock structure is fairly open, so it will provide options for the supposed preference pj cardinals have for hoovering under ledges. Tank mates will be clown pair which sticks to their duncan host, 1 green clown goby which just kind of perches on things rather than swimming around, 1 firefish which keeps itself out of sight most of the time, and a kole tang which will arrive with the cardinals.

Edited by treesprite

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I am going on the assumption that they will be really small when I get them, which led me to thinking that even with 5, I will barely see them. I just want something to look at right now.  I imagine they are easy to catch, so if and when they start getting too big or too ugly for me to have so many, I will take them out when they get larger. I could probably put a good number of juveniles in the tank, and the bigger the school is, the less tension there will be (they supposedly don't have in-fighting, but supposedly do build an hierarchy amongst themselves).

 

If I hadn't had all the problems with my tank, I would still have a bunch of corals to look at, rather than worry about having fish to see. At one point I was ready to get rid of all my fish. Of course having a clown goby doesn't help... I forgot they like to perch between branches of corals, and it took me a while to figure out why this pocilopora keeps getting bare spots between the branches but has no problem encrusting growth on the liverock (clown gobies don't live long....).

Edited by treesprite

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Trockfella had a PJ that was huge. I'd imagine long term your 75 will get small quick. (Not the tang po' po' just my two cents)

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Trockfella had a PJ that was huge. I'd imagine long term your 75 will get small quick. (Not the tang po' po' just my two cents)

 

PJ cardinals seem to fade as they get older and then start getting boring. When they are small they are brighter and cuter. They are cheap and easy to catch, so l have no problem fishing them back out when I'm tired of them. It's definitely not something I would do with most types of fish, though I have a good record of getting even damsels to swim right into the net.

 

Since you are bringing up the  topic of tangs making tanks seem smaller, I'll have to go into the off-topic of tangs. Kole tangs don't get very big. The only other tang I would put in a 75 is a yellow (my yellow died), otherwise I'd have a powder blue in there.  My rockwork was specifically designed for the yellow tang I had. Making rockwork with many open areas makes the tank seem to have much more swimming space, because there are so many different routes the fish can take as it travels around the tank - there is a big difference between a 75 with a wall or mounds of rock with only closed-end caves, and a 75  with varying large openings and structure. I have 9 openings in my rockwork through which my yellow tang (RIP) could swim easily, zig zagging around making decisions about where to swim next.  Kole tangs don't particularly interest me, but since my tang has been gone, I'm starting to see algae growing on my outputs and if I get another yellow I might get too attached to it (I won't get attached to a Kole tang, plus it seems it would be easier to catch than a yellow).

Edited by treesprite

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I have 3 pajama cardinals and one dot-dash cardinal that are fully grown now and quite large. They are not nocturnal in my tank, when the lights are off they normally find places near the bottom of the tank to hang out solo during the day they hang out around the tank sometimes schooling. As to losing coloration, I think that has more to do with diet than age. My cardinals are as large as I've seen them get anywhere and are just as bright as when they were babies.

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269_zpshyop7cmz.gif

 

 

 

Those are the ugliest, worst, ugliest, and absolute worst fish.

 

 

But if you must have them............. odd numbers, they get very large, very fast.  IMO they are always ugly, but when they're big they're even uglier.  Even if they're nocturnal, you will find that they will always insist on being out in the open flaunting their ugliness, day and night, especially when they get bigger.  

Edited by L8 2 RISE

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LOL at Sam!

 

It has been maybe 6 years since I had a pajama cardinal and I didn't like it so I gave it to Holly who had it for a couple years (it got dull as it matured).

 

Of course that makes people wonder why I would want a group of them. I saw some really small ones and they were really cute, not big and ugly.  Pajama cardinals are slow and wont be able to get into tiny holes, so they will be easy to evacuate. I didn't know what to do with my tank; I fluctuate between wanting some cool (and expensive) fish, wanting to get rid of all my fish, and wanting to take down the tank, so these fish will be ok until I get tired of them. 

 

Keep in mind that I will have a while of watching them in QT to decide if I really want to keep them! I'll put the tang in the tank first (after QT), and see how it goes for at least a week before deciding for sure to put the cardinals in the tank. Maybe the tang will add enough interest to keep me from adding the cardinals. Maybe I will decide what to do with my tank before putting the cardinals in it, or maybe I will like them enough to go through with the original plan.

 

 

Matt,

what do you feed them that you believe allows them to keep their color?

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Oh, I would like to point out that indecision about fish is another reason to QT them rather than just dumping them right into the DT.

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Bob Fenner answered my e-mail to Wet Web Media. He seems to think any more would be a bad idea.

 

My order isn't scheduled for delivery until May 15th, so I have a while to change my mind. I would have to fill in the gap with something else to keep the free shipping though.

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I feed my fish a mix of frozen and live food, nothing freeze dried that can't be identified by sight. Frozen Mysis are a favorite that my fish love and has kept them healthy and happy for years. I've started trying a bit of the LRS Reef Frenzy, which the fish seem to love as much as the mysis. I feed brine shrimp that have had some time in a Selcon mixture that act as a mobile vitamin that all fish love. (They also make an awesome way to get medication into your fish if they're sick, BTW) I've started feeding black worms recently because all of the good things I have heard about them, but I'm holding out on an opinion there until I've been doing it for a while.

 

In generally I'm just really not a fan of the more typical freeze dried or flake foods. Having said that though, I do have a small amount of pellet food that I keep around to make sure that my two steinitz gobies get fed. They hang out at the bottom of the tank and are very shy so I sometimes worry that they may not get any food before the other fish demolish it all. I usually drop in a couple of pellets every other day or so near their hole to make sure they're getting fed.

 

Oh and L8 2 Rise, my wife and I call our pajama cardinals "Ugly Cute". ;)

Edited by Matt LeBaron

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I changed my order - no pajama cardinals! I'm glad I posted about it before it was too late to make a change to the order. Thanks folks, for helping me figure out what to do. I think I should try to always schedule far in advance delivery dates, so I have a chance for changing my mind about things.

 

I ordered gobies instead (to keep the free shipping I had to get something else), which I will probably barely see but wanted fish that would swim in open waters. Citron goby, Hectors goby (used to have one - it was a nice fish), and yellow rose goby (have wanted one for a long time but also wanted other things). A few years ago I had various gobies, but they don't swim in the water column much and gobies have relatively short lifespans.  One of the reasons I like gobies is that they are scaleless and therefore less likely to get ich. They don't do well in long-term QT, so I make an exception for them and only QT for a couple days. But now I have to put more sand in my tank to accommodate them (I have bare spots), right away so there is some fauna in it (am going to have to put the old sand on top of the new sand, so the tank is gonna be really messy... will use an HOB filter for a couple days, turn up the skimmer, and use a baster to keep sand and detritus from staying settled on rocks and corals).

Edited by treesprite

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