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Five-lined Cardinalfish

Scientific Name: Cheilodipterus quinquelineatus
Family: Apogonidae

About the Five-lined Cardinalfish

Species Type: Saltwater Fish
Category: Cardinalfish

Care Level: Easy. Ships well and acclimates well to the home aquarium. Accepts dried foods eagerly and quickly after acclimation. Is resistant to disease. An overall good choice for the new saltwater hobbyist.
Origin: Indo-Pacific
Compatibility/Temperament: Cardinalfish by no means are considered an "aggressive" fish. They do well in small groups if a 6 foot tank is availble, and will actually estalish a heirarchy within the group without the use of aggression. They can show aggression toward conspecifics if kept in groups in smaller aquariums.


The Five-lined Cardinalfish, also known as the Toothed Cardinalfish, is a very attractive addItion to any reef or fish only aquarium. They naturally prefer hide in sea grasses or int the spines of Sea Urchins, but they do not need an urchin to thrive in home aquaria. The black and white stripes make for a nice addition to any home aquaria, and their peaceful temperament makes them "reef-compatible" and able to keep with a variety of other "reef-safe" and non "reef-safe" fish alike.

The Five-lined Cardinalfish generally is comfortable is water that is between 75-80 degrees F and specific gravity is between 1.021 and 1.026. Generally keep the dKH between 8-12 and the Calcium between 400-450. The Five-lined Cardinalfish will do better in tanks that have a nitrate reading less than 20 ppm.

Five-lined Cardinalfish Diet

The Five-lined Cardinalfish is a carnivore that will feed on pods and other microfauna in the aquarium. Their diet can be supplemented with spirulina, frozen brine shrimp and any pellet or flake food. Any garlic additive will help strengthen their immune system.


Species tend to grow to be about 5"

Minimum Tank Suggestion

50 gallons

Ideal water parameters for Five-lined Cardinalfish

Marine fish are highly sensitive animals with very specific care requirements. Most all saltwater species will require similar water conditions, designed to replicate that of natural seawater. Ammonia and nitrite levels should absolute zero, temperature at 76F to 80F, and salinity at 1.024 to 1.026. Although some fish are tolerant of lower levels of Nitrate, the goal in every aquariums should be to keep Nitrate as close to zero as possible, and certainly under 20ppm. Finally, maintaining a stable pH of 8.0 to 8.4 is desired. Achieving this is made easier by monitoring alkalinity, which should be kept at 8-12 DKH, and calcium, which is targeted at 400 to 460ppm.

Contributing Members

The following members have contributed to this profile: wake49
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