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Flame Cardinal

Scientific Name: Apogon doryssa
Family: Apogonidae

About the Flame Cardinal

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: South Asia Ocean
Compatibility/Temperament: This Cardinalfish is considered to be an aggressive fish. They do very well when in mated pairs when given the proper sized aquarium, 55 gallons or larger. They can show aggression toward conspecifics if in groups over two. They are considered a reef-safe fish. Best kept with peaceful tankmates.


The Flame Cardinal is a very attractive addItion to any reef or fish only aquarium. They should be kept with peaceful tank mates. The vibrant red body and large black eyes make for a nice addition to any home aquaria, and they can best be seen at night under a red moon light. A slow and methodical swimmer, the Flame cardinal likes to have caves and other hiding places to feel secure in the home aquarium.

The Flame Cardinal 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 Flame Cardinal will do better in tanks that have a nitrate reading less than 20 ppm.

Flame Cardinal Diet

The Flame Cardinal 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 4"

Minimum Tank Suggestion

30 gallons

Ideal water parameters for Flame Cardinal

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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