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Apogon leptacanthus

Crab Rangoon

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I started my tank out with 6 of these guys, and sadly wound up losing 2-3 of them over the course of weeks due to aggression from another Apogon species I had in the tank, which was behaving very dominantly even though there was plenty of room :( After removing the other Cardinals from the display, I ended up losing yet another leptacanthus about a week later, and was stuck with only a pair. A couple months ago, I decided to pick up 8 more when Jake at RCA was ordering them for the in-wall display tank in the shop, but I still wound up losing 2 more slowly but surely, apparently due to my Wrasse not being compliant with them :wacko:

For months now, I've had a school of 8 of them, and everything's been fine except for an occasional episode with the Wrasse during feeding time. Earlier this week I noticed that two of them seemed secluded, and I was worried they were not faring well, or perhaps fighting. Sure enough, they'd split off from the group around feeding time, and go bicker in a cave. For 2-3 days straight they practically refuse to leave the cave, and the male is absolutely brooding, as is obvious from his jaw/throat poking out. Pretty cool! Since they move so sporadically paired up and away from the group, I can't get very good pictures of the pair, but I'll definitely be getting them on video since their behavior is so peculiar and they're both showing rather radiant colors. Upon receiving them from the shipment originally, I really couldn't tell males from females - but now that I've noticed these two paired up, I have identified the two other males in my school, and I have 1 or 2 other females coloring up mighty bold trying to also get in on the action.

Has anyone else experienced any Cardinals (aside from Bangaii, of course) in their display tanks? I've already looked into the details of rearing & raising the fry, and ruled it out - the most success somebody has had was 45 days with any fry, and I'm already far too busy to tend to baby fish feedings. It's certainly a lot different from Clowns, though, since there's no way in hell I could ever get into the tank with a net and pull out the actual pair from the whole school. The slightest movement or motion stirs the Cardinals enough that you can't tell one from the others when they school together - so there will definitely be no disturbing them from the display to try my hand at this further. I just thought I'd ask if anyone else had experienced this, or even seen the breeding happen. I really hope that they continue with this from time to time and that I may be able to get it on camera some time.

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'cept when brooding, the male looks like Kanye West with the fattest jaw ever :) yesterday he seemed somewhat interested in food again (since they carry the eggs/fry in their mouth, they cannot eat while incubating or brooding), so I fear he may ditch and go back to his daily grind this weekend. I might have to wait til the next occurrence to get 'em on camera.

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