Frostfin Cardinal

Ostorhinchus hoevenii

(0 Reviews)

Frostfin Cardinal

Frostfin Cardinal

Ostorhinchus hoevenii

(0 Reviews)

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Frostfin Cardinal Care Facts

Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful
Maximum Size: 2.5 inches
Reef Safe: Yes
Diet: Carnivore
Origin: Indo-Pacific
Acclimation Time: 2+ hours
Minimum Tank Size: 15 gallons

The Frostfin Cardinal (Ostorhinchus hoevenii) is a unique fish found among reefs and lagoons in the Indo-Pacific Ocean. They have a slightly transparent body with yellow or brown coloration, a yellow face and white tips on their dorsal fin, hence their common name "Frostfin." They reach a maximum size of 2.5" and can be kept in a tank of at least 15 gallons. They are peaceful by nature and do well in schools of 3 or more. Their diet should consist of carnivorous preparations, such as small krill, mysis or brine. They may be kept in a reef aquarium, though they should be monitored around small crustaceans. They should have plenty of live rock to hide among. 


The Frostfin Cardinal (Ostorhinchus hoevenii) - A Captivating Addition to Saltwater Marine Aquariums


Species Overview: The Frostfin Cardinal, scientifically known as Ostorhinchus hoevenii, is a captivating addition to saltwater marine aquariums, offering enthusiasts a unique and visually appealing specimen. With its vibrant coloration and exciting behaviors, this species adds a touch of dynamism to any marine setup. This comprehensive product description will explore various aspects of keeping the Frostfin Cardinal in a saltwater aquarium.


Habitat and Origin of the Frostfin Cardinal


The Frostfin Cardinal is commonly found in the Indo-Pacific region, inhabiting coral-rich environments such as reefs and lagoons. In the wild, they form schools and seek refuge among branching corals and rocky outcrops, making them well-adapted to the intricate structures in a saltwater aquarium.


Reef Safety of the Frostfin Cardinal


This species is considered reef-safe, making it an ideal choice for reef enthusiasts. The Frostfin Cardinal tends to coexist peacefully with various coral species, and its presence can even enhance the overall aesthetics of a reef tank.


Size and Lifespan of the Frostfin Cardinal


The Frostfin Cardinal is a relatively small fish, reaching an average size of 3 inches (7.6 cm) in captivity. They can have a lifespan of 5 to 7 years with proper care, providing enthusiasts with years of enjoyment.


Diet in Captivity for the Frostfin Cardinal


In a home aquarium, Frostfin Cardinals thrive on a diet that includes high-quality marine flakes, pellets, and frozen foods such as brine and mysis shrimp. Offering a varied diet ensures optimal health and vibrant coloration.


Aquaculture and Availability of the Frostfin Cardinal


Currently, the Frostfin Cardinal is available through aquaculture, reducing the impact on wild populations and ensuring a sustainable source for hobbyists. This availability makes it easier for enthusiasts to acquire this stunning species from reputable suppliers like


Compatibility of the Frostfin Cardinal


Frostfin Cardinals exhibit a peaceful temperament, making them suitable tankmates for various fish and invertebrates. They coexist well with other non-aggressive species, contributing to the overall harmony of the aquarium.


Sexual Dimorphism of the Frostfin Cardinal


Sexual dimorphism in Frostfin Cardinals is minimal, with males and females displaying similar coloration and body morphology. This characteristic adds to the challenge and excitement of keeping and observing this species.


Juvenile to Adult Coloration Changes in the Frostfin Cardinal


As juveniles, Frostfin Cardinals showcase a subtle yet striking combination of silver and yellow hues. As they mature, their coloration intensifies, developing vibrant blue and yellow patterns that make them a focal point in any marine setup.


Temperament of the Frostfin Cardinal


Known for their calm and friendly demeanor, Frostfin Cardinals are a joy to observe as they navigate the aquarium, forming tight-knit schools. Their peaceful nature makes them an excellent choice for community tanks.


Tank Requirements for the Frostfin Cardinal

  • Minimum Aquarium Size: Maintaining a suitable environment is crucial for the well-being of Frostfin Cardinals. A minimum aquarium size of 30 gallons is recommended to accommodate their schooling behavior.
  • Water Conditions:       
    • pH: Maintain water conditions within the range of 8.1 to 8.4.
    • Salinity: Keep salinity within the range of 1.020 to 1.025.
    • Water Temperature: Maintain a temperature range of 74°F to 78°F.
    • Water Flow: Provide moderate water flow to simulate their natural habitat.

Other Common Names for the Frostfin Cardinal


The Frostfin Cardinal may also be known by other common names, including Hoeven's Cardinalfish, Blue Stripe Cardinalfish, and Yellowstripe Cardinalfish.


Five Compatible Tank Mates for the Frostfin Cardinal

  • Banggai Cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni): Share a similar peaceful temperament.
  • Firefish Goby (Nemateleotris magnifica): Adds vertical interest to the tank.
  • Clownfish (Amphiprion spp.): Complements the cardinal's vibrant colors.
  • Royal Gramma (Gramma loreto): Coexists peacefully and adds diversity.
  • Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis): A beneficial invertebrate for a cleanup crew.

Why Buy from stands out as a reputable source for Frostfin Cardinals due to its commitment to quality and sustainability. Focusing on aquacultured specimens, they conserve marine ecosystems while providing hobbyists with healthy and well-conditioned fish.


In conclusion, the Frostfin Cardinal is a remarkable addition to saltwater aquariums, bringing beauty, tranquility, and a touch of the Indo-Pacific to your home. When sourced from reliable suppliers like, enthusiasts can enjoy the rewarding experience of caring for this captivating species while contributing to the preservation of marine life.

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