Pajama Cardinal - South Pacific

Sphaeramia nematoptera

(11 Reviews)

Pajama Cardinal - South Pacific

Pajama Cardinal - South Pacific

Sphaeramia nematoptera

(11 Reviews)

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Care Facts

Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Carnivore
Reef Safe: Yes
Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
Max Size: 4 inches
The Pajama Cardinal, Sphaeramia nematoptera, has a greenish yellow front half, divided by a black band in the middle of their body, followed by a spotted or polka dot dorsal region that is an off-white color with vibrant red-orange spots and elongated forked fins. They hardy and a great choice for a beginner. Since they are very peaceful and social fish, they are best kept in a peaceful reef tank and can even be kept in schools if the tank is large enough. Cardinals are reef safe and will not bother any corals or inverts present in the tank. Though they are slower swimmers which makes them slower eaters as well. Diet should include a variety of live or frozen mysis or vitamin enriched brine shrimp, 2-3 times daily.

Unveiling the Charm of the Pajama Cardinal (Sphaeramia nematoptera) in Saltwater Marine Aquariums

Habitat and Distribution

The Pajama Cardinal (Sphaeramia nematoptera) is a delightful and peaceful species that can grace saltwater marine aquariums with its vibrant colors and graceful presence. With its striking appearance and calm demeanor, the Pajama Cardinal has become a favorite among marine enthusiasts. This article will delve into various aspects of the Pajama Cardinal, including its habitat, reef compatibility, size, lifespan, diet, aquaculture potential, compatibility, temperament, suitable tank mates, tank requirements, water conditions, other common names, and compatible tank mates. Additionally, we will explore why acquiring the Pajama Cardinal from is wise for marine enthusiasts.

Reef Compatibility

The Pajama Cardinal is reef safe and considered a peaceful species that does not harm corals or other invertebrates. They can comfortably coexist in a reef environment.

Size and Lifespan

This cardinalfish typically reaches a length of around 2.5 inches (6.5 cm). They can live for several years with proper care, adding beauty to your marine aquarium.


The Pajama Cardinal is an omnivore, primarily feeding on zooplankton, small crustaceans, and other small prey in the wild. They can be fed various high-quality frozen foods, pellets, and live offerings in captivity.

Aquaculture Potential

The Pajama Cardinal is readily available in the aquarium trade, and many specimens are captive-bred, reducing the impact on wild populations and supporting sustainable practices.

Compatibility and Temperament

Pajama Cardinals are known for their peaceful temperament, making them an excellent choice for community aquariums.

Suitable Tank Mates

Royal Gramma (Gramma loreto): Peaceful and colorful, the Royal Gramma can coexist harmoniously with Pajama Cardinals.

Dottybacks (e.g., Orchid Dottyback): Some dottyback species can be compatible tank mates, adding color and diversity to the aquarium.

Firefish (Nemateleotris spp.): These peaceful and captivating fish can make suitable companions for Pajama Cardinals.

Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis): These symbiotic crustaceans can provide practical and aesthetic benefits to the tank.

Hawkfish (e.g., Flame Hawkfish): Certain hawkfish species can coexist with Pajama Cardinals, creating an exciting and vibrant tank.

Tank Requirements and Water Conditions

The Pajama Cardinal thrives in a well-maintained aquarium with plenty of hiding spots and swimming space. Proper filtration, regular water changes, and appropriate water parameters are essential to their well-being.

Other Common Names

In addition to the name "Pajama Cardinal" or "Sphaeramia nematoptera," this species is also known as the "Spotted Cardinalfish" or "Red Spotted Cardinalfish."

Why Choose

Obtaining the Pajama Cardinal from offers numerous advantages. Their commitment to sustainable and ethical practices ensures you receive healthy and responsibly sourced specimens. provides comprehensive information about each fish, aiding in informed decision-making based on your tank's requirements. With a range of options, exceptional customer support, and a seamless purchasing process, guarantees a smooth and enjoyable experience for marine enthusiasts.

The Pajama Cardinal (Sphaeramia nematoptera) is a peaceful and captivating addition to saltwater marine aquariums. Its stunning colors and tranquil behavior make it a desirable species among marine enthusiasts. By creating a suitable environment and selecting compatible tank mates, aquarists can enjoy the elegance and charm of these captivating cardinalfish in their underwater havens. When considering the acquisition of this remarkable species, choosing ensures a reliable and ethical source that prioritizes the health and well-being of marine life. The Pajama Cardinal can become a beloved centerpiece in any saltwater marine aquarium with proper care and attention.

Reviewed by: Mark Ernstrom on Feb. 25, 2024

I ordered size large so they would match the one Pajama Cardinal I had and they were bigger than I expected. Arrived healthy and ready for the tank.

Reviewed by: Tim Bunk on Feb. 25, 2024

Cardinals are probably the most peaceful fish out there. I was very surprised when I received this one. He was the biggest cardinal I have ever seen. He was the largest fish in the tank that housed him. Bigger and still friendly. Good thing about when they are larger, they don’t get picked on.

Reviewed by: Dale Pichelmayer on Feb. 25, 2024

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