Red-Stripe Cardinal

Ostorhinchus margaritophorus

(2 Reviews)

Red-Stripe Cardinal

Red-Stripe Cardinal

Ostorhinchus margaritophorus

(2 Reviews)

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Red-Stripe Cardinal Care Facts

Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Carnivore
Origin: Singapore
Acclimation Time: 1+ hour
Reef Safe: Yes
Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
Max Size: 3 inches

The Red-Stripe Cardinalfish (Ostorhinchus margaritophorus) can be found among shallow lagoons and reefs off of the coast of Singapore. Their body is a white or silver with golden-brown stripes running from their nose to caudal fin. They grow to a maximum size of 4 inches and thrive in small schools. They hide among caves and crevasses during the day and hunt for small crustaceans by night. They are peaceful fish that add a lot of movement to an aquarium. They should be kept in a reef tank with plenty of hiding spaces and should be kept with fish of similar size and temperament. Their diet consists of carnivorous blends, including mysis and krill. 

Keeping the Red Stripe Cardinal (Ostorhinchus margaritophorus) in Your Saltwater Aquarium

The Red Stripe Cardinal (Ostorhinchus margaritophorus), a captivating marine species, makes a remarkable addition to your saltwater aquarium. This concise guide provides essential insights into their habitat, care requirements, and the reasons why acquiring this species from is a prudent choice for hobbyists.

Habitat and Natural Environment for the Red Stripe Cardinal

In the expansive oceans of the Indo-Pacific region, the Red Stripe Cardinal thrives amidst coral reefs, finding solace in the labyrinth of coral branches. These cardinals, often found in groups, prefer the sheltered nooks and crannies of the reef, where they can dart between corals and find refuge.

Red Stripe Cardinal Reef Compatibility and Behavior:

Known for their reef-safe behavior, Red Stripe Cardinals are ideal companions for a mixed reef tank. They seldom display aggression toward other tank mates, making them a suitable choice for community aquariums. Their schooling behavior adds a dynamic and visually appealing aspect to the aquarium environment.

Red Stripe Cardinal Size, Lifespan, and Sexual Dimorphism:

Typically growing to a modest size of around 2 inches, Red Stripe Cardinals exhibit sexual dimorphism, with females being slightly larger and rounder than males. In optimal conditions, these vibrant fish boast a lifespan of several years, providing enthusiasts with enduring joy and fascination.

Red Stripe Cardinal Diet in Captivity:

Maintaining a well-balanced diet is crucial for the health of Red Stripe Cardinals. In captivity, they readily accept high-quality marine pellet or flake foods. Additionally, supplementing their diet with frozen or live brine shrimp and mysis shrimp ensures they receive the essential nutrients for vibrant coloration and overall well-being.

Red Stripe Cardinal Aquaculture and Availability:

At, we are committed to sustainability and responsible aquaculture practices. When available, our Red Stripe Cardinals are often sourced from aquaculture facilities, reducing the impact on wild populations and ensuring a robust and healthy addition to your aquarium. Rest assured, our specimens are meticulously cared for, providing you with a resilient and acclimated fish.

Red Stripe Cardinal Tank Requirements:

To create an optimal environment for your Red Stripe Cardinal, consider a tank size of at least 30 gallons. Adequate hiding spaces, such as live rock formations, mimic their natural habitat and offer security. Maintain stable water parameters with a pH of 8.1-8.4, salinity ranging from 1.020 to 1.025, a water temperature between 72°F and 78°F, and moderate water flow.

Red Stripe Cardinal Juvenile to Adult Coloration Changes:

Juvenile Red Stripe Cardinals exhibit a subdued color palette, gradually intensifying as they mature. The distinct red stripe along their dorsal fin becomes more prominent, complementing the subtle hues that adorn their streamlined bodies.

Red Stripe Cardinal Compatible Tank Mates:

Creating a harmonious community in your aquarium is essential. Red Stripe Cardinals thrive alongside peaceful tank mates such as clownfish, gobies, and other cardinalfish species. Avoid aggressive or territorial species to prevent undue stress.

Why Choose the Red Stripe Cardinal from

At, we take pride in providing ethically sourced and meticulously cared-for marine life. Our Red Stripe Cardinals undergo a comprehensive quarantine process, ensuring they are disease-free and acclimated to aquarium life. By choosing, you invest in the well-being of your aquarium and contribute to sustainable and responsible practices within the marine aquarium hobby. Purchase your Red Stripe Cardinal with confidence, knowing you are acquiring a healthy and vibrant specimen for your saltwater aquarium.

Reviewed by: Joseph Fortini on May 6, 2024

Reviewed by: Crystal Herrin on Dec. 10, 2023

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