Zoramia leptacantha
Source: Oceanreef.dk - Kasper Hareskov Tygesen
Zoramia leptacantha
Source: JJPhoto.dk
Zoramia leptacantha
Source: JJPhoto.dk
Zoramia leptacantha
Source: JJPhoto.dk
Zoramia leptacantha
Source: Oceanreef.dk - Kasper Hareskov Tygesen
Zoramia leptacantha
Source: Oceanreef.dk - Kasper Hareskov Tygesen


Latin name Zoramia leptacantha - (Bleeker, 1856)
Common name Threadfin cardinalfish
Family Apogonidae - Zoramia
Origin East Indian Ocean, West Indian Ocean, Australia, Japan, The Red Sea, Indonesia, East Pacific, Central/West Pacific
Max length 6.0 cm (2.4")

As aquarium fish

Minimum volume 100 l (26 gal)
Hardiness Average
Suitable for aquarium Suitable for most aquarium
Reef safe Always reef safe
Aggressiveness Docile


  • Zooplankton (Cyclops, pods...)
  • Small crustaceans (Krill, mysis, artemia...)

Small aquaria

This species can be kept in a small tank, if it is specifically equipped to meet its needs.

It is recommended however, to keep it in an aquarium which is larger then described above.


This species is very shy and docile, so one should be careful when keeping it with more aggressive fish.

Hiding amongst stony corals

This species likes to hide in and amongst the branches of corals, e.g. Acropora coral and

 will also do well if they can find other hiding places.

Thrives best in groups

This species thrives best if it is kept in a group of five or more individuals.

Hides in sea urchin spines

This species, on occasion, likes to hide in the spines of Diadema sea urchins.


Also known as Apogon leptacanthus.

These fish have blue markings on their sides, but there is some variation in how clear these are.

Family description (Apogonidae)

Cardinalfish come in many different shapes and colours, generally they are well suited for aquaria.

Cardinalfish have a large mouth and a big appetite, take this into account with feeding  the other fish. These fish typically live off of Artemia, Mysis and krill. In the aquarium they will eat anything they can.

They will sometimes eat small shrimps and fish, so do be aware of this, but it is not normally a problem.

It is possible to keep several species together, if space allows. Some species will form  small shoals. They are normally peaceful towards other fish, but will sometimes fight among themselves if there isn't sufficient space or food.

Many species are nocturnal and will therefore often seek a hiding place during the day. This can be between stones, SPS corals and, in some cases, in an anemone and between spines of Sea urchins.

Cardinalfish are a good choice if ones wishes to attempt to start a breeding tank.


Aquarium trade Yes
Distribution Indo-Pacific: Red Sea and Mozambique Island (Ref. 4329) to Samoa and Tonga, north to Ryukyu Islands, south to New Caledonia; throughout Micronesia.
English common names Threadifn cardinalfish, Threadfin cardinalfish, Long-spine cardinalfish

References and further reading

About references

Scott W. Michael. 2001. Basslets, Dottybacks & Hawkfishes: v. 2 (Reef Fishes) - TFH Publications / Microcosm Ltd. - (English)
Bob Fenner. Cardinalfishes, Family Apogonidae, Pt. 1Pt. 2 - Wet Web Media - (English)

Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2014. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (08/2014).


docile shy, nano small aquarium, shoal group, cardinal
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