By Bob Goemans
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Apogon quadrisquamatus

Longley, 1934

Sawcheek Cardinalfish

Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Western Atlantic Ocean: Southern Florida, Bahamas to northern South America.

Size: 3 inches (7 cm)

Natural Environment: Inhabits coral, sandy, and rubble bottom areas and sometimes found in tube sponges and near anemones. Usually found at depths between 3 – 250 feet (1 – 75 m) where it feeds on small fishes and crustaceans/zooplankton during evening hours.

General Husbandry: Rarely seen in the trade with this hardy species having a pinkish body.

Best maintained fish-only aquariums with subdued lighting, yet can also be maintained in reef aquariums, with both having several rocky caves/hiding areas. If maintained with moderately aggressive tankmates, will remain in hiding during daylight hours and may not get its fair share of the food when the aquarium is fed. If maintained with peaceful tankmates, will spend a good portion of its time in the aquarium open areas.

As to diet, products such as marine fish and crustacean flesh, clams, and other marine meaty foods should be enriched and finely chopped and fed several times daily. Depending upon the environment in which its maintained, the best time of the day to feed are early morning and evening hours.


    Order: Perciformes

    Suborder: Percoidei

    Family: Apogonidae

    Subfamily: Apogoninae

    Genus: Apogon

FYI: Best maintained in groups of five or more and possibly, if the aquarium environment will allow it, a Condylactis gigantean anemone, as they are at home with this species in the wild.

Their diet should contain a color enhancer, such as Spirulina, as their color tends to fade in captivity.

A threat to small tankmates, shrimp, and small worms/feather dusters.

    Experience Level: Beginner

    Temperament: Peaceful

    Diet: Carnivore

    Coral Safe: Yes

    Fish Safe: With caution

    Invertebrate Safe: With caution

    Acclimation Time: 30 minutes+

    Aquarium Environment: Reef or fish-only aquarium

    Tankmates: Peaceful

    Minimum Tank Size: 30+ gallons

    Temperature Range: 72 - 82°F (22 – 28°C)

    Specific Gravity: 1.020 - 1.026

    pH: 8.0 - 8.5

 Apogon quadrisquamatus (Sawcheek Cardinalfish)
Photo © John Randall
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Eco Tech Marine