These little beauties are one of my favorite fish, so I decided to do a profile on them!
Common Names: Mandarinfish, Mandarin Dragonet
Scientific Name: Synchiropus splendidus
Mandarin Dragonets are often mistaken for gobies, which they look very similar to due to their body shape and size. They can be found from Japan to Australia.
Mandarin Dragonets are considered difficult to keep because of their demanding and specific diets. They eat mostly fish eggs, copepods, gastropods, and small worms.
Some Mandarinfish are picky and will only eat certain foods in the wild, never learning to adjust to aquarium standards. They must also be removed from a tank and put in a smaller, empty one for feeding, as males are territorial and aggressive towards each other, especially around food.
Feeding these fish is the hardest part about keeping them. A slightly more strenuous method is to get a good population of copepods going in your tank, and the Mandarin Dragonets will have a constant food supply, no feeding time needed.
You can also train your fish to eat Artemia and other frozen foods. Simply feed them live brine shrimp, then add Artemia with the frozen brine shrimp, decrease the frozen brine shrimp and increase the Artemia, and so on.
Tank Size and Requirements:
The Mandarin Dragonet must have a minimum tank size of 75 gallons per fish. They can grow up to 4 inches long, and are very peaceful (when not kept with other males) saltwater community fish. They do best when kept in male-female pairs, although you may end up with some eggs.
Mandarin Dragonets have been bred in captivity, though it is rather difficult. Your tank will need live phytoplankton and brine shrimp cultures.
So that was a short and sweet guide on Mandarin Dragonets! Hope you liked it, and if you’d like me to add anything, just tell me in comments!