splendidus, belong to the Callionymidae or
dragonet family. They are endemic to the Pacific Ocean.
Their native habitat ranges from Ryukyu Islands to Australia.
This bottom dwelling species is commonly
found in sheltered lagoons and inshore reefs.
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This is one of
beautifully colored fish in all of nature. It color
palette looks like it came straight from one of the polyester shirts
the 70s. A
montage of oranges, yellow and greens coalescing across a neon blue
this fish a sure standout in any aquarium. Its vivid coloration evokes
color patterns and embroidered adornments on the robes of an Imperial
Mandarin. This coloration makes for ideal camouflage against the
colored species typical of a tropical marine reef formation. They
are sold under a variety of trade names
mandarinfish, mandarin dragnet, striped dragonet,
green dragonet, mandarin goby, green mandarin, and even the psychedelic
One would think a species of such exotic magnificence would fetch a
price. In reality these are very affordable fish.
genera and more than 182 species of the 267 genera
and 2,100 species collectively referred to as gobies. Gobies are small
fully grown adult mandarin will only reach between 2.5 and 4 inches in
This is a mild mannered creature and should not be housed with more
species or fish large enough to view it as an appetizing snack. In
often commune in small groups. However in the confines of an aquarium
may demonstrate territorial behavior toward one another. Keeping a male
female together will not present a problem.
This is a timid
of other bottom dwellers in your community tank. The
mandarin is more likely to starve itself to
death rather than compete for its food. It will also require plenty of
places. This is a suitable candidate for a reef aquarium. It does
but they are much smaller than the ones you would purchase to populate
reef tank. Do not keep them with sea anemones as you may well wake up
less fish in your aquarium. Mandarins secrete a toxin in their mucous
covers their bodies as a form of protection against predation. However
toxin will not affect the other members of your aquarium as long as
they do not
attempt to eat the mandarin.
are recommended for expert aquarists only. This is specifically because
their specialized diet in nature. This omnivore’s diet is
largely comprised of
amphipods (small shrimp-like crustaceans), copepods (planktonic sized
crustaceans), Gastropoda (tiny univalve mollusks) and polychaete worms.
succumb to a death of malnutrition within the first six
months of captivity. Many simply cannot make the transition to life in
aquarium. It is highly recommended that you ask to watch the one you
purchase feed before taking it home. Providing plenty of well
rock and living sand as a substrate will help in the acclimation
adapting to a life of captivity, mandarins are a hardy
and highly diseases resistant species. They have scale-less bodies and
type that is naturally immune to ichthyophthirius (ich). Mandarins who
successfully acclimate to aquarium life are healthy active fish that
live in excess of 10 years possibly even as long as 15.
It is relatively
sex mandarins. Males are generally larger than
females. The male’s dorsal fin is more elongated and pointed
than that of the
females. This fish has been known to breed in captivity.