The Mandarin Dragonet Fish, more commonly known as the Mandarin Goby or the Mandarin Fish, is one of the prettiest fishes in the sea; its entire body is a beautiful medley of orange, blue and green lines.
Thanks to its beauty, the Mandarin Dragonet Fish is heavily sought-after throughout the Indo-Pacific. Despite its popularity, the Mandarin Dragonet Fish does not survive well in a life of captivity. One of the reasons for this is that the Mandarin Dragonet Fish requires a different type of diet, and most will starve to death if not properly cared for.
A pair of Mandarin Dragonet Fish will go well together if they’re male and female. Try to identify the male Dragonet with its elongated dorsal spines. They generally have a peaceful temperament and will get along well with your other fishes. However, be sure you don’t place them together with other Dragonet or Mandarin fishes like the Psychedelic Dragonet or the Scooter Dragonet as they tend to show some hostility toward these species.
If you want to keep a pair of Mandarin Dragonet Fish, you’ll need to carefully consider your aquarium tank. The ideal size is a minimum 75-gallon tank per mandarin, with lots of live rocks. There is a good reason for this – the Mandarin Dragonet fish does not enjoy prepared fish food as they are carnivores, and in the ocean, they skim the rocks for small crustaceans to eat. You could overcome this problem by making sure your aquarium tank is full of copepods, which the Mandarin Dragonet Fish will feed upon. Remember that any fish tank smaller than the recommended size cannot breed the number of copepods that a pair of Mandarin Dragonet Fish would need, and they will die in a matter of weeks.
Another solution is to train your Mandarin Dragonet Fish to accept prepared foods. Start by feeding them live brine shrimp mixed with frozen artemia. Then scale back on the amount of live brine shrimp you use. Be sure to feed nutritious foods like mysis shrimp and krill.
If you want to see the Mandarin Dragonet Fish here in Bali, book a snorkeling or diving trip with Blue Season Bali for the best possible experience.