Life of Sea |Mandarin Fish (Synchiropus splendidus) | The Mandarin fish is the most beautiful member of the genus Synchiropus. It is also one of the most breathtaking marine fish ever found in our oceans. It looks more like an intricate painting that a fish does, her entire body is composed of alternating wavy lines of orange, blue and green. While they are commonly known as the Mandarin goby fish, they're real name is Mandarin Dragonet. It is similar to the Scooter Blenny (Synchiropus Occelatus). The mandarin fish is from the Pacific, ranging approximately from the Ryukyu Islands south to Australia.
Species: S. splendidus
The Mandarin fish can simply not be confused with another fish. It has perhaps the most attractive color and pattern of reef fish commonly kept. The scale-less body of the fish is a blue or green color, orange wavy lines on it. The tail is bright red with blue edges. Other colors can be found in the pattern too. These fish are sometimes psychedelic fish because of the rather bizarre colors. The male Mandarin is usually larger than the female and has a large pointed dorsal fin that is rarely shown. They are found in pairs or groups, often on sandy bottoms between reef tops.
Mandarin fish are reef dwellers prefer sheltered lagoons and reefs. While slowly moving and quite often within their reach, they are not easily seen because of their bottom-feeding habit and their small size (reaching only about 6 cm). They feed mainly on small crustaceans and other invertebrates. Mandarin fish is one of the most popular fish, but they are unfortunately one of the most likely to perish in the average reef tank. The reason for this is their very picky eating habits. Many mandarins eat copepods and amphipods living alone (pods) which are found in sufficient numbers only in larger, established reef tanks. The minimum required tank is generally listed as 55 liters or more with 50 pounds of live rock. It is based on feeding requirements and not the space requirements as the Mandarin is a very slow, docile fish. Perhaps more important than the tank is heavily fed and nutrient rich a tank, since this type of tank will generally support a higher population than pod tanks operate under more lean conditions.
Nutrition can be a big problem with Mandarin fish. Some will take food like frozen brine shrimp and bloodworms. Others will refuse to do anything but live food to take. Mandarins are extremely slow and hover like a hummingbird using their fins, while looking for food. Even Mandarin fish that take prepared food to have a hard time competing with faster fish for snacks. One suggestion especially in smaller tanks that do not support a large group of people is to build a 'pod pile'. This is a few small stones stacked in a pile in which small pieces of shrimp or similar food can be added every few days. This pile of rocks provides shelter and food for the pods, which enables them to quickly provide food and nest in Mandarin fish.
Mandarin fish are breding in captivity. They are pelagic brothers, both male and female standing in the water column release eggs and sperm. The rearing of larvae is a difficult job to live rotifers, live brine shrimp and phytoplankton cultures required. Breeders Guide covers all popular marine fish species such as mandarin dragonet. Covers larvae collection techniques, quality of water and live food. Basically everything needed for a successful breeder.
Mandarin fish are peaceful fish suitable for community tanks. They are only aggressive towards conspecifics, that is, tangerine and other dragonets like the psychedelic and the scooter dragonet dragonet's diaper. If you want a pair of mandarin, buy a male and female and put them together. The first dorsal spine on men is very long and is clearly visible. Females lack the elongated back.