Spotted Mandarin

Spotted Mandarin

The Spotted Mandarin definitely one of the more colourful and interesting marine fish to look at in the current marine industry. Its body is green and is covered ina psychedelic range of black, orange and blue spots. 

In order to keep this fish thriving in your marine aquarium, it is important to firstly have an aquarium of at least 100 litres, preferably with a variety of live rock for hiding within and live sand for scouting across. Though, many think this fish is extremely delicate and hard to care for, if housed for correctly it can actually be very hardy and long lived in captivity. Additionally, this fish is very peaceful towards other tank mates, however with housed with the same family it can become aggressive towards it. 

Similar to its family members, this dragonet will also perch upon live rock, browse upon the sand, hide within caves and continuously be on the hunt for live copepods that live within your live rock. Some aquarists have had great success in adding live copepods if they have had a problem in feeding the mandarin organically. 

The mandarin may originally only feed on live copepods, however as it begins to settle in, it will begin to feed on brine shrimp and other foods found within the sand and on live rock. 

Minimum Tank Size100 Litres
Care Level: Difficult
Temperament: Peaceful
Reef Compatible: Yes
Water Conditions: 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
Max. Size: 4"
Colour Form: Black, Blue, Green, Orange
Diet: Carnivore
Family: Callionymidae
Origin: Indo-Pacific

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Easy to Care For
Easy to Feed
Peaceful with Others
Reef Safe
Invertebrate Safe

  1. I have been keeping this species off and on for about 20 years. I believe all Mandarin fish are easy to keep. Their only requirement is a well-established tank. In my 70-gallon set up, they don’t even need to be fed. They hunt copepods and amphipods in the sand and rock all day. The most important factor in success, other than the tank, is a healthy animal to start with. Avoid fish with depressed abdomens. Mandarin fish are usually well tolerated by other fish. They are famous for not tolerating each other.

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