They may look the same, but captive bred and wild-caught Green Mandarin Dragonets are different for many reasons. When it comes down to deciding which is better, the captive-bred kind is definitely it. Keep reading to find out why. Diet The biggest difference between captive-bred Green Mandarin Dragonets and specimens that are collected from the …
The mandarin fishes (Synchiropus spp.) are highly sought after fishes in the marine ornamental fish hobby. Some of this may come from their seemingly carefree attitude that they emanate as they slowly and haphazardly scoot across the tank floor in search of food. Some may also come from their delicate, softly fluttering finnage. But for sure, their enduring popularity owes mainly to the bold colors and patterns.
The popularity–and very common presence–of these beautiful animals in the trade might suggest that they are always easy-to-care-for, “bulletproof” species. Nothing could be further from the truth; to the contrary, they have utterly broken many hopeful aquarists’ hearts.
While not particularly sensitive to water conditions or demanding about its physical environment, the mandarin fish is notoriously picky about its food. Though a technical omnivore (examination of gut contents of wild specimens reveals a diet ranging from tiny worms to baby snails), it strongly prefers microcrustaceans such as copepods. Dead items, or especially heavily processed items (i.e. pellets) are very often ignored. The result, eventually, is starvation and death.
Well-meaning aquarists, who desperately wish to keep this attractive creature, take false assurance (from the few pods they see on their glass) that they have sufficient amounts of live food present. However, after a short while of targeting the larger (reproductive) individuals, the fish depletes its food source to its own demise.
Fortunately, two fairly recent developments have greatly increased one’s odds of success at keeping healthy mandarins: The availability of captive bred specimens as well as the availability of replenishment feed stock (especially live copepods). The green mandarin (S. splendidus) has in particular become quite easy to acquire as captive bred, and is notably less finicky than its wild brethren (it can sometimes even be trained to accept supplemental feedings of prepared fare).
In this section, you will learn all about the behavior and biology of this magnificent little fish as well as how to care for one of your very own.
I should have done this! I should have done that! Throughout your experience in the saltwater aquarium and reef hobby, you will be finding yourself commonly saying these things. Maybe you did not dip your corals, or you bought the wrong additives, or maybe you added a fish without properly preparing your tank. This fish …
For so many aquarists, the green mandarin fish (Synchiropus splendidus) is a must-have species. Its endearing personality, exquisite finnage and intense coloration rarely fail to impress. Given these highly desirable traits, it has for long been among the most popular marine aquarium fishes. Thus, many thousands of specimens of this species are sold in the …