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Green Mandarin Goby

 
The Green Mandarin, also known as the Psychedelicfish or Picturesque Dragonet, has a tan body, with dark green spots edged with orange and lighter green. They are primarily bottom dwellers, searching the sand bed for...


Scientific Name Synchiropus splendidus


Common Names Green Mandarinfish, Striped Mandarinfish, Green Mandarin, Mandarinfish


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I love this fish!! featured

Comments I keep dragonets, and I say dragonets, as I have several. I have two scooters, 2 of these green spots, and a psychadelic mandarin. They do great in my system and are alot of fun to watch, as they constantly search for their next pod to eat.


Liked about it They are beautiful fish, and are pretty peaceful to the other species in the tank. I tried, when getting them, to do pairs. If any of them get in the same area of the tank, they will dance around, and show agression towards each other, which is fun to watch. the male has a lrge dorsal fin, and will prance around the female to show off. They will "fight" with the other dragonets, although, they never cause any harm to each other in their fights. I bought them when they were pretty small, and they have grown rather slowly. They did have the sunken bellies of a fish that was very hungry. I had a big pod population that was quickly wiped out. They gained weight, but I started to notice them getting skinny again. So, I went to livecopepods.com, and restocked my 100 gallon with 400 gallons worth of pods, and now.. these guys are FAT!!!!!! And there are still plenty of pods to go around. I keep a cleaner wrasse, that really enjoys the pods too. If you are willing to monitor and add to your pod population, these guys are a great add to your system.


Didn't like You will spend hardly anything on the fish, but you'll spend alot on seeding your tank with pods. I also believe that this fish will not do well UNLESS you have a live refugium, and a plentiful pod population. I turn on my fuge light, and can see multitudes of pods, so I know my dragonets have a food source. This is not a "dislike" as I love watching my pods.. but a warning to somebody that buys this fish, and wants it to survive. Its definitely not a beginners fish, even with the low price tag.


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By derailone76@yaho
Apr 10, 2011
 
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Way more difficult then you may realize featured

Comments This is a beautiful fish that you can watch for hours on end. It was very easy to acclimate and was non aggresive to anything else in my tank. I had one of these fish in my 75g w/ 30g sump and 20g refugium. The tank was established for over a year and pods were introduced regularly to make sure I had an adequate population. Well it took him less than a year to decimate the pod population.For about 7 months my mandarin just got fatter and fatter then all of a sudden I seen him dropping weight. After a week or so of investigation I noticed that I really wasn't seeing pods in my dt anymore so I tried to seed from my refugium on a regular basis and I just couldn't keep up with him. After a couple months of trying I ended up moving him to my friends 300g with 150g sump/fuge and he seems to be doing better again. Some people can get the mandarin to take other food but its not something you should count on.


Liked about it Very beautiful fish especially for the price.
Non aggressive
Fun to watch in the dt


Didn't like The only dislike is its feeding habits. It will eat you pods untill they are gone and if you can't keep up then its eventually gonna starve.


Overall rating:
 
3.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
2.0

By Dnazta
Nov 27, 2010
 
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Great fish that I never recommend someone get featured

Comments Because of the unique and attractive appearance of this fish, many aquarists want one but the fact is, few are set up to properly care for it. The main problem is feeding. Though some aquarists have luck getting them to take prepared foods, most mandarins will only eat live stuff like amphipods. In many tanks the mandarin will eat all of them, then starve. They are also not very aggressive feeders so if you have one that does eat prepared foods it is likely to be out competed by other fish.

Because of the above, these fish are usually already in poor shape when they arrive at the fish store and generally do poorly even with careful acclimation.

They are great in a species tank, a very large reef tank with a good population of amphipods, or if kept by an aquarist willing to grow their food in a farm tank, or spend the money to buy large amounts of them, which is possible via the Internet.


Liked about it 1. Very attractive fish.
2. Non-aggressive
3. Affordable


Didn't like 1. Specialized diet means not likely to survive or will take lots of work on part of aquarist to grow the food it needs or buy it.
2. Usually emaciated upon purchase.


Overall rating:
 
3.5
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
2.0

By tcamos
Sep 27, 2010
 
Last updated: October 04, 2010
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The humming bird of the reef featured

General DO NOT get unless you have a well established tank, I would recommend that your tank has been running for at least one year. Also do not get if you have any other pod eating fish, i.e. a six line wrasse. I call the mandarin dragonet the humming bird of the sea. The fish is exquisitely beautiful, one of the most gorgeous fish out there imho. It is also subject to starvation and death in the majority of their glass cages, due to unestablished systems. They will decimate the pod population in an amazingly short amount of time.

I have had mine for over a year and almost lost him due to starvation because a six line decided that the mandarin needed to stay in one corner of my 90 gallon. I eventually evicted the six line to my nano so the mandarin could forage for pods in peace. Happily he has rebounded well.

Check out Melevs reef to get some ideas on training them to eat frozen or pellets. It can be done, I did it with mine. And now the pod population has rebounded as well and the mandarin is getting nice and plump.


Liked about it Beautiful
peaceful
entrancing to watch


Didn't like six line wrasses do not play well


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By Kyuss
Jun 14, 2009
 
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beauty has its price featured

General i love this fish because it is so unique in so many ways. now understand right off the bat, you must have a very well established tank (6 months or more) to treat this fish with the respect it deserves. you need to have a large tank with plenty of live rock for keeping pods alive and plenty of hiding places. this fish is very timid and will hide when you approach the tank. however, if you view the tank from 2-5 feet away you can move around and it'll stay in view. or, you can sit by the tank and remain still and it'll come out. when you see it you'll enjoy the one-of-a-kind colorations and its unique for of "swimming" this hummingbird under water. this fish can maneuver forward, backward, left right even upside down and stop on a dime in the strongest of steady currents. you will need to plan on supplementing you pods population in the tank between 1-3 weeks, i use tigerpods which cost me about $20 every 2 weeks. pricey for some, so they create pod farms to supplement with. do not keep this fish with more aggressive pod eater like wrasses as it will quickly starve. keep an eye on the belly to make sure it looks plump at all times, it's located right behind the pectoral fins.


Liked about it striking color, challenge of keeping a "difficult" fish, unique motion in tank


Didn't like supplementing pods ($$)


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By Salty O'Shen
Apr 28, 2009
 
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cool fish, but not for the novice

Comments Mandarin fish are very unique additions to almost any reef tank, as they're dynamic coloration and interesting personality are sure to grab anyone's attention. These fish are small and personable, but don't be fooled into thinking they're easy fish to keep. Most of these fish end up starving in captivity, as they are unlikely to accept prepared foods or other captive diets. Unless you have a large aquarium with many pounds of live rock (common recommendation is about 75 pounds of rock per mandarin to allow proper pod population sustenance) you're better off leaving these at the store. That said, there have been recent efforts to breed these fish in captivity, and ORA has announced that captive bred fish will be available in the summer of 2010. If this is the case, these fish are much more likely to survive in smaller tanks due to their being raised on a captive diet.


Liked about it These are beautiful fish that are generally peaceful to all others in the tank (with the exception of a non-mated pair of their own kind). I do prefer the target mandarin's coloration. The don't require a lot of space if you can provide the right food for them, and they're relatively inexpensive and readily available in most areas. Staying under about 4 inches, these fish don't add a lot of bioload to the tank, and they do help control some pest populations (such as fireworms and possible flatworms). If you can find a captive bred fish, all the better, as that helps reduce the demand of wild caught animals and increases your chances for long-term success with a mandarin.


Didn't like Going back to their dietary needs, that's probably the one thing that clicks over to the negative column of these fish. Many folks have bought a mandarin without fully appreciating the challenge it can be to get them to eat. As a result, many of these fish have simply died in captivity due to starvation.


Overall rating:
 
4.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
3.0

By crvz
May 31, 2010
 
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Expert only fish that should only be kept in large mature systems.

Comments These are one of the most amazing fish out there, they are cheap and beautiful. Unfortunately too many people buy them not knot their requirements. Mandarins will almost never eat prepared foods and can decimate a tanks pod population quickly. At that point they usually starve to death. Although these fish require a relatively small tank it takes a large tank to sustain their feeding requirements. Please no not consider this fis for anything less than 100 gallons that has been setup for at least a year. I love this fish but will never own another.


Liked about it Color and patterns on this fish are just amazing.
This fish is usually out and about looking for food.
Gets along with all other fish.
This is usually an affordable fish.


Didn't like Too many of these fish die in tanks that cannot support them.


Overall rating:
 
3.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
1.0

By ckusnierek
May 18, 2010
 
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Beautiful Fish

Comments This is an awesome addition to any salt water tank. Its colors and patterns are truly one of a kind. I have yet to see one of these fish eat any kind of flake food or frozen food. They are constantly grazing at the live rock and the substrate. These guys need a good amount of copepods to feed off of. Some people like to build little "pod piles" to transfer from refugium to their display tank for easy feeding of the mandarin.


Liked about it Here are a couple of things I liked about this fish.
1. I like the coloration and the pattern of their bodies.
2. I like the unique way they swim
3. I like how they stay small for the most part.


Didn't like The only thing I could see that would steer some people from these guys is the fact that you have to buy or have a healthy establishment of copepods.


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By 9erNation
Apr 28, 2010
 
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Prettiest fish there is!!

Comments This is a fish for an established tank only. Since they eat copepods, you must have a good source of live food for them. Many people find them hard to keep because they try to get one too early and find themselves having to seed their tank a lot. But if you do it right and make sure you have a suitable tank for these guys you are in for a great treat! This beautiful fish has been one of our favorites since we began and are glad to finally have one. Ours is seen all over the tank and rarely ever hides, so we are always getting to see the beautiful colors!


Liked about it Love the coloration!
Great to watch and interesting swimming patterns
Very peaceful
Hardy, if your tank is ready for it.


Didn't like wish they ate frozen food too so we could have had one sooner, but no complaints here!!


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By andbob25
Apr 17, 2010
 
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Hard to feed

Comments Very hard to care for. Very active.


Liked about it Awesome personality. Beautiful.


Didn't like These fish are very hard to keep fed. What they really need is a huge tank that has been running for a year with a stable copepod population.


Overall rating:
 
1.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
1.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
1.0

By peasofme
Nov 25, 2009
 
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Mandarins are not for the cheap

General Okay, so the mandarin has a bad rap. people will tell you they're hard to keep. I don't agree. what is hard to to is to have a small tank that can supply them with enough food that you won't have to feed them. the truth it, they will tend to only eat live animals in your tank...small ones called copepods. if you cannot keep enough pods in your tank or refugium you'll need to buy them. i spend about $20 for a bottle of them every month. but to me it's worth the money to have this beautiful fish and give it what it needs to be healthy.


Liked about it striking color, unique swimming style


Didn't like buying pods


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By Salty O'Shen
Jun 19, 2009
 
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The helocopter

General This is an amazing fish! However it is not the very easy to feed. You must have a tank of at least 75-90 gal that is established and a farm of pods in order to keep this fish. If there is another member of the tank that will also be eating the pods add this fish with caution. However if you can keep this fish alive you are in for a treat there is nothing like them. They have almost a helocopter motion and can move in any direction. Amazing fish but be sure you can meet its requirements or this is not for you.


Liked about it Awesome color, the movement of the fish is amazing.


Didn't like Difficult to feed must requires pods its natural diet in order to survive.


Overall rating:
 
2.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
3.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
1.0

By quick_murdoc
May 20, 2009
 
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A Word Of Caution!

Comments I've been into saltwater tanks for over 15yrs now and several times Ive tried these fish and I must say the odds are against anyone trying these fish.I would not recomend these fish to any beginner. I truly feel to stand a chance you need a large established tank with plenty of live rock and even then its going to be a toss up.


Liked about it I love the color They mind their own business love the way they hover.


Didn't like very difficult to keep. Hard time getting them to eat.


Overall rating:
 
1.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
1.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
1.0

By partobe
Jul 31, 2009
 
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Worth it....

General The pods are hard to keep up with. I buy pods monthly from LFS. I upgraded to a 120gal JUST to have this fish. I'd suggest this fish to serious reef keepers.


Liked about it Most beautiful of all fish, IMHP.


Overall rating:
 
4.5
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
4.0

By reefer.madness
Jul 05, 2009
 
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a majestic fish

General Do not get one unless you have an established tank. this fish feeds on pods . It never stops grazing around the tank. the best way to raise the pods is to have a refuge so its not so expensive. not a starter fish, but once in the established tank will do great


Liked about it this fish is so active its always all over the rocks it has the coolest swim patterns. you will sit an watch for hours. they are a very colorful fish.


Didn't like love fish


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By clowninaround
Jun 06, 2009
 
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BEAUTIFUL FISH

General This fish is simply beautiful. Please make sure you have an established tank with plenty of live rock for copepods. I currently have on in my 125 gallon set-up with 300 Lbs of live rock and he is doing excellent. If you have and established tank and plenty of rock you will enjoy this fish for a very long time.


Liked about it Beautiful coloration, fun to watch eat, very fascinating


Didn't like NEEDS A TON OF PODS


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By CoonValleyCorals May 03, 2009
 
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Green Mandarin

General If you plan on getting one. make sure your tank is established and 55 gallons or bigger or it will starve


Liked about it nothing really. it hid. didnt do much.


Didn't like It died way to quickly. i dosed the tank with pods everyday. still died in 4 days.


Overall rating:
 
3.5
Overall satisfaction:
 
3.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
4.0

By quader94
Apr 19, 2009
 
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