Showing posts with label Mandarin Goby. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mandarin Goby. Show all posts


The Plight of the MANDARIN GOBY

English: Synchiropus splendidus, Callionymidae...
Synchiropus splendidus, Callionymidae, Mandarin Dragonet; (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The mandarin dragonet, or its common names, the mandarin goby or the mandarin fish is a very commonly collected species of fish that almost always perish in the holding tanks or in the owners' aquariums. And that is a shame because they do just fine on their own in the wild.

They are given the scientific name Synchiropus Splendidus, probably after the splendid array of colors present on this peaceful and shy fish. They are collected in huge numbers around the Indo-Pacific and are a common sight at most marine aquarium shops around the world.

They are breathtakingly beautiful and have committed the crime of being beautiful and plentiful both at the same time, which is why so many of them are collected every month. As a hobbyist that has had vast experience in the field of marine aquariums, I can safely say that over 95% of these lovely fish die a premature death. And why? Because of their diet.

They require a steady diet of live copepods and similar creatures to live a healthy life in captivity. They are also hard to get on prepared foods like brine or mysis shrimp. Even if you manage to get them to eat frozen foods, there is no way they can compete with their tank mates as they are extremely slow eaters.

Too many times have I seen tanks upon tanks holding hundreds of them ready for export with the knowledge that almost none of them will make it. The price of a specimen? All too low due to their common nature in the wild.

Huge collection and mortality rates will eventually the depletion of wild stocks in our oceans. I wouldn't be surprised to hear the Mandarin Goby listed as an endangered species one day. It could be in 10 years time or it could happen in 50. Point is, it will happen.

Fortunately, there have been successful captive breeding of the mandarin goby by some hobbyists and I am certain their successes can be emulated on a large scale. But there simply isn't enough money in captive-reared mandarin gobies. They are a cheap fish and breeders will have a hard time trying to recoup their costs in this case.

    In the meantime, their collection will continue and they will keep on dying in captivity. The only solution is through educating people about the care and requirements of the Mandarin Goby and its similarly difficult cousin, the Scooter Blenny.
    Hopefully, hobbyists will start reading up on the needs of these lovely creatures and success rates with these fish should increase. More importantly, they need a sustainable captive rearing program for the industry in the long term.
    Article Source: EzineArticles



Photo  by leafbug 
Mandarinfish Synchiropus splendidus, belong to the Callionymidae or dragonet family. They are endemic to the Pacific Ocean. Their native habitat ranges from the Ryukyu Islands to Australia. This bottom-dwelling species is commonly found in sheltered lagoons and inshore reefs.

This is one of the most beautifully colored fish in all of nature. It color palette looks like it came straight from one of the polyester shirts popular in the 70s. A psychedelic montage of oranges, yellows and greens coalescing across a neon blue body make this fish a sure standout in any aquarium. Its vivid coloration evokes the rich color patterns and embroidered adornments on the robes of an Imperial Chinese Mandarin. This coloration makes for ideal camouflage against the brightly colored species typical of a tropical marine reef formation. They are sold under a variety of trade names including striped mandarin fish, mandarin dragnet, striped dragonet, green dragonet, mandarin goby, green mandarin, and even the psychedelic mandarin fish. One would think a species of such exotic magnificence would fetch a hefty price. In reality, these are very affordable fish.

Dragonets account for 10 genera and more than 182 species of the 267 genera and 2,100 species collectively referred to as gobies. Gobies are small fish. A fully grown adult mandarin will only reach between 2.5 and 4 inches in length. This is a mild-mannered creature and should not be housed with more aggressive species or fish large enough to view it as an appetizing snack. In nature, they often commune in small groups. However, in the confines of an aquarium two males may demonstrate territorial behavior toward one another. Keeping a male and a female together will not present a problem. This is a timid fish. Avoid having lots of other bottom dwellers in your community tank. 

The Mandarin is more likely to starve itself to death rather than compete for its food. It will also require plenty of hiding places. This is a suitable candidate for a reef aquarium. It does consume crustaceans but they are much smaller than the ones you would purchase to populate your reef tank. Do not keep them with sea anemones as you may well wake up with one less fish in your aquarium. Mandarins secrete a toxin in their mucous that covers their bodies as a form of protection against predation. However, this toxin will not affect the other members of your aquarium as long as they do not attempt to eat the mandarin.

Mandarinfish are recommended for expert aquarists only. This is specifically because of their specialized diet in nature. This omnivore's diet is largely comprised of amphipods (small shrimp-like crustaceans), copepods (planktonic sized crustaceans), Gastropoda (tiny univalve mollusks) and polychaete worms.

Mandarins will often succumb to a death of malnutrition within the first six months of captivity. Many simply cannot make the transition to life in an aquarium. It is highly recommended that you ask to watch the one you intend to purchase feed before taking it home. Providing plenty of well established live rock and living sand as a substrate will help in the acclimation process.

Despite its troubles adapting to a life of captivity, mandarins are a hardy and highly diseases resistant species. They have scale-less bodies and a skin type that is naturally immune to ichthyophthirius (ich). Mandarins who successfully acclimate to aquarium life are healthy active fish that can easily live in excess of 10 years possibly even as long as 15.

It is relatively easy to sex mandarins. Males are generally larger than females. The male's dorsal fin is more elongated and pointed than that of the females. This fish has been known to breed in captivity.

    Technological advancements in the aquarium industry continually redefine the concept of "home aquarium ownership." Just twenty years ago not even the biggest public aquarium was capable of keeping jellyfish alive in captivity. Now they make desktop Jellyfish Fish Tank Aquariums. And why would you want a jellyfish tank? Perhaps you should check out what the translucent bodies of Pet Moon Jellyfish look like under LED lighting. Pet Jellyfish give a whole new meaning to the term exotic pets.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


DRAGONET - Dragonet Species Overview

The Dragonet family of fish is well represented in the wild yet only a handful of popular species enter the marine business. The biggest of them can reach up to 12 inches in length but most of them reach four to five inches at most. However, most species brought in to the trade rarely grow longer than 4 inches. They are a bottom dwelling fish that are found throughout the Indo-Pacific ocean.

Dragonet - Mandarinfish - Photo: Wikipedia

The most popular species brought into the trade are scooter blennies and the mandarin dragonets. Strangely, they are commonly thought to be blennies or gobies a lot of the time. Fish stores around the world will normally have a few of these fish for sale at any given time.

Most dragonets have a largely triangular head and a mouth structure that is perfectly suited to picking off small crustaceans and worms from the substrate and rock. Dragonets are usually some of the most finicky eaters in the trade.

Their primary food source is the tiny copepod which is only present in sufficient numbers in larger aquariums that have been up un running for at least 6 months. They can be trained to eat prepared foods with some success. Even though they may be feeding prepared foods, they still do require copepods to do well in the long run.

In terms of temperament, dragonets are very peaceful fish that get a long well with a wide variety of tank mates. In kind, they are largely ignored by their tank mates. Housed with large predators that include groupers and moray eels will mean a missing dragonet eventually. They are, however, aggressive towards members of the same species. Two male dragonets will usually harass each other when they cross paths.

The three main species that are common in the trade are the Mandarin Fish (Synchiropus Splendidus), Scooter Blenny (Synchiropus Ocellatus) and the Psychedelic Mandarin (Synchiropus Picturatus). Both types of mandarin dragonets are some of the most uniquely colored fish in the world and are very attractive.

Both types of Mandarin Fish have become very recognized fish within the Dragonet species.

Despite the fact that they are difficult to keep in captivity, they are still being collected from the wild in huge numbers. Because of this, a large majority of them will eventually perish due to lack of proper food. If you do not have a big aquarium that has large copepod population, avoid the dragonets.