The Mandarin Fish is a tropical saltwater fish generally found in the Indo-Pacific Ocean. They are considered one of the most ornate fish in the entire world. Unfortunately, Mandarin Fish are difficult to keep in aquariums for several reasons. Therefore, before introducing Mandarin Fish into your saltwater aquarium environment, it is imperative that certain precautions be taken.
Mandarin Fish have several different common names, including Mandarin Goby, Mandarin Fish, and Mandarin Dragonet, among others. Their scientific name is Sychiropus splendidus, a combination of words with both Greek and Latin origins, which, translated literally, mean “splendid together.”
While it may not be easy to identify or recognize a Mandarin Fish based on its name alone, it is very easily identified and recognized by its stunning appearance. All Mandarin Fish have brightly colored bodies that contain color patterns of orange, blue, and green. These colors are intensified by black outlines that not only enhance the colors, but also give Mandarin Fish the appearance of having tattoos.
The primary reason that some Mandarin Fish do not readily adapt to aquarium environments is because they easily starve. This is due to the fact that they are highly accustomed to eating certain foods in the wild, and some of them are not able to acclimate to aquarium life and food. If certain tank precautions are not taken, many Mandarin Fish will starve within a matter of weeks in this type of environment.
In order not to inadvertently starve a Mandarin Fish in an aquarium, then, it is necessary to make sure the tank is large enough and includes enough of a reef habitat. Mandarin Fish usually graze on the algae found on live coral as well as some small crustaceans. They are shy, small fish that swim slowly and are generally quite peaceful in a community environment.
It is a good idea to include a pair of Mandarin Fish rather than an individual or small group when introducing them to an aquarium. Two males will often be aggressive to one another, so a male and a female represent the ideal addition.
Mandarin Fish are quite unique in both their appearance and behavior. For this reason, they are one of the most popular types of tropical fish. While introducing them to an aquarium environment can be difficult, it is not impossible. Taking care to make sure the tank is large enough to provide ample swimming space and hiding places, along with providing the special dietary needs of the Mandarin Fish will ensure the most optimal environment for preventing starvation.