Target/Spotted Mandarin Dragonet (Synchiropus picturatus)
Max Size: 3 inches
Reef Compatible: Yes
Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
The Spotted Mandarin, also known as the Spotted Mandarinfish, Psychedelic Mandarinfish, Psychedelic Fish, or Picture Dragonet, was initially discovered by Peters in 1976 in the Western Pacific Ocean. This species exhibits a mesmerizing combination of blue, orange, and black spots on a green base, adorning its head, fins, and body. Male individuals can be differentiated from females by their elongated first dorsal spine.
To provide suitable conditions for the Spotted Mandarin, it is recommended to house them in an aquarium with a capacity of at least 30 gallons, featuring live substrate and ample hiding places. When kept in a reef aquarium, they are moderately hardy, but require special care. While generally non-aggressive towards other fish, they may exhibit aggression towards their own species.
Interestingly, the Spotted Mandarin has been known to successfully reproduce in aquarium settings. As for their dietary requirements, it is important to offer a varied selection of live, vitamin-enriched brine shrimp and live black worms. They will also feed on natural prey found in live rock and live sand.