Green Mandarin Aquarium Care, Feeding and Native Habitat Information
Green Mandarin Dragonets or as they are also commonly referred to as Striped Mandarinfish or Green Mandarinfish have a very unusual pattern of colors that has made them a popular aquarium fish species. While this species is very beautiful, it does have some special care requirements including excellent water conditions and a live food source of copepods and amphipods. In the wild this species is found in shallow lagoons or bay environments, where it lives in areas covered with branching corals and encrusted rock. It hunts for small invertebrates among the algae covered rock and amongst the corals. This species is best suited for established reef aquariums and FOWLR aquariums with peaceful community fish species.
Green Mandarins have a cylindrical body with an angular shaped head, with large pectoral fins. Their coloration is a unique pattern of blue, green, orange and purple stripes and dots, that run the entire body and finnage. The pattern is similar to that of the ancient Chinese Mandarin dresses, hence the common name for this species.
Green Mandarin Dragonets require established reef aquariums or fish-only aquariums with an abundance of live rock & live sand and excellent water conditions in order to do well in the home aquarium. This species is considered difficult to keep mostly because it feeds primarily on live foods such as, copepods and amphipods. It is important to have lots of live rock & live sand and if possible a refugium in order to provide habitat for enough copepods and amphipods to live and reproduce in numbers large enough to provide a continual food source for the Green Mandarin Dragonet. This species also needs peaceful tankmates, as it will shy away from much larger more boisterous fish species.
Green Mandarin Dragonets feed on small organisms living on live rock, such as, amphipods and copepods. This species should ideally only be kept in established reef or fish only aquariums with a large amount of live rock & live sand. They will also eat mysid shrimp, brine shrimp and live black worms, but this should be used to supplement their natural diet. Refugiums are beneficial for the Green Mandarin Dragonet, since they provide a sheltered area for amphipods and copepods to breed without being decimated by the fish population.