- Group: Saltwater
- Size: Small
- Temperament: Community aggressive
- Aquarium Size: Large (55 gal+)
- Swimming Region(s): Bottom
- Suitable Tank Mates: Angelfish, Anthias, Clownfish, Damsels, Gobies and Hawkfish
- Difficulty Of Care: Weekly care
Dragonets are a family of small, vibrantly colored saltwater fish. There are over 130 species of dragonets identified, a handful of which have been successfully kept by marine aquarists. Dragonets are somewhat similar in appearance to gobies. Their long, scale-less bodies are often vibrantly colored and adorned with intricate patterns. Although dragonets are considered as one of the most beautiful species of saltwater fish in the marine aquarium hobby, they are also one of the hardest to keep and require the care of an experienced hobbyist.
Dragonets are a family of small, vibrantly colored saltwater fish.
Dragonets originate from the tropical regions of the Indo-Pacific Ocean.
Dragonets are vibrantly colored and come in dazzling shades of red, orange, blue, green, grey, brown, black and white.
Maintenance and care
Dragonets are an extremely peaceful species of fish and make excellent additions to most community aquariums. Males of the species can however turn extremely aggressive towards one another, especially when a female is present. In fact, males housed together can sometimes perish as a result of injuries and stress sustained from extended periods of aggression.
Dragonets prefer aquariums with plenty of caves and crevices in which they can hide. They will also spend a significant amount of time resting on the aquarium bottom and should be provided with a soft substrate.
One of the most challenging aspects of keeping dragonets is their very specific dietary requirements. Most dragonet species will only accept live food and will often starve rather than accept processed or dried foods. The dragonet aquarium should ideally have a large amount of live rock on which the fish can graze on. It’s also recommended that a refugium with copepods be attached to the main aquarium to provide dragonets with a steady supply of live foods.
Dragonets are an extremely peaceful species of fish and make excellent additions to most community aquariums.
Dragonets are known to have been successfully bred in captivity. During the courtship process, the dragonet males engage in a courtship dance spreading their pectoral, caudal and dorsal fins. Dragonets are not a parental species of fish and lay large amounts of eggs which in the wild intermingle with plankton and drift out into sea.
Green Mandarin, Red Mandarin, Red Scooter Dragonet, Spotted Mandarin, etc.
Photo credit: Luc Viatour; Matt Mercer/Flickr