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 Dragonetes

The Dragonet fish is a family of small, vibrantly colored saltwater fish. With over 130 species of dragonets identified, only a handful of which have been successfully kept by marine aquarists. Is it a Dragonet or is it a goby? Dragonets are somewhat similar in appearance to gobies. Their long, scale-less bodies are often vibrantly colored and adorned with intricate patterns. Although the dragonet is 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 alive and require the care of an experienced hobbyist. Originating from the tropical regions of the Indo-Pacific Ocean, its great to see there has been some success in tank raising a few species. The popularity is easily understood. With their vibrant colors, they come in dazzling shades of red, orange, yellow, blue, green, grey, brown, black and white. To do the best aquascape your aquarium to have a large amount of live rock on which the fish can graze along with 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 sand substrate. One of the most challenging aspects of keeping dragonets is their very specific dietary food requirements. Most dragonet species will only eat live food and will often starve rather than accept processed or dried foods. The best method found to feed Dragonet's is to have a refugium attached to the main aquarium which setup correctly will provide a steady supply of the necessary live food.

  ORA Certified
Tank Raised Spotted Mandarin
(also called Target Mandarin)
Synchiropus picturatus
Tank Raised Target Mandarin

Description:  ORA Spotted Mandarins have light green bodies with unique turquoise, black and orange bull’s-eye patterns. Their face masks have beautiful turquoise and orange stripes. They can be kept in pairs or singly.

ORA was the first to introduce significant numbers of captive-bred Mandarin Dragonets, also know as Mandarin Gobies, to the commercial aquarium market. The striking colors and patterns of the Mandarin make them one of the most popular and common marine aquarium fish on the market, but the wild-caught specimens have a reputation as being difficult to feed and maintain. Those concerns are resolved as ORA Mandarins have been raised on a variety of prepared foods. Hobbyists of all levels can now own and enjoy these easy to keep Mandarin Dragonets thanks to the research and production efforts of ORA.

All of ORA’s captive bred mandarins will accept a variety of prepared frozen and dry foods upon acclimation to their new tank. They may be offered Nutramar Ova, finely chopped Hikari Frozen Blood Worms, fish roe, frozen or live baby brine shrimp, frozen daphnia, and New Life SPECTRUM Small Fish Formula pellets. Some have also shown interest in Cyclopeeze.


Recommended Tank size: A peaceful fish that will fare best in the established reef tank provided there are no aggressive tankmates that may compete for food. In the aquarium, provide them with plenty of rockwork in which to hunt and hide. The minimum tank requirement is generally stated as 10 gallon with 50lbs or more of live rock.
Level of Care: Moderate
Reef Compatibility :Very good reef or community fish.

Currently Unavailable

Wild Collected, Aquarium Conditioned
Blue Mandarin
Pterosynchiropus splendidus

Description:   The Blue Mandarin also called the Green Mandarin, Green Mandarin Dragonet, or Psychedelic Mandarin fish can simply not be confused with any other fish. It has arguably the most attractive coloration and pattern of any commonly kept reef fish. The scale-less body of the fish is a blue or green color which has orange wavy lines across it. The tail is bright red with blue edging. Other colors can be found in the pattern as well.

Mandarins help to prevent brown flatworm infestations, which can be trouble for some reef aquariums. The Mandarinfish will hover and scoot around your reef aquarium without bothering any corals,clams,or nvertebrates. It is best kept with other docile fishes in a community reef aquarium.

The Mandarin requires an established reef aquarium with plenty of live copepods available to feed on. You can supplement its diet with live copepods from AlgaGen called Tisbe Copepods. Adding a refugium to your system will once established, provide an excellent source of live food.
Recommended Tank size: The minimum tank requirement is generally stated as 10 gallon with 50lbs or more of live rock. This is based on feeding requirements and not space requirements as the Mandarin is a very slow, docile fish.
Level of Care: Moderate
Reef Compatibility :Very good reef fish.
Approximate Purchase Size: Medium: 2" to 3"; Large: 3+" to 3-1/2"; XLarge: 3-1/2+" to 5"

Medium $24.99 Large $34.99 XLarge $44.99 Male/Female Mated Pair $74.99

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Wild Collected, Aquarium Conditioned
Target Mandarin
(also called Spotted Mandarin)
Synchiropus picturatus
Target Mandarin

Description:  One of the most dramatically colored saltwater fish, the Target Mandarinfish , also called the Yellow Target Mandarin fish, or the Yellow Mandarin Goby. Though this animal is commonly referred to as a goby, this name is misleading. The Yellow Target Mandarin is a Dragonet in the family Callionymidae.
Mandarinfish require an established reef aquarium for survival. It will feed on tiny invertebrates from the live sand and live rock, and does benefit from additional food supplied by refugiums. This fish will also help to prevent brown flatworm infestations, which can be trouble for some reef aquariums. The Mandarin fish will hover and scoot around your reef aquarium without bothering any corals, clams, or invertebrates. It is best kept with other docile fishes in a community reef aquarium. The Mandarin requires an established reef aquarium with plenty of live copepods to feed on. You can supplement its diet with Arctic Pods and live copepods. Adding a refugium to your system will also provide a continued source of live food.
Of recent news, the livestock aquacultural facility of ORA has successfuly reared Target Mandarin fish. The program has been very successful and these tank raised Target Mandarin fish are also available through Aquatic Connection Live.
Recommended Tank size: The minimum tank requirement is generally stated as 10 gallon with 50lbs or more of live rock. This is based on feeding requirements and not space requirements as the Mandarin is a very slow, docile fish. Perhaps more important than tank size is how heavily fed and nutrient rich a tank is, since this type of tank will generally support a higher copepod population than tanks run under more lean conditions.
Note: Due to the specific food needs of mandarin fish we request they only be placed in well established aquariums with plenty of live copepods available to feed on. We therefore only provide an arrive in "perfect condition" guarantee and no long term guarantee is provided.
Level of Care: Moderate
Reef Compatibility :Very good reef fish.
Approximate Purchase Size: Small: 1" to 1-1/2"; Medium: 1-1/2" to 2-1/2"; Large: 2-1/2" to 4";

small $22.99 medium $27.99 Large $44.99

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 Wild Collected, Aquarium Conditioned
Ruby Red Dragonette
Synchiropus tudornjonesi



Description: A stunning fish called the Ruby Red Dragonet of the genus Synchiropus has made a big splash in aquariums around the world. The Dragonet family of fish are small fish that are naturally found hopping around reefs. These fish have small protruding mouths designed for capturing microfauna, similar to Mandarin dragonets do. Although there's still a lot of speculation of the Ruby's exact species, WE DO KNOW that it is off-the-hook gorgeous reef fish. The brilliant ruby color body is punctuated by small distinct white spots, bright yellow pelvic fins that are highly contrasted by a dark black spot on the gill cover. As an added bonus the male Ruby Red Dragonet has noticeable dark diagonal striping in the dorsal fin as well as metallic blue spots on the face under the eyes. They make an excellent addition to reef tanks.
Recommended Tank : Keep in a tank containing a good amount oflive rock and live sand which can supply natural food. A growth of algae (even hair algae) is an ideal setting to culture the tiny arthropods and copepods these fish need to survive. Do not keep with aggressive fish.
Feeding and Diet: The Ruby Red Dragonette's diet should consist of brine shrimp, bloodworms and glassworms, and small invertebrates. They are slow-moving, deliberate feeders and should not have to compete for their food with aggressive fish.
Level of Care: Easy
Reef Compatibility :Very good reef fish.
Approximate Purchase Size: 1-1/2" to 2-1/4"

Male $29.99 Female $24.99 Male/Female Bonded Pair $69.99

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   ReefPods™ Tisbe by AlgaGen
AlgaGen ReefPods™ Tisbe
Excellent food for Mandarins, Blennies, Gobies, Seahorses, and many other finicky eating fish

ReefPods™ Tisbe the most popular aquarium Pod -they consumes your aquarium’s wastes and detritus, reproduce well, and are food for a multitude of reef inhabitants!

ReefPods™ Tisbe is a live culture of the harpacticoid copepod Tisbe biminiensis. Tisbe adult copepods live on bottom substrate such as live rock or sand and will eat detritus and microalage in the aquarium. They produce a small nauplii which is an excellent food for aquarium filter feeders and fish larvae. The adults are eaten by small bottom feeding fish such as gobies, dragonettes and blennies.

ReefPods™ Tisbe may be used as a starter culture to add to marine aquarium refugiums or the main tank. Once established they will reproduce quickly, growing from nauplii to adults in about nine days. They will thrive in a wide range of aquarium temperatures and a wide range of salinities. It is suggested they be added to the aquarium at night or to the refugium to avoid immediate fish predation.

Tisbe is an excellent all purpose aquarium copepod owing to its role in the natural environment as a detritivore. An opportunist feeder, Tisbe can be used as a tank cleaner consuming uneaten food and wastes as well as phytoplankton in the tank and refugium. Tisbe is capable of producing many eggs during its adult life span that hatch into nauplii which will enter the water column as food for your filter feeding reef inhabitants and replenish the adult population vital to tank hygiene. Tisbe adults and juveniles may also enter the water column and be tasty and nutritious treats for your reef fish!


ReefPods™ Tisbe 8 ounce $13.99
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Copyright 2018 Aquarium Creations Online
Photos are representative of each species. All marine life will be unique and variations should be expected, colors and sizes may vary.

*Guarantee Restriction: All of our livestock are guaranteed. However for one or more of these species, they may be marked with a *Guarantee Restriction. If it does, it means the specific animal may not handle stress from environmental conditions well. These stresses can include poor water quality, harassment from tank mates or confined aquarium conditions. When stressed, these species can lose the ability to ward off infection and disease. Other species may be listed as Restircted because they have such specialized feeding requirements that is difficult recreate in a aquarium and may succumb to mal nutrition.