The Mandarin Goby is among the most dazzlingly colorful of all aquarium fishes. It is also called the Mandarin Dragonet/ Stripped Mandarin fish/ Psychedelic fish or Green Mandarin fish. It is very popular among salt water aquarium enthusiasts, due to the tempting combination of stunning looks and relatively reasonable pricing.
The color of the body of a Mandarin Goby fish is usually green or blue or a combination of both. There are orange colored wavy lines running across the body, the tail is bright red with an edge that is intense blue. Though these are the characteristic body colors of the Mandarin Goby, one can also find shades of other colors on its body.
The fish does not grow to be long; at the most, the length of the body is 3 inches, the males being somewhat larger than the female. The male Mandarin Goby can also be differentiated from the female due to its large and pointed dorsal fin.
Mandarin fishes have a high mortality because they are usually not maintained in suitable conditions. The chief reason fro death is starvation. The Mandarin Goby fishes only eat live amphipods and copepods. In order to have a Mandarin Goby as a pet one would ideally need to have an aquarium with a capacity of 55 gallons.
Along with that one would need about 50 pounds of live rock which would supply the fish with its food. One can maintain and/or increase the population of the amphipods and copepods by developing a pod pile. This is a pile of rocks on which you will have to deposit a small quantity of chopped shrimps or something similar every 2 days or so. The water temperature should be maintained in the range of 76 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you are planning to maintain a group of Mandarin Goby fishes then you would need a much larger aquarium. However one thing should be kept in mind that is, though Mandarin Goby fishes are not aggressive towards other fishes, the males do have a tendency to fight. So its better that one avoids keeping more than one male Mandarin Goby fish in the same tank.