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Green Mandarin
Please Note: Due to variations within species, your item may not look identical to the image provided. Approximate size range may also vary between individual specimen.
Green Mandarin (Synchiropus splendidus)
Additional locales and sizes may be available!

Quick Stats

Care Level Difficult
Temperament Peaceful
Color Form Blue, Green, Orange
Diet Carnivore
Reef Compatible Yes
Water Conditions sg 1.020-1.025, 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4
Max. Size 3"
Origin Philippines
Family Callionymidae
Minimum Tank Size 30 gallons
Compatibility View Chart
What do these Quick Stats mean? Click here for more information


The head and body of the Green Mandarin, also known as the Striped Mandarinfish or Green Mandarinfish, are a mazelike combination of blue, orange, and green. Males may be distinguished from females by their more-elongated first dorsal spine. It is extremely popular with aquarists because of its unusual beauty.

It should be kept in a well-established 30 gallon or larger aquarium with live rock, live sand, and plenty of hiding places. It is moderately hardy in reef aquariums if given special care. It is not overly aggressive towards other fish, except for conspecifics.

The Green Mandarin has been known to spawn successfully in an aquarium.

It feeds on a variety of vitamin-enriched live brine shrimp, live black worms, and natural prey on live rock and live sand.

Looking for the best food to feed your Dragonettes? We recommend AlgaGen Tisbe biminiensis.

Approximate Purchase Size: Small: 1" to 1-1/2"; Medium: 1-1/2" to 2-1/2"; Large: 2-1/4" to 3"

Customer Testimonials

Jeannette K Shinglehouse , PA
We have a male and female Mandarin in our 75-gallon tank. They have done well on live brine shrimp with an established gravel and live sand bottom to feed on. They learn their owners and will come to the front of the tank to see you. 
Sean H Hingham , MA
I have a male Green Mandarin, a clownfish, and a Strawberry Basslet in a 10-gallon reef tank. While beginners are often told not to attempt keeping these fish, I beg to differ! I have only about 4 pounds of live rock and gravel. I also run a hang-on box filter and a protein skimmer. All fish are in good health, including the mandarin. This fish is the best!
Bob S San Diego , CA
I have successfully kept mandarins for years. These fish are not hard to care for if you have lots of in faunal organisms (amphipods and ogiocheates) in the sand. These can take a year to colonize in your tank. Wait to add your Mandarin until colonization is complete. Every so often, take out one of your tank decorations and put it in fresh water. When you see amphipods (sand fleas) in the water, you tank is ready.
Steven N Barrington , IL
A gorgeous fish in my reef tank. Requires a well established tank with live rock as it eats live copepods. Very delicate and easy to keep if you can keep it fed. Does not bother any other fish BUT you cannot keep two unless they are different sexes.
Kristy S Martinsburg , WV
This is the most beautiful fish I have ever seen. His color is striking with the royal blue fins and neon orange and green accents. However, his colors fade when he is asleep, so he is almost gray. I thought he was dead until I woke him up with the net. It's like a chameleon with the camoflauge. He picks at my rocks all day looking for copepods. Great addition.
Chris G Scarsdale , NY
Very beautiful fish! however, they are challeging to keep. I feed him Actri Pods, but, the cant live on it, a 50 gallon thank with extensive rockwork and a refrigium crawling with pods is a great place for them to live. they can be agressive toward other dragonets, but are peaceful in general.
Bridgette T AL
This is easily one of my favorite fish in the tank! The colors are strikingly beautiful and the movements of its fins are amazing! This fish reminds me of a hummingbird the way it is able to hover over the rocks as it looks for food. You won't go wrong with the gorgeous, peaceful fish!
Alex E Talbott , TN
I was able to keep one in a 29 gallon setup for over a year, before having to break down the tank. The Dragonet is still doing fine in a friend's tank. She was easy to care for, and learned to take brine shrimp in a couple of months to supplement her amphipod grazing. An amazing species to be sure.
Deb R Mount Pleasant , SC
WOW! The male mandarin you sent me was half as much as the local fish store, but twice as big. He ate right after I let him out of the acclimation bag. It may be because it's Spring but they rise in the water column next to each other. Many thanks for another great fish.
Cheryl P Lewiston , ME
I just received my order. All 4 fish look great. This Mandarin has to be by far the most stunning fish I have ever seen. I have had other Mandarins but this one... WOW! This fish is ridiculously gorgeous. They only had medium size and I could not be more pleased. Very chubby fish. Don't know yet if its male or female. A male would be very sweet. Either way, what a great addition to my tank. Thank you LiveAquaria.
Esther Hebert Harvey , LA
I have not had much success with Mandarins in the past. But now that my tank is established I decided to give it one more try. I love the one ordered from LiveAquaria. It is plump (medium) and healthy. Can't be more pleased at how beautiful this Mandarin is!
John B. Cortland , NY
Got a male green mandarin, absolutely beautiful fish. I've got a clown, coral beauty and blue damsel that have formed a trio buddy group. . . interestingly the mandarin seems to have decided to join up with them to make a quartet. The damsel warned him off a few times, then gave in and let him stay within it's territory. I'll be keeping a watch on them but for now it is an interesting thing to watch.
Jason Z New York
One of the most beautiful fish in the saltwater aquarium hobby. Today is day 2 of me having this fish and I'm extremely lucky that it already started eating frozen food (so far only mysis and brine). Of course, I still have a well established copepod colony in my tank for feeding. Dragonettes/scooter bennies are picky eaters and I think people still need to do research prior to buying this fish. I'm going to try other frozen food and maybe pellets/flakes but don't want to push my luck. FYI. This is my first time use LiveAquaria, I was a little skeptical of buying pet fish online and having it shipped. However, the package was well done with cushion/heating pack (worth the money). The fish looked healthy and well-fed. Overall, really happy!!
Damian O Seneca Falls , NY
I have had lots of luck with Mandarins in my 20-gallon setup. Having lots of live rock is great for them. I circulate my live rock in and out of my 10-gallon sump, which helps it maintain a healthy population of copepods. I tend to leave a few bits of rock in the sump just to assure that my sump colony stays viable. I also throw a few shrimp pellets or other food in the sump to give those little guys something to eat.
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