mandarinfish #5 [151K]

The neon-like oranges and blues seem to blend in the most striking way around the eye of this captivating mandarinfish. This image also shows a good view of the strong "preopercular process" with its spined structure visible, just behind the rearmost column of yellow spots. The large, fan-like pelvic fins are sometimes used for "walking" along the bottom. 

Mandarinfish are often kept as aquarium pets, though they should have plenty of space, in a mature aquarium with plenty of microorganisms on which to feed. Some breeders have succeeded in raising mandarinfish in captivity. Depending on the source of information, they are supposedly either difficult to maintain in captivity, and therefore most suitable for experienced aquarists, or "easy to keep if you have the right aquarium set-up".  At any rate, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to support both positions. The males do not get along and must never be kept together.

Identification: Synchiropus splendidus

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