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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