written by Dave Burr
Behavior: The Psychedelic Mandarinfish is arguably one of the most spectacular fish available to hobbyists. Like its close relative, the Green Mandarinfish, it requires a well 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. Males of this species have a longer dorsal spine than females.
The Psychedelic Mandarinfish will hover and scoot around your reef aquarium without bothering any corals, clams, or invertebrates. It is best kept with other peaceful fish in a community reef aquarium. Keep your Psychedelic Mandarin singly, or as a pair in larger reef aquariums of 100 gallons or more.
Feeding: The Psychedelic Mandarinfish requires an established reef aquarium with a continuous source of live copepods and amphipods to feed on. You can supplement its diet by adding live copepods, such as Tigger Pods. Adding a refugium to your system will help provide a continued source of live food for your Mandarin. It should do well in most peaceful reef aquariums if properly fed.
Soaking all fish food with vitamins will help keep your fish healthier and make them less susceptible to disease. We recommend soaking food in garlic as well when adding new fish and whenever your notice ich or other disease in the aquarium. Garlic will help repel external parasites and will boost the fishes immunity.
Feeding Tips: Remember to feed slowly. Leftover food will cause nitrates and phosphates to rise. If you see food falling to the sand bed and into the rocks you should feed slower and give the fish a chance to eat before adding a little more. Using a turkey baster allows you to target food to different fish. For example you can feed the aggressive fish on one side of the tank and then squirt a little bit on the other side for the less aggressive fish. This way all the fish get a chance to eat enough.
Maximum Length: 4"
Care Level: Difficult
Reef Compatibility: Excellent
Minimum Aquarium Size: 40 gal.
Range: Indo Pacific
Water Conditions: 75-80° F; sg 1.024-1.026 (1.025 is ideal); pH 8.1-8.4 Ca 420-440 ppm, Alk 8-9.5 dKH, Mg 1260-1350, Nitrates <10ppm, Phosphates, < .10ppm
Water Chemistry: Maintaining Ammonia at 0 ppm, Nitrites at 0 ppm, and Nitrates below 10ppm will help to keep your Psychedelic Mandarin happy and healthy. We recommend doing a water change soon after Nitrates rise above 10 ppm. Maintaining proper calcium (420-440 ppm), alkalinity (8-9.5 dkh - run it 7-8 if you are carbon dosing), and magnesium levels (1260-1350 ppm) will help to keep pH stable in the 8.1-8.4 range. We recommend a specific gravity of 1.024-1.026 with 1.025 being ideal for fish. Temperature should remain stable as well and should stay within a 2 degree range.