Dragonet in a 20g

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So, I would have preferred a jawfish but with now having two gobies that make their own burrows the same way (Which is why I wanted the Jawfish, to watch him form the burrow), I may pass up on a Yellow Head.
I want some natural colour, my plan is to stay with beige coral (Mostly softies with the odd stick or plate). I also want to eventually have a clam, probably crocea or maxima.
what dragonet would be better to own in a 20g Red Sea max nano? Here’s a list of the ones I quite like:
- Synchiropus stellatus
- Synchiropus pictillatus
- Synchiropus splendidus (Red)
- Synchiropus scymorax
I will have 5 fish in the tank when the dragonet gets added and they are:
- Koumansetta hectori
- Stonogobiops yasha
- Gobiiodon strangulatus
- Escenius lineatus
- Pseudocheilinops ataenia

There are 7 fish in there at the moment with two being temporary (The clam will go in once everything is stable and I lower the fish number to Atleast 6 if not 5).
 
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Dragonets are tough fish to keep alive without a sizeable thriving refugium and/or near constant addition of copepods. I would caution against attempting in a 20G unless you can find one that is eating prepared foods.
I figured with knowing it can keep a blue star leopard wrasse thriving it could possibly keep a dragonet. I will add the rocks are Atleast two years old if not older and I do supply pods every week if not every two-three weeks, recently my LFS have been finding it hard to get pods. They can train most of their dragonets to eat frozen though so what do you think would be best to grab based on size and hardiness?
 

AJsReef

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I figured with knowing it can keep a blue star leopard wrasse thriving it could possibly keep a dragonet. I will add the rocks are Atleast two years old if not older and I do supply pods every week if not every two-three weeks, recently my LFS have been finding it hard to get pods. They can train most of their dragonets to eat frozen though so what do you think would be best to grab based on size and hardiness?
If you can get one adapted to frozen food that definitely gets you a long way.
 
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I think the biota captive bred mandarins are your best bet, due to issues you're about to be blasted with.
My main issue with CB fish is deformities and also how CB mandarins tend to revert back to their pod ways whereas the ones that are trained don’t do that quite so often. I’d also gladly try and spend the time to getting a dragonet eating frozen (Wether that does mean I have to drag out an acclimation box or a pipette and get it feeding with that).
 
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Tamberav

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A dragonet has a short inefficient digestive system. It’s not the same as a wrasse.

I would say get one only if you potentially want to be married to it’s care for 10-15 years. May mean seeding pods and hatching baby bribe or feeding frozen a few times a day.

I kept them in a nano for 5 years and that was enough to go… nah.
 
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A dragonet has a short inefficient digestive system. It’s not the same as a wrasse.

I would say get one only if you potentially want to be married to it’s care for 10-15 years. May mean seeding pods and hatching baby bribe or feeding frozen a few times a day.

I kept them in a nano for 5 years and that was enough to go… nah.
Yeah, I’ll probably go with a ruby red if I go for a dragonet but if I don’t then it’s likely I’m going goby heavy and grabbing a 4th. I’m just weary of the 3 now established gobies reaction to a 4th of their family. If I went with a 4th goby it would be a Signal goby but they’re very similar to the dragonets if not harder.
 

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Yeah, I’ll probably go with a ruby red if I go for a dragonet but if I don’t then it’s likely I’m going goby heavy and grabbing a 4th. I’m just weary of the 3 now established gobies reaction to a 4th of their family. If I went with a 4th goby it would be a Signal goby but they’re very similar to the dragonets if not harder.

I recently got an orange spotted goby and he is spectacular. I know he wasn't on your list, but one to consider.
 

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I personally would not put that many fish together. Just me. But if I were putting a mandarin in a 20 gallon it would be a FEMALE spotted aka psychedelic one. Reasons are this. They learn to eat frozen foods and even pellets easier, in my experience. And a female is a third smaller than the males. I have 2 now and have had others in the past.
 
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I wouldn't try in a 20g. I have one in my 90 and she does nothing but hunt all day long. Hundreds of pods a day are eaten it seems. Never seen her eat anything but pods.
 

Chrisv.

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I personally would not put that many fish together. Just me. But if I were putting a mandarin in a 20 gallon it would be a FEMALE spotted aka psychedelic one. Reasons are this. They learn to eat frozen foods and even pellets easier, in my experience. And a female is a third smaller than the males. I have 2 now and have had others in the past.


I'm confused: isn't the spotted one the "target" And the squiggly line one the "psychedelic"?
 

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I found my ruby red took too prepared food quite easily. My captive bred mandarin took some time. Also have to target feed as they are slow eaters.
 

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Chrisv.

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I found my ruby red took too prepared food quite easily. My captive bred mandarin took some time. Also have to target feed as they are slow eaters.

Honestly the target feeding is my issue here. I had a mandarin that took small frozen mysis at one point. He got quite plump. But I had to target feed him every day using a rigid airline tube that was attached to a syringe. He got sucked into a vortech before I got fed up with that song and dance, about a year after I got him. Luckily (?) I didn't travel that year. Might not have made it.

Did you find the Ruby also needed that level of pampering?
 
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I think for now I’ll stick to my already picky and not adapted to frozen Koumansetta hectori. I have added a third species of fish to the list which is now a species of scorpion (I’m getting help from fellow scorpion keepers on what would be best for my size tank).
I will certainly wait before getting the 6th fish, I know it sounds a lot however the main 4 stay 2 inch at max size and the other is a 3 inch blenny.
 

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Honestly the target feeding is my issue here. I had a mandarin that took small frozen mysis at one point. He got quite plump. But I had to target feed him every day using a rigid airline tube that was attached to a syringe. He got sucked into a vortech before I got fed up with that song and dance, about a year after I got him. Luckily (?) I didn't travel that year. Might not have made it.

Did you find the Ruby also needed that level of pampering?
Not really. When I mean target feed is I usually turn off pumps and squirt some food in their direction. Honestly I used to get so stressed about new fish and if they eat. If the fish eats within the first few days they’ll be fine. If not I start to worry and they tend not to make it.
 

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I wouldn't do it Regardless if they eat frozen or not they will always be hunting copepods down . With the size of your system it doesn't give much real estate for copepods to hide and breed . Might be time for an upgrade in tank size
 
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I wouldn't do it Regardless if they eat frozen or not they will always be hunting copepods down . With the size of your system it doesn't give much real estate for copepods to hide and breed . Might be time for an upgrade in tank size
I realised I never added any tank photos, maybe this will show if there’s room for pod reproduction or not?
I will add that my rock is live and aged since around 2012 (So aged by about 10 years) if that makes any difference.
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