Synchiropus marmoratus: card, nutrition and effectiveness in eliminating planaria. Price and characteristics of marbled mandarin fish.
In the beautiful photo above, you can clearly appreciate the beautiful pigmentations of theSynchiropus marmoratus, commonly known asmarbled mandarin fish. Before telling youlife, death and miraclesof this welcome guest of the aquarium, let's start with his identification card (I don't like to use the name "data sheet" to talk about an animal).
Synchiropus marmoratus, card
Name Common name: Marbled Mandarin Fish
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Actinopterygii
- Subclass: Neopterygii
- Order: Perciformes
- Suborder: Callionymoidei
- Family: Callionymidae
- Genus: Synchiropus
- Species: Marmoratus
Themarbled mandarin fish it has a cylindrical body that ends with a pronounced head and characterized by a tubular snout. It is thanks to its tubular mouth cavity that it is able to feed on planaria, but we will see this later.
On the back, it is appreciated for its very developed fins. The fish uses its ventral fins to move around using them as small legs. The most striking fins are the dorsal ones, colorful and lively while the pectoral fins are used for swimming, generating the typical odulatory movement.
SuchSynchiropus, the speciesMarmoratusit is not the one most appreciated by aquarists. Of this kind, theSynchiropus Splendidusfor its bright colors.
- Distribution and habitat: Indian Ocean. It lives in coastal lagoons and coral reefs.
- Temperature: 24/28 ° C
- Ideal pH: 8 - 8.5
- Water hardness 7/10 ° dH
As recommended for theParacanthurus hepatus(blue surgeonfish), even the mandarin fish should only be added to well-mature marine aquariums that have been running for at least 6 months. The reason? The stability of the tank, the fish can be sensitive to excessive changes in salinity and above all does not tolerate nitrates and phosphates.
Synchiropus marmoratus male and female
The speciesmarmoratus(just like the most popularSplendidus) has sexual dimorphism. In the case of themarbled mandarin fish, the male has the longest first ray of the dorsal fin. As often happens in nature, the male specimen is increasingly showy: the dorsal fin is larger and more colorful in the male than in the female.
Synchiropus marmoratus feeding
Get right to the point. You have probably started to consider this fish because it has the problem ofplanaria in the marine aquarium. Does marbled mandarin fish eat planaria? Yup.
The power supply of theSynchiropus marmoratusis based on small benthic animals (therefore planarians included). The fish, in fact, sieving substrates and rocks, feeds on the microfauna present in the marine aquarium.
In the absence of a dense microfauna, you will need to administer live, freeze-dried or frozen food. In particular, the diet can be based on brine shrimp, mysis, mollusc pulp, lobster eggs, copepods, frozen plankton ... The important thing is that you will need to administer the food in the appropriate size.
Synchiropus marmoratus: planaria
In the articlehow to eliminate planariaI have already explained the complexity of this operation to you. If your aquarium is already invaded and you see planaria everywhere (from glass to rocks, from the substrate to above the corals ...) you are in a "big trouble" and you can dab and subject your live rocks and corals to quick baths in osmosis water. The marbled mandarin fish is a useful ally in the fight against planaria but in the case of already well established infestations, it cannot be the only solution. To decimate the populations of planarians, we recommend the species Halichoeres chrysus, a nice fish which in its juvenile form has a semi-transparent body that becomes intense yellow when ripe; only the caudal fin remains transparent.
Synchiropus marmoratus: price
As I always say, the cost of an example is linked to several factors but first of all to the retailer. In my experience I have found large price disparities also difficult toto interpret. On average this fish can be bought for 25 - 40 euros.
Synchiropus marmoratus, reproduction
Reproduction has already been observed in captivity. This fish can reproduce in the small marine aquarium but not in the community aquarium since the female, after a long courtship and fertilization, releases the planktonic eggs in open water, so they will be at the mercy of filter feeding animals and other small predators.