Care Level: Advanced
Reef Compatible: Yes
General Description: The Red Scooter Dragonet, also referred to as the Starry Dragonet, is native to Sri Lanka. While ocassionally these fish may be referred to as gobies or blennies, they are not and belong to the dragonet family Callionymidae. The Red scooter’s body is mottled in red and white patches of color. Scooter dragonets are extremely popular among hobbyists for their coloration and interesting behavior, but having this fish in the home aquaria does not come easy. Dragonets have specific dietary requirements of live amphipods and copepods, and coaxing a Red scooter to accept frozen-based foods can be challenging. Because of this, Red scooters should not be put into an aquarium that is less than 6 – 8 months old, as this allows their natural, live food source ample time to populate in abundance (see tank requirements for further information about tank-mates that could deplete these resources). Red scooter dragonets can be confidently sexed after 1″; males tend to be brighter and have a more elaborate and elongated first dorsal fin compared to females. An adult Red scooter can reach a size of approximately 3″. The Red scooter dragonet looks very similar to the newly described Ruby Red Dragonet (Synchiropus sycorax), but this species is much more vibrant and has a yellow belly. Note: All of our Red scooter dragonets have been through our 28 day quarantine process and are eating a combination of live brine shrimp and frozen foods, in addition to live copepods.
Diet Requirements: In the wild Red scooter dragonets are carnivorous, continuously hunting and feeding on amphipods and copepods in live rock. It is absolutely imperative to have an established tank of at least 6 – 8 months old, and add live copepod cultures (or a live food of equal value) weekly or biweekly to keep this resource available to your mandarin. Red scooters can be extremely stubborn with accepting frozen foods and some may never do so. Offering live adult brine shrimp or black worms can help bridge the transition to small frozen foods. If your Red scooter dragonet does eat frozen foods, this does not replace the need for its natural food source (copepods). We highly encourage soaking frozen foods in vitamin and fatty acid supplements for the dragonet’s health and to maintain body mass.
Care Requirements: An establshed minimum 55 gallon aquarium is ideal to house a single Red scooter; a pair would require more space. In smaller aquariums, the demand of the Red scooter’s feeding behavior becomes more difficult to sustain. This fish cannot be put into a biologically immature aquarium. Dragonets absolutely need generous live rock for feeding and some crevices to take refuge. Male Red scooter dragonets will conflict with each other; keep one per aquarum or a single male-female pair. Do not house dragonets with aggressive and pugnacious tank-mates. Fish that will also inadvertently outcompete it for live copepods should be avoided unless the set-up is large enough to disperse this competition. Examples include, but are not limited to, certain anthias, gobies, dottybacks, wrasses, and basslets. Red scooter dragonets are most at home in reef aquariums and they will not harm any invertebrate or coral. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025.
Purchase Size: Small: 3/4″ to 1-1/4″; Medium: 1-1/4″ to 2-1/2″
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.