Care Level: Advanced
Reef Compatible: Yes
General Description: The Scooter Dragonet, also referred to as the Ocellated Dragonet, is found throughout the Indo-Pacific. While these fish are often mislabeled as “Scooter Blennies”, they are not true blennies and belong to the dragonet family Callionymidae. The Scooter’s body is mottled in brown, tan and white patches of color. Scooter dragonets are extremely popular among hobbyists for their personality 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 Scooter dragonet to accept frozen-based foods can be challenging. Because of this, 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). Scooter dragonets can be confidently sexed after 1″; males may be slightly more colorful but will absolutely have a more elaborate and elongated first dorsal fin compared to females. An adult Scooter can reach a size of approximately 3″. Note: All of our 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 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. 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 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 Scooter dragonet; a pair would require more space. In smaller aquariums, the demand of the 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 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. 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″; Large: 2-1/2 to 3-1/2″; XLarge: 3-1/2″ or larger.
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.