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Can Mandarin Goby and Clownfish Live In The Same Tank? | 8 Fun Facts |

Mandarin goby and clownfish are wonderful saltwater creatures that add an amazing appearance to the aquarium. Hence, people love decorating their reef water tank with these beauties. But most fish hobbyists have doubts about their compatibility. Surely, after reading this article all your doubts are filled with perfect answers. 

mandarine goby and clownfish

Can Mandarin goby Live With Clownfish? 

Yes Mandarin goby and clownfish can live in the same tank. Because both fish have peaceful behaviors. But To rear them for a long time, you should put much attention. Especially, for their food.  Because wild-caught mandarin varieties require live diets. The live copepods, amphipods, and small crustaceans are best for them. Also, you can use small zooplankton to make mandarin gobies happy. 

Further, clownfish also prefer to eat copepods. Then, both species will compete for the same food. If you do not provide enough live copepods, mandarin fish will starve. Ultimately, long-term starvation causes to die your mandarin goby. Hence, food management plays a critical part in this situation. But if you have a captive-bred mandarin fish variety, do not need to worry about diet too much. Thus, captive-bred types already adopted some aquarium foods besides live pods.

mandarine goby and clown fish

Are Mandarin Gobies Aggressive?

Generally mandarin fish are not aggressive. They are slow-moving peaceful creatures. Therefore, mandarin gobies are ideal for a community tank. But sometimes they may get stress because of aggressive fish species. Similarly, if you put two male mandarin gobies together, they will show aggressiveness. Also, do not put two female mandarins together. However, rearing this mind-blowing fish is a bit difficult for the beginner. If you are a well-experienced saltwater aquarist, you can grow this beauty. The most important factor is you must have pay attention to mandarin foods. 

What Fish Can Live With Mandarin Gobies? 

As we discussed earlier mandarin goby and clownfish can peacefully live in the same tank. But they are very territorial toward their own species. Therefore, you should keep only one mandarin fish or male and female pair together. Generally, keeping males and females from different mandarin varies is not a good practice. Because they do not act as a pair.

Also, they may ignore each other. But male and female fish of different mandarin species can live together. The two male or two female mandarin gobies can’t live together unless the tank is very large. Moreover, refer to the below information. Then you can get a better understanding of mandarin gobies’ tankmates. ‘

Creature typeCommon name
Other Mandarin fish varietiesGreen Mandarin
Spotted Mandarin
Ruby Red Dragonet
Red Scooter Dragonet
Scooter Blenny Mandarin
Red Mandarin
Biota captive-bred blue mandarin
Captive-Bred Blue Mandarins
Captive-Bred spotted Mandarins
Peaceful fishGobies
Fairy wrasses
Semi-aggressive fishAnthias
Dwarf angels
Slow swimmers & eatersSeahorses
marine invertebrateStarfish
marine wormsFeather Dusters
Bristle Worms
mandarine goby and clown fish

Best Tank Mates For Mandarin Goby

Above mentioned fish varieties are ideal tankmates of mandarine goby. So, you can fearlessly add them with your gobies. In addition to the above varieties, you can add the following fish and invertebrates with mandarin gobies. But keep in mind to monitor their behaviors. Because sometimes mandarin show some aggressiveness towards them. 

Creature TypeCommon name
Large semi-aggressive fishTangs, Large angels, Large wrasses
Marine crustaceans  Shrimps, Crabs Snails 

Compatible Coral Varieties For Mandarin Fish

Generally, most saltwater aquarium owners have nicely arranged reef tanks. But some marine fish varieties are not reef-safe. On other hand, some coral species are toxic to the fish. Therefore, before selecting fish, you should have good knowledge about it. Here I listed some coral types, which are compatible with mandarin gobies. 

SPS corals

These coral species consist of stony calcium carbonate skeleton and tine coral polyps. Some people called it true corals. This SPS coral is the most common in reef tank owners. Further, mandarin gobies are absolutely reef safe. This peaceful creature will not harm other fish, corals, or invertebrates other than the copepods. Hence, you can decorate your reef tank using SPS corals. Here I mentioned some of them. 

  • Pavona
  • Pocillopora
  • Bird’s nest coral 
  • Montipora plate coral
  • Green pavona coral
  • Blue ridge coral

Leather Corals

These soft corals have tough leathery skin. Also, it has attractive shapes and colors. Hence leather corals add quite dynamic to the reef tank. Beginners love to rear these corals because it is easy to keep with great success. In addition to that, these corals are ideal for the tank that have mandarin gobies. The most common leather corals are listed below.

  • Yellow toadstool leather corals
  • Yellow leather corals
  • Flexible leather coral
  • Finer leather coral
  • Cabbage leather coral

Soft corals

Soft corals do not have stony skeletons like hard corals. In the aquarium, it is important to have enough space among different species of hard and soft corals. Then they can grow peacefully. Further, mandarin gobies can add to the tank which has soft corals such as xenias and tree corals. The most important thing is these soft corals are easy to care for. Other than these corals, star polyps and organ pipe corals well suit for mandarin gobies tank. Further, you can decorate your mandarin gobies tank with button polyps and sea mats.

Other coral types

In addition to fleshy soft coral, some corals produce more or less hard Skelton. Gorgonians are that kind of coral. Thus, it is quietly different from soft coral or true corals. Moreover, the gorgonians and mandarin gobies can live in the same tank. Similarly, sea fans are ideal for mandarin fish tanks.


Sponges are immobile aquatic invertebrates. They belong to the phylum Porifera. Generally, they maintain the constant water flow through their body. Also, grab nutrients from this water flow. Aquarists add sponges into their reef tanks. Further, mandarin gobies and sponges have not shown aggressiveness towards each other. Hence, you can nicely decorate a mandarin goby tank using sponges.

Synchiropus splendidus

What Fish and Coral Varieties Cannot Live With Mandarin Gobies?

As a fish hobbyist, you may love your aquarium fish. Also, a healthy aquarium is a dream of every aquarist. To make your dream true you have to select fish and coral varieties carefully. The aggressive marine creatures are used in the ornamental industry. Among them below mentioned varieties are not suitable to add with mandarin fish.  

Some anemones like Ear mushrooms anemones can eat fish while they are alive or dead. Therefore, when you wish to add sea anemone variety, you should study the relationship between a particular anemone and the mandarin goby. Therefore, some sea horses, certain corals should not with the mandarin fish. Especially, carpet varieties, elephant ear mushrooms, and similar LPS corals. Because these strong stinging LPS varieties can kill mandarins by their sting. It is not instant death. But it is a long and painful death lasting a day or more. 

Furthermore, do not add halichoeres wrasses with mandarin fish. Because they may compete for mandarin fish foods. But you can add other large wrasses with them. If you add a more aggressive genus of Angelfish, you should monitor them. Because sometimes angels show aggressiveness towards mandarin gobies. Generally, inverts are safe. But do not add mantis shrimp and large crab varieties with mandarin gobies. Because they may eat your mandarin fish. 

How Many Mandarin Goby In A Tank?

Commonly mandarin is not a schooling fish. Thus, one mandarin pair is ideal for the reef tank. Further, each member of mandarins needs their own space and food. Thus, a 60-gallon tank is best for a pair. But if you have only one mandarin, a 30-gallon tank is enough. 

Can Mandarin Gobies Live Together?

Yes, males and females of the same mandarins’ species can live together. Generally, they live as a pair. But two males or two females cannot live together. If you add the same gender together, they will fight with each other. Keep in mind it. Further, males and females of different mandarin species cannot be compatible pairs. But they do not fight with each other. They just ignore other mandarin fish and live alone.  

Are Mandarin Gobies Hard To Keep?

Mandarin gobies are extremely popular saltwater aquarium fish. But they are hard to keep. The major reason is their specific feeding pattern. In the wild, they rely on copepods and other small crustaceans. Hence, in captivity, they seek mimic diet. If you can provide enough live copepods, you can easily rear this wonderful beauty. Further, they are ideal for community tanks. 

Synchiropus splendidus

How Many Copepods Need For Mandarin Goby? 

Generally, mandarin gobies consume a copepod for 5-10 seconds. Hence, one mandarin eats 6-12 copepods per minute. Thus, you should have to provide 360-720 copepods per hour. Assume this fish awake and eats 14 hours per day. Then you have to give around 5,040-10,080 live copepods per day. Also, it should be continued every day. Now you have an idea about the mandarin goby feed requirement. Further, if you have mandarin goby pair, multiply the above amount by two. It is around 10,080-20,160 pods. 

If you are unable to fulfill this diet requirement, mandarin gobies will starve and finally die. Because most of the mandarins are not fully adapted to frozen foods. Hence, they mainly rely on live pods. But you can feed captive breed mandarin gobies with frozen aquarium foods. They already adopted aquarium foods.

Can a Mandarin goby live with a diamond goby?

Yes, besides mandarin goby and clownfish, mandarin goby and diamond goby can live peacefully in the same tank. But do not add both species to a small tank. Because it will create extra stress for the food. The tanks having less than 40-gallon capacity are not recommended. If you want to keep these two species together, take at least a 75-gallon tank. Usually, mandarin fish are fed with copepods. Mostly, diamond goby eats microfauna from the sand. But diamond fish will eat any pods in the top layer of the sand. 

Most copepods associate with the rock works of the tank. Therefore, diamond goby does not compete for live pods too much. Make sure to provide enough food to both fish. If food is not enough for mandarin gobies they may starve. As a result of long-term starvation, mandarin gobies can die. In addition to these factors, mandarin opens his mouth occasionally to show how big he is. But it is not aggressive behavior.

Special Note: Mandarin gobies and diamond goby do not belong to the same family. Mandarin gobies belong to the family dragonet. But diamond goby belongs to the family Gobiidae 


Clownfish fish is a favorite pet of most saltwater aquarists. The bright yellow color clownfish is the most popular one. Also, mandarin gobies are a wonderful creature that has a unique appearance. The combination of mandarin goby and clownfish will create an absolutely beautiful look in your aquarium. 

Credit to : carol glover

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About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. I am a passionate fish keeper, with10 years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.