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How Much Mandarin Goby Cost (With Prices!)

Every fish hobbyist loves to rear unique varieties in their aquariums. Mandarin gobies are the super choice who are looking at fish with vibrant colors. But sometimes mandarin goby cost a lot. The cost of the fish depends on several factors. Keep reading further, then you can get a proper idea about mandarin goby varieties and their cost. 

How Much Mandarin Goby Cost

How much exactly does Mandarin Goby cost?

The mandarin goby cost depends on several factors. For example fish variety, size, and shipping cost. You can purchase some species by spending a few dollars. But to purchase some extraordinarily beautiful fish you have to spend a bit more. The below prices can be changed due to their size.

Common mandarin varieties
(smaller size green mandarin spotted mandarin or red scooter dragonet)
$15 to $35
Red mandarin or ruby red dragonet $60 to $80
Rare varieties
(Captive-bred blue mandarin or captive-Bred spotted mandarin)
$100 to $180

However, you can purchase common mandarin varieties for the cost of $15 to $35. The green mandarin spotted mandarin, or red scooter dragonet is some of the common verities. Moreover, there are fish keepers who can spend some money on fish. Red mandarin or ruby red dragonet is the best choice for them. However, if you like to buy this fish, you should have spent $60 to $80. Further, if you need to grow a rare and unique mandarin type, you have to spend a bit more. For an instance, colorful biota captive-bred blue mandarin or captive-Bred spotted mandarin is a wonderful one. But you have to spend $100 to $180 to be the owner of this beautiful creature. 

Why do Mandarin Goby cost So much?

Humans are the major predator of mandarin gobies. So, they always hide in the coral caves when they see humans. As a result of this, it is difficult to catch and collect gobies from the wild. Therefore, people use toxic substances to blast coral. Then they can collect mandarins. As a result of these toxic substances and blasts, most mandarin fish die. Because of these reasons wild catch is not enough to meet the current demand. Therefore farmers sell mandarin gobies at the highest prices. 

Further, wild collected fish usually eat live feeds such as copepods. Moreover, they take time to adjust to other aquarium feeds. As a result, farmers tend to breed mandarin gobies in captivity. Also, these captivity breeds are healthier than wild catch fish. Additionally, captive breeds are already adjusted to the aquarium feeds. Hence captive-bred mandarin gobies are more expensive than the wild catch. Furthermore, mandarin gobies are a threatened species because of overfishing and pollution.

mandarin goby cost
Type of mandarin gobyScientific nameprice Care level
Green MandarinSynchiropus splendidus$15-$40Moderate
Spotted MandarinSynchiropus picturatus$17-$35Difficult
Ruby Red DragonetSynchiropus sycorax$65-$80Difficult
Red Scooter DragonetSynchiropus stellatus$33-$45Difficult
Scooter Blenny MandarinSynchiropus ocellatus$22-$35Difficult
Red MandarinSynchiropus cf. splendidus$50-$60Difficult
Biota captive-bred blue mandarinSynchiropus splendidus$100-$180Difficult
Captive-Bred Blue MandarinsSynchiropus splendidus$30-$35Moderate
Captive-Bred spotted MandarinsSynchiropus picturatus$100-$110Moderate
Price Based On Fish Type

Who Is The Most Expensive Mandarin Goby?

Generally captive-bred mandarin expensive than the wild catch. Among them, biota captive-bred blue mandarin is the most expensive fish. In addition, their prices range from $100 to $180. Furthermore, captive-bred spotted mandarin is the second-highest expensive mandarin goby. Also, Farmers are selling these gobies for around 100 dollars. The captive-bred fish are healthier than the wild catch. Moreover, they are adjusted to the aquarium foods at the beginning of their life. Therefore captive breeds are more expensive than the wild catch. 

Furthermore, captivity breed gobies can eat frozen or prepared food rather than live foods. It is an advantage for the aquarists. Especially the fish keeper who does not have much time to spend on their fish. But if you purchase wild varieties, you should have to pay extra attention to your fish. Because mandarin fish take a few months to adjust to aquarium foods. Until that, you have to feed them using live feeds.As a result of these reasons, you may have to spend hundreds of dollars to purchase one-inch-long mandarin fish. 

Why Keeping Mandarin Goby Fish Expensive And Difficult?

Mandarin gobies are fussy eaters. Also, they are carnivorous fish. Therefore, in the wild, they mainly rely on live copepods, amphipods, snails, worms, and fish eggs. Thus in the aquarium, you must feed them using these feeds until they adapt to the aquarium feeds. It is the major reason hobbyists consider mandarins difficult to rear. 

Generally, mandarin fish are not common in pet stores. Because collecting mandarins is a bit difficult and costly. Mandarin fish are mainly associated with the coral reef areas of the ocean. When drivers come to collect mandarins they quickly hide in the coral cavities. Therefore wild catch cannot meet the global mandarin fish demand. Hence, farmers start to breed mandarin in captivity. Further, these captive breeds are more expensive than the wild catch. In addition to these factors, you should carefully select the tankmates for them. Do not add them with unsuited varieties. Then mandarin may tend to strive and even die.  

Are Mandarin Goby Fish Good For Beginners?

Mandarin fish is not recommended for beginners. Because they are expensive and need extra care to protect them. In the wild, mandarin gobies usually eat live copepods and other insects as a diet.  When mandarin is introduced to the aquarium they seek the same diets to eat. Therefore aquarists have to provide a live diet such as copepods. Correspondingly, aquarists have to train them gradually for aquarium foods. If not they will refuse to eat. It may cause mandarin gobies to die by starvation.

However, if you are a beginner and you need to rear mandarin goby, go for a captive breed variety. But captive breeds are a bit more expensive than the wild catch. On the other hand, you need not put extra effort to train mandarin from aquarium foods. Because they already acclimate to the captive habitats and feeding patterns.

How Many Mandarin Gobies Can I Keep Together? 

This species cannot rear as a group. Therefore do not add more than two fish to the same tank. Also, you cannot rear two male mandarin goby fish in the same tank, unless the tank is too large. Moreover, two female mandarin gobies can live peacefully and happily in the same tank. However, keep in mind to add the same size females together.

Further, it is better to keep males and females of the same species together. Then they can live as happy pairs. If you add male and female fish from different mandarin goby varieties, they will ignore each other. Commonly one mandarin goby requires at least a 30-gallon tank. Thus, if you are going to rear mandarin goby one pair, you should have a 60-gallon tank. 

Can You Keep Different Types Of Mandarin Gobies Together?   

Yes, you can keep different types of gobies together. But make sure to provide enough space, sufficient food, and other essential parameters. If maintain gobies have enough space, they do not fight with each other. But it is best if you can keep the same species together. The male and female fish from different dragonet species will ignore each other. As an example, you can put green mandarin female fish with red mandarin male fish. But they will not live as a pair. Then, they tend to ignore each other. Therefore keeping different mandarin gobies in the same tank isn’t a good practice.

Furthermore, keep in mind to provide enough space. Also, a well-aquascape tank is ideal for your dragonets fish. Rock structures play a major role in the aquarium.  because it provides places to rest for fish. Further, these caves and cavities help mandarin fish protect themselves from predators.

What Is The Rarest Mandarin Goby?

The Western Australian mandarin dragonet is the rarest in the family Callionymidae. Their scientific name is Synchiropus picturatus occidentalis. Moreover, the Western Australian mandarin dragonet is the subspecies of common green spot mandarin fish. But these mandarin gobies are not as common as green mandarin. They are only found in the Southeast of Elphik’s Knob and the northeastern end of Rosemary Island. Further, western Australian mandarin dragonets inhabit the deep waters of the Dampier Islands. Besides wild catch, their captive breeds are also rare to find. 

In addition to that, ruby red dragonets are also very unique species. Further, these red dragonets originate from the Philippines. If we consider the appearance, generally ruby red dragonets have a red body. Also, there are some white and yellow markings spread over the body. This unique look makes them more beautiful than other dragonets fish.

How Many Different Types Of Mandarin Goby Are There?   

Mandarin dragonets belong to the family Callionymidae. Also, it includes 10 genera and more than 182 species. Further, there are around 43 mandarin gobies that belong to the subgenus of Synchiropus. These are some species that belongs to the subgenus of Synchiropus

  • High fin bigeye dragonet:Synchiropus altivelis
  • Antler dragonet: Synchiropus atrilabiatus
  • Bartel’s dragonet: Synchiropus bartelsi
  • Circled dragonet: Synchiropus circularis
  • Palefin dragonet: Synchiropus goodenbeani

Generally, S. pterosynchiropus , S. occidentalis , and S. picturatus are widely using in the aquarium industry.

Do Mandarin Fish Belongs To  Goby Fish Variety?

No, some people misunderstood that mandarin gobies belong to the family Gobioidei. But it is wrong. Mandarin gobies belong to the family Callionymidae. These are two different families. Therefore the taxonomy of these two species is not the same. 


Mandarin gobies are extremely popular due to their unusual beauty and color patterns. The two most common types are the green and the spotted mandarin gobies. You can purchase some species by spending a few dollars. But to purchase some extraordinarily beautiful fish you have to spend a bit more. Further, they are also known as Dragonets. Their prices can be changed according to the fish variety and nature of the breed. However, you should need expert knowledge to rear this petite beauty because of their special dietary behaviors.

Read next: How to Feed a Blind Fish? | Easy Ways You Must Know

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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.