Scooter Dragonet - Synchiropus ocellatus
Avg Size 2.5-3"
One of the few fish in this hobby we can sex due to this fin so we can definitely PAIR them!! Commonly called "Scooter Blenny or Scooter Blennies" they are not a Blenny. They are a Dragonet fish. Males are noted by the long thin top mast fin. The females have a short, more rounded top fin. Color can range from a light sand brown to a darkish grey.
Scooters are fun to watch & known to eat Flatworms - especially the females! They spend most of their day independently scooting in & out of your rocks hunting live copepods etc. At dusk, if you have a pair, they will find each other & display mating behavior which is a beautiful sight to see! At night or when scared Scooter Dragonets will bury themselves in the sand to hide & are almost invisible due to their coloration & pattern which gives them perfect camouflage.
These peaceful little fish are normally ignored by other fish as they don't have normal fish characteristics that make them seem like a threat.
Never, ever keep 2 male Dragonets in the same tank as they will fight to the death! Also beware of the fact that some male Dragonets could have been improperly housed with unsuitable tankmates & may have had their long dorsal fin nipped off so it "looks" like a female! Folks, this is way too common. Buy only from a reputable source like AquaCorals & know what you're getting!
I do NOT recommend quarantine tanks. Because Dragonets spend most of their time in among the rocks they would no doubt scared being in a small environment where they can't hide as normal from perceived danger. Add to this, the transfer from the Q tank to the DT (display tank) is going to be another stressor for them. Never is a Q tank exactly the same as a DT, the transfer scares them & they have to acclimate to yet another environment. I encourage you to place my Dragonets in your DT once acclimated.
My Dragonets do not leave my facility until they are eating frozen PE Mysis Shrimp! This usually takes a week so you know they are fully rested as well as eating when they arrive to your home!
Feeding Dragonets: Feed Every Day - Once A Day. My Dragonets are trained to eat PE Mysis Shrimp. Prepare by thawing the amount to feed in cold tap water. IA clean bathroom size paper cup works well for most. Once thawed, pour/strain through a net (a 3 inch net works great for this) & rinse with cold tap water. Add clean tap water to your container & backwash the Mysis shrimp into the water. Add any other foods like flake & frozen Calanus to the Mysis. I suck up this "suop" with a clean turkey baster & broadcast feed the mix into the tank.
Please, do not chase your AquaCorals Dragonet(s) around trying to target feed them as they are all reclusive eaters meaning they won't want to eat in front of you until they associate you with food. Trust me when I say my Dragonets know full well what PE Mysis shrimp is & when hungry, will chase after it no matter how many other fish you may have competing for it! A sad commentary is that this beautiful little fish is still drug collected by many today which almost always results in it starving, even though eating. This is noted by a concave belly as well as seeing a horizontal rib line that runs down the length of their body. A well conditioned Dragonet will be rounded out all the way to it's tail whereas a malnourished Dragonet will be concave above & below this rib line, pictured below.