The Colorful and slow-moving Dragonets are the most interesting and beautiful fishes for a marine aquarium. Dragonets are quite small and perciform marine fish of a diverse family that is, Callionymidae (Taken from the Greek word “kallis” means “beautiful” and “onyma” means “name”).These are found mainly in the tropical water levels of the western Indo-Pacific oceans thats why called “Tropical Fish”. They are benthic organisms which spend most of their time near the sandy sea bottoms, at a depth of approx 200 meters. There are 139 species of this kind of fish.
Due to the similarities in body structure and behavior, dragonets are sometimes confused with “goby” fishes family. Other than that, male dragonets can be distinguished from the goby by their long dorsal fins and females can be differentiated by their extended out lower jaws.
TYPES OF BREEDS:
Dragonets are fishes which are widespread and comes under a diverse group. Since, they are often small and tiny bottom dwellers, they usually tend to be mostly unseen by divers. The largest breed is the “longtail dragonet (Callionymus gardineri)” whereas the smallest is “Saint Helena dragonet (Callionymus sanctaehelenae)”.
Dragonet bodies are enlarged and scaleless, with large and showy fins. The first high dorsal fin usually consists four spines but in males, these may be further attractive with filamentous (thin like thread) extensions and their tail fins are tapered and fan-shaped.
The largest species, the longtail dragonets can have a length upto 30 centimetres (12 inches). On the other end, the Saint Helena dragonets can have a length of just 2 centimetres (0.79 inches).
Dragonets are basically colourful fishes but with cryptic patterns that help them to hide on the seabed (floor of ocean) or reefs (The rocks and sand below the surface of sea). In some species, males and females can have different colours and patterns, which become obvious during displaying elaborate courtship.
Males try to show off their bright coloured fins and frequently open and close their mouth. If the female is interested, they will pair up and moves up in the water column, where male supports the female on his pectoral fins. Their eggs and sperms are released under midwater, and fertilization takes place. The buoyant eggs mixup and become part of the plankton in water, floating with the currents until hatching takes place.
Unlike other fishes, Marine fishes don’t not easily get attracted to eat prepared foods, because they don’t recognize the processed items as food. Dragonets require some special feeding requirements. In the wild area they mainly hunt small crustaceans (copepods). They usually require a tank which has been established for an year ago. It should possess with at least 90 pounds of live rock and sand to provide a much population of copepods. Naturally occurring copepods provide prey for dragonet. Some aquarists try to feed them live black worms in to get wean off of copepods, but it requires regular purchase and maintenance of these worms. This practice usually works for a short period of time, but black worms don’t contain proper nutrition. If it were not the reason then it might be easy to keep these fishes .
The Dragonets ( marine fishes) are most challenging fishes to be kept in an aquarium. It’s not a primary issue whether how hardy they are , but their diet is main issue which can make them difficult to handle. When it comes to keep with other Dragonets then there can be an issue (besides exausted food). A pair of a male and female usually live without aggression, but if you put two males in same aquarium (unless it is large in size) they may fight, as they are very specific about their territory.
The price varies on colours, size and mainly dependent on countries where you are looking for a beautiful aquarium fish. You need to made a quick research over the price of a dragonet fish.
But the affordable price to buy at , is around $20 – $30 ( INR 1200 – 1800).