Overview and appearance
Dragonets are often referred to as gobies or blennies, and although they do have some resemblance, the dragonet is a completely different family of fish.
The Ruby red dragonet will spend most of its time on the floor of the tank grazing for food. They need plenty of live rock in the tank as they will constantly graze on them.
Although these fish can handle less than perfect water conditions, it’s important that your water levels are within the following limits.
One of the great things about the dragonet is you can keep them in a smaller sized tank. They will only reach about 3” maximum size so a 30-gallon tank is sufficient. Ensure that you have proper space in the tank for enough live rock.
Temperament/Tankmates – Are Ruby Red Dragonets aggressive?
The Ruby red dragonet is a very peaceful fish. It is not aggressive towards other tankmates and will not bother invertebrates or corals. The only concern would be other aggressive fish bothering them or if you have another blenny, goby, or dartfish in the tank. They can be territorial towards them.
You can keep them as a single species or multiples. It’s best to keep 2 or 3 females per male and they should be added to the tank at the same time. Also, if you plan to keep multiples, you will need a larger tank.
The Ruby Red dragonet is commonly seen in the Philippines and lives at depths of 28-30 meters in areas of broken rock rubble and corals.
One of the main concerns about keeping these fish is they require a heavy population of copepods, amphipods to survive. They can be very difficult to feed but can be trained to eat frozen Mysis, shrimp, pellets. They will also eat marine algae, spirulina, seaweed.
They should not have to compete for food, ensure they receive multiple feedings per day. As mentioned, if you have plenty of copepods in your tank, they will eat them constantly. It’s a very good idea to have a refugium set up with your tank. You can use it to grow macroalgae and provide a place for the copepods to populate and provide a food source.
The Red Ruby Dragonet is not susceptible to specific diseases. However, it is possible for them to harbor viruses or bacteria when first purchased. It’s important to quarantine these fish in their own tank for a few weeks prior to adding them into the main tank and watch for signs of illness.
Male vs female
The Red Ruby Dragonet males and females are noticeably different. The male has a highly developed and retractable dorsal fin. Although both the males and females have double dorsal fins, the males are more colorful and pronounced. It is very noticeable and larger. The female’s dorsal fins are not as developed, are smaller, and have less color. Both fish will grow to around the same size.
Are Ruby Red Dragonets reef safe?
Yes, they fully reef safe and you shouldn’t have any problems with them being around corals.
In recent years, these fish are becoming more common to see in saltwater tanks. They are becoming easier to find and purchase. Most are sold at around the 1.5-2” size and cost between $40-$50.
Should you add a Ruby Red Dragonet to your aquarium?
These fish will make an awesome addition to your tank. Although they are not aggressive and reef safe, they should only be kept by advanced hobbyists with a mature aquarium. This is due to their feeding requirements. This is one fish you do not want in a brand new tank.
If you can provide a mature tank and meet its requirements, you will love this little fish. I have a male Ruby Red Dragonet in my 120-gallon reef tank and he is doing great.