The head and body of the Red Mandarin Dragonet are a mazelike combination of blue, orange, and red. Males may be distinguished from females by their extra-elongated first dorsal spine. The red variation of the Mandarin fish is a rare find in the industry and is extremely popular with aquarists because of its unusual beauty. Unlike the green mandarin, this red variant has much wider and more pronounced red stripes and red pectoral fins.
It should be kept in a well-established, 30-gallon or larger aquarium with plenty of live rock, live sand, and hiding places. It is moderately hardy in mature reef aquariums if given special care. It is not overly aggressive towards other fish, except for conspecifics.
It feeds on a variety of vitamin-enriched live brine shrimp, live black worms, and natural prey on tiny crustaceans found in live rock and live sand.