Dragon Fish Pet: Care Basics & Tips for First-Time Owners

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A devoted pet parent, pet store manager and animal shelter volunteer. Read more about me here.


Most people that come into the pet store with the idea of getting a Dragon fish pet all seem to wonder the same thing: 

Does the freshwater Dragonfish look like the mythological creature, and, more importantly, does it make a good, easy-to-care-for pet? 

Yes, Dragon fish are a species that has retained a lot of the similarities to their prehistoric ancestors. And with the distinct head shape, the oversized pectoral fin, and the spike on its dorsal fin, they do resemble the mythological guardians of thresholds and gateways quite a bit. 

I'll address the second portion of your question in the following guide, but I'll sum it up real quick: 

Yes – with proper maintenance, your Dragonfish can be the star of your freshwater aquarium for years to come!

 Last Updated: November 1, 2023


Dragon Fish Pet Care Basics: Maintenance, Feeding, and Companionship


Dragon Fish Care & Maintenance

Dragon fish need very clean, brackish water – freshwater with a bit of salt – and plenty of space. You should provide a minimum of 25 gallons of water per fish, and give them plenty of space to move around comfortably – four feet in length is considered a minimum. 

Use sand substrate as the floor of their new home, and give them plenty of hiding spots – caves, logs, and plants – where they can hide if they're stressed or need shelter.

Dragon Fish Diet & Feeding

Feeding your Dragonfish pet an adequate diet is the most crucial step you can take as a pet owner: 

The better the food, the more beautiful – and healthy – your Dragon fish. 

Out in the wild, Dragon fish are opportunistic carnivores and scavengers, and will typically feed on insects, larvae, and invertebrates, scavenging old carcasses when they get a chance. 

So, feed them a high-protein diet that includes frozen fish food, as well as live food, such as black worms and ghost shrimp. Also, pay attention to portion control – they should be able to eat all the food in one go – and feed them once a day.

Dragon Fish Companionship

Despite their size, intimidating name, and prehistoric looks, Dragon fish are surprisingly peaceful and gentle creatures, which is why they sometimes get bullied by the other, much more aggressive fish. On the flip side, they're known to take a nip at smaller fish. 

They do, however, enjoy the company of Goldfish in cool water aquariums. In brackish water, medium-sized fish, such as Archer Fish or Black Sailfin Mollies, can make excellent companions to your Dragon fish. Angelfish, Swordtails, and Silver Dollars are worth considering, too.

Eel gobies, Violet gobies, Peruvian gobies – the Dragonfish goes by many names. And whatever you choose to call it, one thing's certain: 

A Dragon fish pet can be an unusual, prehistoric-looking, and oh-so-unique addition to your freshwater aquarium – if you're willing to put in a little work, that is.

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About the Author

A devoted pet parent to two lovely creatures – Charlie the Cat and Jimmy the Dog – a full-time assistant pet store manager, and an animal shelter volunteer. I've gathered knowledge about pets for almost a decade, and it all started in a small store called Jack's Pets.

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