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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've always wanted a mandrin dragonette but I know it has really strict feeding habbits. I have a 65 with about 95 lbs of live rock with a fuge with rubble rock and chaeto. I have tons of pods in the fuge and I see smaller amounts of pods in the main display.
I'm just wondering what it will take to make one of these guys to thrive? Is it tanks size, certain number of pounds of rock or both. My tank is about 4 months old right now and I'm not really ready to get one yet. I just wanted to know from other keepers of mandrins how they have been able to keep them.
I think in about a month I will be buying my first coral. I'm not sure what yet but I'm sure I will have another thread discussing it.
Water parms
trite = 0
amonia = 0
trate 10
 

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Try to get one that is eating frozen food at the store. You can target feed them in the tank using a soda bottle top or something placed on the sand with food inside. They will learn to go in there when feeding. This in combination with a healthy pod population will give you the best shot at being successful. If the fish store won't show you the fish is eating, don't buy it as it probably won't make it in your tank.
 

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I had one for about two years in a very well established fish only tank. They are nice fish but I fed this one live brine shrimp I raised in a gallon jar, and of course he had pods to eat too. If you're willing to train them to frozen food I think it's well worth the trouble, they are nice little fish.

HHC
 

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What you may concider doing is rotating the live rock between the fuge and main tank so that the pods are better able to maintain a stable population.
 

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The things are like 15-20 bucks arent they? I have so many pods on the right hand side of the tank is disgusts me. I was thinking about getting one also. Then again anything in my tank will eat anything. I have had my clownfish since they were nearly fry and if I finish a donut and have a small piece left over, I toss it in my tank and they eat it. Hot dog, cheese, pizza bits - just about anything. They eat about as healthy as I do, LOL and LOVE macaroni and cheese made by Stouffers for some odd reason.

Then I have a basslet that is supposed to eat mainly pods and leave other food alone. But the thing goes crazy for mysis shrimp because I have been feeding it to him since day one. Ever seen a near baby Spotted Mandarin? Oh dear god are they hilarious. Their heads are about the same size as they would be when they are older, but their bodies are small.
 

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trying to keep mandarines and clownfish or basslets is completely different. basslets are small groupers so they will eat just about anything small in the water column, the same with the clownfish.

as for mandarins they are specific feeders and are very well adapted for finding and eating pods.

the best thing to do is set up a separate system for raising pods. raising pods and keeping a reef tank require different water conditions. they just do not go together. it is better to just setup a 10/20gallon and put some LR in it. slap a HOB filter on it and start feeding phyto. the pods will be quite plentifull. about once a year you will need to redo the system because of all the detritus, but other than that very little maitenance. that way you can scoop out some pods daily for the mandarin.

other than setting up a pod station, most people do not recommend any tank smaller than 75 for a mandarin. this is also a 75 DSB, not a 75 BB. if you have a BB tank i would say double the size of the tank needed to support it.

G~
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies from everyone. I'm thinking that I will just give up on the idea.

Geoff -
I'm really surprised that you said pods and reefs require different water conditions. My plan is to make this into a reef tank. I have lots of pods now, does that mean I'm not going to be successful doing a reef? I'm confused....
 

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i actually prolly should have specified which kind of reef, but in general the statement is true. pods like to feed on phytoplankton. this leads to high phosphate levels, which leads to algae blooms.

in the early days of a new tank, the first year. there is a lot of flux going on in the system. lots of die-off. this can raise the levels of nutrients in the water column. stuff for the pods to eat. eventually the tank settles down and the nutrients drop, so the pods do not have as much to feed, their populations dwindle. most tanks have a few pods, but not enough to actually support a heavy pod eater like a mandarin.

keeping lagoonal corals will give you a better chance of keeping a mandarin since they are more used to higher nutrients in the system. reef top corals will not do as well with the higher nutrient levels in the water column.

the more you feed the more you will have to fight algae in the system. it is just easier to let the algae grow with the pods in another system.

does that clearify any. :rolleyes:

there are ways to get around this, but it will get into the whole DSB/BB debate. :D

G~
 

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I think most of us said at the beginning that they eat mainly pods. That is the first time that I heard that pods will form everywhere in a newly established tank though, because of excess nutrients.

I will let you do your own homework on their feeding habits. How bout this just for starters. Do some reading that isnt over 5 years old. ALSO go to, ohhhhhhh I dont know, EVERY MAJOR LIVESTOCK DISTRIBUTOR ON THE NET and see what they eat.

Most of them say live brine shirmp, mysis shrimp or black worms. To me, its is worth it because the beauty of the fish. The things are absolutely georgeous. If you can afford the time in feeding or hatching live brine shrimp (or if your local store carries them) or black worms - I say invest it based in sheer beauty alone and the fact that they are extraordinary creatures. I think it is worth getting some live brine shrimp from the LFS and maybe starting a little ten gallon for them and then dumping in a tablespoon once a week or so. I mean LOOK AT THE FISH!!! Both the psychadelic and the spotted - simply stunning.
 

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jonnywater said:
I think most of us said at the beginning that they eat mainly pods. That is the first time that I heard that pods will form everywhere in a newly established tank though, because of excess nutrients.
heh they are some of the 1st life forms most if not all see in there tank


jonnywater said:
I will let you do your own homework on their feeding habits. How bout this just for starters. Do some reading that isnt over 5 years old. ALSO go to, ohhhhhhh I dont know, EVERY MAJOR LIVESTOCK DISTRIBUTOR ON THE NET and see what they eat.
Perhaps you can supply for of this? yes i belive they will save Cyclopleze, brine and flake or some sorta pellet..but actually seeing this fish eating what they say is usally differant story.

jonnywater said:
Most of them say live brine shirmp, mysis shrimp or black worms. To me, its is worth it because the beauty of the fish. The things are absolutely georgeous. If you can afford the time in feeding or hatching live brine shrimp (or if your local store carries them) or black worms - I say invest it based in sheer beauty alone and the fact that they are extraordinary creatures. I think it is worth getting some live brine shrimp from the LFS and maybe starting a little ten gallon for them and then dumping in a tablespoon once a week or so. I mean LOOK AT THE FISH!!! Both the psychadelic and the spotted - simply stunning.
as you should know brine shrimp do not have much if any nutrient value at all. most of the brine you can get at the LFS is in the mature stage and anythign you add to the water to enrich them is gone rather fast. hatching your own is sometimes a feat in it self.
alarge percentage of them will slowly starve to death upon eatting all of the pods in the tank. even if they are not competing with others. Yes they can be trined to eat frozen foods.. but that too is a hard thing to do and is not always done.
mandarins are something that should not be taken out of their naturally habitat
 

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Tims, why do you always come after me? What did I ever do to you? LOL

I will answer your questions.

liveaquaria.com is one if not the largest distributor of livestock on the planet (ever seen their staff, good lord is that impressive). Go read there info if you just want to hit sites (they have about 40 marine biologists). There is your proof. BZZZZZZZZZZ CRASH AND BURN on that point. If not there is a book out called The Invisible Slick I think it is that was put out about 4 months ago. It is entirely devoted to "cryptic" fish in the marine aquarium. BZZZZZZZZ CRASH AND BURN again.

When did this post start being about the survival of Brine Shrimp hatching? Who cares? Go to your fish store once a week and buy some live ones in a bag for 8 cents. Yes, thing is do YOU know their nutritional value?

Protein is 5.8%
Fat is .6%
Fiber is .25%

blah blah blah. Thing is that you are forgetting that animals will nearly eat TRIPLE the amount of brine shrimp then they will flake food. I have even floated my frozen brine in cod or salmon oil to make the fat content higher. The only difference really is the crude fat content in there. Also I have seen a spotted mandarin the was fed frozen brine and it loved it. Mysis even more. They eat slow moving, or barely moving prey in nature. Thus means they are not natural hunters and will eat that way.

BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
AGAIN!!!
 
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