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lgreen's Mandarin FAQ


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#51
small reef

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I purchased my first mandarin after my tank had been up and running for nearly two years. I knew I had plenty of copepods to sustain the fish for a while, but I worried that eventually the supply would run out. I knew I needed a way to provide shelter for them so they wouldn't get wiped out. So, I developed a small plan.

The first thing I did was try to establish some areas where the copepods could live and breed that the mandarin couldn't get to. My tank is a 20L, with 20 lbs live sand, and about 15 lbs of live rock arranged in one single reef that runs the length of the tank. In my other tank, I have a crushed coral substrate instead of sand. I noticed that a lot of copepods lived in the crushed coral. So I added a pile of crushed coral to the back of the tank where it wouldn't be visable. I also added a couple of piles of attractive shells near the base of the reef. I also rearranged the reef to include some areas where the goby could not enter. I can't prove that this helped sustain the population, but I believe it did.

Immediately after the fish was added to my tank, I began trying small amounts of other foods to try to find something else it would eat. I used a turkey baster and squirted the foods right towards the goby. For the first month or so, it wouldn't eat anything. I assume it was eating copepods during the night, but I never actually saw it eat. After roughly a month, I finally saw it eat a couple live brine shrimp after I squirted them to it. After another month, the goby was eating live brine shrimp and freeze dried krill.

About two years later, the goby is still alive in my tank. I belive that keeping this goby with other slow moving, peaceful fish has helped aid my success. The other occupants include 1 Threadfin goby, 1 Pajama Cardinal, and 2 ocellaris clowns. The mandarin still prefers live brine shrimp, but will take small freeze dried krill, and once in a while will eat a flake or two of flake food.

#52
SeeDemTails

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I second that i can't get mine to even look at frozen


Try harder, start with live brine. Any mandarin can be trained.

#53
ppsthlm

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Try harder, start with live brine. Any mandarin can be trained.

How did you train the mandarins?
//ppsthlm

my elos system mini:
http://www.nano-reef...howtopic=187885

#54
somuchpaint

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Can they be fed baby guppies? I'm assuming they would need to be enriched somehow first.

#55
StevieT

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#56
lgreen

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Can they be fed baby guppies? I'm assuming they would need to be enriched somehow first.


I doubt it. They tend to pic live food off the rocks/substrate, not swimming in the water current. When you put guppies in saltwater they tend to head straight for the surface trying to get to water w/ more oxygen in it, but eventually they just suffocate and die.

#57
caddyshack

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hahaha i say the comments below steve who was that du###?
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#58
StevieT

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hahaha i say the comments below steve who was that du###?



apparently andy and carl think this video is gay. Maybe Jer can give a confirmation ;)

#59
JRizzle

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I dont know if i just got lucky or what, but i've had my mandarin for over two years in my biocube 29. He eats brine, but i rarely feed. Mostly he just eats the pods, I have a ton of live rock though.

#60
Alcapown

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Try harder, start with live brine. Any mandarin can be trained.

Hey, ive seen a few of your posts about the forums, the ones that catch my are about mandarins, because I have been studying, and researching the hobby for quite some time, and Im almost to the point of getting started, Im thinking 14g biocube, and I think the mandarin are an absolutely beautiful fish, and very intelligent, and i would LOVE to be able to house one happily in that particular aquarium. I see that most are highly against that, but you do think they would ive in a 14g biocube happily? and healthy if I am willing to put the time, effort, and dedication in for the little guy? Thank you very much for your help! :) And yes, id use your feeding methods, cant argue with the results you have gotten. Lol I posted this, quoting you on another thread, I would just PM but your inbox is full, its 4 am right now, so hopefully you will see this and I can check out the response tomorrow, thanks.
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#61
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I have a 24G Nano Cube Deluxe. I have had a Mandarin/Dragonet for about 6 months. It eats frozen Brine shrimp. I feed it 2-3 times a day. He eats about 7-8 shrimp at each feeding. I make sure he eats.

My tank is under a year old (my husband came home with the Mandarin for me--I wouldn't have done so myself with what I have read), but has plenty of algae,etc. for him to pick at inbetween feedings.

I turn my filters OFF when I feed. He has a difficult time getting the food otherwise. Everyone knows it's food time when those filters shut off!

He is healthy, happy and well fed. His best buddy is my Clownfish. They swim all over together.

Unless you KNOW your Dragonet will eat frozen anything...I would make sure first. This is a beautiful fish and I would feel really bad if it died of starvation!

#62
jonrx

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Get your mandarin off brine.

Brine is terrible for fish. It's like feeding them french fries for every meal.

Sure, he's fat now, but eventually he will die of malnutrition.

#63
TahoeReefer

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Get your mandarin off brine.

Brine is terrible for fish. It's like feeding them french fries for every meal.

Sure, he's fat now, but eventually he will die of malnutrition.

Hey, I've lived off french fries all my life and I'm ok. Kidding. Curious..what nutritional value do Copepods offer that Brine don't? No doubt live stuff has more nutritional goodies. Wouldn't live Brine be just as beneficial? What about soaking the frozen brine in vitamin supplements--I believe I read that somewhere?

#64
bruce922

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You can soak the Brine with different supplements and I guess its OK. But jonrx is right Brine only is a terrible diet for any fish. Imagine sitting around all day and when you are hungry you eat potato chips. There is a ton of infomation on the web about Brine and what it lacks as far as any nutritional value. Brine in my opinion should me used once in a while as a treat for the fish to chase and catch. Also if you read about copepods on the net you will see that they pack a punch when it comes to nutrition. Good luck with your mandarin. Try finding a LFS in your area that carries live mysis, I found one in my area and my mandarin loves them. They are great in nutrition also. But then again my spotted mandarin loves just about anything that I feed it. Also try Rod's food. SteveT talked about how much his mandarin liked it. I went and got some and mine does too.


Bruce

#65
TahoeReefer

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Thanks for the advice. I was just happy he was eating. I know he is eating some of the natural goodies in the tank, but I will try some of your suggestions...and at least cut-down on the Brine.

#66
fishieluver

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Wow or you could just purchase enriched spirulina brine??? haha.. Read the label...

#67
RandomTabby

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I had seen a video on bottle training mandarins and its working for me. Here are some pics and a video I made. I think he was a little nervous that I was looking at him eating.


This is a great idea! I had a similar plan with my mandarin, it was eating frozen fine but I found he could never find all of it on the sand and too much was going to waste. So I gave him a feeding dish and now when he's done I just suck up the excess with a pipette! The bowl is actually a reptile feeding dish and looks quite natural in the tank.

nom nom nom!
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#68
Alcapown

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This is a great idea! I had a similar plan with my mandarin, it was eating frozen fine but I found he could never find all of it on the sand and too much was going to waste. So I gave him a feeding dish and now when he's done I just suck up the excess with a pipette! The bowl is actually a reptile feeding dish and looks quite natural in the tank.

nom nom nom!
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That's awesome, hes like a little puppy lol.
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#69
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I purchased some live Tigriopus Copepods and filled the tank with 'em. My Mandarin didn't look twice. One practically landed on his nose. I tried it over a period of a couple of weeks. I'd turn off the pump so they wouldn't get sucked up, etc. No go. I completely stopped the Brine while trying to get him to eat the copepods. He likes big chuncks of food apparently!

The Brine I buy is fortified with goodies--of course nothing like the live copepods! I switched to the frozen cubes "Marine Cuisine" and he appears to like it. There is Mysis in it. I will see if I can find some live. At least there is some variety with (hopefully) some better nutrition.

Thanks for the advice everyone. Can't find Rod's locally...

#70
SoonerBrad

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I am considering picking up a mandarin here in the next week or so. I am going to try PE Mysis as the training food for it since that is what I feed the rest of my tank. I just hope it goes a little better than my first mandarin since it only made it about 3 months in the tank.

#71
D3monic

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Try and make sure it eats at the store before you bring it home. Have them feed it some live brine or something. If it doesnt eat it probably wont train. Try Bloodworms enriched in selcon. They instinctively go for them for some reason. I have trained 5 Mandarins onto frozen foods and failed with one. The one I did fail with didnt eat at the store but I was excited and bought her anyway. I think it was probably sick to begin with, most likely a internal parasite.
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#72
SoonerBrad

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That sounds like a good idea, I know my LFS wouldn't mind throwing in a few live brine just as a test run before selling me one of them.

#73
eswong

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Is it true that scooters will take to frozen or pellets easier than mandarins?

#74
koresample

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Hi, I am a Newbie to this forum and a relative newb to the SW hobby.
I have a Fluval Osaka 155 tank(40 gallon) with 55 lbs of live rock in it. I have two false percula clowns, a yellow watchman goby and my mandarin (had him for the past 6 months) plus a bunch of softies, LPS coral banded shrip and a cleaner crew of snails and blue leg hermits. I modified an AC 110 and made it into a fuge, loaded it with live sand (about 3 inched, LR rubble and macro algae and then put a small coralife 6700k light over it, 12 hrs on, 12 hrs off. I stocked the fuge with a bottle of copepods (i have the pump choked back to about 25 gph) about a month ago to replenish the tank, and now at lights out the tank and the fuge are bug city! My mandarin is getting nice and fat and i have not tried to feed him anything (although he may go for some of the mysis once in while). My rock had been established for about 2 yrs when i added it to the tank and i have about 3 different piles of LR rubble in the tank that the mandarin can't get into. In addition, i swap out the LR rubble from the aquaclear twice a month with rubble from the tank. Every time i change the carbon pad in my bubble trap, its crawling with pods. I give the pad a little shake under the macro to dislodge as many as possible without squeezing the pad, then chuck it out and replace with another. I will post some pics as soon as i figure out how to take a good tank pic with my new camera..

#75
PrincessLiLi

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i just bought a mandarin the other day..the moring after i acclimated him he had these white strings hanging out his mouth and gills...i paniced and threw some garlic in there and he recovered...now i must train him to eat the cyclopeze...i might hatch some brine shrimp in there too and i have abunch of little rock pieces im gona put together and make a copepod nursery..there just laying in the front of the tank and making the sand turn different colors..its ugly..i might aswell make use of them and make a copepod nursery...yay!!!