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The many methods of training Dragonets


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#51
metrokat

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Just got a mandy that was eating nutramar ova at the LFS and seems to be eating it at home too.
I want to raise copepods too, any help would be appreciated. Thanks

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#52
NanaReefer

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Bringing this out of the dead zone! Wondering how everyone's Mandarins are doing? I have had my ORA CB Target Mandarin now for 3 weeks. I'm target feeding her Hikari frozen blood worms (chopped) and she loves them! In the p.m feedings I'll add some Nutramr Ova to the mix. Her (Dilly) striking seems to be off a little, as she often misses. But obviously she's getting plenty to eat as she's putting on weight. Sinking pellets seem to be an issues as once they settle on the bottom she wont touch them.
My tank/fuge gets seeded monthly with 3-4 different species of pods. I've got a ball of cheato tucked away in the back corner of the tank. This is where she hangs out the most. However I've yet to see with my own eyes, her pecking/striking at the rock or sand bed. But she does show hunting behavior, constantly! She will chase down moving blood worms.
I'm very much enjoying this lil fish. Having lots of time on my hands I find caring for her very fulfilling.

Edited by NanaReefer, 16 May 2012 - 08:18 AM.

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#53
metrokat

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Bringing this out of the dead zone! Wondering how everyone's Mandarins are doing? I have had my ORA CB Target Mandarin now for 3 weeks. I'm target feeding her Hikari frozen blood worms and she loves them! In the p.m feedings I'll add some Nutramr Ova to the mix. Her (Dilly) striking seems to be off a little, as she often misses. But obviously she's getting plenty to eat as she's putting on weight. Sinking pellets seem to be an issues as once they settle on the bottom she wont touch them.
My tank/fuge gets seeded monthly with 3-4 different species of pods. I've got a ball of cheato tucked away in the back corner of the tank. This is where she hangs out the most. However I've yet to see with my own eyes, her pecking/striking at the rock or sand bed. But she does show hunting behavior, constantly! She will chase down moving blood worms.
I'm very much enjoying this lil fish. Having lots of time on my hands I find caring for her very fulfilling.


Very cool! My mandarin Draco is not getting his daily feeding of Nutramar Ova, more like twice a week now, but I see him as healthy as before, and I am hoping the pods in the tank are growing. I am also maintaining a pod culture for him and did my first harvest/feeding from it yesterday after growing it for more than 1.5 months.
I tried live blood worms and brine shrimp when I first got him, he just stared at the wiggling things tilting his head this way and that. :huh:

I would like to try live foods again, I am hopefully getting some live mysis this weekend.

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#54
NanaReefer

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I was thinking of setting up a 5g pod culture tank. But until I actually see Dilly going after the ones in the tank I'll just continue with several target feedings a day.
These fish are very different eaters that's for sure. One minute she'll go after the blood worms with vigor! The next she does that *head tilting*. Which drives me crazy~LOL. Today while feeding her blood worms I glanced away for a minute, when I looked back she was shaking back and forth. I'm like WTH is she doing? My fungia coral was blocking my view of Dilly fighting with a bristle worm for a blood worm!!! Needless to say my lil fish swam away the victor, with a mouth full :)
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#55
metrokat

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Looks like you have a vampire mandy or a blood thirsty vixen on your hands :lol:

I just fed nutramar ova, Draco looks like he has a little gut/beer belly thing going on. Might have to rename him muffin top. :huh:

Lol

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#56
NanaReefer

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Could you all share in what manner are you feeding your Mandarins? I've been target feeding Dilly 3 times a day. More often then not he misses when he strikes at the food :( It is driving me crazy!!! I've never seen a fish with such terrible aim!! I know he's hungry. He goes crazy at feeding time. I've been using some airline tubing attached to a syringe. What does he do? He stalks the food in the tube (especially if it's moving) and ignores the food coming out the end of it :( On the occasions that I have seem him eat, it's like 1 blood worm and then he's off wandering. I've yet to see him go after any pods, of which there are plenty. I watch him all day! I've had him for 4 weeks now and I have not seen him *peck* at the rock or glass, ever.
Anyways...do you all think putting a jar in the tank and letting him eat at his leisure would be better then the target feeding? I've done the jar feeding before and he will sit in the jar all day.
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#57
altolamprologus

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Could you all share in what manner are you feeding your Mandarins? I've been target feeding Dilly 3 times a day. More often then not he misses when he strikes at the food :( It is driving me crazy!!! I've never seen a fish with such terrible aim!! I know he's hungry. He goes crazy at feeding time. I've been using some airline tubing attached to a syringe. What does he do? He stalks the food in the tube (especially if it's moving) and ignores the food coming out the end of it :( On the occasions that I have seem him eat, it's like 1 blood worm and then he's off wandering. I've yet to see him go after any pods, of which there are plenty. I watch him all day! I've had him for 4 weeks now and I have not seen him *peck* at the rock or glass, ever.
Anyways...do you all think putting a jar in the tank and letting him eat at his leisure would be better then the target feeding? I've done the jar feeding before and he will sit in the jar all day.

I turn off my return pump and set my mp10 to feed mode so there's very little flow. Then I squirt a bunch of food in one corner of the tank and my mandarins come over and eat it all up. Just turn off your pumps and your problem will be solved

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#58
NanaReefer

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I do turn off my pumps. I've tried the putting food in corners. He'll strike once and may/may not get a bite and then it's look look look for the next hour or so. He'll actually sit on top of the food! If it's not moving he wont even bother with it.
I've suspended a jar in the tank. I add food 2-4x daily into it. Removing any uneaten food first. He'll sit in the jar, on top of the food and just swim around. He'll take a bite and then that's it. He does not eat like any fish I've ever encountered! I'm so totally frustrated :( I don't know what more I can do......

Edited by NanaReefer, 27 May 2012 - 11:31 AM.

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#59
Gahngoo

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I have gotten really lucky with a Green Target Mandarin. It is in my 10G and eats everything I feed him (frozen [vitamin soaked] mysis and live adult & baby brine shrimp). I hand feed him one or two shrimp at a time until he wont eat any more. I do that once or twice a day. Originally, I bought him to control some flat worms that were becoming a nuisance. He ate all of the flat worms and I have not seen one since. I planned on keeping him in the 10G until the worms were gone, then to the 180G he would go. Fortunately, he eats like a boss and is very active. If I had to sustain him solely on pods, he would starve. I drop in arthropods from time to time and he chases them down and gobbles them up. He seems to be doing very well on the mysis shrimp.

I have owned a red scooter blenny in the past for about 1.5 years in my 180G. He just ate whatever was there but eventually died. I have tried my hand at the green (psychedelic) mandarins. I had one get picked at by a wrasse and killed and another died within a day or two of purchase. My target mandarin was bought just to eat the flat worms since the Christmas wrasse I bought that “loves flat worms” didn’t even look at them. I am very pleased with the target mandarin’s “performance” so far. I’m guessing he is an anomaly in the world of mandarins. Whoo-hoo lucky me. I finally caught a break! :D

Edited by Gahngoo, 08 June 2012 - 11:21 PM.


#60
MlDukes

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My method was to buy one already eating prepared food :P he has done great for almost a year now. I turn my powerheads off but leave my return pump running and use a glass antifreeze tester "new, balls removed" to spot feed. Ive coached him to hang out on one side, opposite to the side i feed the rest of the fish. This has worked well, he gets plenty to eat without competition. He eats frozen brine, mysis, and loves bloodworms! My refugium is crawling with amphipods copepods and mysis so that helps supplement his diet.

EDIT: He also eradicated my flat worm population. not seen a one in my display since he was added.

Edited by MlDukes, 06 November 2012 - 03:43 PM.


#61
Tamberav

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Figured I would add my experiences. The LFS here has very skinny manderins so I ordered a wild green manderin from Live Aquaria (medium). I received a healthy fat male (yay). Within an hour of acclimation he was pecking. I dumped in some nutrimar ova and he was pecking and spitting it out. About 2 days later he was eating it.

He was in a breeder box but hated it. Would freak out when I got near so I had to add food then leave and peer at him through the doorway. I released him from the breeder box (because he hated it) into a 10g bare bottom by himself and would just add ova by where he was hiding. He would come out and eat when I wasn't near and started eating straight from the frozen cubes.

The tank was a pain to keep clean and he always hid if he wasn't eating so I moved him to my 20g long. He immediately loved the other tank. Is think because the presence of other fish swimming in the open made him feel safe. The 10g wouldn't have worked long term due to his skittish personality.

I mixed cytopleeze in and he ate that as well and I would offer pellets first. He would only eat one pellet then ignore the rest. However, eventually started eating pellet after pellet and now readily eats them as well. So far he hates mysis and I have never tried brine shrimp or bloodworms.

I tried the jar method but he didn't want to go inside. So I just feed the other fish first then squirt his food in the corners where he now knows to go. Have had him for several months now and he is still plump. I do have to feed extra because of the snail swarm but he picks around them and it seems to be working out.

I was ready to do live brine if I had to but was luckily enough that he took to ova within days.

I had to start vinegar dosing because my 20g was already fully stocked before him and he needs extra feedings. I went from light feeding to feeding 2x a day and an extra fish. Vinegar and extra water changes help keep it in check. Luckily I keep forgiving corals and fish.

Edited by Tamberav, 30 November 2012 - 07:52 AM.

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#62
jersey

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So, I planned getting my Blue Mandarin for a long time.. I knew it was very hard to keep them in a small tank like a nano cube 28. So, I decided that I had 2 options.. one, buy weekly pods (found a site that does subscription shipments of pods on a monthly bi-weekly, or weekly shipment. I started a culture of Tibse, and a culture of Roti, and amphipods.. I also had a 10g tank set up with all chaeto, and pod condo's to do whatever I could. I read and read about it, and made the plunge.. Had an ORA special ordered.. let it QT at the shop for 12 days, and brought him home.. He dies the next day.. Didn't look bad or anything.. Just up and died..

I figured it was a sign, and I wasn't going to try again.. I'm not fond of killing things for my selfish joys.. I was then in a local store that is around the corner from my house where I go to get my water.. I saw they had 2 mandarins in their tanks.. I asked if it ate frozen, and he gave me some brine to try.. He seemed to look at it, but didn't take it.. I went back and forth in my head about it, and for some reason.. I just had to get him. So, I took the male as he was bigger, and fatter the the female.. I set up my little clear shower caddy on the side glass of the tank so he was in the tank water, but separate from the other fish and corals.

I dropped in a few sinking pellets, and he didn't show any interest.. I then put in some of the larger pods (amphipods) and he gobbled 5-6 of them up..

The next day the pellets where untouched, so I got them out, and gave him a few more pods.. Then later, pods with some cyclopeeze.. the cyclops are too small for me to tell if he ate a lot or not. Next feeding a few pods and a pinch of live blackworms.. He gobbled the worms up like they where the best thing he ever had..

I continued this way for about a week.. Tried a veriety of foods.. His favorites are frozen Bloodworms, and frozen Brine. He doesn't go too crazy for the mysid unless they are live but even then he really doesn't go nuts like he does with the black worms..

So, at this point he has been with me for a couple of months, and he's fat as can be. When he sees me near the tank, he swims up to the front of pecks at the glass telling me it's time for food.. lol

I've almost got him trained to the point that he will take it out of my hand, but not quite there yet. My clowns will come half way out of the water if I dangle blackworms for them... I know Blackworms are freshwater food, but they all eat them and love it.. I use it to feed various freshwater species I have so I figured I would give them a try. I'm glad I did because they love them.

I would highly recommend the shower caddy though.. It has 2 suction cups that attach to the glass and lots of square holes on it for flow to get through. I use them in 2 tanks for chaeto holders and also use the small one to watch my fish after they go out of the QT and into the display. This is the ones I use.. I have both sizes.. I find them much better then the breeder boxes or the specimen boxes that LFS use to bag up your fish.

Here is the link.. I hope it's ok to post this here.
Small. I used this for the mandarin.
http://www.amazon.co...ear suction cup

Large .. I use these for chaeto
http://www.amazon.co...d_bxgy_hg_img_y

#63
jersey

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Thought I would add I am running a bakpak 2 skimmer, and a phosban with GFO due to the extra feedings needed.. I keep acro, lps softies, NPS, leathers and a clam in the tank without problems with this setup even with heavy feedings. I also have a fairly large amount of macro algae (dragons breath, coin plants, red titan, violet flames and a few others mostly reds) in the tank which I am sure helps keep the levels in check.

#64
papaj10789

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I have a green mandarin and a ricordea yuma. I fed the yuma frozen mysis like I normally do and I noticed today that the Mandarin will swim up to the yuma and eat the mysis off it! I was like no way. So I did it again 3 more times. The mandarin ate 3 1/2 whole mysis. Hes been in the tank for three days now and there is still a ton of pods in the tank. All he does is swim around and eat . If i can continue this habit, I will have nice fat/happy mandarin.

Next I will train puttin some blood worms in the yuma!

#65
flypenfly

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This guy literally covered himself in Nutramar Ova. 

 

Still no luck feeding the ORA Target Mandarin :( 

 

The Greenish Red Mandarin though will pig out on everything, I think he might be even eating pellets.

 

 

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#66
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I don't get it, this girl goes in but I don't see her eating.

 

My final option is that I have 2000 copepods & amphipods coming in Thursday. I'll be throwing 1000 of them into a 12 gallon and throw her in there as well. She'll be the only fish in there.

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#67
dtitus1

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Does anyone know if their mandarins will eat fry?


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#68
JoeDigiorgio

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I don't get it, this girl goes in but I don't see her eating.
 
My final option is that I have 2000 copepods & amphipods coming in Thursday. I'll be throwing 1000 of them into a 12 gallon and throw her in there as well. She'll be the only fish in there.


The copepods and amphipods re a great start but the only RELIABLE way to get these guys onto frozen is to start with something live like brine shrimp. I've seen a few mandarins, mostly picturatus, that were willing to start trying new things right away but as far as reliable methods for training, nothing beats live brine, mixed with frozen brine. These fish are smart and hungry; a great combo when it comes to trainability. They learn quick to be front and center when pumps kick off or when their particular turkey baster is put in the water. After a few days, just about anything out of their baster is considered food.



Does anyone know if their mandarins will eat fry?


If by fry you mean baby fish then yes, a few of my larger mandarins have been known to happily slurp down frozen thawed guppy fry.

#69
cal10lee

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I've been feeding my mandarin using the shot glass method but my clownfish/cleaner shrimp have learned/seen where i've been feeding the mandarin and they're gobbling everything up! Any ideas on what to do?



#70
Enavas

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Use a wider diner that will fit the mandarin but the not clown. Also make sure you fed the shrimp well so he wouldn't take the food.

#71
Tamberav

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My cleaner/clowns are pigs too. My mandarin seems oblivious though and the cleaner shrimp will RIDE my mandarin around eating together. It is like a little circus show.

 

Maybe a 2nd jar of food for the cleaner/clown?


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#72
NanoGry

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Hi Folks,

 

Thinking about getting one of these in the future as well. How long did everyone wait until they added this little guy to their tank? For example, 2 years after tank was established, or 6 months after tank was established. Thanks!! BTW...is $8 bucks a good deal for one?



#73
tlombardo

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Does anyone have any experience using an auto feeder with mandarins? Everywhere I read stresses frequent feeding and with the ones trained for pellets I think an auto feeder could be helpful. I would have the pumps turn off when the feeder goes on but I foresee other fish being a problem. Maybe if the mandarin was alone it would work better. I could also set it up so that the auto feeder drops the sinking pellets into a tube that leads into a small box which would house the food for the mandarin.

 

This would be in addition to frozen and live foods obviously and just an easy way to make sure the mandarin gets fed during the day or for short trips out of town.

 

Thoughts?



#74
JoeDigiorgio

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In my humble opinion, pellets shouldn't make up any major portion of the fish's diet even if it'll willingly take them. Variety is the spice of life so by all means include them if the fish will take them but I would not consider a pellet auto feeder as a useful tool in keeping these fish just because I'd want to keep their pellet intake minimal compared to other foods.

#75
Tamberav

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Best way to make sure mandys get fed when on trips or during the day is to also have pods. You won't need as many if you feed the fish frozen but I feel to keep these fish at peak health that having a fuge that provides some pods is very beneficial. This is there natural food source after all.


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