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GraniteReefer

Rey the Biota Mandarin

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GraniteReefer

Just got the call that my LFS got in the tank raised biota mandarins!  Running there really fast to have first picks! 

Meet Rey!(Star Wars name as I speculate her and Poe Dameron may get together in the movies, just like my mandarins hopefully will!) 

In Tank Day 1

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My plans for this thread are to showcase Rey as she grows from the pipsqueak she currently is, hopefully all the way until she's a healthy fully grown wife for Poe!  She is now eating pellets! 

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GraniteReefer

Poe Dameron, my male mandarin dragonet has been with me since December 24th 2015!(wild caught)  He is named after the ace pilot from the newer Disney Star Wars as it came out right when I got him two years ago and he seems to fly through the water.( I know I'm a nerd)  This will be the second attempt to get him a mate, and rather than risk failure again with a wild caught female I spent the extra money on Tank Raised($69...good deal!). Although due to Rey's size I feel like there will be a whole new set of hurdles to jump(finding food she accepts being of the utmost importance)

Poe's Original in tank Photo

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Wow my pukani was so clean back then!

Poe eating NLS .5mm Pellets

 

 

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GraniteReefer

She's here!! And she's beautiful! Shout out to Aquatic Creations in Amherst, NH for being my favorite LFS and ordering in the Biota Mandarin Dragonets! I literally asked on Saturday and had options by Wednesday, now that's service!  I got to choose from 6 dragonets, 4 of which were the female I was looking for to pair with Poe Dameron my existing 2 year old Male Mandarin!  Here is a quick teaser of her in the bag on top of a quarter.  

Quarter Sized Mandarin 

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It's unreal how small she is, she's temperature acclimating in my 40 while I cook dinner then I will release her and get more photos in tank(if I can find her).  I have my IM fishguards in place on the overflows but will have to leave the MP10 off while I locate the foam guard for that. 

F is for Female

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Hobbs

These are my favorite, good luck!

following

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MrsK

Beautiful fish!

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GraniteReefer

Mandarin in Merlettis

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The lights have gone out in tank and she has chosen to sleep on the sand bed directly beneath this frag rack, Rey put on a nice slime coat!  Poe sleeps near the Rasta Zoas on the rockwork every night which is on the opposing side of the tank, hopefully Rey will catch on and sleep near him with time as perhaps it is safer than near my chalice!  She had a response to nutramar ova but I didn't witness her consume any, and I don't think .5 mm pellets will fit in her tiny mouth!  I'm sure I'll have another outbreak of GHA and bryopsis from trying to overfeed her while training, but I think being plagued by these algaes since 2015 on and off accounts for why Poe made it through his training period as the algae supplies perfect habitat for copepods of all kinds and I see Poe hunting the tufts all the time.  I've always attributed me not properly cleaning my pukani rock to the algae outbreaks, but have in turn thought those excessive nutrients directly correlated to Poes success.

 

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ChristopherDido

Following! What size tank is this in? My end goal is to get one for myself!

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GraniteReefer

This is in my Innovative marine 40 that I set up in Oct. 2015.  Back then I honestly shouldn't have gotten Poe in such a young tank, but I quickly realized my mistake and took on the challenge and emptied my wallet(literally).  I easily spent 60$ a month on Copepods and phyto from Algae barn and my LFS, but when you consider I spend that every three weeks on dog food it's not the most expensive pet I own but close!  Now a 10$ jar of pellets last him months(supplemented with frozen and copepods still), but I suspect my wallet will take a hit this year again until I'm 100% confident on Rey's nutritional needs being met.  A copepod order is in my immediate future!  Two of my rear chambers are dedicated copepod refugiums with rock rubble and macros lit by an IM magnafuge.  Right now the macros are nonexistent though as I used fluconazole and vibrant but will be turning my skimmer back on and doing a massive WC to once again make it suitable for chaeto and other macros.

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GraniteReefer

AlgaeBarn order placed this morning, if you ever need copepods and phyto check this company out as I think they are the best.  Plus when you join their pod club you get a BOGO offer.  I also may have splurged on the aquariclip!  Rey made it through the night, I was honestly worried as she's so small anything could eat her.  Having been tank raised I'm not sure if she's seen anything but the plastic bag and a grow out tank which is likely bare bottom and minimally stocked with other critters.  Instincts are incredible.

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Snow_Phoenix

Granite, she's gorgeous! I really hope the pairing works out - wish you all the best. Upload more pics whenever you can. I'd love to see both your Mandys. 

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Hobbs

I’ve done a bunch of research on mandarins over the years and had one alive in a 10gal for 1.5 years using a copepod farm and baby brine shrimp.  Something that worked super well for me is turning off the pumps when you feed them- mandarins are slow and lazy and have a difficult job chasing food.  If you have other aggressive feeders in your tank, i have heard that putting food in a glass bottle that only mandarins can get to works as well.  

 

You clearly know what you are doing since you’ve kept the male healthy but I wanted to just give my 2 cents... also because i am super jealous.

 

Something I always wanted to try but never had the opportunity is a feeder like this:

http://www.saltwatersmarts.com/diy-target-feeder-mandarinfish-pipefish-2804/

people that have them swear by them but I didn’t have time to raise brine shrimp

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GraniteReefer

Life became so easy once I got a DC pump with a feed button as it's very true if any flow is happening at all the pellets/frozen will move right out of the mandarins path.  Towards the end of the video you'll see Poe slightly chase a pellet but that's about the extent of his chase.  That feeder made by Paul B has been on my radar for awhile!  Paul B is really active on Boston Reefers, my local forum and has extensive posts(really funny ones too). Paul B's presence on that forum is actually what drove me to try to find a mate for Poe as Paul B stresses that a breeding fish indicates a healthy fish.  I have had all the components and a brine shrimp hatcher and extra brine shrimp eggs for literally months, but because Poe has been sustained on pellets and the natural pod population I kept putting it off.  I will definitely be moving forward with it soon though just to supplement what I can.  Also the PJ reefs feeder with magnetized Artemia eggs, which I'm hoping will arrive before the end of the month.  I'm really curious to see if the mandarins will take to that food source too.  The fire shrimp and hermits are Poe's biggest competition for the food that settles to the bottom but he's grown fearless of them With time and budges right in for his pellets.

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GraniteReefer

Rey is doing Great!  She is bringing new life to the tank as it's a fun new challenge!  I can already tell she will be a success compared to my last attempt as she is cruising the rocks and actually taking a ton of pecks.  One lesson from my previous failure DO NOT QT a mandarin! Here is a low quality video of her grabbing a snack

She is literally dwarfed by everything in the tank, but I have seen zero aggression from anyone else, even when she went really close to my Clown's frogspawn where their eggs are(they do harass Poe as he likes Roe).  Her little belly has a visible bulge compared to yesterday, as she was probably famished from being shipped!  I tried to photograph her belly to show it's girth but she's sticking towards the back wall(Poe does too) so the shots are all grainy due to using zoom.

Fat Belly

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She fits into all the cracks and crevices of my pukani and I think this enables her to access hidden stores of pods, I'm feeling a bit relieved as she has seemingly settled in and found her Niche.  She has to be the cutest fish I have ever owned, not even baby clowns can beat her swag!  First 24 hours have been a success lets keep it up!

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gone_PHiSHin

awesome, will be following along!

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Clown79

Oh she's a beauty! 

I love it, Rey and Poe! Awesome names?

 

Mandarins are my fav, I'd love a pair 

 

Good luck, you know what You're doing?

 

 

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mantisman379

what a cute lil guy, and the names are so fitting

 

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GraniteReefer

Been trying to catch a photo of Poe and Rey in the same frame, but Poe is quite skittish to begin with and Rey is so tiny it's hard.  Each night lights go out I have been searching out where Rey is choosing to sleep and each night it changes so far, today I looked moments after lights went out and neither had chosen their spot yet(Poe ended up by his Rastas like always) and I grabbed a shot of both at once! It's a horrible photo using flash but here they are! Also since fluconazole/vibrant wiped out my macros in my refugium that runs an opposing schedule to the display lights and you can't run the skimmer during the process you can see the trumpets and other corals hate the PH swings that subsequently happen at lights out/night.  So I just realized if I remove the skimmer cup Atleast it will stabilize the PH still but not strip the additives out.  DUH!IMG_2898.thumb.JPG.aba7643974a52aa2942b14997534f971.JPG

Rey ended up 6" to the right on the sand bed.

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TatorTaco

If you ever feel the urge to really dive in to the logistics of how you produce or procure enough copepods for your mandarin(s), I'd love to read about it.  I have a similar sized tank and my wife would absolutely love for me to get a mandarin.  Everything I've read indicates it'd be incredibly expensive or take up a ton of space. If I could keep the cost under or around $30-40 per month, I'd be set. 

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GraniteReefer

One week in and I swear I have seen growth from Rey!  Only one set back which happened today was my breeding clowns let Rey know she got too close to their eggs(just laid 2 days ago).  One of them nipped about 1/4 of her tail off.  Rey seems unphased and has a fat belly right now but it really pisses me off that my clowns did that.  There is no way I can move Rey as this tank has the copepod population capable of sustaining her.  Also don't have a suitable tank for the clowns to be moved to and they have been in here since 1 week before Poe was in 2015 so are original inhabitants.  I'll keep a close eye on it but I'm assuming Rey will learn to steer clear of their frogspawn area.  Poe similarly has gotten a tail nip before and it took a week or two for him to recover and since he has learned to not get to close.  If it continues intervention will have to be taken by removing the clowns until she can defend herself better.  This option involves spending money on a tank for them(not really an option currently) or putting them in the 10g mantis tank as he doesn't kill the damsel he's housed with but that's a risk I don't want to put my clowns up to.  Really hoping Rey just learns to avoid them.  In better news the Algae Barn order is slated to be delivered tomorrow!  Rey is already finding enough food but more copepods is always better.  Rey's coloration has also gotten significantly more vibrant.  Here's some pictures of her damaged tail.  If it heals Atleast it will showcase she is finding what she needs to heal and stay healthy.IMG_2975.thumb.JPG.63167c8f67544e325c0d8fda48f4612c.JPG

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GraniteReefer

I guess I could fire up my 1/2 moon 10g QT tank I've used before for the clowns and let them chill in there but I will wait until I feel the situation out more.  She's so small surely they could have wrecked her if that was their intent, it was definitely a warning shot let's hope she got the message loud and clear.

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Clown79

Poor thing. I hope all turns out well.

 

 

Man clowns can be real mean! Mine haven't bred (that I have seen) but boy oh boy if I or the shrimp go near the frogspawn, all hell breaks loose.

Funny though, they could care less when my blenny hangs around it...odd fish.

 

If worse comes to worse, the clowns should be fine in the 10g, just don't forget their frogspawn.lol

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GraniteReefer

The clowns seem to have learned a lesson, the female's mouth was whitish and swollen the next day(would have put my money on the male having been the offender), perhaps because mandarins are poisonous?  I have witnessed their interactions and Rey is still fearless or so into the hunt she doesn't notice she's so close to the frogspawn and their nest.  Rey's tail is already visibly healing but what a test because I'm sure that uses up precious energy at such a small size.  Luckily a double order of pods and phyto showed up yesterday from AlgaeBarn!  Added one bag this morning with pumps off and broadcast them right over where Rey was hunting.  The other I will disperse in a few days and may even try starting a culture with a small portion of it and one of the phytos.  Hopefully with Poe around she will learn to eat frozen and pellets readily sooner than later.

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GraniteReefer

Clowns are now being evicted, setting up the 10g qt today and hopefully catching them tonight.  Rey has new bite marks on her dorsal and pectoral fins(relatively small compared to the 1/4 chunk they got from her tail), honestly I get more pride in having success with mandarins so I value her in the 40 more.  The yellow watchman goby is also a prime suspect in the attacks now though as he was posturing in an aggressive fashion towards Rey(he better watch out or else I might try to pair him with the bastard of a green pistol in the Poopico or sell him on a local forum as he is not an original inhabitant).  Yet through it all Rey carries on like a tank, my wife thinks I'm absurd because I am only talking about keeping Rey safe all day and keep checking regularly that she's still doing well.  I just have to tell myself isolating the clowns is the right first step, then watching for any further signs of damage and taking further action if it persists.  Rey is also quite skittish of my blood shrimp but I don't think a cleaner shrimp would be capable of the rounded bites I am seeing(I feel like Dexter at a crime scene).  Rest assured I am trying my best to solve it.  In the meantime her belly is fat and she is active as ever and the increased copepods should help her to a quick recovery.  Gotta love the trials and tribulations of this hobby, sure it's stressful but once I achieve success it will be all that much better.  Unfortunately the 10g QT has been treated with medication before so the clowns will have to leave their frogspawn and settle for a PVC home for now.

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GraniteReefer

damage photos

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