Jump to content
Sjlawgirl

In-tank pod condo?

Recommended Posts

10 hours ago, Tamberav said:

 

1.5 years is a fairly short timeline imo. I am not sure if you are suggesting a few mysis is = to pods. This whole post seems a bit misleading to new people.

I have a wild caught Manny that has been with me for 8 months now. He was already big when I bought him so not sure how old he is. What's the longest someone kept one? It seems to me that having one survive for 2 yrs would be very successful - am I completely off base with that? I feed mysis cube and turn off all flow for 10-15 min every other day (typically that's the only feeding in my 32gal and no special pods setup). 

 

Little ones are are so cute and delicate!

IMG_4027.JPG

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, LeoB said:

I have a wild caught Manny that has been with me for 8 months now. He was already big when I bought him so not sure how old he is. What's the longest someone kept one? It seems to me that having one survive for 2 yrs would be very successful - am I completely off base with that? I feed mysis cube and turn off all flow for 10-15 min every other day (typically that's the only feeding in my 32gal and no special pods setup). 

 

Little ones are are so cute and delicate!

IMG_4027.JPG

Beautiful fish and I love your corals... your mint pavona just led me to do little more research on those! I agree with you, 1.5 years seems pretty good to me too. I think it’s important to monitor very closely to be sure they are eating and growing well. I do feed mine twice a day, I would be worried that once every other day might not be enough, but I think it would depend on ones pod population. I think one of the challenges is finding the right balance of feeding our livestock vs overfeeding the tank... I also have a few sun corals that require heavy feeding... I feed twice a day and my little piggy, I mean fishy, swims around the surface eating a lot almost every time.

Share this post


Link to post
10 hours ago, Reefaddiction said:

 You are certainly entitled to your own opinion. Not sure in what sense you find my post misleading. By no means am I promoting or encouraging people to go out and put mandarins in nano tanks. People will do this regardless of what I or others say. I simply wanted to share my story with those who are considering buying a mandarin. It is possible to keep them in nano tanks but it requires a significant amount of time and attention and it is a very difficult thing to do. I’m not encouraging it but wanting people to be aware of what it entails.

   1.5 years for a mandarin in a nano means that what I am doing is working. There is definitely a difference in a mandarin just eating pods and one that predominantly eats prepared foods with pods as supplement. I use a small tuft of chaeto behind my rockwork as a pod condo to help with this.

    If you read my prior posts I have always warned people to do extensive research before putting anything in their tanks, especially mandarins in nanos. The point of my post is that yes it can be done if your fish is taking prepared foods and if you can keep up a decent pod population in your tank. 

People who kept them on prepared had issues several years down the road, whether this was nutritional or something else, who knows. We had an entire thread dedicated to their care a few years back. They really should have pods + frozen, and I feel your post was suggesting feeding once a day as sufficient, with their short digestive tract, I would disagree based on the anatomy of the fish alone.

 

Most people also seem to post 'healthy' mandarins which while not skinny are still underweight. They can probably survive years like this but I question the true longevity and health. 

 

It is possible to provide a tank with both pods and frozen, even a smaller tank. If we set up a 'species' tank around the, we can give provide them with the 'best environment' like you said we should in your post.  Personally I feel that is a good amount of pods to support this fishes natural behavior and supplemental feeding. Remember these fish will 'peck' even in sterile tanks w/o pods. 

 

Suggesting to feed these fish once a day and leave them to peck at pods is misleading unless a person has enough pods, and most people do not. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Photobucket destroyed my mandarin thread/tank, but I found this photo of mine on another forum. I had this guy 5 years until I stupidly introduced another difficult fish without quarantining, the fish would not have survived a regular QT tank, so I didn't QT it. I introduced a parasite and lost many fish from it. I actually had 6 dragonettes at the time, not all of my fish passed but it was a frustrating experience so I sold all my remaining fish as the tank needed a complete tear down. The parasite I had was a resistant strain to normal methods and 8 weeks follow did nothing for it. I will never not QT a fish again, I don't care how sensitive the fish is, I will just have to make a QT suitable to its needs ahead of time.

 

They really should be of a good weight and not just getting by.

 

DSC_0343_zpse2365cbc.jpg

 

DSC_0344_zps4be25589.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I’m gonna keep this kosher. Most sources say the average lifespan for a manadarin in captivity is between 2-4 years... I’d say I’m well on my way to that mark. My fish is well taken care of and his weight is not a concern, although I’ll admit I haven’t weighed him lately... There are many opinions in this hobby about livestock and how we care for our animals, I feel what works in your situation may not always work for others, and vice versa in your own tank. 

   I use this forum to help others and offer my own personal experience. I don’t lie or exaggerate my success or failures. You’re only mislead in this hobby if you don’t do your research before starting a tank and before putting anything into that tank, regardless of what others have told you... period.

    So, if anyone has any questions, concerns, or just wants to talk about reefing and what my experiences have been please feel free to PM me anytime.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Yes they have a much shortened life span in captivity, probably due to accidents and poor nutrition. Google also tells you they grow to 6cm but that is incorrect, wild ones come in absolutely huge at times.


I am not attacking you personally nor do I know anything about your fish so I apologize if you feel I am, that is not intended. Without discussion and sharing ideas/opinions, there is no progress. I don't even feel most large tanks are suited for them... it is not uncommon to see skinny mandarins in 100g tanks. 

 

This is just my opinion but I think the perfect home is a 20-29g tank which is big enough for them to forage around and do what comes natural to them... but small enough to make target feeding manageable... set up to provide a steady supply of pods with supplemental feeding.... and devoid of greedy types of fish or shrimp.

 

 

Fantastic conditioned fish for breeding. This is what we should strive for imo. 

 

Healthy mandarin in breeder box being conditioned.

 

 

This is a pair in the wild.

 

image.png.c0a46516478de2984bc160900a854ed6.png

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Reefaddiction said:

I’m gonna keep this kosher. Most sources say the average lifespan for a manadarin in captivity is between 2-4 years... 

Meh, that’s kinda like sea world telling visitors 20 years for orcas (or whatever they were saying) is totally normal. 

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, 1891Bro said:

Meh, that’s kinda like sea world telling visitors 20 years for orcas (or whatever they were saying) is totally normal. 

I mean let’s be Honest... in most cases, this hobby dooms nearly all livestock to a shorter lifespan, as Tamberav said... accidents with dosing, rocks falling, equipment failing etc...

   If mandarins have failed to thrive in 100g+ systems with an abundance of live rock and likely copepods.... there’s more to it than just a good pod population. I don’t think I have found the “right way” or the “best way” to care for a mandarin, but what I am doing in my opinion is working well. Sure, time will tell. But I tell you this, I love that fish, and watch and evaluate him everyday to ensure he is thriving. If there ever came a time he was not, or was getting too skinny, I’d give him up to someone with the right environment without hesitation to ensure he lives and thrives.

   Haha I’m not offended. I’m a physician at a very busy hospital with a diverse patient population... if this offended me, then the crap I deal with on a daily basis would have driven me to madness years ago. I appreciate it though. There was no  intention of misleading. I absolute love the mandarin... it’s the reason I got into this hobby. It is sad to see so many die because they are not in the right environment... but I honestly feel we are still learning what that is. I may only have a 14g cube, but I ensure you that my mandarin is doing great and I do truly feel it is possible to keep them in small tanks. I think this is more of the exception than the rule so I certainly don’t go around advocating for people to just put them in nanos, but it can be done. There is certainly a reason the level of care for these fish is often labeled “difficult” or “expert” and do feel people should take extreme caution before buying these fish. To be honest, most of these fish look absolutely horrible at the LFS even before being bought. 

   Well this was all good conversation I feel. As I said, I’m always glad to give people my experiences and share how I have been successful thus far with my mandarin, pod population, training to take prepared foods, flow requirement, tank mates etc that I have used in my own tank! Y’all can write me anytime!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

No worries, I work in a hospital myself... shits crazy 😄 I am glad you are finding success.

 

On a side note... after having one 5 years.. I can tell you all... they do grow relatively slowly compared to most fish...even if fed well. I guess that makes sense.. one reason the captive bred are so expensive as it takes forever to get them to sale size. 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

Well I think it will be interesting to see how this new run with these captive-bred Biota mandarins goes... perhaps they will fare better than wild caught, and it seems to me it could make a big difference for the future of this fish in the hobby, along with the conservation of wild populations.

 

My little guy is certainly more assertive during feeding time than I had expected, he just swims on up to the food with the others and doesn’t seem at all bothered by them. I like having him in a nano, and I think he gets much more individual attention than he might get if he was in a larger tank with lots of other fish. A larger tank means there could be a lot of larger and more aggressive competitors, depending on how it is stocked.

 

As for the price for Biota mandarins, to me it is well worth it. 

 

Oh, and I’m a nurse btw! Funny we’re all in health care!!

Share this post


Link to post
15 hours ago, banasophia said:

Well I think it will be interesting to see how this new run with these captive-bred Biota mandarins goes... perhaps they will fare better than wild caught, and it seems to me it could make a big difference for the future of this fish in the hobby, along with the conservation of wild populations.

 

My little guy is certainly more assertive during feeding time than I had expected, he just swims on up to the food with the others and doesn’t seem at all bothered by them. I like having him in a nano, and I think he gets much more individual attention than he might get if he was in a larger tank with lots of other fish. A larger tank means there could be a lot of larger and more aggressive competitors, depending on how it is stocked.

 

As for the price for Biota mandarins, to me it is well worth it. 

 

Oh, and I’m a nurse btw! Funny we’re all in health care!!

Haha I’m sure we could all sit down and share some great patient stories! 

I agree, I’d like to see how these captive bred and tank raised mandarins fair, and what their eating behaviors will be like.

  I do share the same thought that in smaller tanks we have closer observation, have a greater chance of getting them on prepared foods, and definitely sets up an environment that’s lets aggressive and daunting depending on how you stock your tank. I personally think tank mates plays a huge role in the success for these fish. Like tamberav said, the right environment is key. The most aggressive thing I have in my tank is a starry blenny, who is equivalent to an energetic child running around and annoying the hell out of you, but harmless and fun to watch lol. I swear if he shits sand all over my rocks and corals again.... sushi time!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Well...my little guy died. :wacko: I have a replacement that I put in a small bare bottom tank I set up just for it.  I could never see if the first one in my main tank was eating or not so this time I wanted to be able to SEE this one.  Plus, the first one never really moved much and I'm wondering if it came to me underweight, injured or sick.  This one is completely different and swims around all the time and is very active whereas the first one never swam once.  Just sat on the sand.  I add pods daily and feed it frozen chopped Mysis, frozen Cyclops and 100 micron pellets.  I see it making sort of small lunging movements from time to time so I'm hoping that's it eating.  This one is also tiny, about an inch and the first one was smaller so that may have been a problem too. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
20 minutes ago, Sjlawgirl said:

Well...my little guy died. :wacko: I have a replacement that I put in a small bare bottom tank I set up just for it.  I could never see if the first one in my main tank was eating or not so this time I wanted to be able to SEE this one.  Plus, the first one never really moved much and I'm wondering if it came to me underweight, injured or sick.  This one is completely different and swims around all the time and is very active whereas the first one never swam once.  Just sat on the sand.  I add pods daily and feed it frozen chopped Mysis, frozen Cyclops and 100 micron pellets.  I see it making sort of small lunging movements from time to time so I'm hoping that's it eating.  This one is also tiny, about an inch and the first one was smaller so that may have been a problem too. 

Aww, sorry your first little guy didn’t make it. 😞 With the new bare bottoom tank you just set up for your new little guy, I’m worried the tank is brand new and not cycled yet, so it may not be safe for your fish yet... 

Share this post


Link to post

I used water, media and rock from the DT plus it was set up for 6 days prior.  It tested fine.

Share this post


Link to post
On 5/16/2018 at 1:07 PM, Tamberav said:

Have you thought about turning the entire tank into a pod breeding machine? Heavy feeding (for the pods) and a lot of display macroalgae?

 

I did this and kept 6 dragonetts in a 29g very very fat. I emulated Matt Petersons Biocube breeding set-up from Coral Magazine and found it very successful. I figured emulating the needs for spawning fish is the absolute best I could offer them.

 

 

Can you elaborate on this?  I haven't been able to find the article you mention

Share this post


Link to post
52 minutes ago, skijumpersc said:

Can you elaborate on this?  I haven't been able to find the article you mention

I believe it is in the coral magazine titled 'Dragonets'. Basically it is a tank dedicated to the care of these animals by being dedicated to their food source. Pod #'s breed based on available food, macro algae provides food, shelter, breeding area, and controls phosphate/nitrate.  You train the mandarins in this environment, the excess food breeds more pods, you end up with a situation where you have mandarins eating frozen and being able to forage on numerous pods. Very happy fish! 

 

He kept 6 in a 29g tank, I also kept 6 in a 29g emulating what he started (although I had a sump). I had a pair of blue, green, and a pair of red scooters. You want to avoid tank mates that would compete with food, pod eaters and greedy fish like clowns. The Article goes into all of this. 

 

I have often thought about setting this tank up again but I wouldn't be home to feed as often as I like these days.

 

Starts on pg 42, the tank setup is on pg 54.

 

https://www.scribd.com/document/112672327/Coral-Dec-2012

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, Tamberav said:

I believe it is in the coral magazine titled 'Dragonets'. Basically it is a tank dedicated to the care of these animals by being dedicated to their food source. Pod #'s breed based on available food, macro algae provides food, shelter, breeding area, and controls phosphate/nitrate.  You train the mandarins in this environment, the excess food breeds more pods, you end up with a situation where you have mandarins eating frozen and being able to forage on numerous pods. Very happy fish! 

 

He kept 6 in a 29g tank, I also kept 6 in a 29g emulating what he started (although I had a sump). I had a pair of blue, green, and a pair of red scooters. You want to avoid tank mates that would compete with food, pod eaters and greedy fish like clowns. The Article goes into all of this. 

 

I have often thought about setting this tank up again but I wouldn't be home to feed as often as I like these days.

 

Starts on pg 42, the tank setup is on pg 54.

 

https://www.scribd.com/document/112672327/Coral-Dec-2012

Awesome, thanks!

Share this post


Link to post

Well, since there are new comments guess I will update.  My 2nd mandarin is doing wonderfully!  I kept it in the in-tank breeder box for about 2 months and then he (I thought it was female until it was obvious it wasn't.  The ORA one's come soooo tiny!) jumped over the side into the DS one night and has been doing very well ever since.  He does keep attacking his reflection on the glass but it's kind of cute.  He eats pods he hunts and I also feed baby brine and some 500 micron pellet food.  My green clown goby as well as starcki damsel gobble it up too even though it's pretty tiny for the damsel.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Dive in and share your thoughts!

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recommended Discussions

×