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Sjlawgirl

In-tank pod condo?

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I have a 20L nano reef tank and am about to add a captive bred mandarin.  I do not have a sump/fuge and will not be adding one.  Can an in-tank (DIY of either a drilled acrylic box or a created box from plastic canvas both with LR inside) pod condo be enough to self-sustain a nano tank or would it be better to just have a small (2.5 gallon) pod tank set up and add them at will? Or should I do both... I have a green clown goby, exquisite purple firefish and a bangaii cardinal in the DT already.  Hoping the mandarin will truly be eating prepared/frozen foods but want a pod supply too just in case.

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Tagging along to this as I would like to know. A mandarin goby is one of the fish I would love to get but don’t want to because of the live food feeding. 

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While I have no experience with actually owning a Mandarin, I also wanted one and did very extensive research on what it would take.  The in-tank pod condo would not be enough to continuously seed the tank, and the 2.5 gallon pod condo may be too small as well, unless you have them breeding at a crazy rapid pace.  You should contact who you planned on buying it from, and try and have the purchase pending on whether it eats frozen or not.  If they agree, you can buy the fish, buy pods, have your condos, and try and get the mandy eating frozen.  if you can't by the time the pods are depleted (like 1-2 weeks)  return the fish.

 

20l +2.5gal would not produce enough pods to sustain the mandarin without it eating frozen.

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My vote is no to either being reliable. Keep in mind, cultures crash too. Pod condos are something people used to try but fell out of favor... they don't work well or we would all just add a pod condo and have mandys.

 

It also should be noted there are many reports of the captive bred ones being very very tiny and not taking most prepared foods right away so you need pods ready when it arrives until it can be weaned back onto foods. 

 

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.

 

Photoshop unfortunately ate a lot of my photos and ruined mine and many other threads.

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For a mandarin, that would be a very small area for pod population growth to feed the mandarin

 

 

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Are the mentioned alterations capable of self sustaining a mandarin in a 20l? NO.  But they certainly are good starting points.

Are we talking a Biota captive bred Mandarin? If yes, expect it to take 3-5 months before it really starts accepting food offerings in an amount that can SUPPLEMENT its growth, not a main food source.  If you do buy one get some pods from AlgaeBarn before/when it arrives and afterwards as well, be prepared to overfeed frozen/pellets at the detriment of other things to compensate for the needs of your Mandy(especially during the training process).  Excess food is good for the pods though.  Hopefully you have high quality LR like pukani as the pods will thrive like a pod hotel right in the rock structure this way.  Consider getting a hang on back refugium if you are serious about redesigning your current system to be more proper long term.  Do you see pods currently? How long has the tank been set up?  If you are willing to do research and alter your tank to suit its needs, and have the funds to buy it live food then maybe a Mandarin could be right for you.

https://www.nano-reef.com/forums/topic/388519-rey-the-biota-mandarin-pellet-trained/

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Regardless if a the Mandarin eats pods or Frozen it doesn't change the amount the fish eats. The Mandarin eats consistently almost non stop throughout the day, so we say Establish a colony of pods to consistently feed them. Then I see so many threads with people stating to get one that eats frozen as if the fish finds it likes Mysis, that 1 or 2 feedings becomes enough to fill it up for that day. The reality is, even if it eats frozen are you going to continuously stand in front of the tank following the fish around all day with food?

 

You will need more like a 10 Gallon tank for culturing copepods, and remember it will be your best and cheapest option to begin culturing phytoplankton to sustain your pod population as well. I would work on getting the culturing part down first before taking on the Mandarin, when you have that down keep several dollar tree shower lufas in with the pods, and rotate them from the pod tank to the display tank every day or two shaking them out, then putting it back in the pod tank.

 

I personally wish this particular fish would be removed from trade, the truth is most of these fish are dead within 2 years regardless eating frozen or not, as its just not realistic for its owner to keep up with its feeding demands for any sort of extensive period and most simply starve to death in the home aquarium. A Nano tank would honestly be the last place i would even consider trying to take on a Mandarin, but it sounds like your mind is set, so good luck!

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I have a Biota mandarin from LiveAquaria. It’s true they are super tiny when you get them and you have to be prepared to put a TON of time and money into their care, especially if you have a nano. I added a refugium in the back chamber of my tank, added a rubble pile in the back corner of my display tank, I hatch brine shrimp, and I culture copepods now for my little guy Finnick.

 

I just tried to post a video, but I’m not sure how to do that here; it says it’s not the right format. Here’s a picture:

 

E251B9F5-EE23-409A-8605-5763691B308C.png

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Thanks for replies!  I already culture phytoplankton and am about to start culturing brine.  I think I will get a 10 gallon for pod culture and use the 2.5 gallon for brine.  My bangaii will only eat frozen or live and LOVES chasing the guppy fry I give him for a snack (and before you lose your mind over freshwater fish being fed to saltwater fish...relax.  These are saltwater guppies!  Yeah...they DO exist).  Yes, the mandarin is a captive bred biota.  I did drill holes into an acrylic box to use as a pod condo so I guess I will do both the culture tank and condo and see how it goes.  I like the loofah idea and will def use that in the culture tank.

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If you're in the New England area, Colchester Pet sells captive bred mandarins that eat flakes.  I hear you should still supplement with pods, but I imagine this cuts way down on the amount of pods needed.

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Thanks but I'm in California. My biota fish arrived today. I'm not too worried about it. Whatever happens, happens as far as if it eats frozen/prepared or not.  If it ends up only eating live then so be it.  I think it will be fine as long as I have a pod-only tank and brine hatcheries and keep them going. 

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Good luck! Don’t worry too much if your tiny little guy goes to hide behind a rock for a while and sits very still at first... I was worried about mine, but he was fine by the next morning. 

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