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HingleMcCringleberry

Mandarin fish that eats flake food?

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HingleMcCringleberry

I really want to add a mandarin fish to my tank but I don't have a tank large enough for a sustainable supply of copepods. I've heard some captive bred mandarins will eat flake food. Is this true and where can I buy one?

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Tamberav
8 minutes ago, HingleMcCringleberry said:

I really want to add a mandarin fish to my tank but I don't have a tank large enough for a sustainable supply of copepods. I've heard some captive bred mandarins will eat flake food. Is this true and where can I buy one?

 

Mandarins that eat frozen still should have pods to snack on. They have a different GI tract than other fish and need to eat frequently. I also have never seen any kept alive or eating flake food long term.

 

People usually feed them a mix of good frozen food + pods. Sometimes live freshly hatched frozen brine and live black worms.

 

They can be bought online at Live Aquaria but no guarantee they will eat what you want them to. They cost about $75-$100 dollars. 

 

 

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HingleMcCringleberry
2 minutes ago, Tamberav said:

 

Mandarins that eat frozen still should have pods to snack on. They have a different GI tract than other fish and need to eat frequently. I also have never seen any kept alive or eating flake food long term.

 

People usually feed them a mix of good frozen food + pods. Sometimes live freshly hatched frozen brine and live black worms.

 

They can be bought online at Live Aquaria but no guarantee they will eat what you want them to. They cost about $75-$100 dollars. 

That's a shame. I tried to keep one in a tank I had a few years ago (just getting back into the hobby) and it slowly starved. I refuse to do that to another fish so if you think they still really can't be kept long term I won't put it on my list as I plan my tank. I just heard that some would eat more than copepods and was excited that maybe they were now able to be kept in smaller tanks. Has anyone had luck with these fish in a 55-gallon tank or smaller? or should I just let this one go?

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Tamberav
10 minutes ago, HingleMcCringleberry said:

That's a shame. I tried to keep one in a tank I had a few years ago (just getting back into the hobby) and it slowly starved. I refuse to do that to another fish so if you think they still really can't be kept long term I won't put it on my list as I plan my tank. I just heard that some would eat more than copepods and was excited that maybe they were now able to be kept in smaller tanks. Has anyone had luck with these fish in a 55-gallon tank or smaller? or should I just let this one go?

They can be kept long term but not on FLAKE food.

 

If you can target feed one several times a day with frozen/live, you can possibly keep one. They are kind of a lot of work.

 

Keep in mind heavy feeding may mean you can't keep SPS.

 

You probably need heavy filtration, skimmer, dose nopox, ect because the feeding dirtys the water. 

 

Perhaps dosing phyto and zooplankton to feed pods.

 

it is kind of an expensive fish to set-up properly for and maintain. 

 

It's not a fish you can feed once or twice a day and call it good. 

 

One member here does ALL of that AND buys pods monthly. 

 

 

 

I used to keep 6 of them, I did something similar to this set up. I ran biopellets with an oversized skimmer, NPS + macroalgae, and fed heavily for the mandarins and the pods. I would buy pods every few months to res-seed new strains as one type of pod tends to take over and it's usually the pod you seem to want the least. 

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Oldsalt01

I always go by the rule: “if in doubt, DON’T! 

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HingleMcCringleberry
1 minute ago, Oldsalt01 said:

I always go by the rule: “if in doubt, DON’T! 

Ahahah you're probably right. I'm willing to make that mistake (how else do you really learn) with coral frags. But not with fish. I'm already keeping a couple of monti cap frags in my 20 gal tank that's only been running 3 months so I won't be taking any other risks.

 

Thanks for the heads up guys. I was seriously considering adding this fish if my lfs could find it or buying online.

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Daniel91
1 hour ago, Tamberav said:

 

They can be bought online at Live Aquaria but no guarantee they will eat what you want them to. They cost about $75-$100 dollars. 

 

 

Jesus... A few LFS sell em for $15-$20 here

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nanoreeFan

There are hand raised ones trained to eat in a jar. But I don't remember what type of food. It Might be an idea if you have the time to feed that way. I had a link to a vendor but can't find it. I'd go with an expert vendor like that. 

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NuisanceAlgaeCultivator

Someone needs to breed a new mandarin species that eats pellets 1-2 times a day, I think a ton of us want the fish without the hassle 🙂

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machonachos

The Live Aquaria ones are Biota captive bred ones, hence the price

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Tamberav
34 minutes ago, Daniel91 said:

Jesus... A few LFS sell em for $15-$20 here

I am talking about captive bred mandarins from biota. Not wild caught. 

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HingleMcCringleberry
9 minutes ago, Tamberav said:

I am talking about captive bred mandarins from biota. Not wild caught. 

oh wow! really? Sill worried about the frequency of feeding. I didn't realize they also need to eat so often. I guess that makes sense if they constantly graze on tiny copepods vs eating larger morsels in the wild.

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pokerdobe

Mandarins eat a lot. I mean a lot. 

 

I used to feed frozen 4-5 times a day and only managed to keep them alive for several years when I had them in smaller tanks. I've since upgraded to a 200 gallon tank, but I still order pods monthly to supplement, as well as feeding frozen every day. 

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Snow_Phoenix

My mandy is constantly eating. I feed him 4x a day (live) and I supplement his diet with live pods. I don't think there ever was a 'hassle-free' mandarin lol. Mine is wild-caught though, not captive-bred.

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burtbollinger

Huge mistake don’t do it

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Snow_Phoenix
16 minutes ago, burtbollinger said:

Huge mistake don’t do it

Have you ever kept one? It is very difficult but not impossible. The greatest challenge has and will always be feeding. 

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burtbollinger
1 hour ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

Have you ever kept one? It is very difficult but not impossible. The greatest challenge has and will always be feeding. 

Been doing this stuff for 20 years. Yeah I kept one...I had the ORA ones even that was supposed to eat frozen but never did.

 

bottom line, put a mandarin in a nano and you no longer have a reef tank...you have a mandarin tank IME.   Not worth it unless that’s what you want.  

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Snow_Phoenix
4 minutes ago, burtbollinger said:

I’ve done it all bro.    Been doing this stuff for 25 years. Yeah I kept one...I had the ORA ones even that was supposed to eat frozen but never did.

 

bottom line, put a mandarin in a nano and you no longer have a reef tank...you have a mandarin tank IME.

Sis, actually. And I actually agree with your last line. The tank will need to be built 'around' the fish, not the fish around the tank. I feed heavily to keep up with the requirements of my current one. Some of the corals don't like it, but I export nutrients through an oversized fuge and WCs. It definitely isn't an easy fish to keep, but it can be rewarding one if kept correctly.

 

I heard the Biota ones in the US are ok. We can't get any aquacultured ones here. Only wild-caught from the Indo-Pacific. 

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Tamberav
19 minutes ago, burtbollinger said:

 

 

bottom line, put a mandarin in a nano and you no longer have a reef tank...you have a mandarin tank IME.   

100% this. 

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