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Biota Captive-Bred Mandarins - Can they thrive on dry foods & frozen alone?

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Hi all,

 

my LFS got a bunch of gorgeous captive-bred Mandarins from Biota. According to them, they readily eat flakes and pellets and frozen and would be fine without widely available copepods.

I love these fish, but my tank is pretty new (3 months) and I didn't dare to get a Mandarin thus far. I probably would wait for a much more mature tank with a bigger refugium. Now I am wondering whether the captive bred Mandarin's would really be that easy to keep. The $90 price tag would be a good investment relative to $30 in pods a month or so 🙂 

Now the real question: Do you think that the Mandarin's would thrive on dry food and frozen, with only limited copepods that wouldn't fully sustain them alone?

 

Thanks!

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holy sh*t!! captive bred mandarins?! they would probably still need lots of pods, most likely would not eat dry food. how big is your tank. the bigger it is, the more pods it can sustain, and so more likely your mandarin to survive. i would wait at least another 3 months before you even think about adding the mandarin. good luck!

 

oh btw, it could be true that they dont need pods, but some fish stores are notorious for lying about stuff like that. i would do some research.

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No, just had to upgrade my 40 to a Red Sea 250 to supply more pods.  I feed 2 cubes frozen and a few pinches if pellets daily, and have a dedicated pod refugium.  Any thing you offer is supplemental.  If you had one to watch in a tank stuffed with pods they can take a bite every few seconds all day.  You can’t supply food at that rate so you need pods.  Expect to buy those 30$ a month in pods on top of the 90$ fish, Atleast for the start until your pod population has established in the safe zones you would create for them.

i should have mentioned my pair is a wild caught male and a Biota female.  One last thought is the amount of food these small Biota mandarins eat initially is maintainable in a smaller tank, I worry a lot of the early success may be met with heartbreak as these fish grow and the systems they are in do not.  

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Reefbuilders (Jake)'s Mandarin will eat flake. It's on video.

 

If it eats flake I imagine it can survive from that. All the nutritional needs should be met from normal food.

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If you go the flake route,I had ruby reds that ate prime reef flake very readily. 

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Thanks everyone for sharing their experiences and thoughts. I will likely wait quite a bit more and look into hatching baby brine shrimp as another way to supplement food. 

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On 3/25/2019 at 9:26 PM, pieceofreef said:

Hi all,

 

my LFS got a bunch of gorgeous captive-bred Mandarins from Biota. According to them, they readily eat flakes and pellets and frozen and would be fine without widely available copepods.

I love these fish, but my tank is pretty new (3 months) and I didn't dare to get a Mandarin thus far. I probably would wait for a much more mature tank with a bigger refugium. Now I am wondering whether the captive bred Mandarin's would really be that easy to keep. The $90 price tag would be a good investment relative to $30 in pods a month or so 🙂 

Now the real question: Do you think that the Mandarin's would thrive on dry food and frozen, with only limited copepods that wouldn't fully sustain them alone?

 

Thanks!

They still need pods and need to be fed often so it can be difficult to keep up with water quality. They have been available as captive bred for a awhile now, ORA did it before Biota but long term success is still with those who can provide frequent food and pods. 

 

Banasophia has one in her TOTM tank but uses nopox and cultures or doses pods still. 

 

 

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wow. that goes against everything i thought i knew about mandarins. anyways, you're prolly right. jeez, if i new that you could get captive bred that would eat flake, i would already have one! but now i have a maniacal sixline so maybe not

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46 minutes ago, BlennyBoi said:

wow. that goes against everything i thought i knew about mandarins. anyways, you're prolly right. jeez, if i new that you could get captive bred that would eat flake, i would already have one! but now i have a maniacal sixline so maybe not

They don't always eat flake and sometimes they randomly stop taking prepared...sometimes they stop after being shipped. They don't seem to live a full life span on prepared alone. They have proven to still need special care.

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Reach out to Jen Lowy at Colchester Pet in Colchester, CT. She is really big into conservation and captive breeding. They carry a bunch of aquacultured marine fish, including the Biota mandarins. She can provide you some feedback on the long term care and likelihood of them staying on prepared foods. Nothing is more important to her than the health and well being of the animals.

 

Most of the replies here have been from people that haven’t even seen a captive bred dragonette, never mind kept one.

 

Keep in mind, these fish come in tiny. I mean tiny. Less than half an inch typically.

 

Dragonettes have an extremely small and inefficient digestive tract, which is why they need to eat all day. Just because you have a mandarin that eats prepared, doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be successful. You will need to feed multiple times a day and supplimenting with pods will be beneficial. If you have other fish that are aggressive eaters, you will need to be patient and develop specific feeding practices to ensure the mandarin is getting enough food, or consider rehoming the aggressive eaters if you are really set on the mandarin. You can be sucessful with this in a newer tank, but it won’t be a fish that you just sprinkle some flake food in every couple of days and consider it good.

 

I’ve had a wild caught spotted mandarin for over a year now that has been doing pretty well mostly on prepared foods with baby brine shrimp a few times a week (brine shrimp hatchery dish and an in tank hatcher/feeder that I am working on developing commercially) and the occasional addition of copepods. He has been the only fish in the tank until a couple of weeks ago.

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We sell Biota mandarins at the LFS where I work and they eat pellets all the time! I would say just ask for a feeding demonstration before you buy to make sure they readily accept the food. Then come back and get them the next day, since ship generally don't transfer as well on a full stomach. 

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This forum this awesome. Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences and recommendations. I will look more into baby brine shrimp hatching, but given my new understanding that they will need pods all the time, and anything else is just supplementing it, I will likely hold off for a little more. Thank you all!

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On 3/28/2019 at 9:34 AM, Tamberav said:

They don't always eat flake and sometimes they randomly stop taking prepared...sometimes they stop after being shipped. They don't seem to live a full life span on prepared alone. They have proven to still need special care.

oh ok good i dont have one then

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