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Snow's 60G Marine Megano - Mandarin Eating Pellets!

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2 minutes ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

I do 1x light & 1x heavy feeding a day. Heavy feeding is very heavy - as in, there's literally a food-storm in the tank. I leave the pumps off for about 45 mins to an hour during each feeding time so that he can pick off anything he likes. So far he likes picking frozen pods off the surface of my cup/pagoda coral. 🙂


Once I do a thorough clean-up of the sump, I'm thinking of upping feedings to 3x or 4x a day for his sake. Quite tricky keeping a mandy and four wrasses. And my chromis is a food-hog too. 🙄

I was just about to ask about the Wrasses as they're pod eaters as well. Pretty much the reason I wont get a mandarin yet, my wrasses eat all my pods. Oh and my Tailspot. Well that and I keep flip flopping between a Mandarin and a Pygmy Angel, oh and unattended weekends

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5 minutes ago, Ratvan said:

I was just about to ask about the Wrasses as they're pod eaters as well. Pretty much the reason I wont get a mandarin yet, my wrasses eat all my pods. Oh and my Tailspot. Well that and I keep flip flopping between a Mandarin and a Pygmy Angel, oh and unattended weekends

Yeah. they aren't exactly easy fish to commit to, unfortunately. Which is a shame, because they're easily one of the most beautiful marine fish out there (IMO). 


My wrasses eat the pods - both live and frozen as well. But my mandarin was the only fish that completely eradicated all my red flatworms from the mushroom mountain. The only flatworms left are the stubborn clingers on my frogspawn. (Which he can't really see or peck, since the coral stings).



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Love my clowns. These two have come a long way - both are aquacultured and paired up relatively quickly. Nero turns 2 this Dec. And I believe Sushi turns 1 this July/Aug. 🙂



Also, I spent 2.5+ hours doing a deep clean of the sump tank and all its compartments, including the fuge. It was so full of crud and algae that it's a wonder how my pipes could see through the mess. I couldn't scrape off most of the algae from the glass because it was encrusted pretty well, but I did manage to siphon most of the dirt/crud out. Swapped out the floss, carbon & RowaPhos for some new floss and media. Might replace the coral stones in the plastic mesh bags next week. 


Total water replaced today = ~20G. 


That's almost 1/4th of the system's overall tank volume. I still haven't touched the DT. The glass needs to be scraped and the sandbed stirred, but I was too tired. Might do it tomorrow or the day after. 

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A lot of updates to catch up on, but I'm not going to post everything because then the whole thread would be full of pics:


1. Poseidon, the Mandy:


Poseidon is actually still doing quite well in this tank. I'm monitoring him daily for any signs of starvation (because he's competing against many, many fish in this reef) but he's holding up steady so far. The one good thing about this fish is that he's not too fussy over any frozen food that I throw into the tank. He still prefers frozen pods, as opposed to frozen mysis, but at least he's still eating. 🙂




2. Algae.


As expected, when I cleaned out the sump, I did drop my nitrates and phosphates to far lower levels than the reef was originally running on. So voila, algae!


Looks pretty nasty, but it's nothing some extra CUC can't tackle. I'm not dosing nitrates/phosphates to this tank - I think the system will find balance on its own within a week or two. BME, it usually takes a couple of days before the algae vanishes after each large WC I've performed. 


3. Corals.


My green monti cap has bounced back from being poop brown to bright green again! So happy. 😄



The shrooms are doing quite well - and the 'baby' shrooms have doubled/tripled in size:


The Jack-O-Lantern Leptoseris has also 'flared' out a bit more: 


Other corals are doing okay too:


Bonus; The rare brittleshroom - only found during late evenings: :ninja:


5. The Refugium:


I added more Fern Caulerpa to my fuge today (acquired from the LFS). Here's how the fuge currently looks like:



Both my pipefish actually wound up in the wrong sump compartment (as usual) this morning:


But I managed to safely transfer them back into the fuge. 🙂 


Prince is still sort-of touch-and-go when it comes to food now. He is constantly sleeping on the macro or pressed up against the glass. But when I got up around 2am once to use the toilet, I peeked in on the sump and he was very, very active, swimming up and down the length of the filter floss section, and pecking pods off the glass. My guess is that he's currently on a different 'timezone' that I'm on. Lady is alright - she 'wakes up' when I tap the glass and feed the fuge every evening. Prince just sleeps right through it, and leads a double life in the wee hours of the morning. :rolleyes:


6. Leopard Wrasse.


Leopold has improved considerably in the past week. He now accepts anything and everything thrown into the tank, including frozen food. So he's back to putting on some weight, and has actually gained around half an inch since I first procured him:



7. Clam.


My crocea clam still lives! :lol:


Mantle still appears a bit pinched in a few areas. FW dips can ease it, but I'm not sure how to remove it from the rock without injuring its foot. So rather than risking killing the clam outright, I just let it be. It is target-fed frozen pods every day, and zooplankton + reef roid mix every weekly. Sometimes I baste shrimp juice directly over it as well.


8. Tank:


My clownfish pair: 🙂 



Tank overall:


Through some miracle, both the older elegance and green frogspawn corals are still hanging on. They're not dying, but neither are they improving. 😞


Everything else seems to be either steady or growing. My zoas however, are not spreading to take over the rockwork, as I'd originally hoped. I have a sneaky feeling it has something to do with my yumas, which are positioned very closely to the zoa frags. I know the yumas pack a sting, because any direct contact between the shroom and zoa polyp has always resulted in the loss (melting) of the zoa. 


I have one bit of sad news though - one of my blasto merletti frags was upended by Miko, my TSB, and thrown into my symphyllia. I couldn't find the frag for over a day, and when I did, the flesh of the merletti heads have completely melted off and only the skeleton was left behind. :sad:


Miko is very, very particular over what corals I place near his burrow. This is not the first time he has yeeted one of my frags into my symphyllia, and I don't believe it'll be his last attempt either. Blennies. Sigh. :rolleyes:


I love the little demon though, so I'm keeping in the reef. Just not sticking anymore frags next to his home. 


























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So I have a small update - and it's a slice of good news. 🙂


Poseidon finally ate pellets today! :lol:

I bought some Omega One pellets on Sunday and fed them to the fish yesterday (Monday). The pellets sink very fast, so most of my upper-column swimmers like the chromis and clowns ignore them. But the wrasses, blennies & gobies don't mind picking the pellets off the sandbed or rocks.


Well, today I decided to *mix both pellet types during an early morning feeding session. I mixed NLS pellets (which I've been feeding the fish for months) with the new Omega One pellets.


And I was quite shocked when my Mandy began eating pellets. :eek:


He actually spits out any NLS ones which he accidently eats, but he swallows the Omega One pellets. Sometimes, he'll completely skim over the pellets, but he'll circle back to the rockwork to finish off anything he can find. 


I managed to grab a few videos of him eating the pellets (if you have trouble believing me):


^Eating an Omega One pellet.


^Testing out a NLS pellet (not to his liking)


^Skimming over an entire offering of pellets. He later returned to this exact spot and ate most of them.


^Eating Omega One pellets on the surface of my symphyllia. He also picks food off my chalices & cup coral.


^Hunting for more food. 🙂



Concave belly full of pellets! :happy:


I must confess - Poseidon worried me a lot. Especially yesterday, when I noticed his lateral lines were showing when he twists his body at a certain angle. From the topview, he looks as chunky as ever, but from the side view, I *think he did lose a bit of weight, despite all the frozen stuff I've been pumping him with. Since he's a relatively large Mandy (3"+) and a chubby one at that, retaining his body weight can be challenging in a tank full of other, faster fish. 


I was genuinely debating removing him from my tank some time this week and returning him to the frag tank in the LFS, for his sake. But now that he's actually eating pellets, and actually has a full belly after each helping (that's two helpings of Omega One today), I think I'll keep him and monitor him. 


It's very difficult to find a Mandy which eats pellets. The only two Mandys I have owned before that did this was Michael and Meatball - both of them were also male spotted Mandys. 


I'll keep mixing up the pellets and look into more alternatives to feed him so that he can maintain his body weight, and regain whatever extra fat he lost. I'm trying my best to get a hold of Masstick atm, because I can mix blended mysis/shrimp/brine, pellets and frozen pods in it, and stick it to the rocks/glass, where he can pick it off at his leisure. But all the Masstick is out of stock in my local online vendor's site - and the one packet I found at a shady LFS had expired two years ago. 


I'm not risking the health of any of my animals by feeding them food which may/may not have become rotten. 


So for now, I'll keep pacifying him with as much pellets as possible. :wink:


Miko. my TSB. also had a full potbelly once he indulged in some pellets today:


Quite hilarious because he's small but chunky now. :lol:






I found these very old photos of my first Ruby dragonet 5 years ago:


And my first (and only) blue neon goby 6 years ago:


The neon goby was a gift from a friend in Singapore. 


After this goby died, I have not succeeded in finding another blue neon goby in my state. My LFS brings in 'blue neon gobies' from time to time, but these fish are mislabeled and always wind up being blue-lined sabretooth fang blennies - a type of non-reefsafe fish that feeds off the scales of other fish by attacking/biting them. 


I definitely miss the blue neon the most. Very active and personable fish.


This, and the Pictus blenny are the two ones I wish I could see again. 

















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Poseidon bunking in with Tic last night:


He partially buries himself in the sandbed every night, which I suppose is a little bit odd for a mandarin. BME, scooters will bury themselves, but Mandys usually 'fade out' and become very pale when they 'sleep'. Not sure why Poseidon buries himself, but perhaps he feels safer this way? 🤔


My Refugium today evening:


The fuge definitely needs a trim. I'll be shifting the excess macro into my nanoreef-to-be. 🙂


Prince lurking under the macro:



My pipefish pair actually like lurking between the macro. They stay quite well hidden during the day, but are active at night. 


More updates to come in the following days. Stay tuned, and thanks for following along! :happy:




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