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Old 07-03-2012, 06:19 PM   #11
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How'd you change your trickle filter into a refugium. Im really interested in doing so.. This is my filtration
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:25 PM   #12
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In order to support a PAIR of mandarins in a 55g tank you would need a substantial sized refugium. I have a mandarin and a scooter dragonet and believe me when I tell you, they can wipe out an entire population of pods within days.

ORA mandarins would be your best bet as far as getting them to eat prepared foods. My mandarin was ORA and refused every kind of prepared foods once I got her home. It took a month to wean her onto frozen and she completely wiped out the pods I had in the tank. I mean every last one of them. lol

If you dont' want to spend the money on an ORA one you would most likely be best served by waiting until nature takes it's course in your tank. As time goes on the pod population will expand and come to a nice happy place at which point you could try a wild mandarin. This takes months though even years in some cases and even then a good majority of the mandarins do not survive long term. And long term doesn't mean a few months, I mean a few years which even then is less than their natural life span in the wild.

There are a TON of threads on mandarins on the site do a search and start reading. lol Lots of opinions and fact all mixed in but it's great information to have if you are considering one (or two).
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:33 PM   #13
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What size do you think my refugium should be? I'm looking into it right now. Mandarins are my favorite fish and I really want them to thrive in my tank :/
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:59 PM   #14
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I would say no less than a ten gallon. I have a half gallon HOB DIY regugium on my 35 gallon. It keeps copepods and that is its purpose for me, but I don't have any manderins. Some, that's all they will eat is pods. Very finicky.
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:05 PM   #15
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They are very beautiful fish indeed. Here's is the one I HAD to have and passed a week after I got it. Didn't fully do my research. It wad a male green mandarin.

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Old 07-03-2012, 10:44 PM   #16
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I also want a mandarin, and I have a tonne of pods growing now , but I and waiting till I get a bit more LR and just letting those lil s.o.b's populate I also have a ball of cheato in there for them. My tank has been stable now for 5 months but I still wanna hold out , just cause they eat so much and I don't want it to starve before I can get it eating mysis :-/ .... 2 in a 55g would be really hard with our some sort of refuge. It also helps my LFS hasn't had any in a while :-/
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:17 PM   #17
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I think a 55gal is pushing it, and I'd only go for 1 mandarin. Even with a fuge and a good population of pods. I won't even get one in my 125 with 200lbs of liverock, a fuge, and chaeto in there. They always are searching and picking for pods, so if it's not an established tank with a continuous population of pods being introduced, you're just asking for trouble (not speaking directly to you, but just in general). Their health will deteriorate quickly. They are tough to keep. Just my opinion!
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:28 PM   #18
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I agree with boardsurfer that a 55 gallon tank, even with a refugium, isn't enough. I was always told 100 pounds of (established) rock per mandarin. It takes many months for them to slowly starve to death too. They can eat the equivalent of a bottle of pods every few days.
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:30 PM   #19
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I've had my mandarin in my 46 with a 20 sump/rufuge for going on 6 months and still as plump as the day I got him but I seeded my tank with 5000 pods once it was done cycling and even with him eating all day and night I still got a VERY healthy pod population to say the least lol one thing that helps though is mine will eat frozen when I feed every third day so that helps out a bit too
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:37 PM   #20
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I agree with MR X on this one.....My tank with my mandarin has almost NO pods in it at all even though the dragonets I have in there are eating prepared foods. In fact the mandarin just started to eat pellets last week and the tank is still bare of pods. I've had mine for over a year but still can't claim 100% success yet. With these fish you can never be totally sure. Mine could one day just up and stop eating prepared with no warning so it's a daily let's hope for the best scenario.

I also tried to grow pods in a separate 10g tank stocked with a ton of live rock, live sand and hundreds of pods. It was not very sucessful at all. :-( I would juts let nature take it's course and when youre tank is ready then get one.

The absolute worst thing you can do in saltwater is rush in my opinion. Not one single good thing can come from rushing in any aspect with your tank. This is a fact, slow wins the race in this case.
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