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Old 03-14-2007, 02:37 PM   #1
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Food for Mandarin

What is a good way to get some fauna growth populating my live rock to help support a mandarin. I have a 150g reef with around 200-250 lbs of LR, almost all of which came from established reef tanks. Are there any formulations containing critters? Are the "Reef Bugs" preparation suitable for this kind of seeding??

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Old 03-14-2007, 03:07 PM   #2
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There are several sites that sell live pods. one is www.reefernaddness.us

Some people are like slinkies...they serve no real purpose yet can still bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs!:p
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Old 03-14-2007, 04:16 PM   #3
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I take it these would come in the "fiji mud"? Would I be able to add that to my existing set-up? (see next post for pic's)
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Old 03-14-2007, 04:20 PM   #4
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More places to buy pods.


With that much lr once you get a decent population it should be fairly self sustaining.

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Old 03-14-2007, 05:43 PM   #5
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I buy them from my LFS. Most will carry them.


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Old 03-14-2007, 10:56 PM   #6
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Since you already have 250 lbs LR from an established sytem you should have plenty pods. If the tank is new, it takes some time for them to get settled, and numbers should go up w/ time. Adding a seeding kit still would not hurt anything, it could only help. Feeding live phytoplankton, like DT's, should help your current pod popualtion increase, and help maintain it over time.
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Old 03-15-2007, 04:09 PM   #7
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Might be good to get some macro algae from local reefers to add diversity to your critters. I grab some any chance I can get. It seems to help.

Try training on frozen too. True that some will never eat frozen, but some just take a long time. Took me about 9 months, but finally she LOVES the frozen mysis. Do some google searches on training mandarins on frozen and don't give up. Using a turkey baster finally worked for me after a long time. Now, when she sees the baster she swims over to it and waits for the defrosted goodness. It's worth the hassle.
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Old 05-07-2007, 11:47 PM   #8
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I recently read some great articles on feeding Mandarins. See if you can get a copy of the Tropical Fish Hobbyist's February 2007 magazine. There are two articles about mandarins including how to keep them healthy, fed and what to look for even in a nano tank. Just in case you can't obtain a copy; here are a couple of the tips I plan on using the next time I find a mandarin.

Create a pod-pile. Sandwich and "glue" LR rubble around some filter material (like scrubbing pads) to create a in-tank refugium. The rocks will keep most hunters away from the "mother-load" of yummies and the gaps will allow adult pods to escape in a myriad of directions so the hunters don't just watch one area. I have a in-tank hatchery which is nice, but the fish hang around the "exit" areas for easy snacks.

Create a banquet line of pod culture jars to help supplement the tank's population. Especially in a nano, a mandarin can decimate the native population very quickly.

Buy sushi. No, really! Capelin roe purchased at an Asian grocery will be enjoyed. This is the orange fish eggs used for sushi. The only problem is how to feed the mandarin and not the rest of the tank. I used a turkey baster but my last mandarin did not like approaching on anything but his terms. One of the authors had another idea with a very narrow glass jar (like a jelly or olive jar just big enough for a mandarin to enter) with plexiglass bent around the jar and coming up out of the water to act as a handle. As long as the roe is placed in the back of the jar, and slowly lowered in, the roe stays put. I was planning on further creating a special feeding zone for the jar so the larger fish couldn't harass the mandarin as much during feeding.

From personal experience it is heartbreaking to fall in love with the face of a mandarin and then see it slowly starve to death. Fish4brains - even though you have a larger tank, a couple of these ideas might be a good idea to have ready "just in case".

Good Luck.
Just trying to not kill my fish!
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Old 05-08-2007, 09:15 PM   #9
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There is also http://oceanpods.com/

I haven't purchased any copepods, but I plan to. Right now, I'm between oceanpods and reef nutrition.

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food, mandarin

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