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Old 05-15-2006, 05:49 PM   #1
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Help save my Mandarin Dragonet

Well I realized soon after getting him that he was going to be a tricky bugger to feed, and now things have taken a bit of a turn for the worse. I must be out of copepods in my tank as he's become very emaciated and I'm keeping him in a cage in the corner to make sure he gets some food. He will eat mysis shrimp, but hasn't been able to get some since adding a few wrasse's to the tank that obviously swim circles around him.
However, I'm not sure if this is the smartest thing to do with him. He still swims around and picks at things on the rocks but I can tell just by looking at him that he won't survive this way. I know he's most comfortable hiding in the rocks and I don't want him to stress to death being in a cage at the top corner of my tank. I can't return him to the LFS as none will take on a fish that is near death and difficult to feed in the first place. I'm almost completely certain that he will be dead soon, but if there is anyone that can help me out with some suggestions please let me know.

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Old 05-15-2006, 06:47 PM   #2
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Can you not feed him in his box? Maybe you can can train him to eat there then release him when he seems to be doing a bit better. Does he have room to swim in the box? Maybe put a piece of PVC in the box so he feels like he has a place to go for security.


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Old 05-15-2006, 07:24 PM   #3
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Unfortunately if you don't have a consistant source of pods he will die. These fish eat pretty much constantly and a mysis here and there just isn't going to cut it.

Sorry =( That really sucks...

I would still try asking the LFS if they'll take him. They may not give you any money for him but it might save his life.
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:26 PM   #4
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When I look at your stock list, it is pretty apparent why the mandarin is starving. There are way too many fish in the tank. The wrasses also eat off the rocks and it would be nigh on impossible to maintain a pod population. Your clean up crew will also quickly take care of any leftovers so this fish is unable to feed the way nature designed it. Not in a fast five minutes, but by browsing constantly for food.

The idea Dustin suggests, is about the only option available. Maybe you can fatten it up in there and then return it to the store or to another hobbiest with a more suitable environment.
Sorry to not have better ideas for you.
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Old 05-15-2006, 08:56 PM   #5
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Do you have a refugium? Or know of anyone who does where they can hold him for a bit? Fuges should be full of enough pods to fatten him up and I am sure anyone would take him then.
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Old 05-16-2006, 02:57 AM   #6
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I wasn't aware that this was too many fish to have in the tank - I thought I was near my max bioload but not in excess of it. You hit the nail on the head though - a few too many grazers for the pods and once they were in the tank my mandarin was in a lot of trouble. Unfortunately I didn't know that before setting up the tank but am aware now. Lesson learned, I suppose. It's a little maddening for me, I usually research everything that goes into my tank quite well but in this case I leaned a bit too hard on the wrong person for advice.

Getting a refugium is the only thing I can think of that will help me out. He did eat a surprising amount of shrimp in his box so I still have my fingers crossed. I just want him to be healthy enough to return to the LFS as he won't have much of a chance in my tank the way it's set up now.

Thank you all for your help and input.

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