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Old 01-12-2014, 02:20 PM   #1
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Madarin Dragonet

I'm just finished cycling my new 200L tank. Water conditions are perfect and have just started adding some Live Rock. I'm going to leave it for about another month before adding fish (going to start with 2 clowns). Eventually, after the recommended 6 months to a year, I want to add a Mandarin Dragonet. I understand that they are quite picky eaters and will usually only eat pods. I was wondering if I set up a pod pile with some rubble LR in a corner of the tank, leaving it grow for the year before adding the Mandarin, would it produce enough pods for the Mandarin? I'm not sure setting up a refugium would be possible for me so a pod pile is the only other solution I can think of. What would be the best way to set up a pod pile? Under a strawberry carton, a pile in the corner, etc. What should I feed the pods? What fish should I avoid if I want to set up a large pod population? (i.e. Fish that eat a lot of pods). Should I buy pods to start off with or is it likely that they have hitch-hiked into my tank on the live rock? Thanks
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:38 PM   #2
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Honestly a pod pile will not sustain it in that size tank. Even a refugium would have trouble keeping up. Getting one to eat frozen would be really the only way to keep it in a tank that size.
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Old 01-12-2014, 05:32 PM   #3
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That's pretty impossible though, so I've heard?
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:37 PM   #4
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If you have plenty of live rock (at least 55 pounds, preferably more) I think it will be ok. Remember not to stock any other fish that will compete for its food and while you can get them to eat frozen you can always repopulate the pods in your tank. Just curious, what did you cycle in your tank if there was no rocks? Just the sand? Definitely get all the rock you want in there and cycled before you add your first fishes
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:47 PM   #5
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Yeah I'm adding only small amount of rock, about 2-3 kilos (roughly 5-6 pounds) at a time, and monitoring the water parameters. I used an artificial ammonia source from my LFS and am getting the rock after it has been cured. So far the water has stayed the same, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels remain at 0 and PH stays at 8.3-8.4 so it seems to be okay. The guy at my LFS said I could add some hermits now if I wanted but I said I'd hold off for a while. Although they wouldn't produce a very large bio load would they? Clowns and Cardinals wouldn't compete with the Mandarin Dragonet for the pods would they? I read that they eat mainly mysis and brineshrimp and that's all I really plan to put into the tank so would that be okay?
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:48 PM   #6
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Oh and thanks
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:55 PM   #7
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When you cycle a tank most of your beneficial bacteria live in the rocks, some reside in the sand too but not in the water column. Make sure you finish stocking your tank with all the rock you plan to keep and cycle it properly. When I set up my 55g I bought all live rock (expensive but worth it) and like a newbie I added a a scooter blenny as one of my first fish. They are from the same family as the mandarin and he never ate frozen - I guess I had enough rock in the tank to keep him fat and happy and no other competitors to take his food.
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Old 01-12-2014, 07:00 PM   #8
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Does that mean after setting up the rock I should add the Mandarin? I thought you were supposed to wait like a year?
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Old 01-12-2014, 07:15 PM   #9
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I also just read on some other forums that you should have 1.5 pounds for every gallon. My tank is 200L (about 52 gallons) so that would work out to be around 77 pounds (about 35 kilos). Would that be enough or too much/little? I'm afraid that if I get too much there will be very little space for fish to swim...
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Old 01-12-2014, 07:17 PM   #10
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Also Bectan01, what other fish did you have in your tank along with the blenny?
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