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Old 09-29-2005, 11:07 AM   #11
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There are exceptions to every thing in the hobby. Would I have one in a 20 gallon tank.. No. I have had 3 of these fish and 2 died because I listened to the LFS and added them to a tank that was not established, one even ate brine shrimp. I added a fuge to my 125 and after a few months and a large pod population was seen I got another and she has been with us for almost 2 years.
There are so many other fish out there that will do well in small tanks, a manderin just may not be the best choice for everyone.
Based on what tomaquar says about their tank IMO a manderin is not a good choice for that tank at this time.

9/02-125 REEF, 125 lbs LR,LS 4x160 VHO, Reef Devil /Sump, Fuge
7/03-55 FOWLR 60lb LR, 50 lb SD sand 2x40 NO strip light, Reef Devil/sump, Fuge

TANK PICS http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=98202
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Old 09-29-2005, 11:16 AM   #12
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Yeah personally I couldnt recommend someone keep a mandarin in a 20 under any circumstance. My friend that pulled that off is somewhat of an expert marine aquarist. Im like you, there are too many fish that are great for small tanks to take the risk of killing a mandarin. Can it be done ... sure can, can everyone do it - No Way! The point I was trying to make is with some skill, care, and consideration you wont need an 100+ gallon tank with hundreds of pounds of live rock to keep a Mandarinfish.

When my friend kept his in a 20 long it was the only fish that took part in eating co pods, and in addition to that he was able to get it eating frozen mysis shrimp. To me the most important thing to keep these fish is having plenty of live rock considering your tanks size, having an established tank, and having a good working refuge. Also tank mate selection becomes very important.

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Old 09-29-2005, 11:33 AM   #13
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The key to successfully keeping a mandarin is a large pods population and a place for the pods to survive (fuge or a lot of rock).

I think many get hung up on LR. You do not have to purchase LR to have LR. I probably have close to 100-150 lbs of LR( I did not keep track), but only purchased about 20lbs of "LR" the rest is base rock that becomes LR overtime.

I personally would not recomend a mandarin to anyone with less than a 75g and 75-100lbs of rock that has been set up for at least a year with a visable pods population. A refugium is preferable, but not required.

My mandarin has been in my 2 yr old setup for about a year and doing great. It started out in my 75g.

I too starved a mandarin when I first started because I did no know better and the chain LFS was more than happy to sell it to me.

If you are new to the hobby and your setup does not meet the above pass on this fish and wait. You will save yourself distress down the road.


Tank: 90 Gal SW Reef in the making

See my info for setup and inhabitant details:
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