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
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.