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Old 09-26-2005, 01:22 PM   #1
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madarine dragonette

I had a psychotic clown kill everything in the tank but the yellow tang. Its been several weeks with only a single herbivore in the tank and last night I noticed that the copepod and amphipod population has grown. Tiny little specs everywhere.

I believe the tank can sustain a dragonette but I dont want to add anything that will compete for the little critters. Before I had 2 blue chromis, a filefish, a yellow tang and a Norman Bates false percula.

When restocking should I avoid any of these fro the perspective of food competition. Also any general input on dragonette compatibility would be appreciated.

55 gal, bare bottom 70 lbs live rock

Thanks
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Old 09-26-2005, 01:45 PM   #2
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To be honest, I do not believe you have enough LR to maintain a pod population for the Mandarin. I would say you need a minimum of 100 lbs of LR and/or a refugium to allow the pods a safe place to reproduce. I would recommend against one as it will deplete the pod population quickly and starve. You best bet is to try and find one that is eating prepared foods, though this is rare to see.

To answer your other question though, the fish you listed would not be competing with the Mandarin for food.

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Old 09-26-2005, 02:53 PM   #3
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Although I have well over 100 lbs LR, I added a HOB fuge to provide an area for pods to reproduce. They are crawling all over the place in there. I put LR rubble and chaeto in it. If you really want a mandarin, you might consider something like that.
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Old 09-26-2005, 03:42 PM   #4
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I agree. 100lbs of LR is needed to maintain a pod population for 1 mandarin.

I know a guy that got his to adapt nicely to eating mysis shrimp...but not all of them did, so it's pretty hit or miss.
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Old 09-26-2005, 10:01 PM   #5
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I've got a friend that has gotten his Manderin to eat his home made food. He blends scallop, shrimp, clams, sole, a few cloves of garlic, dried seaweed, and probably afew other sea foods I can't remember. He feed it 2x a day and it as well as all his fish love it. You could try that. Now as for letting it fend for itself... well your tank should really be intact for a long time and filled and I do mean FILLED with live natural prey. It's a beautiful species that would be a great additon to any tank. But think hard and long before you purchase one.
Hope this helps.
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Old 09-27-2005, 09:25 AM   #6
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I have well under 100 lbs of live rock and am hosting a manderin with no problems.

If you can see pods in your tank and you do not have anything to compete with them, you should be fine. Sand sifting star fish will eat pods (which I did not know until I got my manderin), as well as the more common pod eaters.
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Old 09-27-2005, 05:10 PM   #7
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You dont need 100+ pounds of live rock to house a mandarinfish. That is a popular myth in my opinion. I have seen these fish housed in a variety of settings in tanks much to small to have near that much live rock. A good strong established refuge with lots of pods, and your tanks gallon amount in live rock (ex: 20 gallon tank with 20 pds of rock) will work fine. Also allowing some algae growth on and around rocks will encourage pod populations.
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Old 09-27-2005, 07:32 PM   #8
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macman, You say you have seen these fish in smaller tanks... Do you know how long they were in the tanks? Anyone can keep a fish short term, my goal and others is to keep them long term. And IMO and others you need a well established tank with LR and a refugium to help out if you run less Lr and have a smaller tank.
I listened to a LFS and tossed in a manderin in my tank that had 125lbs of LR, my problem was the tank was not mature and he ate through the pods in no time and starved to death in less then a year.
I am giving advise based on my experiance and IMO if you do not have enough LR you should think about getting a fuge to help out with pod population. Not all fish will eat prepaired foods.. I have a new manderin now and she never touches prepaired foods.
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Old 09-29-2005, 09:22 AM   #9
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My dragonet has been in my tank for almost a year now. My tank is under 100 gallons and I do not have 100 lbs of live rock.

I think tank maturity and upkeep are a major component of keeping a mandarin alive. I agree with macman on the statement that it is a popular myth. However I also agree with seaham. I would not encourage someone to put a manderin in a tank that is not mature, or in a tank that is not running with a refuge (if it is under 50 gallons) simply because the pod population must be high in order to support this type of fish. My maderin will not eat prepared food, I have never personally seen one that will.
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Old 09-29-2005, 10:34 AM   #10
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seaham358,

My good friend kept his mandarin in a 20 gallon long with about 30 pds of live rock for about 2.5 years. When he moved out of state and tore his tank down he sold the Mandarin to a local store that had a large reef display in it. Several years ago I had a FOWLR tank and kept a mandarin for about 1.5 years in there and it was only a 40 gallon tank with 60 pds of live rock. All the tanks mentioned though had working and well established refugiums and had been running for about 7 months or more before adding the mandarin.
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