They are a special needs fish IMO
. It's almost too bad they are so beautiful. But I am suspecting that there may be some other foods that might get even the most stubborn Mandarine to eat. And I would certainly build the feeder that folks make out of tubing and a old plastic electrical tape container. For such slow feeders, I think it would have a lot of benefit.
Nutramar Ova, lobster eggs, if you can get them seem to be pretty sure fire and loaded with nutrition, which pods
aren't, that's why they have to eat thousands of them. It is also far simpler to batch raise baby brine, then gut load them than it is to keep a pod population going, again IMO
. Seems most dragonets and even butterflies love them. Same guy that built the Aptaiser, grows worms and baby brine for his Mandarines and they have spawned many times. That's the real guarantee you have a healthy fish.