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Old 08-21-2012, 05:49 AM   #1
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Mandarin not eating

Have TONS of pods/copepods. He doesn't hunt at night when the lights are off and the pods are out. He lays hidden in a rock and kinda changes color at night. During the day if he nips at something he usually spits it out. I've seen him chomp on an amphipod and then spit it out. I'm trying to get him to eat frozen as well but if I get the syringe near him he hides. I just ordered a hatchery dish so I can try live bbs. I'm also in the process of making a small feeding station to put the shrimp in for him. Is it normal behavior???
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:06 AM   #2
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Sounds about the same as mine lol. Just keep a eye on his belly. When it starts to become sunken then you'll have issues.
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:49 AM   #3
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Well that's just it. I think it is starting to look sunken.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:21 AM   #4
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Then you might not have as large of a pod population as you thought.. how big is the tank, how much LR, and how old is the tank?
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:40 AM   #5
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Sorry for butting in. I just got one my tank has been up for about a year. I have about 150lbs of rock in the 110 tank and about 20lbs of rubble in sump with cheato. I just put in 1000 pods a week ago. Should I put more or do you think I have pods in rock already?
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:33 AM   #6
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You should ALWAYS quarantine your mandarin to train it to eat prepared foods. Dropping it in & hoping it'll survive is about the worst thing you can do to it. In the tank it's way harder if not impossible to train. Your fish are starving to death on you. If you can't put the effort into training them properly you shouldn't have one.

Get it fat from the store
Isolate it in a breeder box or QT
Over a few days it should start on garlic soaked enriched brine (it helps to start with very small portions, keeping them moving with current do they appear alive)
Once successful on brine for a few days (so it fattens up more) move to garlic soaked pellets - about pod sized
Once successful with pellets, introduce a feeding station. (I inserted airline tubing into a 6" long piece of 3/4" tubing making a tee shape. This allowed me to feed it into its private feeding station where larger fish couldn't get it.)
In the tank, drop the feeding station in every day or two to pellet feed for maintenance.

Within two days it was eating brine, 3 days after pellets. This way you know, if it looks underfed it will take to pellets in its feeding station.
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:52 PM   #7
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I ordered this fish with pods online. I've put over 3000 pods in this tank and refuge over the last 3 weeks. Pods are EXTREMELY active at night with lights off, but fish is not. I ever took the cheato out of the fuge and shook it in the main tank last night after lights out with pump/skimmer off. LOTS of pods! Not looking for criticism. Looking for suggestions from others who may have had similar experience. Thanks
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:54 PM   #8
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Also can u post pix of your feeding station? I have one in mind for live baby brine but curious what yours looks like. Thanks so much
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Old 08-21-2012, 03:22 PM   #9
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I started both my dragonets in a 29g biocube. I fed severla times a day with the flow off and with a turkey baster to target feed. I tried maybe 15 different foods and it seems they both like cyclopeeze at first and then worked their way up eating larger sized foods. It took about a month to train each one and now they eat all the frozen food I put in the tank and the mandarin even eats pellets that fall to the sand.

I did however have a large pod population when i started which is good cause they both would have died of starvation if I hadn't. :-(

Just throwing some pods in and then a mandarin isnt usually enough. You really need the pods to develop on their own and to stablize their population before adding the dragonet. Now that it has a sunken tummy the odds arent in your favor for it to make it. :-( I know it;s horrible and all but its a specialty fish and really really needs a lot of work put in for them to thrive.
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:01 PM   #10
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This is the station I made today just to see if I can get him to eat something. I will make one for fresh shrimp within a couple days. Still waiting on my shrimp hatchery. How long do you guys leave the food in it? It's not floating out so I'm not worried about water quality. This is just a baby food container with a whole cut into one side for entrance. IDK if it will work but trying
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