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Old 11-02-2014, 08:36 PM   #21
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I still don't think 10-15 gallons of pod breeding space will sustain the fish. As for weening to frozen foods, worms, or anything else; this wasn't the OP's question.


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Old 11-02-2014, 09:02 PM   #22
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There is a good reference on the web in how to build a pod factory. That would insure plenty of pods. It uses a 5 gallon bucket.


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Old 11-02-2014, 09:04 PM   #23
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Bucking the odds is no problem except for the fish.
Very true
Big reason why I groan a little whenever I see certain animals available for sale. I get torn between the fun and challenge of trying a difficult species coupled with the feeling of wanting to "rescue" the poor critter from 90% of the customers who may purchase it, weighed against my own desire to not fail and cost an animal it's life.
It ain't easy being a "fish guy" sometimes, ain't easy at all I tell ya.
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Old 11-02-2014, 09:26 PM   #24
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Ok, i figured I'd chime in since I had one for a few years.

I do not think the OP"s setup will work, there really isnt enough room in half a tank to raise enough pods for a mandarin. Unless you wait months and months without anyone eating them, then maybe.....but I wouldnt do it myself. I even tried to make a "pod" tank to grow them for a mandatin and that didnt work. :-(

To set the record straight, my mandarin died from excessive stress when I moved him to two different tanks within a week. He was, at the time of his death, eating pellets and anything frozen I threw at him. BUT it took well over a month to get him off of pods and onto frozen. This involved feeding about 10 times a day over a dozen different frozen foods. My water quality was crap and it was alot of work and attention for this one fish.

In retrospect, I would not try another one, even though mine lived for a couple years, got fat and looked good. As a side note, I purchased a ORA mandarin which was supposed to eat pellets, AND DID NOT! He was only eating pods when I put him in my tank. I had a small refugium setup which was barely enough pods to get him thru to eating frozen. I do firmly believe that him being from ORA was what helped me get him to eat prepared, I dont think he would have made it if he was a wild caught one.

My best advice is to really really think about what you want to do. I know it's only a "fish" but to get one and have it die on you isnt' cool. Beautiful fish but a heck of alot of work.
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Old 11-02-2014, 11:27 PM   #25
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I can chime in as well. Mine starved in a 55 reef. I kept him alive for a long time, and wasn't really sure how. It turned out that I got extremely lucky, and that the mandarin decided that hunger is the best spice and started eating frozen mysis out of the water column like the other fish. This is so unheard of...I've never heard of it ever happening to anyone else, having to train it with a feeder and such.
This was all with me spending a ton of money on pumping the tank full of pods all the time. I'll never do it again.
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Old 11-03-2014, 12:17 AM   #26
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Mandarin setup

I starved more than my share as well. My 300 gallon is 23 years old and mandarins starve in it. Then I tried one in a 100 gallon frag tank where there was no competition. I bought pods weekly and he still starved. All my other fish are fat and very old. And yet as I posted earlier, my son has a 5 year old 45 gallon reef and his mandarin is a pig. I gave up as the joy of owning this fish is exceeded by the sorrow of flushing the little guy away.

Thanks Carey for setting the record straight.


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Old 11-03-2014, 12:22 AM   #27
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Look for posts on other forums for a guy goes by Paul B. Many of you already know who I'm referring to. He has a very novel +40 year old reef that allows his mandarins to spawn regularly. A spawning fish is the definition of a health happy fish. Read up on his techniques. They sound old school, and they are in a way. But they are also very effective if you can pull it off.


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Old 11-03-2014, 05:54 PM   #28
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My first one died a week after I got him
I can't say for sure if it starved
my second I had over 3 years I also raised pods ,brine,mysiss in a 20g long tank divided in 3 parts
I did get my mandarin to eat frozen , pellets and other foods
unfortunately I lost the poor guy after a tank upgrade I think he stressed out
they are very delicate fish , I keep saying I will try again but deep inside I know what it took to keep the lil guy alive
before I started breeding all my own feeders it cost me tons of money every month to replenish the population of pods mandarins can eat from 1500 to 3000 pods a day as they eat almost constantly , a entire population can be diminished with in a day or so
a lot of what you are hearing here is from personal experience
can they be trained to eat frozen and other foods yes , is it always a guarantee no
you can train him to eat frozen and other foods but at any time he can just reject them
here is a good article to read
...I'd like to buy a Mandarin! | Melev's Reef
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:56 PM   #29
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Quote:
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Look for posts on other forums for a guy goes by Paul B. Many of you already know who I'm referring to. He has a very novel +40 year old reef that allows his mandarins to spawn regularly. A spawning fish is the definition of a health happy fish. Read up on his techniques. They sound old school, and they are in a way. But they are also very effective if you can pull it off.


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I remember reading some articles about his tank. Cool stuff.
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:04 PM   #30
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So it sounds like the overall consensus is that they can be kept, BUT only with a great amount of effort and expense coupled with getting a fish that is willing to "play along" and even then it looks like it is still a coin toss.


for us hobbyist Mandarin goby's are the proverbial carrot on a stick, so tempting, but for the most part, out of reach.
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