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Old 10-30-2014, 11:42 AM   #1
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Mandarin setup

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So I know that this isn't the prettiest setup, but I had a bunch of live rock left over from the structure in my main tank, and since the live rock was SO expensive, I didn't want to waste it. I decided to set up an extra 38 gallon I had laying around and put the spare rock in there. It's been set up for 4 months with no fish, just a few corals, a bunch of macro, and pods galore. I have always wanted to keep a mandarin, but there is no way I can keep one in my main tank (65 gallon with sump/fuge, but also an ocillarus that is a pod hunting machine). I was trying to figure out how to add a fuge on this tank, but started thinking 'why can't I just divide the tank with mesh?... there will still be plenty of room for the mandarin and lots of safe area for pods. The pods can come through the mesh, but the mandarin can't come over to the pods area.' Other than the ugly divider, does anyone think that this is a viable plan? The mandarin will be the only fish in this tank btw. Will a 10-15 gallon area full of rock/macro be enough to sustain a mandarin if he can't get to that area? As you can see, there are lots of rocks and macro in the side the mandarin would be in as well.
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Old 10-31-2014, 07:45 AM   #2
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you simply can not keep a mandarin in that small set up, he will be out of pods in 1 or 2 days, they can not multiply as fast as he will eat them
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Old 10-31-2014, 09:19 AM   #3
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you simply can not keep a mandarin in that small set up, he will be out of pods in 1 or 2 days, they can not multiply as fast as he will eat them

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Old 10-31-2014, 12:37 PM   #4
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So did you guys actually READ the OP's post???????????????????

He is dividing the tank so that the pods can have a safe area to reproduce and the mandarin would be the only thing in there. If it is not able to eat all the pods and they are able to easily filter into the display tank, what's the issue?
He will most likely have to introduce other foods and try and wean the mandarin off pods exclusively, but there is nothing wrong with his idea or set-up.

Personally I would also try a pair of dwarf seahorses in there.
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:48 PM   #5
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One thing I'd recommend is putting a few media bags full of LR rubble in the pods section so you can pull one out and shake it in the display (the pods will go swimming out) once a day or so, should give you a decent idea on the size of your pod population.

Totally agree with pb on trying to wean the mandi onto frozen though. A pipe fish or 2 would also make a nice addition
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Old 10-31-2014, 01:39 PM   #6
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So did you guys actually READ the OP's post???????????????????

He is dividing the tank so that the pods can have a safe area to reproduce and the mandarin would be the only thing in there. If it is not able to eat all the pods and they are able to easily filter into the display tank, what's the issue?
He will most likely have to introduce other foods and try and wean the mandarin off pods exclusively, but there is nothing wrong with his idea or set-up.

Personally I would also try a pair of dwarf seahorses in there.
The the pods can not multiply quick enough to sustain the Mandarin, and you can't wean a mandarin off of pods while there is pods in his environment. And yes I read his post.
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Old 10-31-2014, 02:38 PM   #7
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The the pods can not multiply quick enough to sustain the Mandarin, and you can't wean a mandarin off of pods while there is pods in his environment. And yes I read his post.
if the pods are segregated from the mandarin they will reach a sustainable population.
uhmm, isn't that the idea behind those extortionately priced HOB or in-tank refugiums? Growing pods is ALWAYS one of the uses recommended for them in all the advertising/descriptions.

You certainly can add other foods to the mix and gradually get them to take frozen.
How in the world do you think it is done otherwise?
Countless people have had great success doing this, including folks on this site. I think Carey said she had one for many, many years.

Throwing down such absolutes concerning what can or can not be done or how any animal is going to act isn't the wisest thing.
I can understand people often reply with the assumption that the person asking the question just starting keeping fish last Wednesday, but the OP certainly knows what he is doing and the obstacles involved with keeping species such as mandarins (otherwise he wouldn't have gone to the trouble he already has, now would he ), he was just asking for OPINIONS about the idea.
If you research the topic you will find that the OP is doing it in one of the best fashions possible if a person is going to try to keep mandarins, a species specific tank with segregated area for pods so they DO NOT get wiped out.

Sorry for coming off so harsh to you and sorry to the mods, but seriously, why are telling him it CAN"T be done when you have no way of knowing that it won't work and numerous people have had good success with them.

Advice is considering the particular situation and offering your ideas concerning it, not just handing off final proclamations.
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:00 PM   #8
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Both my mandarins eat frozen and pellets in addition to eating pods which are always plentiful in my 150 gallon reef. Not so "impossible" at all.


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Old 11-01-2014, 12:56 AM   #9
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Mandarin setup

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Originally Posted by JonathanG View Post
Both my mandarins eat frozen and pellets in addition to eating pods which are always plentiful in my 150 gallon reef. Not so "impossible" at all.


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Your one of the very fortunate ones. My son also got a easy to feed mandarin. It can happen. And a dedicated hobbiest can raise or buy pods to keep even non-weaned ones fat. I know several folks that even get them to spawn. But they will tell you it's by a dedicated feeding program or a very established pod generating tank that's going for a long period of time that keeps them healthy. Having no competing species in with them is a good move as they eat like my grandma did. Very slowly.

Carey's mandarin starved FYI. She no longer recommends keeping them last I heard. And she really worked at it.

And a statement that a certain type hob or refugium will never get eaten out of pods by a mandarin is a bit general. They can eat thousands after thousands and wipe out a pod population quickly. Yes, I have seen older systems that can keep up with mandarins, but not that many. Just don't tell the OP it's a piece of cake, because it isn't IMO. But if kept to over the long haul, every day, they can flourish.


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Old 11-01-2014, 04:29 AM   #10
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I personally wouldn't try one without having a dedicated pod culture, especially in a tank that small. The size of the tank directly limits the pod population, through lack of food for copepods to feast on and lack of real estate.

I would get a large copepod culture up and running for multiple months that you could easily pull from on a regular basis before trying one. That way it won't matter if the tank can sustain enough pods for him and it won't be a lost cause if he decides that he hates frozen foods.
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