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Old 02-01-2012, 04:34 PM   #1
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mandarins

If i started my first saltwater tank (30 gallons) with a mandarin fish, so it would be the focus of my attention for a while and care, would i have a better chance of looking after it well. I want to start of my first tank with one, and i know how difficult they can be, but im pretty sure i know alot. Nevertheless i wouldnt want to risk the poor things life
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:38 PM   #2
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I asked my LFS about mandarins and he said "of the ones I sell, about one out of 10 make it through the first year in the best conditions". I know some people who have trained them to eat prepared food (carey), but that is not the norm.
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:42 PM   #3
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If it is the first fish in the tank, it's just not going to work. They graze on Copepods and you would need to give him bottles of them. It takes an established tank With a Refugium to work because of its eating habits. It would be almost impossible to give him that much bottled Copepods. I really wish you could do one, i love seeing tanks with them, but I just don't see it happening. Sorry
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:46 PM   #4
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I wouldn't chance it. Unless you had a bigger sump/refugium where copepods were reproducing, the chances of the mandarin sustaining a healthy life are slim to none. Even if you did "train" it to eat prepared foods, the chances of it switching back to live foods are great. Also I find it funny that we try our best to recreate the environment they live in, but yet we "train" them to eat foods they normally do not eat, simply so we can keep them for our enjoyment. I believe if you can't keep them with what their normal diet is, then you shouldn't even try.
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:51 PM   #5
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The only thing that worries me is that mandarins need a mature tank and this is because they need pods...and I know the fish may be your main focus but that doesnt matter since the fish will need a lot of pods to be able to survive and they don't come fast and supplemental feeding of store bought pods wouldn't be enough because the mandarin would just eat them and then the pod population would be low again. If you really want a mandarin my opinion would to be wait some time to let your tank mature and grow a large pod population.
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:56 PM   #6
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I have two dragonets in a biocube and both are eating prepared frozen food. The scooter blenny I have was easier to get on frozen food, only took about a month. The mandarin needed more time than that. I also got an ORA mandarin which are supposed to eat pellet food, BUT in my case she didnt eat it when we got home. All she wanted were pods to hunt. I had a refugium in the back of the cube and was set up for maybe 6 months before i got my mandy. If I hadnt' had a decent supply of pods during that first month she would have starved. :-(
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:27 PM   #7
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Whats the diff between a refugium and a sump?
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:31 PM   #8
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A sump usually consists of mechanical filtration and used for extra water volume. A refugium is somewhere where little critters can seek refuge and reproduce. Most use some form of macroalgae where crabs and pods can live and reproduce. Although I have seen intricut fuge tanks that were almost 2nd display tanks. Toms of sea plants, fish and inverts.
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:33 PM   #9
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Awsome cheers
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