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Old 11-30-2004, 01:45 PM   #1
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Mandarins and Pods

I know that mandarins require a strong pod population to feed properly. If you have a newly established tank with no pod population. Can you buy pods from an online store and let them reproduce in your tank for a few weeks can you be confident the mandarin will have enough to eat. Can you simply buy more pods every month or so and dump them in?
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Old 11-30-2004, 02:37 PM   #2
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You can get pods online at places like garf but the cost to purchase them every month would get a bit high as the price you pay is kind of high for the number of pods you get.
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Old 11-30-2004, 04:55 PM   #3
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There is no short cut when it comes to a mandarin IMO. you need a large mature tank with lots of LR.
Few weks try 8-12 months and then maybe if you have enough rock. Some things can not be kept by us all.....
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Old 11-30-2004, 06:35 PM   #4
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i dont understand why a bunch of rock will sustain the fish, but physically adding the pods yourself wont. The theory is that in a mature tank the pods have reproduced enough to create a large reproducing population. But if you are regularly dumping a ton of pods in to a tank that has none, within a few months these pods will reproduce just like in the mature tank with a ton of rock. Am I missing something??? perhaps its not easy to get a bag full of pods and that is why people dont do this?
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Old 11-30-2004, 08:03 PM   #5
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First off how big is your tank and how much LR do you have? How old is the tank. What other fish do you have. Other fish will also be eating the pods when you add them to the tank. If you want to pay for your pods every month or few weeks then I guess it may work.
A tank needs a lot of rock to maintain a supply of pods to keep the fish alive. I would buy the pods then add them wait a few months then if you see a large population a mandarin may work out for you.
Again in this hobby you can't rush into things.
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Old 11-30-2004, 08:08 PM   #6
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All you're missing is the price of a bag of pods. seapods was $20 last time I checked. If you have a good supply, it doesn't matter where they come from... Many people get by with a fuge that has cheato in it.

all that being said, and no offense intended, but you and your tank are probably not ready yet. everything I've ever read says either "leave them in the ocean" or "not in a new tank"
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Old 12-01-2004, 06:36 AM   #7
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Deep. it is doable, just like feeding your other fish, but it will get pretty expensive pretty quick. You can certainly jump start your populations either by buying a good chunck of macro to grow in a 'fuge or by selecting certain species. You will be better off in the long run to have a lot of rock so they pods have safe places to breed, and preferably a separate fuge. If you do jump start, still wait more than a few weeks for the species you introduce to establish themselves. Mandarins eat a TON of tiny little critters, mainly copepods. It would be next to impossible to know when you are getting low and need to order again. Having a constant fresh supply makes it a no worries proposition.

I'd personaly suggest http://www.aquaculturestore.com/swinverts.html if you're going to buy some starter bugs.
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Old 12-01-2004, 01:33 PM   #8
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so if you run something like an aquaclear500 with cheato as a fuge, and buy some starter pods, and have zero fish in your tank, in a few weeks youd have a reproducing population of pods? My tank is a 20long with 30 lbs of base rock.
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Old 12-01-2004, 04:36 PM   #9
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Yes, but not enough for a mandarin. I've generally seen the recommendation of a 100 gallon tank minimum with lots of LR. In a tank like yours it would starve in a matter of months (as many had happen) unless you bought pods continually.

I just put one in my 125 which has been up for almost 2 years. My tank has 245 pounds of LR, a 6"-8" DSB, a 30 gallon sump and and 3 starter kits of pods (ISPF, Inland Aquatics and the best from a guy in Philly). I spaced the kits about 6 months apart. I finally decided (with major prodding from a friend) that my tank was mature enough for a mandarin.
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Old 12-01-2004, 04:54 PM   #10
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I've heard a mature 55g with fuge and appropriate LR were the bare minimum to keep a steady supply of food for them. Everyone I've talked to that tried smaller setups have had to watch their mandarins starve over time. My wife brought a mandarin home when my 112g was only 2 months old. Fortunately I had about 60 lbs or rock that I had brought over from my 55g, and little macro from my old fuge when I made the tank switch. I've got about 150lbs of rock and a 29g fuge running right now. Even then I bought copepods, mysid, and common shore shrimp that the site I posted. The mandarin has put on weight in the months since we got him, so I think it all came together fine even with the new setup. And I'm still considering placing another order for more bugs just in case. These fish spend litteraly all day grazing for food and can deplete a tank in pretty short order.

Unfortunately with a 20g tank, I think you'll have to cross a mandarin off of you list of livestock. You could probably keep one, but you'd have to be ordering bugs ever couple weeks. At $20-$60 an order it's not real feasable.
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