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Old 08-22-2011, 02:33 PM   #1
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mandarins eating habbits

hi all iam thinking of getting a mandarin fish iv read that they will only eat live copepods. is this true. and if so if i buy them live from ebay and add them to my tank will they live in the tank like everything els untill eaten and will they reproduce or will i need to keep buying them and will they do any harm.. also any info regarding mandarins and feeding will be appreciated many thanks
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:46 PM   #2
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mandarins are probably oneof the hardest fish to keep. I recently added one a few weeks ago, an ORA tank raisedone that was supposed to eat pellets. paid alot for it too but all she will eat right now are pods and cyclops and some plankton. Their diet in nature is 100% pods. if you have a refugium or a fuge you can add pods into there and hope they multiply. I have a fuge and I don't have that many pods in my biocube and I even seeded it with a bag of pods.

A mandarin can go through a couple bags of pods a week, when i say all they do is hunt for food I'm not exagerating. Mine is literally on the hunt 24/7.

An established tank with ALOT of rock and a refugium is the way to go in my opinion.

How big is your tank btw?
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:49 PM   #3
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Oh, also forgot to mention, if you do get one and manage to get them on prepared foods and not pods ( a long shot at best) they are very very slow eaters, so I target feed mine with a turkey baster and all the flow off. Other fish will gobble up the food before the mandarin even gets there. lol

And yes, you will have to continue to buy pods by the bag weekly at least. there are some people that have had great luck in getting their mandarins to eat prepared foods but there are also thousands of them that die due to starvation in a home aquarium.

I have the backup plan at least that i can move mine into my 125g gallon tank that has 200+ lbs of live rock and a refugium. But again, you have to worry about fish competition for food.
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:54 PM   #4
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my tank is 35g.. i dont have a fuge or whatever it is.. can i not just add a lot to my tank and leave them to multiply for a while before i get the fish. will the pods live in the tank
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:00 PM   #5
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Pods will multiply naturally in a tank until they reach a certain population point. With only a 35g and no fuge there really is no safe place for them to multiply other than the live rock. It could take months and months to get a solid amount of them.

I even tried growing pods in a separate tank and had marginal results. lol Def not enough grew to feed a wild mandarin.

I know they are awesome, I waited almost a year until I got mine. I also got one that was raised on pellets but doesnt eat them now so even those have no guarantee.

How much live rock do you have? The more porous the better...and how long has your tank been up?
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:27 AM   #6
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10kg so thats about 22lb of rock.. its been set up about 2 monthe..
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:33 AM   #7
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Thats for sure not enough time for a good population and the rock is a little on the light side. I have over 40lbs in my 29g plus the fuge in back. And I'm still not seeing a huge colony of pods.

i would wait it out and see, adding a bottle of pods might not be a bad thing, could help. But right now and for the foreseeable future I think you need to wait. Remember the number one thing in saltwater is patience. And it sucks I might add. LOL
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:46 PM   #8
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yeah i know its not enough rock or time but iam buildingf it up slowly cuz it cost so much. iam planning on more rock ansd not adding anyfish for a whils
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Old 08-29-2011, 05:59 PM   #9
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Old 08-29-2011, 07:21 PM   #10
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I have had one in my 38G since March. He only eats pods. I never added any, they made their way into the tank with the LR. I waited 6 months until I added him (to make sure there was a good pod population living in the DT and sump) I have probably at least 70lbs of LR. I also have a 10G sump with rock rubble. He is always moving around the tank munching at this and that.
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