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Old 12-26-2011, 06:15 PM   #1
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Why did my Mandarin Dragonet die??

I just bought a beautiful mandarin dragonet last Friday. He didn't eat from the shrimp cubes I feed my fish so Saturday I put in a bottle of 2,000 count Copepods. I found him dead Sunday morning what happened??
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Old 12-26-2011, 06:18 PM   #2
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The fish looks very skinny in the photo. My guess is that it was on its way out when you purchased it. I'm sorry to hear you lost it. A lot of them are starving to death in stores before the customers buy them.
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Old 12-26-2011, 06:22 PM   #3
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Dragonets are, regretfully, beautiful but not terribly easy to transition to life in an aquarium. Unfortunately dumping a bottle of pods in isn't necessarily the same as having a sufficient number of pods living in the tank.

Sorry for your loss. Every time I'm at the LFS I have to talk myself OUT of one of these fish - they're gorgeous.
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Old 12-26-2011, 06:23 PM   #4
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How sad I thought he looked healthy. Are they active fish or lethargic?
If he was starving why didn't he eat? poor guy he was so pretty
Also, are the Copepods just in my sand/rock/filter now?

When I put him in the tank, he wouldn't let go I my hand
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Old 12-26-2011, 06:23 PM   #5
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How do I get plenty already livin in my tank without my other swimming fish eating them all?
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Old 12-26-2011, 06:26 PM   #6
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There are several threads devoted to this topic. Coral Magazine has an excellent article on them. I have tried for 20 years and have not had long term success, so they are on my do not buy list. There are mandarins that are available that eat frozen foods, but live brine shrimp that has been enriched is about the best place to start. They like low flow, as they target stuff and don't want much competition or have to fight to swim.

Also, as said above, most by the time they hit the LFS are already too far gone.
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Old 12-26-2011, 06:27 PM   #7
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Sorry for the loss.

Mandarins really need to be in a well established large tank with a colony of pods, preferably in a refugium. ORA mandarins will accept frozen foods, but they are grazers by nature.
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:43 PM   #8
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Can you tell me more about refugiums?
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:56 PM   #9
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Only the basics, I haven't set on up myself. If I do, it will be to keep a Mandarin. Basically, it is an area off of or in the sump with lower flow used for nitrate export, propogating macros, pods, etc.

Check out Melevsreef.com | Acrylic Sumps & Refugiums.
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Old 12-27-2011, 12:21 AM   #10
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I don't think a refugium (while a good idea in general) is a cure for growing Dragonettes. It is a combination of things, that is why there are so many mixed results. Diet, starting with a healthy Mandarin, low flow so they can hover and little competition for food as they are sooo slow is just some of the basics. I have so many pods my fish are fat with them, but they compete too effectively for Dragonettes to thrive.
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