There are sooo many threads on this check some out. A single mandarin can go through multiple bottles in a week and at $15 a pop, well, you do the math. lol
You cand get a mated pair from what Ihave heard but cannot mix and match them, again, just what i ran into when I was researching.
Do you have a refugium? How much live rock? The more live rock the better and if you have a refugium you can seed that with bottles of pods
to help. It;s a beautiful fish but a devil to care for. Mine is finally eating mostly frozen now, after weeks of not caring to and me stressing out BIG time. I still watch her like a hawk though to make sure she is eating. So far she only has tried mysis a few times and will eat a decent amount of cyclops.
keep in mind too that i bought an ORA blue mandarin which was tank raised on pellets but when I got her she wanted no part of anything but pods
. Even ORA ones can revert back to pods
at the drop of a hat. Whats' really sad is it takes months for them to slowly starve...Mine is getting a tiny belly but if I get any sign that she's not eating then into the 125g with refugium and 200lbs of live rock.