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Old 04-25-2015, 07:06 PM   #11
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Anemone are sensitive inverts, 'dirty' water will not benefit them. They should be treated like SPS coral, pristine and stable water conditions with strong lighting.
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Old 04-25-2015, 07:08 PM   #12
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That sounds great!
If you can maintain pods OR find "captive bred/tank raised"(not the same)
Blue Mandarin | Synchiropus splendidus | ORA | Oceans, Reefs & Aquariums
mandarins are great!
With my sump I have always had a male and female and they graze on pods all day and such.


Good call on the chromis!
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Old 04-25-2015, 07:12 PM   #13
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Define dirty water?
XX nitrates?
Or unstable new tank type water?
Or unkept?
My nem split into two last fall(7 years old then) and that water is any thing but dirty!
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Old 04-25-2015, 07:58 PM   #14
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I'd love (LOVE) a Mandarin, but fear I might not be able to feed it adequately.

After seeing one, I fell in love - then started researching and am not sure that I'll have the resources to give it what it needs.

There are 3 LFSs in town, and the only thing I know of them is that they hate each other and will tell customers whatever they feel will get business. I was told that nems, many corals, most fish (including clowns, gobies, bennies and chromis (!!!)) were "just fine" with sea horses and pipefish. Guidance on a consistent supply of pods is definitely not something I feel confident I can get from any of them - despite the fact that they all have multiple mandarins in stock.

Because of this, I am very wary. The next closest source for salty stuff is about two hours away. We travel there often for medical care for our little girl, so we try to visit when we can.
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:08 PM   #15
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Not matter what a good LFS will feed the fish for you to see if they really want to sell it.
If they say it ate already or won't feed it for you DON'T buy it.
You should work into it all slowly.
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:24 PM   #16
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That is fabulous advice, thank you!

The one LFS (the one that told me to cycle the tank with green chromis) was happy to show me the "fancy" fish eating... he fed the puffers and some long thin black fish (looked something like a black Bichir with larger fins) but it seemed like more of a show than "caring" for the fish.

On LiveAquaria, Copepods are only one of the recommended foods for mandarins - will they actually get their required nutrients from brine shrimp and black worms? My gut says no...
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:29 PM   #17
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I would not count on supplementing their food right off the bat.
Some LFS sell "artic pods" which are good for feeding but $$ over time.
I wouldn't offer "freshwater foods" to marine fish.
IMO brine shrimp or Mysis are ok marine foods but the brine are not very nutritious and should be supplemented with vitamins(selcon) and such.
I would wait after introducing other fish a while(maybe 6 months) and then see if the mandarin is appropriate.
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:32 PM   #18
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I read somewhere that mandarin eat something every second or something like that. They are constantly eating. I spent a fortune keeping my mandarin alive with trying to keep pods going in my tank, and that was with it even eating mysis shrimp...which is rare.
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:56 PM   #19
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I think I will (at least for now) admire the mandarins at the shop and try to avoid the problems I could cause them. I heard something similar about their eating - every 2-3 seconds, and capable of eating a couple thousand pods a day.

In a perfect world, perhaps...

Side question - what about starfish? Another potential tank dweller I should wait on?
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Old 04-25-2015, 09:06 PM   #20
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That depends. Serpent and brittle stars are simple to keep. I am not aware of any other reef safe stars that are easy to care for. The others are fromia and they are not only difficult to keep, we don't even really know what they eat. This is another example of a beauty we throw in our tanks that simply ends up starving most of the time.
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