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Old 01-17-2012, 08:36 PM   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Sager

I have been in the fish business for over 40 years and would question the reliability of the author of the article if he states that they are poisonous to their tankmates.
As mentioned above, Mandarins have a thick slimecoat which protects them from other species. I can't say for sure but we can assume it has an unpleasant taste to it. As for it killing the other fish in a tank, your biological system should be set up to handle it. As for killing the other fish in the bag, shop at another pet store! No intelligent pet store employee who knows anything about fish would pack a mandarin with other fish. The slime it produces from the stress of the move would make the water unsuitable for the other fish to breath. Mandarins know how to get around this just as parrotfish don't suffocate themselves when they "cacoon" at night. The slime coating the other fishes gills is what would be the cause of death, not poison.
The biggest challenge to keeping mandarins is the food. Reef tanks that have plenty of copapods and small crusts. for them to eat are ideal. Community tanks with no means of small foods would be a problem. A single tank of dragonetts, smaller gobies and blennies might be a better alternative.
Hope this helps...
Agreed, packing any fish together makes little sense. Bags are cheap. Any fish colored like a mandarin is sending a message to other fish that "I am slow, but very bad tasting!"

As to keeping them fat and happy, a busy tank like mine, while teeming with pods, is not a good place for Mandarins as they are super slow feeders that benefit from having little current so they can hover. Any successful coral tank probably has too much flow for a Mandarin to be really comfortable. IMO Better off in a tank designed for sea horses or the like.
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:42 PM   #112
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No problem for years in a 125 with 190 pounds of LR and pods from several different sources. Only saw the little guy once in a while. He fed in the rocks and the back of the tank most of the time. Sometimes he came around front and I got to watch him slowly hunt and peck at pods on the rocks. There were times I thought I had lost him. Once he was out of sight for about 2 months so I bought another.

One evening I was amazed at how quickly this slow little fish got from one side of the tank to the other, and back again. Then all of a sudden I saw both of them... A large healthy reef tank can sustain them.
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:16 PM   #113
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I haven't had that luck over the past several decades. I have a large healthy reef with lots of natural food sources, but I have given up on Mandarines as getting a healthy one from the LFS is like winning the lottery. They just don't make it, while I have other fish that are 15 years old. Just my case.
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:01 AM   #114
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I recently bought a mandarin that looked extremely healthy from the Lfs. I only bought him since I knew this one was healthy because he looks like a little sausage. It is a male and he's done fine so far in my tank. I have a 40 g with a 20 long refugium teeming with Copepods and amphipods. I'm going to see if this one can make it. I'm also going to try to teach it to feed on frozen brine shrimp.
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:03 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by slitherbomb View Post
I recently bought a mandarin that looked extremely healthy from the Lfs. I only bought him since I knew this one was healthy because he looks like a little sausage. It is a male and he's done fine so far in my tank. I have a 40 g with a 20 long refugium teeming with Copepods and amphipods. I'm going to see if this one can make it. I'm also going to try to teach it to feed on frozen brine shrimp.
Good luck! Looks like you got the best specimen you could.
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:07 AM   #116
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@Greg. I know what you mean. we all seem to have that one problem area that nothing will fix.

@slitherbomb, good luck. I hope you can keep producing enough pods to keep it alive. Weaning it off live is not an easy task, especially if they are available.
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:10 AM   #117
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Mandarin lottery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregcoyote View Post
I haven't had that luck over the past several decades. I have a large healthy reef with lots of natural food sources, but I have given up on Mandarines as getting a healthy one from the LFS is like winning the lottery. They just don't make it, while I have other fish that are 15 years old. Just my case.
As a former PS employee, here's what you need to do: When you're looking at the fish, turn him upside down. If his belly is sunken in, he's probably a goner. Fat fish are what you're looking for. Mandarins are found in tidal pools and the reef so movement isn't the issue, the ability to find food is. You don't find Mandarins where you find seahorses in the wild. Best case scenario, create a "slack tide" at feeding time so the fish can eat. He'll spend the rest of his time protected by the rocks.
Hope this helps...
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Old 01-18-2012, 02:36 AM   #118
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Good info. I don't tend to fixate on owning a certain fish anymore, there are too many others that aren't a pain to choose from. My other fish and corals are fat and long lived. May try another fat Mandarine someday.
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:05 AM   #119
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That coral magazine article that was posted here really went in full detail of how to do it. I'm determined to keep this guy alive and it is in better hands with me than with the lfs.
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:46 PM   #120
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That coral magazine article that was posted here really went in full detail of how to do it. I'm determined to keep this guy alive and it is in better hands with me than with the lfs.
If you are going to go thru the steps they discussed in the magazine, I am certain you will succeed. That article made more sense to me than any other one I ever read on the subject.
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