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Old 01-27-2012, 06:35 PM   #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Sager

There is no trick involved with picking a healthy fish.
You want to watch the fish in the tank he's in. Is he swimming normally? Picking at food? Breathing relaxed? acting normally? etc.
Ask your dealer to put some food in the tank. (If they won't, maybe you need to find another dealer.) Does the fish eat? Does the fish try to eat? (Sometimes a fish will not like what it's being fed but tastes the food being offered. This is a good sign!)
Next, there should be muscle/meat behind the head and a full stomach. If the stomach is pinched, not a good sign.
If the fish is doing fine in the store but not in your tank, the problem most likely is not the fish. It's your tank. A healthy, eating fish will not just shut down for no reason. How you're keeping them is usually the problem.
Now, I know this may piss off the internet sellers but if you want a better guarantee of getting a healthy fish, GO PICK IT OUT YOURSELF and follow the guidelines I just laid out!!!! Yes, you WILL PAY MORE for this but how many dead fish you will buy sight unseen vs healthy fish you buy following my guide will offset the difference.
I've been very successful at raising tiny fish into full grown adults because I followed this same system. Sometimes you have to wait for the right fish. Be patient!!! If you reduce your risk, you raise your success. Buy a healthy fish from the start.
See, there's no trick to it.
Sure there is...as you pointed out...many if not most of the mandarins at the LFS are skinny already from the stay at the holding facilities as well as shipment. By "trick" I meant being fortunate enough to encounter a healthy fish as you have little control in most communities as to choice, especially if you subscribe to your good advise of actually seeing the fish first.
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Old 01-28-2012, 01:27 AM   #142
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If you only knew....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregcoyote View Post
Sure there is...as you pointed out...many if not most of the mandarins at the LFS are skinny already from the stay at the holding facilities as well as shipment. By "trick" I meant being fortunate enough to encounter a healthy fish as you have little control in most communities as to choice, especially if you subscribe to your good advise of actually seeing the fish first.
Obviously, each different area of the country has it's own situation. I've shipped all over the country and all over the world and it does take a toll on the fish when not done properly.
That all being said, the point I was trying to make was when the shift came to buying fish over the internet (& I was a proponant of doing it as well), problems arose on the customer's end that couldn't be solved just by replacing the fish, which was the common practice. (Having a relationship with a good store would have prevented some of those situations because they could have advised whether this was a good fit for the customer's tank or customer's abilities.) The fallout from that was that the Local Fish Store couldn't afford to do what they have to do to keep the fish healthy and still turn a profit to stay in business. Something had to give and CARE was usually the victim. Not that they didn't take care of the fish. They just couldn't invest the time and resources to making it the BEST POSSIBLE specimen. There were other considerations that were out of the store's control as well. Collecting methods, wholesaler's knowledge or capabilities, natural and unnatural diseases all can contribute to a fish's fate. These don't always show up immediately. However, a healthy fish acts a certain way. That's the same no matter what. That's why I suggested that seeing IF the fish was interested in eating was an acceptable criteria.
Listen , I could go on and on but the bottom line wouldn't change . When I used to go to the local fish wholesaler and pick my mandarins out of a tank of 50 or 75 fish, more of them were acting and looking normal than not. (And at that point, the fish hadn't eaten in close to a week because of shipping requirements.) I've seen some stores that would just scoop up a net full of fish and take whatever they caught. I was just more particular because my reputation was on the line. That carried over to my import business as well. My suppliers knew to not dump crap on me because I wouldn't pay for it. I bought better quality fish and paid more for them because they were my livelyhood. It all trickles down.
My feeling is that if today's customer was more conscious of what they were buying rather than what they were spending on a fish, the local fish store would be forced to deliver higher quality if they wanted to survive. Who wins when that happens? The customer and the fish.

I welcome the opportunity to speak with anyone on a 1 on 1 basis or through a seperate forum (ie chat room) because this discussion could be very long and I don't think this is the right place for that. If anyone is interested, just send me a private message with a date and time that's convenient and we'll make it happen. (Fair warning, I LOVE TALKING ABOUT FISH!!! )
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Old 01-28-2012, 12:55 PM   #143
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I had a pair of dragonets no probs. I fed them on mysis and shrimp eggs they was also eating live foods in tank .they do there dancing moves in the evening when the main lights go out. I have had no probs with these beautiful fish
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Old 01-28-2012, 02:43 PM   #144
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Quote:
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I had a pair of dragonets no probs. I fed them on mysis and shrimp eggs they was also eating live foods in tank .they do there dancing moves in the evening when the main lights go out. I have had no probs with these beautiful fish
You "had" a pair...how long did they live? Most of my fish are up to 10 years old, a few older. If your mandarins lasted only a year or two...my point is made. This is a fish that should only be kept by the most dedicated hobbiest with lots of time on their hands for any long term success. JIMO.

I also owned a chain of LFS and the Internet is going to wipe them out if we don't support them in our local areas.
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:33 PM   #145
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I had my mandarins for a yr and half I lost them to white spot not because they was'nt eating
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:14 PM   #146
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really mandarins are pretty tough when it comes to that kind of stuff, their slime coat is pretty thick and they can easily fight it off. you must have had a bad case of ich
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:55 PM   #147
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I am coming to believe after many years that ICH is more of a symptom than a disease. Weakened fish, or stressed fish loose some of their slime coat allowing ICH to propogate. I doubt there are many tanks out there sterile enough not to have some ICH spores present. Like people with weakened immune systems get more colds and infections, the slime coat on the fish is its immune system. So I would guess that ICH was what finally did the mandarin in, but he wasn't well before the ICH hit him.
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:03 PM   #148
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that was the exact way i explained it to someone else, like us when we are stressed our immunites are down and we are more prone to sickness then if we were in a normal state.

fish in the wild live with the ich parasite and way more often then not they are able to fight it off
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Old 02-04-2012, 10:22 AM   #149
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I bought some reef pods and they never really seemed to cultivate I started getting good amount of pods after I bought dome GARF grunge plus that's full of all kinds of cool stuff I also have lots of little brittle stars about the size of a dime.
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Old 02-04-2012, 12:08 PM   #150
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After an Ich outbreak several years ago I QT ALL my fish and did a 6 week Hyposalinity treatment. Since placing all fish back in the DT I have followed strict QT precautions for anything new going into the DT. Corals and inverts go through a dipping process of several baths using tank water before getting to the DT. I haven't had an Ich outbreak since and that includes periods or reduced maintenance (PWC, etc.) due to back condition.

So I'm pretty sure you can rid a tank of Ich.
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