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Old 06-09-2011, 01:10 PM   #1
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Mandarin fish food

I know that the mandarin dragonet is difficult to feed. But does anybody know a trick that might help. May sound like a stupid question but to fish stores sell live brine shrimp or copepods that can be introduced to the tank?
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Old 06-09-2011, 02:08 PM   #2
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LFS usually sell tiger pods in a bottle that are live. You can also buy brine eggs and hatch them. I got my first one to eat frozen by getting him to eat frozen brine first, then mixing in either blood worms or mysis in with the brine. He eventually ate everything.
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Old 06-09-2011, 02:11 PM   #3
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Kelsey, you make it sound so easy! LOL
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Old 06-09-2011, 02:11 PM   #4
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Yes, they sell live pods and brine, but the problem is that your average bottle of pods is basically a snack to the mandarin. Just one will eat you out of house and home if you try to keep one on bottled pods. They are constantly eating. Depending on your tank size, you may be able to add enough pods to the tank to get a decent colony started, wait a year for it to become estabished, and then add your mandarin. I only recommend this for tanks that are 75g+ with at least 90lbs. of LR.

ORA sells captive bred and prepared food eating mandarins, but some have experienced them just eating pods after being introduced into the tank, even after they ate prepared at the store. They are also a little pricey. These are probably your best bet.

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-09-2011, 02:22 PM   #5
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You need a well established tank with lots of rock and thereby lots and lots of pods to sustain a mandarin. If you have a relatively shallow tank, you might be able to feed the mandarin frozen food. I have had luck feeding frozen blood worms to a mandarin that I used to have. They tend to be myopic, so you literally have to drop the food right in front of their noses. I would put some blood worms into a cup with tank water and just blow them right in front of the fish with a turkey baster. As long as the food moved, and the fish could see it, it would eat them like spaghetti. Simply throwing the worms into the tank never worked.

I had luck with live brine, and very small hikari mysis cubes, as they tend to be the smallest mysis available.

Mandarins take care of themselves as long as your system can sustain them. If you are unsure, it might be best to pass on this fish.
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Old 06-09-2011, 02:57 PM   #6
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Too late lol!
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:02 PM   #7
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well, good luck to you. Might wanna start trying every food you can til you find one he will eat.

I had a similar issue with my scooter dragonet, but they are much more likely to take prepared than a wild mandarin.

How long has your tank been up and how much rock do you have?

Also, where are our pictures? LOL
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