Admittedly we see probably a question a day about someone trying to keep a mandarin in a small tank where they just will not survive. Since you didn't tell anyone the size or your tank or really much about your set up, we tend to assume it's another one of the same situation.
Thom is, however, pretty right. You could read everything in existence and there would still be more to know about the mandarins. While those are good books, they don't say much about the mandarins specifically. What Thom was referring to by "research" was not necessarily "books" but doing as much googling and reading as many things about the mandarins as possible. There are a lot of great articles and pages out there about mandarin care, that are worth reading.
I would suggest you do that kind of research for anything you own, not just the mandarin. There's always more information out there for everything. We like to encourage research. We also love conversations and sharing practical experience. Saying that pods
were too expensive makes it seem like you're looking for an easy way out. Unfortunately, that's the thing with mandarins, to keep one, you're going to have to add pods
. They go through them so quickly.
Don't get frustrated with us, we're just trying to make sure you know all you can about this fish that really is just so fragile.