You need a very established tank, at least a year, preferably older. You also need a refugium or ALOT of rock in the tank so the pods
can breed. A mandarin can eat asn entire tank worth of pods
in just a few days.
Your best bet is to try to find one that is eating frozen foods or pellets. Try an ORA one, they are like $50 but they have a better chance of survival. At least in my experience. I had my mandarin for a couple years and she ate everything, frozen pellets and pods
. It took alot of work to get her trained and she could have easily died in the month it took to get her eating frozen. Luckily I had a refugium and alot of rock so she was able to eat up the pods
I did have in the meantime.
I wont be getting another one, I figure I was lucky with one and it wont happen again. I'm glad I did it, not sure I would do it again if i had to do over.