So I went out a month or so ago and got a mandarin.
Yeah, I know, I know, but hear me out...
I have a mini 5 gallon refugium chock full of 4-5 varieties of pods
and a billion brittle stars. so when I first got him he went in the display and when he didn't eat (of course) I put him in the refugium and he quickly fattened up.
Because there are pods
always migrating to the display I tried moving him back in there. He ate live blackworms a few times and picked at brine, but no real eating. then he showed no interest in anything, so I was going to move him back to the refugium and figure that would be his permanent home.
Then my tank had one of those huge tisbe pod population explosions, so for about a week he has been chowing down in the morning on them all over the glass and actually began to put back on a little weight.
So about an hour ago I feed my tank, I gave them 1 cube of Hikari mega-marine regular and one of the algae variety, and a small pinch of formula 1&2 mini pellets. Sounds like a lot, but that is every other day.
anyway as I'm sitting here watching along come the mandarin and begins to eat a piece of Mysis, then he eats one of the worm like things and then another but this time the algae one, then he eats about a dozen pellets!
He literally ate every type of food available.........
I'm thinking having the boost of live food makes him more alert and curious to try new things.
Think of it this way, if you don't eat for two or three days, your gonna be sluggish and not thinking as clear, only seems logical that the same applies to animals. I've seen this a few times with fish that refused to eat, they get more sluggish and "confused", but get them at least one meal of live food and often it perks them up enough to try new foods.
Just a thought.
This is not
an endorsement to try mandarins because I have lucked out and got one that actually eats....for now. If experience tells me anything, that may only last for a week. The ONLY reason I got it was because of having a dedicated space and means of providing him with a lot of pods
, both in quantity and variety. It has taken about 7+ months to get the refugium to the point of keeping such a varied and self-sustain population of little critters.
So do not think I approached this lightly.