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Old 07-14-2006, 11:33 AM   #1
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Target Mandarin

Got a target mandarin a week ago, and an additional 6 lbs .of Live rock after I read that they only eat copepods which come on live rock.

He was bullied by my Damsel for the first 2 days, but that has stopped.

He spends all his time nibbling on rocks on seems to be happy. Hardly ever swims, but he checks stuff out up top occasionally. He ate my 3 tubeworms (feather dusters ?) on my new rock right away.

Anyone have one, and can tell me it this is normal behavior?

Just want to make sure he's doing ok.
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Old 07-14-2006, 12:11 PM   #2
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Sounds like a normal mandarin to me
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Old 07-14-2006, 02:21 PM   #3
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How old is your tank? I believe they need a huge pod population. Will he eat prepared foods?
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Old 07-14-2006, 02:55 PM   #4
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Generally speaking, manderins require a lot of LR for long-term success. Rule of thumb is over 100+ pounds. SOme have gotten lucky and gotten their fish to accept prepared foods, but it is rare. You may consider buying pods to add to your tank for a supplimental food source. Good luck.
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Old 07-14-2006, 02:58 PM   #5
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tank has been setup for 3 months.

20 gallon, 2 1/2 inches of crushed coral gravel, 26 lbs. of Live Rock. 20 lbs. has been in for 30-90 days. I just added 6 more lbs. after I read up on him.

He is very small 1.75" (just under 2") long. Does not eat brine or mysis shrimp.

I also read that they may take live baby brine. None of my LFS' sell live portions of baby brine, so I bought a baby brine shrimp hatchery and made my own. I put them in the tank in two seperate feedings. They were active and swimming around. Not to be seen the next morning on either occasion, so they were definitely eaten.

He's not displaying any signs of stress, or unhappiness, I just want to make sure he has enough to eat as I don't actually feed him anything.

None of my other fish (bicolor blenny, blue damsel, and true perc clown) have eaten any anemones or tubeworms, so I would assume that it was him that got my 3 tiny feather dusters on my newest rocks. I did not witness them being eaten though.

Edit: As for buying pods. I looked into it at LFS's and no one carried anything like that. Is there a place online I can order from?
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Old 07-14-2006, 03:01 PM   #6
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Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but...this is not a very good choice for your small young tank. Manderins are awesome fish and it is very easy to see why they are so attractive to hobbiests. However, they have very specific dietary needs and many simply slowly starve to death in ill-prepared tanks.
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Old 07-14-2006, 03:17 PM   #7
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I found a store about 20 miles out that sells Reef Nutrition Tigger Pods ( http://www.reed-mariculture.com/copepod/index.asp ) so I will try to add live pods, and see how it goes.

thanks for the help.
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Old 07-14-2006, 03:20 PM   #8
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Good luck. It seems a very expensive route to go. Make sure you ask if liquid in th bottle of pods is safe to dump in your tank without fouling the water. A HOB fuge may be worth looking into as a place cultivate your own pods.

BTW...love the pic of the firefish!
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Old 07-15-2006, 10:33 AM   #9
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By the time he has that hob fuge established it may be too late. Once you have the fuge, look to getting some macro. The algae is usually swarming with pods. This will probably be an uphill battle, though.
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Old 07-17-2006, 10:04 PM   #10
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Try soaking your brine in garlic for about 30 minutes before feeding. It has worked for me.
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Old 07-17-2006, 10:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Try soaking your brine in garlic for about 30 minutes before feeding. It has worked for me.
Really? Your mandarin is attracted to garlic?
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Old 07-18-2006, 01:15 AM   #12
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I have a male and female green mandarin pair which are supposedly harder to get on frozen food than the spotted mandarins. With a little patience I first got them started on frozen brine and now I just feed them frozen mysis shrimp. Even the little female who barely manages to swallow the mysis goes after them. I think the Garlic is the key (plus a little target feeding to start and patience).
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Old 07-18-2006, 09:55 AM   #13
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I will give that a try, although I added 500 pods (mixed males and females) and he looks better than ever.

Just minced fresh garlic, or what?
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Old 07-18-2006, 11:54 AM   #14
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I use Kent Marine Garlic Extreme. It's in solution so I just add a few drops.
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Old 07-18-2006, 07:18 PM   #15
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I also use Kent's garlic Extreme. A little bit goes a long way. It may intise the animal to eat so it is worth a shot. If you have other aggressive eaters in the tank it may loose the competition for food.
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Old 07-19-2006, 10:47 AM   #16
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surprisingly enough, he ate brine yesterday un-provoked....my eyes almost popped out of my head...he was cruising around, nibbling on rocks, then when I dumped in their dinner (Hakari brand Brine Shrimp, and Hakari Mysis Shrimp), he snagged a few pieces.

sweet.

Might not have to go the garlic after all, but then my tank is still susceptible to vampire attacks
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Old 07-19-2006, 10:57 AM   #17
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but then my tank is still susceptible to vampire attacks Sad
Heh?
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Old 07-19-2006, 12:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Try soaking your brine in garlic for about 30 minutes before feeding. It has worked for me.
Sorry, I didn't specify....It works for my finicky eater, never had a manadrin. I was advised to add one to a well established tank, so I am not quite there yet....
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Old 08-01-2006, 10:12 AM   #19
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well, he's now "tame"... eats frozen brine and mysis, and begs at the glass

All it took was one feeding of live brine, and now he eats frozen every day with the rest of his tank mates

woot!
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Old 08-01-2006, 01:00 PM   #20
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I have quite a bit of rock for a newer tank (75 pounds) but all my pods came from chaeto that I bought on eBay. Tons of them. About five or six bucks for a back of it, and it was just full of them. You almost have to have a fuge of some sort for a mandarin, because they'll wipe out all the pods quickly after you add them, if they don't have a safe place (ala refuguium) to breed and repopulate, or a huuuuge tank.
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