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Old 03-23-2012, 12:05 AM   #221
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I haven't found them hard to keep either. Or maintaining a healthy pod population either. I'm actually about to buy a female mandarin to join my male. It'll be a nice expiriment.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:10 PM   #222
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Easton33
I personally think that the Mandarins aren't as difficult as they are made out to be. I got a green mandarin when my 28g nano was about 3-4 months old, way before the recommended time to get them. I supplied it with a pack of copepods and supplied my sixline wrasse with cyclopleeze, so the wrasse wouldn't eat so many copepods. Since then, everything has been absolutely great. Once again, I strongly disagree with the complaints of their hard keeping.
How long have you had the mandarin? Over a couple of years?
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:12 PM   #223
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Sager

I knew I couldn't be the only one who had some success with this fish
The next big challenge, Juvenile Pinnatus Batfish?
You can disagree...but it is a fact. Most folks cannot keep Dragonettes even a fraction of their true natural life span over the long term. A few months or a year doesn't really count.
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:59 AM   #224
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I agree. For every person that is successful there are probably hundreds whose mandarin perish within the first year. I had one for ~6 years, about half of its expected life span in the wild.
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Old 03-25-2012, 07:00 PM   #225
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In all fairness....

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Originally Posted by Gregcoyote View Post
You can disagree...but it is a fact. Most folks cannot keep Dragonettes even a fraction of their true natural life span over the long term. A few months or a year doesn't really count.

In all fairness, I've had a number of customers over the years who also routinely killed their Damsels so the "Fact" that "most folks can't keep dragonettes" isn't really a complete statement. You never really know whether the problem was the fish or the fish keeper unless you were there.
I remember one guy, a long time ago, who would keep a rather extensive array of Angelfish in his 300 Gal tank (against my suggestion on some of them ) yet couldn't keep a tang alive to save his life so I'm just saying that there needs to be some follow up questions to all those who unsuccessfully kept a dragonette.

That all being said tho, I'm not suggesting that people go out and spend money on this amazing little fish if they don't do some hard research first. It wouldn't surprise me if most of the people you're describing as having problems keeping the fish are putting them in a bad situation expecting the fish to adapt. ( FYI: It doesn't usually work that way )

Just some more of my 2 cents
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Old 03-25-2012, 07:36 PM   #226
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I gotta ask...

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Originally Posted by cmor1701d View Post
I agree. For every person that is successful there are probably hundreds whose mandarin perish within the first year. I had one for ~6 years, about half of its expected life span in the wild.

So I gotta ask, did you know the age or your fish when you got it? If it were 6 years old when you got it then it lived it's entire expected lifespan. Just not all in your tank.
I used to raise Monkeys. I got one that was running wild in FL and brought to the store I was working at. We took it to the vet and the vet ESTIMATED the animal to be 2 to 2 1/2 years old. I kept him for 21 more years. The average lifespan of that type of monkey is 20-25 years when in captivity. I understand that this may be the exception but if I had only kept him for 17 years, would his life had been shortchanged because he only made it to 19-19 1/2? What if the vet underestimated his age? Maybe he was older and I exceeded his average lifespan?
You see, you can't always blame the fish. Consider that most people don't buy smalls (juv.) because they are a bit harder to keep than adult fish, you don't know how old that adult fish is when you get it thereby making it impossible to say that keeping keeping the fish alive only a year or so is shortchanging the fish. You may have kept it alive a year longer than it would have survived out in the ocean.

Just another avenue to think about
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:49 PM   #227
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy sager

so i gotta ask, did you know the age or your fish when you got it? If it were 6 years old when you got it then it lived it's entire expected lifespan. Just not all in your tank.
i used to raise monkeys. I got one that was running wild in fl and brought to the store i was working at. We took it to the vet and the vet estimated the animal to be 2 to 2 1/2 years old. I kept him for 21 more years. The average lifespan of that type of monkey is 20-25 years when in captivity. I understand that this may be the exception but if i had only kept him for 17 years, would his life had been shortchanged because he only made it to 19-19 1/2? What if the vet underestimated his age? Maybe he was older and i exceeded his average lifespan?
You see, you can't always blame the fish. Consider that most people don't buy smalls (juv.) because they are a bit harder to keep than adult fish, you don't know how old that adult fish is when you get it thereby making it impossible to say that keeping keeping the fish alive only a year or so is shortchanging the fish. You may have kept it alive a year longer than it would have survived out in the ocean.

Just another avenue to think about
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:25 PM   #228
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I know if he arrives starved at the LFS, or ends up starving in your tank...he didn't have a good life. From time to capture to the toilet was a downhill run. The odds are very much against him (or her). It is only a fish...but I know with my deep background in reef keeping and owning fish stores, that it is a fish beyond my current ability to keep to a healthy old age. This is with tens of thousands spent over decades. Unfortunately, for them, they are pretty cheap. So give it a whirl...just let us know how it goes.
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:00 AM   #229
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Please understand...

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Originally Posted by Gregcoyote View Post
I know if he arrives starved at the LFS, or ends up starving in your tank...he didn't have a good life. From time to capture to the toilet was a downhill run. The odds are very much against him (or her). It is only a fish...but I know with my deep background in reef keeping and owning fish stores, that it is a fish beyond my current ability to keep to a healthy old age. This is with tens of thousands spent over decades. Unfortunately, for them, they are pretty cheap. So give it a whirl...just let us know how it goes.

Please understand that I was not critisizing your statement but just offering a different perspective to it. I've seen many a mandarin come through my warehouses and pet stores I've worked in that had no business ever being shipped to me. I've also had a number of customers attempt to keep this fish in unkeepable situations (against my advice) so they would add up in the "They die too easy" or "They are too hard to keep" column when in fact they just didn't give the fish a chance.
As for me personally, I've kept a few in my display tanks in my offices but they often would get sold out from under me . (That's the fish biz, you know? LOL) But I did have them eating and responding well because I took the initiative to create the environment that was condusive for them to thrive. I've also had tankloads of them where most were kept for some time because we didn't always bring fish in weekly. If they were there 3 or4 weeks later, they must have been eating what I was feeding because I didn't sell skinny Mandarins.
My tanks at home would never have been a good place for this fish due to the tankmates they would have had to deal with. As such, I never had the experience of keeping one as long as Cmor said he had his. I've just seen both ends of the spectrum and sometimes, just sometimes, it's not the fish's fault.

I hope that clears things
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:43 AM   #230
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No problems. I understood. I remember the old days when folks said that flowerpot corals were the only corals to have because it took them a few more month to die than everything else. People actually accepted that as successful, a coral lasting almost a year. Dragonettes can be kept successfully long term by either a whole lot of work or remarkable luck, or both probably. In a few years we will all look back to these days and shake our heads as to how ignorant we were in their care. Until then, there seems to be a mixed message out there.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:14 AM   #231
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@Andy, I only buy juvenile fish, so pretty much I know they are under a year when I get them. Well ok, the bicolor blenny I just got is just under full grown size so it may be 2 years old.

The problem is pretty much as you stated. MOST people do not do the research, or create an environment that will allow this magnificent fish to thrive. Then there is the large group that reads about someone keeping one in a 28 gallon aquarium and thinks they can do it too.

Those are the types of attitudes that give the industry a bad name and legislative calls for the banning of exporting or importing ornamental fish. Hawaii is at it again, and there is a good chance it may pass this time.
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Old 03-26-2012, 02:38 PM   #232
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmor1701d
@Andy, I only buy juvenile fish, so pretty much I know they are under a year when I get them. Well ok, the bicolor blenny I just got is just under full grown size so it may be 2 years old.

The problem is pretty much as you stated. MOST people do not do the research, or create an environment that will allow this magnificent fish to thrive. Then there is the large group that reads about someone keeping one in a 28 gallon aquarium and thinks they can do it too.

Those are the types of attitudes that give the industry a bad name and legislative calls for the banning of exporting or importing ornamental fish. Hawaii is at it again, and there is a good chance it may pass this time.
This is my point exactly. We need to show more dedication to keeping species alive and well, rather than just trashing ornamental fish. Some folks have a cavalier attitude, when a fish dies, we will just get another one. If you are not striving to keep fish and corals you know you can keep alive, rather than wishing it was so, you become part of the problem. As a diver I see these fish in their natural environment. That makes it much harder to rationalize that what I am doing is okay when I collect a fish. So when I hear about the tang in the nano cube, or the Mandarine in the 1 year old tank...I get cranky.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:01 PM   #233
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I can't say that I have had long term success with my mandarin, but it's been about 8 months or so and so far so good. She was tricky to get eating prepared foods but is still eating and growing quite nicely. My tank was not up for very long before adding her, just a few months but I did have established live rock and a fuge. I also keep mine in a biocube, which I think was the reason I was able to get her eating.

I researched for months on end before getting one and even now I worry that she will revert to pods again. It took ALOT of time and attention to get her feeding, I feed the tank 2 times a day at least and watch the mandarin eat for at least 10 minutes each time to ensure she is getting enough. I also have to turn off the flow when feeding as between her and the scooter they need all the help they can get. LOL

After what I have experienced with mine I can't honestly say that I would recommend one. I am not even sure I would get one again if I had it to do over.

In the end I wish more people who want one would really really research it and then make a realistic decision. It's unfortunate that some people view fish as expendable and just get another one and then they complain how much the fish cost! It's so MUCH more than the cost and until people really really understand that and change their behavior there will always be those that buy without thought to consequences.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:13 PM   #234
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Carey...you are the exception to the rule. Your dedication to doing it right allows you more slack than I give anyone else. 99.9% of the people in the hobby (myself included) don't have the true dedication it takes to keep these guys alive and well. The rest is luck. I just want folks to quit fooling themselves into thinking that their situation will be different, when the only thing that really counts is the amount of understanding and effort you put into it. You yourself said you wouldn't recommend adding a Mandarine to a new tank...but you did anyway and got away with it. You were also honest in admitting it might not have been the best thing to do...but it worked for you.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:40 PM   #235
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Thanks Greg, appreciate the compliment.

i also like to post in this thread so that people will maybe understand how much hard work it was and still is to keep one healthy and happy. It's a daily effort on my part, I can't even imagine going on vacation or anything like that as I would freak out if I couldnt' keep my eye on my tanks.

I also understand some of the posters that have had "sucess" with keeping theirs with no apparent effort by them. In my opinion, as with everything in saltwater, this will catch up to them one day. It always does in aquaria, you can only get away with soo much for so long.

Just my thoughts and opinions everyone, agree or disagree.

one more note, I'm not sure "I got away" with it exactly. I did everything I could possibly do to keep one. i bought an ORA one, one that was picking at frozen food at the LFS, a nice healthy specimen that looked good with good color and behavior and had the LFS quarantine them for me. Had plenty of pods in my tank, about 50lbs of live rock in a 29g tank, a fuge with cheato and I supplemented the pods in the fuge every few months until I bought the fish.
I guess the bottom line is I jumped through soo many hoops to make this sucessful and it could have still turned out badly in a heartbeat. It still may. Despite my tremendous efforts it still may result in the fish dying earlier than it would have. THIS is what you have to consider when thinking about getting one.
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:15 PM   #236
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Quote:
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Thanks Greg, appreciate the compliment.

i also like to post in this thread so that people will maybe understand how much hard work it was and still is to keep one healthy and happy. It's a daily effort on my part, I can't even imagine going on vacation or anything like that as I would freak out if I couldnt' keep my eye on my tanks.

I also understand some of the posters that have had "sucess" with keeping theirs with no apparent effort by them. In my opinion, as with everything in saltwater, this will catch up to them one day. It always does in aquaria, you can only get away with soo much for so long.

Just my thoughts and opinions everyone, agree or disagree.

one more note, I'm not sure "I got away" with it exactly. I did everything I could possibly do to keep one. i bought an ORA one, one that was picking at frozen food at the LFS, a nice healthy specimen that looked good with good color and behavior and had the LFS quarantine them for me. Had plenty of pods in my tank, about 50lbs of live rock in a 29g tank, a fuge with cheato and I supplemented the pods in the fuge every few months until I bought the fish.
I guess the bottom line is I jumped through soo many hoops to make this sucessful and it could have still turned out badly in a heartbeat. It still may. Despite my tremendous efforts it still may result in the fish dying earlier than it would have. THIS is what you have to consider when thinking about getting one.
By "get away with it" I meant to indicate that you can do all the things you listed and still have a high chance of failure.
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:43 PM   #237
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All I can say is...

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Originally Posted by Gregcoyote View Post
This is my point exactly. We need to show more dedication to keeping species alive and well, rather than just trashing ornamental fish. Some folks have a cavalier attitude, when a fish dies, we will just get another one. If you are not striving to keep fish and corals you know you can keep alive, rather than wishing it was so, you become part of the problem. As a diver I see these fish in their natural environment. That makes it much harder to rationalize that what I am doing is okay when I collect a fish. So when I hear about the tang in the nano cube, or the Mandarine in the 1 year old tank...I get cranky.

Cmore, Gregcoyote, All I can say is that I totally agree with you both. A Tang in a nano? PLEASE!!!!!
This is why I left retail. The types of people that began keeping fish turned me off to dealing with them so I left retail and went back into breeding. Hopefully, the day of the true HOBBYIST willl return and there will be less wasted fish and more educated consumers. Until then, I can and will only offer advice from experiences.

(Maybe the three of us need to figure out a way to open a HOBBYIST only store and open it to hobbyists by invitation only. )
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:30 PM   #238
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I have known personally and had the pleasure of interacting with the real pros on this forum. All of you guys (and gals) have a pretty simple philosophy that I had to kind of invent for myself years ago. And by reading as much as I could. Keeping it simple. What we now do easily was very hard not that long ago. The hobby is light years from where it was. Remember, fresh water aquariums and ponds go back to the Romans. Saltwater...what...maybe 50 years? Within a few years you will be able to buy "Mandarine Feast" pods in cryo-suspension that are irresistible to any Mandarine. Or something like it...
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:13 AM   #239
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I second that Greg

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Originally Posted by Gregcoyote View Post
I have known personally and had the pleasure of interacting with the real pros on this forum. All of you guys (and gals) have a pretty simple philosophy that I had to kind of invent for myself years ago. And by reading as much as I could. Keeping it simple. What we now do easily was very hard not that long ago. The hobby is light years from where it was. Remember, fresh water aquariums and ponds go back to the Romans. Saltwater...what...maybe 50 years? Within a few years you will be able to buy "Mandarine Feast" pods in cryo-suspension that are irresistible to any Mandarine. Or something like it...
I second that Greg.
I have been in with fish for over 47 years. My first saltwater tank had a slate bottom and a metal frame. All glass aquariums didn't exist yet. I used water from the ocean and sand from the beach and fish I caught locally. Noone could figure out why the fish only lived about 6 months. I later learned it was either from the slate leeching oil or the rust from the frame, it took about 6 months for the tank to go bad. We didn't have UG filters, wet/dry filters, submersible heaters or flo lights for aquriums. Since that time I have done so many things: raised marine fish from micro sized to macro sized, had water tested using Gaschromatography, done disease control using sensitivity culturing, recreated living reefs in a tank, had corals spawn and subdivided in a tank, seen the new inovations like Wet/ Drys, UV sterilizers, Ozonators, "live sand", I've created holding systems that were 2500 gals big, had successful 1 gal marine tanks and imported fish from all corners of the world. This hobby has come a long way but it still can go a long way too.

Like Greg, I learned a lot the hard way. Reading is great and I had a library of books that any Ichthyologist would envy. However, experience trumps reading (IMO ). And all that learning gave me my favorite saying: "The less you mess, the better the success." It's as true today as it was when I first said it over 25 years ago.

I believe I can speak for Greg coyote and say that we look forward to the day when fish don't die because of something we as hobbyists did. I'd rather have them die of old age like my fresh water fish did. There was a study done a while back with a pair of clownfish in the Marshall Islands (I believe). The same pair was monitored for 25 years. That means if they live that long in nature, they should live longer in a tank. As I said, I can't wait for that day Mandarins being a difficult fish to keep will be a thing of the past, just like metal framed tanks.
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:56 PM   #240
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Amen to that Andy. It may cycle through again, though legislation may force it there too. Hopefully not, and we will be able to enjoy our little 'oceans' at home for many years.
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