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Old 09-06-2011, 05:48 PM   #61
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I had a green mandarin that died the second day I had it it wasn't starving, because my tank is literally crawling with copepods, but idk. It stayed in the same spot the entire time, and one morning I woke up and it was dead. So sad.
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Old 09-06-2011, 05:50 PM   #62
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That one could have been already on his way out due to starvation too, i've seen some sadly thin ones at some lfs's. Once they are past a certain point I think it can't be reversed. My opinion of course. I chose a pretty plump one so I knew what i was getting and so far so good. Her diet is still limited but at least she is eating.
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Old 09-06-2011, 05:58 PM   #63
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I still feel horrible I think mandarins should just not be sold....
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Old 09-06-2011, 06:38 PM   #64
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Ann A I think what you missed is that you went out of your way to make sure your fish lived. You obviously took time to research and make sure the fish had food. So your experience and knowledge played a role in the survival. They are not hard to raise but even experienced aquarist struggle with them. So if they are not labeled as difficult then people would buy them like clown fish only to have them die later.

LFS sells them for 4.99. I tell them they should sell them for a 100. Its harder to take a chance on a 100 then it is 5 bucks.
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Old 09-06-2011, 06:58 PM   #65
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Ann A I think what you missed is that you went out of your way to make sure your fish lived. You obviously took time to research and make sure the fish had food. So your experience and knowledge played a role in the survival. They are not hard to raise but even experienced aquarist struggle with them. So if they are not labeled as difficult then people would buy them like clown fish only to have them die later.

LFS sells them for 4.99. I tell them they should sell them for a 100. Its harder to take a chance on a 100 then it is 5 bucks.
I agree. If Mandarins aren't a difficult fish, then the term "difficult" should be reviewed. There are certain corals that also fit into this. For a researcher with loads of time, most anything. Is possible, but for the casual reef keeper, it can be a waste of precious live stock. The rest is luck that can turn on you.
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:09 PM   #66
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Oh I completely agree with everyone's posts, and I too think that they should not be sold for so cheap, or to people who are not prepared to take extreme measures to keep them healthy and happy. Oh and believe me I know I got lucky with my mandarin, even if he doesn't eat prepared foods. I was simply sharing my experience with keeping one, and gave my general opinions. I think that they are not necessarily hard to keep, but hard to feed. I did not intend to make them seem like an easy fish to keep, only to give some information on what has seemed to work for me. I really do agree with everyone, and do not suggest getting one of these fish, unless you are able and willing to buy large amounts of live food for them. Even then, I still would be very cautious about getting one as they are very finicky eaters. If you have one, you will definitely need a refugium. True, that for a while I did not had a refugium, but keep in mind that I bought copepods, rotifers, and amphipods, as well as had very healthy live rock, that provided plenty of food and shelter for the pods. I also had a larger amount of algae than most tanks normally do, which also provided plenty of food and shelter for the pods. Again, I still believe these fish are not as difficult to keep as many say they are, but they can be extremely difficult to keep well fed and healthy. For these reasons, I still would not recommend them, no matter how beautiful and cute they are. I was simply sharing my experience with mine, and what things may have contributed to my success thus far.
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:11 PM   #67
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I agree. If Mandarins aren't a difficult fish, then the term "difficult" should be reviewed. There are certain corals that also fit into this. For a researcher with loads of time, most anything. Is possible, but for the casual reef keeper, it can be a waste of precious live stock. The rest is luck that can turn on you.
Well, that pretty well sums it up. I think that in a sense, this can be applied to almost all saltwater creatures. And, as you said, a lot of your success depends on your luck.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:32 PM   #68
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There is no easy fish to keep that is difficult to feed. Reminds me of the old Seinfeld routine he did with a car rental company that gave his car away. It's not the taking of the reservation, it's having the car when I come to get it. If a coral or fish is easy to care for, ie; feeding and water parameters are acceptable with ordinary equipment and upkeep, then it is a easy fish/coral. If, on the other hand, you have to feed live food as the sole source of nutrition, then that gets out of hand for most reef keepers, even if they are dedicated, they go on vacation, get sick, or bored after awhile and the organism doesn't care, it dies.
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:55 PM   #69
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There is no easy fish to keep that is difficult to feed. Reminds me of the old Seinfeld routine he did with a car rental company that gave his car away. It's not the taking of the reservation, it's having the car when I come to get it. If a coral or fish is easy to care for, ie; feeding and water parameters are acceptable with ordinary equipment and upkeep, then it is a easy fish/coral. If, on the other hand, you have to feed live food as the sole source of nutrition, then that gets out of hand for most reef keepers, even if they are dedicated, they go on vacation, get sick, or bored after awhile and the organism doesn't care, it dies.
That is true. I only meant that it mig be a little bit easier than most people think of it, as far as parameters, or other things, bit definitely not on feeding.
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:20 PM   #70
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Let us know in a few months how it's going. Best luck and wishes.
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:54 PM   #71
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Let us know in a few months how it's going. Best luck and wishes.
Will do. So far it has been about 7.5-8months. He is still very healthy, and is fatter than he was at my LFS when I got him. He seems nice and happy, so we'll see how he's doing in a couple months.
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Old 10-25-2011, 04:59 PM   #72
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I would really like to get a mandrin for my tank "55g" and it has been up and running for well over 2+ years but I do not know if it has any pods in there that they would eat how can I tell if they are in there and enough to sustain a mandrin?
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Old 10-25-2011, 06:55 PM   #73
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Your odds on maintaining one long term are very poor. Even with pods. JMO...but this is a fish I hate to even see in a LFS as I would bet 99% of them don't live six months. Everybody has a tail of one that did great and those tails are true. But just ask the other forum members and you will find very few with Mandarin success stories.

The pods can be seen at night with a flashlight. They look like tiny bugs crawling on everything.
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Old 12-09-2011, 10:35 PM   #74
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There's a great article in coral mag this month all on dragonettes. Yes it's possible to train them on live and frozen brine, Copepods can be purchased at most lfs.
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Old 12-10-2011, 12:28 AM   #75
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There's a great article in coral mag this month all on dragonettes. Yes it's possible to train them on live and frozen brine, Copepods can be purchased at most lfs.
I read that article, it was a good one, but it seemed having access to enriched live brine shrimp and slowly mixing to frozen, while in a flow box that pins all the food to a wall, was the technique. Pretty clever. The low current environment has always been my mistake. My reef has too much competition and current.
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Old 12-10-2011, 01:32 AM   #76
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The trick to keeping a mandarin long term has not changed. Start with a 100+ gallon tank. Use 1-1/2 - 2 pounds of uncured LR (80% live) to get a great initial and diverse colony of pods. Let the tank mature for 6 months or so. Have no pod competitors in the tank. Add a mandarin and enjoy seeing on the rare occasions it comes into view. When it does it is the most beautiful thing in the tank, and lot of to watch it hunt it's food.
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Old 12-10-2011, 01:53 AM   #77
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I went to seaworld with a friend recently and even on the huge reef tanks they have, we always notice the mandarins inbetween the rocks and on the bottom. They are so beautiful.
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Old 12-10-2011, 02:14 PM   #78
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The trick to keeping a mandarin long term has not changed. Start with a 100+ gallon tank. Use 1-1/2 - 2 pounds of uncured LR (80% live) to get a great initial and diverse colony of pods. Let the tank mature for 6 months or so. Have no pod competitors in the tank. Add a mandarin and enjoy seeing on the rare occasions it comes into view. When it does it is the most beautiful thing in the tank, and lot of to watch it hunt it's food.
I have all that in a 20year old established reef. Too much competition and too much current makes this a bad home for dragonettes even with a big pod population.
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Old 12-10-2011, 03:13 PM   #79
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Have no pod competitors in the tank..
You may have missed that part of my post. IF there are no other competitors a single mandarin should do well. I have gone months without seeing mine only to see it out front all of a sudden hunting on the rock.

I have 2 Hydor 4' and and 2 modded MaxiJet 1200's in addition to my pump for circulation. Lots of flow and still no problem.
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Old 12-13-2011, 01:00 PM   #80
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Coral magazine's Nov/Dec issue is all about mandarins & dragnets. It covers the myth of putting one on 100 gallon tank & saying "good luck finding food, there should b plenty." They should b trained to eat in a corral 3 times a day in a small tank w/ little competition from any fast eating fish. Great article that everyone interested in this fish should read.
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