I'm not saying that this is right, but, I keep a mandarin in my 50 gal
reef. I have about 70lbs of live rock. 30lbs of the rock is Florida aquacultured rock. I'm not sure this makes a difference but between the florida rock, the live gulf-view live sand and feeding with DT's, my tank is full of pods
. My mandarin has been with me since Dec. 02, and is much larger today than it was about 6 months ago. I waited until the tank was about 6-8 months old, and my pod population was stable before adding the mandarin. I also do not have any other fish that compete with tha mandarin for pods
. I just wanted to let you know that there are people with healthy mandarins in tanks smaller than usually recommended.