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10G fish suggestion

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Strad12

Strad12

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Yea, my worry with the mandarin is that I won't be able to supply it with enough food to sustain it. I'm expecting it will completely clean out the pod population relatively quickly. I know their digestive system isn't designed for large feedings, so I'm worried that it will need feedings throughout the day. I could automatically feed dry food through the day, but that's counting on it eating pellets. Would it be able to eat with the pumps on? I have a Sicce 1.0 (250 gph) on a random flow generator educator, and I'm planning on having another powerhead in the tank for more flow for the corals.

PaulB's dragonet feeder seems like a great idea. Can anyone explain how much work is required to maintain such a feeding apparatus?

I'm planning on turning the middle chamber in the back into a refugium. How old should the tank be before adding a Mandarin? There's already a few pods in the display. I managed to catch one and take a picture of it last night.
 

IKD

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Prawn Goby sounds awesome, but I hear they hide most of the time. The other one I was thinking was the Catalina goby but I believe they need cooler water temps.
 

Tamberav

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Mine will not chase food very far with the flow on. It would be best to keep one in a small macro or softy/LPS tank where water can be dirtier as you will only have as many pods as you have food for them.

You would need to catch baby brine shrimp daily if you want to rely on live brine instead of pods. You sure that is something you want to commit to this fish that can live a long time while maintaining parameters acro's need?

I just don't see an 10g acro tank and a ORA mandy being well aligned.
 
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Strad12

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A Catalina goby would be awesome, although I don't think it would do well even in a slightly cooler (like 74-75 degree) tank
 

Suohhen

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There is definitely a lot of room for concern with the mandarin. What I do when I have a fish like this is put it on an extended quarantine stay. It could take 6 months to get a mandarin to reliability eat dry food from an auto feeder which might seem crazy but honestly this works well with the timescale of driving your system to maturity before adding a second fish.
 
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Strad12

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are there any dry foods and automated feeders that I could set up to automatically dose small quantities of food 4-5x a day? That would help a mandarin keep its metabolism going through out the day in a more natural way than feeding heavy once per day, right? I would love love love love to have a mandarin dragonet, I just want to make sure I take good care of it.
 

ichthyogeek

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are there any dry foods and automated feeders that I could set up to automatically dose small quantities of food 4-5x a day? That would help a mandarin keep its metabolism going through out the day in a more natural way than feeding heavy once per day, right? I would love love love love to have a mandarin dragonet, I just want to make sure I take good care of it.
So something like this?

 
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Strad12

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Yes exactly like that. How many times should I feed per day? I know mandarins are supposed to be constantly eating, but with a more nutritionally dense (compared to pods) food, could this interval be increased? I also don’t want to foul up the tank water. I’m fine with running a high nutrient system with SPS. My nano cube has acros doing well with nitrates over 40ppm (nitrates are below 20ppm now before people start freaking out).

I’m thinking if I introduce the mandarin before there is a huge population of pods, the risk of the fish getting a taste of pods and quitting prepared foods might be decreased.

In Biota’s most recent post, they said they kept a pair of mandarins in a 13 gallon in their office for 9 months before moving them to a different system (due to tank upgrade, not health reasons, supposedly), so it seems like the captive bred specimens can be kept in a nano...

Obviously success with these fish is measured in years not months, but surely keeping two in such a small system for that long is worth something...right?

one last mandarin question: should I go for an ORA or Biota mandarin? Does it make a difference?
 

ichthyogeek

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Yes exactly like that. How many times should I feed per day? I know mandarins are supposed to be constantly eating, but with a more nutritionally dense (compared to pods) food, could this interval be increased? I also don’t want to foul up the tank water. I’m fine with running a high nutrient system with SPS. My nano cube has acros doing well with nitrates over 40ppm (nitrates are below 20ppm now before people start freaking out).

I’m thinking if I introduce the mandarin before there is a huge population of pods, the risk of the fish getting a taste of pods and quitting prepared foods might be decreased.

In Biota’s most recent post, they said they kept a pair of mandarins in a 13 gallon in their office for 9 months before moving them to a different system (due to tank upgrade, not health reasons, supposedly), so it seems like the captive bred specimens can be kept in a nano...

Obviously success with these fish is measured in years not months, but surely keeping two in such a small system for that long is worth something...right?

one last mandarin question: should I go for an ORA or Biota mandarin? Does it make a difference?
The more the better, and it depends on how often you’re willing to reload the feeder. I’d personally do no less than 3 feedings/day, on top of whatever you have planned.

Biota sells straight to you. ORA you have to go through an LFS. With that said, I’d lean more towards Biota since there’s less transit time for the fish.
 
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Strad12

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Thanks. I know the Eheim feeder has a larger hopper than the Fish Mate, but I've heard it can be hard to rig it to dispense small quantities. The fish mate can only do 4x per day (same with the Eheim). Are there any wifi controlled feeders? I could probably hook up a dosing line to some liquid food, but that might turn into a maintenance nightmare.

I could get a wifi-controlled outlet and remotely switch the pumps off for the 4 automated feedings through the day. I have no problem feeding once a day by hand to hopefully fatten it up a little more, but I want to remove the human element from the equation as much as possible.

Thanks to everyone who has answered my questions so far. I really appreciate it.
 

Suohhen

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The ehiem is a good auto feeder but yeah it can be inconsistent especially at the lower settings. I one though and a variety of different dry foods so I'll test it out and see if I can get something to work.
 
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Strad12

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Thank you. Would the Eheim be able to feed a powdered food like ReefRoids or Benereef? How big is it? I just found a video review of the Fishmate, and it looks like it distributes the food over the course of an hour, which might just be perfect for a grazing mandarin. Unfortunately, its also huge compared to the size of my reef.
 

Suohhen

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I use the ehiem everyday feeder, I know they make at least one other but the one I have is a typical tumbling hopper with an adjustable slot. I like it because it is cheap and from a reputable company. It is not the most amazing thing ever but it hits the sweet spot in terms of reliability and low replacement cost.
I tested it with Seaweed extreme small and tdo medium (the rest of my dry food is all to big for a mandarin) and even at the first slot the small was being dispensed at 25 to 40 bits per turn. The medium at slot one however is promising as it only dispensed 0 to 2 per turn. This is because the food doesn't fit thru the slot but some bits still can get pushed thru since it is plastic. How this scheme would hold up in the long run idk. The first slot isn't very tight so using something like tape to force it to stay fully set in slot 1 might produce more consistent results. Another mod that could be made would be to reduce the width of the slot.
I don't use any powdered foods but it is hard to imagine this feeder being able to achieve consistent results with a powder, but like I said these things are cheap so why not buy one and test it yourself.
 

Wolf89

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Springer's dottyback looks like an awesome fish! Are you sure that they'll do well in a tank this small? The ORA site says they're active swimmers. What do you think of the black neon dotty back? It's supposed to be a hybrid of the Springer's and neon dotty back.
Springers are the smallest dotttback, a max of 2-2.5 inches. I keep my breeding pair in a 5 gallon. I believe a 10 gallon is large enough for a pair. Put 2 juveniles together and they'll pair up, just like clowns. The black neon is really cool, but bigger than I would suggest for a 10g
 
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Strad12

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Thanks for the info on the Eheim. I think blocking half of the slot with tape might help reduce the amount dispensed. Right now I'm planning on hooking up the auto feeder to drop the food into an acrylic tube, so the food gets waterlogged and sinks down into the water column, hopefully increasing the chance that it gets eaten.

Thanks for the info on the springer dotty back! How often do they need to be fed?
 

Suohhen

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Thanks for the info on the Eheim. I think blocking half of the slot with tape might help reduce the amount dispensed. Right now I'm planning on hooking up the auto feeder to drop the food into an acrylic tube, so the food gets waterlogged and sinks down into the water column, hopefully increasing the chance that it gets eaten.
For sure feeding tubes are awesome.
 

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