How do you know when you've got enough pods for a mandarin.

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optimisticdingo

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As soon as my 116 gallon tank cycled I added a bottle of Tigger pods to the tank to start developing a copepod population for my future mandarin dragonet. At this point it's been over a month since seeding and I have TONS of pods crawling on the glass of my tank. I'm assuming since the pods are on the grass that they're also in the sump and sand bed. How long should I wait before adding the mandarin and should I still continue to seed the tank from time to time? I have a fuge in the sump and am 3D printing a copepod/amphipod breeder as well to try and keep the population healthy.

Also, would it be beneficial to add other types of pods like tisbe pods? I'm not sure if it's good to have diversity or not.
 
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dirtyxducks19

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I currently have 30 gallon sumpless tank. I have three half gallon jars of pod cultures that I harvest once every month. Mandarins are extremely good pod hunters. In a 116 with a fuge you’ll likely be fine. For redundancy I’d have a culture or two to add to the fuge to keep them fat, happy, and healthy.
I decided to go with the tisbe in my cultures because it’s more of the rock/glass/sand clinging type vs the tigers that are more free floating. Atleast that what I found in my research
Please correct me if I’m wrong
 

Snookin

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Tigger pods are a cold water breed and mostly likely won’t reproduce or survive longterm in your warm reef. In a 116g you can have a mandarin. But, don’t buy a lot of wrasses and other pod eaters too. Tens of thousands of mandarins die each year in small tanks. Buy a Biota mandarin and put it in an established tank.
 

dirtyxducks19

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Tigger pods are a cold water breed and mostly likely won’t reproduce or survive longterm in your warm reef. In a 116g you can have a mandarin. But, don’t buy a lot of wrasses and other pod eaters too. Tens of thousands of mandarins die each year in small tanks. Buy a Biota mandarin and put it in an established tank.
I second this.... the mandarins are beautiful!! To keep them I would make sure you don’t have any other Pod predators or atleast keep them to a minimum
 

Glenner’sreef

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Greetings. I have two Mandarins. One male and one female. Spawning every once in a while. Have had them for about 3 years. I have a 180 g. reef and I’ve concluded that my pods outproduce the big appetites of my two mandarins. I don’t reseed. You should be good if the pods have a lot of places to hide. Good luck!!!
 
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I have a pair of mandarin in a 125g which is overrun with pods. At night I turn on the flash light and can see them scatter like roaches on the sandbed and rocks, they are literally everywhere. That said this tank is over 10 years old so is quite established.

Since I got them about a month ago, both mandarins are now quite fat and happy but I did start training them to take frozen food though just in case. Started target feeding about a week ago and just saw one of them eat frozen blood worms this morning.
 
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optimisticdingo

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Tigger pods are a cold water breed and mostly likely won’t reproduce or survive longterm in your warm reef. In a 116g you can have a mandarin. But, don’t buy a lot of wrasses and other pod eaters too. Tens of thousands of mandarins die each year in small tanks. Buy a Biota mandarin and put it in an established tank.
I may pass on the mandarins then. I love my wrasses and as much as I love the mandarins I don't think I'd be willing to skip out on wrasses to have them
 

Snookin

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I may pass on the mandarins then. I love my wrasses and as much as I love the mandarins I don't think I'd be willing to skip out on wrasses to have them
You can have both longterm in a tank your size. But I wouldn’t buy mandarins first. Let your tank establish for a year. Wrasses eat pods and anything else you feed too. Mandarins only eat pods.....usually..some eat frozen/prepared foods. But you can’t go in thinking they will 100%. Let your tank establish and if you see pods all over in a year buy a mandarin or 2.
 
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optimisticdingo

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You can have both longterm in a tank your size. But I wouldn’t buy mandarins first. Let your tank establish for a year. Wrasses eat pods and anything else you feed too. Mandarins only eat pods.....usually..some eat frozen/prepared foods. But you can’t go in thinking they will 100%. Let your tank establish and if you see pods all over in a year buy a mandarin or 2

You can have both longterm in a tank your size. But I wouldn’t buy mandarins first. Let your tank establish for a year. Wrasses eat pods and anything else you feed too. Mandarins only eat pods.....usually..some eat frozen/prepared foods. But you can’t go in thinking they will 100%. Let your tank establish and if you see pods all over in a year buy a mandarin or 2.
Sounds good. Who knows, in a year or two I may have upgraded to an even larger tank. I guess it depends on how well I treat my wife
 
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nereefpat

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I may pass on the mandarins then. I love my wrasses and as much as I love the mandarins I don't think I'd be willing to skip out on wrasses to have them
It depends on which wrasses. Fairies and flashers won't impact the pod population, while sixlines or Halichoeres constantly eat them. Also, dragonets will eat smaller copepods (tiny things on the glass), while wrasses prefer larger amphipods.
 

Slapp

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I don’t know much on Mandarins, but I’d recommend Tisbe or Apocyclops instead of tigger. They are much more Benthic so they’ll prefer the rocks, glass, rocks etc rather than free swimming which makes it easier for the dragonets to graze. Also if you want your populations to explode feed some live phytoplankton.
It’s always good to have multiple species for both bio and genetic diversity. If you can get pods from different farms.
 

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Hey guys. I have a mandarin and he's fully healthy. Never had any type of pods. He started eating mysis and flakes on his own. He's grown so much.
 

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MikeTheNewbie

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You will always have to supplement copepods once you get a mandrine. They make short work of any copepod populations this is because they hunt 24/7 . I culture pods and even then it's hard to keep up with my 2 . My advice buy captive bread I wish I would have
Hey I've been trying to culture pods with little success. I have a healthy culture of phytho but pods don't seem to work out for me. Can you share more details about your setup and process?
 

Appoloreefer

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You can have both longterm in a tank your size. But I wouldn’t buy mandarins first. Let your tank establish for a year. Wrasses eat pods and anything else you feed too. Mandarins only eat pods.....usually..some eat frozen/prepared foods. But you can’t go in thinking they will 100%. Let your tank establish and if you see pods all over in a year buy a mandarin or 2.
I had a Mandarin in my old tank and he ate frozen foods like mysis, brine shrimp and he was healthy and I had him for over three years and when I got rid of my reef tank he still was going strong. Now they have Mandarins that are captive bred that will and are raised on frozen foods
 

AlgaeBarn

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Sounds good. Who knows, in a year or two I may have upgraded to an even larger tank. I guess it depends on how well I treat my wife
You can have both but I would consider also feeding things like can o cyclops, frozen food, and brine shrimp- especially to a biota mandarin to give the pods a break every once in a while from being hunted :)
 
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