Looking For Mandarin Advice

Discussion in 'Fish Discussion' started by Cole's Coral Shack, Jan 25, 2018.

  1. Cole's Coral Shack

    Cole's Coral Shack Member

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    I am considering getting a mandarin but I have some questions. I've had a mandarin in the past that lived for a good amount of time, but now I have a different tank and am wondering what people think for this scenario. My current tank is a Nuvo Fusion 10 with about 8+ lbs of live live rock. It has been running for about 6 months now and the current inhabitants are a maroon clownfish, 4 Euphyllia (Hammer, Torch, 2 Frogspawn), and some inverts (Mexican Turbos, Nassarius snails, and Emerald crabs). So my questions are:

    Do you think my maroon clownfish would be aggressive toward a mandarin?
    Is my tank still too young for a mandarin?
    Is there any type of procedures I should do before hand if deciding to get a mandarin, such as adding copepods to the tank?

    Any suggestions and/or tips about mandarins in general are greatly appreciated!
     
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  2. S-t-r-e-t-c-h

    S-t-r-e-t-c-h Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award

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    That tank is likely too small for a mandarin. They're constantly hunting, so it's not realistic to maintain a large enough pod population. Would need a well established 75+ gallon to make one a good option...
     
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  3. ajhudson15

    ajhudson15 Active Member

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    I agree with stretch. you could get a small one that may last a while but realisticly you would want a bigger tank that is more matured. If you decide to get one I would most definitely seed it with more pods.

    Do you have a sump with refugium in it. I have a 75 with a refugium and chaeto. I seeded it with pods and now they are everywhere.
     
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  4. ajhudson15

    ajhudson15 Active Member

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    btw my local petco just got some mandarins in that are aquacultured and are very very small. like 1/4"
     
  5. Mal11224

    Mal11224 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Mandarins are great but can be difficult to keep without a constant supply of pods for them to eat. They are picky eaters. You can probably make it work without a fuge. Should be fine with the clown fish. Mandarins have a slime coat that deters predators. I think it can work for you and if you are lucky, you may be able to get it to eat other types of food or small mysis pellets. I have two in my tank but I have a fuge so they are doing well. Should be fine for your young tank.
     
  6. pdisner

    pdisner Active Member

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    You’ll need to get a side culture going so that you have an endless supply. Send me a PM and I will help you get started. I can sell you some copepods too. I’ve got a whole bunch of Tigger Copepods as well as some Tisbe.
     
  7. Jesterrace

    Jesterrace Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely not. One of the things many people fail to understand about Mandarins is that they need massive amounts of copepods and their little stomachs require nearly constant feeding (other than when they sleep). With Mandarins it's not necessarily the size of the tank that matters, but that they need a bunch of live rock with a long established copepod population (ie 75lbs or more of live rock that has had a copepod population established for over a year). The fact remains that your tank isn't anywhere near the size needed to handle that amount of live rock. If they learn to eat frozen foods they will still need pods to eat in between to stay healthy. I had a 36 gallon tank with 40lbs of live rock and a Green Mandarin that didn't quite make the 3 month mark and that was after it learned to eat Frozen Mysis and Reef Frenzy and I had spent over $250 in pods. It still starved to death. So that means you need a large tank or a medium sized tank that is overstocked with rockwork and stock pods for over a year before you have anywhere near the kind of tank that would support a single mandarin.
     
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  8. pdisner

    pdisner Active Member

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    I disagree. I’ve had very fat and happy Madarins for years. True you should have a mature tank for the best results, but if you culture them separately and are successful at it, get a mandarin.
     
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  9. dwwataz

    dwwataz nuttier than a squirrel turd R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I'm not sure if it'd work in that tank size or how you feel about scooter dragonettes, but mine eats ANYTHING I feed the tank. LRS, pellets, black worms(freeze dried or live).
    Alternatively, supposedly algae barn sells captive bred mandarins that don't ship out until they're conditioned to eating frozen. That, if any, would be your best bet. A conditioned dragonette in conjunction with , as pdisner pointed out, some sort of active culture.
     
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  10. Claus84

    Claus84 Active Member

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    Sorry but I think your tank is way too small for a mandarin. And don't be fooled by the aquacultured ones, they too require a large supply of copepods to survive. I have a biota mandarin in my 90, it will eat some prepared foods but spends all day hunting pods. The level of attention and effort you would need to keep one going in such a small tank would be fairly demanding and even then you may not succeed long term. I would pass if I were you
     
  11. Jesterrace

    Jesterrace Well-Known Member

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    So you are successfully keeping a Mandy in a 10 gallon tank?
     
  12. pdisner

    pdisner Active Member

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    It’s not ideal, but as long as he can keep it fed. I would not personally keep one in a 10 gallon, ideal being much much larger. What if that’s all this reefer can afford? He should be encouraged but the animal should be with an owner that can provide. Other than that, don’t you think Mandrins are good for Nano tanks ? I have kept many Mandrin pairs over the years and presently. The main thing is to learn how to train them to eat alternate foods. I have have tremendous luck with BABY brine shrimp. This is my biggest one. He’s about 5 [​IMG]inches tip to tip. He’s in a one gallon Tupperware container in the pic for size reference.
     
  13. pdisner

    pdisner Active Member

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    He’s been raised in a 29gal JBJ. I have bigger Mandrins in my 140gallon[​IMG]
     
  14. pdisner

    pdisner Active Member

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    I raise copepods, so they always have them. They have all been trained to eat alternate foods.
     
  15. pdisner

    pdisner Active Member

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    I’ve always had success having a seperate culture of copepods. I choose to raise Tigger Copepods because I’ve read from several sources that they contain very high amounts of the essential nutrients these and other fish need to thrive. HUFAs EFAs etc.
     
  16. pdisner

    pdisner Active Member

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    You HAVE to have a seperate culture because these little guys can eat a huge amount of pods daily. I can’t remember the exact number, but it was astounding. Having a seperate culture will allow you to harvest some of the adults by the use of specially sized nets or sieves. This way you leave all of the Nauplii alone as well as some of the adults. Pods reproduce sexually, and pods go thru so many stages of development before adulthood that the process take up to 60-90 days. So you can see how a pod population can be decimated. No matter how many bags you buy and dump in ur tank, you won’t be able to keep up.
     
  17. Claus84

    Claus84 Active Member

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    I get what you are saying but don't totally follow the logic, I would love a queen angel but can't afford a 300g tank, doesn't mean I'm going to squeeze one in my 90. IMO people should only buy fish they have the means to care whether from a financial, experience or just time perspective.

    Sounds like you have a great system for keeping your mandarins going, I have tried to keep pod cultures on the go but never had much success long term, I do think though that this does constitute a level of effort and attention that many people aren't willing to provide, not saying that in relation to the OP specifically I mean just in general. I have made a Paul B baby brine feeder which I'm hoping to get up and running soon. Regardless it seems like it would be a battle trying to keep a mandarin well fed in a 10g and is more than likely to end up with yet another of these beautiful fish wasting away so IMO it just isn't worth it.
     
  18. pdisner

    pdisner Active Member

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    What do you mean “baby brine feeder”?
     
  19. pdisner

    pdisner Active Member

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    Exactly, if you can’t afford the effort, then don’t get one. My only point is that’s the ONLY way to keep one fed and alive for longer than a few months. Try culturing out some pods first and see if you can successfully do that. If you’re successful then I’d say you’d have a good shot at keeping one.
     
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  20. Claus84

    Claus84 Active Member

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