Mandarin Dragonet look alright?

Discussion in 'Fish Discussion' started by Aaron Davis, Oct 24, 2017.

  1. Aaron Davis

    Aaron Davis Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Hey guys. Have a green mandarin Dragonet that I'm wanting to make sure is doing ok. Had him about 2 months. Acts and eats normally. Haven't been able to get him to eat anything other than copepods, which are plentiful in my tank. This morning though, I turned on the lights and his underbody was greyish? He turns greyish every night when he finds a place to rest, but normally goes to full color in the morning or when he's already active before lights come on. In the 1st pic, he's under a large piece of live rock where my newly added Golden Dwarf lives.

    Thanks

    IMG_1067.JPG IMG_1066.JPG
     

  2. DancingShark

    DancingShark Well-Known Member

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    Never had one of this guys but my tangs lose color at night. They turn pale. Might be what's happening to yours. From the angle of the second pic he looks kind of thin.
     
  3. ngoodermuth

    ngoodermuth Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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    He looks really thin :/ how big is your tank and how much live rock? He might need supplemental foods, you could try nutrimar ova (mine loves the stuff) or live brine shrimp.
     
  4. Aaron Davis

    Aaron Davis Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    It's funny you say that cause I was just saying that to my wife last night. He's always been thin though. And he's always swimming around eating. I look at my tank and I see copepods on the face of the tank, so I know there's a population. It's a 55 gallon with about 45lbs of LR. All that's in there currently is him and the golden dwarf. Got a clown in QT.
     
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  5. Claus84

    Claus84 Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't be too concerned about the colouration, mine goes pale and plays dead at night but he does look very thin. I would definitely work on weaning him onto other foods, long term with your size tank and amount of rockwork I think you may struggle to keep a self sustaining pod population.
     
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  6. ngoodermuth

    ngoodermuth Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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    I'll try to get a picture of my gal for reference, but I have a 120g with 75-100ish lbs of rock and still need to supplement. I add bottled pods every so often to the sump; and feed a rotation of ova, oyster eggs, cyclops, AND hatched baby brine...but I also have two leopard wrasses competing for pods. His belly should be nice and round, and his tail should be nearly as fat as his midsection. If he looks like a tadpole he's not eating enough...

    Edit. Ok, not the best picture since she likes to swim away anytime my phone gets too close...but you get the idea. See how thick she is from her midsection to tail? And she's still recouping from being in QT, I'm hoping she will continue to fill out.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
  7. Aaron Davis

    Aaron Davis Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Great! Thank you two! Any tips on how to start feeding him other foods?
     
  8. Claus84

    Claus84 Well-Known Member

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    Mine is captive bred so I may have had it easier although I spoilt it with pods initially so did have to do some re-training. I made a feeder out of a small plastic box with a piece of glass siliconed on the bottom as a weight, a mandarin sized entrance hole at one end and a small hole in the lid for feeding. I use a piece of rigid airline tubing with a pipette on the end and squirt a mix of frozen cyclops and baby brine through the hole in the lid. I kept adding twice a day in the morning and evening and eventually he got the message and went in to feed. I also trained him to eat enriched frozen brine directly from the end of the airline tubing and was working on mysis and pellet food but just this week he seems to have gone off this method (possibly because I dumped 3 litres of pods into the tank so he's a bit distracted!).

    If you have the time to stay on top of baby brine cultures then I would definately use Paul B's method if I were you (I work away so unfortunately don't have time to hatch BBS every day) - http://www.saltwatersmarts.com/diy-target-feeder-mandarinfish-pipefish-2804/.

    Edit - I also turn the circ pumps off prior to feeding and leave them off for 10mins or so, he seems to know that when the pumps go off its time to eat
     
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  9. ngoodermuth

    ngoodermuth Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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    Since he doesn't really have any competition yet, you can probably just squirt a little ova and cyclops near him and see if he takes to it. Once you add other fish, you might need a narrow vase or a feeder of some sort to keep the other fish away long enough for him to get his fill. You'll want to feed small amounts as frequently as possible since they are continuous eaters.

    The brine shrimp feeder is a good idea as well. I personally only broadcast feed (she picks at what settles on the rocks) but I have much more live rock so I'm not as dependent on the supplemental feeding.
     
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  10. Aaron Davis

    Aaron Davis Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    So I can't seem to find any Nutramar in stock ANYWHERE! Not online or in my local LFS. Hatching baby Brine Shrimp sounds annoying (Not saying I won't do it). Are there any other prepared foods I could potentially try that are usually successful with Mandarins? Or could I potentially get another bottle of pods to throw in my tank? I really thought that one Mandarin in a 55 gallon with my live rock would be fine with the pod population. There for awhile he was swimming all over the place, eating all the time. Did he just mow through the population of pods or where did the problem start?
     
  11. Aaron Davis

    Aaron Davis Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    This guy hasn't ever been introduced to eating anything other than copepods. Since I've having a heck of a time finding Nutramar and I need to research the whole live brine shrimp thing; would he do alright you think if I threw in a another bottle or 2 of pods? I think maybe he just ate the population.
     
  12. Claus84

    Claus84 Well-Known Member

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    It couldn't hurt, you could also place a few pod piles, piles of rubble with gaps too small for the fish to allow the pods a safe place to reproduce
     
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  13. Aaron Davis

    Aaron Davis Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Currently the only things in my tank are the mandarin, some corals, hermit crabs, snails, and my GDM. My clown fish is in QT. Would larger pods be eating small pod population as well? I've noticed that they've started to eat my small zoa frag as well. One polyp nearly has the entire base eaten on. I always have to pull off one of those little annoying starfish of it and anytime I shine a light on there, I can see a large shrimp looking pod hanging around. I have them all over at night and in my sump. I know they're a good source of food for the fish, but my fish population is currently really low.
     
  14. Eva Rose

    Eva Rose Well-Known Member

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    DIY Feeder -baby brine shrimp
    Look @ Paul B's mandarin feeder. Mandarins love it and easy to make.
    Pod Dosing
    You also dose your tank with pods from AlgaeBarn. You can join their Pod club to get benefits. They can tell you the type of pods to dose for your mandarin.
     
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