Mandarin Dragonet: Unusual Behavior

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ReefHunter006

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Hi All,

I’ve had this Mandarin for roughly 6 months at this point. He had a sunken stomach when got him so I made efforts to feed him frozen brine shrimp with selcon amino acids everyday. He would eat about a .25-.5 of a cube to himself. I also fed him baby brine shrimp as often as I could. In the last 6 months he has gained mass, but he is still nowhere near what I would consider a fat happy mandarin. The stomach still appears slightly sunken but it’s a vast improvement over what he use to look like. The tank is 55 gallons with a refugium.

Recently, the mandarins behavior has changed slightly. Towards the evening hours he starts to swim in the open portion of the tank towards the top. A few days ago he even managed to jump out through a small gap in the mesh top.

I am familiar with some of their mating habits, but given there are no females I figured that was an unlikely culprit for the behavior change.


The video below shows him swimming in the open towards the evening. He also recently has tanked to swimming up and down in one corner of the tank where I usually feed him his brine shrimp cube. He will swim face first up and down in the corner for hours which makes me worried since he isn’t hunting copepods for long periods.

I would love to hear some opinions and thoughts on this, specially if anyone has some similar experience.





 
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Yeast

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I had mandarin for about 3 months, and she was getting fat with the amphipods/copepods in my tank. Normally she would chill towards the bottom in and around the rocks hiding for most the day but always seemed full and never ate the mysis. After a couple days of figuring she was hiding, I was cleaning up the counter and saw this dried up piece of iridescent Jerky laying there. Apparently they bolt straight up ~24 inches when mating, and jumped out of my 12 inch tall tank. Only other fish were a clown pair and a lawnmower blenny so idk what triggered unless it was self love
 
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ReefHunter006

ReefHunter006

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I just ordered one. I'm stressing to have enough pods start d a culture. I'd super stress trying to feed 2 lolol. Lucky u. I always wanted one.

Curious how your qt your mandarin. That eats pods. Any meds or just watching and dosing ***** pods?
It takes a long time honestly and contemplated for a while if I was going to do it again. Since we are home a lot due to COVID I decided to go ahead and do it prior to things opening back up.

I try to find older ones that can eat larger things like frozen brine shrimp is the first step. If not, then I reconsider entirely cause hatching baby brine shrimp and all that is time and space consuming. I’ll have a clean holding tank with cycled media and a ball of cheato from my refugium to seed some pods. Then I take as long as necessary to get them on frozen brine soaked in amino acids like selcon. Tear that tank down since it is likely carrying whatever came in on the mandarin.

Once they are eating frozen or pellet I will start the qt. Keep them in it for 7 days while simultaneously transferring them from sterile qt to sterile qt every 36 hours based on humble fish qt guide. Then a follow up two week qt of transfers every 72 hours.

After that, they go in the tank. I see no real need to observe them after that (probably not best practice), because I have never seen them exhibit the signs that I could notice. I do it mostly to not transmit to other fish.

Good luck, I’m sure you’ll do great! I also think my method is way overkill. I’ve had plenty of these guys that never went through qt in other tanks and nothing ever happened. Not best practice but best practice isn’t always practical either.
 

homer1475

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Never had a mandy out swimming in the open water...... Before I bought a biota captive bred mandy.

This little guy comes out every night and swims in the open. Oftem times I will go over to watch him, and he will "dance" for me when I'm watching.
 

Paul B

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Build him one of the feeders I designed. It is a waste feeding a mandarin brine shrimp without a feeder because the mandarin wants to hunt at the bottom and brine shrimp rise to the light.

 

Tchung23

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I just ordered one. I'm stressing to have enough pods start d a culture. I'd super stress trying to feed 2 lolol. Lucky u. I always wanted one.

Curious how your qt your mandarin. That eats pods. Any meds or just watching and dosing ***** pods?
Is your captive bred?? I have had mine for about 1.5 months. I bought a pair as my LFS recommended that they would be happier. My tank was only 2 months old and I did seed with some live pods. Both seem to be very happy and growing quite fast as you know captive bred mandarins are tiny!! I feed them crushed pellets and pretty much cover the rocks so they can pick at them. I turn off all pumps and wave makers when feeding for about 30 minutes. I've seen them eat the pellets so I think they are thriving. I will post pick of them now.

3D4F10DA-AD26-448E-843F-DB038FE4A311.jpeg
 
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Michael Gray

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Is your captive bred?? I have had mine for about 1.5 months. I bought a pair as my LFS recommended that they would be happier. My tank was only 2 months old and I did seed with some live pods. Both seem to be very happy and growing quite fast as you know captive bred mandarins are tiny!! I feed them crushed pellets and pretty much cover the rocks so they can pick at them. I turn off all pumps and wave makers when feeding for about 30 minutes. I've seen them eat the pellets so I think they are thriving. I will post pick of them now.

3D4F10DA-AD26-448E-843F-DB038FE4A311.jpeg
Ya biota captive bred
 

NeonRabbit221B

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+1 for mandarin feeders. I used a large conch shell but the mesh and function is the same. To me the more they are moving around searching for food the faster they are burning through calories.

The trick with the feeders is to either dose down the tube or pour some water down there throughout the day.
 
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