Ruby Red Dragonets in AIO

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ANissan

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Hello all, I’m currently setting up a 20 gallon AIO and I want a Ruby Red Dragonet in the future. My plans are I want to do a mixed reef with a smaller bio load of fish I currently have a pair of storm clowns but want to add a tail spot blenny for algae grazing and ruby red dragonet down the line because I love dragonets. I’m gonna start dosing pods to build up a population. I have a decent about of rubble live rock in my middle chamber is that enough of a safe haven for pods to produce in an AIO? I plan on dosing pods 1 once a month for a few months possibly 3-4 and let them produce before I consider a dragonet.
I might want to do a six line added very last purely as pest control just a preventive for red planaria what are your thoughts on this? My main concern is how a six line would react with a ruby red dragonet even if I add a six line last to the tank?
 
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I’ve heard 6 lines can go one of two ways.
1. No problems
2. Complete but munchers lol
It’s all about luck

as far as pods. In a tank that small you would probably need to add pods randomly after the dragonet is added. Unless you can add some chaeto to the back chamber. Or add one of those pod hotel things to the tank (dont know if it would fit in the back)

if the dragonet eats frozen or pellets than you can supplement that way as well.
 

Tamberav

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I would skip the sixline. I have seen posts of them attacking dragonetts before but even if you get a calmer one... they will never stop hunting for pods all day long and you already have the ruby red.

I doubt the back chamber will be enough but ruby reds generally take to frozen easier then a wild mandarin. You just have to kill the pumps and give them several feedings a day.

If you plant macro in the display this will help greatly with pods. I know some people with nanos who culture their own pods for their mandarins.
 
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ANissan

ANissan

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I would skip the sixline. I have seen posts of them attacking dragonetts before but even if you get a calmer one... they will never stop hunting for pods all day long and you already have the ruby red.

I doubt the back chamber will be enough but ruby reds generally take to frozen easier then a wild mandarin. You just have to kill the pumps and give them several feedings a day.

If you plant macro in the display this will help greatly with pods. I know some people with nanos who culture their own pods for their mandarins.
How do you feel about me doing a small amount of red halymenia in the display? I plan on running chemipure blue in the future, so not sure if a combination of halymenia and chemi pure blue would suck out to much nutrients?
 
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Tamberav

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How do you feel about me doing a small amount of red halymenia in the display? I plan on running chemipure blue in the future, so not sure if a combination of halymenia and chemi pure blue would suck out to much nutrients?
You want nutrients and a more dirty tank if you want pods.

A small amount is fine I am sure.
 

CRABDADDY

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I'm in a similar situation to you. 40g AIO. I seeded my tank and waited about a months. About 2 weeks in I started culturing pods. Feeding phyto to the tank and culture daily.

I harvest my culture every two weeks and add it to the tank. I was told in another thread that the mandarin would likely consume all the pods in the tank if I didn't regularly seed it. One additional method I've tried is using matala (pond filter, plastic mesh) in my return. Water flows through it but it has a surface similar to chaeto. It gives them a space to live without requiring a fuge.

My captive bred mandarin seems to be doing well! I think he's been in the tank for two weeks now. I have no idea if he's eating the frozen food I feed the tank, but he definitely is hunting pods all day long. PXL_20210503_183720642.jpg
 
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ANissan

ANissan

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You want nutrients and a more dirty tank if you want pods.

A small amount is fine I am sure.
Cool thank you for the insight I appreciate it! The nano and AIO scene is new to me I’m used to 100 gallon tanks that had thriving micro fauna haha
I'm in a similar situation to you. 40g AIO. I seeded my tank and waited about a months. About 2 weeks in I started culturing pods. Feeding phyto to the tank and culture daily.

I harvest my culture every two weeks and add it to the tank. I was told in another thread that the mandarin would likely consume all the pods in the tank if I didn't regularly seed it. One additional method I've tried is using matala (pond filter, plastic mesh) in my return. Water flows through it but it has a surface similar to chaeto. It gives them a space to live without requiring a fuge.

My captive bred mandarin seems to be doing well! I think he's been in the tank for two weeks now. I have no idea if he's eating the frozen food I feed the tank, but he definitely is hunting pods all day long. PXL_20210503_183720642.jpg
that’s exactly the filter media I have in my overflow! How often do you clean it out? I’m still working out the kinks of an AIO. Much appreciated, glad to hear your Mando is doing well!
 

JayStro81

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I currently have a 40g AIO with a mandarin and a 20g AIO with a ruby red. The 40 is over a year old and I've been able to keep up with the demand of the mandarin for about 8 months. It's heavily stocked with 8 fish, including a 6 line. Take advantage of the rear chambers by using them as a safe haven for pod reproduction. Each chamber has some rubble in a mesh bag with the exception of the chamber that has my skimmer. I also have an algae scrubber which not only helps with nutrient control, but also is infested with pods. Dose phyto as well as this will help with pod reproduction. All this has worked so well in my 40g that I've attempted to duplicate the process in my 20g. The tank is about 5 months old and the ruby red has been in there for about 2 months. So far so good. I would suggest putting a possum wrasse in your 20 instead of a 6 line. They stay smaller and they are typically more peaceful. I have one in my 20 with the ruby red and she's done a great job eliminating my vermetid snail population.
 

CRABDADDY

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I'm not really using the matala as a means of filtration. It's just for pods to live in. It's behind my filter floss, so there's not much of a chance for detritus to get into it. I might decide to rinse it out every month or so. It hasn't gotten very dirty yet in the few weeks it's been in the tank.

Possum wrasse is a good idea. I really wanted a pink streaked wrasse. They're pretty tough to find, but maybe you could get one locally. They have much more peaceful behavior than a six line from what I've read. However, they will consume pods.

If I were you I'd set up a culture for at least a while. My set up is very simple. 5 gallon bucket with an air stone and a heater because it's in my basement. Feed it 20 drops of phyto a day and it's good to go. I have a light on a 12 hour on/off cycle. The only thing you need additional to that would be some sieves to harvest the pods. I almost bought a $200-250 system for it, but imo there's no need. It's quite simple.
 

JayStro81

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I'm not really using the matala as a means of filtration. It's just for pods to live in. It's behind my filter floss, so there's not much of a chance for detritus to get into it. I might decide to rinse it out every month or so. It hasn't gotten very dirty yet in the few weeks it's been in the tank.

Possum wrasse is a good idea. I really wanted a pink streaked wrasse. They're pretty tough to find, but maybe you could get one locally. They have much more peaceful behavior than a six line from what I've read. However, they will consume pods.

If I were you I'd set up a culture for at least a while. My set up is very simple. 5 gallon bucket with an air stone and a heater because it's in my basement. Feed it 20 drops of phyto a day and it's good to go. I have a light on a 12 hour on/off cycle. The only thing you need additional to that would be some sieves to harvest the pods. I almost bought a $200-250 system for it, but imo there's no need. It's quite simple.
Keep your eye on the divers den in liveaquaria. They currently have a handful of possum wrasse available. A little pricey though. They had a pink streaked available just a few days ago, not sure if it still is.
 
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ANissan

ANissan

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I currently have a 40g AIO with a mandarin and a 20g AIO with a ruby red. The 40 is over a year old and I've been able to keep up with the demand of the mandarin for about 8 months. It's heavily stocked with 8 fish, including a 6 line. Take advantage of the rear chambers by using them as a safe haven for pod reproduction. Each chamber has some rubble in a mesh bag with the exception of the chamber that has my skimmer. I also have an algae scrubber which not only helps with nutrient control, but also is infested with pods. Dose phyto as well as this will help with pod reproduction. All this has worked so well in my 40g that I've attempted to duplicate the process in my 20g. The tank is about 5 months old and the ruby red has been in there for about 2 months. So far so good. I would suggest putting a possum wrasse in your 20 instead of a 6 line. They stay smaller and they are typically more peaceful. I have one in my 20 with the ruby red and she's done a great job eliminating my vermetid snail population.
Do you think the possum wrasse competes a lot with your ruby red for the copepods? I was thinking about a possum or Pygmy wrasse but was sure if they would be decent pest control
 

JayStro81

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Do you think the possum wrasse competes a lot with your ruby red for the copepods? I was thinking about a possum or Pygmy wrasse but was sure if they would be decent pest control
Every fish has thier own personality, so it's kinda hit or miss. Keeping it well fed will help but typically wrasses will hunt the rocks and compete for food (pods). So far in my 20 gallon, both the dragonet and the wrasse haven't made a dent in the pod population. Keep in mind that I culture pods in a separate 1/2 gallon betta cube. I top off both of my tanks with some additional pods monthly. Culturing pods is extremely easy and it ensures you will always have food on hand for your dragonet.
 

Jay Wagner

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Every fish has thier own personality, so it's kinda hit or miss. Keeping it well fed will help but typically wrasses will hunt the rocks and compete for food (pods). So far in my 20 gallon, both the dragonet and the wrasse haven't made a dent in the pod population. Keep in mind that I culture pods in a separate 1/2 gallon betta cube. I top off both of my tanks with some additional pods monthly. Culturing pods is extremely easy and it ensures you will always have food on hand for your dragonet.
Can you share your culturing process? I tried a while back and it crashed and never got back around to starting it up. Just tired of the subscription costs.
 
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JayStro81

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Can you share your culturing process? I tried a while back and it crashed and never got back around to starting it up. Just tired of the subscription costs.
I use a small betta fish cube that came with a light. Attached a splitter to the air pump that is feeding my algae scrubber so I can get some air to my pods (1 bubble per second). I added a little bit of rubble as well. I dose phyto every couple days and the light is on a timer for 8 hours a day. It's worked great for months now and cost me next to nothing.
16221653080032345611156947413607.jpg
 

Brit’s Fish

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I have a pair of Ruby Red Dragonettes in my Evo 13.5G tank. They live happily with a pair of MochaVinci clowns. They scoot around all day picking at pods, which I sees maybe once a month. My biggest success with them has been getting them to eat frozen. They’ll eat basically any small frozen foods that I throw in there - LRS nano reef frenzy, Hikari mysis (they’ll pick at PE mysis but they’re really too big for them) & the food that got them started on frozen was Spirulina Brine shrimp. They’re fat, happy and spawning. This tank has been up for about 9 months and I did use live rock that already had amphipods in it. Those guys are way too big for the Rubies to eat so they don’t even look twice at them. They probably eat some of the young ones though.
when I sees pods, I order the 5280 pods from Algae Barn or pick up a bottle of Reef Nutrition tigger pods from my LFS.
The clowns will pick off what they can see in the water column but otherwise, the Rubies don’t have much competition for food.
Just turn the flow off if you want to feed frozen so it has a chance to sink where they can find it and slowly pick away at it. I give my guys about 10 minutes unless they’re being extra slow.
 

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Chaos2034

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Here's my thoughts....

I have a 29g drilled BioCube - been running since beginning of December 2020.

This tank is entirely fed, by pods. I have 2 pipefish, 1 mandarin and 2 flame fin prawn gobies - all the fish, only eat pods. I literally...dont feed this tank. I have never.....added "traditional" fish food. Don't need too :)

I have a 5g hang on Fijiji Cube, as a refugium. This allows the pod population to stay strong. Since December...I've only added a bottle of pods, once. I toss in some phytoplankton....few times a week (for the pods and filter feeders).

Tank is softies - basic corals (I JUST got that monster gorg, so....its my most recent pic).

As long as you have a "safe space" for you pods (either add a refugium...or build/buy a pod hotel) - you will be able to maintain strong pod numbers.

If you find your mandarins looking a little skinny - add more pods. Honestly....maintaining strong pod #s is not difficult and IMO, very overblown.

*tank looks like crap....because I'm getting ready to move into a new water box and I'm getting things ready! Really lacking in CuC, lol *

Screenshot_20210527-215407_Gallery.jpg
 

Lowsingle

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Get the ruby red to eat frozen and seed with pods to keep it busy. My ruby red eats frozen like a champ and would probably be fine without the pods, but he loves to pick at the rocks so I seed pods every few months.....I’ve had him for years and he seems quite happy , though I am on the lookout for a nice female to pair with him......

Darren
 
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ANissan

ANissan

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Get the ruby red to eat frozen and seed with pods to keep it busy. My ruby red eats frozen like a champ and would probably be fine without the pods, but he loves to pick at the rocks so I seed pods every few months.....I’ve had him for years and he seems quite happy , though I am on the lookout for a nice female to pair with him......

Darren
How big is your tank? I will definitely try to get one to eat frozen I’m in the process of seeding my tank now. My concern is I want to do a mixed reef with a few “easy” SPS in there like montipora. So would a lower nutrient tank make it a problem to have sustainable population of pods? I plan to have no pod competitors if I get a ruby red I have a pair of clowns, a firefish, and a cleaner shrimp. A ruby red would be the final fish I would add since it’s only 20gallons
 
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