So mandarins, their pod consumption is no joke...

GlassMunky

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is nothing wrong with trying to teach your mandarin to eat frozen, there is a good chance over time he will learn to love frozen cyclops. That shouldn't be your first approach however.
I’m gonna FULLY disagree with this statement and idea.
you absolutely should be teaching your mandarin to eat prepared foods, and that is the best practice.

why try to constantly be breeding pods when you can get the fish to eat frozen mysis, cyclops, brine shrimp and others.
Seems like you want to work harder and not smarter
 

SMSREEF

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They do enjoy it, I have a feeling some Mandarins do scavenge in the wild a little bit (just from watching them) it's just not as normal or their first preference for eating but they all seem to go nuts for prepared food once you get them to realize it's food. They will also come to recognize you as the feeder. Mine comes right to the feeding spot (feeder) and dances for food similar to a mateing dance flairing and diving up and down.
Do you have a picture of your feeder?
and if you built yourself, how did you put it together?
 
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living_tribunal

living_tribunal

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Great post! I’m also trying to culture phyto and pods for a future mandarin. My phyto crashes all the time and I’m considering doing two pod cultures instead of one pod and one phyto. If you’re not culturing phyto, what do you feed the pod cultures?
So this is exactly what I went through that led to a very important discovery.

I was also getting tired of culturing phyto. With the pandemic, it was very difficult to keep it sterilized all the time as there was no alcohol anywhere.

I came across a post from someone who has been culturing copepods en mass for a decade and something struck my eye.

The person didn't feed their tisbe pods phyto. In fact they had phyto as a secondary food source behind detritus and fish flakes as the primary food.

My tisbe culture was weak when only using phyto so I decided to give it a shot. I tried a hand full of different foods and the winner was reef roids. I believe this is because reef roids is just ground up rotifers (which all pods go crazy for).

Currently for my tisbe culture, I dump in maybe 1 small cap of phytofeast by @reefnutrition (normal, not live), and 1/8th teaspoon of reef roids (twice for 1 harvest). My weekly harvests are 10x what they were with phyto.

For apocyclops genus copepods, they prefer detritus in some way shape or form. These are your tisbe & apex varieties, the ones that live on surfaces (rocks, glass, sand, etc).

For tiggers, you will have to feed phyto, they require it.
 
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living_tribunal

living_tribunal

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I’m gonna FULLY disagree with this statement and idea.
you absolutely should be teaching your mandarin to eat prepared foods, and that is the best practice.

why try to constantly be breeding pods when you can get the fish to eat frozen mysis, cyclops, brine shrimp and others.
Seems like you want to work harder and not smarter
I have to culture pods and have been doing so for the last 6 months. I do this because I have other fish that are picky eaters, like my banded pipe fish for example.

I see many posts here of people who "train" a mandarin to eat frozen but the fish mysteriously dies a couple months later. I'm of the belief that these fish have pod consumption hard coded in their genes. For a mandarin to thrive, it needs small food to hunt constantly. They are similar to pipefish and seahorses in the aspect that they don't store the nutrients from food like other fish. They need to constantly consume some kind of sustenance.

Culturing copepods is not difficult and it ensures that my mandarin & pipefish will always have what they need to do well. Constantly hatching baby brine a couple of times a day is far more time consuming than what it takes to culture & harvest the pods every week.

I don't like taking risks when it comes to the livelihood of my livestock. One route is a sure fire bet to keeping the fish healthy, the other may or may not work out long-term.
 
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NashobaTek

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I have to culture pods and have been doing so for the last 6 months. I do this because I have other fish that are picky eaters, like my banded pipe fish for example.

I see many posts here of people who "train" a mandarin to eat frozen but the fish mysteriously dies a couple months later. I'm of the belief that these fish have pod consumption hard coded in their genes. For a mandarin to thrive, it needs small food to hunt constantly. They are similar to pipefish and seahorses in the aspect that they don't store the nutrients from food like other fish. They need to constantly consume some kind of sustenance.

Culturing copepods is not difficult and it ensures that my mandarin & pipefish will always have what they need to do well. Constantly hatching baby brine a couple of times a day is far more time consuming than what it takes to culture & harvest the pods every week.

I don't like taking risks when it comes to the livelihood of my livestock. One route is a sure fire bet to keeping the fish healthy, the other may or may not work out long-term.
I have to agree with you on the brine shrimp hatching. Lol I have a double hatchery going and I have to watch the other people in the house, they like to mess with things. However I set mine up initially for the pinnatus batfish, along with the mandrin harem. The bat has graduated to grated frozen human shrimp and I have seen the male Mandrin eat a little of it now and then, but they mostly hunt for the pods. I have a big pod population, but probably need to add more.
 

GlassMunky

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I have to culture pods and have been doing so for the last 6 months. I do this because I have other fish that are picky eaters, like my banded pipe fish for example.

I see many posts here of people who "train" a mandarin to eat frozen but the fish mysteriously dies a couple months later. I'm of the belief that these fish have pod consumption hard coded in their genes. For a mandarin to thrive, it needs small food to hunt constantly. They are similar to pipefish and seahorses in the aspect that they don't store the nutrients from food like other fish. They need to constantly consume some kind of sustenance.

Culturing copepods is not difficult and it ensures that my mandarin & pipefish will always have what they need to do well. Constantly hatching baby brine a couple of times a day is far more time consuming than what it takes to culture & harvest the pods every week.

I don't like taking risks when it comes to the livelihood of my livestock. One route is a sure fire bet to keeping the fish healthy, the other may or may not work out long-term.
Funny you mention banded pipes, because the pair I kept for a few years and trained to eat frozen mysis (they were pigs) Mated multiple times in my tank
 
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living_tribunal

living_tribunal

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Funny you mention banded pipes, because the pair I kept for a few years and trained to eat frozen mysis (they were pigs) Mated multiple times in my tank
That's great that it worked for you!
 

itgoeson

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Currently for my tisbe culture, I dump in maybe 1 small cap of phytofeast by @reefnutrition (normal, not live), and 1/8th teaspoon of reef roids (twice for 1 harvest). My weekly harvests are 10x what they were with phyto.
Game changer - thank you so much, definitely going to try this with my tisbes, was about to throw in the towel on pods and a mandarin entirely!
 

TJDSEKULA

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Do you have a picture of your feeder?
and if you built yourself, how did you put it together?
MVIMG_20200703_144057.jpg

Here's my feeder.. sry I looked for images of it when I was building but evidently I didn't save them.
It's basically two fake rocks with flat circular areas on the top of one and bottom of the other. The center is clear pvc with a mandrin size hole. There is an acrylic 1/2" tube that threads into the top. This allows me to drop food into the chute and the Mandarin to eat at it's leisure without larger fish competition. I was blowing off some rocks so you can see he's sitting on the lid area where I have a sponges growing. It all just sits together so to clean I just blast some water in the pieces so food doesn't rot in there
IMG_20200703_144833.jpg
MVIMG_20200703_144838.jpg
 

TJDSEKULA

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I'm also aware theres algae everywhere.. I was deemed an essential employees as I run water and wastewater treatment plants. The tank was a bit neglected as we had insane amounts of people flock here to the country side from large cities. Finally getting back ahead of it..
But, algae mean more pods so guess who's happy . I agree you shouldn't 100% rely on frozen food for these fish but see no harm in adding another source of food to the mix. This is a 255gal system with a sump and ats boosting pod levels, he just also eats frozen.

MVIMG_20200703_145726.jpg
 

NashobaTek

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IMG_20200630_152050.jpg

Here's mine, it's just a little plastic bowl with nylon stretched over the cut out area, ridgid tubing to the water surface. I use a 20 cc syringe to get the brine shrimp down to the feeding area. Pods are just in the aquarium, but those were seeded into the red pipe organ coral skeleton and have multiplied by huge amounts. I do add small amounts of phyto to the aquarium every now and then.
 
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SMSREEF

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MVIMG_20200703_144057.jpg

Here's my feeder.. sry I looked for images of it when I was building but evidently I didn't save them.
It's basically two fake rocks with flat circular areas on the top of one and bottom of the other. The center is clear pvc with a mandrin size hole. There is an acrylic 1/2" tube that threads into the top. This allows me to drop food into the chute and the Mandarin to eat at it's leisure without larger fish competition. I was blowing off some rocks so you can see he's sitting on the lid area where I have a sponges growing. It all just sits together so to clean I just blast some water in the pieces so food doesn't rot in there
IMG_20200703_144833.jpg
MVIMG_20200703_144838.jpg
That's cool and I'm gonna make something like that when I get a mandarin. First I need my cube and refugium to grow lots of pods. For some reason they just aren't taking like my other tanks.
 

bevo5

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To be fair - if you dropped me in a room full of chick fil a nuggets you’d think I need to eat 1000 a day. Maybe when population drops a bit he’ll simply eat enough to be content but won’t be able to keep up those numbers??? Or maybe he will. I could probably put down a hundred nuggets a day for a while.
 

SMSREEF

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To be fair - if you dropped me in a room full of chick fil a nuggets you’d think I need to eat 1000 a day. Maybe when population drops a bit he’ll simply eat enough to be content but won’t be able to keep up those numbers??? Or maybe he will. I could probably put down a hundred nuggets a day for a while.
Me too @bevo5
Thanks... now I’m hungry for chick fil a:p
 

Evanbardiel

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Im seeding my tank right now to get a mandarin so this was very helpful, im going to build i guess a sump/refugium with copepod cultivation even more in mind. My mandarin will come from a place where its already taught to eat prepared foods but having a good stock of copepods is im sure still important.
 

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