Mandarin Fish Question

Discussion in 'Saltwater Beginners' started by Esimm03, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. Esimm03

    Esimm03Well Known MemberMember

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    Hi,
    So I finally bought a mandarin fish for my 90G reef! I've been wanted one for quite a while thus been sort of preparing, when I initially started my tank I bought about 5 bags of copepods, and chucked them around the sump and DT (no fish at that time) since then I've been dosing them every few months. When I bought the fish yesterday I also bought two bags of pods that I'm keeping in the fridge, my aim is to keep the fish in a breeder box until I've weaned it on to brine shrimp, I fed all my fish per my routine today so I chucked the mandarin some brine shrimp to see what would happen, he took the pieces but promptly spat them out, i figured he didn't like it so I grabbed the jar of pods and put some in his enclosure, but he didn't take them eather, is he just being fussy in this new environment and I should wait until he adjusts? Everything else seems fine, he's swimming around the box and looking at the rocks.

    Also, should he go into the DT now? Or should I wait until he's weaned?

    Ethan IMG_20190823_075954.
     
  2. Jesterrace

    JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

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    Honestly in your case you are better off having it be pod dependent. Brine is a very poor nutrition source for fish (more like candy than a meal), futhermore one of the things people fail to consider when switching to frozen foods with a mandarin is that it doesn't change the frequency with which it needs to feed (they have an almost non-existent digestive tract). So you will need to feed or have a feeding station to feed the mandarin near constantly. This of course assumes the mandarin will even adapt to frozen food at all (many don't). So I would say you are better off in a tank of that size with a solid sump/refugium of keeping it on pods. It will be a bit more spendy but it will be much less hassle and more likely to succeed in the long run. Do you have Chaeto in your sump? It's essential for a solid breeding pod population IMHO.
     
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    Esimm03

    Esimm03Well Known MemberMember

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    Hi,
    Is there something else? Mysis? My tank has a large sump, and I've been growing cheato since I set up the tank, I'm going to get some phyto to grow a culture of pods and can dose periodically, as for now what should I do?

    I've got a jam jar in the fridge with a marine pure block so the pods can colonise it, I'm swapping it daily with one in the breeder box so he has a daily supply of pods, ive put some cheato in the jam jar with the pods and in the container with the fish, will cheato work instead of phyto? Or should I do both?

    Ethan
     
  4. Jesterrace

    JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

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    Mysis would be a much better choice as it has more nutrients. Just be aware with mandarins that it's generally either or (they will convert completely to frozen or they won't). Try Mysis for now to see if it will eat and if not make sure it has tons of pods to each (they can go through thousands in a few days).
     
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    Esimm03

    Esimm03Well Known MemberMember

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    Ok, I'll get some mysis (may have some actually... How long can it last without food? Or should I try to feed daily? My concern is if we go away (planning on doing so maybe for a few days in a month or so and maybe to Asia for 3-4 weeks next summer) I may have some mysis somewhere, I'll try and dig out and feed it to the whole reef instead of brine.

    I'll buy some pods in the next day or so, and dose it

    Ethan
     
  6. Jesterrace

    JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

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    It will die within a few days without food, as mentioned it basically needs to feed every few seconds during the waking hours and that is why Mandarinfish are such a challenge. You are going to need to feed multiple times a day with this fish, hence why I said pods are actually better as long as you have a large amount of them you will always have a food source for your Mandarin.
     
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    Esimm03

    Esimm03Well Known MemberMember

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    Ok, I guess I should put him in the main tank then? I'll go out and buy some more pods and phyto tomorrow, should I buy one of those extra corse 'pod rocks'? Or are they a waste of money?

    Ethan
     
  8. Jesterrace

    JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

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    I would say a waste of money. Chaeto, Pods, and Phyto are really the only things worth the money. Pods for obvious reasons, Chaeto to encourage breeding, and Phyto to feed.
     
  9. coralbandit

    coralbanditFishlore VIPMember

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    I say turn him loose !
    I have always had mandarins or now a ruby red ..
     
  10. Jesterrace

    JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

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    Agreed. One plus to Mandys is that they are very resistant to disease since they have a slime coat vs the standard scales.
     
  11. OP
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    Esimm03

    Esimm03Well Known MemberMember

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    Hi, sorry for the delay... So the mandarin fish is in the tank and seems to be doing well, he's not skinny (good I assume?) And seems to hide alot, I assume it's as he's getting used to the Scape and tank mates, I went to the LFS today and bought some phyto, along with some more pods, I bought a jar with a tap and put the phyto in with some salt water from the tank, it has a light and airstone in for circulation... Is this an ok setup? For the pods they are in a jam jar with cheato and I out some phyto in for them to eat, should they be in the fridge? My plan is to dose some pods daily and the tank with phytoplankton when I've got a good culture going... As for phyto fertilizer, what should I get? I assume they want nutrients, so can't I just use something like skimmate from my skimmer? Or do they need something specific?


    Ethan

    P.s, the mandarin isn't in the tank in the pic,, that's my Pico, I just put the phyto under as I've got space. IMG_20190825_185618.

    Not familiar with a ruby red, is that like a scooter blenny??

    Yes, I read that, he seems to have nothing... Thought he had ich but it was sand on his back that I blew off with the turkey baster
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2019
  12. coralbandit

    coralbanditFishlore VIPMember

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    More like a mandarin then scooter ??
    [​IMG]
    They actually say they are easier then mandarins ? I had never seen them before I got my guy ..
     
  13. NC122606

    NC122606Well Known MemberMember

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    Yeah, they are easier than Green, Blue, and those other types. This is mostly because they are smaller and eat fewer pods than a regular one would. Also, they should be easier to get on prepared foods.
     
  14. OP
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    Esimm03

    Esimm03Well Known MemberMember

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    Ok, he looks cool, may get one at some point if my pod population is stable

    Ethan

    Ok, think there were some in my LFS but not sure, they are pretty cool though

    The mandarin fish seems to be 'kissing' the rocks so I assume he's getting the pods? I'm chucking some pods in around him daily but he doesn't seem to take notice, he seems nice and plump so I take it that's good?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2019
  15. NC122606

    NC122606Well Known MemberMember

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    That’s a good sign that he is grazing, also there should be a line between the body where you can tell if it is fed well or not. :)
     
  16. OP
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    Esimm03

    Esimm03Well Known MemberMember

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    Where is this line? Can't see anything on him buy may be looking in the wrong place
     
  17. Jesterrace

    JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

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    Take a look about midway from top to bottom on the fish, if there is a visible dent/depression below it, it's underfed, if it's well rounded then it's well fed.
     
  18. Jesterrace

    JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

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    The Red Scooter Blenny (still technically a dragonet) as it's called is considered a bit easier, mostly because it's smaller scale than a Mandarin is so it doesn't require quite as many pods. It's amazing how huge a full size healthy mandarin is (one of the fattest fish you will see in an aquarium).
     
  19. OP
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    Esimm03

    Esimm03Well Known MemberMember

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    Can't seem to see a dent, do you mean face to tail? Looked all around and he looks well rounded (admittedly not a great look) but couldn't see anything... Another question, can I use skimmate as a fert for my phyto?

    Ethan
     
  20. OP
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    Esimm03

    Esimm03Well Known MemberMember

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    I've seen them in my LFS they are huge! I'll get a scooter If the mandarin passes while I've still got the tank.


    Ethan
     
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