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conradryaan
11/11/2013, 04:43 PM
In the past couple of days I have seen a large number of nano reefs will Mandarins in them. Tanks ranging from 29 hex, to 20 long.
Some of the mandarins were tank bred while others were wild and just trained to eat processed food.
So I am looking to hear what your guys experience and opinions are.
Let's face it reef keeping is a pretty young hobby, and nano reefing is an even younger hobby. There is still a lot for us to learn.

hub81
11/11/2013, 04:56 PM
You can put one in a tank that small the key is 1). a mature tank with a large pod population, and 2). a sump with refuge. That is one of my favorite fish and I have kept them for years. Where most people go wrong is adding them to early. They feed on PODs so even one that you see eating say frozen brine doesn't mean that is good for it or that it will even continue to eat it. Now days you can purchase pods so that helps with those with no sump but can get costly. My current set up is 150GAL with 55 Gal sump, 20 GAL refuge full of micro algae. I will still wait a year before purchasing one. But I don't want to buy pods weekly and I don't want to count on them surviving off prepared food. I hear it can be done but I am going to stick with what works rather than a possibility.

conradryaan
11/11/2013, 05:08 PM
Thanks for sharing. What is the smallest size tank you have kept them in?

IowaReefer
11/11/2013, 05:20 PM
I would not even consider a mandarin in any size tank until it has been running for at least 1 year and has no other pod obligates (ie leopard wrasses etc).

conradryaan
11/11/2013, 05:29 PM
Smart, but with the options of tank bred and training that seems almost pointless to some people. Not saying there is wrong or right way I'm just looking for people's experience. Has anyone ever trained one? What was your experience?

IowaReefer
11/11/2013, 05:39 PM
It is obvious you are looking for approval to put a pod-obligate in a very small tank with very little experience. I suspect you will not find it.

They can be trained to eat mysis, but it is only a SUPPLEMENT to your pod population that they will be eating. Wait a year, make some mistakes, learn from them, and then tackle some more difficult fish like the mandarin.

conradryaan
11/11/2013, 05:57 PM
I'm not looking for the approval for anything. Just for people's input. If people are keeping them in tanks that small and companies are selling them with the notion that they are not pod dependent, then perhaps there is a change occurring in the hobby. That is my observation and I am just trying to determine the possibilities and facts. In the 1980's people thought it was impossible to keep coral in a tank. Now look at us!

Mark Bianco
11/11/2013, 07:14 PM
I kept one in a 26 biocube for 2 years and I put it in about 3 months after cycling. Not a smart move but the fish survived just fine. Whether this was an exception to the rule or not who knows. The biggest problem especially in a bigger tank is if lucky you only see them once in a while. The one in my 210gl If I am lucky I only see him about once a month if that. Warning do NOT ever put more then one in a tank. My son wanted to surprise me for my birthday and put another one when I was gone. I guess the new guy lasted about 10 minutes They do not like each other!

conradryaan
11/11/2013, 07:17 PM
Thanks Mark for you reply. So clearly the two in the same tank where the same sex? Ever thought of keeping a paired couple? Was he tank bred or wild caught and did you supplement the pods or did he survive off of what was in your 29 cube?

Mark Bianco
11/11/2013, 07:35 PM
Never did I put any pods in the tank. This was also a seahorse and coral tank so it was frozen Mysis shrimp everyday. As for sex I could not tell you and no they were not a paired couple not even sure I have ever seen any for sale, but it would have to be possible that someone has some for sale... I had Prince a blue and green physodelic Yes my daughter names everything fish, cars, and even appliances??? and what my son put in the tank was a red physodelic. Not sure if they were wild or tank breed

Dissy
11/11/2013, 09:07 PM
Ive had one in a 29 gallon biocube since July. Mine eats frozen, but it was no small feat, either. Most people here didnt expect to live this long. I think the clown had a lot to do with it making it, and showing the mandarin frozen was edible... I still supplement pods occasionally, but less frequently now. It can be done so long as you center the small tank around only the mandarin, and are fully prepared to spend the money to supplement pods if it nevrr takes to frozen. If you arent prepared to have nothing but a mandarin, if it becomes necessary, then you probably shouldnt get one.

michaellee64
11/11/2013, 09:55 PM
I have seen more Mandarins starve to death then not in unebstablished tanks. The ones that will take to frozen food seem to be more the exception that the norm! Please don't succumb to purchasing one because they are beautiful! I would recommend that you have an established tank at least a year old, with a refugium for predator free copepod reproduction.

austin56column
11/11/2013, 10:14 PM
Mandarin males have a spike that can stand up at the front of his top fin.. the females don't have this feature... so if you can find two of different sex you can keep them together. They may breed, they might not. I see mine multiple times daily, and they are fat and happy. I wouldnt put them in anything smaller than a 75.. mandarins graze ALL day on pods. You need a large system to support their feeding without worry. Captive raised may eat frozen but they wont thrive.. good luck with your decision.

Av8bluewater
11/11/2013, 10:19 PM
No first hand experience but I am hearing most of the ORA tank raised Mandarins that are advertised to be happy with prepared foods eventually want /need the pods. I've heard many stopped eating over time. FYI.
I would love to have one but I think I would rather have an active fun to watch wrasse that will comb the rocks for things I don't want in the tank.

Derick242
11/12/2013, 07:30 AM
I hope this isn't a stupid question lol, but could you keep one pair of 1
species of mandarin and another pair of a different species? For instance a pair of red mandarins and a pair of spotted or a pair of greens?

ss30
11/12/2013, 08:09 AM
I kept one in a 26 biocube for 2 years and I put it in about 3 months after cycling. Not a smart move but the fish survived just fine. Whether this was an exception to the rule or not who knows. The biggest problem especially in a bigger tank is if lucky you only see them once in a while. The one in my 210gl If I am lucky I only see him about once a month if that. Warning do NOT ever put more then one in a tank. My son wanted to surprise me for my birthday and put another one when I was gone. I guess the new guy lasted about 10 minutes They do not like each other!

You can only have a male and female together

reeferstace
11/12/2013, 08:20 AM
Sk8r is one of Reef Central's resident experts. You should heed what she says.



"Can I keep a mandarin or scooter?
Posted 03/03/2012 at 09:44 AM by Sk8r
A mandy should be making a successful 'kill' of a pod every 5 seconds to remain healthy. Keeping one in a well-established 50 with 50 lbs of holey rock, and a mature, year-old 20 gallon fuge with another 20 lbs of rock is very marginal. If you meet those conditions and there is no competition for pods, you can do it with caution.

To run the math, there are 86400 seconds in 24 hours...and given 12 hours of dark when it is not eating (it actually eats before the lights come on...that is 43200 seconds of daylight, divided by 5 (every five seconds)---meaning that a mandy eats about 8640 pods a day, or 720 an hour. Two thousand pods, if fed to it in the required concentration, will be eaten in less than 3 hours. If you have a pair---do the math. You need at least 100 gallons supported by a very large, strong fuge with cheato and live rock.

Note that mandarins and scooters are the one type (dragonets) exempt from quarantine, You take your chances, this once. Their difficult diet makes quarantine a no-go: fortunately their extreme protective slime coat does not allow them to host the ich parasite (unless the fish is sick and/or in bad water conditions [particularly very low alkalinity.]) IE, they can get it, but it is very, very rare. Their slime coat is so thick they feel like a handful of warm Jell-o, and they are frequently believed to have ich---when they have simply gotten some white sand grains stuck to the slime coat.

They have no sense of territoriality toward other species (and will violate territory completely oblivious to the other fish's objections.) They will, however, kill ANY other mandarin that appears if the hunting is not very, very, very good. If you do not start out with a mated pair, don't try to put another mandy in later.

If you have the right tank and are willing to risk the no-quarantine dice roll on a pretty solid bet---they're a very pretty addition to your tank, usually out even before the lights are on, terrorizing the pod population."

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Supplying them bottled pods is just financially ruinous. They can eat hundreds of dollars worth in very short order. Occasionally you'll find one that eats prepared food, but it's probably not that great for them...this is a fish that's adapted to a very narrow niche in the ecosystem.
Instead of the mandy, there are some very colorful fish that do well in a 29---the royal gramma, the littlest gobies, like the high-fins. THe pearly jawfish if the sand is deep enough.

Paul B
11/12/2013, 09:18 AM
I posted a thread on this subject that you may find interesting.
http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2253223&highlight=mandarins