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Keep Mandarin in QT


moovinfast
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So I think Im going to pick up a spotted mandarin tomorrow and try out our QT tank. Its a 10 gallon that I turned into a AIO tank. Has a false wall at one end with the heater, return pump, and a ball of cheato. Tank also has 1-2 inches of sand and I made a foam/rock wall with LRR. Was also going to put in some PVC pipes for him to hide in. My question is what do I feed him while he is in the QT tank? I want to get him to eat frozen prepared foods before he goes into the main tank. Do I need to set up a seperate copepod breeding tank and phytoplankton grow out bottles?

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I kept a copepod-only eating mandarin in a 29gal successfully for a couple years (YMMV) - he is now living in Undertakers tank.

 

Now, here's the important part...

I believe the key to success was this: When I bought the $20 fish (actually before to prepare) I also bought a $100 hang-on-back refugium. I put a little sand and a bunch of live rock rubble in the refugium. The refugium acted as a copepod breeding ground.

 

I have read that 90% of copepods are killed by the impeller when they pass through a pump in a typical under-tank refugium setup. Since the HOB refugium was gravity fed back into the display, it provided ample copepods and my mandarin stayed fat and happy. I kept a close eye on him for any sign of starvation. And when I had a problem with my HOB refugium, I was very quick to give him away. In 2-3 years, he never once even glanced at prepared food (mostly rods).

 

So, if you don't have a HOB refugium, I would recommend building an area somewhere in your tank that the mandarin can't get to and stacking/piling live rock rubble to create a copepod breeding ground where they are safe from the mandarin. I've heard of people using strawberry baskets to shield the rocks.

 

They are absolutely gorgeous creatures, and I understand why people want them and risk getting them, but they do have a terrible track record for taking prepared foods, and can quickly deplete the pod populations in tanks less than 80+ (maybe 100+) gallons.

 

Oh, and as others have mentioned, no need to QT as they don't carry ich.

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mandarin

 

We have had our mandarin dragonet now for 2 months. Hes in a 16 gal tank thats been running for 6 years. He has learned from our engineer goby to eat bio blend pellets and frozen mysis shrimp. Don't know if we got lucky but when the food goes in they both come out to eat at the same time.

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I hatch a pinch of baby brine shrimp in a small cup every day, they hatch in 12 hours. I then mix with frozen brine and frozen coral food mix. Slowly ween them off the live food, over a couple of weeks. I have had great success this way. Mandarins can definitely get ich, I have seen them covered in it before, although not very often.

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I hatch a pinch of baby brine shrimp in a small cup every day' date=' they hatch in 12 hours. I then mix with frozen brine and frozen coral food mix. Slowly ween them off the live food, over a couple of weeks. I have had great success this way. [/quote']

 

Sweet! When the time comes, I know where I'll get my next mandarin (clap)

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