Skinny Mandarin

SteveZz

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I've had a Mandarin for about 5 months now if not more and he seems to be the same weight as when I got him. He's eating and I have a 10 gallon sump with pods in it but I've seen much healthier looking Mandarins before. Does anyone have supplement ideas for these guys? Has anyone had luck adding the bottles of pods from the pet store (will they eat those?)
 

reefiness

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the pods in the bottles will work to help supplement what they need. You can also try some baby brine using a feeder like the one PaulB has in his tank.

What size tank do you have and how old is the tank?
 

reefiness

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20 gallon tank is not really large enough to support a stable pod population for a mandarin. You are going to need to continue to supplement the mandarin and hope it starts taking prepared foods such as frozen mysis. Otherwise you may consider trying to sell the fish to someone with a larger tank.
 

BioMan

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I had 2 mandarins in a 125 that were nice and fat. I used the bag/bottle bag to seed then after a month or 2 it looked like ants running around (i could only see them out at night.)
If you know that the sump is def populated try moving him in there a few days and see if he doesn't appear heavier.
 

SteveZz

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I just took a look at my sump and there's a lot of little pods on the top of the water so if assume plenty of those little guys are making it to the display as well. As for moving him into the sump I'm a little tentative to do that since he'd likely wipe out the sump and cause more issue in the end.
 

reefiness

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I just took a look at my sump and there's a lot of little pods on the top of the water so if assume plenty of those little guys are making it to the display as well. As for moving him into the sump I'm a little tentative to do that since he'd likely wipe out the sump and cause more issue in the end.

You are definitely thinking about this the way you should. The sump/fuge is supposed to be a safe haven for you pods so the whole population isnt decimated. If you want to help you mandarin out in the short term, i would say start cycling rocks between your sump and your display rather than moving the mandarin.

Not only does that protect the sumps fuge population, it also is much less stressful on the mandarin itself.

Maybe see how that works, but it may also not be too viable for the long term.
 

BioMan

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I think I misread your statement. I meant only to move him there and keep him there for a few days to see if he eats then put him back. My sumps have always had a spot for rocks with a light etc so its essentially a smaller tank down there. so thats why I was thinking like that.
 

reefiness

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Bioman, it makes sense what you are saying, but i personally would rather move the pods to the mandarin rather than move the mandarin to the pods. Like i mentioned, there will be less stress on the fish, but ultimately it is a personal choice.
 

BioMan

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yes absolutely, I first thought the fish was in dire starvation. Rereading it your idea of moving some rock to give the DT a "jumpstart" is ideal. I'm just skeptical sometimes of how many pods will survive the trip past the impeller.
 

SteveZz

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Thanks for the tips. Moving a rock or two sounds like a good idea. I'm wondering if the pods are surviving the trip passed the impeller as well. But in general isn't that the usual setup for mandarins (having a fuge with a pump pushing pods into the display)?
 

SteveZz

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Looks like moving the rock up was a good move. The mandarin is picking at that rock as I type. That does however make me worry about the pump not sending pods up to the display without killing them. Any thoughts on a fix for that instead of moving rocks every once in a while.
 

BioMan

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Thanks for the tips. Moving a rock or two sounds like a good idea. I'm wondering if the pods are surviving the trip passed the impeller as well. But in general isn't that the usual setup for mandarins (having a fuge with a pump pushing pods into the display)?

Glad that worked out for you,,in my opinion you just heavily seeded your display tank so you should be fine.
 

BioMan

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I forgot what the stuff I used was called, but it came in a small kids sized juice bag container and has a tiny ball of chaeto in it. I put it all in the display and within weeks I was set for life (until I upgraded lol)
 

reefiness

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Looks like moving the rock up was a good move. The mandarin is picking at that rock as I type. That does however make me worry about the pump not sending pods up to the display without killing them. Any thoughts on a fix for that instead of moving rocks every once in a while.

Im sure there are pods being sent up the the DT through the return pump, but its definitely not going to be a massive amount coming from a 10 gallon sump. The only real long term fix in your situation is to get a larger tank. After having successfully keeping mandarins for many years, I would ideally like to see them stocked minimally 1 per 60 lbs of live rock in a tank established >2 years.

I know they are hard to resist, I am also guilty of trying to keep them at too early of a time in my tank, and I had several of them starve to death before realizing the issues with keeping these fish. They are very hardy as long as they have food to eat.
 

SteveZz

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Bioman I found a member who's going to give me some chaeto this weekend so hopefully that helps seed a bit. I'll also probably buy some tigger pods.

Reefiness definitely hard to resist I actually specifically added the refugium in order to keep one hoping that was enough. In any case for now I guess I'll just have to try seeding the tank and hope things work out for this mandarin. If they don't I guess I'll be waiting until I get a nice size tank as an upgrade while the wife isn't looking.
 

SteveZz

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Let me officially welcome you to the secretive society of reef keeping. :)

Ha thanks.

So I was just thinking, my display has very few rocks in it. Not exactly a lot of hiding places. Do you think I should be putting more rocks in the display as a permanent thing to give the pods a place to hide and more hunting ground for the mandarin?
 
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