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feeding Mandarin Dragonets

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uwscotch

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2004
Messages
190
Hi all.

I thought I would share me recent experiment. I received a Mandarin Dragonet that was on the brink of death and have attempted successfully so far to rescue her. During this time, I have experimented with various foods to identify something that they will eat once they and other fish dessimate the copepod population. During this time, I have observed that they really enjoy live mysis shrimp, but I have discovered alternatives that are easier to supply to these beautiful fish. I notice that she will go on a feeding frenzy when I add the following foods: Prawn eggs (supplier is out of business), rotifers (I would think they are to small but she seems to respond favorably), and decapsalated brine shrimp. I believe we all agree that adult brine shrimp are nutritously worthless. However, the eggs and early larvae are not too surprisingly nutritous. I am starting to believe that the addition of DECAPSULATED brine shrimp cysts may be a good live food source for some of our difficult consumers. The problem with NONdecapsulated cystys are that they are difficult for the animals to digest and can potentially cause blockage. In addition, many animals will not touch them since they are incapable of digesting them. The nice thing also with decapsauated cysts is once you add them to your tank (probably pumps off as with any live food), they will hatch and be nutritous larvae within 6-8 hrs if they are not yet consumed. Like I mentioned, adults are worthless, however I have yet to see a population make it to adulthood in my tank. They are obviously being consumed. Just a heads up to those believers in live foods and also battling starving Mandarins.

Best

Aaron
 

mattseattle

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Joined
Jul 15, 2003
Messages
2,694
Location
Seattle, WA
that's awesome to know because i keep putting off getting a mandarin just cause i'm afraid my tank would not allow it to flourish even though my tank is a year old and should have a good pod population.

I know I shouldn't even bring this up but Petco (W. Seattle) had a beautiful mandarin today for 14.00. I never buy fish there but I was tempated to buy it just so I could give it a good home and get it out of their tanks.
 

uwscotch

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2004
Messages
190
Nice

Traditionally I see Petco as a rescue mission. I don't want to offer guaranteed success, however if you do get it and it does not respond well, I know of a store that will give you a fair price for it and put it in tank with pods beyond what could be imagined. One thing I do not want to do is encourage people to buy them with hopes of this being an alternative to a healthy pod population but mainly as an alternative if they are not doing well. In your situation, you do have an established tank and I feel as though they are a very pleasant fish and a nice addition to the reef.

Best

Aaron
 

Beckmola24

Hawkfish
Joined
Mar 17, 2004
Messages
1,112
Location
Columbus, OH
Matt, I also do that. I occasionally rescue things out of Petco tanks because I feel sorry for them. I rescued an anemone once and it doubled in size (in about an hour) once I got it into my tank.
 

mattseattle

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Jul 15, 2003
Messages
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Location
Seattle, WA
they also had a very kewl lawnmower blenny for sale. he had alot of personality but i'm worried about adding a blenny to my tank. afraid it'll nip at my clams and such.

anyone have one?
 

DonW

R.I.P.
Joined
Dec 15, 2003
Messages
8,753
Location
Tacoma, WA
Matt,

Lawnmowers are a great fish. Mine has a super personality and has never touched any corals. He sits on both of my clams. They stay wide open with him using them for a stoop.
As far as manderines go, the ones that have been starved and have sucked in bellies usually dont recover. I have a young very fat one that will eat blendered frozen mysis. Hope this helps.

Don
 

aquariumdebacle

electrolyte addict
Joined
Jul 4, 2003
Messages
613
Location
Seattle
adult brine shrimp

Well fed adult brine shrimp have a black line down the center of them. These are an excellent way to "gut load" a fish with phytoplankton. There is no reason at all to avoid feeding "well fed" adult brine shrimp to your system. The cysts also present a danger of adding hydroids to a system. Always decapsulate the eggs.
I also wanted to warn you about your rotifer cultures. By now you have realized they are somewhat labor intensive. Keep it up! The cultures will crash without proper care. They don't need to be fed the green water until the last feeding before adding to tank. There are reports of the rotifer cultures turning to ciliate cultures. They need to be renwed from time to time. The greenwater cultures will turn to cyanobacteria cultures, so use sterile procedures and again, be prepared to start the cultures over periodically.
 

uwscotch

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2004
Messages
190
Thanks for the culture heads up. I have yet to have a problem with the green water. I actually only used autoclaved water and gamma-irradiated containers as well as fertilizer that I make and sterilize myself. Normally .22um. As far as rotifers go, i set up one culture right away to let it die back to have a supply of cysts in the future. I have not thought about feeding adult brine shrimp. I suppose they will respond well to phytoplankton as a food source. I may do that. phytoplankton is one of the sources of nourishment for my mysis shrimp and copepod cultures. However, so far the rotifers have not been a problem. Again, they are cultured in sterile water and fed sterile phytoplankton. I need to do some research on the cilliate issue. Serially dilutions to generate a pure culture should rid all possiblity of this being a problem.


Good luck Matt with the fish.
 

uwscotch

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2004
Messages
190
Great article Matt.

I recommend people checking it out. A lot more thorough than what I could offer. A lot better than my "n" of one. We need more things like this for various other specimens.
 

AlbertRoux

New member
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
1
Mandarin page.

I have a mandarin that I inherited from a friend. She (she is a female) thrived in my 7 gallon minibow before I switched her over to my current 20Gallon long. She is still doing pretty good for about 9 months now. She eats absolutely anything from frozen brine shrimp to flakes.
I am not saying that all the mandarins should be kept in a 7 gallon minibow, but in my own experience it is a pretty hardy fish. I think the key of my success with the mandarin is the fact that I had an established refugium when I got her along with a lot of live rock.

My 2 cents.

Albert.
 

mattseattle

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Joined
Jul 15, 2003
Messages
2,694
Location
Seattle, WA
take a look at the 2 pictures that i've posted of male and females. the male has a spike on it's fin that the female doesn't have. it's pretty noticeable.

post a picture of it if you are not sure and maybe we can help you out.
 
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