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Fish Requirements

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NaH2O

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I was reading on Terry's website a couple of articles:

Feeding Mandarins Part 1
Feeding Mandarins Part 2

My question is based on the article, it is recommended that Mandarins should not be kept in a tank under 50 gallons, and well matured with live rock and sand. Live aquaria, as an example, recommends a minimum of 30 gal. Also, I've occasionally read on the boards hobbyists keeping mandarins in a 29 gallon. I can understand that there are a lot of factors involved: amount of live rock, refugium, competition, etc.

It is obvious based on Terry's recommendation that the example (Live Aquaria) is acting as a business, and trying to sell the fish. Based on this, is there a resource (i.e. website, books, etc) available where we can get fish requirements....such as behavior, feeding, necessary swimming space, compatibility....that is factual and unbiased? That way we can give the best environment to our fish.
 

Scooterman

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NaH2O said:
It is obvious based on Terry's recommendation that the example (Live Aquaria) is acting as a business, and trying to sell the fish. Based on this, is there a resource (i.e. website, books, etc) available where we can get fish requirements....such as behavior, feeding, necessary swimming space, compatibility....that is factual and unbiased? That way we can give the best environment to our fish.
The natural habitat (reef) meets their needs otherwise evolution slowly changes or removes them from existence, with that said, anything we keep in a cage isn't enough. Now what requirements we can provide to give a fairly comfortable home is a different story, I keep two fish in my 5ft 100g tank, it really isn't large enough for them either but they are fed well & seem to be healthy, I guess we also live in closed homes so I guess you can make your home very comfortable but we are allowed to go free at times.
Sorry for the remark, I know it is off base of your question, the comparison to Live Aquaria in a sense doesn't seem right even though it is trying to sell a product. Forgive me, I'm not trying sound like a Horses BeHonky here, just making an Out Loud thought.
 

jlehigh

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In my experience with Live aquaria they do a better job placing the requirments of any other online vendor. Many vendors have less than a sentence on requirments...

For me the big picture question is to what extent should vendors go to ensure the resources they utilize are correct and how often/engaged should they be going forward.

The risk I see is inherant in this hobby. There are very few aspects of this hobby that are black and white and the trends change annually/ monthly and even daily... The issues of keeping mandarin's fed is a perfect example. Lighting, Filtration, and feeding are a few more. As a vendor how can you develope smart policies and procedures around your advice and returns...

Interesting topic! Looking forward to seeing an reliable resource identified!!
 

Noonan

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Hm.. Im going to watch this topic.

I work at my LFS. Once my tank is ready, I know for a fact I will be feeding the mandarin tank mysis and live brine. If one accepts it, Ill probably take him home.

Its obvious they dont need a large tank as long as there are plenty of copepods avaliable. In a small tank, the amount of copepods will be diminished in a day. If you are one of the lucky people that can substitute mysis/live brine etc. for copepods, then I dont see why they couldnt be kept in something as small as a nano cube.
 

Curtswearing

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I don't think that we are picking on a particular vendor. Obviously a vendor has a vested interest in pushing the limits.

to what extent should vendors go to ensure the resources they utilize are correct and how often/engaged should they be going forward.
I personally like the fact that many vendors are attempting to do this now but I still think we must be careful....they want to sell a critter.

I'll give you my yellow tang as an example. It would pick at a rock, move a couple of inches, pick again, move a couple inches, move again, etc. In fact, it would go over the front of my tank and do this on the back of the tank as well. This is pretty silly energy-wise. It would make a whole lot more sense to finish all algae off one area and then move on.

Do tangs have a biological need to continue moving? Do they do this because they require a varied diet and by moving on can find a different type of algae? Are they simply inefficient creatures energy-wise?

I think that Nikki is looking for a good resource that is non-biased and takes the critters normal habits into account.

I'll give you my example. I was given a free vacation with some relatives. I jumped at the opportunity. I was able to spend a week on a HUGE houseboat on the lake of the Ozarks here in MO. My food needs were met...my water needs were met...I truly enjoy my relatives so my social needs were met. However, after 3 days I was stressed and ready to go insane. There was no ability to get off the houseboat. There was plenty of entertainment, plenty of soda, plenty of steak, hot tub, swimming, etc. However, something in my biology had a bad reaction to my lack of freedom. There wasn't enough "alone time" for me. However, I did it again the next year and had a blast. There was only one difference....the next year we dragged a boat behind the houseboat and I had the ability to leave if I wanted to.

If you read the stress articles in the fish biology section, finding unbiased info on particular species is valuable IMO.
 

NaH2O

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Thanks, Curt. I am by no means picking on a particular vendor at all, and certainly didn't mean to pick on the mandarin for this topic, but it is one type of fish I've seen all kinds of recommendations (I for one recommend a tank minimum of 100 gallons and tons of live rock, as I sometimes don't know the experience of the reefer). I am thinking of information gathering. We are supposed to research our livestock before a purchase, so I want to get the best information I can for my fish choices to determine if my system will be a suitable environment. I feel like understanding fish behavior is as critical as feeding. IMO, you can't learn a whole lot about natural behavior by watching a fish at the LFS swim in the small tank it is being held in.

Thank you Terry for joining the group here - I will rely on your knowledge and experience, as I have learned a great deal from your articles.
 

Terry B

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Hi Nikki,

I would not reccommend that people keep a mandarin in a tank less than 100 gallons. 50 gallons is a minimum requirement and even then you should have a lot of live rock, a deep sanbed and a refugium of some sort. I do find that most mandarins can be trained to frozen foods but not as the staple of their diet. They must have a constant supply of copepods. In a smaller tank they will decimate the population of copepods in a few months and then they will begin to starve to death. The tank must be large enough to sustain an ample population of copepods and I have seen tanks under 50 gallons fail consistently to do this regardless the amount of live rock, etc. Anyway, I agree that a 100 gallon tank is better and that you really need a productive refugium to make a 50 gallon work well.

You might be interested in the other four articles on mandarins in the library on my Website. Look for the four part series on "Synchiropus splendidus" (mandarin's scientific name) at http://www.MarineAquariumAdvice.com

Cheers,
Terry B
 

jlehigh

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Just wanted to re-state the looming question: "is there a resource (i.e. website, books, etc) available where we can get fish requirements....such as behavior, feeding, necessary swimming space, compatibility....that is factual and unbiased? "

This is an excellent question and I am not very familiar with the publishings available.
 

NaH2O

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Terry's site has some great information. Here is a link to the library: Library of Articles.

I did find this quote out of the article: Selecting Appropriate Species

From the above linked article
There are many different sources for finding good information on species that you would like to know more about. Look for a local aquarium club, check the Internet for “aquarium related” sites, read some good books and more. I suggest checking out Robert Fenner's “ The Conscientious Marine Aquarists”, the “Marine Atlas” by Hans Baensch and Helmut Debelius, and John Tullock’s “Natural Reef Aquariums,” which contains a list of species of concern. For more information, contact the American Marinelife Dealers Association (AMDA), P.O. Box 9118 Knoxville, TN 37940 – 0118, or visit their website at www.execpc.com/~jkos/amda.
I suppose by thoroughly reading on a species from different sources, we would be able to discern the correct information.
 

Cougra

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I've found that most vendors seem to gather their information about animal requirements from the Beansch Marine Atlas.

As for looking for unbiased information, what would you consider unbiased information? If someone is gathering this type of information, it's going to be biased. They are going to put time and money into the research, they are going to want something out of it for their efforts.


Curt:
(*I don't mean to take this off track, but it's an observation I've had in the past) I've noticed cattle will also take a mouthful of grass from one area and take a couple steps to grab their next bite then move another couple steps for some more grass. I've often wondered why they did that. Now that you've mentioned that your Tang does that, I seem to recall that my tangs did that as well. It's interesting that a couple completely different types of animals have such a similar grazing pattern.
 

Curtswearing

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Cougra,

That is interesting about the cattle. Even though you and I have different opinions of horses your comment made me realize this is common with them too....go figure.

Thanks for the info on that Atlas....I had never heard of it before.

PS...I have two of your articles linked down in the Coral Propagation Library. Thanks for the great write-ups.

Vickie,

Most certainly the info put out by Calfo, Fenner, and others is extremely valuable. However, as Cougra noted, they have their bias. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.....I have my biases too. Hence, everyone's desire for additional good sources of info to obtain corraberation.

For example (fill in the blank):

Don't use Granular Activated Carbon because it will___________________
I personally don't care if trace amounts of trace elements are removed....I care more about the Phosphate content of brand new GAC. That's my bias and have reasons for that bias.....I could be wrong though.

However, if a big name were to make that statement at the upcoming MACNA that GAC was bad because it removed too many trace elements, there would be posts all over the boards stating that XYZ said GAC was bad. Another person would read that post and tell new reefers same. In turn after the beginners had a month or two under their belt, they would relay this info. (I was extremely guilty at this....not thinking things through....just trusting others and passing on the info). What if the expert speaker at MACNA was wrong?
 

wrightme43

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Just my two cents. My mandarin lived for two years until sunday when he jumped to his death, in a 44 gal. I don't care if anyone believes this or not he would eat new life spectrum marine and thera A pellets as long as they were rolling on the bottom. He was always fat and healthy, I have a photo of him but I dont know how to compress it to fit on this forum, If you want to see what he looked like I will mail it to your e-mail. I am waiting for my 75 to finish its cycle and after I get a good growth of pods I will add another. There are two things that tell me fish are individuals A. he ate fish food. B. he jumped out of the tank. I belive any blaket statement about tank size is suspect. He always had pods to eat as well. I put live rock rubble behind my main live rock stack for the pods to hide in. I this works well for me. The reason he jumped I think its because I sold all my live rock and corals out of my 44 to a client. I kept 9 lbs approx of the best figi and a few zoos. I think he was upset about lack of hiding spots and got scared. It is 100% my fault he is gone. I will not make that mistake in the future. If I succede in getting the next to eat pellets I will photo him doing it. At least it will make Pablo Tepoot happy. Ha ha. If you can get them to eat frozen its a short hop to dry pellets. Some I am sure will never eat anything but live, others will starve no matter what you do, and some will thrive on anything. I think something people forget is that each fish is a idividual. Just like us. Steve
 

Curtswearing

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Actually, I do believe that. I've known several people whose mandarins converted to fish food.

However, I've known a LOT more than several people whose mandarins starved in a 75 gallon tank. As a result, I cannot in good conscience, tell someone they can be kept in a 44 gallon tank. Your comment that all of them are an individual and I completely agree. However, I want to know their food sources, natural habits, compatibility, etcetera so I can make a recommendation that is more likely to guarantee that all of them live.

Regardless, this thread really isn't about Manderins...it's about (to quote Nikki and Jlehigh) "is there a resource (i.e. website, books, etc) available where we can get fish requirements....such as behavior, feeding, necessary swimming space, compatibility....that is factual and unbiased? "

You did mention that you made pod piles in your tank. I think this is an extremely important fact and that most likely helped you greatly in addition to the fact that yours would eat fish food.
 

wrightme43

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That makes good sense Curt. Now that I re read my post I sound like a A#$. I would like to apoligize. I was in the wrong. I read up on my fish in several different sources, T.F.H., Fenners books, and FAMA, are some of my favorites. I should of taken your pause before hitting enter advice and wouldn't feel like a heel right now. On the factual and unbiased side of the question, I guess we are all a little biased by our own experince. I have several times succumb to the WOW!!!!! I HAVE TO HAVE THAT RIGHT NOW, OR SOMEBODY ELSE WILL fish purchase. Getting better about it though. Heres one you guys might think is insane, I keep a zebra moray in my reef with 2 skunk cleaners and a blood red cleaner and a coral banded. It works for me, the skunk cleaners even take soaked krill out of his mouth and run away with it. My friend Mitch has a naso, purple, yellow, hippo, powder blue, powder brown, and a cheveron tang, all over 7" in the same 200 gal rotating tank. They don't fight. Why I dont know but every book or article I have read says they should. What I am trying to say, is take all you hear and read with a grain of salt, and don't not experiment if you have a idea. You could be right and will never know if you don't try. Steve
 

Curtswearing

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Oh stop it Steve!!! I have read enough of your posts to know exactly how much you care about your inhabitants and the hobby itself. There is certainly no need to apologize....I'm just telling you what my goals are.

BTW...I have NEVER once bought something great looking without learing it's requirements. LOL!! Let's face it, we've all done it.

What I am trying to say, is take all you hear and read with a grain of salt.
This is exactly the point of this post. How can we obtain scientific info that is unbiased so we can make up our own minds, with our bioload, with our filtration, to decide if buying XYZ is safe?
 

FishyinKy

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Hey Everyone, I just wanted to jump in here for a bit. There isn't a person alive who doesn't have bias' and therefore you cannot find a resourse without bias. You can however realize that everything comes from people with bias and do your own research. And as you've been in this field long enough you find there are some people who you find reliable that you'd feel comfortable quoting and believing. People who do the reasearch and study so what they are saying is done with some basis of knowledge. That being said beware of this medium as well. The blessings that we all have at this point is that with this type of medium changes are being made very quickly and we can take advantage of that.
 

Scooterman

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Hi FishyinKy, glad your jumping in, now I don't quite understand your statement, I know we all have different opinions, but towards what are you talking about? Funny, post a question like what is the best pump, you get an ear full of information, hopefully you get information from experienced people & you actually know these people long enough to trust what the say, I guess your right in that aspect, we all have opinions, that is what makes this so fun, no two systems are alike.
 

DonW

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I feed my mandarine every day frozen shrimp and mysis. I saw this discussion and thought I throw out this discovery.
First I freeze (dries them out) or buy frozen shrimp 15 at a time or mysis cubes. I thaw it in a net and squeeze so the liquid runs out of it. I then blend it to mush. Squeeze out the liquid from that and put in a zip lock. Then add two squirts from each of the three liquid life products and freeze.
The mandarine eats this stuff like any other fish eats and is fat. On a side note corals also use the zoo portion.

Don
 
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