Mandarin questions – am I on the right track?

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    So, we now have a Synchiropus Splendidus as an addition to my 10 month old reefer 170.

    I know their preference is copepods, and with that in mind, i put 250ml of live copepods in the DT prior to adding the fish, and also four lfs small bags of live into the sump.

    I have also today started to add phyto to the DT, for the mutual benefit of the corals and copepods.

    I’m also going to be starting pod-culturing as of tomorrow.

    I have no idea what the copepod population is or was in the DT prior to today, but i’m hoping to increase it significantly over the next couple of weeks. Is that ok, and enough to keep the Mandarin happy, food-wise?

    Can those with experience of Mandarins share a bit of best-practice about their upkeep?

    I know they can be tricky, so want to be sure I give the little guy the best chance


    Mandarin now seems to have settled into the tank well, and is moving around the rockwork and is clearly in hunt-mode.

    I’m gonna add more pods weekly, whilst my pod-culture hopefully works, and i’ll then be self-sufficient.

    Anyone with experience to share, please chip in


    Clowns, flasher and fairy wrasse, midas blennie, yellow watchman goby and another sand-sifting goby whose name escapes me.

    Everyone seems to be ignoring everyone else, and the Mandarin only has eyes for the rocks and pods

    I did wonder if the wrasse may compete on the pod front, but i’ve never seen them hunting on the rocks, deffo not in the way the mandarin does.


    I had a similar size tank and kept a Mandarin for a good few months but it slowly deteriorated once I added a peacock wrasse. I was adding 3 bags of pods a week and had a refugium in the sump. Personally I don’t Think a tank of that size and that young will be able to keep a Mandarin alive for long. Especially with the other fish you have


    Ok. I’ll keep a close eye on it.

    If it starts to look even vaguely unhappy, i’ll rehome. Looks like one of the easier in the tank to catch, if i need to.

    Hopefully i can supplement the pods with those i grow at home, and will also try with the frozen.


    Bare in mind if I’m correct don’t quote me a mandarin can eat up to 8000 pods in a day .generally they do well in larger systems purely as there is a larger population, however if you successfully manage to populate pods yourself you could learn to produce phytoplankton and maybe link it to a dosing unit .

    Also from experience I found the Mandrin I got from an Lfs that was feeding on frozen failed to do so once he began hunting

    Hope this helps


    I never cultured my own pods but from what I’ve read home grown pods have a much better survival rate than ones you buy in pouches so as long as you constantly add them you may be ok. But like you say keep an eye. I think that sand sifter will clear your pod population a lot faster than the Mandarin will


    Thanks for the comments, guys.

    Thats good to know about the home-cultured ones being a stronger option.

    I have got a months subscription for mail-order pods to be delivered once a week, and will be adding another 250ml of live pods to the tank tomorrow night after lights out. I’m hoping that will go some way to tiding things over until the home-culture takes off. I had no idea of quite how many pods they would get through, given the chance. Kinda makes me think that about a 500litre per mandarin would be about right, so i’m up against it.

    Mandarin continues to patrol the rockwork, hunting.

    As long as it continues to look happy and healthy, i’m content. As soon as that changes, it’ll be back to the lfs for re-homing. Pretty sure i’ve spent about twice the cost of this fish already on food for it / the means to culture food for it

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