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Could I get a Green Mandarin?

Printed From: Utah Reefs
Category: Help
Forum Name: General Help
Forum Description: The place to ask about pest, problems, hitchhikers, etc.
Printed Date: March 25 2019 at 3:07pm

Topic: Could I get a Green Mandarin?
Posted By: Hottsauce23
Subject: Could I get a Green Mandarin?
Date Posted: April 29 2016 at 5:45pm
Hey so I have been wanting a Green Mandarin for my tank really bad. It looks way to cool for me not to have one haha. I understand that they live on copepods and other live food. I know I have copepods and other live food in my sump currently I can see them on the glass and on the macro. I just don't know how much is enough to support the eating habits of a green mandarin. I have a 65 gallon tank and plenty of live rock. I just did a fast for my fish so copepods in the actual tank may be pretty low right now. What would I need to do to get my tank to the point to keep a Green Mandarin. I have plenty of Macro in the sump also. The tank is 10 months old now.

Do I need to get rid of my 3 yellow tailed damsels so copepods have a better chance of survival in my tank?And if so what fish could I potentially keep with a Green Mandarin so the other fish won't eat all the copepods?
How many copepods live food is enough for a Green Mandarin?
How to I get the copepods to reproduce faster? (if anything) 

Thanks for any suggestions/help.

Posted By: Mark Peterson
Date Posted: April 29 2016 at 7:35pm

The Mandarin is a fascinating fish, as is the Scooter Blenny, which has similar feeding behavior.

In addition to the 3 YT Damsels wasn't there a Neon Velvet Damsel in there too? That fish is as aggressive as the 3 YT Damsels combined. That is the fish I would remove and keep the YTs, if wanted. (The YT Damsel is great at eating troublesome Flatworms, keeping them from ever becoming a problem. Smile

There are several easy fish trap methods, the "Pop Bottle Trap" being the simplest and first one to try. Google it. There is also the nighttime easy catch method. See the Reefkeeping Tips for the link to that discussion.

Copepods are very, very tiny. The Mandarin would need to eat hundreds daily. Fortunately there is a much larger bug that grows well in our tanks, the Amphipod. It looks a bit like a shrimp. See the pic below. The largest Amphipod I have ever seen was about 3/8". The younger ones make really good food for omnivores like the YT Damsel and carnivores such as the Mandarin.

As far as creating a tank environment conducive to growing more bugs, we have had discussions about that too. See the Reefkeeping Tips for the links to those discussions.


Mark  Hug

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Posted By: phys
Date Posted: April 30 2016 at 12:00am
I've noticed a lot of pods after I feed live phyto for a few weeks. It should help keep them going but if your stock gets low, you can always buy some new guys or even get them reproducing in your home in another tank. A 65 is pushing the limit but I've seen them in smaller tanks. You can also try getting it to eat other small frozen things like brine.

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