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Old 12/30/2007, 11:58 PM
SirCharles77 SirCharles77 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 74
Copepods and Mandarin Dragonets?

I have just set up my 105g tank in the last month. It has a 28g sump and is all set up and working.

It has live rock and live sand, 2 chromis, 3 Kauderns Cardinals, 7 hermits, 4 snails, and a sand sifting star in it. The brown algea is pretty much gone and I am starting to see some coraline algea growing on the rocks.

One of the main fish that I want is a pair of mandarin dragonets.

So my question is when can I expect to see copepods starting to appear? Will they begin to appear on their own? Or do they have to be seeded initially?

Do they need corals of some sort to survive? And once they are started, how can I keep the population replentished? How often do they reproduce?

Basically tell me EVERYTHING you can think of as to how I can get my tank ready for a couple mandarin dragonets.

Thanks a ton.
Charles R.
The New Guy!!
Old 12/31/2007, 01:41 AM
dots dots is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 2,498

A pair may be too much for the size you have, one can eliminate a pod population in months.

Create a pod hideout in a refugium or a stack of rocks where the dragonets can't get to.

With luck you can get them to feed on PE MYSIS shrimp. I am lucky and have been able to keep one alive for well over a year this way. I think the key is that I have a barebottom tank and the Mysids fall to the bottom where they dance and are scooped up.

It wouldn't hurt to get some live pods and replenish the system periodically.

BTW, I think the rule of thumb is to wait 8 mos to a year before adding one, much less a pair.

Like anenome, these fish have a dismal track record and often starve.

FWIW, mine hides in the rocks most of the time and I rarely see it.
Fresh out of catchy one-liners today....

Last edited by dots; 12/31/2007 at 02:04 AM.
Old 12/31/2007, 02:03 PM
poo-tang poo-tang is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Lansing
Posts: 174
i've got one, luckily mine feeds on frozen occasionally, when i bought him the LFS had like 4 and i watched them all try to feed, i bought the one who ate mysis. my tank is plenty big enough to support him and he does fine and i rarely see him eat froxen foods but he still does if it comes right by him.
i'm not sure but the sand sifting starfish is prolly detrimental to a mandarin. at least i would not keep one. i have heard they constantly eat infauna in your sand, much of the mandarins food possibly, or at least some of the pods food. just my opinion.
Old 01/02/2008, 11:08 PM
losthere losthere is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Central Coast, Cali
Posts: 6
i have a scooter blenny, wich if im not mistaken also eats pods. It is in a 55 with a 25 fuge. I think the fuge is what keeps him alive because i have so much chaeto it is almost full(may have to get rid of some soon). If you dont have a fuge with a lot of chaeto the dragonet will desimate your pods and evetually die. I also "seed" my tank with pods every once in a while by wishing around the chaeto in my tank. I have had him for many months and he is fat and getting huge. A fuge with chaeto will be a nonstop source of food for the dragonet and seeding your will only help. btw the scooter is out all the time and has tons of personality. I say try it only if you have chaeto so they have a fighting chance, the worst that can happen is you lose a fish or two and out some money, as i do not belive that a dragonet can be responsible for a tank crash.
Old 01/09/2008, 01:52 PM
MrJenkins MrJenkins is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Florida for retirement, Texas born and raised
Posts: 68
I have a mandarin that is over 5 years old and has always eaten frozen mysis. When it's feeding time he isn't shy about coming out. He is also frequently cruising the live sand bottom blowing at crevices to stir up mysis that have floated to the bottom and eating them.
Old 01/09/2008, 05:24 PM
snorvich snorvich is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Barrington, Illinois
Posts: 1,819
While one can find exceptions that will eat prepared food, usually mysis, in general, they will not. Even if they do eat prepared, these fish are grazers and need a constant supply of copepods.
Warmest regards,


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