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MattP's Mini-Waters biz: Callionymid cond.
Mandarin Goby Requirements.
Re: Mandarin Goby Requirements 5/24/14
I don't think that I would be happy if the mandarin had to live in the refugium. I want to see the beautiful little guy!
So hard to know if one could work in my system. Such a difficult fish to maintain. And yet, other's do it with so little forethought and the animal thrives...
<Always some gamble>
Is my tank as "mature" as it is going to get, or would waiting longer be to my benefit?
<Would be better if the system were actually smaller. Have you gone over the mat.s archived on WWM re Callionymids? BobF>
Re: Mandarin Goby Requirements 5/24/14
Smaller, really? Wow, that I did not expect...
<... easier to feed, observe>
Yes, I have been reading all the archives and articles on this fish on the WWM site. Such great information there.
<Ah yes; mainly from folks like you, me... asking and relating to each other over the years>
Ok, bottom line...would you throw the dice if you were me or leave this fish to better odds...
<A tough one. IF I really wanted to try... I would get two... likely a male and female... and btw, I would add a couple more Velvets... B>
Ich - Red Slime - Mandarin Acclimation (sel., fdg.... gen.)–
Tank raised Mandarins 10/19/2011
questions about Mandarin Fish, stkg./sel.
Cardinalfish and Mandarin Addition (some consideration
needed here) -- 10/12/10
Would like to keep a pair or three
Two male mandarin dragonettes in my tank, sys., selection 10/4/08 I have a 200 gallon 3 year old reef tank, full of live rock and a hang on refugium solely to breed copepods. I went to the LFS and bought a pair of "mated" mandarins. To make a long story short, they are both males. <Ooops!> I have spent the last 1/2 hour trying to get one of them. <Yikes... having spent considerable time underwater trying to film Callionymoids spawning (in and amongst arborose stony corals...) I can sympathize...> I've probably knocked over and killed several corals and disrupted my tank. I just can't get one of them. Is there any way two males can live together or will they fight to the death? <Oh! Can, and actually do live in mixed sex groupings in the wild... in such thickets... In a system of this size, you may well be able to simply add a female or three... and all get along fine, be very interesting during "sunset" most nights... Bob Fenner>
Re: Mandarins... sel. 1/25/07 Since they are so difficult to keep, then why are the fish themselves cheap and frequently available from what I see? <Because as with anything else marketed to the public....people will buy it/them.> Couldn't we be hurting the population of these fish since their life expectancy in the aquarium is so low? <It's possible.....sad yes, AJ.>
Scooter Blenny - 11/09/06 Dear crew, <<Hello!>> I've read and read your site and all your FAQ's on the blenny. My LFS (considered by most as the premier store in St. Louis) said a scooter blenny (Ocellated dragonet) would be fine and I trusted them. <<Mmm ok, Synchiropus ocellatus...one of best/maybe THE best choice of dragonets for captive keeping...still needs a mature, peaceful aquarium of adequate size with plenty of live rock/a DSB and preferably...an in-line refugium>> I asked them about the mandarin because it was a nice looking fish but they told me it was impossible with my setup and recommended the blenny. <<Synchiropus ocellatus is a dragonet and is of the same family (Callionymidae) as the "mandarin." The "scooter blenny" is a much better choice than the mandarin (kudos to your LFS), but is still not "easily" kept>>>> They have been pretty honest with me and have even declined to sell me certain fish because they know my tank. <<Excellent to read!>> I have researched every fish and invertebrate and coral I own but went with their opinion on this one (went to the store to get R/O water came home with a fish). <<Hee-hee!>> Here are my stats: 30 gallon, PC 96 watt light, 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites, 10-20 ppm Nitrates, 8.3 pH, 8-10 dKH, 20 Calcium, <<...?!>> 300 Penguin Bio-Wheel power filter, Prizm Skimmer (I know bad choice), <<Mmm...an AquaC might be in your future>> 75 GPH flow head w/aerator, 40 lbs live rock, 1.023 salinity, <<Do bump this up to 1.025/026...especially with corals/inverts in the system>> 78 degrees One clam (T. crocea) 6" inches from surface about 8" from the lights, 3 peppermint shrimp (has not nipped anything), 2 fire shrimp, 1 skunk cleaner (no nips on anything), 3 green chromis 1", 1 yellow watchman goby 1", 4 Astrea, 8 turbo, various polyps, brain corals, xenia. Allelopathic issues have not surfaced yet and everything seems to be growing and doing well. <<Hmm, wouldn't think Allelopathy to be much of an issue either with the corals you list>> My tank has amphipods because they are all over the rocks, glass, and everything else. The snails have laid eggs all over the glass in a strange zigzag pattern. Macro-algae is growing profusely and I've trimmed them back (a little overfeeding issue but I do 5-gallon changes every week with saltwater from the LFS). Coralline algae is starting to cover everything. He continually eats and has gotten bigger but after reading I know he will eventually starve. <<Likely true I'm afraid...this tank is really too small for the long-term health of this amusing little fish>> I am trying to train him to eat frozen mysis shrimp. <<Excellent...might I suggest you soak the thawed shrimp in Selcon or Vita-Chem for the added nutritional value as well as possibly increasing its attraction as a food item>> Now my question: There is another store that sells live glass shrimp and live brine shrimp. Can I add these to my tank and hope they breed and will the blenny eat the nauplii as a result? <<They won't establish and breed in you display...and the glass shrimp will be too large to be off use "as is"...but you might want to try getting some live brine shrimp and "gut-load" them before offering to the tank. Add the Selcon product I mentioned to the water holding the brine shrimp and let them "feed" on this for 24 hours before releasing them in your tank. This will provide the scooter blenny with the much needed HUFAs/fatty acids that are other wise absent in adult brine shrimp>> Should I give him back and not impulse buy again? <<This is another option>> He has been here for 5 weeks (1 week QT because I could not get him to eat) and there are still visible amphipods. <<Likely the ones that are "too big" for it to ingest. These fish browse/feed constantly and even a single specimen can/will decimate the available food population very quickly in such a small tank>> I have left the big patches of stringy algae, which he guards profusely that seem to house the majority of these little bugs. <<Indeed>> I apologize for the length of my letter but you guys have saved my and many fish. <<No worries>> My yellow watchman loves mysis shrimp and actually has gotten his head stuck in the turkey baster going for them. <<Ha!>> Please advise and I will defer to your knowledge and experience. <<You have my opinions>> Paul <<Regards, EricR>>
Pairing Mandarins 6/1/06 Hi, We have a 230 gallon DSB reef with a 50 gallon refugium and an extremely fat male green mandarin. We also have a copepod culture. We had a bad experience buying a male and female at the same time. The female's tummy was sunken (we didn't realize it when we bought her) and she was never able to gain weight even though she seemed to eat copepods throughout the day. <Not uncommon> The male did scare her occasionally, but she would go back to hunting after a few minutes. Anyway, she unfortunately disappeared a few weeks back (I am sure it was lack of nutrition - we even supplemented copepods which she ate readily, but nothing seemed to help her gain). I don't want to make another mistake. If we try to get him another mate, I will make sure she is very fat to start with. On that note, we have a few questions: 1) We've read that you should get more than one female if you have a male and they are not paired. I am sure the tank can support 2 more - but don't completely understand the logic. Please let us know if it is safer to get more than one and any details you can share. <Can support more than two... on the basis of size of the system, refugium... this species is not "paired" in the wild... males, females reproduce opportunistically... "meet up" in Staghorn (Acropora) thickets toward evening...> 2) Also read in a couple of places to get a female that is smaller than the male (or at least not larger). Any light you can shed on this would also be appreciated. <Size not important IME> And of course - any other words of wisdom always welcome! Thanks! Doug <Enjoy the process, animals. Bob Fenner>
Mandarin - making a small difference -Thank you - 04/10/2006 I recently changed LFS b/c they sold me a mandarin who was very skinny...(at the time I did not know what to look for). <Not uncommon> I wrote you previously under my home email address about the caring for my mandarin who, at the time, had a white spot which heeled using your advise... I went back to this store yesterday for supplies and noticed several mandarins, all of which were FAT, I mean really FAT (and healthy) <Probably won't stay that was at LFS either>, so I guess a little bit of complaining goes a long way (actually I complained to every fish guy in the place)...they say that they are also alerting people as to their continued care which I couldn't confirm (but can hope). The new LFS I use now has fat/healthy mandarins and I did test them about the care and they got it right So two down, thousands more to go. I don't plan to buy another one, but plan to continue to lobby the cause to my LFSs. I just wanted to alert you guys that word is spreading. No reply is necessary. <I'll reply anyway. It's always outstanding to be able to make a difference, and major kudos to you for making it happen. However, this isn't a trend you're likely to see. Because these little guys require such an established reef system to supply their food source many times they starve at the LFS (or soon after someone purchases them) but its great to see a good start, right? Great job, Jen S.> Colleen Boyle
Re: Psychotic Purple Firefish? Mandarin in a 29 and terrestrial/marine rock use. - 2/28/2006 Dear Bob, <?it> I read your "nano" article, which more or less convinced me that saltwater is not a hobby (or calling) for a 7 year old--but as the Russian proverb is supposed to go, "once you have said A, you have to say B" :) So we shall chug along with the 29 gallon until the lottery hits and we step up to the 150 gallon. <Heeee!> In the meantime, two questions, which absolutely do not need immediate attention--if you can pick them up at your leisure, I will be grateful. First: I read an article by Marc Levenson in Reefkeeping magazine ( http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-02/nftt/index.php ) which inspired me to do the following: one LFS has a blue (green?) mandarin that looks pretty well-fed. So I made a deal with the guy--he will try to feed prepared foods to the mandarin and if they are consumed, I will own the fish in a fortnight. <... for the 29 gallon system? Not a good gamble... too likely to starve there> If the fish does not eat and/or seems to lose weight, the deal is off and he will sell it to someone else. He does not have trouble selling mandarins (this is the only one remaining from the three he had a week ago), and urges only large tank owners to buy them, so he is doing me a favor. Question is, is this 2-week test an adequate safeguard against endangering the fish down the line. Can it eat prepared foods there, and refuse them when he gets to my son's tank? <In terms of actual feeding, two weeks is a good interval... but the stress of being in small quarters, lack of indigenous-produced/available foods... is trouble> Second: I have a pile of rocks (granite, basalt, slate and marble picked up by my son from the shores of the Island of Marmara in the Marmara sea a couple of years ago--traveling with 30lbs of rock was not fun, but the kid was in love with them) that have been bleached, boiled and have been used as play material for a couple of years. Reading the FAQs on rock, I get the impression that you have to ask about each rock and each kind of fish. <More the former, and type of system...> So, can these be used in the tank, given that it has a purple firefish, a watchman goby, and will get a couple of others from your suggestions in the nano article (one might be the mandarin mentioned above if you don't nix it). Thanks very much in advance Regards <The calcareous based materials (in order, the marble, granite/slate, basalt) might go... but are not worth risking in a marine system IMO... I would leave these "on a shelf" to appreciate, perhaps try them in freshwater systems some time later. Seek out substrates of marine extraction. Bob Fenner>
Starving mandarin at LFS 9/26/05 Hello all, than you in advance for your response (I believe I know what it will be but I need to hear it). My LFS helped me set up my tank initially and I have purchased all of my fish and live rock from them (false percula, Pseudochromis fridmani, 32lbs of (in my opinion great quality) live rock, a few hitchhikers including 2 sea squirts, one crab (the jury is still out on whether he stays or goes), a few sponges, may worms and pods) which are housed in a 45 gallon with a 4 inch DSB. The set up is 3 months old; 10% weekly water changes and a Remora protein skimmer have helped keep water quality high. I have generally trusted the guys at the store, though one seems a bit more informed/conscientious than the other. I have been researching my next tank mate and was browsing, possibly ready to buy if I spotted a blenny or a goby with the right personality, when I saw the mandarin. The mandarin has been in the store for at least a month, and is now very very thin (in a 10 gallon tank, I can see the 'line' running down its sides). I almost started crying when I saw it (sorry, but I have always been very sensitive when it comes to suffering animals; I don't eat meat because I'm against factory farms). I can't stop thinking about this poor fish. My instinct is... I want to bring it home and try to save it. I have a CPR Aquafuge that I am planning to stock with Chaetomorpha and build up into a pod farm (the Dottyback likes to hunt pods, plus I like them for other reasons). But I probably couldn't get the pod farm up (stocked and stabilized) soon enough (though I do have something of a pod population currently). I do know that 45 gallons is too small for a mandarin, that it would possibly/probably starve under my care in the long run anyway. Is there any way that things could work out if I were very careful to maintain a pod population? It's just really difficult for me to leave the fish at the LFS under these conditions and I can't get it off my mind. Oh, and the guy at the register was reading "Reef Invertebrates"; I mentioned the mandarin to him but he said that it was ok... It is not. I plan to call (or go) back today when I think that the other guy will be there and see what he has to say. <Jen, leave the mandarin where it is at. With no pod population chances are good the fish will die before food arrives. Let the owner take the loss, not you. James (Salty Dog)> Thank you. Jen
Emerald Crab/Seahorses (actually Anemones, Mandarins, Scooters...) Hello from Canada. This is my first attempt at using the internet as a resource for my hobby, I am looking forward to your response. <Glad to meet you. Hope I can be helpful.> I have a 55 gallon reef tank that has been set up for almost a year and a half. I am thinking about replacing my Yellow Tang with other algae eating critters as my tang is getting quite large and seems to be getting more aggressive as time goes on. <Not unusual by any means. In fact, quite normal.> I prefer the smaller more shy fish and plan to add a few more down the road. The problem is that my Yellow Tang does an excellent job of keeping down the hair algae and I am a little reluctant to add anything that might upset the nice balance I already have. Is it possible that an Emerald Green Crab would catch and eat slower moving fish such as my Dragonet (Mandarin Goby)? <Possible, but are you aware that your Mandarin is probably starving to death.> I have been reading that they have been known to catch clownfish and eat them. I also have several Blue Legged Crabs, a larger Red Legged Crab, a Coral Banded Shrimp, several Porcelain Crabs each with their own anemone, <Again, do you know how difficult anemones are?> a Feather Duster, various abundant tube worms, 2 small Percula Clownfish, a Scooter Dragonet, <The Scooter blenny is just as difficult as the Mandarin.> 3 Firefish and a Maroon Clown that is also soon to be relocated (an error on my part), many other soft corals/polyps/mushrooms and saltwater plants. I believe my tank holds about 35-40 gallons of true water as I have abundant live sand and rock. If at all possible (I have more research to do) I plan to house 2 Seahorses and a Pipefish. I have also been reading that I cannot keep seahorse/pipefish with potent stinging anemones. My anemones consist of a Long Armed, a Curlicue, a Condy, A Sebae and a Bubble tipped. Any info you could give me would be appreciated. Many thanks, Monika <I suggest you do a lot more research on your animals. Start reading all of the FAQ's under Anemones and Mandarins. Best of luck. -Steven Pro>
Re: Emerald Crab/Seahorses Thanks for nothing, Monika <What would you have liked me to say? Sure, get rid of the Yellow Tang and add a bunch of snails and scarlet reef hermit crabs and everything will be fine. And I will just ignore the fact that you have a whole host of animals that have a 99% chance of slowly starving to death and dying in one year; Mandarin, Scooter Blenny, Feather Duster, and 5 Anemones. Plus, add to it that the Mandarins and Scooter Blennies are notorious for being stung and killed by anemones and pipefish and seahorses would fall into both above categories (Starving and stung). Please remember this email and try to keep track if all of the above animals are not dead in one year's time. -Steven Pro>
Can I have a dragonet? Adam! << Narayan! >>
Everything has been stable for almost a month now -knock on
wood. To refresh your memory, I have a 1+ year old 72G bow front with
75-80 lbs live rock, 4 to 4.5" DSB, 20X circulation, with one Kole
tang, one Ocellaris clown, one fridmani Pseudochromis and a pair of
skunk cleaner shrimp. Salinity 1.025, temp -78.5F to 80F, NH3 = NO2 =
NO3 = 0, kH = 110ppm, Ca between 400ppm and 440ppm, and the pH is a
little low at 8.2 -7.9. I have a small aquacultured Capnella and a
small aquacultured long stem xenia in QT. And I even found unknown 5
baby snails - I have 2 Turbos and 5 Nassarius. that have been in there
for 3+ months. In the last month, all media had been
removed from the wet/dry. Some kind of leafy brown algae -that looks
like a Sargassum species, that had out-competed all else was pruned
back, and did not like being pruned back and started to die off - in
its place there are at least 10 other species growing off the live
rock, including Caulerpa taxifolia, Caulerpa racemosa, Halimeda,
Neomeris annulata, Padina jamaicensis, Penicillus pyriformis, purple
coralline and more stuff I haven't identified. It appears as though
Padina jamaicensis will inherit the tank next! This one was also pruned
back, but does not seem to mind it. First question: The Kole tang has
subsisted on hair algae and seaweed selects green, brown and purple
algae sheets only. He hasn't eaten any meaty fares yet. <<
That is fine. If you have a healthy tank (which is evidenced
by your massive algal cultures) then there are lots of little pods he
is eating that you don't see. >> I've had him for 3
months now and while he is still fat and active and shows the normal
range of colors, I think he spends more time wearing lighter shades
than he used to when I first got him. Should I be concerned? <<
No. >> Second Question: I would love to add one more fish -a
dragonet! I have enough amphipods to feed the Pseudochromis that his
stomach is always full and only the clown really depends on me for
survival. But I want to add a refugium above the tank before I add a
dragonet. And I'd really like a 20L, but a 10G is more like what is
practical. Can a 10G refugium sustain one dragonet and a Pseudochromis,
or should I not get this fish? << Tough call. I'll
say yes it can support it, but I wouldn't do it. At
least not until the tank has been up for several years and has lots of
algae growing in the main display tank. >> I suppose as an
alternative, a 5 gallon hang on back refugium is just wishful thinking!
<< I like hang on's and I also like under the tank
refugiums. I just can't in good conscious advise someone
to get a dragonet. >> Thank you for your help as usual! Narayan
<< Blundell >>