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You just need to have a steady food source as they are pod hunters. You can train them to eat frozen and pellet food, but you must have a heavy pod population to sustain them until you can get them eating prepared foods. The other alternative is to seed your tank with cultured copepods every so often. If youre ok with that, The Reef Farm has pods for sale and theyre already acclimated to tank parameters.
 

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Something that worked well for me was as Jordan said seeding your tank with pods; however, I made a large pile of rubble that my mandarin could not get in. The theory was making a "Hive" that my pods could constantly procreate without fear of eradication from overhunting. I seeded my tank once and never had to again for Leslie Chow lol.
 

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Something that worked well for me was as Jordan said seeding your tank with pods; however, I made a large pile of rubble that my mandarin could not get in. The theory was making a "Hive" that my pods could constantly procreate without fear of eradication from overhunting. I seeded my tank once and never had to again for Leslie Chow lol.
That's a great idea for an in-tank fuge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If i run a refugium in my sump as well as a protein skimmer will the pods get into the display tank or will i need to put some in the main tank every once in a while
 

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I have a mandarin. They actually are very hardy fish. Almost all that die are because of food. Not from sickness. Mine has never eaten anything other than pods that i have seen. I have had her for over a year now. Looking for a male to add with her
 

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Definitely peaceful tank mates. It is also a good idea to not have any territorial fish either. They move all throughout the rock work so their tank mates have to be alright with a mandarin on their turf.

If you do get a starter colony of pods, I recommend you get Tisbe pods as they stay down within the rockwork. Garbanzo had a great idea about creating a "hive" so to speak. The Tigger pods you can get at the fish stores that swim in the water column. The less competition for food the better also. My cardinal takes out any amphiopods or pods that crosses his path which makes it hard for me to get a good culture going. You can get them to eat frozen food but it will take a lot of patience on your part so don't get frustrated if they don't take to it at first. I've heard of people making an acrylic box you set in the sand with an opening just big enough for the mandarin and putting mysis in that box. Current doesn't take it and gives the mandarin a chance to inspect....watch out for hermits and shrimp though. A little birdie told me once that mandarins will also eat flatworms so infecting your tank with some of those wouldn't be a bad idea either....it works.

Otherwise a great and beautiful addition to any reef tank!
 
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