How to keep mandarin goby alive?!?!

Discussion in 'Fish and Invertebrates' started by scuba71, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. scuba71

    scuba71 Supporting Member

    So several months ago, I bought a mandarin goby, but it did not last more than 3 weeks. I also bought a spotted goby, and that has been doing great.

    I love the mandarin goby, and I really want to get another and give it another shot, but I am afraid of it dieing on me again. Has anyone had any success with keeping one alive?
  2. CookieJar

    CookieJar Guest

    I've had a scotter blenny (similar enough to mandarin) and he's done great for 2+ years. I have a large tank, 180 gallons, with refugium, lots of pods and no other competition to eat pods. Unless you get a mandarin that eats prepared foods (check out meelev reef for mandarin diner), you need a sustainable population of pods for a mandarin to live.
  3. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    with rare exception, they only eat live food and pods at that. How big of a tank and do you have any other pod eating fish? LIkely your other ones starved.
  4. scuba71

    scuba71 Supporting Member

    Well, I have a 140G. As far as other fish in the tank that might eat pods, blue tang, yellow tang, 2 clowns, a school of chromis (6), diamond goby, and a sleeper goby. The strange part though, the spotted mandarin has been doing well. It's the green one that just does not survive.

    Does the green mandarin diet really differ that much from the spotted mandarin? That's where I am lost.
  5. Crabby

    Crabby Guest

    Your tank might not be big enough to support 2 mandarin fish. Or, you may have gotten one that was doomed from the start if it was caught using cyanide.
  6. Ibn

    Ibn Supporting Member


    Also, green mandarin do not adapt as well (if ever) to prepared foods as spotted mandarins.
  7. patrickb

    patrickb Supporting Member

    Assuming that your rockwork is fairly mature, my guess is that you just go unlucky with the green mandarin. Do you have a refugium? That will go a long way towards making sure your tank has enough zooplankton to feed both the green and the spotted mandarin.
  8. zepplock

    zepplock Guest

    I had a green mandarin in my 50g for 2 years, he was eating pods off the rocks. Make sure you dont have something like 6line wrasse - very competitive pods eater.
  9. scuba71

    scuba71 Supporting Member

    Yep. I have had 60% of my live rock for over 3 years and the rest more than 5 years.
    I have a 60G Sump/Refugium.
  10. scuba71

    scuba71 Supporting Member

    Ohhh.... that could be the issue. I completely forgot about my 6 line wrasse. That could have been why the green mandarin did not survive.
  11. phishphood

    phishphood Guest

    Yeah, 6 lines do a helluva job cleaning up your pod population, and they are active hunters vs the glide-and-peck mandarins. Usually not compatible.
  12. jdizzle707

    jdizzle707 Guest

    I added a mandarin myself the other day and my clown wrasse went after it. I had to make the painful decision of removing the wrasse since he will someday outgrow my 72g. What should I keep an eye out for to make sure the mandarin survives? He appears to be pecking the rocks and sand quite a bit. Other fishes I have are:
    1 maroon clown
    9 green damsels
    1 blue tang
    1 yellow tang

  13. CookieJar

    CookieJar Guest

    I don't think you can see what they're eating, they pick at what appears to be a bare rock. I've seen my scooter blenny pass righg by an ampipod. I think because the ampipods are too big to eat, but the copepods are abundant in my tank since there's no other predators and that's what I believe they feast on. If you can see them on the glass (try a flashlight with lights off) you should be in good shape. You can always add live tigger pods in your 'fuge to boost the population.
  14. phishphood

    phishphood Guest

    Agreed. Most times you won't be able to see the copepods. However you can sometimes see them on the glass like Cookie said. But I've never been able to see them in numbers like that when I've had a mandarin or scooter "blenny". Adding phyto during the dark periods should also help provide a food source for keeping pod populations up.
  15. pixelpixi

    pixelpixi Guest

    Could you keep a mandarin in a small tank by just feeding it tigger pods or similar daily? How much would you need to feed to keep a single mandarin happy?
  16. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Sorry but CN is NOT used to collect any dragonets. It is useless against due to their behavior and the ease of catching them with less costly means. CN isn't cheap. Nearly all are caught using a mini speargun made from a hyperdermic need and surgical tubing. They get shot in the upper dorsal and sometimes even the upper back of them. They heal very very fast. Most never even get to see the wound accept for importers.

    many come in starved and are doomed from the get go.
  17. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Phyto can be added day or night and they'll eat it. They don't hunker down and go to sleep, they move to an area with less light in most cases, although not the case with Tigger-Pods. They're more active in the day.

    They only eat the copepidites for the most part so you'd need to culture them and strain out the smallest of them. Very doable, not hard to culture at all.

    They also eat amphipods as suggest they don't above. They just don't eat the adults.
  18. pixelpixi

    pixelpixi Guest

    Gresham, Do you think it would be easier to just use a refugium+phyto? How big of a 'fuge would you recommend to support a single mandarin?
  19. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    It's hard to put a number to fuge:tank size ratio. A standard 55g with a HOB CPR fuge would be suffice I would say. Most fuges for sale are tall and narrow. For copepods you want more surface area then depth. Cultures aren't hard to maintain, but fuges are really easy. problem with fuges is if you feed too much phyto you could drop the water quality. TP like a lot of phyto. I am always surprised at the amount they can eat.

    How big is your tank again?
  20. pixelpixi

    pixelpixi Guest

    I have a 10G nano on my night stand that I was thinking about doing this with. The mandarin would be the only fish and the refugium could be as large as or larger than the display (since I can put it down on the floor behind the night stand). It seems like the issue with mandarins is food not swimming space so having a small DT might be fine if I can provide it enough to eat.

    If surface area is the issue, maybe fill the refugium full of bioballs or something?

    My other system is a dual display 65 gallon + 30 gallon but I have other pod eaters in that system so I probably wouldn't risk that.

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