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Jon in SW Ohio

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Well I finally decided to get a Mandarin Dragonet, possibly the most jaw-droppingly beautiful fish there is. This fish alone was responsible for my initial desire to set up a saltwater tank, but after a lot of research it seemed out of reach due to feeding requirements. Most will only eat very small live foods that are hard to keep naturally in abundance in a tank smaller than 100 gallons. They also have the metabolism of a hummingbird, and so require constant supplies of food as they are always picking away and searching for food.

Luckily, a by product of culturing phytoplankton to feed coral and using large amounts of macroalgaes for biological filtration and water conditioning is that it creates abundances of live critters to feed him. It is a lot of work filtering out these critters to be placed into the reef for him, but then again so is growing pleurothallids on a windowsill. I guess it's all about determination and willingness to adapt to the creature instead of making the creature adapt to your conditions. Like they say, necessity is the mother of ingenuity.

Enough introduction, I present to you Synchiropus splendidus...the Mandarin Dragonet







Jon
________
VAPORIZER VOLCANO
 
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Sangii

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ohhhhhh ! I saw some of those diving off northern Sulawesi , they are very shy usually.... Sorry for this remark but I can't help but feel sorry for them when I see them in tanks :(
 

Marco

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nice fish does it compete with the gramma?

sangii - i feel your pain. but im pretty sure this one is tank raised i dont think it would survive in the open ocean
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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I love those guys...the problem is getting a healthy one. ...their days in the store really starve them...you have to get them right after they arrive. I've had a few that have survived for years...but haven't had luck lately...as I said, they have to be healthy when you get them. They don't need a 100 gal tank...they do fine in my 55 gal, but I have to admit I have never had success in my 30 gal.
Take care, Eric
 

Jon in SW Ohio

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That's half the reason I finally got one, I got to the local pet store about an hour after they arrived there and picked the most actively grazing and youngest one(I'm there every day anyway since I know the guys there real well). So far, other than tiny live crustaceans(copepods and isopods), he's eaten frozen mysis shrimp bits, frozen cyclopeeze, decapsulated brine shrimp eggs, and baby and adult live brine shrimp. I was surprised he wasn't more picky after all the things I've read about them.

The Gramma was a bit upset when he first went into the tank and swam up to him with his mouth open when the Mandarin got close to his sleeping hole, but after that initial territory display they pay eachother no mind. The cleaner shrimps seemed a bit surprised to be allowed to clean him, as the Gramma won't let them near him to clean. I was a little worried all my small coral frags would be irritated by him and close up a lot, but he seems to know better than to lay on them and just hovers around the tank and his fluttering doesn't bother them at all.

Jon
________
Buy Silver Surfer
 
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Mark

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Wow! What an incredibly beautiful fish! (C'mon, fessup. That's a Photoshop job. ;) )

Congrats on your new roommate!
 

bwester

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Mark said:
Wow! What an incredibly beautiful fish! (C'mon, fessup. That's a Photoshop job. ;) )

Congrats on your new roommate!
Yeah I call bull**** too, You painted that, man :poke:
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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Its a good thing that the gramma only threatened...supposedly, mandarins have toxic secretions and are left alone by other fish...but I haven't seen that in my experience. I tried adding what appeared to be a healthy S. picturatus a few months back...while the fish looked physically healthy, it must have been retarded...instead of dashing into the rocks, it stayed out in the open, letting my grama, maroon clown, and hippo tang beat the crap out of it...even the cleaner wrasse got into the act. It never tried to hide....it never lasted more than 2 days.........Any normal fish gets attacked by the old guard...and any normal fish knows to hide in the rocks. (and I'm not just talking mandarins here...)...after a day or 2, things settle down, and they all adjust and make (reasonable) peace. But this idiot mandarin coudln't figure it out....Take care, Eric
 

Rick

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Marco said:
im pretty sure this one is tank raised i dont think it would survive in the open ocean
I wouldn't count on it Marco. Very few species of saltwater tropicals are tank raised. Clownfish and some gobies are the bulk of them.

Almost all have a pelagic larval stage that are very small, and very dificult to feed. (Not unlike orchid protocorms).

And these guys do have a toxic secretion when distressed. Its a blue slime. Sometimes these guys don't ship well and can poison themselves in the bag.

So it's great when they make it to a tank and do well.

Keep it happy Jon
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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Mandarin's are definitely not tank raised....however, more and more fish are...clown fish of all species, some gobies, Pseudochromis, Bangai cardinals...in some cases , there are aquacultured strains that are superior to wild fish, like seahorses that feed on frozen mysis shrimp. Many others are raised from larvae rather than mature fish, like Hippo tangs, Flame angels, and a whole bunch of others. Basically the reefer's equivalent of seedling grown paphs...but there is a downside...years ago, a hurricane destroyed a breeding facility in the Bahamas...where clown fish were bred...now they are naturalized in the Caribbean. Invasive species? Too soon to telll...(probably not...lots of alien species either die out or integrate themselves harmlessly into the local biota.)
By the way, not only have lionfish (Pterois volitans) naturalized along the east coast, but their babies made quite a stir when they turned up in large numbers in the Long Island south shore bays this summer....Take care, Eric
 

Rick

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Eric
Do you have a reference or website for the comercial larval rearing of angels?

That's pretty exciting stuff. Back in my aquarium days we saw allot of reproduction going on in big aquaria, but harvesting larvae and coming up with a small enough food source compatible with pelagic systems was still out of our reach.
 

Rick

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It doesn't seem like they are up to commercial levels of propogation yet for the angels or tangs, but the article was in 2002 and allot could change in 4 years in the trade.
Major advances though.

I also saw that Bruce Carlson was moving to Georgia. I'll have to go visit him now that we're just about neighbors.
 

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