Training a mandarin: small or larger?

elbereth

Jack Dempsey
Original poster
MFK Member
Feb 22, 2018
205
90
36
Toronto, Canada
Gender
Female
I'm planning to get a mandarin goby and train it to take prepared foods in a separate 10g tank. Yes, I know they need hundreds of pods per day and I'm prepared to breed them. The prepared foods are to be a supplement to their diet. My question to those who have experience training them is should I get a small mandarin (no more than 1"long) or a larger one (over double that size)? The guy at the lfs suggested small because it has spent less time on the reef but I was wondering if anyone here would suggest differently? Thanks!
 

tlindsey

Silver Tier VIP
MFK Member
Aug 6, 2011
12,633
9,427
1,315
Ohio
Real Name
Thomas Lindsey Sr.
Gender
Male
I'm planning to get a mandarin goby and train it to take prepared foods in a separate 10g tank. Yes, I know they need hundreds of pods per day and I'm prepared to breed them. The prepared foods are to be a supplement to their diet. My question to those who have experience training them is should I get a small mandarin (no more than 1"long) or a larger one (over double that size)? The guy at the lfs suggested small because it has spent less time on the reef but I was wondering if anyone here would suggest differently? Thanks!

I've kept Mandarin Goby's in the late nineties they were in a Reef type Setup with Seahorses. There were Coepods but decided one day to try Frozen Mysis Shrimp. Not only did my Seahorses accept Mysis the Madarin Goby start eating them as well. If you got the smaller one Baby Brine would probably be the food I would personally feed without an abundance of Coepods.
 

TheReefer

Fire Eel
MFK Member
Apr 13, 2019
497
339
72
38
Pennsylvania
Real Name
Mike
Gender
Male
I'm planning to get a mandarin goby and train it to take prepared foods in a separate 10g tank. Yes, I know they need hundreds of pods per day and I'm prepared to breed them. The prepared foods are to be a supplement to their diet. My question to those who have experience training them is should I get a small mandarin (no more than 1"long) or a larger one (over double that size)? The guy at the lfs suggested small because it has spent less time on the reef but I was wondering if anyone here would suggest differently? Thanks!
I would say small as well, small means young so it will live longer, but it also hasn't really developed a habit of eating only copepods, but you very well may not be able to get them onto prepared food.
 

RD.

Crazy Canuck
MFK Member
May 9, 2007
10,401
5,628
2,780
60
Fu Manchu
Real Name
Billy Jack
Gender
Male
I have seen numerous mandarins trained to eat pellet food. (NLS) See if you can find one that is captive bred from Ora Farms, that will make it even easier. Go with younger/smaller specimen. Good luck.


Yeah I remember years ago when a pellet eating mandarin was unheard of, but that barrier has been overcome for a good 15 yrs or more now. Then ORA began actively breeding various mandarins in captivity, and they even mentioned what frozen and dry foods/brands theirs were actively eating on the farm.


I thought that was pretty cool. The more captive bred fish in the hobby the better.
 

PYRU

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Apr 8, 2015
2,144
2,814
154
Compton
Wild caught sw fish can have bad habits eating when acquired older...well more set in their natural ways of eating anyway.

Id look for a juvie not a baby if possible. Old enough not to be as fragile but not old enough to be set on a specialized food.

Avoid competing wrasse, red scooters, etc. Not a species id toss in a less mature tank.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tlindsey

elbereth

Jack Dempsey
Original poster
MFK Member
Feb 22, 2018
205
90
36
Toronto, Canada
Gender
Female
Wild caught sw fish can have bad habits eating when acquired older...well more set in their natural ways of eating anyway.

Id look for a juvie not a baby if possible. Old enough not to be as fragile but not old enough to be set on a specialized food.

Avoid competing wrasse, red scooters, etc. Not a species id toss in a less mature tank.
Thank you all for your advice.
How can I distinguish between a juvenile and a baby? What size should I look for?
 
  • Like
Reactions: tlindsey

tlindsey

Silver Tier VIP
MFK Member
Aug 6, 2011
12,633
9,427
1,315
Ohio
Real Name
Thomas Lindsey Sr.
Gender
Male
Thank you all for your advice.
How can I distinguish between a juvenile and a baby? What size should I look for?

Tbh I've never seen very small under 2 inches. I suggest selecting a Mandarin that has thickness to it's body. If thin avoid getting it.
 

twentyleagues

Blue Tier VIP
MFK Member
Apr 5, 2017
3,567
4,828
429
Flint town!
Gender
Male
Like RD. RD. said they are selling captive bred now that are already pellet trained. With that being said I had them in my reefs and they would eat frozen but really liked pods. Never saw them eat a pellet once. Mine were wc. They are one of my favorite saltwater fish. Most of my other fish would eat the spectrum thera a type pellets, including all my leopard wrasses also a known finicky pod eater.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tlindsey

elbereth

Jack Dempsey
Original poster
MFK Member
Feb 22, 2018
205
90
36
Toronto, Canada
Gender
Female
No luck finding captive bred mandarins around here. And all the ones I've seen are just barely over 1" long except for one 3" male I found in one store. Guess I'll have to do with the plumpest 1" one I can find.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tlindsey

Lepisosteus

Potamotrygon
MFK Member
May 20, 2014
3,152
1,917
164
Ontario, Canada
Real Name
Matt
Gender
Male
If you have pods in the tank it will do fine. If not, feed brine shrimp soaked in vitamins. Progress to mysis shrimp soaked in vitamins. In my experience most fish won’t starve themselves until they die unless there is an issue.
 
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store