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Mandarin Disease FAQs: Treatments

FAQs on Mandarin Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Infectious, Parasitic (see also: Mandarins/Blennies/Gobies & Crypt,), Trauma,

Related FAQs: Mandarin Disease/Health 1, Mandarin Disease 2, Mandarin Disease 3, Mandarin Disease 4,
Mandarins/Blennies/Gobies & Crypt, Psychedelic "Gobies"/Dragonets/Mandarins & their Relatives 1, Mandarins , Mandarins 3, Mandarin Identification, Mandarin Behavior, Mandarin Systems, Mandarin Compatibility, Mandarin Selection, Mandarin Feeding, Mandarin Reproduction,

Related Articles: Psychedelic "Gobies"/Dragonets/Mandarins, real Gobies & their Relatives,


Ich - Red Slime - Mandarin Acclimation (sel., fdg.... gen.)– 02/19/14
Thanks in advance for your time.
<<Hiya John…quite welcome>>
I have three questions, which I'm sure have been answered elsewhere so feel free to redirect me.
180 gallon with live rock (no coral yet but hope to), T5HO lights right now but will switch to LED with coral addition, assortment of snails, crabs, two cleaner shrimp and a pistol shrimp, below tank sump, protein skimmer, no refugium, stocked early with about 2000 pods which I still see in the tank and on LR.  Tank was set up around October 2013
1. I had an outbreak of Ich (vacation, pet sitter) that wiped out my tank except for a purple Firefish.  Firefish has been in quarantine (bare bottom tank, sp gravity 1.016)
<<Do consider adding a length of PVC pipe for the fish to hide in
.  A ‘bare’ tank is unnerving for any fish, but especially so for shy, timid species like the Firefish.>>
and the DT has been empty of fish as well.  Adequate for breaking the cycle or at least putting the Ich into a dormant state?
<<Four to six weeks fallow should “break the cycle” as you say…but 3 months will do better towards eliminating any “dormancy” issues.>>

 Is a slow drip acclimatization okay to put Firefish back in, and if so how slow?  Slow drip acclimation is fine (though you could do the tried and true  “float the bag, add small amounts of water” acclimation as well).  One to two drips per second works for me in most cases…but do search the site re ‘drip acclimation’ for a lot more info.>>
2.  After all the fish were removed, developed an outbreak of red slime as well as green slime on LR and substrate.  Coincidence or correlation?
<<Hard to say, but may well indicate a chemical/biological imbalance that was already stressing the fish.>>
<<Check bio-mineral content and get things back in balance.  Keeping Magnesium, Calcium, and Alkalinity in balance…and at the upper limits…helps significantly with controlling nuisance slime algae, in my experience.>>
Thoughts on vodka treatment?
<<I have used this method on-and-off for years (once with disastrous results, if I’m going to be honest), and do see a benefit when used judiciously.  It’s no panacea, but can be a useful adjunct…though I would recommend here that you first address the water chemistry and see if this does the job.>>
3.  Getting ready and excited to restock tank.  Thinking about starting with a pair of Blue/Green Mandarins so there won't be a hold lot of competition and harassment to give these guys a head start.  Thoughts on ORA vs. wild caught?
<<Definitely ORA…these fishes will take prepared foods ( get/use New Life Spectrum pelleted food) and have a much better chance of surviving long term.>>
With the pods not really having a predator would the population be adequate for them?
<<Not likely in the long run…thus the need for animals that will accept prepared foods.>>
Thoughts on a method or need for quarantine?
<<Mandarins/Dragonets, in my opinion, are less risky…and do much better…when acclimated right to the display.>>

Would a UV sterilizer ran every other week or so have an effect on pods?
<<Little if any…and likewise re controlling any nuisance organisms. >>
Do these have a better chance of survival as a pair or singly?
<<They can be kept either way…though if kept together do try to get a true “pair” or at the very least add the male and female to the system “together.”>>
Thanks again,
John A
<<Happy to share…  EricR>>

How long in QT       3/16/15
Thanks for taking the time to read my email.
I have a sunburst Anthias & a Mandarin in my 33G QT for a month now.
<This is far longer than is prudent for these species.... the "cross over" point in advantage vs. not is about two weeks>

Both eat mysis soaked in Zoe & Zoecon and NLS pellets.
They have been through 1 round of Prazi too... They showed no signs of disease... Before I purchased them they had both been at the LFS for 6 months with no sign of disease as I had seen them there for that amount of time...
<Six months?! Wow>
I added a Moorish idol
<Yikes; not an easily kept species>

to the QT before I put the Mandarin and the Anthias in... The idol lasted a week after I put the two new additions in... The
Idol had no signs of ich.. Ate everything is sight.. His streamer was growing everyday. Then all of the sudden, over night I found him dead on the bottom of the tank...
<Very common. See WWM re Zanclus>

It has been 3 weeks now with just the Mandarin & Anthias... With what I have described to you, would you advise that the fish in QT would be ready for transfer to the main tank?
My main tank has been set up for over 2 years now... It's a 187G (60Lx30Wx24H).
Thanks for your time,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Mandarin dragonet possibly egg bound, and Epsom use f's     7/31/13
I have never asked a question on this forum before so I hope this is the right place.
<Indeed it is>
I have a spawning pair of spotted mandarins and I am worried that the female has become egg bound, is this possible?
The spawn regularly but recently the female has got huge and they do the rise but no eggs are released this has been going on for 2 weeks. Do you have any suggestions?
<Yes; either a bath (of several minute duration) of a teaspoon per gallon of Epsom salts added to system water (outside the tank) or these added directly to the system at the rate of a tsp. per 5 gallons system water.
Bob Fenner>
Mandarin dragonet egg binding    7/31/13

Thank you. will Epsom salts affect coral and inverts??
<Not overtly negatively at the proscribed dosage. See WWM re MgSO4 use>
 As they are tricky to catch and it is a big tank. Also what are the symptoms of egg binding?
<As you state, a cessation in spawning/egg release, bulging...>
 She hasn't gone off her food and is very greedy!
<Mmm, well; other causes appear similar... gut blockage (same treatment), tumorous growths... BobF>
Mandarin dragonet egg binding    7/31/13

Sorry to bother you again. Your help is greatly appreciated you said the dose is 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons in display tank is this us gallons or uk gallons
<Level teaspoons and either measure of "a gallon" is close enough. B>
Mandarin dragonet egg binding    7/31/13

I read that they are pelagic spawners and hold eggs so the always appear more rounded is that correct??
<Callionymids do rise toward the surface (toward sunset) and are spawners... external fertilization... Females are decidedly larger, a bit less colorful, their unpaired fins not as flowing... but do not appear rounded at all times. I've seen the species used in the trade many, many times there and the wild>
 Is it just the norm Epsom salt u can buy or does it have to be specifically for the marine tank??
<Epsom is Epsom... magnesium sulfate... Household use quality/purity is fine. B>
Mandarin dragonet egg bound    8/1/13

So how many tea spoons for 120 gallon aquarium??
<... ? See prev. email...>
Mandarin    8/1/13

Also how long should I use it for?? Would you recommend 1 day??
<Search WWM... tool on every page... "Epsom salt dosage, treatment">
Epsom salt for egg bound mandarin    8/1/13

Hi, I spoke to you yesterday. I have dosed the tank with Epsom salt accordingly, I was just enquiring as to how many days I should dose?
<... the salt doesn't leave solution till you change water> 
Re: Epsom salt and mandarin egg bound     8/7/13

Good news, the mandarin had eggs tonight Thank you for your help
<Thank you for this follow-up. BobF>

ORA Mandarin, hlth. questions mainly 1/22/12
Thank you for all your efforts to help keep aquarist educated (and entertained!) I have found multiple opinions on my questions, although none seem to specifically relate to a tank bred Mandarin. I purchased an ORA tank raised Mandarin and 2 Firefish online. I have had them all in my quarantine tank for 10 days. Should I keep them in my quarantine for the full 30 days or do you think they could be transferred earlier?
<I would transfer them "earlier" as in now, for three general reasons.
Likely they are parasite free coming from ORA's farm, these species typically don't harbor/vector external parasites, and there is likely no further benefit vs. harm that will come to them from further isolation>
I am really encouraged by the way the Mandarin eats Spectrum pellets so I am not concerned about his eating but I think he would be more comfortable in my 90 gallon reef tank rather than my bare bottom 10 gallon quarantine tank.
Same question for the Firefish who have an artificial cave to hide in but I think they would like living in my main tank's live rock better. I appreciate your thoughts since I may be trying to attribute my human feelings about what these new members to my fish family would find most "comfortable."
Thank you.
Mark Hill
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

quarantining b/f's and mandarin? 6/8/11
Good morning,
I will be receiving 3 B/F's and a Mandarin Fish mail-order later this week. I have a 30g quarantine tank ready to go but have a couple of questions.
Would it be best to do a PH-adjusted, freshwater dip w/Methylene Blue, on the Mandarin and place him in my established 125g FOWLER tank?
<Yes; this is what I would do; not quarantine this family (Callionymidae) and a few other fish groups, unless there was something apparently "wrong" with them>
After reading most of the FAQ's on these fish, I realize they are not as susceptible to Ich but I am quite paranoid about its (Ich's) re-introduction into my tank as I have battled it on and off for two years (luckily with me winning or more likely in a stalemate with the enemy!) with no loss of fish.
<Mmm, well... up to you>
On to the B/F's! I'm getting a Tear-Drop, Pakistan and Black-Backed. I realize these fish are quite sensitive and will most likely start eating prepared foods and re-build their resistance once placed in the main tank, but would a week or so in quarantine then a freshwater dip w/Methylene Blue or Formalin (safe for B/F's ?)
<Toxic, but if they're in "good shape", likely worth using>
be better for the fish than acclimating them, freshwater dipping them and immediately placing them in the main tank?
<I would likely quarantine these, given your system (the 30)>
I've read about every FAQ's on B/F's and added to them with some of my questions in the past but I am on the fence here on whether to quarantine or not.
<Me too/I as well>
Even though I have run my tank fallow for several 8-week periods over the last two years I know I still have some entrenched Ich. The last time I added 4-week quarantined B/F's I had an outbreak but decided to treat with Selcon soaked Spectrum flakes and Spectrum Thera-A pellets. The fish kept the cleaner shrimps very busy, but all came through and continue to thrive.
My point is, quarantining or not, with my particular tank, probably means a small outbreak of Ich once new fish are added.
Lastly, even though the HOT refugiums are small, about 3-4 gallons, would you recommend one for pod growth for the Mandarin or am I wasting my money?
<Are worthwhile. Even what appear to be small volumes of "live" sand, other substrates, macro-algae, a very considerable amount of life is produced>
Thanks in advance for all your insight and wisdom. I spend most evenings perusing your excellent site and wish you all lived closer so I could buy you a beer or two!
<Oooh! Let's hope we meet! Bob Fenner>

Mandarin Goby with White (Pearl Size Growth) 12/11/09
Hello, I have an established 55 Gallon Tank that I have had running for almost 3 years now. I have had a mandarin goby for over 2 of those years.
Today I had looked in the tank and he was fine, about 6 hours later he has a pearl size growth attached to just behind his side fin. He is swimming around normally and seems to not be bothered by it at all. A little bit ago
he brushed against a piece of coral and looks like he popped a hole in the side of it.
<A likely scenario>
There aren't any other white spots on it at all, none of my other fish in the tank seem to be affected or have anything like it. I had called a LFS they told me it could be just a bacterial infection (like a human zit)
<Mmm, more like an "owee" from a contusion/bruise/sting>
and that it should essentially fix itself.
<I do agree with this>
Attached are a couple pictures. Could ya tell me what it possibly is and how to go about helping
my fish heal?
<"Just" good care and time going by. Bob Fenner>

Quarantine tank set up/Dragonets 5/27/09
Hello Bob,
<Hey, Scott V. with you today.>
I'm planning on setting up a quarantine tank for my spotted mandarin. I've put him in a breeding net for training him onto frozen food. He's been in there for almost 2 weeks and does not seem to happy about it, not enough room I guess.
<Two weeks? Where? Why quarantine at this point?>
I've read on WWM that the typical set up for a QT is a heater, a sponge filter and a light.
<Typical, yes.>
I intend to use a fresh water tank that I'm taking down. It has a internal filter that contains some kind of sponge. Do you think I can reuse it for my QT or do I need to get a sponge filter ?
<Yes, a rinse and then use.>
My goal being to shorten the denitrification (and ammonia) cycle. If not, is there any other solution ?
<Unless you provide something with which to cycle it will not meet this goal. The reality is in a quarantine tank all of this is expendable. That is, if you need to treat the biofilter can be killed off. Just plan on water changes with any quarantine.>
Also, I know the QT should not have sand in it, but it seems like the mandarin needs it. Should I put some in or not ?
<No, I really would not quarantine these personally at all, much less after two weeks in whatever tank.>
I'm looking forward to hearing from you.
PS : I hope I made myself clear enough, English is not my first language
<Oh, well, job well done, even if English was your primary language! Scott V.>
Re: Quarantine tank set up 5/28/09

Wow, that was a quick response ! Thanks a lot.
To be more precise, the mandarin fish has been kept in a breeder net hung inside the display tank.
I want to quarantine it not for disease treatment but for getting him to eat frozen food in a bigger room. The breeding net is 10" by 10" and the tank I intend to use for quarantine is about 10 gals, that makes a difference !
<Makes sense!>
As you said, I can reuse the internal filter as long as I rinse the sponge. But here's my question : can I put the fish directly in the quarantine tank, considering that the sponge is already seeded with freshwater bacteria (I don't know much about freshwater and saltwater bacteria : are they the same?)
<No, the filter will need to be re-cycled. If you have some extra live rock in your system or sump I would place this in with the fish instead, so long as you are not treating in the system.>
so that the denitrification cycle is done, or do I have to start from scratch and wait for the cycle to be established ?
<Start over.>
In that case, I've read that putting the sponge in the main tank for 2 weeks is enough to seed it.
<Should be.>
I have a HOB fuge so my question is : can I put the sponge itself (only the sponge and not the whole filter running) at the water entrance of the fuge, where there is a gentle flow ?
<It will help, but again use LR if you at all can and just be prepared to do water changes if need be.>
Thank you again for your responses !
<Welcome, have fun, Scott V.>

Problem with Mandarin 12/9/08 I noticed this spot on my mandarin first I thought it might have been a bite <Looks like a mechanical injury to me as well> but now I'm not sure so I put her into an isolation tank which I run copper in <Mmm, I would not treat Callionymids/oids with copper... Such exposure is more toxic by far than useful... Okay... what am I saying? Remove it> and now I am wondering how long I need to keep her in that tank she has been in for 24 hours now. <Put this animal back in the main display> And also would like to get some help to clarify if it is a parasite or a injury. <The latter almost for sure> It initially was white now it has become a brownish color. enclosed is a few photos she is very timid so it's hard to get a pic. <Good pix... This owee will likely heal just fine in time. Bob Fenner>

Mandarin and Comment on WWM 8/9/08 Dear Bob and Crew, <Andy> Hope you're having a good weekend. <Yes!> I am thinking of adding a Mandarin to my 110g display. It has been setup for 17 months, and has 95-100 lbs of live rock and a 1-2" course aragonite substrate. I also have about 10 lbs of live rock rubble in my sump, and a 30 gallon refugium with a 4-5" DSB, 15-20 lbs of live rock and a huge amount of Chaetomorpha. I feel I have a very healthy population of pods. I have done a lot of research on the needs of these animals and feel that my tank is a pretty good candidate. The other fish in my tank would likely not compete with a Mandarin--a Sailfin Tang (I know . . ), a Kole Tang and a Royal Gramma (my very beloved Black Sailfin Blenny is, I hope, somewhere hiding in my sump, as he was chased by the Kole Tang into my overflow, and when I tried to rescue him, he jumped over the top of my pre-filter sponge and down the overflow log flume--at least I assume, as I've thoroughly scoured the carpet and my cabinet for fish jerky and have found none). <If he is still around he could be one of many fish, this is quite a general name. One "sailfin blenny" in particular to watch out for is Exallias brevis: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/trublennies.htm.> My tank is an SPS dominant tank, with a few mushrooms, a Candy Cane and some tree corals. So, now to my question. I was researching about quarantine protocol for Mandarins on WWM, and, as one might expect, found varying answers. Many of the Crew say an abbreviated QT (2 weeks) is fine given the thick mucous coat, others say the normal QT is appropriate, and BobF says "I wouldn't quarantine Callionymids". <I don't/would not either.> So, who's right and why? Maybe there is no "one" answer, and only I can make the decision based on how it looks, where it came from, and the amount of risk I'm willing to take (I can already see Bob's "<Bingo!> being typed . . . ). <Bingo, yes, you will have to assess that the fish is healthy, otherwise do not buy it.> I realize that WWM is a collection of a bunch of people who have different ideas/practices, which is what, in part, makes WWM so great, but these differences sure do make it hard to make choices sometimes. I can't help but think, is an abbreviated QT really all that beneficial other than maybe giving yourself the chance to train the fish on frozen foods--either give it a full 4-6 week QT or don't, because anything "bad" (e.g., ich, some other parasite/disease) may not manifest itself in 2 weeks. <But if you cannot (and likely won't) train the fish, this is a period of fasting, starvation and stress for the fish.> Now for my comment. I know that things are posted over and over again on WWM, but as you guys/gals frequently state there are X thousand of posts/articles to wade through and many differing opinions within. I really believe it would helpful if responders made sure to give reasons for a response. <The huge majority of responses are based on previously archived queries or articles.> I will say that most of the time, responders do provide ample justification for posts. And, please don't take this as any slight to BobF, who has helped me tremendously over the past 17 months, but the statement "I wouldn't QT the mandarin" really just offers an opinion without a justification. <But there is: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mandarins.htm, particularly the disease portion.> I'll analogize the need for a justification to your constant reminder to us that you need a poster's tank parameters, because, without those, you often find it very difficult to adequately address/answer a question. Without the justification to an opinion, I find it very hard to make an informed decision. I realize you guys/gals are very busy and do this for free, and I also realize (as stated above) that if I researched long enough I could put opinions and justifications together and come up with why I think so-and-so said "I wouldn't do X". <Exactly, they are there!> Just a suggestion to make our research burden a little easier and WWM a little better. Cheers, Andy <Thank you Andy, it is not only a matter of time for us, but for the readers of WWM. If the same thing is archived many times, it is just that much to mull over to find what a person is looking for. Scott V.>
Re: Mandarin and Comment on WWM 8/10/08
Thanks, Scott. I hope you weren't yelling at me through the use of "!" :-). <Oh no way!!!> A couple thoughts. If "it's there!", then why so many different opinions by the Crew on QT of Mandarins (or of anything, really)? That was my point--yes, there are MANY answers/opinions on WWM and it is our job to read them, research, learn and make decisions. <Yes, many opinions, many ways of doing things. It is a reader's responsibility to apply the knowledge to their own specific situation. People are urged to write in if something is not clear or unanswered pertaining to them after such a search.> That can really be achieved only if we can assemble (and find) complete viewpoints.. I would argue that it doesn't take much time to write "because these animals have a thick slime coat and generally don't carry disease, and don't do well/starve in QT", and that doing so 1500 times doesn't make WWM less usable (I realize the answer isn't always this simple . . .). In fact, I would argue the opposite--that not providing reasoning makes WWM less useful because doing so makes it very hard for us to consider opinions and/or find the answer. <I understand/agree, explaining the reason is imperative. My statement was geared towards stating it time after time. This does clutter up and degrade a persons ability in the search engine provided. The first X many pages will be the same response. > As you can appreciate, all of us have to mull through many posts/articles and many of those aren't exactly on point. Thus, we must all take as much away from a post as possible for use in our situations. <Readers do learn much more than they first intended in the process, a good thing.> When we don't hit the jackpot by finding "the" answer (or even when we do), it makes it all the more important for reasons or references (I see Bob F frequently requests that the Crew provide refs). <He does, we generally try to.> I have no problem mulling through everything posted--in fact I enjoy it very much. <I do too! (Not yelling)> But, as a user of WWM and someone who considers himself somewhat intelligent/able to synthesize info, I can tell you that searching for info on WWM is sometimes frustrating. <<Heee! Try assembling, building, re-making it. RMF>> <I must disagree. I personally think WWM is very easy to navigate. It is laid out well with a very effective search engine at the bottom of each page. Using a simple control (or Apple/Command) F on an individual page will take you straight to the keywords you are looking for (with most browsers).> Again, I wasn't/am not criticizing--just trying to give an outsider's viewpoint on how maybe the site could work better. <I totally understand. The struggle is making so much information easily findable/accessible. Fact is there are many queries/articles to go through (this is what makes the site so special), but you do have to go through them and 95%+ of the time you will find what you are looking for. Scott V.> <<Thank you both for your input to this very important issue. I don't know... what avenue we might actually "take" (as in nothing is decided till it's done) here... My current direction is to urge, write more articles... that proffer more "raw" background and the "justification"/rationale for much of at least my or the other writers' positions on "giving advice". Per actual responses though, again, there is just insufficient time to pen all this each time... And an argument can/could be made that the majority of folks writing in (though not us three) simply don't want to be so informed/bothered... Unrelated: Am amazed at how dumbed-downed Americans are in particular re such... being told folks are "terrorists", so they must be murdered, our economy ruined, we're not patriotic if we protest... Sans demands for proof... but back to petfish... My real request to you (all) is to ask for such if interested, provide such if a writer. BobF>>

Mandarin QT with clowns? 4/15/08 Hi guys, <Carolyn> I've currently got two black/white ocellaris clowns (young, about 1.5 inches long) and a green mandarin reserved at my LFS. All the fish look very healthy, have been in the shop for several weeks showing no signs of ill health, and all three have grown well (notably, the mandarin eats prepared foods happily, frozen rotifers and mysis shrimp mainly). All three animals are going into QT as soon as I get them home, the QT is set up with some ocean rock to keep pH stable and some cured live rock from my main tank. As the mandarin is eating prepared foods well at the LFS and is nicely plump and inquisitive I'm not too concerned about QT her, but am not sure if I can put all three in the QT together, or if the clowns will be a problem to the mandarin? <Should be okay... Mandarins/Callionymoids are "distasteful"... their slime protects them from much predation/bothering> Would it be better to QT the mandarin for two-three weeks alone, then add her to the main tank, before QT'ing the clowns, or will it be ok to add the three together? <I think all will be fine together... If not, I would summarily move/place the Mandarin... this family of fishes rarely has/transmits pathogenic disease... much more often has troubles with starvation in transit, waiting> Want to get this right first time, as I have no intention of getting a fish I can't keep in the best condition possible, its not enough that they just survive!! After researching them and preparing for a mandarin for a LONG time (many many months) I really want to give them the best chance possible. Any help you can give gratefully received as usual!! Many thanks, Carolyn <Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: mandarin QT with clowns? 04/22/08 Dear Bob and fellow crew members, <Carolyn> I'm not worried about this being posted on the site, but just wanted to thank you for your advice and rapid response (esp. given as I'm in damp and cold England ;)).. we now have the mandarin in QT, following your advice on here we made sure we watched her feeding in the LFS (frozen mysis and freshly hatched brine shrimp). <Good> She's eating some live brine shrimp and some frozen foods in the QT, but she's not anywhere near as plump as she should be, so I'm planning on getting her into the display tank this evening (she's been in QT for 3-4 days, not really long enough but feeling that she needs to be in with a ready source of natural food).. <We are in agreement> Also wanted to thank you for your wonderful advice on my mystery clown fish deaths a month or so back - it was indeed the branching hammer coral, which has since been swapped at the LFS for a stunning sulphur toadstool, so all's well again in the reef! <Ahh!> Again, many thanks - your site has become a second passion of mine - after the reef of course ;). Carolyn <I do hope you join us in time. Cheers! Bob Fenner>

Re: mandarin QT with clowns? 5-1-08 Dear Bob and co ;) <Carolyn> After all your helpful advice I thought you might appreciate a bit of an update on the mandarins progress - the little guy is doing fantastically well, he's eating defrosted lobster eggs in addition to his pods and is noticeably putting weight on, although he's still got a fair way to go to get back to a comfortably plump size! <Ah, good> Once again, thank you all so much, Carolyn <Thank you for this update. BobF>

Fallow tank, ich, and a hungry Mandarin 9/1/07 Hello all, First off, let me say thank you for all that you do. I would've left the hobby long ago very frustrated were it not for you all and your efforts. <I might have too. :) > Let me quickly get to my question. My main tank came down with ich and following your advice I pulled all fish from the display and am now keeping them in QT. One of the fish in the main display was a Mandarin Dragonet. My main tank is chock full of pods for him to eat, but I'm afraid I can't say the same for his quarantine tank. I've been hatching brine shrimp for him in the meantime, but I've read that they're not very nutritious. I also started some stand alone pod cultures but it'll be a while before they really get going and that is a viable food source for him. Given how disease resistant the Mandarin can be, can he safely live in the main tank during the fallow period? By putting him back in am I basically negating all the time that I have had the tank empty? Basically, will he act as a vector to keep the parasite population alive, such that after 6 weeks when I repatriate the other fish they are still likely to get infected all over again. Thanks for your help! <Just to be safe, you should probably keep the mandarin in the quarantine tank. Baby brine may not be completely nutritious, but if he's eating them, they should keep him going until you can put them all back. Not that it should ever ever happen, but healthy fish can survive weeks without food (just like how healthy people can actually go over a month without food). Feeding the mandarin only baby brine is like feeding a person only cookies and beer for a few weeks. Granted, it's not healthy or ideal, but it shouldn't be too bad for short turn.> -Fred <Best, Sara M.>

New Mandarin in quarantine - how to keep sustained until move to main tank? 11/6/06 First off, definitely would like to thank you all for a fantastic resource, and especially to Bob Fenner for his awesome book, The Conscientious Marine Aquarist. I've had my 90 gallon reef tank with a corner overflow and 20 gallon sump set up for just over a year. The CMA was instrumental in helping me get going and continuing to maintain my tank. I'm just about to order "Reef Invertebrates vol 1" as well. <Thank you for your kind, encouraging words. Mean much> I picked up a healthy looking mandarin last night from my LFS. It is currently in quarantine in my 12 gallon AquaPod. He's nibbling (I think) at some algae on the glass, but it could be pods. <Yes... likely "aufwuchs"...> The AquaPod nano has live sand, a couple of small chunks of live rock and was nearly completely filled with water from my main tank over the past 2 weeks as I've done water changes (approx 10 gallons through water changes, 2 gallons of "fresh" but aged salt water). I have a ball of Chaeto in the nano that was in my sump and some dragon's tongue macro algae as well. My main tank has a ton of copepods in the sump, overflow and throughout my ~120-150 lbs of live rock. I believe the Chaeto ball had a small colony of pods in it prior to moving it into the nano. My main question is how to keep the mandarin alive/fed while in quarantine? <Mmm... actually, I'd like to make a plug/push for your expediting this quarantine... Callionymids rarely harbor parasites, problems that such isolation improves> I'm hoping I can entice it to eat pellets or something other than live pods, <Not likely> but I also don't want to move it to my main tank too soon and risk my main tank with some kind of unknown LFS infestation. I'm also thinking of adding some zooplankton/phytoplankton (dried and DTs) to the nano to help feed the pods. <Mmm, keep your eye on the apparent thinness of this specimen...> Additionally, as I do my next water change I'll take 5 gallons from my main display and add it to the nano. Also, I was thinking of splitting the Chaeto ball in half, rinsing and adding one half to my main tank for a day or two and then swapping it out with the other one, rinse and repeat every 2-3 days. <Good idea> The Wet-web Media mandarin FAQs suggested that only 2 week quarantine period was needed for the mandarin. <Yes... this or even less> Any comments, suggestions or ideas? Thanks again, Steve <I would be bold and move this animal to your main/display system if it appears to have a "low index of fitness". Bob Fenner>
Re: New Mandarin in quarantine - how to keep sustained until move to main tank? 5/8/06
Bob, honored to have your reply. <... welcome!> Unfortunately I wasn't able to put into action your recommendation to move the mandarin from quarantine to my display tank. Sometime between 10pm last night and 6:30am this morning the mandarin disappeared without a trace. <Yikes... must have "jumped out" somehow> It is very strange as the nano/quarantine she was in was tightly enclosed, there wasn't much space to hide in - just a few pieces of PVC and some small golf-ball sized live rock - and there were really no other creatures that could have disposed of the body (just a small porcelain crab also in QT). I tore the tank apart, including removing all the stuff from the chambers of the tank but there was nothing to be found. <... somewhere...> Anyway I think I'm better prepared for the next attempt. My quarantine/initial isolation checklist now includes: 1) Ensuring I have a wad of "sacrificial Chaeto" charged with a load of pods from my main tank 2) Ready access to live brine shrimp (low quality food is better than no food) 3) Adding a copepod starter if available: http://www.reed-mariculture.com/copepod/index.asp or http://oceanpods.com <Both good companies, people, with real products> 4) Ready access to blood worms - many folks reported that theirs would eat live blood worms <Yes> Alternatively to 2 & 3, am possibly thinking of having a supply of copepod culture ready. Reference copepod culturing (about half-way down) http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/feb2003/breeder2.htm or http://www.reed-mariculture.com/copepod/ Thanks again. Ps - Made my first batch of food from the basic recipe in the CMA this weekend. My tank LOVES it - I can't believe I didn't make it sooner. Regards, Steve <And what a bargain price-wise per unit unit! Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Wrong shipment. Mandarin health, nutrition 7/18/06 Hey crew, <Eric> I just received a wrong shipment from an online supplier. I just wanted to get some snails for my 200 gallon tank. I can never seem to find the quantity that I am looking for in the area. Well the company sent me a whole bunch of fish instead. (they are going to send my original order now) I think I can care for the fish except for the Mandarin Dragonet since he is in my QT I really don't have a food source for him. <Very bad... I would consider moving, shortening the quarantine time for this fish... to move it to your main display system... for the food organisms likely there> I was wondering if I can just go down to the ocean and scoop out some pods and zooplankton and put those in the tank for him to eat? <Not really a good idea. Way too likely a chance of introducing undesirable organisms, pollution...> Is that a very good idea? I have ordered some food for him online, but I think the order is going to take a few days to get here. I don't think he is doing to well, and he wasn't very health to begin with. <Mmm, are tough animals really... If not really "very skinny" can/will hold off till the food arrives> Thanks for the help. My reef tank is coming along great thanks to you guys. Eric V <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/manddisfaqs.htm and consider foreshortening QT for this animal. Bob Fenner>

Mandarin quarantine question 7/11/06 Hola WWM amigos, <Que tal my friend?> As many other fellow reefers have already said, the WWM site and crew is a MUST resource for new and seasoned reef tank hobbyists. My question is about treating an ich outbreak and medicating fish, including a Mandarin, in a quarantine tank. I read numerous threads in WWM dealing with Mandarin FAQs, but would like help in how to deal with this situation. What is the preferred way to deal with an ich outbreak and medicate a Mandarin along with other fish in a quarantine tank while providing food for the Mandarin? <A tough one... if the Mandarin and other fishes are in good shape otherwise, I'd try a slightly elevated temperature (to the mid 80's F.) along with a minimum physiological dose of chelated copper product (0.15-0.20 free Cupric ion)... testing at least daily...> I have a 125 gallon AGA with 30 gallon sump, 10 gallon fuge, and GEO calcium reactor which I set-up in April 2006. I know, kinda quick. Water parameters are good (nitrates, SG, temp, KH, Ca, etc.) with lots of pod production. Included is approximately 125 lbs. LR, 3" LS substrate, and a Euro-Reef protein skimmer. I have 9 fish (Firefish, Tiger Goby, Bi-color Blenny, Royal Gramma, Six Line Wrasse, Percula Clown pair, Striped Blenny, Mandarin) along with a cleaner shrimp, pistol shrimp, sea cucumber, and a few hermits and snails. Other inverts include mostly LPS corals, my favorites. I experienced an outbreak of ich and did manage to get all of the fish out of the tank into a newly set-up 20 gallon quarantine tank. <Mmm, a bit small... do keep an eye out for aggression, nitrogenous waste accumulation> I should share my technique in how I managed to do this. <Please do> I humbly admit to being stubborn about not setting-up a quarantine tank first and did learn a hard and aggravating lesson from not doing so. My attempts to treat the main tank with Stop Parasites (Chem Marin botanical product) <... bunk> did not work. In my opinion, save your money and don't bother with this rather expensive stuff. I understand the importance of keeping the main tank fishless for a period of 3-4 weeks to "starve-out" the ich life-cycle process. <Good> I witnessed some Psychedelic Mandarins eating live brine shrimp in my LFS and bought some with the hope my Mandarin could survive on this food source during his 1-month stay in the quarantine tank, <Mmm... some Artemia is better than others, but...> which is being treated with CopperSafe. I've been using a 2/3 strength solution due to the scaleless fish I have. <Good> Well, the Mandarin won't eat the BS (hmmm... guess I shouldn't use an abbreviation with brine shrimp). After being in the quarantine tank for 5 days and refusing to eat the brine shrimp, I moved him into my refuge to eat pods to build-up his strength. I know I am risking extending the ich life-cycle process by having the Mandarin in my refugium and intend to move him back to the quarantine tank after being in there for 3 days. <Will/should "re-start" the treatment and fallow time frames as of its removal> I DON'T want to go through "ich hell" again. Did I blunder by putting my Mandarin in the fuge? <Not blunder... but delay> How does one keep a Mandarin fed via fug or main tank placement without also providing a host for ich parasites? <Best, easiest through feeding cultures of small crustaceans... see IPSF.com, et al.> I did read that Mandarins are somewhat immune to ich. However, mine did show some signs of ich before being placed in the quarantine tank. Thanks! Steve <Best of fortune/success, life to you and your plans here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Mandarin quarantine question 7/11/06
Gracias, senior Bob and to your gracious colleagues at WWM. I don't know how you guys have the time to respond (and so quickly) to emails such as mine. Between your website and PBS television broadcasts (commercial TV is just so much detritus), I'm a happy camper. Sincerely, Steve <Ahh... a labor of our passions... for ornamental aquatics, the living world and desire to share with our species... Wish we had the PBS/BBC... a... budget for content production! Cheers, BobF>

Re: Treat Tank Bred Clown & Mandarin with Metronidazole? 03/07/06 Thanks for the quick reply. I believe clown's pectoral fins were short at birth because they are frayed (look torn). He is doing much better every day and now swims side by side with the other clown (a little slower still). I think that story will turn out okay. <Good to read, realize> However, something is now wrong with my female Green Mandarin. The pair has been eating happily in a QT with refugium for about 4 weeks. The female has never been as active as the male, but seemed happy - hunting and pecking (she is bigger than him and while not really fat, was well rounded). Saturday morning the light came on and she didn't get up as usual. I checked the water parameters and the PH had dropped to 7.6 - 7.8 (ammonia, nitrite and nitrate all zero). I panicked and decided to move them to the big tank in case it was the PH or in case the pod supply was getting low. She let me scoop her out with no trouble (by hand). <Good... this is what I would have done as well> Both male and female are in the 180 gallon now. The male seems fine, acting like a Mandarin. The female stayed on the rock I put her on all Saturday. Late in the afternoon, she made her way down the rocks to the sandbed. She has stayed there on the sand for 2 days now - listless. Her color looks good, no visible wounds, no signs of external parasites. Her breathing is somewhat labored and she opens and closes her mouth constantly (with no food in it). Yesterday, she did move around some - going to the edge of different rocks. However, she just bumped into them (possibly by mistake) and didn't hunt. I thought maybe she was having trouble seeing, but she moved her eyes when I moved a flashlight around this morning. She won't eat and is now starting to get thin (hasn't eaten is at least 3 days - maybe 4, but I didn't watch her closely the last day before I moved her. I've tried shooting copepods and brine shrimp close to her and building a small pile of rocks from the refugium close to her. It is like she just doesn't have any energy. I could probably get her into a cup or trap with no trouble to move her back to QT. <I would not do this. I'd leave this fish where it is> I just don't know what to treat her for (and the water is of course more stable in the big tank). Any advice appreciated! <If this system has a well-established refugium (with more ambient "live food" present, I might move the female to this... otherwise... Bob Fenner>
Re: Treat Tank Bred Clown & Mandarin with Metronidazole? 03/07/06
Hi Bob, <Yo!> The QT system has an ecosystem refugium that has been stocked with copepods twice over the last few years. I don't know that it has more than the 180 with DSB and refugium, but she might have easier access in the ecosystem (if she will get interested at all in food). <Mmmm> Would it be less stressful for me to just pick her up once she is asleep (if she makes it that long)? <Am at that cross-point here. If you feel this is better/best, I'd do it> Very frustrating and sad! We waited for two years to try to make sure we could meet the needs of a pair. I didn't want to be one of the ones responsible for such a senseless death:-( <Callionymids are one of the families of marine fishes that seem to "do well or not" almost in deference to what our efforts would dictate. I do hope yours rallies. Bob Fenner> Thanks once again for replying so quickly!

Shortened Quarantine? - 11/27/05 Dear Crew, <<Good morning>> I bought a scooter dragonet yesterday and put him in my quarantine tank. There isn't a pod population in my quarantine tank to keep him full. <<Agreed...>> His belly is starting to shrink. <<A bad sign.>> I'm trying to transfer some over, but I'm not getting enough for him. <<And maybe not wholly appropriate/accepted (amphipods vs. copepods).>> Any suggestions? <<Move the dragonet to the display.>> I read that some people just freshwater dip their fish and put them in their display tanks. It sounds kind of risky. Does this usually work? <<Quarantine is a good idea, but if there are some exceptions, I think this specie of fish is one that benefits from an "abbreviated" quarantine. These fish are fairly disease resistant and less of a threat in general, and considering the difficulty in meeting their dietary requirements, I feel it is better to move them to the display quickly.>> Should I try it to get him into my display tank which has plenty of pods for him? <<Yes>> Thanks for your help. I don't want him to die in my quarantine tank of starvation because I'm trying to stop possible disease. <<Agreed...is in the best interest of the fish. EricR>>

Mandarin goby 11/22/05 Hi, I am having a problem with my mandarin goby. We noticed about a week ago that he was staying on the bottom of our 150 gallon tank <Is about where they live...> and not eating. He also had a white spot on the side of his head. I moved him into a quarantine tank 4 days ago and am using Maroxy. <For what?> Do you know what could be wrong with him? Would it be alright to use Copper? <...?> It almost looks like a big white pimple. It is located between his gill and his head, behind his eye. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks, Cindy <I would not be concerned with this pimple, but look to getting food to this animal, discover what is going on in your main system that it is not feeding there. Is there sufficient food? Too many competitors? Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mandarins.htm and the linked files above, particularly on systems and feeding. Bob Fenner>
Re: mandarin goby
Hi Bob, Thanks for replying about my mandarin. He normally stays in the live rock and at night he stays on the bottom. When we noticed him staying on the bottom all day we took a closer look at him and noticed this big white bump on the side of his head. Since then he was staying in one place and not moving around very often. Before I moved him to the quarantine, I observed our sand sifting goby throwing sand at him and I saw him sucking at his side. He will be in quarantine for 5 days and still very still and not eating frozen blood worms or pellets which he had before. Should I move him back into the main 150 gallon tank or let him be. Thanks, Cindy <Thank you for the further information. I would move the Mandarin back... but do keep an eye on it for "getting skinny"... I would supplement food here... and soak this in a vitamin supplement as well. Bob Fenner>

Can I treat my mandarin w/ CopperSafe? Not a good idea 11/7/05 Hi! Is the mandarin ok to treat in my quarantine tank? He is showing a few spots & I am wondering If I can move him in with my Yellow Tang in quarantine? PLEASE HELP?? Bluesachet <... please read on WWM re copper use, Mandarin Disease, quarantine... all posted there. Bob Fenner>

Sick Mandarin Fish Help. My mandarin fish (Mr. Mandarin) is ill. He was feeding fine and eating loads until this morning. I got up a bit earlier than normal to do university work and turned the lights on about 30 minutes earlier than normal (I don't have any corals so didn't think it would matter) <Does matter... better to use timers...> My tank is set up with live rock at either end with bare coral sand in the middle To give my knobby starfish some ground to move over, I also have a sailfin tang, hovercraft cowfish, two percula clowns and a tassel file fish and 1 hermit crab (hitchhiker on the live rock) I have a U.V sterilizer protein skimmer an external canister filter and two power heads to help circulate the water . The mandarin shot from one side to the other which is very abnormal for him so I had a closer look and he had a patch one his skin about the size of a 10p piece (sorry I'm from England and its the only way I can describe it) This patch is like the skins been bleached but it still has a little colour to it but mostly white you can just see his normal pattern on his skin. The patch has stringy mucus coming off it. <Mmm, these fishes (Callionymids) are quite slimy... the patch may have been nothing... but a too-early wake-up call by you> On seeing this I decided to move it. I had a small 10 gal tank set up in my tank stand which I cycle live rock through, taking it out of the tank so it can regrow before putting it back in and taking out another piece it has the same temp, ph salinity as main tank I check weekly. <Good practices> I decided I had to put him in here it's got a small internal power filter and a heater as well as a light. I regularly top this water up with weekly water change water form the main tank. <Very good> I have treated him with Myxazin as my LFS Seemed to think it was a bacterial infection of some kind. <Very rare with dragonets> He is just sitting on the bottom of the tank not even moving on to the live rock that's in there (should I leave this or take it out) <Leave it in... discontinue the Myxacin use> he always sat on the live rock in the other tank, except at night when he moves around the sand in the middle looking for food. The patch seems to be getting bigger and more strands of mucus are forming. Could the starfish have bitten( well what climbed on him and tried to digest ) him or something on the liverock, <Yes to both possibilities> I just noticed a cottonwool look growth on one piece looks like the mucus on the mandarin? what should I do? sorry if I wrote loads down just wanted you to get all the facts all though I probably left something out. Hope you can help sorry I cant give a picture oh and he doesn't seem interested in food but could that just be stress from moving him. Thanks Andy <First off... relax... nothing good will come of over-reacting here. If the animal is otherwise fine, eating... I would move it back to the main tank... far more likely to recover there... What the root cause of the spot is... who knows... but it will likely self-cure. You list some fishes that grow quite large, and as a group they are a source of prodigious wastes. I do hope you monitor water quality closely. Bob Fenner>
Re: Sick Mandarin Fish
Hi thanks for the reply the mandarin died about two hours after I sent you the email still not sure what did it, all the fish seem fine, I monitor water quality weekly as well as doing a water change and all the fish seem fine. Thanks for the reply anyway Andy <These "things happen"... Bob Fenner>

Mandarin Sick or Starving? Hi, First of all thanks a lot for your help on Cyanobacteria. When I opened my mail and saw your reply I felt as if I had won the lottery, you really made my day! I'm sending the picture of my mandarin to check if he's starving. [Image] <A nice pic, and your animal looks healthy, full-bodied to me> and also because, as you can see in the picture, he has a white thing hanging from his first dorsal fin (FDF), and some white spots around the fins, and sometimes on his back too, you can see one of those behind his eye. [Image] <Yes... does look like the size, indication of ich/Cryptocaryon... I would NOT do anything in the way of chemical treatment here... maybe bolster the animals immune system with added vitamins... soaked on its foods... and hope whatever it is "goes away" on its own, becomes less virulent.> These two pictures were taken 3 days ago, a week after he had arrived, after seeing this, I gave him a freshwater bath with Methylene blue for about 5 minutes, the poor thing nearly died, he had 2 bowel movements and thought that was enough (I now know that freshwater baths are not a good idea for scaleless fish, but back then, I didn't -I apologize). <Yes, Mandarins do not "like" FW dips> The colorless part at the middle of his second dorsal fin also looks better now, and his side fins which were bitten by some fish at the LFS, have also improved by now. Back to my mistake, I also thought those white points were ick, they were actually sand that he sucks in and throws out through his gills something aquarists should be aware of, you always see the picture of a clean mandarin and then start wondering what those white things coming and going are). After the bath the white thing on his FDF fell off, but it has appeared again, after 2 days. Further watching him I believe that the white stuff is actually the "web-like" stuff that these snails (from the next picture) leave as they move. <This pic did not come through> These trails are filled with white little critters which I assume are their children. These shell-less snails are about 1 cm in length. [Image] These creature are all over the tank and I really hate the stuff they leave, which leads to question 2, I got these snails on some rock from the beach, I know I shouldn't take them back, so which is the "nicest" way to get rid of them? <Put them in a plastic bag and place them in the freezer... put in the trash later, near trash day> I had the same problem 2 weeks ago with nearly 80 little sea urchins which came invisible in another rock and after growing to about 1 cm in around a month ate my whole LR, since back then I didn't have the mandarin and everything was local, I didn't care to take them back to the beach. In advance, thanks a lot for your help. You're definitely some type of aquarist angels. Yours truly, Rogelio (Tampico, Mexico) <And you are a budding marine biologist! Make sure and study business as well... so you'll be both wealthy and able to enjoy your aquatic interests. Bob Fenner>

The Eye Has It...For Now? (Mandarin With Eye Disorder) Hello, I have a 150 gallon reef tank with some fish and mainly soft corals and shrimps, crabs, starfish, etc. The water quality seems fine but I noticed about a week and a half ago my mandarin had a white spot inside one of his eyes under the clear outside part I guess what would be the cornea. The outside was still perfectly intact from what I could tell. Over the past week the white area has gotten bigger and now that eye is definitely swollen. Is this a fungus or a bacterial infection and more importantly what do I do about it. It didn't appear as if there was any injury to the eye, it seems as if it happened from the inside out. He is still fat and healthy otherwise, eating well. I haven't taken him out and QT'd him because of his special dietary needs, I also can't feed him medicated food, so I don't know what to do. All my other fish look healthy and don't seem to have any visible problems. Besides water changes, what else can I do for the mandarin? Should I take him out I have just been monitoring him to see if it would go away on its own and now I see that it doesn't look that way. Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Kylee. <Well. short of removing him and administering medications, it may simply be advisable to do those water changes, and maintain excellent water changes. I, too, would wait until it became absolutely necessary before removing the fish for treatment. It is a calculated risk, but you may want to take that risk and see if this clears up by itself. Hope for the best! However, if this does not improve, or if the fish declines, then you will need to intervene medically. Regards, Scott F.>

Mandarin Quarantine Procedure? OK here's where I'm at. <Fire away> 72G+10G fuge, 0/0/10 Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate, SG 1.023. We are in our 1st week of (intended 8wk) fallow period. 4 fish (1 Ocellaris, 1 Checkered Goby, 2 Chromis) are in QT for ich. Combating ammonia/Nitrites in the QT w/aggressive water changes & HBH Ammonia removing media. I changed to this after trying Penn Plax Ammonia cartridges; if I've got this right-- Zeolite based, no good for saltwater, right? Is HBH ammonia filter media any better? I chose this over Poly Filter because Poly Filter would remove the copper (saving for after treatment). <I'd attack the water quality issue with an aggressive water change schedule, and avoid chemical filtration media until you are done with the disease treatment> Cleaner shrimp (Amboinensis), Sandsifter star & Spiny brittle star remain in tank, but for the 1st time I have really noticed, I have *swarms* of copepods & isopods. I've been seeing them in slowly increasing numbers over the last few weeks (tanks running about 9 wks now), but never in these quantities. Some of them are getting big, too-- 1-2cm (shrimp I think). <Amazing what happens when the predators are taken away, huh?> So I'm starting to wonder about how soon the tank will be ready for my primary goal fish, a Mandarin Dragonet. I realize the concerns about aquarists buying these fish & their dying of starvation, which is why I'm taking steps to make sure I have a proper environment to keep one. <An excellent concept> But here's my concerns... OK-- let's assume I've completed my isolation & fallow period for ich. How does one isolate a Mandarin before moving him to the main tank? My concerns are making sure he eats, but what's the best way in a bare QT? <Good question. Lots of thought on this issue. My personal recommendation with this fish is to provide some live rock and possibly some macroalgae in the QT, which may provide a bit of foraging for the fish.> Should I try to scoop out some of the critters floating in the main tank's currents, & introduce them to the QT? (assuming I can keep the ammonia under control, besides) <Yep- that was my next recommendation> I'm wondering now, though, perhaps I can take advantage of the other fishes' isolation, & basically quarantine a Mandarin in the main tank. If I'm understanding these fish correctly, their slime coat is protective (partially? completely?) from parasites & infection (I'm not sure where I read this, is this true?). <It is thought to provide some resistance to parasitic infections> What if I were to wait 4-5 weeks into the fallow period, after I can be semi-confident that the ich cycle is broken, & have him 3-4 wks in advance of the other fish? Is he resistant enough to ich to be considered effectively a 'non-fish'? Or would waiting about 4 wks be sufficient that it shouldn't be a concern, even if he weren't resistant to it? <I see what you're thinking about here...Good thought, under the circumstances. My only concern is that the Mandarin, although it may be resistant to ich, could bring this into the tank yet again...A real Catch 22! I'm a firm believer in quarantine of every new introduction, period. I'd opt for the specially "quipped" quarantine tank, myself!> In either case, in 4 wks time, I'm anticipating that there should be enough live food available that he might need help eating it. Let me know what you guys think... Pete Cushnie <Good thoughts, Peter- and there is no shortage of controversy on either side here...I suppose that, in the end, it's best to err on the side of caution. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

QT a Mandarin Hello Crew, I got a ? for ya pros....I would like to QT a mandarin, but I know these guys have a very very special diet. How would I feed in a QT tank if he's only feeding on pods? Of course this would be my last fish added to my main tank!!!<I would quarantine a mandarin in a refugium, (Don't treat the refugium!!! since this fish has special eating habits and are not very hardy I would setup a refugium for him to be qt in, with lots of pods for him to eat-to get him healthy/acclimated), in a refugium by himself he won't be able to pass on disease to other fish because there aren't any)...if he were to get sick I would remove him and place him in a bare bottom aquarium and take the proper procedures for the problem, disease...etc> THANKS, so much for your time!<good luck, IanB>

Treating Ick On A Touchy Fish Hi Bob and Crew, <Scott F. checking in tonight> I am writing to you because I have a Mandarin dragonette that seems to have fallen victim to a case of Ick that has already claimed the life of a Kole tang in my 72 Gallon Reef tank. I fear that the Ick is preventing "Manny" from foraging for food and he is starting to really feel the effects of this parasitic disease. I am not sure if I should treat him as I would another fish of take exception to the fact that he is extremely delicate and only feeds on a diet of copepods and amphipods. What steps would you take in order to rid him of the Ick parasite? Any help or advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated in this matter. I am thinking of treating him with Methyl-Blue in a small quarantine tank. Is this the best course of action or would this do more harm than good? <Well, Methylene Blue is really better as an anti-bacterial, and would probably have little effect on a parasitic disease such as ick. However, if you're leery (and rightfully so!) about subjecting an otherwise touchy fish to aggressive medications, then you might want to utilize hyposalinity in the treatment tank. I am not a big fan of this technique, but I have utilized it with delicate fishes with some degree of success. Do read up on this technique on the WWM site> I got him as a rescue out of a barren 10 gallon tank from a friend at my LFS. I would do anything I can to save him, as he is a really beautiful fish. Any help is appreciated - thanks. Jason <Well, Jason- I think that you can save him, but it will take pretty quick action on your part...Get that hospital tank up and running, and start treatment ASAP...Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Quarantining Mandarinfish Hi, Really enjoy this website! I have one question? How do I quarantine a Mandarinfish? <Merely QT as usual. Your only problem will be providing a source of live food in your bare-bottom QT tank. You can harvest pods from your refugium and attempt a variety of frozen foods.> If I had to do the hyposalinity on them I'd have to do it for 3 weeks, right? <I think you are confusing terms here. Quarantine is merely holding an animal away from your others in an attempt to ensure it is healthy and does not infect your main display. Treatment is something all together else; like hyposalinity. You would do this in the event that your Mandarin was suffering from a parasitic infestation. Although, Mandarins being a scaleless fish, hyposalinity may not be your best option. I would go the daily water change route.> And then a couple weeks to raise the salinity back up, right? <Generally, yes.> Thank you so much, Lynn <Best of luck. -Steven Pro>

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