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annie p
02-03-2009, 05:01 PM
I got a flame angel and a scooter blenny this weekend. The blenny is adorable. Everything I read about what they eat is conflicting. I wrapped algae around a rock and tonite I will feed some mysis shrimp. So far the algae goes over but flake food is ignored. Will the blenny eat prepared food or only what he finds in the substrate?

fins_n_fur
02-03-2009, 05:13 PM
Did you forget to attach the pictures? I don't see any...:hmm3grin2orange:

Deleted User
02-03-2009, 05:21 PM
Yeah we need pics. thumbs2:

Congrats on the new fish. :ssmile:

annie p
02-03-2009, 05:26 PM
I would but I'm at work

Jellygirl
02-03-2009, 10:15 PM
Congrats on the new fish

Don't worry we can wait -later for the pics.lol

Jellygirl

Mustang Boy
02-04-2009, 01:06 AM
pics or its all a lie


lol

unleashed
02-04-2009, 07:35 AM
What are your tank specs?

Over 80% of all scooter blennies (more accurately known as a scooter dragonet) will die in the first 6 months with fewer than 10% surviving a full 12 months.

They have the same dietary requirements as mandarin fish (Synchiropus splendidus) requiring live copepods for adequate nutrition. You will need about 70-100lbs of established live rock (12+ months old) in order to sustain a healthy copepod population

Dave66
02-04-2009, 07:46 AM
I would add that multiple refugiums are very helpful in continuing to provide copepod and naupili to the tank.

Dave

annie p
02-04-2009, 05:50 PM
Not sure where you get your info, but I've read they are pretty hardy. He was really chowing down on the mysis shrimp last nite. I have a 54g w/@ 60 lbs live rock and live sand substrate. Protien skimmer and also a emporer 400 just cuz I can, it also helps as I am nearing the end of diatom stage. I stopped rinsing the filter so often cuz when I pull them out they are teeming with copepods.

travie
02-04-2009, 06:00 PM
Not sure where you get your info, but I've read they are pretty hardy. He was really chowing down on the mysis shrimp last nite. I have a 54g w/@ 60 lbs live rock and live sand substrate. Protien skimmer and also a emporer 400 just cuz I can, it also helps as I am nearing the end of diatom stage. I stopped rinsing the filter so often cuz when I pull them out they are teeming with copepods.

He is right them about if they do not accept prepared/frozen foods. If they do accept prepared/frozen foods they are quite hardy.

I believe we are all still waiting on some pictures. :hmm3grin2orange:

unleashed
02-04-2009, 06:34 PM
If they do accept prepared/frozen foods they are quite hardy.

Not necessarily, copepods still provide 99% of the essential fatty acids and other nutrients which are required for long term survival. If it does it prepared foods that's fine, but don't expect it to survive on those alone when the copepods run out

ILuvMyGoldBarb
02-04-2009, 06:39 PM
Yup, unleashed is spot on. Scooter Dragonets are hardy fish but they have very specific dietary requirements. They are in the same genus as the Mandarin Dragonet, and their care requirements are identical. Like all of the dragonets, they may take mysis and other frozen foods, however they must have those copepods in their diet, and they have to have a very healthy populaiton of them. A single dragonet will completely depleat the copepod population of a tank with just 60lbs of LR is a very short time, and then even though it is eating frozen foods, it will simply slowly starve to death over a period of 6-12 months. Plain and simple, they have to have the pods to survive.

unleashed
02-04-2009, 07:46 PM
Finally, someone to back me up ;)

However, I remember reading somewhere that they consume on average about 10,000 copepods (primarily) and other critters a day. So, if your pod population can sustain this level of consumption, then go for it.....

annie p
02-04-2009, 07:56 PM
Why couldn't I supplement them? I saw copepods for sale at the LFS. I haven't read up on it yet, but can you have too many? Should I not rinse my filters in the 400 anymore? I have more q's for you unleashed can I PM you?

unleashed
02-04-2009, 08:03 PM
I have more q's for you unleashed can I PM you?
sure. Fire away...... But I'm going out soon so I won't be able to answer your PMs for a couple of hours

rageybug
02-05-2009, 04:12 PM
Adding pods from your LFS is a great way to build up the pod population ini your tank. Generally it is a good idea to have a booming pod population before adding a pod eater though. Adding a refugium will almost certainly help. The pods need a safe environment to breed. If they only have the tank and 60lbs of LR they will be hard pressed to thrive with the blenny.

Keep feeding frozen foods and get your pod population up. That blenny should do fine!

unleashed
02-06-2009, 05:45 AM
That blenny should do fine!

It is a common misconception that scooter 'blennies' are actually blennies. They are not.

They are members of the Synchiropus genus which have very specific dietary requirements which result in over 90% perishing in the first 6 months of captivity

rageybug
02-07-2009, 06:00 AM
It is a common misconception that scooter 'blennies' are actually blennies. They are not.

They are members of the Synchiropus genus which have very specific dietary requirements which result in over 90% perishing in the first 6 months of captivity



As long as proper conditions are met (not difficult ones) the Blenny will do fine. A tank with good healthy LR and a good sand base will provide the basics. A good lighting system will ensure proper algae growth. Algae growing on the live rock will provide a natural setting for the growth of tiny arthropods and we have already touched on copepods in this thread. Additional feeding with live/frozen foods will fill in the gaps that the pods can't.

I'm not sure where you got your numbers (I'm not calling you a fraud) but 90% sounds pretty high. I've heard of many blennies and dragonettes starving in captivity but then again, I've heard of many more living, long term.

unleashed
02-07-2009, 06:06 AM
As long as proper conditions are met (not difficult ones) the Blenny will do fine. A tank with good healthy LR and a good sand base will provide the basics. A good lighting system will ensure proper algae growth. Algae growing on the live rock will provide a natural setting for the growth of tiny arthropods and we have already touched on copepods in this thread. Additional feeding with live/frozen foods will fill in the gaps that the pods can't.

I'm not sure where you got your numbers (I'm not calling you a fraud) but 90% sounds pretty high. I've heard of many blennies and dragonettes starving in captivity but then again, I've heard of many more living, long term.

I didn't actually say that they are particularly difficult to keep, just that they are not blennies per se. They are dragonettes which have much more specific dietary requirements which no amount of prepared foods can provide. While it may look good to have one eat prepared foods (which they frequently don't), it is kind of a false hope because the prepared foods cannot offered cannot provide the correct nutrients.

I, along with many other experienced reefers, have collectively come to a figure of roughly 90% mortality within the first 6 months of captivity. Myself, Bob Fenner (who I have e-mailed personally) and many others I have contacted within the industry all give a figure between 80-95% mortality

rageybug
02-07-2009, 06:18 AM
If Bob Fenner says so than it must be!

BTW... who is Bob Fenner?













For the record, I'm just kidding here, I agree that they are tough to keep alive... just having a little fun with you.

unleashed
02-07-2009, 08:44 AM
BTW... who is Bob Fenner?

Robert (Bob) Fenner is a world renowned marine aquarist who has huge amounts of experience with keeping marines, as well as in the industry itself.

He has written several books on the subject as well

rageybug
02-07-2009, 10:19 AM
Now I know...

kaybee
02-07-2009, 04:04 PM
I'm not fully convinced that the high mortality rate applies to dragonets IF they readily accept frozen food (but will say that's a big IF).

Agreed that it can take 6-12months for them to starve (as a result of depleted pods and non-acceptance of alternative foods, which I'll grant is perhaps how the majority of them meet their demise), but for one that is stuffing itself daily with mysis, tiny roe and even bloodworms, they should be alright.

The challenge is, from my observations, not that other foods do not provide them with nourishment they require (they're not quite in the Moorish Idol/Cleaner Wrasse category), but that it can be hard for them to consume anything but pods and they have high daily intake requirements. If you've got one that readily eats mysis shrimp (highly nutritious, by the way, unlike brine shrimp) then you're lucky.

I've found that even when providing them with pod-altenatives, they must be target fed. I had to feed mine 2-3 times daily with a turkey baster. I found that unless you squirt the stuff right at them, they can be oblivious to it.

These tiny fish can definately eat a lot more than their size indicates (dragonets subsiding on pods will eat and search for pods nearly continuously). Mine consumed about a cube of mysis daily (to put that in perspective, I use a cube of mysis to feed my bicolor angel, two blue damsels and valentini toby).

Another thing, dragonets are EASILY outcompeted by other fish, so you have to feed THEM the food, not the tank (which can complicate things). Mine depleted my tank of pods (which use to be all over the place) in about 10 days. I eventually had to relocate it to its own tank (to a) target feed it; b) eliminate the chance of it being outcompeted, c)avoid degrading the water quality of my reef tank).

My scooter dragonet did fairly well on frozen food but eventually ended up jumping out its tank after over a year of keeping it. I will say that, at least for me, target feeding it couple of times daily became a chore and I didn't replace it since it is admittedly a challenging fish to keep and maintain.

ILuvMyGoldBarb
02-07-2009, 04:33 PM
Kaybee, I have a friend who had a Mandarin and it was eating frozen foods. However after a very short time, it decimated the pod population in her tank (she had 50lbs of LR and a fuge) and in a matter of 8 months she was attempting to feed it bottled pods from her LFS and it still perished within 12 months.

kaybee
02-07-2009, 05:01 PM
How were the frozen foods provided and how much of that was the mandarin getting? A dragonet with a fat belly isn't going to starve to death.

Just adding the frozen food into the tank and the mandarin capturing a few of them isn't going to suffice, it needs to consume (as the Cone Heads on SNL would say, "mass quantities", i.e, a cube's worth, or equivalent amount of pods daily).

With the absence of pods, target feeding is key (and unfortunately, time consuming). I fed my scooter dragonet twice a day during the week (after work and in the late evening) and 3x during the weekend (morning, noon, evening feeding sessions). My scooter maintained a fat belly. Once their undersides become concaved, it may be too late. They can't be fed like other fish (i.e, add food to the tank, and let them fend for themselves).

I'll definately agree that a steady/constantly replenishable pod population is best but it can be substituted (unfortunately that equates to high maintenance). Also,if I didn't have the dragonet in its own tank the difficulty in keeping it would have been harder. It's really difficult to target fed them in a tank containing other fish. Heck, hermit crabs could outcompete dragonets at times.