View Full Version : Mandarin fish and Lion fish

06-20-2007, 07:40 AM
Hi, I'm sure you've all heard this before but I am new to the world of aquariums and I've never been on a forum before, so please help me out if I bugger it up! :)

Now my problem is I have a tank that is very small (don't know what size). I bought it as a 'deal' December last year with live rock and 2 seahorses. I have since lost the two seahorses and was told that a mandarin fish would be perfectly fine in the tiny tank. Its only since I started researching a possible companion for the mandarin fish that I have found out the people who sold it to me don't seem to know their stuff! Firstly, the tank should have been established for at least 6 months, requires heaps of live rock which would require a far bigger tank, etc.etc. I have learnt my lesson and haven't stopped researching since!

Now I feel terrible for my starving mandarin fish! He has been eating brine shrimp but needs something more nutritional if he's to survive. A friend has a perfect tank for him with heaps of live rock and plenty of copepods for him to feed on!!! BUT there's a huge lionfish in the tank and I don't want Tornado to be eaten! Does anyone know if they can live together? Apparently the membrane on the Tornado (mandarin fish) is poisonous which I would think could keep Graeme (lionfish) away, but I don't want to risk losing both fish if it doesn't!

06-20-2007, 04:56 PM
Unless you plan on constantly adding cocepods, you will need to transport him to a bigger tank. He has probobly allready exhausted your tank of his food.

As long as there are plenty places for the mandrin to hide, you could give it a shot.

06-20-2007, 05:37 PM
You have two choices. Starting with the first.....

There is always the chance that the mandarin will get eaten by the lionfish but unless you get copious amounts of food to him right now, he will starve. After they get down to a certain point it's very hard to bring a starving mandarin back to health.
Here is how I would do it. Make sure your friend gives his lionfish a really, really good feeding first! Acclimate the mandarin like normal then net him out of the bag/bucket and release him behind some rocks. That way the fish will have a chance to scope out the tank and get used to the fact that a lionfish is in there.
I would keep the lionfish well fed for the entire first week!
The slime coat on mandarins is noxious, meaning it doesn't taste good so hopefully the lionfish will recognize the warning colors on the mandarin and not even try it.

Having said all that, I can say that I had a volitans lionfish and a mandarin in the same tank for several years and the lion never once tried to take the mandarin. BUT, the mandarin was in the tank before the lion so that probably helped.

Second choice....

You could make a mandarin diner. Basically it's a glass jar with a mouth only big enough for the mandarin to enter. Clean it and rinse it well then lay it on it's side on the tank bottom. The idea is to put food that the fish eats inside the jar (brine shrimp) along with a few food items it doesn't take yet (mysis shrimp). It keeps other fish from taking the food before the mandarin has the time to try it. The mandarin sees his food in the jar and enters it. As he is eating he may try the 'other' food. Some people have been lucky with this and have trained the mandarin to eat mysis, pellets and oyster eggs. BTW I have also heard of people feeding oyster eggs directly to the tank and having the mandarin eating them too!! You can buy these at asian food stores. I think they're called golden oyster eggs but I think any fresh oyster eggs will do. BUT, if you have other fish in the tank, they may eat the eggs before the mandarin even gets a chance so go with the jar if you have other fish in the tank.

Hope it all works out!! :c3:

06-22-2007, 06:51 AM
Thanks for the advice! I don't have many other choices than to give it a go. Returning him to the shop won't help, so I'll pop him in with the lionfish and see what happens. Thanks again, you guys are awesome!!! :)