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mandarin skinny male

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  • Offline Laurasea
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mandarin skinny male

« posted: 2 years ago »
I took a skinny male spotted mandarin from a friend to help save him.  He is from ora trained to eat frozen and was maybe being out competed.  He is a skeleton! I have him in my quiet macro tank, when I offer mysis he picks at it but am not sure he swallows.   Any ideas how to help him?
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  • Offline Laurasea
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Re: mandarin skinny male

« Reply #1 posted: 2 years ago »
What I mean is there a disease that would make it hard for him too eat? He looks like he might have cataracts in his eyes????
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Re: mandarin skinny male

« Reply #2 posted: 2 years ago »
He might have internal parasites, but I'm not too confident on diagnosing any illness. There's this feeder that a guy from RC made that might help:
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2166449
If you can feed whiteworms, grindal worms, or even blackworms, those should help get the fish eating as well. Prawn or shrimp eggs would also be a good idea.

From what I know, most fish can get by when blind. They have epic senses of smell, which helps lead them to food. Pods aren't the only things a mandarin can eat, just the ones that most people think of.
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  • Offline TamiW
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Re: mandarin skinny male

« Reply #3 posted: 2 years ago »
I had a mandarin that went blind eventually. I tube fed him for a few months while trying to treat. Unfortunately he never recovered, so I ended up euthanizing him. I never found out what caused the blindness, but it was as you described, it looked like cataracts.

Is he eating at all? If you haven't already, I'd try newly hatched brine shrimp, adult brine shrimp, and black worms.

If he doesn't take any of that, then tube feeding mandarins is really easy if you wanted to try that. You still need to use clove oil to sedate them, but they're much easier to do than seahorses. It's just a straight shot to the belly.

I don't know as much as I'd like to about mandarin physiology, but there are a few possibilities. One is trematodes; they can occur on and occlude the eye. I can't remember why, but mandarins supposedly don't tolerate fresh water dips. I don't remember what I tried in lieu of that. Praziquantel treats trematodes though, it might be worth trying.  I would focus on fattening up first though.

One thing to consider, if he's really thin, he may not tolerate tube feeding. I tried it recently with a ruby mandarin female; but she was just too far gone to make a difference, and I think the handling hurried her demise. I'm pretty sure she would have died anyway, but I just want you to be aware that is a possibility.
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  • Offline Laurasea
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Re: mandarin skinny male

« Reply #4 posted: 2 years ago »
Ok thanks was going to try fresh water dip so good to know not safe for mandarins. Will get and hatch brine.  My macro tank is full of pods and he does seem to be eating them, as they are fast disappearing! He pooped so am getting something into him. He is spooked by me because of my repeated attempts to catch for a dip. Glad I couldn't now!  It is weird at his attempt to eat mysis, he wants to trays several times then gives up, I chopped very small still he couldn't?+?+ what the heck is it weakness? It like something is blocking his mouth. But he must be able to eat tiny pods.... I have fenbendazole and prazi, will treat brine when get and hope he eats. He also does this weird mouth movement thing like yawning, my other Mandy Wil do that behavior but very rarely, or when she spits out rubble..  also his head is very pale? Will try get pic, so sad to see him so thin
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  • Offline Laurasea
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Re: mandarin skinny male

« Reply #5 posted: 2 years ago »
Skinny
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  • Offline Laurasea
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Re: mandarin skinny male

« Reply #6 posted: 2 years ago »
Spot on eye has on both eyes
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  • Offline Laurasea
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Re: mandarin skinny male

« Reply #7 posted: 2 years ago »
Look at eye pic, he is also passing waste again!!! Just fed him and he was able to eat a whole mysis!!! So maybe was weak before?
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Re: mandarin skinny male

« Reply #8 posted: 2 years ago »
Just wondering if the mandy is still eating and is it gaining any strength?
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  • Offline Laurasea
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Re: mandarin skinny male

« Reply #9 posted: 2 years ago »
Hi, yes he is now able to chow!! Sucking down whole mysis!! He defiantly was just to weak to start with to be able to eat the mysis, severe muscle wasting on his head, well everywhere.. But after eating all the pods in my tank he was able to eat mysis.  I am feeding him every two hours all day long.  He has gained weight!!# as soon as he gains more will post update picture.  I checked my female Mandy, and she does not have spots on her eyes.  So the big question is why does he?? He can see though. 
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Re: mandarin skinny male

« Reply #10 posted: 2 years ago »
Wow, good job on beginning to restore him to health.  I love a happy ending and it appears that this story will have one.
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Re: mandarin skinny male

« Reply #11 posted: 2 years ago »
That's fantastic news!! I'm so glad to hear he's eating! You know, there were a lot of people who got ORA mandarins that had trouble with them starving. I'm not sure of why, but can't help but wonder if there isn't something to that. Maybe they were expecting them to eat competitively with other fish?

I am curious about the discoloration on the eyes. Could it be he's eating in spite of an inability to see? Could the malnourishment happened first, and the eyes are a result of it?

Could it be he's able to see just enough to find the food if put right in front of him? Us seahorse keepers are used to finicky eaters, so perhaps it is really a matter of him being in the hands of someone who's gained a knack for feeding difficult fish? I was at the MBI (Marine Breeding Initiative) Workshop and discussed how easy raising peppermint shrimp were  - my first attempt at it - which Dr. Andrew Rhyne commented that it was really the seahorse breeders that were able to raise Lysmata spp. shrimp easily. It's also not the first time I've noticed that some seahorse-keeping specific skill has given me insight or skill into some aspect of the fish keeping hobby that others struggled with. I don't know that it is difficulty level so much as we have to shift the way we think about our animals so dramatically that we pick up an entirely different skillset along the way.

Unfortunately it's hard for me to see the eyes in the attached pictures. I can see them, just not well. Do you have or can you get a cell phone macro lens? I have a cheap one like this and it takes great closeup and/or small pictures. A real macro lens would be better, but for $10-$20 bucks, I can't count the number of times I've found them useful.
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  • Offline Laurasea
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Re: mandarin skinny male

« Reply #12 posted: 2 years ago »
Tami!
I think you hit it on the head, we seahorses keepers know our seahorses have limits to how much they can adapt to life in an aquarium, see we adapt!! Plus I think we become obsessive observationest, constantly checking are they eating is their weight ok, and on endlessly!😃  I have found that other reef keepers or fish keepers feel if the fish get hungry enough they will eat, and expect the fish to adapt and not themselves.  Some people simply can't see the changes in weight till it is too late or really dramatic.  My boyfriend is one of these people, it is not that he doesn't care he simply can't see it.  Like with frozen mysis quality!!! I have shown him many times and pictures, then hill come home with the worst food like the most extreme Brown mush and say hey I got great mysis for you lol.  He is no longer allowed to buy food EVER lol
My feeling are also that the eye problem is nutritional.  He was starved, and nutrients and vitamins are important to vision.  He defiantly can see some, responds to food movement, and me staring at him! But after re observing my other mandarin I think he does have some vision loss.  It puts me in a hard place because once he is fat, and seems healthy I want to add him to my 45 gallon seahorses  tank with the female.  But I don't want to risk her health or the health of the horses!!!!  So I want to know the cause!!! Will work on getting better pictures.
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  • Offline Laurasea
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Re: mandarin skinny male

« Reply #13 posted: 2 years ago »
I'll be!!!! Eyes are better!!!!! What the heck? Was he fighting off infection from starvation, was it nutritional? Pic to show weight gain,  to shy to get close up.  But wowza about eyes,!  Still skinny but gaining!!!

« Last Edit: 2 years ago by Laurasea »

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Re: mandarin skinny male

« Reply #14 posted: 2 years ago »
And pretty tank mates because they love me and show off
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