Help with mandarin feeding

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AC Members
Jun 10, 2017
schaumburg, Illinois
Real Name
I know this is probably a very common question here, but i have a different problem than most that i'm not sure how to work around yet.
I work at a fish store so i keep an eye on every fish we sell, there was a green mandarin that always caught my eye there. Though my tank is only a few months old it was already teeming with pods, i was going to wait a little while longer but then i noticed that the goby was eating live brine shrimp even when the others we had weren't. I also noticed she actually was interested in frozen food (though not eating it) and i snapped her up so no one else could haha.

5 days after putting her in my tank she was eating frozen brine shrimp like it was nothing, and that got me super excited! But my problem isn't with her but with my other tank mates. They keep eating all her food and scaring her away before she gets the chance to eat. The tank mates that are the issue are my fire shrimp and serpent starfish. My pygmy hawkfish is there too but he isn't an issue. I've tried turning the pumps off so the water is stagnant and not blowing the food all over the place. I tried putting food on the opposite side of the tank so the others could eat there while she gets her own corner but the shrimp ignore his own food and runs straight to the gobie's share and the starfish goes to her pile too because it's sitting on the ground. I have a royal gramma in quarantine right now but im not too concerned about him because he would probably actually go for his own pile instead of be greedy like the other 2. Also my tank is only a 28 gallon nano tank in case you needed to know.

Id really rather not rehome anything so are the any other suggestions i could try? Also how can you tell if a mandarin is getting enough food? like are there behaviors they display when they are close to starving i should be looking for or physical indicators?


Registered Member
Jan 3, 2020
I'm not sure about any behaviors due to underfeeding, but when I've had issues with greedy fish, I've used pipettes to deliver the food directly to the fish in need.