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FAQs on Algae as Food: Feeding Methods, Tools

Related Articles: Algae as Food, Foods/Feeding/NutritionCulturing Food Organisms, Culturing Macro-Algae; Red Algae in General, Marine Algae, Algae Can Be Your Friend

Related FAQs: Algae Foods 1, Algae Foods 2, Algae Foods 3, & FAQs on Algae Food: Rationale/Use, Sources, Culture, Troubleshooting/Fixes, Products, & Foods/Feeding/Nutrition 1, Phytoplankton, Marine Algae, Coral FeedingBrine ShrimpVitaminsNutritional DiseaseFrozen Foods, Coral Feeding, Growing Reef CoralsCulturing Food OrganismsRed AlgaeSee also the individual groups of organisms feeding FAQs files

How the food/s are delivered can be as critically important as to whether they're used at all.

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Marine Aquarium Algae Control

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Re: Ich problem resurfacing, and now... algae as food/fdg.  - 7/2/08 Hi Bob, <Abhi> Thanks for the prompt reply. I stay in Bangalore India, and the sea algae are not readily available here even in dried form, except for Julian Sprung which we get from time to time. Have not seen Nori or the likes even once. In this case will the veggie flakes be sufficient ? <Likely so, yes> How do i get the Lavender, Foxface and Powder brown to eat the algae? <Live? Grow it on calcareous rock in a "kiddie pool" outside, or in a sump... tie it to same or clip it and stick the clip on the side of the tank... Dried? Best to train the fishes by mixing some in with already-accepted foods...> Also for the Lion fishes i feed Mollies, after keeping them in salt water from the main tank for about 2-3 weeks. they are fed twice a week. Is this ok? <Mmm, not indefinitely. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/lionfdgfaqs.htm> The LFS here say to feed them once a week or once in two weeks. <I would not allow the Lion/s to get too thin, but over-feeding is to be avoided as well> Added a UV sterilizer today, hoping it will work on the Itch. Had already gone through the crypt section on the site, as suggested by you. Plan to reduce the SG slowly over the week to 1.018, is that ok with the anemones (BTA) and starfish? <If done very slowly, likely so... a few cups of freshwater added per day, removing as much system water. You will be able to see if there is too much overt negative effect> Last but not least is the live stock combination ok? Thanks in advance !! Abhi <As posted below? Will be a bit crowded with time... Bob Fenner> > Had done a mistake last month of buying a fish without checking the details > first, was told its a red reef wrasse , but when i searched later on the > site it turned to be Lyretail Grouper. This one did produce some aggression > in tank which was not there earlier due to which i lost my majestic angel > and a Clarkii clown. Have returned the grouper now. > Current tank mates : > 1. Lavender Tang 5-6 inch > 2. Fox Face 5-6 inch > 3. Bird Wrasse 5-6 inch > 4. Clarkii clown 2-3 inch > 5. Lion fish ( Volitans) 4 inch > 6. Webbed Lion fish 4 inch > 7. Thick lipped wrasse 3-4 inch ( will be removed soon) > 8. Moorish Idol 3-4 inch ( 3 days old in the tank ) > 9. Orange tail File fish 3 inch > 10. Odonus Trigger 3 inch ( 1 day old in tank, got as a replacement for the > grouper ) > 11. Powder Brown Sturgeon 3.5 inch

Powder Blue Tang/Feeding...Growth  6/5/06 Hey guys and gals, <Hello Ross> Thanks for the great site, there's always something new to learn every day (whenever I'm bored at work and start browsing the FAQs!). I thought I'd share my experiences with feeding my powder blue tang. When I first got him he was painfully thin and was almost a compassion buy, I really wanted to try and bring him around. At first he wasn't eating at all, and didn't know what the heck seaweed on a clip was, so I started off with small sheets of Nori wedged in between the rocks in the tank. Eventually he seemed to get the idea that this tasted better than all the other stuff! Through time and patience he eventually realized that hey, this stuff on the clip is the same as that stuff down there, and hey presto, he started feeding from a clip. I guess all told the process of getting him to feed from a clip took around a month, there was a lot of finger crossing and hair pulling in the mean time, and it was very much trial and error. I'm a year on now, and he's grown about another two inches in length and looks downright porky, with not a hint of whitespot. <Great to hear.> Hope my experiences with leaving little bits of Nori in between rocks helps someone else wean their PB onto veggies... <Will post your experience.> My question is (he's about six inches in length now) how long can I expect him to take to grow fully? I've had him for about a year, and now he's in a 6ftx2ft2ft tank so has a bit of room to grow in. He gets an unlimited supply of seaweed from his clip as well. Just wondering what to expect in the future! <All depends on nutrition, water quality, etc.  Difficult to predict. James (Salty Dog)> Many thanks, Ross. Feeding Nori  9/16/06   Hello, <Hi, Pufferpunk here> Quick question, I hope you can help me out.  I just bought a pack of seaweed sheets (Nori) and on the back of the pack, it says to clip the seaweed to a seaweed clip and place in tank.  Now my question is, if the seaweed is placed inside tank for a full day, wouldn't that pollute the tank just as would left over food that hasn't been eaten by the fishes?  My tank is not big (only 30 gallon) so not much water volume to work with here.  Any help would be appreciated. <As if you were feeding any other food--just enough for them to eat in 5 minutes.  ~PP>

Making/Feeding Phyto  3/16/2007 Hello there, <Hi.> I have recently been culturing my own non-motile phytoplankton (Nanochloropsis). <Very cool.> My question is how often and how much should I feed to my 90 gallon reef tank? <If you can sustain it, I would DIY myself a phytoplankton reactor...the best way to feed the stuff is on a slow and continuous use. The animals will benefit more than just periodic "dumpings" most of which will just end up being liquid pollution anyhow.> Also, would I be able to keep a flame scallop or non-photosynthetic Gorgonians with these feedings? <Yes with he right attention/care it is possible...though still difficult. Many good online articles posted on WWM the net in general abut these..... and an even more reason to consider a continuous drip for the phyto!> I also intend to begin a rotifer culture soon. <Also neat but time consuming.> I also have a 50 gallon sump which I split in half to add a refugium. <Sounds good.> Thanks for any information you can provide. <Adam J.>

Seaweed Dissolves... Alga Clips  9/10/07 Hi Crew, <Hi Ray, Mich here.> I searched the DB for tips, could not find an answer. I am trying to feed my Yellow Tang seaweed strips. It dissolves into fragments quickly and floats around the tank possibly becoming detritus. Anyway, I can't keep this stuff in one place long enough for my Tang to nibble and enjoy? Any tips? <Yep! Don't eat yellow snow! Heehee! There are algae clips made just for this purpose. See the Veggie clip and grid feeding clip on this link: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/NavResults.cfm?pc=1&N=2004+62741&va=1 Or you can make your own feeding station by rubber banding the alga strip to a shell. Hope that helps! Thanks, <Welcome!> Ray C. <Mich L.>

Caulerpa in a blender? Hi Bob, I'm back at Vanderbilt and continuing my studies (shuddering). Anyway I had an idea that totally came out of the blue. Well here it is. This weekend I came home and I asked my brother to help me feed the corals and dispose of some of the Caulerpa growing in my tank. Well, I left the room to do something and I came back in and my brother was popping the Caulerpa. I asked him what he was doing and he said that I told him to do that because it released nutrients back into the tank. Well I know that at the time I told my brother to throw away some Caulerpa he was on the computer playing a video game and that distracted him from listening to me. I then thought about what he was doing and wondered if some of the coral in the tank would actually ingest the popped Caulerpa. Do you think the corals would? I then thought that well hey they might be able to and I had the idea of putting the Caulerpa in the blender to provide food/nutrients for my corals. Would this work or would it just provide food for microalgae and pollute the water. Weird story huh? Well thanks for you time and I'll get back to working on my 10 pg lab report (blah!). <Those reports are good practice... I might experiment here with the blended/chopped Caulerpa, but I'd like to warn you that there may be some danger here. Turns out that in the process of sexual reproduction this genus/family dissolve in sort of the same fashion as blending... and that this sometimes makes a real green mess of aquariums... and has resulted in total wipe-outs... Bob Fenner> Thanks, Eric

Re: Caulerpa in a blender? Thanks Bob for answering my question. I have to ask though, do you think I should try this or is the risk not worth it. I have a pretty stocked 10 gal tank, but I haven't checked the water parameters. Do you think that if there were no nitrates/phosphates in the water that the Caulerpa would hurt my tank?  <Worth trying, but not in your stocked/only tank.> I might get another 10 gal to try but I'm really short on cash at the moment. By the way, I just finished the report and I'm exhausted (10hrs+of work at one time isn't fun). <Wait till you're older... you'll look back on these exercises as great fun, believe me> I wonder how you could write such long books. <Piece by piece my friend. With an outline, and keeping my eyes on the prize> Maybe it might be fun if you wrote about what you enjoy but I'm not enjoying myself so its not fun. <Convince yourself that what you are doing is indeed in your best interests... as it actually is... and hold yourself in good faith. You should only do "what you want"... and you are doing so. Bob Fenner> Keep up the great work on WWM. I enjoy reading these Q&A's everyday. <Will endeavor to do so my friend.> Thanks again, Eric

Re: Tang and Nori The trouble came, I think, when I tried to add some Nori to the tank with a clip and later to just rubber band it to a piece of rock.   The stuff was blowing around all over. When the tang would bite a piece off it left more to sail around the tank. Yikes. <Cut in smaller strips, fold and pinch in the clip> This worked like a charm. Also changed brands of Nori. This seems to stay firm in the water better. (Emerald Cove brand btw). <<Yes. Many different products... Quite different... Best to experiment, look around... Just avoid the "flavored" ones> <No worries. Bob Fenner who sees you with a larger system, soon.> Hey no threats!!! :-) And don't take up fortune telling and leave your day job. :-) <<No way>> --Jane (who hopes Bob takes these comments in the way they were delivered.) <<Only possibility. Bob Fenner>>

Feather stars and the Challenge/Problems of feeding Bottled Phyto Hi All, <cheers, friend> Writing from Australia so you're probably all sleeping now.  <ahhh... one of the beautiful aspects of our WetWebMedia machine: we have a crew spread across three time zones answering queries and I'm a night owl on a shared zone. We have almost 24 hour coverage of responses <G>! Anthony Calfo in your service> Firstly your site is great thanks for all the help thus far.  <our pleasure> I recently went to my LFS to buy a bristle star fish and the one I chose was all wrapped up in a feather star.  <for future reference it can be easily led away with shrimp pellets or some other fragrant fish food in the water> I didn't want the owner to damage the feather star trying to get to the star fish and he seemed happy in there,  <the brittle star may have been happy but the feather surely was not> so......yes I bought the two together.  <Ughhhh! Now that silly twit of a merchant is going to reorder yet another starfish to starve in captivity. Aiiiieeeeeee :p > Only then did I check out your info on feather stars. Realizing they are not easy to keep I need some advice.  <indeed, my friend... although this is categorically one of the most difficult animals in aquatic science to keep alive. You will go though extraordinary feats to succeed but it will be rewarding> I've read all your FAQ's but I have a few questions of my own. This is the situation. The feather star has a bristle star fish living in it. There is also a baby bristle star living in it which I discovered the other day. Along with those two there are two very small black crabs or shrimp not sure but they have little claws similar to that of a tiny coral banded shrimp. I don't think I can get rid of these guys, and am wondering if they might harm the feather star and or the baby bristle star. <you may need to lead all away with stinky food as bait and remove the feather star to a species tank or at least a fishless in-line refugium dedicated to it> Next can the large bristle star damage the feather star, <absolutely yes... and likely in time> its totally wrapped up in it the whole time. Hasn't left it alone since purchase 1 week ago. Next, am feeding the feather star every third night with a frozen zooplankton type food. Cant remember what its called, but its basically for invertebrates, corals etc. The feather star was bought in good shape. Many arms intact. Very responsive, still looks good. <hmmm... I appreciate the effort but I cannot underscore the fact that feather stars feed on nanoplankton... microscopic food... phyto, floc, colloidal matter, etc. Nothing that you or I can offer from a bottle of cube even has a prayer of being remotely close to being small enough to be edible. This starfish will starve in months if not weeks.> Any ideas as to how to keep it this way will be appreciated. Once again I made the mistake of purchasing and then reading up. <no worries this time... we learn from our mistakes of course. The silver lining is that you may enjoy some new techniques learned in trying to keep this animal.> Didn't plan on a nice bristle star using a feather star as a home. <understood... I would have liked to see a more experienced and professional response from the vendor to simply lure the brittle away with bait, or better... not sell feather stars at all without telling customers how to keep them alive. The short story is that you can either set up a separate live food culturing station to grow rotifers and phytoplankton (very tedious!) or you could set up a refugium for your feather star. The refugium is highly recommended with hope that it will generate enough natural plankton if you have the resolve to leave it fishless. Have good strong flow too to support the starfish or it will not open up. Another possible food is bottled phytoplankton (or a slurry of your frozen product). However, the trouble with all liquid suspensions is that they must be blended electrically every single time they are fed to reduce the particle size. Here is a piece I wrote with liquid phytoplankton and other liquid foods in mind: "My reference to the "inappropriate/heavy" feeding of phytoplankton specifically refers to the common misapplication of the bottled products.  When it comes to feeding corals... prey and particle size is everything down to a species level for some.  Some bottled phyto products are very fine indeed but they are commonly misapplied and some have outright poor instructions for application. I have not personally done the studies on phytoplankton, but I have read/heard the reports of those that have. Notably, Rob Toonen has described that even the best bottled phyto (whatever that is by species or nutritional composition for your purpose) is effective in a very narrow range.  The limitations have to do largely with "clotting" or coagulating of the product as it ages rendering the prey/product size too large for many of the fine polyped phyto feeders.  Some recommendations...  Bottled phyto ideally should be packaged, transported, sold and kept refrigerated throughout the chain of custody for the longest shelf life. (on this point most people succeed)  Said shelf life is arguably 6 months at best after which time the efficacy degrades markedly (particle size increases significantly). Such products are used best in 2-4 months, 6 months max. (on this point, most people are willing and able).  With every application, the phyto sample should be whisked in an electric "blender" to reduce particle size... hand shaken is largely ineffective. (Ahhh- ha! on this point, who really does this? Sure.. I have a few kook friends that actually do... but most aquarists know not or will not commit to this tedious application and simply feed more hoping for the best).  Some defenders of the "no-blending" school assert that the undigested or oversized particles still degrade into useful dissolved organics. I'll be the first to say that I am not qualified or interested to test that theory. But by the same line of logic... does that mean that small bits of dissolved cheeseburger also have some potential use? On a more serious note... what of rotting nuisance algae... is that helpful just the same? I don't even want to form an opinion on such matters. If we are talking about delivering particles of phytoplankton to an animal that feeds organismally (whole prey/particles!), then I do not want to make or hear excuses about possible ancillary benefits of dissolved matter.  And so... the reality of some or many folks misapplying such bottled foods (you can extend this argument easily to the chunky gumbo bottled foods that I usually refer to as "pollution in a bottle") is aggravated by the fact that many of the same folks are feeding said product to animals that are unlikely to eat or even known not to eat phytoplankton. The fact of the matter is that most of us has corals that decidedly favor meaty fare (zooplankton). So... unless you have a herd of gorgonians or a gaggle of Nephtheids... I'm not so sure I would be dumping bottled phyto in like it was hair tonic.  To be clear, I think the notion of using a product like bottled phyto in most tanks at least in small quantities is a great idea! I just think that it is misapplied too often. In a perfect world... everybody would have a phyto reactor instead."> Look forward to your reply, Doron Milner. Sydney Australia. <my best regards to you for your efforts still to help this creature. Sincerely, Anthony Calfo>

Bad Tangs Won't Eat Their Greens! Bob and crew, <Scott F. here today> I have a problem with my two tangs, one regal tang and one orange shouldered tang. I understand that in the wild they are mainly herbivorous.  Mine will graze constantly on micro/macro algae around the tank, however, this is now in short supply.  They get fed three times a day with Spirulina enriched and omega 3 enriched brine shrimp and sometimes a bit of krill/Mysis shrimp. <These are very good foods, IMO. If you are going to use brine shrimp, the enriched type is the only one to use!> I have read that without large amounts of greens they may get HLLE.  This lead me to trying to provide greens in the form of Kombu seaweed ( bought from Sainsbury's specialty food section) and Sushi Nori seaweed from an Asian food store. I have also tried Spinach but I have been told that Spinach is unsuitable for marine fish as it contains organic compounds that are not found in their natural diet and also that it  may contain high levels of nitrate from the fertilizer. <Good points!> The tangs will not touch any of the food given to them except the brine shrimp and krill/Mysis. <May just take a while to acquire a "taste" for these alternatives> I know the Spirulina in the brine shrimp is tuned to their dietary needs, but is it enough? Can you suggest any other greens I could try them on? Many Thanks, Jon Pinfold. <Well, John, there are some better alternatives, if you could obtain them. In my opinion, the best algae food for tangs is a red macroalgae, Gracilaria, also known as "Ogo", "Limu", or the proprietary name "Tang Heaven". This macroalgae is absolutely devoured by every mainly herbivorous tang that I have maintained over the years. Two great sources of this live algae (which, by the way, you can propagate yourself with a bit of effort) are Gerald Heslinga's Indo-Pacific Sea Farms in Kona, HI, or Mary Middlebrook's Marine Specialties International in Oxnard, CA. Both  of these great companies offer cultivated Gracilaria for sale on-line. I have obtained my starter cultures from IPSF,  which offers the "red" version, and it's really an excellent food. Finally, please note that the Regal Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus) tends to be a bit less enthusiastic about macroalgae, or macroalgae substitutes, such as Nori, but they will munch on it once they acquire a taste. You can also purchase "Ogo" from some Asian markets, but it is refrigerated, and not as eagerly accepted, IMO. Do look for the live Gracilaria, I think your tangs will love you for it! Regards, Scott F.>

Phytoplankton feeding - Perspectives on Rob Toonen's articles <Henry... thank you kindly for you efforts and research shared. We will post this promptly (below) for  daily FAQ readers. I must add though that Dr Toonen hasn't actually been misquoted. Part of the incongruity is that Dr Toonen's work has evolved in the many(!) months (more than a year) since writing the article and presenting the work 18 months ago at MACNA Baltimore 2001. My shared opinion/advice was not only from communication with Rob, but actually more from several other researchers and biologists that have spent years culturing phytoplankton in various applications. The bottom line is that no dead, semi-live or bottled live product can come close to the useful longevity of fresh refrigerated live cultures (regarding particle size in particular)... and since fresh live cultures kept refrigerated degrade markedly on a daily basis (clumping/clotting) until around 6 months (at best), we cannot expect these older, less fresh, commercially processed products to fair much better no matter how much money in marketing the manufacturers spend. And for the sake of the argument, even if I/we admit that any real or wishful claims on viability are correct about bottled phyto... it doesn't change the fact that it has a very limited application in aquariums. Very few corals do or can eat phyto (Gorgonids and some Nephtheids... extremely limited on Alcyoniids). It honestly does more harm than good in my opinion for many tanks. Healthy tanks usually just sustain the hit on nutrients from added liquid phyto and skim it out. Most of our corals are overwhelmingly zooplankton feeders! The argument by phyto mfgs that the dissolved dead phyto is still useful is about as accurate as a dissolved hamburger is useful (both actually are in some ways... increasing microbial populations/nanoplankton... but at what cost?). And the additional proposal that supplemental phyto is needed for copepods is bunk IMO... there is more than enough epiphytic matter shed from the shear surface are of the aquarium interior (scraped and shed algae from glass and rocks, refugium with macros/plants, etc). Experienced and responsible aquarists may very well benefit from it (I suspect that you fall into that category)... but most of the folks we have are new and in need of more fundamental information. And it would be irresponsible for us to agree with anyone that tells a novice to pour liquid phyto in by the gallon when they do not even have a mature established aquarium and protocol yet. Whew! That said... I truly appreciate your input. Quite grateful and non-combative at all. I just witness so many people getting misguided by advertising claims and most liquid supplements which are mostly high-profit "pollution in a bottle". Let as all keep learning, challenging and growing. For every day, a better way... Kind regards, Anthony> >I once asked about DT's Phytoplankton and even a couple of days ago I saw another question concerning the use of live phytoplankton. The response was something about having to liquefy the solution before feeding and too large particle sizes. Anthony Calfo mentions Rob Toonen for his work in this area. >This is actually a misquote and after looking around the net for a while I finally found Rob Toonen's article where he talks about this. Finding it wasn't as easy as I thought and I actually ran across it looking for other things. It would have been helpful to me to read the actual article directly so perhaps you could add a link to it in your standard answers and FAQ's and let people know when they ask about phytoplankton. The link is: > http://www.reefs.org/library/talklog/r_toonen_102500.html. >The article is very informative, and provides an overview of the various products on the market, along with their benefits and drawbacks. It also briefly discusses if phytoplankton is good or not: "But, is phytoplankton feeding right for your aquarium? If your answer to my question about your goals in keeping a reef aquarium was along the lines of maximizing diversity or recreating a particular reef habitat type, then there are volumes of research showing that phytoplankton plays an important role in supporting natural reef ecosystems. If your answer was more along the lines of minimizing potential problems with nutrient export and maximizing growth of Acropora, however, you're unlikely to see much visible benefit (and potentially cause yourself more problems) by adding phytoplankton to your aquarium." >The concern about particle sizes is NOT for all phytoplankton products. >Actually most products, in particular DT's and other live phytoplankton, are OK. To quote the article: "Live phytoplankton is obviously the best option in terms of nutritional value and low risk of over-feeding. Live cultures are the standard by which all other products are judged, and the others can be "as good as live" but no one has ever discovered a phytoplankton supplement that performs better than live." However, live phytoplankton is perhaps the most expensive option to provide phytoplankton to a tank and "Storage in the refrigerator may or may not lead to problems in the home (such as the complaining spouse syndrome, or house-guests thinking it's Wheat grass or some other nasty 'health food' concoction and guzzling some )... "  :) >Dr. Toonen only mentions the inappropriate particle size with respect to spray dried marine phytoplankton (SDMP) with ESV as the primary choice. >There he does say: "the major drawbacks with this product are that it does not generally provide particles of the size range of the majority of phytoplankton, and that it requires mixing in a blender prior to feeding in order to get any particles of the correct size range. ", even though the nutrition profile of the product is actually very good. >I recommend the article to anyone interested in feeding phytoplankton to their marine tank. I thought your readers might benefit from this information as much as I did. >Henry Muyshondt

Phytoplankton feeding - Rob Toonen's articles Thank you very much for your reply, Anthony. <a pleasure my friend> I appreciate the effort you and the whole crew put forth for the benefit of us all and the hobby. <and it is such  thanks and fellowship that fuels and inspires us in kind> I can see how putting phytoplankton into the tank could be a source of problems, particularly if done indiscriminately, in large quantities, and without careful observation of the bioload on the tank, with the phytoplankton contributing as lot to the bioload if not consumed (by causing bacteria growth as it decays). Like everything else in this hobby, it must be used wisely. It is not a miracle food that can make your tank water sparkle and all its inhabitants thrive just by pouring it in and it is definitely not a case of "a little being good and more is even better". <that is a fantastically lucid and accurate assessment! Exactly our perspective and basis for such recommendations. Our advice at times is rather like triage- serves the bulk of hobbyists in a fashion for the greater good while the rest can pursue, disseminate and discover the subtleties or flaws in the gross categorizations> I do not take your comments to be adversarial. Any progress has to be accompanied by a healthy discourse on the subject matter and you certainly have a lot of knowledge we can all learn from. <thank you... I'm quite sure you do too and am especially appreciative that you've shared. It has allowed us to publish this discussion and details for the betterment of our many fellow readers that will browse the dailies and archives later. Very productive.> I value your experience and insights about the hobby. Although I don't think phytoplankton should be summarily dismissed, it is very easy to misuse it, as you point out. <agreed when you get me to discuss it at length. In fact, I can honestly say that as an aquarist with experience and some kind of honed good habits for marine keeping, I would certainly use DTs without hesitation if the call arises. My previous advice was merely a brief and generic reply (triage again <G>) directed at the mostly novice reader> I do not observe any clumping in refrigerated DT's over the few months that a bottle lasts me, <we're talking microscopic here, yes? Nano-sized for tiny phyto feeding polyps?> but I can see that using it more than a couple of times a week does result in the same symptoms as any other type of overfeeding. <indeed... a case of too much of a good thing. You'll notice that most/much ends up in the skimmer. Easily skimmed> My previous e-mail was just intended to add another information reference to the great body of knowledge in WetWebMedia, I appreciate the time you took to balance the views expressed in the article. Henry <excellent, Henry! And thanks again for prompting this exchange which will be added to that very section in the archives and serve curious minds with a broader perspective of the merits of supplemental Phyto use. Best regards, Anthony>

Too much Nori for tangs? >Hello, >>Hi Terry, Marina here. >I have enjoyed your website for some time now and have come up with the first of probably many questions for the future. I have two small tangs (a yellow and a palette.) I normally alternate feeding every other day--flake food one day and frozen the next. They are healthy fish and recently I have been giving them dried Nori on flake food days. Well they love it and gorge themselves on it. I just wonder how much of a piece of sheet Nori would be too much every other day. I have a 90 Gal tank with LR and the tangs share the tank with three green Chromis and two maroon clowns. >>No such thing as too much Nori, Terry.  I will only suggest that you soak it once or twice a week with Selcon (or similar quality supplement).  What I prefer to do with the Nori is put it on a clip, then let the animals free-feed off of it, similar to what they would do in nature.

- Feeding & Salt Mixes - Hi, Hope all is going well for you there.  Just finished weathering the storm here.  I have several questions, please.  I have a 75 gallon saltwater tank with F/O NLR.  I have been using a brand of salt called marine environment, but am tired of paying so much for it.  I wanted to get your opinion on Instant Ocean salt mix.  I have read good and bad (like any product) and wanted to know if it is a decent mix. <Instant Ocean is probably the most widely used salt mix in the world, including commercial enterprises and public aquariums... it is a fine and consistent aquarium salt.> Also, I currently have a pair of false Perculas, a flame Hawkfish, and a royal Gramma.  I was thinking of adding a canary deepwater damsel.  I have read that they are not as aggressive as other damsels, but also read that as they get bigger they get more aggressive. <Is typical for most damsels.> What is your opinion about my adding one to my current inhabitants? <Given the number of fish you already have, this one will likely do just fine.> I had also thought of a yellow tang, but didn't like the idea of feeding him food like algae on a clip due to the mess I have seen it make in my neighbor's tank as the algae breaks off and floats around uneaten.  Is there any way around feeding like this, like maybe feeding regular food that has algae in it? <Would be best to do both... perhaps limit the amount of food you put in the clip.> Thanks for your time, James <Cheers, J -- >

Nori, get thee to a sushi bar, doh! One quick question. I looked all over the forms first to see if I could find the answer to my stupid question but I could not. I got the sheets of Nori for my Yellow Tang, but I am not sure how to feed it to him. <Crimp it along a line, like folding paper, and tear... place in an all-plastic clip and stick to the side of the tank, near the surface. Voila!> Because it is seaweed with nothing else added does this mean you can just leave it in the tank until it's gone even if it takes days, or should I be leaving smaller pieces so that it gets eaten up by the end of the night. I read that Nori does not add anything harmful to the tank, but does it not break down over time and become waste? <All does> So what is your suggested method for feeding with Nori. The Tang does like it but he picks at it very gradually. A bite every minute or so, but he continued to do this for two hours, then I took the Nori out for the night thinking it might become harmful. Thanks for your help again, this should be the last of my questions for a while. Sean <Just leave it in... a small enough strip to be consumed in a day or so... As your animal/s become more familiar it will "disappear" quickly as food. Bob Fenner>

Re: Naso Tang Post, 2.25.05 Greetings Crew! <Greetings! Ryan with you today.> I was reading the daily questions and came across this 'Naso tang' question. He states that all his water param.s are fine but the Naso just won't eat and looks stressed, and has some seaweed on a clip for the fish. I also have a tang (yellow, Hawaiian) that will exhibit the same similarities as this IF I use the blue seaweed clip.. Red clip, no problems at all.. Its almost as if they have been watching the Matrix too many times! I would have him maybe just tie some seaweed onto a smallish rock and see what that does for the tangs stress levels. <We'll post this for him to read, enjoy. Thank you for sharing. Certainly entertaining! Personally, I would recommend a grounding probe and a skimmer cleaning if you notice your tang isn't quite himself. The oxygen saturation level of your water should remain high with this type of fish. Good luck! Ryan> 

Chaetomorpha Buffet Hello, <Hi there> I just started a sump last month and put some Chaetomorpha in it and it has already overgrown the sump. So last night I pulled some out and put it in the main display so that all the little amphipods living it it could crawl into the live rock. This morning I woke up and my Foxface was eating and shredding it to pieces while my hippo tang was on clean up crew eating what he would leave behind. <Yep> I have noticed that he just keeps on eating it, only occasionally taking a break. He is definitely eating more than I normally feed him. Is it bad to let him eat as much as he wants or should I limit his feeding by taking it out? <Mmm, up to you... not likely to over-eat> I got the algae to combat nutrients in the first place, so maybe I should I just throw away the excess that grows definitely getting the nutrients out of the tank? <Mmm, I would feed it out, or trade it in to shops, other aquarists> Finally, if it is healthy for him to eat, should I stop feeding flake foot and just keep up with frozen, or can fish live off Chaetomorpha alone? <I'd augment this> Thanks, Justin <Bob Fenner> 

Algae Sheet Feeding - 01/01/2006 Hi again. <Hello Jon.> I have a somewhat silly question. I am feeding my Dwarf Angel Seaweed Selects (and other clip on veggie foods) and overnight, the sheet came off the clip and is now sort of strewn all over the tank in small pieces. <They become "mush" over time. Best to offer throughout the day, remove uneaten frequently.> I tried to pick and net out what I can but is it detrimental if there's some small pieces that sink to the bottom. <Algae blooms and poor water quality.> I have a shrimp and snails, I don't know if they eat that though. <They will but if this happens often I doubt they'll be able to keep up.> Thanks! Jon <Sure. - Josh> PS- This morning my angel seemed to have developed a small white streak under her lower jaw. Its not Ich but it looks like a   discoloration, I think called fear spots maybe. Also, It looks kind of like she never closes her mouth all the way. Is that bad. Nothing looks to out of place. She is not acting any different than usual and nothing looks swollen or out of place on her. <Just keep an eye out. Likely nothing wrong at all.>

Feeding Nori  12/24/05 Hello again, Crew! <Hi Brent.> Just a quick question here:  I have added a small Regal Tang to my tank.   Little guy (perhaps girl) is only about 1 inch big, and eats pretty well <Sounds like you are getting lucky, in general specimens of this size do not adapt well to captivity at all.> anything I put in there (brine shrimp, Marine cuisine, etc.)  I would like to supplement with some Nori or green, leafy lettuce. <Go with the Nori skip the terrestrial lettuce.>   How long can you leave Nori or lettuce in the tank, and will it foul the water if left too long? <I would remove what in uneaten after 2 or 3 hours.> Thanks Brent in Calgary <Welcome, Adam J.>

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