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FAQs on Algae as Food: Sources

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, Culture, Feeding Methods, Troubleshooting/Fixes, Products, & Foods/Feeding/Nutrition 1, Phytoplankton, Marine Algae, Coral FeedingBrine ShrimpVitaminsNutritional DiseaseFrozen Foods, Coral Feeding, Growing Reef CoralsCulturing Food OrganismsRed Algae, See also the individual groups of organisms feeding FAQs files

Live/Cultures: Florida Aqua Farms www.ipsf.com

Dried/Prepared: Oriental food stores/Sections Argent Labs Ocean Nutrition Omega-Sea Two Li'l Fishies

New Print and eBook on Amazon

Marine Aquarium Algae Control

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Sesame Seed / Olive Oil for Tangs  9/3/13
Hey WWM Crew,
<Hey Ryan>
I picked up some dried seaweed (roasted laver) for my Desjardini Sailfin Tang and realized after opening it that it has sesame seed oil and olive oil on it. Is this ok for the fish to eat? Can I bake it off and have it be
ok? Or maybe towel dry it? The sheets have quite a bit of oil on them.
<Unfortunately such oils are NOT okay to put in our tanks; and can't be "baked away". The real issue is that they coat the surface (air water interface) greatly discounting gaseous exchange. I'd eat them myself instead (I live in SD as well, and buy a good deal of my sushi supplies at Restaurant Depot if you can get in>
I appreciate the help, thanks!
Ryan W
San Diego, CA
<There's a bit of an interesting story of how human-intended processed algae got into the trade... Some friends in LA (Tideline, Marty and Dennis...) and friend Chris Turk (w/ his wife started, ran Ocean Nutrition), met up w/ a bunch of untreated (non-flavoured) Nori/Porphyra...
Later (as usual) Julian and Danny (2 li'l squishies) copied the idea, better packaging. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Algae, scraped food 4/19/13
Hi Crew,
<Hello Adam>
 I thought I would share this with you readers. I must admit it came around by accident. Sometimes I am busy so my tank is left for a week without cleaning the glass as I know it is only cosmetic and if anything actually aids water quality. Anyway when I scraped off the glass with a shaving blade as the algae is firm and does not come away with a magnetic cleaner
brown/green sheets of algae about 1 inch floated in the water and my Regal Tang came out and was so happy I have never seen him move so fast eating it with relish leaving little chance for my Majestic and Blueface who also liked it and served two purposes, one to give them a varied diet (they are in perfect health) and two I didn't need to trawl the tank with a net to
try and catch the algae. I am thinking of leaving one edge of the tank like this as clearly the fish like the algae and it cannot introduce disease into the tank.
<Will post for others Adam.  Thank you for sharing your experience.  James (Salty Dog)>
 Regards, Adam

Difference between seaweeds? Nori, for food  2/13/12
Hey WWM people!
 Hope all is well and again, great site. 
Quick question. I figured that I would find it here but may have missed it on my search. I was wondering the difference between Sushi grade, no additives, roasted seaweed and the seaweed that sold a LFS.
<Generally just the price.>
Looking at the two they look identical and if you get the "A" grade sushi Nori it is actually a "heavier" looking sheet. I know that there could be oils used in the roasting process (found on WWM) but looking at them they look very similar. Just trying to save a buck and finally figure this out.
I can get 1000 sheets of sushi grade for about 80.00 where as the LFS stuff is about 32.00 for 100 sheets.
Thanks again
<As long as it doesn't have any additives it is probably the same stuff.>

Seaweed question 6/6/2011
I just got back from San Diego, and since that's your turf, I thought I'd ask you about this. I picked up a handful of those flat seaweed leaves at Mission beach.
<Mmm, blades or lamina... of... Macrocystis pyrifera?>
I'm wondering whether my P. wingei and my J. floridae might enjoy eating it if I pulverize it into bite-sized pieces, or is this a bad idea?
Rick Novy
<Likely bad... too bitter (too much I2), and too likely to introduce pests and pollution. B>

Re: Seaweed question   6/6/11
I could include a photo of what seaweed I picked up, but since you discourage feeding with it at all, there's not much point. Many thanks, though. That's why I asked first.
<Mmm, no photo attached...>
Good news is that all my fish are currently doing well, and Neale will interested to know I finally managed to locate some desert gobies and they will arrive later this week. The only problem I have is that pesky tank space thing.
<You don't need that couch! Or that large bed! And use the shower and convert the bath tub! What sort of aquarist are you any hoo?! B>
Re: Seaweed question   6/6/11
For completeness, a photo of the seaweed. It's a bit dried out since I picked it up on Saturday.
As previously guessed. Macrocystis pyrifera. B

Harvesting algae from algae filter    4/9/10
Hello crew! I've been regularly visiting your site for a few months now and wanted to thank you for making so much information available all in one place.
I've recently built an algae filter to help control nitrates and phosphates, and it seems to be doing its job. My test results have gone from nitrate levels being off the charts to around 15.
<Ah, good>
I've read on several websites that you should not harvest the algae on the filter and feed it to your fish. I was curious to know why.
<Mmm, two possibilities come to mind... the concern that you might end up "re-entering" whatever nutrient was taken up by the turf algae, and secondly, that the algae might prove distasteful, perhaps toxic. But... I'd try a bit of the turf algae and see if it's accepted, and likely use part of it this way on an ongoing basis>
If I'm not mistaken the algae on the filter shouldn't be any different from the algae in the aquarium right?
<There is a huge variety in algae, but the types/species usually cultured in these filters is not toxic and is palatable to many fish species>
Don't think this pertains to my question much but my setup is as follows:
75 gallon tank
Ehime pro II canister filter
Ehime classic canister (used to return water to the tank from algae scrub.)
Both are primarily filled with ceramic media, all but 1 small sponge have been removed and I can't for the life of me remember what the other media in there is.
about 80 lbs live rock
2 inches crushed coral substrate
Water temp 82
Salt reading on meter is 1.22
<1.022... I'd be raising this Spg. Read here:
and the linked files above>
1 Emperor angel
1 Cream angel
<Mmm, what is this?>
1 Red Sea wrasse
1 Lawn mower blenny
2 Ocellaris clowns
1 long spine urchin
1 cleaner shrimp
3 large hermit crabs
1 turbo snail
Thanks again for all your help!
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner> 

Re: Harvesting algae from algae filter   4/13/10
Hi Bob, thank you for your prompt response. I've tried feeding some of the algae to the fish and they seem to like it.
<Ah, good>
Thank you for the link to the salinity levels. I've started raising it slowly with small partial water changes.
<Even better>
I've done some research on the cream angel I mentioned and I believe its more commonly referred to as a Singapore Angle.
<Thank you for this>
I'd send a pic but they all come out fuzzy, cause he moves around all the time.
Thanks again,
<Thank you. BobF>

Getting Your Fish To Eat Its Veggies --    9/9/09
Hi again Crew,
<<Hiya Jill>>
I have come upon a slight problem with my Foxface Rabbitfish. I can't seem to get him to eat any veggies.
<<Mmm, not all that 'strange' really. Though my Siganus doliatus along with my Tangs will go after macroalgae with gusto'¦they quickly abandon it in the presence of 'meaty' fare>>
I have bought several different brands of dried algae to feed him. Both red and green types. I never see him nibbling the algae in my tank either but then again, I don't watch him 24/7. He will eat all the meaty foods I feed the puffers and loves Mysis shrimp but I'm concerned that he isn't eating enough of the veggie stuff.
<<I see'¦ One would assume the fish would know when it needs/wants such foods, eh [grin]'¦though you might try enticing it with a soak in an food enrichment additive like Selco or Selcon'¦as well as offering the macroalgae before any other food items>>
Does anyone have any good tips on how to tempt him more?
<<Aside from the food enrichment additive mentioned, not really'¦other than trying differing brands. I (and my fishes) like the 'shredded' offerings from Two Little Fishies. You might also try (If you haven't already) some 'Nori' from an Asian market and placing a sheet in a clip in the tank and leaving it for the fish to nibble at its leisure>>
I have recently bought Bob's book and love the recipe in it, I'm going to try something like this and just incorporate more algae.
<<Ah yes'¦and this brings to mind another option'¦Hikari's 'Mega-Marine Algae' frozen food. This will look more like the meaty fare your Rabbitfish likes and should be readily accepted>>
One question I did have is if my puffer takes a bite out of the live rock now and then, do I still need to worry about giving him shelled foods?
<<Likely, yes'¦ An occasional bite of rock isn't likely to keep its teeth ground down'¦and besides'¦the shelled foods are just plain good for its long-term health/vitality>>
He wasn't interested in the hermit crabs which I am glad of now since I've decided I will not be feeding him any more live food in hopes to eliminate possible aggression at a later time.
<<A yes'¦ Clams, mussels, etc. from the local grocery store should do just fine>>
As far as Bob's book goes. I loved it, I recommend anyone thinking about getting into this hobby to look for it at Amazon.com. The Conscientious Marine Aquarist. I certainly wished I had it before I started purchasing my fish. I would have definitely asked a lot more questions.
<<Indeed'¦ Bob certainly does urge/inspire one to think/read/research>>
One more thing. I was thinking of adding a Flame Hawkfish to my set-up. 125 gallon FOWLR 1 dog-face puffer, 1 Porc puffer, 1 Rabbitfish. Yes....I know the Porc will outgrow the 125 and am already considering putting him in his very own 125.
<<Very good then'¦ The Hawkfish should be fine>>
I figure I have a year possibly as he is only about 5 inches right now.
Thanks again Crew. Take care!!
<<Welcome and same to ya! EricR>>

Chaetomorpha- Tang Chow?  - 06/22/2006 I have a three tangs (Naso, Hippo, and Sailfin) that are pigs and will eat anything from flake food to Nori.  I usually feed Nori two to three times a day and occasionally throw in some over-the-counter fish food for variety. <Variety is good!>    Recently I added some Chaetomorpha to my sump and it has grown very rapidly.  Rather than throw away the excess I put some in the feeding clip and sure enough the tangs ate it all up.   My question is whether the nutritional content of Chaetomorpha is anywhere on par with Nori such that I should include it in the tangs' diet, or whether I should just toss/give away the Chaeto and keep giving Nori and other prepared foods.   Thank you,  Justin <Interesting question, Justin. I have seen Tangs devour this macroalgae, so they certainly like the stuff. I'd have to assume (gulp) that the nutritional profile of this algae is rather good. While not as commonly used to feed Tangs as say, Gracilaria ("Ogo"), the fact that it is an algae of marine origin makes it, at least in my mind, every bit as good as any other macroalgae. In the end, variety is very important, so this algae in conjunction with other foods is perfectly acceptable! Regards, Scott F.>

Freeze-dried microalgae Hello Mr. Fenner <Anthony Calfo in your service> I am looking to buy spray dried/freeze-dried microalgae Nanochloropsis for the culture of zooplankton. I understand that many pet suppliers do sell these, but I am looking to buy a few kilograms of these alga, not in the small quantities offered. Do you buy any chance know of anybody who sell the spray dried/freeze dried version. <have you tried Argent Labs at http://srd.yahoo.com/goo/argent+chemical/1/T=1023952668/F=45c2029d3ff1ed2996347 aec26eb0fd8/*http://www.argent-labs.com/> Right now I am using microalgae paste but it is getting too expensive to use on a long run. <indeed> Many thanks in advance Joey <with kind regards, Anthony Calfo>

Re: Sick RedSea Sailfin (green foods) Mr. Fenner, I had quite a great time watching my 2 fish gallivant in the big tank again. They have pretty much eaten all of the long algae off of the rear glass. I did notice that the RedSea has a few spots above his eyes that may be the beginning of HLLE-I hope not but I've read your site about nutrition for it & am going to the store to get some vitamins after this email. I also found 2 cleaner shrimp that have been in the store for over 3 weeks & are looking & eating great. Should I quarantine or dip the shrimp before putting in the main tank?? <Not necessary. Please see the WWM site here> Thanks again for all of your guidance. Craig PS I read it, but forgot! What is you view of feeding broccoli enriched w/Zoë? <Fine, but marine-originating algal foods are superior. Bob Fenner>

Seaweed for food Hi Mr. Fenner Just 1 quick question. I've looked around, but the only type of Nori seaweed I've found to give to my fish is the roasted type for sushi. It's all natural, and plain, except roasted. Is this o.k., or do i have to keep looking for a different type? <Roasted is fine... look for other algae for human consumption as well... like Kombu, karame... they should be found in the oriental food store/section... just not ones with "sauces" added. Bob Fenner> Greg N

Questions about Nori for fishes Hi Bob !! I need some advice from you . First of all, are those Nori found in supermarkets that is for human consumption safe for marine fishes too?  <Yes my friend... identical... just look out and avoid the "flavored" ones (like with soyu on them...). Other human-intended algae from such sources are excellent as foods as well.> Secondly, can I placed the newly purchased queen angel (6 inch) in a quarantine tank of SG level of 1.010 for 2 weeks ? Thanks. <I would lower the spg to only 1.016 or so... a thousandth per day maximum from what the shipping water is/was... and raise it back up at the end at the same rate... to match your system water. Bob Fenner>

Feeding kelp Greetings to the Wet Web Posse! <<Yo yo! JasonC here at your service...>> Fantastic site! I read so much info here. Hate to bug you guys but I have two questions that I'm dying to have answered. <<No worries.>> First: I have a 50 gal. With a 175MH FOWLR that is slowly sliding toward a reef tank. A rescued bubble coral from a friend started it. Following success there, a BTA and some star polyps have moved it further along. I have Halimeda coming out of my ears and I am starting to grow other (turtle weed and Derbesia I believe) green algae. I have a yellow tang in QT now and will be adding it in a few days. I was wondering (now to the question) if the tang runs out of algae in the tank, if I would be able to feed it kelp or other macro algae from the ocean? <<I'd say yes to the "other" macro algae, but I'm not sure a tang would eat kelp - it's a little tough. Certainly worth a try.>> I live in Long Beach, CA. and frequently see giant kelp and other stuff on/near shore and in the bays. What are the risks and precautions for doing something like this? <<I would be careful of anything that comes from close to shore as it will likely contain some concentration of common pollutants, none of which you want in your fish or your tank. Stuff collected from farther out would be better advised, but again there's no guarantee that the tang will eat it.>> Second: I have a Berlin (red sea) skimmer driven by a Rio 2700 in my sump that does not seem to pull out much gunk. I cleaned it last month (as per suggestions on your site) and still have not seen much production despite a dramatic increase in the amount of fine bubbles in the column. I have seen a little more Cyano in the tank but this could be due to my recent upgrade to the 175 MH or to iodine additions (started with the introduction of the star polyps). <<Oh for certain, a 175w MH will grow any algae like weeds.>> Any ideas how to boost skimmate production? <<Not really, skimmers can only skim what's there. If your bioload is light, then there's not really a whole lot to skim.>> Thank you so very much for your time. Best regards. Karl Palm <<Cheers, J -- >>

Re: seaweed Hi I have recently purchased some TMC seaweed. When i put it in the tank none of the fish can eat it or tear any off. Some other people that i have spoke to have also had this problem. Is there something wrong with it or do you have to do something to it before you put it in your tank? thanks MATT <Much depends on what type/species of algae this is, and the particular fishes you're offering it to... but mainly these lacks of palatability are due to unfamiliarity. Do just offer a small bit of the algae with their meals (on an all plastic clip is best so you can keep an eye on it), and you will likely see your herbivorous (most all fishes are greenery eaters to an extent) livestock taking the algae with gusto in a few weeks. Bob Fenner

Fresh Nori Hi, As you may be aware I commenced supplying the Tropical marine Centre, here in the UK, with their fresh Nori seaweed about a year ago and am very pleased with the quantities we are selling (about 1000 packs weekly in England alone). <Ah, great... It took me twenty plus years to talk Chris Turk into selling friends "expired" product in the U.S. and then Julian Sprung stole the idea...> About 6 months ago I introduced the product to Bob at PW with a view to being our wholesale distributor in the USA. For whatever reason this has not succeeded and I need to start looking for a distributor who is capable of introducing the product into as many fish stores in the US as possible. <Mmm...> If you know of any main distributor I would really appreciate their contact info. There seems to be no product that is similar over there with only Julian Sprung's sea veggies which are dried. This is the only truly FRESH sea vegetable product available to the hobbyist. <There are a few select choices to mention... not the biggest players, but people I know to be honest, competent, hard-working here. I will cc them and ask that they respond directly to you> Thank you in advance. Best regards, Martin Levy. Director - The French Garden Ltd. Moderator - Reef section- Petswarehouse.com <Nice to meet you. Bob Fenner>

Freeze-dried microalgae Hello Mr. Fenner <Anthony Calfo in your service> I am looking to buy spray dried/freeze-dried microalgae Nanochloropsis for the culture of zooplankton. I understand that many pet suppliers do sell these, but I am looking to buy a few kilograms of these alga, not in the small quantities offered. Do you buy any chance know of anybody who sell the spray dried/freeze dried version. <have you tried Argent Labs at http://srd.yahoo.com/goo/argent+chemical/1/T=1023952668/F=45c2029d3ff1ed2996347 aec26eb0fd8/*http://www.argent-labs.com/> Right now I am using microalgae paste but it is getting too expensive to use on a long run. <indeed> Many thanks in advance Joey <with kind regards, Anthony Calfo>

Feeding fresh algae Dear Bob, <Hello> I just wanted to check your position on feeding marine algae that I might collect on the beach to my Ctenochaetus strigosus. I live on the South Coast of the UK and it would be relatively easy to get hold of some macroalgae from our beaches. Would there be a practical way to preserve the nutrients and get rid of possible microbial or viral diseases (freezing?) and also eventual pollution washing?), so as not to harm him unduly? <I think this is an idea, resource worth trying. As you likely know, such material has been used as fodder... If it were me, I'd rig up a simple marine tank with low lighting, something in the way of filtration (perhaps just an air-powered sponge filter)... and leave the collected algae (of a few, "softer" species... reds and greens, but not browns) to simply float, lose whatever "hitchhikers" it has over a week or two's time... try feeding them... if they're accepted, go on to trying various ways of preparation and storage: parboiling, rinsing and freezing, microwaving, blending and freezing in cubes, and freezing altogether for handy use.> Also, I hear a US public aquarium has very successfully used broccoli to augment the intake of vitamin A in HLLE disease in blue tangs. What do you think about feeding some organically grown broccoli to my Ctenochaetus? <Worth trying. But, many folks simply use liquid vitamin supplements applied to all sorts of foods to augment iodide, C, D et al. nutrients> Finally, he/she's about 10cm long. What length can I expect him to achieve in a 60 Imp Gallon system where his only housemate is a small Huma Huma trigger (4cm)? <Perhaps another 5 cm. over time... they're slow growers comparatively> Thanks for your answers and for your illuminating insights throughout your site. Massimo, Brighton, UK <Thank you for your participation, sharing. Bob Fenner>

Seaweed Selection Hi All! <Scott F. today!> I work at a lab where we have tested various seaweeds  for a local company-Maine Coast Sea Vegetables. I wonder if I can use some of their product to feed my blue hippo tang and dwarf flame angel? <Sounds like a good idea to me!> I have samples of ground Laver aka Wild Atlantic Nori (Porphyra umbilicalis), Kelp flakes (Laminaria longicuris), Dulse flakes (Palmaria palmata), Alaria aka wild Atlantic Wakame (Alaria esculenta) and Sea Lettuce flakes (Ulva lactuca). I believe these are harvested around Nova Scotia and/or New Foundland and are certified  organic. I know the fish are from warmer climates and maybe these seaweeds should  not be feed to them...? I also have a certificate of analysis that states the Sea Lettuce and Dulse may contain Arsenic; Dulse with 1.10 mg/Kg and Sea Lettuce <13 mg/Kg As. Not sure if flake  foods sold over the counter have ever been tested for As levels or if this is even a concern?! Any ideas or comments? Thanks Denise <Great connection to have, Denise! I'd would not be hesitant to try these "temperate" algae. I'll bet a fair number of the macroalgae used in commercial fish foods are not of tropical origin! As far as the arsenic...I don't know of any such analysis being conducted...I'd err on the side of caution and not feed the macroalgae that are stated to contain arsenic...Perhaps you could contact the manufacturer for an interpretation here...Better safe than sorry! Good Luck! Regards, Scott F>

What to feed algae lover - 3/26/03 I have 90gal with 90 lbs Kaelini rock setup since 1/10/03. I have 1 coral beauty clown and have gone thru the brown diatom algae period and i now have green hair algae. Last Thurs. i received a standard algae attack pack of turbo snails, dwarf hermits and red tipped hermits. They are doing such a fantastic job that i am already worried about having enough algae for them to eat. What and how much should i supplementary feed them? <How much is to be determined by how many you have and a visual check as to who eats what, but as far as what to feed them there are many choices to choose from. Gosh......Mmmmmm.....Spirulina pellets, blanched spinach, seaweeds sold for the pet fish industry and in many Asian food markets now and days, uh..... meaty foods for hermits as well i.e. frozen mysids and plankton>  What is the correct photoperiod length for inverts? <standard lighting scheme applies. Whatever goes for your fish and corals will likely be fine for the rest.> Thanks <You're welcome. Paul>

Procuring Macroalgae Dear crew: <Scott F. your Crew member today> One of you recommended me to try feeding tang heaven algae from IPSF at Hawaii.. but they say they cannot ship to Canada. and I know currently, FFExpress sale some of the type of algae, but was also unable to ship up to Canada, do you guys know who can ship up here for us?? Or perform a transship at some cost?? Because I am sure there are lots of demand here!! Eric <Hmm, Eric...interesting problem...I was not aware that there is a problem in shipping macroalgae to Canada. Maybe an agricultural regulation or something? My recommendation to obtain this macroalgae would be to try other sources, such as Inland Aquatics, Sea Crop, or Florida Aqua Farms (do internet searches to see how to contact them). Other ideas would be to try a scientific supply company within Canada, perhaps with the assistance of a local educational institution, like a high school or college. Finally, you could see if any fellow hobbyists have this stuff available for trade or sale locally...Perhaps a posting on the WWM forum, or on another message board on the 'net. I sure hope that you can get Gracilaria, because it's truly an amazing food for tangs. Once you get some, I hope that you can really make an effort to propagate this macroalgae for your future needs. Good Luck! Regards, Scott F>

HELP -- need advice! Thanks for the advice.  It troubles me to hear that you are surprised with their size.  Should they have grown more?  Am I doing something wrong?  I feed them every day (variety of foods high in protein) <Are you feeding them veggies? Sushi Nori is now available at many grocery stores, and you can find it at Oriental Markets if worse comes to worse. Some fish food makers are selling it as prepackaged fish food, for about 5 times the price of sushi Nori (and it's the same stuff!) and they look very healthy -- brightly colored and definitely not skinny. They are also all very active fish -- acting content with their surroundings. <Well, then I wouldn't be too worried.> Also, how do I find a mate for the clown? <Buy a juvenile of the same species, after some squabbling (and maybe not even then) he'll change into a male, your female has already established her place.> I've tried an Anemone but didn't have any luck. <Anemones are generally hard to keep, and can live for decades, if not centuries in the wild. Please research them thoroughly before trying that again.> Plus she never would come out of it! <That's called hosting and is what clowns do in the wild. Prevents them from being eaten and their host Anemone is protected from predators too.> How can I get a mate for her?  I would love to do that. One more question.  I have about 35lbs. of live rock in the tank right now. Should I add more with the new angel coming?  Could I add maybe one new piece every two weeks or so? <Most angels are nibblers and need a lot of LR. Getting a 100lbs+ wouldn't be out of line. Cure it in a separate container and add it to the tank once it's cured. Even then, you should wait a few months (at least) before adding the angel. Here's the info on LR: www.wetwebmedia.com/liverock1.htm  > Thanks so much!  You all are lifesavers! :) <You're welcome, and we try out best.>

Green water- phytoplankton I would like to culture my own Phytoplex.  How do I do it? Alex Reynaud <do an Internet search for Florida Aqua Farms... they sell complete kits and individual starter components and cultures for Nanochloropsis and Isochrysis to get you on your way. Best regards, Anthony>

What is Nori? What is Nori? Who makes it? Is that flakes? Pellets? <It comes in strips and can usually be found at your LFS or grocery store.  Cody> Thank you, Luke - Freshwater Algae for Marine Fish? - Hello, <Hello to you.> I was wondering if you could feed rocks covered with that green stringy algae that grows in freshwater to a marine fish such as an angelfish or tang? <I would think so.> Would it be bad for them or would they just not nibble at it? <Won't know for sure until you try it, but I'd be more concerned about the 'rocks' that held the algae... just concerned they may react with saltwater, depending on their origin.> I read on your site about growing your own rocks in the window in a jar with saltwater so I have started that but no algae yet, but I have tons of rocks with freshwater algae on them from my pond so I was wondering if I could use them in a marine setup. Would the algae just die off when put in saltwater and the water? <I think it would eventually, unless the fish eat it first.> Just curious. <I would try with just one, and have a water change waiting in the wings in case something unexpected happens... if the fish eat it, then you know you're on the right track. If the algae dissolves and discolors the water, do the water change and don't put in any more algae rocks.> Thanks for all of your help all of the time, you are an invaluable resource. Kylee <Cheers, J -- >

"Ogo-Mania!" Hello.  I have a 4" yellow tang (Tango) and would like to start feeding it some fresh macro algae like you suggest.  Any idea where I can buy Gracilaria (on the internet) so I can start propagating it at home?  All of the LFS's in my area only seem to carry grape Caulerpa, and even that is only on a limited basis.  Thanks!  Sherri Wilson, Buffalo, New York. <Ahh- you can get my favorite stuff (Gracilaria parvispora aka "Ogo") from my favorite e-tailer, Indo Pacific Sea Farms in Kailua-Kona (www.ipsf.com)! They call it "Tang Heaven", but whatever you call it- your tang will call it "delicious!" This stuff rocks! Enjoy! Regards, Scott F.>

Macroalgae On The Menu? WWM Crew, <Scott F. at the keyboard tonight!> Hello and thanks for all the knowledge gained from this site.  I have a question on a refugium.  I have a 125 gal FOWLR tank and have just added a CPR 24" hang on refugium w/ a 36w PC light. In it I have 12 lbs live sand (4" DSB), 5 lbs live rock, and a hand full of Caulerpa.  It has been set up for 3 days.  Will the Caulerpa attached to the live rocks and begin to grow? <Given sufficient light and nutrients, it will definitely begin to attach and grow.> I would like to farm the Caulerpa and feed it to my Tangs and Angel fish, is this ok. <If they accept it- it is a good supplemental food source> How often should I Farm it? <If you're talking about harvesting it to perform nutrient export, then you should harvest small quantities on a regular basis, such as weekly, or more often if it grows like crazy. As far as using it as a food source is concerned- just feed it as often as your fishes will accept it-daily would be fine...> After reading from you site I have learned that the Caulerpa can release organics back into the main tank, how would I know this is happening? <Well, Caulerpa doesn't necessarily release organics into the tank. It does, however, have a propensity to go "sexual", and release cellular material into the water, which can severely tax water quality. It is also known to release some substances into the water that can interfere with many corals. Caulerpa is not the most evil algae in the world, but it does have a "dark side", which you need to be aware of. I prefer less "noxious" algae, such as Chaetomorpha, which floats freely and grows quite well in many systems. If harvested regularly, it is an excellent nutrient export vehicle, with none of the detrimental aspects of Caulerpa. However, Tangs don't seem to like the taste of this stuff! If you are looking for a great macroalgae to feed to your tangs, you should give Gracilaria a try. Once you get the knack of growing it, Gracilaria is really the premier macroalgae to feed to tangs!> Thanks in advance. Mike <Glad to help! Regards, Scott F>

Greens for tangs 5/10/04 Hi gang: <howdy!> Was at my LFS today (the best of three with significant saltwater collections in the area) and there was a note on the Gracilaria tank saying it "won't contaminate tanks like romaine or Nori". <they are half right... romaine is a poor choice. but the Nori is fine/excellent> I've never fed my tangs romaine-based products. . . but my understanding was that was primarily because it was nutritionally inferior. <and the fact that they are polluted with phosphates from the fertilizer used to grow. But this is not true of Nori. Perhaps they lumped it in mistakenly> I DO use Japanese Nori (available economically from a local organic foods supermarket) as the staple for my tangs, supplemented with Formula 1 and live bloodworms. Plus a refugium busy enough that everybody in the tank probably gets a few live Mysis shrimp a week. Anyway. . . is Nori a problem? <nope... a very fine food... please continue to use/promote> Last question: I saw a note in Anthony Calfo's article on acclimating inverts to captive lighting suggesting investment in a light meter. Um. . . how does one operate these generally non-waterproof devices underwater (or is a reading made from just outside the front pane?) <they are not "generally non-waterproof" outside of wherever it is that you shop <G>. Do seek models used by field biologists and aquatics folks. Apogee makes nice, affordable ones> and to what sort of reference scale does one compare them? <depends on what info you seek to know/compare. If bringing a coral home from a friend or pet store, take a reading from the depth at which it last resided and adjust accordingly in your tank. For wild caught corals, there is data on light readings for various species from various locales: check the academic literature, libraries and databases for this majority of info. Some hobby literature includes it too (like Nilsen's articles from Aquarium Frontiers). And for species for which there is no data, get a measurement of light at depth from another similar coral in an aquarium before buying the new specimen. You can/will also use the meter to take a reading on new bulbs and in time to see how they age, stray. For this, seek a PAR meter instead of just a lux meter. Apogee brand my friend ;) Keyword search the 'Net> Thanks in advance for your help on this. Chuck <rock on my brother. Anthony>

NORI or etail algae on demand Thanks for the advice guys, but you 'all go nuts over Nori. <I think its that we find it can be pretty inexpensive.> Listen, I live in Greenville, SC and I don't know where you live, but it is going to be a lot more trouble for me to go find a Chinese Grocery Store (we ain't got no Chinese in SC) than it does to pay 5 bucks on my next Dr. Foster's order for enough seaweed to last several months!<I understand!> Now, if you say this Nori stuff is better, well that is something different, but I am too busy than to have to get in my Benz and pile a bunch of miles on it goin outta my way to find a Chinese Grocery Store to save 2 bucks when I can just order the same stuff from Dr. Fosters and have it delivered right to my door! <I would suggest you order some type of food that has sponge in it for the angels. You just need to add a type of food that includes a bit more of what angelfish need. Hope this helps, MacL>

Phytoplankton, Live or Dead? (4/7/04) Hi <Steve Allen tonight.> I'm in Australia and I haven't been able to track down a supplier of real phytoplankton for my marine tank. I am going to order some from overseas and there is a choice between a kit to grow the stuff myself and "centrifuged" dead phytoplankton in a bottle. Do you have an opinion on whether the growing and feeding live stuff is much better than using the dead stuff? <It is more probable that your phytoplankton-eaters will consume live phyto than dead. Also, if you buy dead, you will have to keep ordering from overseas. I'd suggest building or buying a plankton reactor and cultivating your own on an ongoing basis from live starter. Start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fdcultfaqmar.htm> Thanks <You're welcome. Hope this helps.> Fauchea for Tangs? 1/8/04 Hi, Will Tangs eat Fauchea and if so, does it supply nutrition similar to Tang Heaven?   <it is not so readily accepted as Gracilaria. I am not sure about nutritional value though. I've seen the specs on Gracilaria (Tang Heaven), but nothing on Fauchea. My advice is to stick with Gracilaria... Fauchea can be a miserable nuisance over time. Somewhat noxious too> Red Fauchea looks like a species that grows really well in a tank or refugium <yes... because it is a nuisance <G>> (we've tried several times to get Gracilaria to grow out for the tangs - no luck). Thanks! <do try to find a copy of our "Reef Invertebrates" which has extensive coverage of refugiums, plants and algae species (the most comprehensive in the industry to date). But the crash course on Gracilaria is most people do not give it enough light (5 watts per gallon minimum... 2-3X even better), or enough water flow (very strong is needed to keep the colony tumbling in suspension in the aquarium). This algae is line or basket grown in shallow tropical waters under very bright light and strong wave action. Anthony> Feeding herbivores in a treatment tank Hey Guys, Thanks for the quick response! Just a quick follow up... I got a larger hospital tank for housing my ich-ridden fish, filled it with water from my display tank and have it up and running. My fish seem to be much happier now. The question is what should I feed my lawnmower blenny while he is in the hospital as there is certainly no algae growth for him to munch on. Thanks again for all the help and terrific work! Jason <Not likely this fish will take prepared food, but I would try greens of all sorts... algae from the "oriental food store" mostly. Bob Fenner>

Roasted Nori? Hi, <<Hello.>> Thanks for your lightening response on my previous enquiry, much appreciated. <<Hey, 'twasn't me!>> I have a Regal tang, just purchased, and I've been reading a lot of FAQs/articles on the use of 'Nori' seaweed as an excellent sources of vege. <<Yes, as it's already the seaweed (though maybe not species) they like/need.>> I went to the local Chinese grocery today, but all I could see were sheets of "roasted Nori". <<Oh.. my. Hm.>> How can I tell which type is safe to feed my fish, and also if it contains harmful additives such as spices and flavour enhancers? Most of the packets have information in Chinese/Japanese, which I can't read at all! <<At that point I'd ask the grocer what's been added (assuming s/he is of such extraction/education as to be able to read what's on the package). Other than that, I might look elsewhere, as the Nori I'm familiar with is dried, not roasted. Cooking does change on a molecular/chemical level. You can also (though there are those who'll argue with me) Romaine lettuce, as is done at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific. They have (pardon me) "buttloads" of tangs. These fishes are offered romaine lettuce, krill, and some other meaty seafoods as a matter of course/regular diet. Nori was added for some special, difficult to feed fishes, but not on a regular basis while I was there.>> Please advise me on this matter, as I'm highly suspicious of feeding my fish products from supermarkets, and do not want to risk killing my fish. <<Actually, foods meant for human consumption are generally going to be of higher quality, while not geared for fishes, but will have been processed in cleaner, more regulated manner. It's fine to use such for your fishes.>> How does Spirulina flake fare as a substitute for Vegi matter? Thanks for your time, Alex <<It's good to add, but the tang will likely make a real mess of it. Not as a substitute, but in addition to other vegetable matter. However, know that this tang, and others, DO appreciate meaty foods in their diets. Krill seems to really be a favorite in my experience. Add Selcon a few times a week to round things out. Marina>>

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