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FAQs on Algae as Food: Rationale/Use

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: Sources, 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 AlgaeSee also the individual groups of organisms feeding FAQs files

"I want my, I want my... macro- algae...."

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Marine Aquarium Algae Control

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Re: Dendronephthya coral... Doone! A prank (?) re feeding et al.?    9/14/13
Hi bob,
<... names are capital nouns Lorna>
 just wanting some advice I have a tree coral or Dendronephthya and I bought it a month ago
It is in a cave hanging upside down I feed it phyto
<... of what size... Is it your understanding that any random Nephtheid will eat any phytoplankton? Not so>

regularly, when I bought it it was struggling and had dissolved at The base it is still dissolved and is expanding which it wasn't in the shop, how long will it take to thicken at the base.
All parameters are fine apart from phosphate which is 0.25 and nitrate is 5.
<.... Heeeeee! Are you joking? Read here:
and (all) the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Lateral Line Erosion Claim  12/14/11
ISPF claims their "tang heaven red", which looks like Gracilaria,
<Is of this genus>
can "combat, prevent and cure head and lateral line erosion disease." I have a hippo tang who is otherwise healthy despite some lateral line erosion in his youth that never healed. He's missing coloration on his face and throughout his body as well as some parts of his dorsal and caudal fins. Will feeding him this tang heaven red have any chance of curing, or should I say, reversing that level of damage?
<Don't know... but the owner of IPSF, Gerald Heslinga is "the real thing"... a bonafide scientist. Do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/HLLESWCure.htm
re probable causes, known cures. Mostly vitamins, HUFAs on the positive side (perhaps provided by this Ogo), and metabolite build-up, carbon... on the negative. Bob Fenner>
Jeff Shain

Is phytoplankton good for your mixed reef aquarium? 11/09/2010
Sara from WWW suggests that phytoplankton has it uses - at least indirectly in a home reef / fish aquarium. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/phytoplankton.htm
<Hello Brian, sorry for the delay in responding. I was on maternity leave. ;-) Yes, I do suggest that phytoplankton may have it's uses, if not directly, then probably indirectly.>
The link below disputes any need at all for phytoplankton in a home aquarium. I added the entire article at the end of the email.
<Well, I wouldn't say that a reef aquarium *needs* phytoplankton. But depending on what livestock you have and what you're trying to develop in your system, it could be very helpful. For example, if you're trying to keep a sea apple or other filter feeders...supplementing phytoplankton could be very advantageous.>
The author really doesn't site any scientific research or articles. I'm wondering on this because the aquarium industry is always trying to convince customers they need to buy more and more products to keep their environments healthy. I don't dose with too many things in my tank, but I was told that the copepods, which are a good natural food source, require Phyto dosing.
<Again, I would be wary of using words like "need" or "require." There ARE readily available sources of phytoplankton in your aquarium already. For example, when you clean the glass, you put phytoplankton in the tank. You're going to have some phytoplankton in your system, no doubt (even without any dosing). However, as with any organism population, the more you feed it, the more they will populate. Thus, supposing you have copepods and other things that feed on phytoplankton... it stands to reason that the more phytoplankton is available, the more they will reproduce. So again, it just depends on what you want and what you're trying to do. If you're looking to increase your micro-critter life, yes, I'd suggest dosing phytoplankton (and I would particularly suggest using DTs, which is superbly high quality phytoplankton product)... otherwise, do you *need* phytoplankton supplements? No.>
Does anyone else at WWW have any opinions on why one should use / not use phytoplankton in a home aquarium?
<Maybe... I do invite anyone else to respond. In my personal experience (which is, granted, only anecdotal), the more phytoplankton I supplemented, the greater my benthic and micro life was. Of course, you might fairly ask; how did you measure that? Well, I didn't measure it... I'm judging by what I saw, which would only what was conspicuous, which wouldn't at all tell the whole story I'm sure. But again, logically, it just makes sense that the more food is available to a population of organisms, the more they'll reproduce (assuming food is the limiting factor and not something else, like space).>
Thanks for the opinion in advance. Brian
<De nada, Sara>

Macro algae for human consumption?   8/2/10
Hello Crew,
I would like to grow some macro algae or seaweed in my sump tank. Do you know of some readily available macro algae or seaweed that would be ok to even tasty to humans? I tried to look this up on the site but to no avail.
Hopefully you can point me in the right direction.
Chad Schuder
<Mmm, well, I'd be remiss to not advise you to not consume algae grown thus... for the possibility that it would not be "clean enough" for human consumption. But/ such several algae are grown for this purpose intensively
to extensively (in culture containers to out in the sea)... Porphyra and Gracilaria, Ulva spp. are candidates... Bob Fenner, who "did this" for a seventh grade science fair project... Tasted terrible>

Feeding Filter Feeders - 04/23/06 Hello, <<Good Morning!>> First I would like to thank you for your help in the past and for the very helpful website. <<We're all happy to assist>> Secondly, I have a question about feeding and plankton.  I currently have a 55 gal. reef tank with 80 lbs. of LR and 1-inch of aragonite, some corals, including a pipe organ colony, one feather duster about 3 in. in diameter and numerous tiny feather dusters and sponges. <<Cool!>> I also have snails, hermits, a couple fish and a Crocea clam.  All appear to be extremely healthy and growing. <<Excellent>> My main concern is the filter feeders: feather duster, pipe organ, etc.  I know that you are supposed to feed them with plankton, preferably live. <<Mmm...more like "microscopic" organisms...bacteria, protozoa, et al>> I bought Kent's phytoplankton before finding out that it was probably a waste of money- o well. <<Yes>> I am going to buy some DTM's <<DT's>> soon but had a question first. <<This will possibly help, indirectly, by causing the microscopic organisms to briefly flourish...do mind how much you dose>> About once or twice a week the front of my glass gets a build up of kind of powdery (?) green algae which I scrape off. <<Not uncommon>> When I do this it forms a small green cloud that quickly dissipates into the water, similar in appearance to the phytoplankton I used. <<Indeed>> I was wondering is this considered "live plankton" and if so is it enough to support my filter feeding organisms? <<Is definitely more "live" than the Kent product...and likely more beneficial with fewer side affects as well.  On its own I don't think it will support your filter feeders as they require more than this algae...but that doesn't mean they aren't getting feeding on the other organisms as > Or, do I need to go buy the DT's? <<For what you will spend on these supplements you could install a vegetable refugium which would/will provide huge benefit by comparison>> I kind of or at least want to believe that there is enough food for these organisms because I often see new little feather dusters appear and I wouldn't think that this would be happening if there was lack of food in my tank. <<Agreed>> But I am not for sure.  Any advice you can offer will be greatly appreciated. <<Try suspending your dosing of the phytoplankton and see how things progress.  It is possible your live rock/substrate/algae scraping is providing all the filter feeders require>> Thank you so much, Nick <<Quite welcome, EricR>>  

Tang ID/Tang Food...Do They Need Terrestrial Greens? -- 12/05/07 Hi Crew, <<Hello James>> Time to turn to you guys when I'm not sure. Some people are saying I should be feeding my Tangs broccoli and Brussels sprouts. <<You can feed these 'terrestrial greens' if you like...if first frozen or blanched to 'breakdown' the cellulose...something the fishes can't do. But I wouldn't consider them a necessary supplement, and definitely not a replacement, for alga matter of a 'marine' source>> I already give them plenty of Ocean Nutrition algae/seaweed plus Formula 2, etc. <<This should be sufficient in my opinion...no need for the terrestrial vegetables>> I wouldn't have thought broccoli was available in the sea. <<Ha...indeed! Though the broccoli is of some benefit to the fishes, I prefer to feed marine algae>> Any tips? <<Assuming your fishes are getting enough/are healthy...I would continue as you have been. The occasional soak of their foods in a dietary supplement just before feeding, such as Selcon or Vita-Chem, is a good idea too>> I have a Vlamingi Tang that could be a Lopezi Tang. I have searched the net but a lot of sites get them confused as well. He does have the spots and the stripes lower down and I'm sure I can see a bump forming. I have attached a small pic. <<Yes, I see... I'll ask Bob to chime-in if he wishes, but based on the depth of the body in relation to its length, the shape of the tail, and the bluntness of the head, this is not Naso lopezi but is indeed Naso vlamingi. Have a look at the pics on this page and see what you think: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/naso.htm >> My tank is an under stocked 900 gallons so don't worry, I have room for him. <<Ah, very nice>> It won't look so under stocked when my fishes grow. <<Indeed...and all will be so much healthier/more socially adjusted for not 'growing-up' in an over-cramped environment>> Last question. I set up a DSB for nitrate removal in a 75 gallon tank as per your instructions in your DSB article. My Picasso trigger after 4 years together started bullying my larger clown trigger. <<Really? Would have expected it to be the other way around>> So I removed the Picasso to the DSB. My nice and flat DSB now has big sand dunes in it. He picks the sand up in his mouth and drops it somewhere else. <<Mmm, yes...though not abnormal for Triggerfishes to rearrange their surroundings to their liking, this Picasso is likely very 'bored'>> This is bad right? <<Only in the sense that it disrupts the function of the DSB...otherwise, it will have no deleterious effect on your system>> Should I take out the sand, wash it and reuse it in the main tank? <<Not necessary to remove it...or to 'wash it' if you do decide to move it>> Thank you so much, Kind regards, James Barclay
<<Happy to assist. Eric Russell>>

Fish nutrition, algae, moolah Hi Bob How many kinds of marine fishes feed on algae? <Many... thousands... a huge resource as you know> Do they feed on specific kinds of algae?  <Most are generalists, consuming many types of available greens, reds... some browns... others are filter feeders of other groups... diatoms, Euglenoids, dinoflagellates....> We all know that Koi are fed with pellets made of Spirulina which is a kind of algae. <Yes> What do you know of the fish flakes that Tetra manufactures. Are the green ones just made from normal garden vegetables or something else? <Algae... that they harvest and process in Melle, Germany> In the three weeks that I have worked for Underwater World, Dolphin Lagoon I have seen the boys clearing at least 50 - 70 kg of algae from the lagoon everyday. Dolphin poo, working in conjunction with the hot weather in Singapore creates an ideal situation for the algae bloom in the Dolphin pens. If somehow we could turn these algae into fish food... <Ah, Perry, you should be running Singapore! Wait, your talents would go unrealized there! You should be advising companies to reduce their wastes, and improve productivity. Bob Fenner> Perry

Tank Temperature, shrimp longevity, necessity of adding phytoplankton... Hey Bob, Hope this finds you well; the reef-keeping efforts are going well on this end (currently have a coral beauty and three Firefish seemingly happy in my 60 gall). Some questions I have that I can't seem to resolve through research, so I thought I'd go straight to the guru (you) on these issues: 1.) What's your take on the great temperature debate for reef tanks? High 70s, low 80s? I keep my tank at 80-82. I've heard of people talking about corals "melting" at temps higher than this; which corals, if any? <This whole range is fine... there are some important factors to take into account with the high and low end... issues like the desired results of the aquarist: growth, color, shortened life spans... need for added circulation, aeration at elevated levels... Some species of corals have shown difficulties in thermal adaptation... ones collected from "cooler" latitudes, deeper waters... but most all will/can adapt...> 2.) How long do inverts live in aquariums? Shrimp, crabs, snails, etc. Do any last more than a year? <Yes, most live a few years...> How about fan worms?  <A couple to a handful of years for some larger species> I'd like to get more shrimp or a fan worm, but wouldn't be so interested if they weren't long lived in the aquarium. <All relative my friend. To us Drosophila come and go, for Galapagos tortoises, we're moving along...> 3.) How do you feel about the use of phytoplankton in aquariums? Necessary? Is it possible to have phytoplankton reproducing in your tank if you add it frequently enough? <Good idea, yes either produced endogenously and/or added... Yes... with "proper" size, set-up...> 4.) I've read a lot of anti-anemone-keeping sentiment in various posts. Some say less than 5% of anemones in aquariums make it past a year. You say they're hardy, though? What's your take on all this? <They're "hardy", considering the amazing trying environmental fluctuation they encounter in the wild... and how long many apparently live... but not tolerant of the abuse generally encountered in "extraction", handling, then poor conditions afforded them in most cases in captivity...> 5.) Is it possible to have too much Caulerpa or macro-algae in a tank? I've read that excess algae can cause too much oxygen in tanks and be harmful to corals (evidenced by little bubbles on rocks or micro-algae, which I occasionally see). I have three clumps of red ferns (small fist size), and another clump of maiden hair algae. What do you think? <Yes, not so much for "excess oxygen"... but production of other by-materials, over-competition for carbon dioxide, other nutrients> 6.) Lastly, and not so interesting, my two leather corals seem to be shrinking (I've had them for about 2 months -- they used to open fully, but not in the last three weeks). I have no idea what gives -- parameters are in usual accordance to recommended guidelines (with temperature being the high exception). I guess my question is how to tell when, if at all, to throw in the towel with these guys; once on a declining path, do they have good chances for recovery? Or do I just let nature and time take its course? <Go with nature... you will be able (sight, touch, smell) to tell if/when your Sarcophytons are on the way out. In the meanwhile, check on water quality (esp. alkalinity, pH, calcium), look closely for parasites (even at night), pesky predators, add a bit of iodide/iodine weekly. Feed them... and if/when/where in doubt a couple of ten percent water changes, a unit or two of carbon in your filter flow path... may work wonders. Bob Fenner> Thanks again Bob!  

Algae & Additives Thanks Steven, <You are welcome.> Is algae (micro and macro) all then that is needed by way of "marine origin" greens? <Yes, if you can grow enough. Most people cannot and need to supplement. That is why the Nori is perfect.> On another note, I am adding Iodide, Strontium and Calcium (Seachem) to the tank on a weekly basis. I also have a freshwater top-off system which doses the tank with about 15 litters of evaporation each week. Question is, can I add all the above additives to my freshwater top-off without them having a reaction to one another in the higher-than-normal concentrations (add to 20 litters of top-off rather than 450 in the tank)? <Better to dose individually.> I would prefer to dose gradually over the week than just bang everything in once each week. Best, M <And you too. -Steven Pro>

Re: Algae & Additives Hello, Question regarding Nori: I am told to feed (tang) Nori. Is this necessary if my tank has good growth of Caulerpa and microalgae? <Not absolutely necessary if other good vegetable based foods of marine origin are used, but an excellent option.> The Tang grazes all day on LR and glass. Many thanks, Michael <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Flower Pot Coral II Dear Crew, As you remember, I wrote concerning my G. stokesii (thanks for the correction). I wrote Kent and awaited a response. The response is in and I value your opinion as much and possibly more (your helping the amateurs, he is selling a product). Please do not take offense to my quotation of expert as I am unfamiliar with your staffs qualifications. <No problem. If you are interested, there is a page on the crew, who we are, what we look like, what we do, etc. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/wwmcrew.htm> I simply didn't want some smug response from them saying "who this guy, we are the pro's" <No, I am the Pro, Steven Pro to be exact. :)> You seem to overqualified to say the least and I am interested in your response. By the way, they asked If I am skimming. I said yes 4 hours per day venturi style. Effective today I have 3 inches of aragonite live sand and the stokesii are on the bottom. Thanks Steve- HERE IS THE OFFICIAL RESPONSE FROM KENT Hello, Thanks very much for your inquiry; I'll do my best to try and clear up some confusion. Goniopora, in general, has a poor track record for survival in captivity, and the reasons for this aren't very clear to even the most experienced hobbyists and professionals in the industry. There are many factors, however, that are often observed and/or theorized to have an influence on the survival rate. Certainly, water temperature, nitrogenous waste concentrations, light characteristics, water flow, dissolved oxygen concentration, nutrient input, and presence of toxins excreted by nearby corals and other cnidarians play roles in the relative survival rate of Goniopora. I will, at this point, say that I am not aware that any specific studies have been performed on "bottled phytoplankton" and the size of the species included as they pertain to the feeding habits of Goniopora. Our product, Phytoplex, contains three species of phytoplankton in a size range of 2-15 microns, and our ChromaPlex contains two species with a size range of 5-25 microns. The recognized lower limit on size of phytoplankton as noted by Marine Biologists and Oceanographers is 2 microns; therefore I find it difficult to believe that Goniopora, which feed not only on phytoplankton (all 2 microns and larger), but also on zooplankton (also 2 microns and larger) are not able to feed on organisms present in our products. In other words, the insinuation or claim that the phytoplankton in Phytoplex are too large for Goniopora doesn't hold water. Corals and other organisms that feed on the smallest classes of plankton, femto- and picoplankton, at 0.02-0.2 microns and 0.2-2.0 microns, respectively, often use a visible mucous to aid in the capture of such small particles; Goniopora do not display that characteristic. Note that the femtoplankton class is composed wholly of virioplankton (virus'), and picoplankton is composed of bacterioplankton. Again, I believe that an individual would be hard-pressed to locate a study performed on Goniopora citing their feeding schemes, but perhaps I'm just not reading enough these days. Now, allow me to say that if the coral isn't getting the amount of nutrients it needs (i.e. the coral is simply not capturing enough of the plankton to meet its nutritional requirements) in order to survive and thrive, that's another matter, more easily solved. You didn't mention that you have a protein skimmer on this aquarium, did you omit that information or is the tank skimmer-less? Kindest regards, Chris Brightwell Marine Scientist Kent Marine, Inc. www.kentmarine.com <While I know of no studies involving Phytoplankton and Goniopora, Dr. Rob Toonen did perform a study on bottled Phytoplankton products. You should be able to easily find this on the net. The basics are what Anthony gave you in the last email. To be useful, it must be fresh, refrigerated, and whisked to ensure proper particle size. While their live Phytoplankton is probably of the sizes he quoted, Dr. Toonen's study showed that all of these products have a tendency to clump, making them worthless. They must be used up in less than six months, refrigerated the entire time (wholesale, retail, and your home), and need to be blended for a few minutes to minimize clumping. Do read the article for yourself, though. -Steven Pro> <<Gonioporas do not eat much in the way of phytoplankton... but each individual polyp DOES feed on good sized zooplankton. RMF>>

Feeding Algae to corals Bob, one more question....how do you feel about feeding micro algae, sparingly, twice a week for the corals?? I mix  about 1/4 or less phytoplankton using my tank's water, and shut the pumps off for a little while, and administer it with a feeding tube. Pat Marren <Very few corals actually feed on micro-algae. Am not a fan of administering for this purpose. If you feel the entire system is benefiting from such application... Bob Fenner>

Macroalgae 08/04/03 <Hello, PF with you tonight> I have a 80 gallon fish tank that I would like to put some Caulerpa in but, I don't know if my fish will eat it before it has time to establish itself. I have: three stripe damsel x1 yellow damsel x1 Gregory damsel x1 Clarkii Clown x1 Do you know if my fish will eat the Caulerpa if I were to put em in my tank or any other species of macroalgae. <Well, from what I know, they are all primarily planktivores (i.e. eating small floating things). Then again, they don't read the same books and articles we do. I would think though, that your algae would be safe. Do look into it's light requirements, and remember, Caulerpa can grow like a weed. If you want a tank full of it for a planted FW tank look, then you're set. It will spread to all available space, it took me months to get it all out of my tank, and in the end I had to get a tang to handle it. Read up on it here, www.wetwebmedia.com/caulerpaalg.htm  lots of good info for you to use.

DT's... not delirious tremens Dude, you are so cool!  Thank you!! <Hee hee. Now I can't get scenes from "The Big Lebowski" out of my mind!> P.S.  My buddy here at Cordis just told me your thoughts on DT's.  I always thought they were great for clams, gorgs, etc.  but I guess not huh?  Waste of $$$$$$????? Dude <Mmm, actually, am quite a "fan" of this product (the nanophytoplankton mix eh?)... Useful as a food and more. Bob Fenner>

Phytoplankton reactors 9/18/04 I was able to meet Bob Fenner recently in Raleigh and really enjoyed this.   <he is larger than life... blessed to know him> I also now have Anthony's propagation book and it is outstanding.  I was hoping to get feedback about a phytoplankton reactor. <all good... but do realize that in aquaria, the overwhelming demand is for zooplankton. Very little phyto is needed to support this. It is commonly abused as a supplemental staple IMO> My interest is in diversity and nutrition, especially nonphotosynthetic animals.  I'm trying to replicate cryptic environments.  The Dendro thing fascinates me (as it does everybody).   <do consider other/better aposymbiotic cnidarians like Scleronepth.s and Chile corals> My background is clinical neurology. The experimental system I have consists of a 120 connected to an Ecowheel with a wave 2K, a 120 with Turbelle stream 6200 on controller set up for laminar flow around a  central divider, two twenty five gallons for experiments with refugia, and a 75 sunlit and compact fluorescent tank DSB currently culturing Chaetomorpha.  I am underwhelmed by the Ecowheel.  The system has a 75 gallon sump with a large Reef Concepts skimmer;  automatic top off and water changes via LiterMeter, SG 1.026.  I have tried feeding Corals and Clams cryopaste and am still working with it.  I have plans to construct a small greenhouse to continue this type of research.   <fantastic to hear... do let me/us know if we can be of help with shared opinions> I do think that stirring the sand bed is the best thing going for nutrition.   <very helpful... agreed> The detritus is recycled not added, and interestingly I have noticed that the sand bed diversity is clearly greater in areas that are gently blown off twice daily compared to nonstirred areas.  I really think a little storm activity is good for the sand bed.  I drain off the turbidity slowly over the overflow into the sump, and then to the tanks. <the reef is quite dynamic even in the calmest parts... much more than our tanks> My question is about a phytoreactor that I have going in one of the 25s. I have grown green water for years- sometimes unintentionally!- and this is my first attempt at a phyto reactor.  I used DT's to start;  I currently add no nutrients.  I am not stirring- this setup reminds me of the saltwater tubs Joyce Wilkerson described that she keeps outside for rotifer cultures, and that emboldened me to try not stirring, no airstone.  The pH gets high and slows down the growth.  I think the pH is more steady when the lights are turned off at night allowing some digestion and co2 release.  Perhaps the lack of stirring will help phyto diversity. I am concerned about toxins generated from this reactor.   <weak issue... no worries> I'm not sure of the benefit compared to Reed Mariculture cryopaste.   <live is better than any processed product IMO on one glaring point - particle size. Most always smaller with live (no clotting or coagulating in time)> The green water probably contains lots of things- ciliates, bacteria- and it does seem (Bob Stark) that there is already plenty of bacteria in our tanks. The reactor does seem to pull out nutrients well- discarding the stuff seems to be an effective microalgae scrubber.  I think we know a lot about many of the filter feeders- and the ones of most interest to me, the "Dendros", seem to only take SOME of their nutrition from phyto.   <true... some take none at all... bacteria, floc, other nanoplankton>      So, the questions- 1)  Do you know anyone who has long term success with a phyto reactor like mine?  Any suggested improvements based on this experience (stirring/air, UV, getting rid of it and using cryopaste)? <phyto culture is a science... many people have refined techniques to learn from. Have you chatted with the folks at Florida Aqua farms? Pioneers and suppliers> 2)  Any news about successful experience with Dendros from somebody knowledgeable? <none I am aware of recently... rather that not all aposymbiotic Nephtheids in the trade are Dendros... which is a good thing. Seek Scleros instead when you can find them> 3)  I am going to visit GARF, inland seafarm, and Tropicorium in February for my 50th birthday.  Do you know of any really professional greenhouse outfits I might also need to visit? <I like Tropicorium and Inland Aquatics very much. medium sized scale but quality personnel. Most of the outfits farming reef inverts in the US are cottage industry sized. But you may want to see about a visit to ORA in Florida some time... after they recover from hurricane damage> Thanks so much for your advice Charles Matthews MD <best of luck, Anthony>

Feeding A Finicky Tang I just purchased an Achilles Tang, because I could not resist. <Can't blame you- they are gorgeous fish and great to have if you can meet their needs> It is about 4 inches, beautiful color, and in my quarantine tank for 4 days (will stay there for 4 weeks). <Excellent! A key to success with this fish!> It gobbles up Nori, but nothing else.  I have tried frozen brine, Mysis, and Cyclop-eeze all soaked in garlic or Selcon.  But he still only eats the Nori, should I be concerned?  Is there anything else I can do? Thanks for your help! <Well, the fact that he is eating is a great sign! Nori is marine-based, so it does provide valuable nutrition. However, you do want to get him eating as many different foods as possible, of course. I would look for a source of my favorite macroalgae, Gracilaria, which is an excellent supplemental food. You can get a starter supply from e-tailers like Indo-Pacific Sea Farms or Inland Aquatics. You can easily cultivate it yourself with a little effort. In the meantime, just keep trying a variety of frozen foods. Hopefully, he'll come around at some point. Keep it up! Regards, Scott F>  

PhycoPure for Dendronephthya Bob, << Blundell today >> Greetings.  I noticed a discussion on WetWeb regarding Dendros.  I am fairly new to this hobby but am not new to microalgae.  I have been culturing it  for academia to biotech to aquaculture for about 20 years now.  I have started my own company over the past years producing microalgae products and a friend (scientist) mentioned that he would like to see a quality phyto blend on the market as he was not happy with the processed products available. << Yes, I'm familiar with these ideas. >> I spent 1 year formulating blends and giving them to different aquarists to try-adding species that I have seen be very effective in aquaculture settings.  These tend to be the more finicky to culture but hi-nutritious species.  The result is a product called PhycoPure that has 7 species plus zooxanthellae clade A or clade B depending on culture status.   << I'm also familiar with your products, and am thankful Rhyne talked you into making it. >>  The particle size ranges from 2 or 3 um to 25um.  I am in the process of evaluating an even smaller size highly abundant reef spp. to be added if all looks good.  I produce it weekly in batch so it does not inventory, I get it out to stores within the week it is produced (plus or minus a few days).  I recommend stores buying what will move in a month or less and that way it is in the consumer's hands and used within a month.  This keeps things fresh and the quality higher.  The blend stays live for months in my lab but the species composition/profile changes from what I advertise over time.-truthfully conditions in a bottle or bag are well below optimal for anything living. << Indeed. >> The water used is Atlantic that has been uv'd, charcoaled, ozonated, and tested for specific pathogenic Vibriosis. The litmus test has been an effort to raise the Dendronephthya, Scleronephthya.  I have read everything by Fabricius and agree with the concept of organics being important.  I can say that one spp of Dendros I have reacts to the phytoplankton and remains open a good part of the day.  I use hi-flow, low light and feed copious amounts of the PhycoPure blend. << Definitely what we recommend for such corals. >>  It seems that orientation is not much of an issue but that still needs further scrutiny.  I have had some since May but the twin hurricanes that hit us in Florida took care of that.  I am beginning to feel that acclimation is the largest issue regarding success with these critters. << Possibly, but I think it is feeding. >>   Other observations include 1) spp coming in thick and then elongating and branching profusely...current? It is somewhere in the realm of 3-4 inches per second. << Possibly. >> 2) a commensal shrimp often accompanies many of the Dendros I have rec'd-pure white except for the eyes and gut tract 3) I feed some gorgonians Cyclop-Eeze and even though.. it appears. that the Dendros do not take the individual Cyclops in (like the Diodogorgia gorgonian) they react by opening and going erect-it could be the algae I mix the freeze dried Cyclops with or the "juice"-organics/lipids/phosphates. whatever. << Yes the "juice" has that affect, and even though the coral doesn't appear to eat Cyclops I think there is good reason to believe they are eating the "juice". >> Any comments, thoughts would be appreciated << Tell Andy that Blundell says hi. And that we appreciate him sending us your product. I think your product is great.  I think you could also sell a lot of it if you also offered each species separately and not just a mix.  I know people where I live would order them.  Also I wouldn't focus on Dendros.  While it is true they need this, not enough people have Dendros.  But everyone and their dogs have SPS corals.  So that is a better marketing area. >> regards, Erik S Stenn President AlgaGen LLC PO Box 1734 Vero Beach, FL www.algagen.com 772-978-1395 <<  Blundell  >>

Re: PhycoPure Blundell, << Erik. >> Greetings.  I was surprised that you had  heard of PhycoPure and very pleased that you like it.  I passed the greeting on to Andy who sends same back. << A great guy indeed. >> I appreciate the marketing ideas.  I do offer individual strains but never thought to open that up to the hobby.  Typically I have aquaculture and biotech companies buying them.  I am in the process of updating the website and they will be listed. << I know I have a group of hobbyists waiting to place an order, so be sure and update me when those strains are available. >> SPS....I would love to take them on.  I am not set up for it at the moment.  I have had people tell me that they noticed better polyp extension on their Acros but I would imaging that the blend would be great for all the zooplankton feeding the SPS corals ?  What is your take? << I think so to because certain species have different preferences, and that would be the best bet to feed them all. >> Both storms hit me really hard but I am back up and am beginning to move outside of Florida with the product...if you could recommend any stores or distributors in your area I will contact them and see if they are interested in carrying it. << I'm not sure if Andy got you the contact info for Corals & Clams, but that is probably the best distributor for our local area.  I think some big etailers would be a great way to go.  Also, I can't help but plug our site and suggest you write an email to Cesnales (just email us here) about the cost of marketing on this site. >> Thanks for the feedback-much appreciated << Hope I help, let me know what else I can do. >> regards Erik <<  Blundell  >>

Is Nori really nutritious? Hi all, I have a Paracanthurus hepatus in quarantine and he is doing well but I noticed that when he eats red Nori his excrement seems to look just like when it went in. So common sense tells me that this red seaweed that is supposed to be so nutritious for tangs in just going right thru him with no nutritional absorption, << Think of it as corn for humans.  Okay not a pretty picture, but you get the idea. >> if you will. Can some one please help shed some light on this, I am also feeding Mysis shrimp and my own mix (muscles, crab, squid, oyster, shrimp, octopus, and flake food - blended then frozen) so the diet is varied. << This sounds absolutely wonderful.  Yes I do believe Nori (including red) has nutritional benefits. >> I was just wondering if there is any point to feeding the Nori because seriously it looks the same coming as it does going. << So does corn, but it's good for you. Difficult to see sometimes, but as long as you are providing a varied diet you should be fine. >> Thanks for any input you might have. Also, I would like to thank all of you at WWM whom I directly attribute my success in reef keeping to. It's just nice to have a resource that encourages education so much. Cheers, keep up the good work! << Thanks Ryan good luck with your fish. >> -Ryan <<  Blundell  >>

Live vs. frozen phyto 07/01/05 Bob Are frozen Phytoplankton products currently in the market as effective as DT's  live Phytoplankton? Perry <Not... nutritionally, palatability wise frozen are inferior. Bob Fenner> Marine greens for food  9/22/05 Hi Bob! <Kris> Thank you so much for such a fast reply. Your answers were very helpful and I will look into the subject more. I have a couple of other questions for you. I was reading on your website about feeding marine herbivores and I saw that you recommended feeding Nori soaked in vitamins. I was also reading an aquarium book by Moe and he suggested feeding lettuce such as romaine. What do you think about that? <Bunk... not nutritious, often laced with molecules to avoid> Is that a good alternative to Nori? If not, why is it not good? Is it harmful to the fish? <Can add nitrate, pesticides> Thank you for letting me pick your brain a bit! I think your website is fantastic! Thanks again!   Kristina <Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/algfoodfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

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