Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs on Foods/Feeding/Nutrition, Kinds

Related Articles: Foods/Feeding/Nutrition By Bob Fenner & Marine Nutrition, Probably the most overlooked component of proper fish keeping By Aaron Loboda, Feeding a Reef Tank: A Progressive Recipe by Adam Blundell, Making Vegetarian Gel Food for Fish: Five Minutes, Five Easy Steps by Nicole Putnam, Culturing Food Organisms

Related FAQs: Foods/Feeding/Nutrition 1, Foods/Feeding/Nutrition 2, Foods/Feeding/Nutrition 3Foods/Feeding/Nutrition 4, Foods/Feeding/Nutrition 5, Foods/Feeding/Nutrition 6, & FAQs on Foods/Feeding/Nutrition: Amounts, Frequency, Feeding Methods/Techniques/Tools, Automated Feeding, Holiday/Vacation Feeding, Medicated/Augmented Foods/Feeding, Feeding/Food Problems, Products by Brand Names/Manufacturers... & Brine ShrimpAlgae as Food, VitaminsNutritional DiseaseFrozen Foods, Coral Feeding, Anemone Feeding, Growing Reef CoralsCulturing Food OrganismsButterflyfish Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

Also see the "Foods/Feeding/Nutrition" SubFAQs files for various invertebrate and fish groups... on the Indices

Dear Bob,
I have kept Marines now for several years and over this time I have always tried hard to provide the right balance of nutrients and chemicals in the water, to ensure my fish, inverts and corals grow and prosper in my four-foot reef tank. Running a twin 250w halide I feel I am providing ample light, and my extensive live rock aids for great filtration. As well as this I run a Protein Skimmer which is working great and my parameters have been stable for some time. My question is regarding supplements and additives. I have seen growth in most of my corals, but not so much my fish. I feed mostly frozen food and some flake, morning and night, and also supplement the tank with coral grower containing calcium and strontium once a week. Can you recommend any much-needed additives that I could be missing that would really benefit my fish and corals? Are there any I should avoid that might clash with each other and end up causing a disastrous effect on my water quality? I have always tried not to add too many chemicals and artificial additives as I always felt that I wasn't experienced enough to control the dosing or get the right balance. Your advice on this would be much appreciated!
Thanks in advance,
Stuart Richardson 

R: Yikes Stuart'¦ there really is no such thing as a 'generic' coral or fish food'¦ or list of 'Brand X' nutrients one can avail themselves of to feed all species. I would however, like to thank you for your prompting here to respond in a general way to helping you, others.
      Do realize that amongst what hobbyists deem as 'corals' there is a huge range of nutritional types, leanings'¦ Some species being almost entirely dependent on photosynthesis (and the light, water quality, chemical balance/make-up to support it), with other species, groups being all the way to another end of a spectrum in 'eating' algae, zooplankton as a principal means of nutrification'¦ And there is a broad spectrum of possibilities, potentialities in-between, with most Cnidarians capable of switching between light-using to organism feeding, depending on prevailing circumstances.
      Chemical conditions are much more 'standard' for the reef life we keep'¦ with a well-known range of alkalinity, pH, biomineral (Calcium, Magnesium, and very little Strontium) and documented macro- and micro-nutrients being catalogued. These last two are easily supplied through regular water changes'¦ The others stated should be tested for, and it's not difficult to develop a routine, possibly including stock supplementation, to provide sufficient to ideal conditions. It is difficult for me to elucidate much more re as there are some variations on this theme'¦ depending on folks use/make up of source water and to a degree, brand of salt mix employed (or even natural water). I do endorse periodic iodine/ide supplementation, though also want to issue my usual admonition here to NOT add anything you don't expressly test for.
      As regards 'nutrients' like nitrates and phosphates, I am a big fan of not being too fanatic in fearing or removing such, but instead encourage their limited introduction (through foods, feeding mostly) and use of natural means for their limitation (organism photosynthesis, macro-algal culture, DSBs'¦) rather than chemical filtrant use. You do want, indeed need some NO3, HPO4 if you intend to have a healthy system.
      Fish feeding is a bit simpler. As it turns out, the nutritional input of fishes at the atomic and molecular level is quite similar to all vertebrates, ourselves included. Packaging foods into familiar shapes, colours, sizes of use and delivering them to your livestock is easy to do in a few formats'¦ Flake (for small specimens), pellets, dried, freeze-dried, frozen/defrosted, fresh'¦ foods can all be enlisted to provide sufficient nutrition. There are excellent 'all inclusive' foods available in dry/pelleted formats, that most all aquarium species can be readily trained on to. Look to your stockist, the Net here for input.

           Lastly, I'd offer a comment re the use of 'unknown' products that either don't list their specific component ingredients or seek to confuse consumers by grossly labelling them as 'essential' this and that. These manufacturers and their offerings should be ignored

Hey Bob,
I watched a nature documentary last month that showed what looked like a large tang swimming close to the shoreline where fruit bearing trees overhung into the water. The fish would search around for fruit that had dropped from the trees into that water to eat, I am not sure what kind of fruit it was but it lead me to think is it possible or advisable to supplement a primarily vegetarian fishes diet with fruit?
We are all being told to get our 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day I thought it might add variation to what must sometimes be quite a boring diet!
Dean Thomas 

A good question Dean, and I am aware of some fellow aquarists that do offer fruits (and par-boiled or microwaved terrestrial vegetables) to their fishes as supplementary foods. By and large I don't think these have much in the way of nutritional value, but they may well  serve both as a source of 'bulk' and 'toy' of sorts for those interested to bat about.
            One might propose that some fruits have a modicum of vitamins (especially A and C) and that these are of use to fish life; and they would be correct. However, these micro-nutrients are supplied through other foods in abundance generally, and even taken in through fish's drinking of their environment from endogenous sources.
            Lastly, a word of caution concerning how much land-originating food might be applied. Be chary of going overboard here, as some fruits (particularly Citrus types) are quite acidic, and could have a deleterious effect on water chemistry in small systems. I rely on a good staple food as a steady source to cover all food needs, and use any other materials as periodic treats.

Response to Neale Monks comments... FW fish (et al.) foods/Spectrum (RMF, feel free to chime in) - 2/7/10
With regards to .....
Re: Picky Eaters, N. Am. Natives
(comments on Bob's PowerPoint show about fish foods) 4/16/09
With all due respect to Neale Monks, not only will many North American natives eat pellet food (specifically New Life Spectrum food) many owners of these native species (such as myself) feed this food exclusively.
<At least one of the species listed by the querier, Enneacanthus gloriosus, is notoriously fussy, and really does need live food (if my experience of Enneacanthus chaetodon is anything to go by).>
I'm at a complete loss as to why Neale would state; "Even if they do, it shouldn't be the staple".
<Multiple reasons, but the main is simply my maintaining a variety of foods, you avoid fish either becoming bored of one thing.>
My Lepomis megalotis (Longear Sunfish) are fed New Life Spectrum food exclusively, and I seriously doubt that one could find healthier specimens swimming in the wild.
<Indeed. Not arguing that some fish can do perfectly well on pellet foods. But I personally don't recommend it. If nothing else, providing some fresh green foods in the diet avoids problems with constipation, which if you look over the messages we get here at WWM, is a fairly common problem.>
Pellet foods such as New Life Spectrum are far more nutritionally complete than any of the foods that Neale mentioned,
<Yes, but that's true about the food we humans eat too: no single food is complete. I do stress VARIETY, for example augmenting pellets with earthworms, brine shrimps, spinach, cooked peas, bloodworms, chopped seafood, etc. While any one of these fresh or live foods might lack something, the mixture balancing out in the end. In other words, precisely what medics tell us we should do with out own diet: a little bit of everything, and everything in moderation. Very few medics recommend people take vitamins; instead, they stress people have a healthy, varied, diet. I do have some ethical issues with pellet foods to do with the use of fish meal and chicken meal, but we'll put that to one side for now.>
and while every native species may not be successfully trained to eat pellets or flakes, those that do have amazing color, superb health, and will breed on a continuous basis.
<No doubt. But not all the species listed by the questioner fall into that category.>
With regards to http://www.wetwebmedia.com/foodsppt4.htm , I would suggest that perhaps you ask Bob what argument he was attempting to make, as I'm rather certain it had nothing to do with "general fishkeeping", as Neale
<I cannot speak for Bob.>
Bob Fenner has seen the results first hand of feeding New Life Spectrum exclusively, and with species of fish that make keeping most North American native species seem like mere child's play. (ask Bob about Pablo Tepoot's
<<Seeing is indeed believing, and I have fed my own fishes (African Cichlids and Fancy Goldfishes, Corydoras, Odd Livebearers... Spectrum almost exclusively... since there was such product. RMF>>
<Not arguing that either of these gentlemen should keep their fish my way.
Merely offering advice to that particular querier.>
Whether a fish is wild, or what that a fish eats in the wild, seems to make little difference once that fish ends up in a glass cage in captivity, if
it is fed a well balanced nutrient dense food such as NLS.
<Actually, I'm not sure that this is true. Fibre and ash content are very important, and these aspects are often overlooked in dried foods. Marine fish are often carnivores, but many, perhaps most, freshwater fish are omnivores, so some plant material is important. Barbs, livebearers, most cichlids, Synodontis, Plecs, Corydoras are all examples of fish that feed extensively on algae and decaying plant matter in the wild. I think that's important to acknowledge. I'd argue much the same holds for herbivorous marines such as Angels and Surgeonfish, and I cannot image keeping either of those without at least some plant matter in their diet, regardless of how "complete" the flake food offered might be.>
<<Neale, if you have occasion, visit the London Aquarium... they feed Spectrum to almost all their marines... The product is nutritionally complete and amazingly palatable... yes, even for Acanthuroids>
Whether that fish eats tunicates in the wild (such as Moorish Idol), sponge (such as Majestic Angel) coral (such as Parrotfish), algae (such as Clown Surgeonfish), or fish, (such as Volitans Lionfish) .... the single common denominator amongst all those species is, that in captivity they will all thrive on an exclusive diet of New Life Spectrum fish food.
<I'd argue this in the case of Surgeonfish, which in my experience do immensely better when given access to suitable green foods. But I'm not holding myself out as a marine authority since that side of the hobby doesn't interest me very much. I write here on the topic of feeding freshwater fish.>
Is Spectrum unique in this? I would have to say yes. I know of no other commercial pellet or flake food on the market that will keep fish such as some of the marine species previously mentioned thriving for "years" in captivity.
<It's not a brand I've used, so I can't comment on its quality. I will accept that some foods, like Tetra and Hikari foods, are highly palatable to a wide range of fish, and seem to keep them in good health.>
Kieron Dodds, from Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine wrote an article on the Moorish Idol in 2008, titled; "Still Impossible After All These Years - Keeping Moorish Idol". He clearly admits that the main intent of his article was to discourage anyone from acquiring this species, as he feels that Moorish Idol have almost no chance in being kept alive in captivity beyond a very short duration.
At one point in the article he states "Pablo Tepoot is perhaps the single individual who has had the most success with this species" - unfortunately Pablo lost his last group of Moorish Idol to an electrical failure during a hurricane, at that point Pablo had kept them thriving in captivity for 5 years. Something that most people would have considered impossible 15 or 20 yrs ago.
<I'm sorry to hear of this incident. A remarkable achievement.>
<<One of many I can relate. I've been to Pablo (and Carol's) home a few times in Homestead, Fla... and seen the "plant" where the foods are made, packaged... used the food/s extensively for years, seen them in use in dozens of countries around the world. Like a few other brands in our interest (e.g. PolyFilter), this food is "the real thing". I rarely "do" such "endorsements" but I will state that Spectrum brand is excellent. RMF>>
If feeding the same pellet day in and day out equates to my being a "casual fishkeeper", as Neale Monks suggests, then I guess that places me along side some pretty good company!
<Nope, you're misunderstanding me. A "casual fishkeeper" is someone who considers their fish just a pet, not a passion. Someone who buys a few colourful fish from the shop, and does their best to keep them alive.
That's my audience. For the most part, aquarists keeping a community of Platies, Corydoras, Danios and a Plec catfish will do best offering a mix of a good quality flake, some wet-frozen foods like bloodworms and Artemia,
and some suitable green foods such as blanched lettuce or cooked peas. Hope this clarifies things. Cheers, Neale.>
<<I thank you for both your comments. BobF>>
Re: Response to Neale Monks comments (RMF, feel free to chime in) - 2/8/10
I believe that part of the problem is that you are not at all familiar with New Life Spectrum products.
<I don't have shares in the company, no, and I've not used them. Honestly, I use hardly any dried foods. Perhaps a pot or two a year. Almost all my fish foods come from the grocery store, my back garden, or the freezer.>
I am not advocating that fish should not be consuming plant matter in their diet. All NLS products do in fact contain kelp, seaweed, Spirulina, several micro-algaes, along with a plant & vegetable extract.
<Ah, well, "extract" does mean fibre; indeed, usually means the reverse.>
Personally I shy away from vegetables sourced from terrestrial matter due to the anti-nutritional factors involved, especially those that are in a raw uncooked state - such as peas, but that's a whole 'nuther discussion.
<And irrelevant to freshwater fish, which is what I'm talking about. Most plant material in freshwater ecosystems comes from terrestrial sources: bog plants, forest leaves, fruits, seeds, etc.>
Your argument about fish becoming "bored" is a rather weak one, especially if your target audience is the casual fishkeeper, such as you stated in your response.
In captivity, many marine Butterflyfish that only consume coral polyps in the wild, would rather starve to death than switch food. Harlequin Shrimp eat only the feet of the Starfish, Monarch Butterflies (caterpillar) only eat milkweed, and Koala Bears typically only eat Eucalyptus leaves. Are they all dying from boredom?
<Actually, specialists like these are the minority situation. Most animals most of the time feed on a great variety of things. Do spend a little on Fishbase reviewing "Food Items" for example.>
I think not.
At 50+ yrs of age I can't say that I have ever seen Platies, Corydoras, Danios, or Plecos (even wild caught specimens) become bored with their diet, if it is in fact a nutritionally complete diet.
<Perhaps not. But at the same time, including green foods in their diet is a good thing. I think we're at cross purposes here. I'm not saying you can't keep fish feeding them nothing by Goldie Fish Flakes every day, but at the same time, there's nothing to be lost by offering a variety. And it may do some good. Costs nothing, so what's to lose? Besides, my Pufferfish aren't that impressed with flake! And things like Panaque need wood. So there are plenty of exceptions.>
(or any species of fish that the "casual fishkeeper" would be inclined to keep)
<If you say so.>
Did Robert T. Rickett's Figure 8 (Tetraodon biocellatus) puffers get bored from eating nothing but snails for 10-15 years? Hmmmmm.
<"Snails" is a class, Gastropoda, not a single species.>
Yes, I wholeheartedly agree that fish do require a varied diet, but if one single food is made from a *wide variety* of high quality raw ingredients, the varied diet that you speak of can indeed be found in one single formula of fish food.
<But without fibre, which is important. Few "complete" diets include fibre
in adequate quantities, which is why we see so many constipated Goldfish!
Look, each to their own. I'm not saying everyone should keep fish my particular way. But I am saying that way I was describing works, is safe, and is inexpensive. You and I are (I'm assuming) reasonably expert fishkeepers, so we've no doubt developed our own habits, good and bad.>
If I took all of the various raw ingredients found in your typical *wide variety* of fish foods, and created a food that contained all of these various ingredients in a proper ratio and balance, would it not be the same as feeding all of these foods separately?
<Perhaps, but fibre for the herbivores, shell for the puffers, wood for the Panaque -- all these things are more easily provided fresh. Plus, hand feeding my puffers and pike characins little strips of tilapia fillet and prawn is simply more fun than throwing in some pellets. As I say, each to their own.>
If only high quality premium ingredients are being used, in many cases that single food might actually be much better for the fish. (as everything is fed in a controlled balance)
<May well be.>
You are looking at this all wrong, this isn't just one single food stuff, it's a single formula of food, made up from numerous raw ingredients - my fish are eating every bit of the nutrition that your fish are, I simply discovered an easier way to get the job done! No constipation, and no diarrhea!
<If you say so.>
You now state that you can't speak for Bob, yet that is precisely what you did when you inferred that Bob's PP presentation on fish nutrition, and New Life Spectrum, was an argument made in regards to "general fishkeeping".
I can assure you that there are hundreds of species of fish being fed New Life Spectrum, many exclusively, that fall FAR from the scope of general fishkeeping, or are kept by casual fishkeepers. Some of these fish can fetch hundreds/thousand+ dollars, for a single specimen!
<Good for them.>
A recent comment posted by Bob with regards to New Life Spectrum .....
NLS Pelletized Food FYI 1/6/2010
Was reading one of the posts today re a gent feeding NLS pellets to his fish. I really cannot say enough about the product. All my fish are eating the NLS pellets and they are certainly more colorful and healthier looking than I've ever seen them. This is the only food I feed now and was reluctant to do this as I believe in variety, but the results certainly eased my mind as well as my wallet. I may add variety down the road, but so far it certainly appears the nutrition level is present.
<I do hope that folks reading this will realize our sincerity... This product is... amazing. Fully nutritious, and obviously... delicious... to fishes (watch out Longfellow). Have seen it in use, and used it almost exclusively myself for years. BobF>
I'll let Bob explain to you how Surgeonfish do after being raised exclusively on New Life Spectrum for over a decade.
You stated; "It's not a brand I've used, so I can't comment on its quality."
...... which is the only real point that I am attempting to drive home.
As a long time reader of Bob Fenner's, and the entire WetWebMedia site, NLS fish food is one of the few commercial products out there that is constantly been endorsed by the WetWebMedia crew. There's a reason for that, and considering the fact that you've never used it, you might not want to knock it, until you have given it a proper go. :)
<Fair comment. But at the same time, I'm not feeling the loss, either.>
In my humble opinion, suggesting that someone keeping native Sunfish shouldn't feed NLS as that species staple food, certainly wasn't doing them any favours.
<Or any harm, either. Moreover, good luck trying to get Enneacanthus to eat any kind of flake food.>
Just a little something to keep in mind ....... much of the scientific wisdom today, began as the heresies of another time.
<Nordrhein Westfalen? Cheers, Neale.>
<<Again, I thank you both for your civil discourse here. And I DO encourage Neale to seek out, try Spectrum... of appropriate size pellets et al. with his fish stocks. It has been my experience that in a remarkably short number of trials, ALL fishes take this food. Really.

NLS Pelletized Food FYI 1/6/2010
Was reading one of the posts today re a gent feeding NLS pellets to his fish. I really cannot say enough about the product. All my fish are eating the NLS pellets and they are certainly more colorful and healthier looking than I've ever seen them. This is the only food I feed now and was reluctant to do this as I believe in variety, but the results certainly eased my mind as well as my wallet. I may add variety down the road, but so far it certainly appears the nutrition level is present.
<I do hope that folks reading this will realize our sincerity... This product is... amazing. Fully nutritious, and obviously... delicious... to fishes (watch out Longfellow). Have seen it in use, and used it almost exclusively myself for years. BobF>

Breeding saltwater snails  9/17/09
Hi folks.
<Hello Jason,>
I was wondering if you knew of the best route to take for breeding saltwater snails for my Puffers and Triggers to munch on.
<Not much chance in most cases. The vast majority of marine gastropods produce planktonic larvae, and reproduction under aquarium conditions is a bit hit-and-miss. You'd likely be better off breeding freshwater snails, and feeding those to your saltwater durophages. Cherry Shrimps and even Crayfish might be an option too. To be honest though, whole fresh or frozen shellfish would be cheaper. I like to use things like North Atlantic Prawns for my pufferfish, eating the tails myself, and letting the fish have the legs and cephalothorax. For some reason, they love prawn eyeballs!>
Also, would my refugium be a good place to raise them as they're safely away from the predators?
<Up to a point, but I doubt you'd be able to produce them at a viable rate to supply even a small pufferfish adequately. This isn't going to be like producing copepods for a Mandarinfish.>
I know they need crunchy food for their teeth and continually replacing crabs/snails can get expensive without a good plan.
<Do head over to the seafood counter at your local grocery store, or check out the frozen foods at an Asian food market. Things like clams, mussels, crab legs, crayfish and unshelled shrimp can all be pressed into service.>
Thanks for your help,
<Cheers, Neale.>

Cardinal compatibility, and a question about foods  11/30/08 Hello I recently purchased 3 orbiculate Cardinalfish, Sphaeramia orbicularis, from a local store. At the store in the same tank they had a pajama cardinal. I really liked the look of the two cardinal species together. I have heard that these cardinals are not as aggressive with conspecifics as Banggai cardinals. <This is assuredly so... both in the wild and captivity> Would I be able to mix the orbiculate cardinals with three pajama cardinals in a 75 gallon tank? <Likely so> I was also wondering how nutritious bloodworms are for saltwater. <Quite so> I have heard that they are higher in fat than other frozen foods. I have currently been feeding the cardinals as well as some gobie-esque fish (2 scissor tail Dartfish, 1 bar goby, 3 convict gobies) frozen bloodworms as a treat as they seem to really love them. In addition to this I have also been feeding krill, brine shrimp, mysis, daphnia, Cyclops, flake (TetraMarine Marine Flakes), pellets (Nutrafin Max Slow Sinking Morsels), raw table shrimp, silversides and a frozen food for marine angels. I generally feed two to three different foods per day. Is there anything you would recommend be added to the diet? <Mmm, no... and I'd like to put in my formal request to be reincarnated as a pet fish in your care> Thanks for your time Kevin <Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Re: Cardinal compatibility, and a question about foods  11/30/08 Thank you Bob for the quick reply. it's one of the things that makes this web site so great. <Ah, welcome my friend. My "central thread" here is that my and friends' efforts be accurate, significant and meaningful... including, of course, timely. Cheers, BobF>

Service company and feeding, automated  - 7/2/08 Good evening WWM! <Mike> I just skimmed over the feeding section, primarily on the use of automatic feeders. I enjoyed Steven Pro's article, however this seemed to be more of a review of several feeders on the market rather than the fishes reaction to "dried foods". <I see> I own and operate a very small, (two clients) setup and service company. The smaller of the two is a very basic 110G community FOWLR, equipment list includes an Eheim 2229, Coralife Super Skimmer 220, Marineland HOB for chemical, two Koralia 2's, and two Maxi-Jet 1200's with rotating deflectors. Approximately 70lbs. of LR, two inch fine sand bed. <Mmm, there are some folk who would suggest deeper, shallower> It's been a great setup so far and the stock list is, six blue green chromis, two schooling Bannerfish, maroon clown, bluespotted goby, and a teenage raccoon butterfly as the star of the show. <Heee!> Now finally the reason for writing, I am able to get over to the tank whenever needed, (it is close by) and I've had an Eheim auto feeder since day one. <I use two of these...> It's the twin feeder, #3582. I don't have any problems with the feeder itself, it was easy to setup and hasn't failed to work properly. The issue is the fish are not too enthusiastic about what it drops. <Ahh!> I've tried just about every style/type of food. At the moment one side has freeze-dried mysis (everyone's favorite in the frozen form) and freeze-dried plankton, the other has freeze-dried brine, formula 1 and 2 pellets. The clown, Bannerfish and chromis will eat decently, but the B/F doesn't show interest. He/she definitely has an appetite, frozen food proves this, but I've actually witnessed it take a bite of the freeze-dried and spit it out. This is in an office and I am not willing to trust the secretary's to perform this simple task properly. Am I stuck visiting my customers aquariums twice/three times daily to feed? <Mmm, no> Or is it a matter of being patient until the fish realize that's what they're gonna get? <Actually... a matter of changing to another brand...> I see the Dr's offer a small feeder for frozen food, (it's hooked to an air pump and claims to dispense frozen food over the course of several hours, do you have any opinions on that device? <No... have no first or other hand experience re> Also any other opinions/ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for the help and keep up the great work. To all, but especially Bob, I commend you for continuing to do this, providing help and input for so many, for so long. I can only imagine how frustrating it probably gets at times, answering the same questions over and over, and usually over again, yet you all continue to do so, for the love of the hobby, which in my opinion deserves much praise. Mike Troolines <A pleasure to serve... assist your efforts Mike. Do try Spectrum pellets (of smallish size) here Mike. Pablo Tepoot's product/New Life is (to me) amazing in its palatability, and entirely nutritious. Like a few products (oh don't I wish we owned Boyd's Chemipure, PolyFilter and Kold-Steril, Emperor Aquatics "socks"...), this one is superlative. My further praises here: http://wetwebmedia.com/foodsppt1.htm Is what I feed (exclusively) and have for years. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Service company and feeding  7/3/08 Thanks for the reply Bob, I read the other day about a spot on an internet talk show, or similar? Is that still happening? <Ah, yes... Blue Zoo... same name as Mark Martin's biz, but not the same business> If so, links would be great. LOL, I apologize if they're on the homepage or something, I haven't looked. <Is Sportstalk: http://sportstalknetwork.com/bios/reece%27s_blue_zoo.php> Depth of the sand bed, I've heard, but in my experience there hasn't been problems, (not that I agree or disagree either way) Your thoughts? <Are posted: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/setup/index.htm scroll down to marine substrates> I currently have 7 or 8 different types/brands of dry food, (including two different types of Spectrum) I've tried all, with the pellets getting the worst reaction from the crowd. I believe without the butterfly, I'd feel plenty confident strictly feeding with the Eheim, but the butterfly has definitely thrown a curve into this which isn't typical and odd to me. <Chaetodontids can be tough. A friend, Walt Smith doesn't even collect, carry the family> I will absolutely pick up more brands as recommended here, give it a whirl. Also for what it's worth, I went looking for the "pro feeder" as it's called that dispenses frozen food over several hours. I've always looked at it in the mailer catalog, well it seems they do not carry it any longer according to the site so there goes that idea. Bob, what's your favorite fish and why? The bluespotted goby came out to say hello today, (a rare occurrence thus far) it's a beautiful fish! <Ah, yes... collected by an old/deceased friend... Alex Kerstitch... named in honour of Dick Rosenblatt here in town. B> Thanks again.

Blue Throat Trigger Choked to Death on Squid -- 6/4/08 Hi crew, <Hello Wes, Mich with you tonight.> I've asked many a question on WWM before. This time I don't actually have a question but was hoping this could go into one of your many helpful FAQs (though I'm not sure which)? <Will be placed.> I never thought this was a potential hazard because I'd never heard of it before, but just today my blue-through trigger choked to death on a piece of squid. I guess I'm writing this to warn people to cut up fish food to an appropriate size (and also to watch your fish while they eat, which I don't always do.) I dropped in a few small pieces of squid (maybe ¾? square per piece) earlier today for my trigger, grouper, and eel. I only occasionally feed them squid, mostly opting for formula one. At any rate, I didn't' stick around to watch them but did hear some splashing noises from the tank. I glanced over and saw the trigger darting about with a piece of squid in its mouth. I didn't think anything of it. My trigger has always been skittish and will often times dart about for no apparent reason, even when no one's around. I should have gone over to investigate, and I used to come running every time I would hear this ?darting about,? but to be honest, I've since stopped because it just seemed like crying wolf too many times. About 10 minutes later, I walked by the tank and saw the trigger dead on the sand bed with the wad of squid in its mouth. I quickly reached in, pulled the squid out, and tried reviving him in the flow of my powerhead for about 5 minutes. I even tried pumping him gently in the stomach as some sort of strange fish CPR, but that didn't seem to work either. <A good thought and I have done this successfully before. Providing artificial respiration via the movement in and out of the powerhead can work. In my case, the bag broke that the fish was being transported in and the fish, a Sailfin Tang was very cold, it took me over an hour of this artificial respiration but he came back from the dead.> I'm both sad and shocked and feel a little guilty that this happened. But I guess at least I've learned a bit of a lesson, albeit one I never thought was an issue before. So that's my story for what it's worth. <Wes, thank you for sharing your experience and I'm very sorry for your loss.> Cheers and keep up the great work you guys (gals) do. Best, Wes <Thanks Wes, and my sympathy to you, Mich>  

Question for Bob Fenner... Flake Food nutr. value  5/27/2008 Hi Bob, I've been reading up on flake food, and the more I read the more I am thinking of taking it out of my fishes diet. Not only are there binders, fillers, and preservatives that make me wonder if the fish should eat those, there is the manufacturing process itself. <Will not disagree... to top all off, for marines this food format is not a bargain either> I've read that most of the benefits of high quality ingredients are destroyed during the cooking process by high heat for a prolong period of time. Here is a quote from what I have read: "When food is cooked above 117 degrees F for three minutes or longer, the following deleterious changes begin, and progressively cause increased nutritional damage as higher temperatures are applied over prolonged periods of time: * proteins coagulate * high temperatures denature protein molecular structure, leading to deficiency of some essential amino acids * carbohydrates caramelize * overly heated fats generate numerous carcinogens including acrolein, nitrosamines, hydrocarbons, and benzopyrene (one of the most potent cancer-causing agents known) * natural fibers break down, cellulose is completely changed from its natural condition: it loses its ability to sweep the alimentary canal clean * 30% to 50% of vitamins and minerals are destroyed * 100% of enzymes are damaged, the body's enzyme potential is depleted which drains energy needed to maintain and repair tissue and organ systems, thereby shortening the life span." <Mmm, well... not really much of any of the above at the stated temperature... but the plants I've had occasion to visit did "cook" their mashes at much more than 117 F.> I can't think of any way, including reading the label, to know how the food was processed and if it is indeed healthy and beneficial for the fish. I'm seriously thinking of just feeding frozen and freeze-dried (and maybe making homemade). <There are some very fine extruded/pelleted foods... do see my pitch here: http://wetwebmedia.com/foodsppt1.htm> Any thoughts about using flake food? The ones that I would like to use are Ocean Nutrition Cichlid Vegi Flake and Omega One Veggie Flakes, or Omega One Super Kelp Flakes. <These are good foods for what they are format-wise... Again, I agree with you that flake/d foods are just not "that" nutritious nor palatable> After all the reading I've done, I'm just really wondering if flake food should be used at all. <For a few marines (not many) and quite a few freshwater organisms...> Thanks! Michelle <Thank you for writing, sharing your opinion. Bob Fenner>

Re: Question for Bob Fenner, re processed/flake food nutritional value  5/28/2008 Hi Bob, thanks for your reply! I'm I correct in thinking your answer means that the cooking process does not destroy the nutritional value? <Yes... at the stated temperature of 117 F. I do not think there is much loss> And that flake foods are okay for most freshwater fish? <For most smaller species, yes... Larger ones do better with other formats... e.g. pellets, extruded "sticks", dried...> Thanks for clarifying! I hope your trip is going well! Michelle <Sorry for the lack of clarity Michelle. Cheers! Bob Fenner>

Re: Question re Flake Foods Ah, I'm sorry, I didn't quote the article far enough. It went on to say: "Keeping in mind that the average 'meal' used in pet food is cooked at 280 Fahrenheit for 60 minutes, and then heat processed again to mold it, that doesn't leave a whole lot left of the original nutrition content." <I see... this is hot enough to denature protein, including enzymes... a different situation altogether. Though I don't think carbohydrates caramelize, nor are minerals affected at this temp.> I don't know how flaked foods are made, I just wanted to check and see if they are a nutritional food option for the smaller freshwater fish (cardinals, guppies, platys, wafers for Corys, etc), or if the nutrients are destroyed in the making of the flakes. Sorry again for not quoting the full thing! Michelle <Have had occasion to witness first hand how such foods are manufactured... mashes are made of basic ingredients, cooked, then smeared onto a rotating drum that is in turn heated inside... the "flake" is scraped off, goes onto shaker tables for sizing, packaging... Bob Fenner>

New Spectrum Fish Food  3/10/08 Hi Bob, <Jimbo> I purchased a small jar of this food a few days ago. Was skeptical as I am with any dry food claims. The first time I put the food in the tank I was amazed. Once the fish got a taste of it, they went into a feeding frenzy...unbelievable. It has definitely become their favorite food by far. After four days of feeding this formula, I see a bluish tinge on the anal fins of the False Lemon Peel and the Tomini Tang has also developed accented color. Boy, I don't know Bob, this could very well become the only food I use, no more freezer full of foods. As for their website, there certainly was much time spent in research to publish about an eight page article on nutrition and benefits of their product. The video is quite awesome also, same feeding frenzy I observed in my tank. Thought I'd share my feelings on this product. Regards, James <Heeeeee! Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/foodsppt1.htm I too am a giant fan. BobF>

Re: Spectrum   3-11-08 How do you feel about this food as the only food the fish will need? Jim <Is nutritionally complete... as stated in the prev. linked ppt. pres. B>

Lawnmower Blenny/Feeding New Spectrum Pellets 3/8/08 Hey Guys/Gals, <Hiya Joey> Just a quick statement. On 3-6-08 someone wrote in and asked what to feed their Lawnmower Blenny because it was not getting enough food. I have a solution. New Life Marine Spectrum sinking pellets(1mm). My lawnmower loves them. Have tried other brands and they do not accept them. Have also heard of many other success stories. One bad thing, the fish will get spoiled and not eat as much micro-algae. Most other fish will eat them too. <Thank you for sharing this info Joey. I too am trying this same food and indeed it is amazing how well this food is accepted by all fish. Moorish Idol's eagerly accept it also. Do watch the video at www.nlpublish.com. Maybe this is the bridge we needed for keeping finicky eaters.> Thanks, <Thank you. James (Salty Dog)> Joey

Nutrition 2/15/08 Hi Crew, <Hi Sam> Based on WWM info it would seem that the best way to feed fish is to make your own. But for those of us who want the easy way out, what should we look for. Below are 3 content descriptions of foods I use. Garlic flake: Contains Allicin, the blue green algae, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA), nucleotides, stabilized Vitamin C and Naturose in a high protein balanced matrix of marine and plant derivatives. Analysis: Protein, 45%; Lipids, 12%; Ash, 5%; Moisture, 8% Ingredients: Fish protein, yeasts, soy, egg, wheat gluten, garlic, Spirulina, Artemia, crustacean meal, binder, fish oil, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA), Naturose (source of Astaxanthin), taurine, anti-oxidants including vitamin C at 5000 ppm Floating pellets: Fish protein, whey, yeast and yeast extracts, marine fish oil, phospholipids, Astaxanthin, vitamin and mineral premixes, anti-oxidants. Proximate analysis: Protein, 60%; Lipids, 18%; Ash, 15%; Moisture, 8%; Vitamin C, 1,000 ppm; Vitamin E, 400 ppm; Astaxanthin, 500 ppm Freeze dried mysis: Mysis contain relatively high levels of fatty acids and significant levels of highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA's). Typical analysis: Protein, 48%; Fat, 30%; Ash, 8%; Moisture, 9%. <Sounds OK, but you may want to put a few drops of Selcon on the food before feeding. Very good vitamin supplement for your animals, been using it for years.> Thanks, <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Sam

Nutrition/Canned Shrimp 2/14/08 Hello there, <Hi Nicole> I just have a quick question. I can't seem to find an answer online, in spite of trying all sorts of different keywords. I am wondering if anyone knows whether it is safe to feed fish canned shrimp that contains preservatives. Bumble Bee brand is the brand that I have encountered. <I've done so in the past feeding a grouper. Just be sure to rinse the shrimp in cool water very well before feeding.> The ingredients are: shrimp, water, salt, sodium acid pyrophosphate and citric acid (to maintain flavor and firmness), sodium sulfite (preservative) I am most concerned about the sodium pyrophosphate and citric acid, and the sodium sulfite. <The sodium sulphite is more than likely used as an anti-corrosive agent to prevent the can from rusting. Doesn't sound good does it? As far as the pyrophosphate, OSHA does not list any health warnings as to.> Whenever I feed canned foods such as peas and green beans, I always get unsalted, but I imagine a bit of salt on canned shrimp wouldn't hurt. <Much less than in the marine system.> These cans of tiny shrimp are very cheap at the grocery store and would make a convenient treat for my fish. I have fed things such as canned mussels and clams before, but never have they contained preservatives like this. I am guessing these preservatives are unsafe for fish to consume, but I would appreciate any input. Thank you so much! <Rinse well as above, if they are supposedly safe for us, should be safe for the fish. James (Salty Dog)> Nicole

Re: Nutrition/Canned Shrimp 2/15/08 Thank you, James. <You're welcome Nicole> I decided after all to get boneless and scaleless pink salmon from a can, as the only ingredients are pink salmon, water and salt. I took the contents of the can, rinsed and strained and rinsed some more, and then froze it flat in a Ziploc bag. <Good> It breaks off more or less neatly into little chunks, the fish like it! Maybe your grouper would? <That was years ago, no longer have.> It seems a little oily, so I am feeding it sparingly. I don't know why if Bumble Bee can pack a can of pink salmon without preservatives, that they can't pack shrimp or crabmeat without preservatives. <Don't know either, might want to ask them...be interesting. James (Salty Dog)> Take care! Nicole

Feeding fresh egg roe 2-12-08 I have been looking for egg roe to feed my marine fish. I have purchased egg roe (pink eggs) <Mmmm> from a retailer near me but it is quite expensive. <Mmm... maybe a "fish monger" or fish as food store could supply you for much less. Do bear in mind that some fish eggs are unpalatable, some even toxic... and there are varieties that are treated in ways that render them less beneficial than fresh...> I have looked at my local markets and cannot find any fresh egg roe . I did find some fresh Buffalo fish egg row and an International market. Would this be nutritionally sound food to use as a supplement my regular feedings? <Would have to look up, likely in the scientific literature... and test for acceptance on specific fishes... But... let me ask a more primary question... "Why the eggs?"> And if so, should I soak it in Zoe first ? I make my own fish food so this would just be a supplemental feeding. <Likely would be better and more accepted if soaked first> Thank you for all you do for this wonderful hobby! Susan <Again... why fish roe? There are better food sources. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/foodsppt1.htm and on Bob Fenner>

Feeding canned tuna -01/31/08 Hello, I have a quick question. Can I feed canned tuna to my fishes? Why and why not? Thanks. <I suppose you could, if it were packed in water (not oil) and rinsed very well. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nutrfaqs3.htm Best, Sara M.>

Aquadine Duraflakes Hello there Crew, <Hello,> Just curious...has anyone here ever tried Aquadine Duraflakes? Not I, said the Little Red Hen.> I just ordered a free sample of their Freshwater Fish blend, I'll see how the fish like it before I make an order for some additional kinds. <Sounds worthwhile.> The concept seems to make sense, a fish food made without additional heating to ensure the nutrients stay further intact. Also, the idea of feeding less since the food is more concentrated. <Hmm... while picking good quality food is important, variety is also important. Few things keep fish in as good health as varying the diet so that they get a range of things across the week. Plant foods of some sort one day, bloodworms the next, Daphnia the next day to keep them "regular", and then something algae-based the next to get the best colours. In other words, don't tie yourself to a single brand or type of food, but rotate things. Pots of flake food especially lose a lot of their value a month or two after opening -- oils simply don't stay stable at room temperature for much longer, and when the oils go, the oil-soluble vitamins go too. So buying small pots of different brands is a great idea: not only do you keep the freshest flake food to hand, but you make sure your fish don't get bored.> I still plan on continuing to use New Life Spectrum, but as they say, variety is the spice of life - and I was just wondering what your opinion of this product was, if any. <None. That said, flake foods comprise less than 5% of the food my freshwater fish get across the year. I find it cheaper and more effective to "be creative" and use stuff from the grocery store, the freezer, and the garden.> Thanks! Nicole <Cheers, Neale.> <<This food... is bunk... poor acceptability, stored in air... lost nutrition. RMF>>  

Pablo Tepoot's demo tank... PS?   7/22/07 This tank is that of a well known Pablo Tepoot. He demonstrates the effectiveness of his marketed food New life spectrum on the species in the tank some of which very hard to keep alive. <I have known Pablo for several years, and visited this tank a few times down in Homestead, FL... Years back it held LARGE African Cichlids... It is over-packed as it looks... though this tank is very deep (extends to/through the outside house wall)> As a marine aquarist myself, stubborn disbelief led to closer inspection. There is indeed a video of his feeding frenzy and I am not questioning that. <I have a copy of this on DVD as well... and have reviewed it for Pablo.> However this photo seems somewhat edited. The biggest standout is the Photoshop mishap highlighted in red on the 6th photo. This exact photo is available online. The exact similar details on these fish just cant be real. Shiver me timbers! make your own mind up. The attached pictures tell the story in order. Open them fully for most detail. The fish seem to be in different positions but some are the same fish, maybe some sort of delay image capturing? <Well... such shenanigans, intentional or otherwise are a possibility... But, I will state categorically that the Acanthurus lineatus pictured were raised by Pablo as very young individuals... and that this species does show the dramatic lack of lining up of markings as shown... And that, though Pablo's son is an advanced computer user, Pablo is not... And further, that of all the people I'm familiar with in our trade, Pablo Tepoot's veracity should not be discounted. He is, above all, an honest individual> Ps. I did a bit of editing on the last photo, its actually quite easy. Can you spot the extra fishes I was emphasizing (clown tangs) and other differences I made? Too good to be true? PROBABLY IS! <Mmm, I don't think so... Perhaps some folks helping Pablo with his print ads did some touching up... He has made most of his own ads over the years... and they are not great copy...> This link is to his actual tank shots. Now I am seeing suspect things in these too. I stand to be corrected. http://www.newlife.ipbhost.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=66&view=getlastpost Allan Australia <And lastly, a "plug" for Spectrum foods... They are remarkably palatable and nutritious... MANY public institutions and ornamental aquaculture facilities use Spectrum... Bob Fenner>

Comments, questions. Ich and Feeding 7/11/07 Hi Crew, <Hello> I have a 10 gallon with 65ww PC, small filter, live rock, sand (less than inch) mushrooms, candycanes and a Galaxea. And some fish. <Don't like to hear "some fish" when talking about a 10G, 1 small fish is about max unless they are very tiny and very hearty fish.> Just got ick after introducing new corals from 3 different sources. <Uh oh.> I guess I should at least have washed them off. <Probably would not have helped. A lesson for everyone why it is important to QT everything wet.> So fish are now out of tank (after being berated by Mr. Fenner) being treated with copper. <Mr. Fenner? Never heard of him.> After one day there is already big improvement. <Good, although it is probably just cycling off and not really being effected yet.> I currently feed the fish with Golden pearls, freeze dried mysis, <big fan of mysis, not a huge fan of the freeze drying process, prefer just frozen mysis> and garlic flakes (made by the same company that makes the pearls). And twice a week snack of freshly hatched brine shrimp. I would like to add Freeze dried Cyclop-Eeze to the menu. <Good stuff.> And I do not feed anything else to the tank/corals. Should I? What about adding Selcon? Any real benefit in this situation. <Selcon is great for fish, adds some fatty acids that many foods don't supply. For the fish a good quality pellet would be great, check out New Life Spectrum, could replace the flakes with this.> Thanks <Welcome> <Chris>

Raising nitrates, Feeding Tridacnids...  4/26/07 Dear WetWeb crew, <Hi Joel.>   This is my first time writing to you. <Welcome to the show!> Thanks for all the great information so far. <Thank you for reading.>   I'll keep to the point, my nitrates have been at 0 since cycling 12 months ago. All water parameters are within reef specs.   The tank is a 90 gallon with a 16 gallon sump and 55 gallon refugium.   I have 5 fish, 2 shrimp and about 20 snails & hermits, about 15 inches of fish total. Although everyone is healthy and growing, should I be feeding more or running the Aqua C EV-120 skimmer 12 instead of 24 hours per day? Also, I just tossed out very large ball of macro algae from the refugium called "Fire Algae" which I got free from Inland Aquatics and replaced with small amount of Ulva. <Sounds like a very functional system.>   I want to increase nitrates because I just bought 2 Crocea Clams from Clams Direct and read they and corals need some nitrates. <It is true that these animals do benefit from some dissolved organics in the water column. T. Crocea in my experience is the most light demanding of clams and while it too appreciates "food" it derives most of it's energy from the zooxanthellae within it's mantle.  Having said that I wouldn't mess with your system to much, it sounds like it's well balanced and functional. What I might recommend is the addition of phytoplankton, look into reactors if you have the time, effort...as phyto is best fed on a continual drip. If you can't go the reactor route I would at least power the skimmer down or off for an hour or so after feeding the clams.> Please suggest some ways to safely increase. Thanks, Joel <Adam J.>

Floaters, or Sinkers? Floating food or sinking food 10/25/05 Hi crew,  <Hello Marc> So my question for this week concerns the use of floating food vs. sinking food in my reef tank? I notice that regular flake food floats initially gets sucked into my overflow very quickly leaving little time for the fish to get to it. Plus leaves a lot of uneaten food in the sump! I've taken to sinking the flakes by hand and the fish seem to eat better. However I now worry about pollution. I typically underfeed my tank if anything (my fish are always ravenous). The other problem I face with this is, unfortunately I have no viable alternative but automatic feeder for a few vacations I have coming up. (I bought a LifeGuard and have tested it over a week per your recommendations). I'm comfortable with its delivery and quantity, but not comfortable with the fact that most of the food will simply get pulled down the overflow. Any suggestions short of putting the main pump on a timer so water stops overflowing when the auto feeder goes off? I thought about using sinking pellets, but I'm not so sure on these either?  <I would suggest the use of a timer to shut down the pump during feeding. I'd go with a good quality flake food (Ocean Nutrition). Pellets can contribute more dissolved protein than flake. James (Salty Dog)> 

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>

Fish eggs as a Staple food  11/21/05 Hello, I was wondering if frozen fish eggs are suitable as a staple food.  <Mmm, can be> About 9 months ago, I bought a tiny (less than 1") Mitratus butterfly. The fish ate live brine and frozen Mysis in the store with gusto. I thought he would learn to accept other foods i.e.: flake, pellets, Lifeline 'green' or 'red', but no. I hate to feed Mysis everyday, so I bought some frozen fish eggs.  They are pin-head sized and orange in color. There is no identification on the jar. Well anyway he loves them, and they aren't as messy as the Mysis.  Are they a suitable staple food? <Not exclusively, no> A couple of times a week I soak them in Selcon or VitaChem. It has grown to about 2" and shares his 125 FOWLR tank with a flame angel, goldflake angel, solar wrasse, and magnificent Foxface.  Nitrates run about 10ppm, NH3 0ppm, Nitrite 0ppm. Thank you <I would be on a bit of a crusade to find, mix in other small, meaty foods here, in an effort to expand this fish's diet. Bob Fenner> 

Re: Getting Double Saddle Butterfly to eat - Part III  - 03/05/06 Bob, <Phil> Thought I'd give you an update. The DSB has been eating happily for the last two days now. I concocted a finely chopped mix of Mysis, Cockle and Lancefish tails and added two drops of extreme garlic per teaspoonful. I feed about 1/4 teaspoon in one go. He takes some of it in the water column and then picks the rest off the LR for a while later. The Chromis seems to like it too. Hope this helps anyone else who is looking for advice. Many Thanks Phil P <Ah, outstanding. Congratulations on your success... will post. Bob Fenner>

Starkist? Canned tuna is for nekkos, but not fish tanks  3/3/06 Hello WWM Crew! <Hello John - Tim answering your question today!>     Let me assure you that as a court reporter, I will do my best to use proper punctuation and grammar throughout my query. <As will I in formulating my response!> I have a 30 gallon marine setup with 5 small fish <Small fish as in they are small at present, or will stay small even in a few years time? A 30G tank is small for 5 fish I should imagine, though obviously this will depend on their type.> , a skunk banded cleaner shrimp, 5 blue legged hermit crabs, some frogspawn and two small Hawaiian feather dusters.  The tank has 3 power heads, a UV sterilizer, and a filter with a bio-wheel.  Now after researching your site, I realize that they (the feather dusters) ideally need to be in a larger tank.  This is great! I needed an excuse to justify a larger tank purchase. <Haha - and a good excuse it is indeed!>     Sorry, enough blabbering. My question was this:  Today as I was getting ready to make a tuna fish sandwich ( I know, I know. I felt guilty.) and draining the can of tuna, I stopped to ponder whether this juice is of any value to my frogspawn or feather dusters? <Interesting thought but I would advise against this.> I've looked over your site and could not find anything relating to the tuna juice. I know it is an odd question, but one never knows unless he or she asks; right? <Exactly! And I am sure others will have wondered the same thing but have been too shy to ask!> The only things that I can think of as far as immediate negatives are this: I have recently read that some species of tuna have shown elevated mercury levels due to human pollution in the water and that this might cause a nitrate spike in my tank water <The mercury would not cause a nitrate spike, rather it is a toxin that may poison your water. This may then result in the untimely death of some occupants, their decomposition being the cause of an increase in DOCs. It has also been suggested that the metal of the can leaches into the food. I am no expert on food preservation or standards but frankly, I would be concerned of introducing canned foods into my aquarium. If you decide to try this, then be all means, do inform us of the outcome. But my recommendation would be to avoid the risk.>  Any ideas on this? If I become brave enough/ignorant enough (your choice here) <Maybe a little bit of both :o)> to try this would you like a report in a few weeks? <Yes, please!> I sincerely appreciate your time and help.  This is a great site and the time and devotion that you put in to it should be evident and appreciated by all. <Thank you ever so kindly!> John H.

Mysids as food  - 03/12/2006 Hi Bob, <Nuri> Nuri Fisher here with Piscine Energetics. Hope this note finds you well. <Yes, thank you> I am currently in the process of creating some new information pamphlets on PEMYSIS and was wondering if you would be interested in sharing a quote, or tip on PE MYSIS which we may include in the brochure. <Mmm, what sort of input are you looking for? Mysids are nutritious food organisms for many captive marines... particularly where bolstered supplementally> We are also in the process of redesigning our website which should be relaunched in the next month or so.  When the web is complete I would like to explore the options of advertising on wetwebmedia.com <If this "makes sense"> Look forward to hearing from you, Regards, Nuri <Bob Fenner>

Food Size and Disasters  - 03/29/2006 Hi guys. <and gals...> First of all, I want to say that I LOVE your site.  <I'm glad we could be of service.>  I've only had my saltwater tank for about 2 1/2 months, so I'm still learning.  It's great to be able to have someplace to go and find trustworthy information from people as knowledgeable as yourselves.  <Wish every subject had a place for reliable info, right?  :)> I have a question about the food I feed my saltwater fish.  I have: 1 rusty angel 2 percula clowns 3 yellow-tailed damsels 1 royal Gramma <Did you say the size of your tank?  This seems to be a lot of fish for a tank as young as 2.5 months.> The guy at the LFS said I should be feeding these guys frozen Mysis shrimp, frozen brine shrimp, and flake food on alternate nights (skipping feeding one day per week).  The brine shrimp and the flake food seem to be popular with all the fish and are small enough for everyone.  The problem is the Mysis shrimp.  It has some kind of gel binder in it that makes it very hard to cut down into small enough particles for my smaller fish to be able to eat.  As a result, I've been putting only about 1/2 cube of the Mysis shrimp (cut up) in the tank, and then adding a small pinch of pellets for the smaller guys. My questions are: 1.  Is it possible for the small fish to eat the larger pieces of Mysis shrimp without my having to add pellets?  <Probably not - thaw in some tank water, then blend it a bit smaller.  I use a Black and Decker handy chopper for mine - cut to the size of the pellets that they like.  This way you can add half normal size, half blended.> 2.  How long should I leave the chunks of uneaten shrimp on the bottom of the tank?  I want to give them enough time to eat, without polluting the tank (and smelling it up, too).  <I wouldn't leave it more than 20 min.s at the most.  Probably much shorter period of time.  You have to watch them - if they aren't going for it, remove it immediately.> Sorry for the dumb questions, but I want to be sure I'm doing the right thing.  Any advice?  <No problem everyone has questions sometime.> P.S.:  I had a major aquarium disaster the other night.  I was in the other room and heard a very loud crack.  When I ran into the room where I keep the aquarium, there was a huge crack in the front panel and the water was gushing out at an alarming rate. <AHHH!>  Thanks to quick thinking by my husband and myself, we were able to set up temporary housing in a Rubbermaid bin until we could get to the store the next morning to buy a new tank.  I'm extremely thrilled to say that all of the fish survived <You're lucky.> and are looking good 4 days after the disaster.  One question I did have about this, though, in the event (God forbid) it should ever happen again.  I have read that if your tank leaks/breaks, you should save as much of the tank water as possible and put that water back in the new tank when it's set up.  We were able to save all but about 7 gallons (luckily, I was RIGHT THERE when this happened).  However, the next day, when I checked the ammonia levels in their new tank, they were elevated (about 0.2).  I did a water change and the ammonia levels went back down.  For future reference, should I have discarded the tank water that the fish were held in in their Rubbermaid bin before transferring them back into the display tank?  <They were only in there overnight?  I still would've put around 50-60% old tank water back in.  If you start with all new you're asking for it to have to cycle again... this time with the fish in it!>  Do you think that that water in the bin developed an elevated ammonia level due to the fact that we were unable to set up the filter overnight (although we did set up the aerator)?  <Yes probably - no mechanical or chemical filtration will do this.  It's always good to have an extra filter on hand for this.> Sorry for all the dumb questions, <No dumb ones.>  but I'm still learning and want to be prepared.  Thanks so much!  <Not a problem.  Good luck!  ~ Jen S.> Pam Fishmongers leftovers    3/29/06 Hi Crew, <Johnny> An opportunity may have just opened up next door to where I work. A new fishmongers has opened for business. When I was a kid, we used to ask the butcher on the way home from school for a few choice bones for the mutt at home. Has anyone got a similar setup with their local fishmonger? i.e. taking a few "off cuts" off their hands to blend into a home made type of frozen food ... for a nominal donation of course! Is this type of food safe, viable, healthy? <Oh yes. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i3/Progressive_Recipe/Progressive_Recipe.htm and the linked files above> Best regards from sunny London! Johnny <Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Feeding Corals and clams that feed by absorption Nitrate solution????  Something like Barium Nitrate?   <sodium nitrate actually, bud. And done so in aquariums with limited (or zero) nitrate. Yes... nitrate is bad if excessive... but zero is bad too. Many of our reef invertebrates need a direct source of nitrogen> Again, what would the regimen be? <p 323 of the Book of Coral Propagation says <G> Heehee... [just shameless]: citing Knop...1 gram of sodium nitrate per 1000ml distilled water to make a stock solution. From the stock solution, dose 10ml per 100 L of aquarium water incrementally to maintain a nitrate level under 2 mg/L > Darrell <ciao, bub. Anthony>

-Prepping veggies for tangs- Hi, I just wonder how to prep veggies for Tangs (lettuce, broccoli etc.). Should I boil them ? For how long? <No need to feed terrestrial foods. Look for dried seaweeds at your local fish store, as well as live marine macroalgae. You can even grow your own in a separate refugium to feed your tangs. Bottom line: seaweed and macroalgae are soooooo much better for your fish than lettuce or any other terrestrial food. -Kevin> Thank you.

Nori Story... Hi... <Hi there- Scott F. at your service tonight!> I recently purchased Nori in our local Japanese market...I noticed that when Nori gets wet it becomes hard to chew, is it okay for my fish to eat this? <Well, usually the sushi Nori gets soft over time after it's submerged...It should be fine for fishes. I'm assuming that you're talking about the kind that's used for sushi, right? Perhaps you purchased kombu (A type of kelp), which is thicker and tougher? Do ask the folks at the market- they'll know which one you're looking for...Even better- try some fresh Gracilaria macroalgae ("Ogo"), which can be purchased either live from e-tailers like Indo-Pacific Sea Farms, or refrigerated, ready for (human) consumption at many Asian markets. Probably the best captive diet available for tangs! Bon Apetit! Regards, Scott F>

Small tank, Large Dusters 10/13/03 Good day all!  As always, all of you rule!!!!!!!!  We are so very lucky in being able to contact each and every one of you regarding any issue we may be having.  Thank you so very much. <quite welcome> Well, first off, I've got a 29 gal- emperor 400 w/bio wheel- CPR dual Bak Pak- 30.5 pounds of live Fiji rock from harbor aquatics- 35-36 pounds of live sand by natures ocean- 4 feather dusters- 1 fridmani Pseudochromis- 1 yellow clown goby- 1 Banggai cardinal- 2 peppermint shrimp- one scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp- a bunch of Cerith and Nassarius snails- 2 Astraea snails- assorted hermits (blue legged, scarlet reef, left handed, red tips)       As I LOVE every specimen in my system, I've no problem finding information on anything and everything in my tank here on your site.  Thank goodness!!!!  My issue here is with the feather dusters.  I have read many things about their being fed and cared for properly, and so far so good.  As it's been from the start since I have gotten them.  July 19, 2003.  Although 3 days ago, one did blow his top off!!!!!   This is normal and/or acceptable I know. <it is almost certainly stress induced. And honestly, I do not see how a large Hawaiian feather duster has a prayer of surviving in such a small aquarium. At best, it will take months to slowly starve to death. Your system simply is not big enough to support it (needing bigger aquaria, deeper sand beds and/or refugia). Prepared foods do not adequately sustain these organisms> I want to make sure that they are feeding and/or being fed correctly and what they need to be fed.  Originally, I would just feed them Selcon soaked baby brine shrimp.  Until I think I remember reading on your site that even that may be a bit large for them.   <correct> I will proceed to blend them.....................what I'm getting at is that I've read so many a times about the CLAM JUICE. <may be helpful.. but is still limited nutritively> I have bought Doxsee/Snow's Clam Juice, has no MSG or additives it says.  I am wondering if this will be suffice blended along with the baby brine shrimp enriched with Selcon?  Somehow, I feel horrible horrible adding a "human table food" into my system.......and I certainly don't want to harm anyone nor create an algae bloom or anything of the sorts. Will this brand/type of clam juice be fine to use?????                       Does even this CLAM JUICE have to be blended??????? Will this "supermarket" bought clam juice be bad to add to the tank????? <its all a moot point here... I fear. I just don't see a single large feather duster living to see even 1 year old, let alone 4 large ones on prepared foods. My advice is to send these animals to a larger aquarium (100 gallons plus... and aged over 1 year with a DSB)> I hope to hear back from you soon, as I just want the best for the feather dusters as anyone else would and I'd rather not bug u guys if I was able to find the answer on the site, so thank you for your time. <no worries... I just wish the news was better. Best regards, Anthony>

Feeding my stock Hi Gang, I have a couple feeding question. First my stock. 1 Blue Moon Angel (3-4") 1 Yellow Tang (3") 4 Clownfish (1-1.5 ") 1 Starcki damsel (3") 2 Serpent stars 2 Emerald crabs 2 Blood Red Shrimp 4 Urchins around a dozen Hermit Crabs about 20 assorted snails My tank is a 210 gallon, water within parameters, everyone eats well and appears healthy. <That sounds like an impressive tank!> Now my feeding schedule. The Starcki seems to favor flake food as do the clowns, twice a day. I feed the Tang a 3 " strip of Nori, 2 different types alternated daily. She also eats a bit of frozen. I also feed my big Black Urchin a small strip every day. Is this too much. <Provided that there isn't any food left over to rot in the tank then I think you are providing them all with the necessary food.  I might cut back the urchin to feeding every other day, but it's not necessary.  If they seem happy and healthy then I think you should just stay on course.> My Angel favors some wafers that I purchased (3-4 a day), as do the other urchins and Starfish, I give the inverts 1 wafer per day. is this too much? <I never feed my starfish daily.  I only direct feed them every other day if not less, I prefer them to search around the tank during the other days and help clean up left over food and waste.  I noticed when mine was fed daily it would not clean the tank, so that is why I changed my feeding habits to less direct feeds for the cleaning crew.> I didn't realize that the wafers are for freshwater bottom feeders until I got it home and my pets love it. It is made by "Hikari" and has the following: Whitefish meal, Shrimp meal, wheat germ, wheat flour, southern meal, alpha starch, brewers dried yeast, Spirulina, and assorted vitamins. Does this sound OK? <Yes, I know many people that feed "freshwater foods" to their tank, but try not to feed food designed for marine animals.  The Marine foods have nutrients and minerals that are needed in the animals diets.> I also am feed 1 cube of "Angel and Butterfly" frozen food made by San Francisco Bay brands and contains, Krill, Mussel, Squid, Spinach, sponge, Spirulina algae, menhaden oil, and assorted vitamins. I Alternate this with Brine shrimp and squid sometimes. Too much , too little? <Great food, I use San Francisco Bay Brands food myself, my fish really enjoy it.  and it has a lot more beneficial foods and sources of nutrients that many of their competitors.  I think you are feeding okay, but just make sure that the food isn't left the to rot in the tank.  If the fish/animals don't eat the food within the first 3-5 minutes of it in there, then you can remove it so not to foul the water.  keep track of what they can eat in that time, and then adjust your feeding habit accordingly.> Also with my current stock load, I would like a few more fish (any thoughts) and maybe a few corrals. Any Corrals you can advise that my Angel may not nibble on.<I would check out the WetWebMedia Marine FAQ area.  There are loads of ideas for fish you could mix in your tank.  with such a large tank, and the current fish, you really can have fun with the choices.  Not to mention it will help you figure what coral you can add in there with out worry. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/index.htm  > I plan to soon purchase more lighting. <If you are a handy person check out "Do it Yourself" areas online and see if you can build the lighting.  It's relatively cheap if you do it that way.> Thank you for taking the time, and for this forum. Best regards, Kurt Brunswick, Ohio <No problem Kurt, that is what we are hear for.  You seem to be doing a great job on your tank.  Keep up the good work, and if you ever need any more help we are here for you.  -Magnus>

Shrimp for food Bob, <Steve Allen tonight> I have read in a book that you can buy shrimp for your local grocery store. Freeze it. Shave it. Feed it. Is this true? <Yes> If so I would think that this would be a fresher method for vs. the prepared frozen foods. <Not necessarily better, but a good part of a balanced diet.> I have -Damsels -Tomato Clowns -False Clowns -Anemones (Long Hair) -Button Polyp -Yellow Polyp -Hairy Mushroom coral -Mushroom coral -Numerous inverts (emerald, arrow, sandsifter, snails) Would any of these species benefit from this type of feeding within the rotation? <All fish certainly benefit from a varied diet, just like we do. I rotate 4 kinds of dry food, 5 or 6 frozen and some fresh in my tank. Bob's book "The Conscientious Marine Aquarium" has his great recipe for homemade fish food. I by a disgusting "seafood gumbo" mix at Albertson's (shrimp/octopus/squid/mussel/fake crab) and use that. The fish gobble it up. Soaking foods in HUFAs & maybe vitamins is also a good idea.> Thanks <You're welcome> -CPN

Natural Foods Hi Crew, <Scott F. with you tonight> What do Neon Gobies (Gobiosoma oceanops) and Yellowtail Reeffish (Chromis enchrysurus) eat in the wild? <Neon gobies generally will eat parasites and minute crustaceans in the wild. Your Chromis generally will feed on zooplankton in the wild, but can be omnivorous, also feeding on algae.> What is the best replication of these foods/nutrients in the captive setting? <Good choices for both fish would be frozen Mysis shrimp, finely chopped seafoods (clam, shrimp, etc.), and zooplankton, such as Sweetwater plankton, a great product that comes packed in water in jars. It's very nutritious, and fish seem to love it!> I plan to put 2 gobies and 5 Reef fish with an Atlantic Blue Tang (over time) in a 75 gal. FOWLR tank.  I'll feed the tang Caulerpa, Gracilaria, Nori, etc. <Sounds like a nice mix. The tang will get quite large, however, so keep an eye out if things get too crowded, and keep water quality high.> Thanks for you help, Mike <You're welcome, Mike. Enjoy these fish!><<Refer folks to fishbase.org for natural food listings. RMF>>

Brine shrimp nutritional properties Hello crew, Pete McKenzie from Western Australia again. <Cheers, Pete! Did you read my reply posted to your last question? I tried sending it 6 times but the mail kept getting returned so I gave up and simply posted it on the dailies hoping that you'd read it> Just a query regarding the use of brine shrimp as fish food.   <adult frozen brine shrimp is quite popular, but a truly useless foodstuff. 3-6% protein for most... even the enriched ones are 12-16% at best> I have read in the WWM FAQs that brine shrimp can have protein levels as low as 4%.  Is this correct?   <yep... one of the most popular brands tests out at 4.5%> Having studied aquaculture both at university and beyond I have many references on the nutritional profile of brine shrimp and protein percentages are generally in the 40 - 60% range.   <sure... for healthy LIVE shrimp that have been fed in culture or freshly hatched... not the frozen, starved adult shrimp packed with lots of water and sold as fish food we see here in the USA <G>> Typically brine shrimp hatch with around 45% protein and this percentage increases with time as the animal uses its lipid reserves. <yes... but only within a window of mere hours... 9-12 for many... less than 24 hours for most before it degrades without supplemental feeding. And there is a big difference between a scientist studying or a fish farmer using freshly hatched shrimp: a quality and necessary first food for many larval creatures in mariculture... versus... the average aquarist buying junk frozen adult brine shrimp. Two very different perspectives. Most aquarists are not aware of the nutritive value of freshly hatched brine. But then again... most aquarists are not rearing larval fishes or food shrimps! As such, 9 hr old brine nauplii is too small to be useful. And the average home aquarist does not want the tedious job of hatching, feeding, and rearing enriched live brine shrimp when a more convenient and nutritive fish food can be found in mysids, krill, Gammarus, Pacifica plankton and live copepods from a fishless refugium. Heehee... its just you nerdy scientist types that don't think hatching brine is a big deal. Ha!> I agree that brine shrimp are not an ideal food for marine fish.  In fact I avoid them in marine larviculture if possible!   <agreed... an unnatural and inferior food> They inhabit hypersaline lakes in the wild and are therefore not a food that most fish would encounter naturally.  Newly hatched brine shrimp lack some amino acids and are usually very low in the important highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs) of EPA and DHA.  A much better alternative from a larviculture perspective is one or more of the many species of copepods, which form the basis to the diet of most larvae hatched in the wild.  These animals have little "pockets" around their bodies to store lipids and as such are a vastly superior food.  Pity they don't have the storage and hatching convenience of brine shrimp!   <also agreed!> Attempts to grow copepods in the numbers required (hundreds of millions per day) for large-scale finfish larviculture have been largely in vain, as these animals have a relatively slow reproductive rate and cannot be held in extremely high densities. Brine shrimp can be an acceptable diet for many fish if they are enriched prior to feeding.  Enrichment may begin when the mouth opens twelve hours after hatching and may involve one or more microalgae or alternatively commercial enrichment products such as Super Selco from INVE Aquaculture.  Many fish are reared from first-feed to weaning (pellets) entirely on properly enriched brine shrimp. From an aquaculture perspective brine shrimp are indispensable for large-scale finfish larviculture.   <agreed> From an aquarist perspective I consider them to be of little dietary value as most aquarists will not be prepared to make the time/effort to enrich them correctly.   <Bada-boom bada-bing!> Perhaps only useful when trying to elicit a feeding response from a fish not eating.  Far better to utilize a refugium to harbor more nutritious copepods and the like for supplemental feeding. <all very wise and appreciated. We will be sharing this of course with our friends on the daily FAQ page. Thank you!> Hope this information is useful, I just wanted to point out that 4% protein is likely an error, and that the humble, much-maligned brine shrimp does have a use somewhere!    <apples and oranges my friend <G>. The deservedly-maligned starved grey (!) frozen adult brine shrimp is still complete trash! Ha! But I do hope your information shared inspires at least a few more people to consider hatching live brine and enriching all. Best regards, Anthony>

Feeding (amounts, types, marine) Dear Mr. Fenner, <Steven Pro in this morning.> I have a simple question, I think, but it continues to plague me every time I think about it. <Ok> I have an 80 gallon, marine, fish only setup with a 20 gallon wet/dry filter/sump underneath. I have plenty of live rock and territory for the fish that I keep. I currently have a lion, an angelfish, two triggers, two tangs, and one damsel. My question, is everywhere I read on your website, you consistently state that overfeeding is a mistake that most fish keepers make. How much is enough? <There is no way to tell you something like a half teaspoon per day. Merely watch the fish and the food. If you see it getting sucked up into the filters, or falling to the ground, or the fish seem lazy in going after it, those are all signs of giving them too much.> How much is too much? I consistently vary their diet, which includes, frozen, flake, pellet, spinach, <I would switch from the spinach to Nori/Seaweed Selects. The terrestrial plants are not digestible, plus they are usually loaded with nitrates and phosphates to fuel nuisance algae.> and live feeders. <I would also get rid of the feeders. I have trained Lionfish, Groupers, Triggers, and others to eat prepared frozen formula foods.> Thank you for your advice, Mike B. <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Nutrition (Coris wrasse, Lionfish and Eels) Ahh sorry I didn't get this advice earlier.  He died last Saturday night. The situation kept getting worse and worse. kept becoming more and more to himself and eating less. <I'm sorry to hear that, but sometimes nothing can save a sick fish. If you learned from this, then the death will not have been in vain> The other fish in the tank are doing brilliantly and water checks out perfect accept for the water temp which is still too hot.  maybe I should not fill water as full next time to keep light contact farther apart. <Try blowing some fans across the water surface> I guess I assumed that the frozen Mysis shrimp was specifically designed for my marine animals to have all the vitamins and nutrients needed for a healthy fish. <It's a great food, but you still need to vary the diet> Any ideas on what to feed eels and lionfish that isn't feeders?  I have gotten by with feeding things such as cocktail shrimp and other type of shrimp that I can cut up. They will not go for the frozen flakes of Mysis or brine shrimp which contains a better diet. <Try pieces of krill, squid, etc.> Thanks for your help! Bryan <Good luck, Bryan!  Scott F.>

Phytoplankton... Not a food for everyone Hi Steven Pro, Just for your information, I do feed my corals phytoplankton. That includes my sponge, sea squirt, clam, and of course I use syringe squirt some at the elegance too,. I don't know if it need/eat it or not. <Please search www.WetWebMedia.com for phytoplankton. Anthony has detailed its benefits and drawbacks (namely in dosing procedures) many times. Your clam, sea squirt, and sponge maybe able to eat phytoplankton, but it must be blended or whisked every time to reduce particle size. Your Elegance will not eat any phytoplankton. Zooplankton for it.> As for the cleaner shrimp sticking their pinchers between the meat and the skeleton of the elegance, this does not bother me too much, because they are not attacking the coral. What I mean is they are not doing that all the time, only when necessary. Don't know if that's the most correct way to describe what they do. <Ok, but I would watch it.> Glad to hear that you pretty much have the same type of animals variety as me. <You will see a full and complete description with pictures once our online magazine comes out.> I have few fish, mostly corals (soft and hard). As for cleaning my skimmer, I don't feed my fish as much as most people do. So stuff that comes out isn't as much. <But your corals are constantly producing wastes that your skimmer could be removing.> Most of the liquid that is in the collection cup is drained into a container. <Ok, you have an overflow on the collection cup. These are both good and bad. They make life easier, but negatively impact performance. The neck of the collection cup needs a bit buildup to skim, but after a day or two the buildup gets so thick that skimmate cannot rise, hence the need to clean a well working skimmer every couple of days.> But you are right, I should probably clean them more often. BUT every other day, that's way too often for me, like I said, I don't get that much "stuff" in the collection cup. <But you should be.> Normally I go by how dirty the collection cup looks. And you are right, for the past few years in the hobby. One of the things I learn is that there is really no one tank is the same. Each one is unique. As for the brown and green algae growth, I do realize that it is a new tank's cycle thing it goes through. But I also believe that there must be something that is fueling it's growth. The bottom line is that the system is not balanced out yet. As fast as the coralline algae is growing, I hope it can be faster. Right now still kind have that newly setup tank look without them cover the rock. Thanks again for all your help and patience. As far as I can tell, my elegance is doing better now. <I am glad to hear it.> I hope it pull through this. Have a nice Thanksgiving. <You too!> Sincerely, George <Kind regards. -Steven Pro>

Marine Diet Hello, Merry Christmas, happy holidays....etc. <Happy holidays to you and yours!> Quick question, in relation to other frozen foods what do you think of blood worms as part of a salt water species diet? <Occasionally? Not a problem> They seem to be high in protein content. Just looking to add to the diversity of foods fed. <It will serve the purpose that you desire adequately> Species include 2 ocellaris, and a palette surgeonfish that has developed hole in head disease. <Needs marine algae such as Gracilaria, Caulerpa, or even dried Nori...supplements that contain vitamin C, good water quality with low nitrates, and low DOC (nutrients in the water). Check out our facts about HLLE> I have started using Selcon and Zoë in addition to feeding seaweed select for grazing, Sweetwater zooplankton, various frozen items including Mysis shrimp, Spirulina, and formula foods that include various seafood and  flakes. <Sounds like a winner to me...Remember to keep the water quality high with little or no nitrates> Thanks for you help. Ang <You're welcome! David Dowless>

- Fish Food - Hello, merry Christmas, happy Chanukah, Kwanzaa, holidays....etc. <Hello, JasonC at your service...> Quick question, in relation to other frozen foods what do you think of blood worms as part of a salt water species diet? <Well, my fish never seemed very interested in them, but I've heard from other aquarists who have no problems with their fish eating them.> They seem to be high in protein content. <A perfectly viable food.> Just looking to add to the diversity of foods fed. <I say go for it.> Species include 2 ocellaris, and a palette surgeonfish that has developed hole in head disease. I have started using Selcon and Zoë in addition to feeding seaweed select for grazing, Sweetwater zooplankton, various frozen items including Mysis shrimp, Spirulina, and formula foods that include various seafood and  flakes. <Sounds good to me.> Thanks for you help. Ang <Cheers, J -- >

Human food? <Hello, Ananda answering the puffer questions tonight...> Well, I'm happy to say that this is the first time that I'm sending an email without sickness or a fishy funeral pending. In fact, everything is going just fine except that my fridge went out, <Gack!> so all of the meaty stuff that I feed my porcupine puffer is no good, and I don't want to make him subsist on Spirulina flakes until the repair and restock can occur (2 more days). <While he may not be thrilled with Spirulina flakes, he would be okay for a day or three. But I completely understand the desire to feed your fish the good stuff.> So, what other human food can he eat?  Fruits, nuts?  Canned tuna, sardines, clams? <You could stop at the grocery store or deli and get a small package of frozen shrimp, or one of those "krab" sticks. I think I would avoid the oily canned fish (sardines, any oil-packed fish). Perhaps canned shrimp or crab -- rinse well to get rid of any added salt. If you live in any of the northern states, you might be able to use your car as a temporary refrigerator for the opened food container. Regarding fruit, I have heard of one porcupine puffer who loved bananas!> Or should I just go for sushi tonight and bring him home a treat from the sushi bar? <Ah, sushi is such a wonderful thing....I would go to my favorite sushi place and ask the sushi chefs if they have any day-old "leftovers", or scraps that are cosmetically unsuitable for sushi. Those would probably be fine for your puffer.> <Hopefully this reaches you in time for your sushi excursion... Regards, Ananda>

Vegetable matter foods? Tang algae feeding Trick Hi Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I hope that you and yours are healthy, and that life is as it should be. Personally I try to refrain from asking you questions as much as possible, but there is one area I would certainly appreciate your opinion on: Green foods. I am concerned that my many tangs and angels are not receiving their needed share of greenstuffs for long term success. I have had most of my fishes for over a year now and am happy to report that they are all doing exceptionally well (even an indo-pacific Regal angel I'm happy to report), but currently my greenstuffs diet consists mainly of dried green algae, supplemented by Formulas 1,2 and angel formula. Personally I am not too happy with the formula foods and would like to try something that is fresh, specifically I hope to find green foods readily available at local supermarkets, for costs sake. Here's what I have heard to try, and I would really value your opinion on these and any other foods you can suggest: 1) Nori <perhaps the best choice of popular foods> 2) Zucchini <reasonably good if frozen or blanched to break down cellulose for digestion by fishes> 3) Romaine lettuce <better for behavioral enrichment than nutrition...same prep as above> Thank you for your time and kindness! <do keep in mind that terrestrial plants (spinach, zucchini, romaine, etc) are power grown by farmers who fertilize with what?... Nitrogen and phosphorous...Aieeeee! Feed enough of it and you are importing serious nutrients into the system dynamic. I like Nori best. Even better is a disgusting jar of seawater full of river rocks or like worn stones sitting in a south or east facing sunny window allowed to grow thick marine algae. Take a stone out periodically to let the tangs graze this natural algae and rotate it when it is rasped clean with another ready coated stone. An old fashioned trick, but cheap and very natural! Pass it along! Anthony> Manuel Alvarez

Re: Vegetable matter foods? *** <Anthony Calfo in your service> Thank you Anthony for helping me out with my inquiry about green foods. *** <do keep in mind that terrestrial plants *** (spinach, zucchini, romaine, etc) are power *** grown by farmers who fertilize with what?... *** Nitrogen and phosphorous...Aieeeee! Thanks for the info, I hadn't thought about that one!! *** Even better is a disgusting jar of seawater *** full of river rocks or like worn stones sitting *** in a south or east facing sunny window allowed *** to grow thick marine algae. So in your opinion, is the above more nutritious than Nori? <probably not enough to be worth the aggravation, but if you like to tinker..> My tanks are well established and I always encourage micro algae to grow, which does get grazed on, but of course the more the merrier with the large number of herbivores I have.  <exactly, and agreed> Question: Can I purchase and encourage macro algae (Caulerpa Sp.) to grow in the same manner as above, or is oxygenating required for that? <yes to former, but tedious...no to latter, you are correct> While I have your attention, I have a really fundamental question to ask which surprisingly no one I have spoken with has been able to answer: As aquarists we are taught from day one that Chlorine and Chloramines are bad for our fish and lethal to our bacteria, yet the ocean contains more Chlorine than salt!! <Chlorine in solution can be evaporated (off-gassed), but Chlorides cannot... not the same, my friend... especially in the case of the molecule Chloramine in water treatment (cannot be off-gassed and is not present (?) in seawater> I have thought about this situation for a while, and can only conclude that nitrifying bacteria of the same type doesn't exist in the ocean? <you have magic peyote/mushrooms growing in your backyard...don't you? <smile>> I am really perplexed about this, would you happen to know? Best regards, Manuel <I have no idea about what I know most days (I have peyote too). Anthony>

Feed fresh shrimp from Safeway? Dear Bob, Can we feed Fresh Shrimp from the Safeway seafood counter to our inverts? It seems the frozen shrimp at the LFS is extremely expensive and not nearly as fresh. Sincerely. Rachel <Yes... most all of us "old salts" either use such shrimp (sans cocktail sauce of course) whole for large organisms, chop it up, or make into blends for feeding our captive marines. 

Diet Recently, I started feeding my marine fish Mysis shrimp together with Spirulina soaked in Zoe. Soon thereafter, having switched from Formula One & Two to this, the Purple Tang developed Lateral Line or Hole In the Head Disease. <Probably not the cause, but not helping matters either.> Though the Mysis has lots of protein, might this be the cause of this affliction and should I cease using it in deference to a greater mixture of frozen food along with lettuce occasionally? <Lettuce is terrible. Keep feeding what you are, plus add the Formula II back and get some Nori and vitamins to soak your food in addition to the Selcon.> THANKS, Stephen Pace <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Freshwater vs. Saltwater Mysis Shrimp Hello Mr. Fenner, <Steven Pro here today.> I have read on your website that you and your counterparts say that Mysis shrimp are the best food for saltwater fish and other saltwater creatures. <Not "the best", but a very good food.> My question is which Mysis are better in your opinion, saltwater grown Mysis or freshwater from Canada? <Saltwater Mysis for saltwater fish and freshwater Mysis for freshwater fish.><<Ehh, doesn't matter IMO. RMF>> I have been trying to find Mysis in my area for a reasonable price since my LFS's have stopped carrying the 16 oz. flat packs and have gone to the cubed 3.5 oz packs for the same price as the 16 oz. Rip off? <Depends, many people prefer the convenience of the cubes packs. That is all I sell my customers, so I can tell them one cube per day or something like that.> I have found two places in FAMA that will supply me with the Mysis shrimp but one is freshwater from Canada and the other is saltwater from California. They both say that theirs is the best and I am asking for your input. The freshwater will be cheaper overall for the same amount as the saltwater supplier. They both have to be shipped overnight and the minimum amount that I need to buy is 10 lbs. of the salt or 19 lbs. of the freshwater. What do you think? <See notes above.> Thanks for your input, Jeff Reed <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Mysids Hi and thanks for the reply! Would it be a bad thing to feed my salties the freshwater Mysis?  <not at all... just don't feed it to exclusion. Lacks marine nutrients> Different nutritional values or is it because it's composed of fresh water?  <the former> Thanks, Jeff Reed <kindly, Anthony>

Live fish food Hi Bob! What do you think about feeding live food to fish in a reef tank? I've that live brine shrimp is not a good idea because of the possible introduction of ich. Are there other live foods out there? If so, and if its a good idea, where can a hobbyist get them? thank you for your help! >> Live Brine that has been soaked for a few minutes in freshwater is mostly disease free... And most any of the freshwater live foods are of use to many/most marine fishes... Daphnia, Black worms, Glass worms... And cultures of other live foods can be had through mail order businesses as are found listed in hobby magazines, biological supply companies (on-line, yes)... And even from the occasional "other hobbyist" who is fortunate to have amphipods, caprellids, mysids "just show up" with live rock, refugiums, live algae cultures...  Live foods are a good idea... but may not be as inexpensive as prepared, frozen for what you get... nutrient wise. Bob Fenner

Rotifers Bob, I have often read about feeding various corals live baby brine shrimp and "rotifers". I have only had my salt water aquarium for 15 months so I am relatively new in this field. I have asked several knowledgeable people what rotifers are, and how or where can they be acquired. no one has yet been able to help me. I would appreciate any info that you could give to me. thanks, Dan >> Thanks for asking... always knew those courses in Marine Invertebrate Zoology would come in handy some day... Rotifers are "wheel animalcules"... a big mix (about 1500 species) or mainly freshwater, small (about 1mm) critters that look a lot like ciliated protozoans... Mostly non-attached... and mostly mis-identified...  What I'm getting at, is that most people call a whole bunch of other organisms "rotifers", sort of like a catch-all name for "plankton"... You can buy cultures of these and other fun to grow and feed organisms and their culture media, vessels... from "biological supply houses"... put this name in your Search Engines... and away you go. One of my faves is Carolina Biological... Bob Fenner

Feeding Fishes Dear Bob, I ordered two fish from Flying Fish. I got a Raccoon Butterfly & a Koran Angel (juv.) . What do they eat??? Dumb huh? I have tried the dehydrated algae from fish store. I have also stuck some brine shrimp in the tank. They don't seem to eat either of them. They have been eating the algae off the rocks though. Also, how quickly will these fish grow? How long before the angel changes color? They are beautiful fish. Flying Fish has top quality specimens.  Thank You, Heather  >> The Raccoon is a zooplanktivore... it will eventually accept all sorts of foodstuffs, but prefers small crustaceans (frozen/defrosted, dried, freeze-dried) in the water column... and they eat about night time in the wild.... The Koran (Pomacanthus semicirculatus) has a more cosmopolitan diet, requiring some greens daily, but otherwise gladly eating most all types of foods once it settles in. The Butterfly will be a good four, five inches in six months to a year, the Angel six or seven inches... and it will start changing color at about four inches overall length. These are two great species for aquarium use... and are happy presently doing what they've done for food in the wild... I would just give them time. Bob Fenner

Feeding a Reef Hello I have read and talked to many hobbyist about the age old question feed or not to feed your reef. I watched one tank go down (a friend of mine) on a plankton outbreak after she did one feeding. What is your opinion on it? And if you are pro what do you suggest to feed? >> Most reef set-ups do benefit from some sort (amounts, frequency, mode of application, foodstuff choices) of nutrient addition... But definitely over, or mis feeding is out...  Part of the fun, mystery-intrigue of reef systems is the planning, selection, placement and care of a mix of compatible forms of life... In most settings, due to "boosting" by intense lighting, high temperature... and other factors (competition, predation...), feeding is a must... less energy inputs otherwise not support the types of life (non-photosynthetic... like filter feeders, detritivores, zooplanktivores...) that the hobbyist has placed... Bob Fenner

Non-feeding Queen Angel What's up Bob. you have helped me several times in the past and I am in need of your expert ways one more time. I have a 55 gallon tank with a queen angel, saddleback clown (with Sebae anemone), threadfin butterfly, Cuban hogfish, 3 damsels, cleaner wrasse, several crabs and shrimp, and sea urchins and starfish. wow, I got a lot of stuff in here!! oh, also 50 lbs live rock. everything has been fine and everyone has been eating. yesterday a did a 20% water change and today the queen angel is not eating. its usually the first fish to eat when I put food in. today he went right to the top, looked at the food, which he usually nails, and just didn't eat. he has been in perfect health and was eating yesterday. should I be concerned? did the water change affect it? everyone else was eating today but the angel. >> No worries... maybe the water change, more likely you just having your hands in the tank... has set it off.... It will resume feeding in another day or two, little doubt. Bob Fenner

Sea urchins and Shellfish (native foods?) Hi Bob, I got some sea urchins from my brother this evening and a large snail ( orange colour shell and stripe body ) from the local fishermen. So I quarantine them in my spare tank with some small fishes I caught from the sea shore last week at my Mum place. I am very anxious to see my clown consume the urchin but have I got to quarantine it for 2 weeks before feeding? Is it a good food for the trigger? Is it very risky to feed life food from the sea, like urchin, shellfish etc? By the way, I will be going to catch pufferfish at the seaside tomorrow with my daughter using hand net call Jala. Hope we will have fun. Got to go now. Have a nice day. Bye2. >> <Actually, you might want to investigate means of causing this specimen (if it's a female... not able to tell externally) to release its gametes (soaking, injecting 5% KCl solution if memory serves, do check)... rather than the one-time cracking it open... and do take care not to pollute your aquarium... not all the "contents" are palatable.> Bob Fenner

Filter foods Bob, What do you recommend as a good all around filter food protocol for a reef tank that has a wide variety of filter feeders: clams, fan worms, corals (photosynthetic and not), etc. <Really... a very large and healthy plenum and live rock with macroalgae sump/refugium and a dearth of predators there... with either a reverse daylight photoperiod, a very reduced dark phase... or a continuously lit affair. For adding a bit more material... the spritzing with a turkey baster of a liquefied mash of meaty and green material blended ala margaritas with the filter pumps turned off (like for fifteen minutes... with timers so you don't forget to turn them back on again), about twice a week...> I've seen a variety of live phytoplankton (DT's), and dead phytoplankton paste ('Instant Algae' from www.brineshrimpdirect.com), and proprietary foods (from Kent/Coralife/others), but don't really know the relative value of each type. The cheapest is the 'Instant Algae' (dead phytoplankton mixture), but I'm not sure of its effectiveness - although it has the advantage of being sterile (no disease risk). Have you any experience/opinions on the instant algae or the other filter foods? <Too little, but there are independent tests for food value, cost per... posted on some of the archived listservs... see the Links page of the www.wetwebmedia.com site and... keep reading> My main goal is to provide a filter food of maximum nutritional benefit to a wide range of filter feeders w/o causing prob.s with nuisance algae blooms  <I hear ya> - I also want to have a wide range of food 'size' so its consumable by a wide variety of filter feeders. (I'm currently running a Berlin skimmer on a 70 gal aquarium with ozone and UV, and am working on adding a sump with a 12"x12"x12" macro algae section - lit 24 hrs). <Sounds good> Also, what do you recommend for quarantine/dips when it comes to macroalgae that will be added to the tank/sump. <Freshwater dips of about five ten minutes, pH adjusted (with about a teaspoon of baking soda/sodium bicarbonate mixed into dechloraminated water per gallon...> Thanks Again! PS - Bob, I feel like I'm taking advantage of your expertise/generosity by asking too many questions. This is the 4th time I've written to you in the past 2 mo.s, and you've always responded promptly with great advice - this is truly the best source of info I've found (including your book). If I'm abusing your Q/A support, just give the word. Also, have you ever considered some sort of service where people pay a fee (monthly/annual/??) for your advice? That would be something I'd gladly sign up for (and maybe several others). Its so hard to get 'quality' advice on this hobby, at least in Minnesota. Thanks! <Hmm, maybe I'd be able to afford the real Top Ramen instead of those off-brands...? Something to think about. Thank you for your concern, advice. Bob Fenner>

Feedings Hi Bob, How have you been? Hope all is well with you . It's been awhile since I have asked you anything so I figured I best send you another question. I want to know what your suggestions would be to grow in a reef to provide a larval stage food supply. I have tons of pods, but it is my understanding that when they reproduce they bypass this stage. <Hmm, not my understanding...> I understand that this is beneficial for many of the corals we keep in our tanks.  <Actually the whole spectrum exists amongst corals, including the species kept by aquarists... some are "catchers" of meaty foods, others almost entirely photosynthetic...> Right now I only have some polyps and some mushrooms. My sand bed is populated with bristle worms , spaghetti worms , some unidentified worms <Many>, copepods, and mini -stars that I can see. The tank has no fish and I am not sure it ever will. If it does it will be , more than likely, one as a center piece. I will intro some shrimp to this tank in about another 2 weeks. It is still a young tank , only up for about seven months now. Any suggestions or thoughts you have , I would like to hear. Thanks again. Jim Bell p.s. Still look forward to seeing you at the Reefland bb. It would be very nice if you were the 1000 th registered member http://www.reefland.com/ Thanks again. <For stocking? Please read over the "Selection" survey pieces posted on the www.wetwebmedia.com site. Have visited your site, very nice appearance, and innovative categories for hobbyists. Bob Fenner>

Feeding Filter Feeders, Cooked or Raw? Sorry for the second email--but I had a couple more questions and I've discovered through my own research, in my short stint as a marine aquarium owner, that the people who work at the livestock stores don't really know that much about marine aquariums! <Yes... often the case... a study into the human condition... doesn't pay much... so doesn't attract much in the way of learned, experienced folks... but there is much, much more to "life" as we know... and the non-remunerative compensation... hard to beat.> First, I added two flame scallops a week or two ago. Personnel at various stores told me I don't need to feed them because they're filter feeders and will take care of themselves.  <no...> I've thoroughly researched them on the 'net, and found out otherwise. Someone finally told me that phytoplankton, 2 tablespoons every other day should take care of them. Is this correct?  <Possibly... this species of non-scallop, Lima scabra, has a dismal survival history in captivity...> The also told me that when feeding the phytoplankton, I didn't need to turn off the filter. Shouldn't the filter/skimmer be off for 15-30 min to allow the scallops to consume the food before it's skimmed out? (Based on the other FAQs you've answered, my guess is that the answer is "yes.") <Yes, my friend> Secondly, I also added a bubble coral this weekend and fed it some frozen shrimp, which it devoured. My question here is whether cooked shrimp will provide the required nutrition and not otherwise harm the coral--the only small frozen shrimp I could find at the grocery store were cooked shrimp in the frozen food aisle.  <Better that it's raw> Or should the coral only be fed raw shrimp? (I also add some pieces of shrimp for 3 horseshoe crabs to graze on--whatever is left over, on its way to the substrate, by the 3 bicolor Chromis, blue-tail damsel, and three tangs on the way down.) <Sounds like quite a menagerie!> I have a 115 DAS system with 150# of live rock and approximately 2 1/2 inches of live sand in the bottom. Thanks for your help again! James A. Deets <Be seeing you. Bob Fenner>

Eating questions Hello Bob or Lorenzo! <Hi Deborah, Lorenzo here, as Bob is indeed still underwater somewhere in the Eastern Hemisphere...> I'm writing with two questions today. My first is about my Bicolor Angel. I've been able to secure a very healthy, hand-captured Bicolor Angel. He is young and is doing very well in my tank. He's been there almost a full week and has eaten somewhere around 60% of the brown, filamentous algae that I had in my system (and to think, I had been trying to get rid of this stuff before his arrival). He's constantly picking around the tank, eating this micro algae. I'm genuinely amazed at how much cleaning he's done. I know its him because he's the only added occupant to the tank and the algae has been covering everything for over a month now. Occasionally, he'll pick at the sheets of macro-algae that I put in the tank, but not all too often. My concern is, he's not eating any of the other foods that I've seen recommended for him. I've tried brine shrimp, blended shrimp paste, flake food that was labeled for marine angels, and blood worms (for my other occupants more than him). He touches none of it. The only thing he wants is the algae. He's not at all shy around the other fish, so I don't think he's being scared away from the food. So, my question is, can he thrive on a diet of algae only?  <If he really wants to, yes. Likely he's getting a bit more than just algae, as he picks around on the tank. I have two Centropyge angels that eat a LOT of algae. They eat algae off the glass like freshwater algae-eaters! But they also eat flake.> I'm planning on putting live rock in my tank will this help to sustain him?  <Definitely.> Are there any "favorite foods" of Centropyge angels? I really want him to stay healthy. <Our bi-color eats just about anything, and spends all day picking at all the live rock. Our Coral Beauty is the same, only bigger. The Coral Beauty loves to munch on any variety of Caulerpa roots, and the 'leaves' of Feather Caulerpa.> My second question is a bit simpler. I came home yesterday to find my Red Pencil Urchin eating one of my turbo snails. I had not realized that urchins will eat snails. Is this common?  <Urchins will eat almost anything that moves slowly enough...> Should I worry about the health of the Urchin in doing so? (I don't mean to be callous about the snail, but they're not exactly the focal point of the tank).  <On the contrary, sounds like a tasty, healthy, if expensive little snack.> In general, I've found that Turbo Snails do not fair well in my tank. They usually last about 1-2 weeks. This is the first time that I've seen one get "munched".  <Try a different type next time. And snails will do better in general with some live rock in there. In fact everyone will.> All of the other occupants thrive (2 fire fish, 1 Falco Hawkfish, 1 blue damsel, 1 blue velvet damsel, 1 false percula clown, 1 tomato clown, 1 bicolor angel, 1 Bubbletip anemone and 1 red pencil urchin). Are they "less than hardy" or might this be a sign of problems in my tank?  <Your tank sounds fine. With so many occupants already so well established, be careful not to add too much live rock at once. The inevitable 'die-off' of a percentage of the life on the live rock is an initial load on the system before the rock actually settles in and starts doing it's job. You didn't say how big your tank is. Generally I wouldn't add more than 10 pounds a day to an already established 60 gallon system.> All of my test results are in the very acceptable range (pH 8.2, Salinity 1.023, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 5, Phosphate 0). <That all sounds just fine. As long as Nitrates don't go over 10, you're in good shape.> Anyway, that's all for now. Thanks for any input that you can give. <Always a pleasure, and sorry it took so long to get back to you! I can't believe the amount of mail this crazy Bob guy gets! -Lorenzo> Deborah H. Colella

Centropyge feeding, live brine shrimp exclusive diets Wow thanks for the quick reply...interesting that we do not need either the plankton or the daylight...anything special for the coral beauty?? you would recommend? also I find the algae blenny ONLY eats live brine...normal? Gina < Lorenzo Gonzalez here, Bob is 'on expedition' somewhere in Asia...> Mine really loves algae of all sorts. Always munching on whatever sort of Caulerpa may be growing (definitely prefers the feather and cup varieties) but she seems to enjoy a little Nori as well - since there is no fresh algae available in our quarantine tanks, she used to engulf Nori and even film algae all the time. <You'll probably find that the algae blennies prefer just a specific sort of algae.  Our 'lawnmower blenny' only eats algae that looks like a lawn! In other words, if it's not filamentous, he's not interested.  On the other hand, he does eat a little flake and frozen. You can almost always, eventually, wean your fish from live foods.  And live brine is NOT nutritious enough for any fish to survive on for very long - so do try to cut back on it in an effort to encourage some 'sampling' and an eventually broadening of the palette..  :-) btw, sounds like a nice show tank! -Lorenzo>

Best Food for Lion Fish What is the best foods to feed a Lion Fish. It is 7 inches long. <Please see the "Lionfish" and "Feeding Feeders" sections (articles and FAQs) stored on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com for this information. Bob Fenner>

Tangs/Lettuce, chemical filtrants, learning Hello, I have a couple of questions I need to get an answer on. Is it natural for fish (tangs and angels) to munch on romaine lettuce.  <If offered such, yes> It is not found in the ocean, however, ever tropical fish store here in Massachusetts feeds the tropical marine fish lettuce. I went to the trouble of getting fresh seaweed which they do not touch and I also got Miso, which I soak and my Tank seems to like it once in awhile. So they eat what isn't natural and keep away from what is? <Hmm, much to talk about here philosophically... Miso as a prepared product isn't quite natural... And fishes, like humans "tend to the familiar"... and may know plain romaine better from experience. I have tried to talk people out of feeding terrestrial greens to marines for decades... and goosed Chris Turk, who in turn spurred on Jules (Sprung) and partner Danny, TLFishies, into re-packaging marine algae as foods... see the wetwebmedia.com site under foods/feeding/nutrition, the many Surgeonfish sections...> What does an argi angel look like, I cannot find its picture anywhere. Will he be a good choice for a tank that has an emperor? assuming I can locate one. Is it also called a Cherub fish? <Bad choice for a tank with an Emperor... read, study: http://wetwebmedia.com/centropy.htm Images, info...> Is Chemi-Pure all right to use in a reef tank until I get a protein skimmer and is the Aqua Sea Remora Pro back pack a good brand and choice? <Not the same function, but a help and yes> If Chemi-Pure is ok to use, for how long and how much? Thank you very much again. Thank God for you. <Please read over the activated carbon section. I've heard it stated that the Judea-Christian god helps "those who help themselves"... you should avail yourself. Bob Fenner> Sandy Levy

Whiteworms and Redworms Hi Bob, Hope this letter finds you well. It's me the HS student studying at Vandy. Well, by the time you read this letter I will most likely be done with my studies at Vanderbilt. Hurray! Anyway, I have some questions for you about live food. What do you think of the Whiteworms and Redworms?  <Delicious and nutritious> I was reading TFH and came across the article on Whiteworms. This article really caught my interest and I began to look for websites that sold these worms. I was wondering have you had any experience with either or both types of worms.  <Yes... have cultured, used both> Would you recommend feeding these to fish like Chromis, clownfish, Pseudochromis, and corals.  <In moderation, yes> I think I want to try my hand at culturing so could you give me your opinion on this matter? Thanks, Eric Ho P.S I noticed someone else was named Eric Ho on one of you FAQ's. That happens to be my name too! Go figure. Well, I will continue studying, thanks <Many people on this planet. Bob Fenner>

Reef Fish Hi, I was wondering if you could suggest some species of fish that I could place in my reef tank that don't require me to feed them, rather they feed off the liverock or something like that.  <In a very large system... well-established...> I plan on keeping at most 2 small fish for my 60gal reef. I want fish that stay only around 1 inch and that's it. A would like a 6 line wrasse and maybe a Pseudochromis but I am not sure if they will survive on their own without me feeding them. Any input greatly appreciated. -Matt <Hmm, well, you will have to augment these fishes diets in any case... adding a sump as a refugium could help you/them quite a bit. Please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/refugium.htm and the FAQs beyond.
Bob Fenner>

Marine Feeder Fish Hello Robert, I just got back from the Philippines and I saw a small type of fish that would be a great feeder fish, smaller than silver sides. I read from your book (my favorite) that you lived in the country for awhile and may have seen this (attached). Can you identify what it is???  <Doggone it... after eating so many you'd think I would... Will post your image and hope someone comes forward with the information> If you can't can you recommend me to who can??? Thanks Al Batario
<Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: