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FAQs on Foods/Feeding/Nutrition, Medicated, Augmented

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, 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: Kinds, Amounts, Frequency, Feeding Methods/Techniques/Tools, Automated Feeding, Holiday/Vacation 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

DIY (liquid vitamins.... same as for humans...). and commercial prep.s: Selco, Selcon, Zoe, MicroVit, Boyd's Vita-Chem ...

 Antibiotics et al. can sometimes be combined... in a sort of "shake and bake" bag, clip and mixing fashion.

fish food bioaccumulation and humans 6/24/09
slightly bizarre question, that I have not found an answer too, though perhaps have been looking in all the wrong places. I have read on the container of fish food "not to be fed to fish intended for human
consumption". Not being learned in the topic, I must assume that whatever component it is that is harmful to humans is accumulated in the flesh of the fish (it would seem organs being most likely but also skeletal muscle). I have also read of many people, myself included, who water their plants (mainly flowers) with the waste water from water changes.
<Not a/to worry>
And now to the question:
Is there any reason, or risk in using the waste water to water plants intended for human consumption?
<Only if it's marine/salt...>
further would the likely hood be greater in a fruit type plant, a leafy vegetable or a root vegetable?
<Zip to nil>
It seemed to me very unlikely but since this is not my area of knowledge and haven't seen any statement one way or the other I would ask the crew.
Thanks again,
<I suspect this is mainly an "avoiding liability" issue, though some fish foods have had added medications (antibiotics, anti-protozoals), others have incorporated beef/cow material that in a very tortuous way could be associated with human health. I do not, would not worry. Bob Fenner>

medicating food for Cryptocaryon irritans 09/19/09
Good day all! have written to you before many years ago, still love your informative site
<Me too... more and more as time goes by>
I have a large reef aquarium with hard and soft corals ,numerous invertebrates in 5000 litres it has been running since August last year 2008, it replaced another 5000 litre FOWLR aquarium whose glass cracked after 12 years, fortunately it was laminated glass so it gave me time to construct the new one and move the stock over.
<Yikes... you were fortunate>
I have constantly had battles with whitespot tried many different remedies including hyposalinity but never used copper as it was not feasible, would
kill my live rock and shrimps. Through the years the whitespot has never really decimated my fish most seem to survive with it and continue to eat normally, Some of the fish are over 20 years old the average age is actually close 5-9 years for the majority.
<I see>
Presently I have an outbreak and all though quite a few fish show spots only one seems to be taking strain my Adult French angel( 11 years with me) is still eating but his breathing is laboured and he sulks in the shadows after he has eaten. I recently acquired Chloroquine phosphate tablets and was thinking about making a medicated food gel with them that I could feed them taking great care so that most gets eaten and very little would fall on invertebrates in the aquarium, the dosage seems to be 3.7g per 300g of gelatin but I have some questions about this process.
First to make the gelatin food, you need to use hot water to mix the gelatin would this denature the medicine?
<Mmm, no... or at least not if you allow the temperature to drop sufficiently (comfortable skin temp.) after mixing the water and emulsifier/gel>
Do I add the medicine as the gel cools?
<Ah yes>
Not quite sure how to make this medicated food properly.  Second do you think feeding this medicated food every 2nd day is the way to do it?
<I would feed daily>
Third do you think I should not go this route at all given that some of the fish are old , it might compromise their immune systems more?
<No... I would GO this route... use the CP... is quite safe and effective as detailed>
Currently all water parameters are normal PH 8.2-8.3 KH 10/11dkh Ca 370 ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 2.9 mg/l(Hanna photometer) Phosphate 0,25
temperature 26-27 Celsius Sg 1.024 I feed them frozen foods mixed with vitamin c and beta glucan and garlic and alternate this with pelleted foods also mixed with the vitamins, I'm worried that in my attempt to cure with medicine I might actually kill them.
<Highly unlikely>
The water is filtered through a Uv sterilizer 55w at 1000 litres an hour and prior to this it goes through 10-20 micron cartridges changed as they
clog and slow the flow down to 500 litres per hour,
<Do get/use at least a "second set" here while the other is rinsing, air drying>
don't know if this helps maybe trap some free swimming white spot?
<Mmm, some, but not all... Cryptocaryon intermediate stages require about an order of magnitude smaller sieve to be trapped>
How large is the free swimming infective stages?
<Please see WWM re... am out in Sing. standing up... sans ref.s>
Also it is ozone treated in a small protein skimmer for just that purpose, I have larger skimmers for actual skimming.
<Ahh, good. I don't see a measure offered above for RedOx measure... I would keep this high... 375 mv>
So do you think it is worth medicating the food?
<I definitely do>
or just trying to ride it out with high water quality and boosting the immune systems of the fish.
Thank you for your advice!
Shawn Cambouris
<Am hoping ChristineW will chime in here with her input. Bob Fenner>

Food/Additive Questions 5/31/07 Hello all. <Hello> I know I've told you this before, but I am SO glad that there is a site like yours out there to help sift through the ridiculous amounts of information that is available. <Lots out there for sure.> Anyway . . . I have two questions to which I wasn't able to find answers on the site. I was looking through some catalogs that I got in the mail, and there really is an incredible amount of aquarium stuff on which one could spend/waste money (my wife is already thinking of leaving me because of my re-found hobby). <So many snake oils it's ridiculous.> I saw two products in particular that piqued my interest. First, does anyone have any experience with Blue Lagoon Anti-Parasite Marine Gel Food and its effectiveness as treating/keeping Ich and other parasites at bay? <Main ingredient in this is Metronidazole.> I realize the best solution is to isolate all fish and allow the tank to go fallow, but for those big tanks where breaking it down to catch all fish is difficult, this product could give some relief if it works as advertised. <An effective drug but due to is anti-bacterial properties you would still want to use in a hospital tank. More of a supplemental treatment rather than a whole treatment unto itself do to difficulties in dosing. See here for more http://www.wetwebmedia.com/metranidazole.htm .> Second, what's the deal with Reef Bugs? I only found one comment on the forum from Bob Fenner and he seemed to indicate that the "bugs" can be beneficial to a marine tank. For a FOWLR (plus a few shrimps, feather dusters, etc.), can they provide a benefit or a hole in your pocket? <I wouldn't bother in either a reef or FOWLR, but mainly geared towards coral feeding. Of limited value at all in my opinion.> As always, thanks so much for your insight. It is really cool that a celebrated author is so responsive to the aquarium community. <Bob started something good here I think.> Andy <Chris>

Calcium and food additive Hi there. Thanks in advance for the help that all of you provide. It is respected and appreciated by everyone. Now I need your advice concerning my calcium supplementation and testing for my 29gal. tank that contains as follows: 1-Maroon Clown, 1-Bangaii Cardinal, 1-Diadema Basslet, 1-Bullseye Pistol Shrimp, 2-E. Quadricolor anemones, 2- 4" Torch corals, Yellow polyps, 1-Fungia, misc. hermits & snails. Lighting- 2-55w PC (50/50 actinic, 10000K),1-20W actinic. Temp-80F,salinity-1.023. AquaC Remora Pro w/ Magdrive pump. I currently use Seachem Reef Calcium and Reef Complete and use Seachem Reef Status for testing. Tests show 325-350ppm calcium. Torch coral shows good growth in past 6 months (branching from 2 original to 2 separate colonies of 4 branches each) Do you recommend a different calcium addition and/or test?? <In fact, this is the same calcium additive I and others here use. Personally I like the Salifert tests and LaMotte get high marks as well. If you are concerned that your tests are off, try to find an LFS/friend that can test the same water sample to confirm your readings.> Also I have experimented with adding off the shelf Fish oil concentrate (gel caps for human consumption, omega 3fatty acids) to various foods (freeze dried krill, plankton, frozen Formula One) but this causes the skimmer to act up somewhat. Do you think that adding this to the food has any appreciable benefit or should I discontinue?? <I have heard of using this but not tried it myself. Personally I like to soak the food in Selcon.> Thank you very much for your guidance  and I apologize for the long message. <No problem and no apology necessary. I hope this helps. Don> Nathan

Medicated foods 10/13/03 Anthony, Thank you.  Do you have any recommendations in terms of the medicated pellets?  Take care.  Kim Olson <homemade recipes are the most potent and effective, but require some effort to make (consult a fish disease book or Bobs Conscientious Marine Aquarist book for DIY food recipes). Else, seek Tetras medicated food sticks. Best of luck, Anthony>

Zoecon vs. Selcon Hey guys, this is my first question. <Well, there's a first time for everything.> I have a couple more but I will check back later. I have read tons of the FAQ's and it has raised and answered a lot of new questions for me. I searched Zoecon I found you always recommended Selcon or 1 other the name escapes me. I have a Purple Tang with HLLE and have been soaking the food with Zoecon. Is Selcon a better supplement?  <I am not personally aware of any scientific evidence that this is the case, but there is no doubt that crew members seem to prefer Selcon. I have used Zoecon myself. No obvious ill effect. These are both HUFA supplements. There is evidence that these help with HLLE. The other product you are referring to is probably VitaChem, which is a vitamin supplement.> I realize there are other issues with HLLE but I want to start with this. Also would it be best to move him into a QT tank for treatment or leave him in the main tank. It is a 55 gallon FOWLR he is 3-4'' and the QT tank is a 10 gallon.  <If no infectious/contagious process, then no need for QT. No medications in display tank. Vitamins & HUFA are OK. Other factors to consider are water quality, stressors, and actual diet. Zebrasoma tangs need lots of plant matter. You might want to consider obtaining & cultivating Gracilaria parvispora algae to feed your tang. Read more about "Tang Heaven Red" at www.ipsf.com. My Yellow Tang voraciously devours this stuff. Also there was an excellent 2-part article about HLLE in FAMA Magazine this past fall.> Thank you in advance <You're welcome. Hope this helps. Steve Allen> Walt

Iodinating Foods (1/9/2004) Hi, thanks for taking my question. I was reading info regarding HLLE and how iodine additions to food may be one way to help. <Nothing proven here.> How would I do this? Should I just soak the food in a few drops of iodine before feeding? Should I use a Lugol's solution or go with a Kent type iodide product? Thanks, Angelo <General improvement of water conditions and overall nutrition seem important here. HUFA/vitamin supplements may help. Soaking the food in a marine iodine supplement could be done. Don't know if it will help or hurt. Iodine is usually added to the water.  I think Lugol's could be too strong. Do read more here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/iodfaqs.htm Hope this helps. Steve Allen.>

Bamboo shark Question (vitamins) Bob, I asked my LFS if they had any sort of shark vitamin, they suggested Kent marine essential. I read the contents and saw that it contains, Inorganic mineral salts of aluminum, boron, bromine, calcium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iodine, iron, lithium, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, potassium, selenium, sulfur, strontium, tin, vanadium, and zinc in a base containing deionized water and EDTA. <Mmm, not what you're looking for> I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that they were wrong. You will be happy to know I decided to consult with you first. I cant seem to find any shark specific vitamins or water additives, <Not necessary that they be specified for sharks... the metabolism of all vertebrates is about the same...> do you know of an chain stores that would carry this or any brand names I can call and ask for, I know of ocean nutrition Shark formula, any others? <Look for encapsulated (or make your own with store bought gelatin capsules) "baby vitamins"... and do conceal them in food items right ahead of feeding... and add a drop or two of an iodide supplement to the food. Brand not important. Bob Fenner> Thanks a lot Tom

Starving Hawkfish Robert,  Since you helped me heal my Blue Rings lip (the golden puffer bit a bottom chunk off by accident when going after the same piece of food about a year ago). I thought you might be of service again... I have a long nose hawk about 3" long who USED to eat like a stud!! Well, the eating has stopped for about 2 weeks; I put some appetite stimulant in the tank (Cravex Plus by Aquatronics) every other day last week to no avail (but the marine Betta is eating me out of house and home!!) he swims after the food, live, flake, freeze-dried, etc. <What live foods have you tried? I would seek out someone who has/sells amphipods, mysids and try these live or not... with some of the Cravex or similar (I would rather use Selcon) soaked into it a good five minutes before offering> but continually misses his strikes at it, he's starting to get real skinny on me (not good). I don't think he's blind? <Doubtful> his eyes still look gin clear. If you or your staff help me it (once again) would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!     Thanks, Gary     p.s. The Blue Ring looks like new <Good to hear of the Angels recovery. Do try soaking the crustaceans. Bob Fenner>

I found out what was wrong with the California ray Bob, After seeking your help about what might be wrong with the California ray, I took your advice and attempted to find someone here who could help identify the problem. No one could give me a definitive answer, which is probably due to the fact that I live in Oklahoma, and we just don't have a lot of marine experts here. So, I looked through books and websites, and finally came across what her problem is. She has goiter.  <Ahhh, not atypical...> Purina, test diet division, has a multivitamin that I'm going to try to use. <If it doesn't include iodide, do add this... through the food> I just wanted to thank you for trying to help and let you know what I found out in case it might be of some use to someone else. Rochelle <Thank you for the follow-up... Will post your findings, intentions on WetWebMedia.com... Over time, you will have saved many losses, other trouble for folks. Bob Fenner>

Sting ray goiter picture WWM crew, A while back I wrote to you about our California Ray's goiter problem.  It's getting a lot better with the addition of Seachem's Iodide treatment just over the last few weeks.  Anyway, I thought your readers might be interested in seeing what goiter looks like, since it seems to be such a common problem with elasmobranches.  This picture is of Norma the Ray at the height of her goiter problem. <Thank you for this pic and progress report Sherry. Good to hear of the improvement. Bob Fenner>

Tetra Anti-Parasite Flakes Bob, I have a saltwater tank and recently was told to try to use Tetra Anti-Parasite flakes to treat an ick problem with a Orange Shoulder Tang. Do you know if this product will affect any corals or inverts I have in my tank. Thanks for any help you can provide on this product. William <It will very likely not affect either the ich infestation or your non-fish livestock. Please read through WetWebMedia.com re parasitic problems, their treatment. Bob Fenner>

Fish feeding stimulants I found your e-mail address on an article about fish nutrition on the internet. I was wondering if you could answer a question for me- do you know of any proven feeding stimulants for fish on the market today (to be applied to fish foods)? <Mmm, offhand (am in Australia the last few weeks) some of the water soluble vitamins (the B's especially) and some fatty acids... Is there an application you have in mind? Bob F, back in the States in a few days>Thank you in advance,

Livesand and Frozen Foods Hello again, <Hello> Two questions that I've been wondering about for a while: First, is it okay to occasionally stir up the top layer of live sand? Some gets stirred up when I clean algae off the glass, and other times I give a small area a stir on the surface to kick up debris. If it's okay, is the resulting temporary white cloud harmful to my fish? <Do not go too deep. I will occasionally lightly dust the top 1/4" to get rid of diatoms.> Secondly, my puffers love frozen shell-on shrimp. Is it a problem to actually feed it to them frozen -- as in, not thawed? In addition to the shell I thought that it being frozen would also help to wear down their teeth, but if it is a bad practice then I will thaw from now on. <Interesting, I would think you would be ok, but perhaps just thaw the food anyway. It will give you sometime to let the food soak in vitamins/supplements. I like Boyd's Vita-Chem and American Marine Selcon.> Thanks so much, Karen <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Re: Popeye and Bullies Hi Anthony, Any word from Bob yet regarding medicated foods for pop-eye ? <Mmm, here I am. There really aren't any specific antibiotics for exopthalmic conditions... As you've likely discussed, most events are environmental (poor water quality of many kinds, physical trauma) mediated... and "cures" of the nature of improved water quality, nutrition, care... and time going by. There are recorded cases of microbial co-involvement and even parasitic causes of "Pop-eye"... and some writers have promoted the use of gram-negative antibiotics (Chloramphenicol, Oxytetracycline... and others) introduced through food intake, injection (not just placed in the water or administered through baths)... See authors/works by Nelson Herwig, Edward Noga for about the sum total of what has been tried here. Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Chuck Spyropulos

Vitamin C and Trigger. Bob, Referring to the above subject, can we administrate vitamin c ( tablet form for human ) broken in pieces( low dosage ) into the frozen shrimp? Is there any other ways to feed it? I went to the wet market got some clams, cut it open wash and soak in fresh water before freezing it. Is it the correct way to prepare it ? Eager to hear from you. Bye. David. >> <Hmm, yes... and as a liquid prep. either applied to foods or even directly into water (Ascorbic Acid/C is a water-soluble vitamin and marine fishes do "drink" their environment)... I use "human consumption" liquid types (mostly ones intended for babies) and dropper them right on foods a few minutes ahead of offering. Bob Fenner>

Just a couple of short questions Hi Bob, I have emailed you a couple of times about (ich, fourline wrasse, stocking) and I look up to you as my saltwater information source. I seemed to have overreacted about that ich problem with my blenny if you can remember with all these questions) I believe now that he just likes scratching on rocks and he never has visible symptoms of parasites. <Ah, good> Anyways, I still have the red lip blenny but I traded the Foxface (needed a bigger tank) for a Centropyge argi. That little angel is doing great, and he is easily my favorite or one of my favorite fish. The blenny and angel are having some aggressive battling. A few days after I first introduced the angelfish my blenny bit him a few times (the blenny bites a number of fish, a cute but territorial little guy). Now my angel, not being a pushover like my Foxface, sees the blenny as a threat. The angel probably about 50% of the day tail wags and slaps the blenny and shows aggressive posture towards him. The blenny gets mad about this territorial posturing and bites the angel more. The fights go on and on........ Is there anyway to stop this fighting? I'm thinking about taking the blenny back as he started the fight and picks on other fishes. <Time will see these two make an uneasy truce for most of the time> Second question, a simple one. Is my food adequate for these two fish? I feed them seaweed selects, Spirulina flakes, Spirulina enriched brine shrimp, formula two, supplemented with Zoë. I hear I should be supplementing with Selcon because it has highly unsaturated fatty acids and Zoë doesn't. Some people claim that without these HUFAs fish get nutritional deficiencies. Is my fish's diet ok? <Highly unsaturated fatty acids are a good idea... what you feed is fine though.... it has appreciable HUFAs.> Thanks so much, this turned out to be a longer email then I thought. <Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Feeding of fish Hey Bob, I've been reading your FAQ's and I think I'm not as up to snuff on this stuff as I once believed myself to be. I've emailed you in the past several times for various issues but this is something new. First, I emailed you a while ago about a colt coral that had been doing well but had developed a white area along the base of it's stalk. I am happy to say that this is now gone, and the coral seems to have grown again (more than double the size at purchase). This is in my opinion an very healthy animal. <Yes> Now for the not so good. I have some hairy mushrooms that are not doing so good. I followed the advice of my LFS and did not specifically feed these animals. I have had them for a while, and they are dwindling down to little buttons.  <Do feed them...> My h2o quality is good (I'm gonna have a different LFS check it for accuracy) and my lighting is adequate so I think that they must be starving. What should I do (feed obviously) to rectify and save these beautiful animals? <Just the feedings.... perhaps with a vitamin liquid mixed in ahead of time> Also, I have had a fish death. I recently purchased a percula clown (appx 1 1/2" size) from a LFS. It never seemed comfortable and died within a week of introduction. Was this specimen too small?  <No... captive bred clowns are almost always shipped about three quarters to an inch in length... and do fine> At the LFS it acted normally and ate before purchase. This fish was in a system with about 10 other similar sized perculas. Is it possible that this fish died from "loneliness"?  <Possibly a contributing factor> I currently don't have an anemone. Would it be better to introduce one prior to the introduction of a new percula (my wife's favorite fish). I have read the FAQ's on anemones and their symbiotic clownfish inhabitants. Would you mind making a suggestion regarding the species of anemone that is most suitable for a percula clownfish? Also, should I be concerned with compatibility between my b/w striped damselfish and the clown? I have seen some damsels take up residence in anemones. <All this is posted on the WWM site> Lastly, I have a Kole Tang that is struggling. I think that I have not been feeding him/her properly. I have an abundance of diatom (reverse osmosis coming in the future) algae, and a bit of filamentous algae on my LR. I have been supplementing with brine shrimp occasionally, and about once weekly with Nori. Unfortunately, I just noticed that this fish appears to be losing weight. It may be too late because the animal appeared distressed this morning as I was heading out the door. I feel terrible because all of the things I mentioned should have been prevented. Regarding the Nori, I haven't seen the Kole actually eat any of it. I have one damsel who devours it, a lawnmower blenny who loves it, and my Mithrax crabs (2) are usually the first ones to it. Possibly placing it higher on the tank wall will help the Tang (or his replacement) get a little more.  I currently use a small piece of LR to hold it in place on the DSB. <Yes to placing the Nori strips up high, near the water surface... with a plastic clip> I have been considering making my own food to boost the health of my animals. I have seen some recipes around but was considering blending fresh shrimp, 1 or 2 oysters, fresh fish (is salmon/trout ok, I have lots?) <Yes, very good> , some Nori, and anything else you may suggest. I thought that just blending and freezing this would be better than the commercial stuff out there. I also thought about adding some Zoe drops to the mix. Any help would be appreciated here. I thought I was doing this (reefing) intelligently but I appear to have missed the bus in some important areas.  <Lifetimes of material to be known...> Luckily I have put off buying an abundance of livestock until I had things stabilized. Oh, I forgot to mention, I have 1 horseshoe crab, 1 sand sifting starfish (very cool), 1 skunk cleaner, and 1 coral banded shrimp and they are nice and plump. Would it be OK to add another Skunk cleaner, or will there be territory issues? <In how big a system? Should be okay if more than a hundred gallons> Also, I was thinking of eventually purchasing an anemone shrimp to go with the anemone. Will this animal coexist with a percula clown or will there be issues over territory? <Too general a question... better w/o in most cases> Sorry for the length of this email, I just have a heavy responsibility and I feel that I've failed my dependents. Jason <Study, reflect and be satisfied with your efforts and progress my friend. Bob Fenner>

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