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FAQs on Foods/Feeding/Nutrition 4

Related Articles: Foods/Feeding/NutritionBasic Fish Nutrition by Pablo Tepoot & 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 3, 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, Medicated/Augmented Foods/Feeding, Feeding/Food Problems, Products by Brand Names/Manufacturers... & Dry Foods, by Brand: Sera, Spectrum, Tetra, Other BrandsBrine ShrimpAlgae as Food, VitaminsNutritional DiseaseFrozen Foods, Coral Feeding, Anemone Feeding, Growing Reef CoralsCulturing Food Organisms

Feeding Technique From Across The Pond! Hey thanks Scott. I decided to go for the further rock re-arranging and (touch wood) they seem to be getting along fine (phew!). <Glad to hear that!> In return for your help and the help I've received in the past from the WWM crew, thought I'd share an idea that is just being used in the UK at the moment. You may of course already have heard/practice this but anyway here goes..... Basically, the idea is with regard to feeding. I know the little and often phrase is used a lot, but this can be difficult for people who work (like myself) to put into play. The idea is to take the full days feed (morning, evening the lot) and place all this together in one pot (so to speak) when you return home. Then pour the food into the tank in small doses throughout the evening (rather than the defrost and tip the lot method I used). This will apparently in time bring everything together, better water quality, healthier fish etc. They said at my LFS that should see benefit in 3 weeks with water parameters etc (but I'll not wager on that quite yet). <Interesting...Do update us as to the results that your getting with this technique!> Here's a link to the site: http://www.marinefishuk.co.uk/portal/forum/article_view.php?faq=3&fldAuto=8 Hope it can provide some payment for the help you guys supply. Many thanks, Martin. <Well- Martin, no payment required! Glad we can be there for you! Keep sharing! Thanks! Regards, Scott F>

Starving Goby (1/27/04)   Hey guys- I have a watchmen goby who appears to be starving to death. <signs & symptoms?> the only food I can offer is staple flake enriched w/ Selcon and a refugium (newly set up). <Why not frozen foods?> I read on your articles advising of nutritional deficiency and was wondering if there is anything I can do to nurse sally back to health. thanks again Justin Barstow's <A new refugium is not likely to be putting out anything useful yet. Some of these gobies will take flake/pellet foods. Others will not. Are there competitors in the tank that eat everything before it gets down to the goby? I'd suggest target feeding with frozen Mysis shrimp or other frozen marine foods. The Selcon is a good idea too. Hope this helps, Steve Allen.>

Sea sponge Source Dear Sir             We are the one of Aquafeed manufacturer in Thailand. We are interesting to do research and development about sea sponge application in Aquafeed. Could you advise me about the supply sources of frozen fresh sea sponge or supplier? We really need to know good supplier and well established company.  I am looking forward to hear your reply soon.             Thank you in advance for your support Yours Sincerely, Ronnachai Mhordee Procurement Manager INVE (Thailand) Ltd. <Unfortunately I don't know where I might refer you to directly. Perhaps SaltCreek(.com) in the U.S., makers of Ocean Nutrition formulated foods (they use sponge material in some of their products). I would try the World Mariculture Society for leads on supply sources. Bob Fenner>

- Feeding Schedule - I'm trying to get my tank mates on the same feeding schedule; I have a 11 inch Goldentail moray, 8 inch snowflake, and a 4 - 5 inch miniata grouper... I use to feed them every other 2 days (ex. if I fed Monday, they'd get fed again Thursday); Now I moved to 3 days (ex. if I fed Monday, they'd get fed again Friday)... In your opinion knowing they are still pretty small, which feeding habit would you recommend? <Once a day... a little less for the grouper, perhaps every other day.> Also should the grouper be fed more often, or is he alright with the same schedule? <Think all would be better off with smaller portions, more often... just be careful with the grouper, it will grow as quickly as you feed it.> Thank for your time.. <Cheers, J -- >

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.>

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

Helping an Injured Fish (12/18/2003) I think I injured one of my Heniochus.  <So sorry, I know how you feel, many of us have accidentally hurt a fish at some point.> I stupidly fed my fish with a butter knife and my Heniochus swam right into the knife. <Fish do get anxious to eat.> The injury is on the top of his head and consists of a deep wound with a piece of flesh hanging from the body of the poor thing. The wound seems really deep. <ouch!> I feel so bad about this... and will never do this again.  I was lazy using the knife that I used to chop the food up. <A lesson learned.> He is eating and shows no sign of distress.  Would you recommend treating him for bacterial infection in my quarantine tank or just watch him for awhile, maintaining high water quality? <A large avulsion-type wound like you describe is quite likely to get infected. If it's not too hard to do, I'd suggest you catch the fish an put him in the QT. You might want to swab the wound with iodine while you have him in the net. Then treat in QT with a broad-spectrum antibiotic such as Spectrogram to prevent bacterial infection of the wound. Hopefully, it will heal. High water quality is a must, of course. Good food enriched with HUFAs & vitamins may help.> Please, please help...the fish is ok now but I am afraid he may develop an infection. <a legitimate concern> Also, should I try to pull of the hanging flesh or leave it alone? <I'd leave it be, messing with it will very likely worsen the wound.> Thanks again, Chuck Spyropulos <We all certainly hope the fish will be OK. Do keep us posted, Steve Allen.> 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

- Going Out of Town & Puffer Feeding - I have a 125 gallon fish tank with a large Naso Tang.  I wanted to get a Yellow Dog Face Puffer and a Porcupine Puffer.  I go away usually 1 week to 10 day at a time.  Is there any processed food such as pellets they will eat or can they be left for a week at a time without food and without attacking each other or other fish. <Puffers wouldn't willingly go that long without food - but I'd be more worried about the Naso. There are pellet foods around that the puffers would eat, but again... the Naso might not take to there. You'll need to get them used to these foods before you leave town.> How often must they be fed? <At least once a day - the Naso probably twice to three times with small portions.> Any suggestions. <Perhaps look for a maintenance service to care for the fish in your absence.> Are these 2 fish compatible? <Yes.> Michael <Cheers, J -- >

Fun With Foods! (Feeding Techniques) Hi WWM crew, <Scott F. your Crew member tonight> I got a weird idea but not sure if it is OK or not.  I would like to provide my fishes with continuous food instead of just one or two meal a day. <Well, in principle, it's a cool thing...The actual execution tends to be a bit difficult, though!> What I'm trying is to fold and attach a large piece of Nori onto a live rock with rubber band.  I notice that almost all my fishes including coral beauty/tang/clownfish are continuously nipping on the Nori. <A common practice; an excellent supplemental food for many fishes> However, I have two concerns.  Would they eat too much leading to other problems? <Well, in nature, fishes tend to graze throughout the day, so they will eat to satiation. Of greater concern when using any food for continuous feeding purposes is to make sure that there is no food left uneaten to degrade water quality> Also, the Nori would be in the tank for a long time, almost whole day until it is all consumed.  Would it lead to serious pollution problem? <Sheesh! Got ahead of myself again! As above; I'd recommend removing the uneaten Nori at the end of the day...> In addition to veggies, I'm also thinking to have a box floating on water with some small holes on it.  I would then put live brine shrimp into the floating box hoping that some brine shrimp would continuously swim out of the box to provide a constant source of food. <Certainly a workable idea, but I am not a big fan of live brine shrimp in marine systems, unless you know of the source. Potential pathogens are a concern here...Not a horrible danger- just something to think of.> For brine shrimp in the box, is it possible that they would hatch and provide additional food source for my corals? <It is possible; it can be a useful food source for corals that can consume foods of this size...> Regards, Manus <You have some nice ideas, so don't hesitate to experiment here! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Food product preferences Mike, Thanks for the quick reply From what I have read, adding Kalkwasser is somewhat involved..... I know you most likely don't "advertise" products but what about the Vital Gold stuff (Thiel Technologies)... <I would stick with Phytoplankton ESV, Marine snow... etc. good luck MikeH> Thanks Jess

Feeding Station Explanation 11/11/03 Hello Crew <howdy> I have decided to start a Mariculture farm. I purchased Anthony's book and must recommend it - It is fantastic. <thanks kindly my friend!> I really want to set up what Anthony describes as a feeding station, starting with phytoplankton, down to rotifers and finally to brine shrimp. <my goodness... I fear my response to you/this query was lost. Did you e-mail this some days/weeks ago to my personal address too? If so, I did reply and regret that it must have got nuked in the virtual world> I would like to know how each row feeds down the chain, and since the water is taken from the main tank, what is stopping rotifers getting into the phytoplankton? <Ahhh... they are not centrally filtered, but rather strategically places with prey above predator on shelves to prevent contamination from drips and to make feeding each lower tier easier by draining prey down to predator (phyto down to rotis, rotis down to brine, brine out to feed, etc)> I have built the tanks and raceways, refugium and  live rock growing and curing tanks and I am now desperately in need to getting my feeding station running - Please help <do check out more info on feeding stations in Martin Moe's classic "Marine Handbook - Beginner to breeder" and Frank Hoff's "Plankton Culture Manual"> Thanks for the fantastic site and advice, it is simply the best on the web! Kindest Regards Gavin - South Africa <cheers, my friend... Anthony>

Flake food Hello, I hope all is well. I would like your input on one of my "ponderings". First, let me tell you about my live stock. I have 4 fish ( Blue Tang, Foxface Lo, False Perc and a Kaldron Cardinal.<nice variety> I feed, for the most part, flake food every other day. I find flake food seems to have a better guaranteed analysis.<depends, I prefer feeding a mixed variety of foodstuff.. such as krill, silversides, Nori, Mysis shrimp and lifeline green (herbivore) and I add vitamins to the food to ensure that my fish get the nutrition that they need> I alternate food soaks between Selcon, VitaChem and a little garlic on occasion.<good> I give the Cardinal some fresh shrimp every now and then but he seems to enjoy the flake food just the same.<ok> They also receive Nori about 2 times a week.<good> I'm glad to report that I have had these fish for a long time and they are and have always been in perfect health. I have lots of bristle worms and tube worms growing on rocks and powerheads and everywhere else. Water quality is perfect, all parameters.<good> Now I know these guys come from excess nutrients in the water and are able to maintain high populations through excess food not being consumed. I have a protein skimmer (before you ask) that works good, not great, but good.<at least you have one lol> I think the problem is the flakes particle size.<probably so> When soaking flakes, they do not hold up well, or when I get close to the bottom of the jar, its just very small particulate flakes for the most part. I notice that they just don't go for it, and allot of it hits the rocks and sand, going uneaten. My fish just don't go for the smaller stuff, but rather swimming around looking for larger flakes.<as expected> I've tried using sinking pellets but even the small ones are too big for my False Perc and Foxface Lo (they just have a small mouth). What alternatives would you suggest? Again, nutrition is my top priority.<I suggest that you purchase Life Line (green) frozen food for your fish, (if your LFS carries it. I live in CFL and all of the stores around here do so hopefully they also carry it in your area). My 2 Vlamingi tangs, chevron tang, and golden pygmy angelfish love this stuff, Good luck, IanB> Thanks, Jason

Looking for New Life >Hi guys, >>Hi, Marina tonight. >Dr. Fenner >>Hee..!  "Dr." is it? >had answered an e-mail about food sources for angels.  He highly recommended I get SPECTRUM pellets from Pablo Tepoot's in Florida. I am in Minneapolis I do not have a dealer within 500 miles. I need a store or a contact to purchase this food before my banded angel checks out. PLEASE HELP.  Thanks and Keep up the great work. >>Well, my friend, it took me all of two minutes of doing a Google search to learn that the brand name is "New Life", Spectrum food, and you're right, you DON'T have a dealer within many, many miles.  However, go to these links, or Google it for online ordering and tell them "Get this to me POST HASTE!"  Marina http://www.nlpublish.com/ http://www.nlpublish.com/dealers/

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>

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>

Robbed by the bandit (angel) Hi Bob, I have acquired a black banded angel from a fellow fish fancier. He has given me the angel in hopes of ME being able to keep it alive. <A real challenge> The fish is about 3 month's in captivity and has now stopped eating regularly. <Typical... actually, not so... this one has lasted much longer than most all> I have had my best friend build me an acrylic tank (155 gal) to house this treasure that should have been left in the ocean. I am going to put 175 pounds of Fiji premium live rock in with a mixed sand/crushed Puka substrate. I have designed a filter and it should be completed Thursday.  The angel will be housed only with a cleaner wrasse, and 5 cleaner shrimp. I am going to put a Beckett style skimmer and lightly ozonized in the column. I have access to all the local wholesale houses and have asked for their help in acquiring sponges, clams, small shrimp, mussels and a cleaner wrasse (just in case). My question for you is, in your vast knowledge can I get this beauty to eat again. I have tried your tried and true method of the "FENNER BLEND" to no luck this far. Any suggestion would be appreciated. I know leave the damn fish in the ocean where it belongs!!! Thanks <May seem strange, but do look into the larger pellet sizes of Pablo Tepoot's "Spectrum" fish food... have been friends with Pablo for years, and this past weekend made it down to visit him at his farms in Homestead (FLA) and see firsthand the types of fishes he is keeping solely on this food... including Parrotfishes, some finicky Butterflyfishes and Tangs... even some very nice Apolemichthys spp. angels... Training this fish onto this basic food might "do the trick". Otherwise your plan for the set-up, providing sessile invertebrates to graze on sounds good. Bob Fenner>

Feeding Help For Saltwater Setup >Hi. >>Hello, Marina today. >I currently have a yellow tang, dog face puffer, beauty rock angel, and 5 damsels in my 75 gallon SW tank. But I have all these different kinds of foods my LFS sold me, sea veggies (like seaweed) for my tang, frozen angel formula for Angel fish (said angels need sponge food in their diet), Prime Reef frozen food (said it's for most fishes and they sold it to me while I bought my White Spotted Dog face Puffer) then I have sinking marine pellets for my damsels.... How should I go about feeding my fish? >>Alternate foods.  I would not be surprised if they all eat each other's food, right?  So, what you've inadvertently done is provide them with a wide variety of foodstuffs.  Just be sure that your frozen foods are very well sealed, feed each sparingly, and on occasion add some fresh meaty seafoods (shrimp, krill, squid).  Also, you can soak the foods a few times a week in Selcon to ensure BEST nutrition.  You and your fish will be golden. >If I feed every fish their own food then the tank will get polluted...can anyone suggest a schedule I can follow on when to feed and not to feed? Thanks any help will be appreciated. >>Remember, most of your fish graze all day long, the more frequent and smaller the feedings you can give them, the better.  Beyond that, just be sure to only put into the tank what can be eaten in a very few minutes.  If you have a skimmer it should help with excess waste, if not, consider one.  Hope this helps!  Marina

Feeding Techniques For A Finicky Fish Hi Bob, <Actually, Scott F. in today!> I have your book "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist". Great book! <Isn't it? A real "keeper", IMO!> Anyway, I wanted to tell you about my new Majestic angelfish. I bought him a couple of weeks ago....before I saw the dismal writings in your book about their failure to eat and thrive in captivity. <I'm sure that Bob will agree that many CAN thrive in captivity (records of 20 years or more exist!), but source and collection techniques can play a large role in success...> Anyway, when I got him he was fat and healthy looking, but I could not get this shy fish to eat anything. After spending $179 before tax at my local fish store for this 5 inch fish, I was kind of upset as he did not eat for the first 4 or 5 days. I decided that I was determined to get him to eat. He cost too much money to let die! He would not touch flake food as he is so slow that the smaller fish in the tank would gobble it up before he even came out from the rocks to look at it. Live brine shrimp was another disaster as he is so slow that he only would catch maybe one or two before the other fish gobbled them all up or they got sucked up by the filter. I knew there must be something that he would eat...the frozen krill would float to the top of the tank and he didn't even know it was food.  Well, I read that they like to eat a lot of sponges and algae grazing on the rocks in the wild. I finally got him to eat by taking pieces of seaweed sheets and pieces of frozen angel preparation made from sponges and krill (looks pink like sponges in the wild?) and placed them on a small rock with a rubber band. The other little fish in the tank took to it right away and when he saw them he joined in. These foods last on my 5 inch rock for an hour or two which is long enough for this slow grazing fish to eat. <Excellent technique for feeding this great food source...Thanks for sharing the idea..> I also got a brine shrimp feeder from Brine Shrimp Direct to feed him with great success. It is a little mesh cage type thing that you put the live adult brine shrimp into. It keeps them in the little cage until the fish peck at them and suck them through the mesh....Keeps them together in an area away from the filters where a slow grazing fish like a Majestic can feed over an hour or longer. <Another good idea...> Maybe you can suggest some of these ideas in your next article or book that may help others keep these beautiful fish alive. <Thanks again for sharing these techniques with your fellow hobbyists! That's what this site is all about!> Sincerely,  Lesley Sears in Houston <Take care, Lesley! Regards, Scott F.>

"Weaning" A Fish? Hi <Hello there! Scott F. with you again!> Thank you for returning my email. <Your welcome!> I am confused when you say "wean".  How does one "wean" a fish?  When I wean dogs onto a different food, I simply mix the two and than slowly wean off the first.  With a fish, Do you simply stop the live and give frozen, until he eats.  <Yep...I guess "wean" is a bad choice of words here, but you get the general concept. Basically, you are trying to get the fish to eat prepared foods by tempting it with a variety of items> Or do you alternate from live to frozen, intermittently. <You can...it's all up to you- and to the fish!> I have noticed that if I feed live for a day or so, the third day he will eat frozen ( I am assuming he thinks it is live, at first). But after a few nibbles he realizes it is different, and does not finish.  <Well, you can try with frozen food of the same variety that you are feeding live (i.e.; Mysis or brine shrimp...)> Another question.  I told you originally that I had two new cardinals in a QT. One has since died, not sure why, I only had him for a few days.  It is a 10 gal. tank, water levels are good.  I did put in 1 1/2 tsp. of CopperSafe.  I am wondering, if from now on, I should not put in CopperSafe.  Why try to fix something that is not broken.  In other words, since they do not appear sickly when I purchased them, maybe the CopperSafe is stressing them out unnecessarily.  <Bingo! I am a huge fan of quarantine, and a big fan of copper use. However, I do not recommend copper for "prophylactic" purposes. In fact, many fish cannot tolerate copper as a treatment, either. I agree with your conclusion- "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"> I have only natural light on the tank.  Is this sufficient? <For a quarantine tank, ambient room lighting is fine...It gives shy fishes a chance to be relaxed and comfortable...> I have also been told to feed QT fish, every other day.  Is this good advice. <Well, on one hand, I can see some logic to this, because generally, a quarantine tank has a small filter (such as a sponge filter), and it is quite taxing to load up a small tank with organics. However, in the long run, it's better to feed your newly-acquired fishes as much as they will eat, and to compensate for the metabolic products produced by engaging in frequent small water changes...> Thanks for your feedback <My pleasure! I hope all works out for you and your fishes! Regards, Scott F>

- Looking For... - Do you sell Mysis shrimps? Thank you, Mary <I'm afraid we do not. Please check our links page for some retailers who might: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/general_links_pg.htm Cheers, J -- >

Feeding Frozen Food hi!! <HI!> Is it okay to feed frozen foods to my tang, clownfish and damsel or do I have to defrost it? Thanks <Either way will work, it is best to defrost it in some tank water and then toss the water before feeding.  The packing juices can affect your water quality.  I will admit that I am guilty of running through the house on my way out the door throwing frozen cubes in all my tanks. -Gage>

Cyclop-eeze for Boxfish? Hi Bob <Sal> Thanks for the idea. Maybe I could follow in your footsteps and write a book. <Of a certainty yes> I do have a new question ( of course ). I' m reading about a food that I just heard about called Cyclop-eeze. Have you heard of them? <Yes, saw it fed at a local marine club meeting just two nights back. Has a very good reputation> Do you think it could be fed to adult fish ( cowfish )? <It's tiny... but worth a try... you could make it into "cubes"... with a binder... other materials... homemade> The website says food size is 800 microns. Sounds like a very good food source. Id like to know what you think. As always thank you very much.     <Worth trying. Bob Fenner>    

-Frozen food juice, does it do a body good?- While reading the daily FAQs this morning, I came across a response by Kevin to a phosphate question that suggests draining the juice from the Hikari Mysis shrimp the person is feeding the fish. <Well, if the incredibly handsome and intelligent Kevin said it, then you better believe it. ;) > I feed my fish different foods but one type is Aqua-Yums Mysis shrimp.  Is the draining of the juice an across the board technique or just for Hikari brand foods. <It's always recommended that you ditch the packing juice.> I had never considered draining the juice before and was also wondering if this techniques is supposed to be performed on all foods? <It would be a good idea, but I've been a non-juice drainer for years and have had no problem. That said, I don't use Hikari Mysis shrimp. I believe in that question, the aquarist couldn't figure out where the po4 was coming from, and he had apparently done everything right except that he fed an entire cube per day.> My water parameters have always been acceptable NH3 and NO2  0, NO3 10, ALK 10,  Ca 400, pH 8.2, temp 79-80, and salinity 1.023 - 1.024 but I don't test for phosphates or any of the other more specialized parameters as I just keep fish and a few crabs. <There's nothing toxic about phosphate to your critters, it's just an algae fuel and a problem for people with calcium depositing inverts. Have your LFS test your tank for phosphate, you could be on your way to an algae bloom and not even know it! -Kevin> Thanks, Ray

- Foods, Feeding - Kind Crew, Bob, Anthony, Scott, Steven those who have answered me directly, and the remainder of the crew whose responses have some how affected me directly or indirectly, Lorenzo and others who write and respond on the forum, a letter of praise and a thank you for helping me along the way.  Sitting back looking at my tank, I am so pleased on what it's becoming. I managed to properly upgrade from a 30 to a 75, without losing a fish, Cured live rock purchased online, have the makings of a DSB, 4" Southdown, waiting on the critters, before ordering some kits, properly aerate, buffer and change 4 gallons of water twice weekly, skim what can be skimmed from the skimmer I have, waiting for the funds to upgrade but keeping the tank under stocked and water changed in the mean time. Properly test, looking into supplements for the Live Rock, Purchased and read several times (all) and highly recommend Mike Paletta, "The New Marine Aquarium, Bob's CMA, Anthony's, Book of Coral propagation and Wilkerson's Clownfishes, and the latest Bob and Anthony's Reef Invert, which helped me add some peppermint shrimp, snails, (Astrea and Nassarius, Turbo's hard to find at the moment) and a serpent star, the non greenish variety. And the latest properly adding a long nose to the tank. <Uhh... a long nose what? I can think of a couple of fish with this name - Hawkfish, butterfly... which one?> After 3 weeks of QT, which thankfully was only precautionary. All the work that you do is very much appreciated. Currently playing the waiting game and researching before adding anything else to the tank until next year after the new tank becomes further developed. And If I may pose a few question at the moment, I understand the long-nose (the must have fish) may tend to nip at some corals but was wondering on the Candy Cane, Montipora, or possible the mushroom corals. <All fish are individuals and it is very hard to predict exactly what and why they will nip at certain things.> I have chosen these, from what I understand as some of the less demanding, or may there be possible some others safe with the long-nose? <Again... hard to predict, better to use trial and error to get the definitive answer, and remove the identified snack items before they are destroyed.> If not, I will be content to enjoy the FOWLR set up. As for the long-nose he enjoys the Mysis shrimp and a variation of Fenner's Mash, but not sure about the flakes. Is this something that will happen in time or should I look to add more of the frozen variety. <I would skip flake food entirely... is good to have around when bringing in new fish as [again] it's hard to predict what some fish will and won't eat, but in all cases try to wean them off and onto better, frozen foods.> I will be picking up frozen krill for the clowns, anything else I should look at? <Anything meaty - squid, Mysis, clams, etc.> Thanks again, DaveK <Cheers, J -- >

Bioblend Where can I buy more BioBlend Tropical Fish Food in Miami, Florida?  I can't find it at my local stores.  My fish love it. Thanks, Daniel Bandklayder <Mmm, either call around to your local stores (you can find them in the "Yellow Pages") and ask if they carry Marineland's food line, or take a look on the Net for etailers of aquarium supplies re the same. Bob Fenner>

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>

55 gal with an eel and 2 triggers <Way overcrowded... Ian!> I looked through the FAQ's first and didn't find my specific question. So my question is: I have a Predatory tank. 55 gal. <this aquarium is too small for the two triggers and the eel in the long run. year or so)> (2) Triggers. 2" Picasso. 4' Blue Throat. (1) Eel 18.5" Zebra. (5) Large Trigger proof hermits.<these hermits will be consumed in time> Fluval 204 Canister. W/D SUMP W/Skimmer. How often to feed them?<once a day...sparingly> This is such a subjective question, with each LFS, Blog and BBS offering a WIDE variety of suggestions. They would eat all day if I let them.<yes they would> I feed lightly daily for the Triggers and every other day for the eel!?!<that sounds about right> Please advise.<good luck, IanB> Thanks, as always. -Jake

How often should I feed and fish recommendation - 7/24/03 Thank you, I have a timer set to come on at 4 p.m. and go off at 10:30 P.M., but wanted to make sure that was enough for the fish. <Up to you, but I like 8 hours myself> A couple more questions please. <Sure>  Tell me your recommendation on how many times a day I should feed my fish.  The owner of a local fish store told me once a day was sufficient.  (clowns, dwarf angel, Dottyback) <I would recommend small feedings of a few to three times a day which means enough food in each feeding for each fish to get a bit of food. This may take some time to identify who is getting enough and who isn't without trashing your biological filtration by overfeeding. My reasoning for the multiple times a day is two fold, natural to the fish (these fish are very active and constantly exerting energy) and is more natural to the environment where they come from. They constantly scavenge for food on the reef. So my methodology is just a natural progression to a more "realistic" (used loosely) fish regime. Plus, it gives fish, who may be a little shy about eating, a few chances to grab a bite.> Also, I have been considering getting a pair of pajama Cardinalfish, but have read that they won't show themselves much with the light on and will not accept flake food. <Well, I think compatibility is more the issue here than the feeding and viewing of your fish. The fish you have are quite active and excitable. Cardinals in general are typically slow moving, shy, docile fish. In the right tank these are great fish to have, fairly hardy once established, and are being commercially farmed (no environmental impact). It doesn't get any better than that! So I personally would hold off on putting these in a tank with your current inhabitants if you can. -Paul>   Please advise.  Thank you, James

-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.

To Feed Or Not To Feed (Fish and Coral Feeding) Hi Bob et all.. <Scott F. at the keyboard tonight!> I am very new to this game - well after 6 months into my first reef tank (100gal), I seem to be making some progress, with things starting to look good, even the hair algae are now reducing since I rearranged some of the live rock to give a better flow at the bottom of the tank. <Cool! It's neat how a seemingly simple adjustment can yield huge dividends...> Maybe you can help with a question regarding feeding of my fish. I have 4 green / blue Chromis, Yellow tang, Sailfin tang, algae blenny along with 2 cleaner shrimps, 8 hermit crabs and some snails. I have been feeding the fish with either frozen brine shrimp or a frozen 'formula' from blister packs, occasionally some marine flake food with a clip of romaine lettuce which only the Sailfin really eats. <I'd really avoid Romaine lettuce. It has very little nutritional value for marine fishes, can potentially leach nitrate into your water, and is simply not as healthy for your fish as green items of marine origin, such as microalgae, Nori, or my favorite macroalgae, Gracilaria, which Zebrasoma tangs just freak out over! Give it a try1> Reading through your q&a's, I understand that brine shrimp is not good? <It's not bad...It just doesn't have a lot of nutrition, unless enriched substantially. Kind of like eating Power Bars all the time. Yes- they supply some vitamins, protein, etc.- but they come up short as a staple diet.> and you recommend Mysis shrimp. <Much, much better nutritionally> Well, I bought some, but none of the fish will touch it. <Odd...but it does happen now and again when fish aren't used to a new food> Should I keep trying? <I certainly would!> I don't what to start accumulating uneaten food if I can help it. <Just feed small amounts and try to clean up what is not eaten> How about the sun coral that I have? It is the most gorgeous thing in the world when it opens to feed about an hour after I feed the fish. Should I give it anything extra than it gets in from the water, a friend suggested hand feeding with lobster eggs.. <It should receive some supplementary feeding- ideally- you could remove it into a separate dish, filled with tank water, and place food into the water in the dish. Let the coral feed for about a half an hour, and then return it to the tank. You could use the "packing juice" from your frozen foods to feed it...> FYI-I also have various xenia, a large leather toadstool and a Goniopora. Ron Patmore <The Goniopora may require supplemental feeding, too...I'd recommend that you purchase a copy of Anthony Calfo's must-have "Book of Coral Propagation" for more information on the care and feeding of these corals in the aquarium. I think that you'll love it! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

- What About this Food? - Also, I'm feeding a pellet food called Vibra Grow from Red Sea. Angel seems to like it but the problem is the pellets are so small that they are hard to spot, often breaking up into smaller pieces upon entering the aquarium. THAT'S CAUSE THE BOTTLE SAYS LARGE PELLETS ha ha. I doubt the few that he actually spots and eats is enough for him. Is this food healthy? <Well, only if it's getting eaten I suppose... dry pellets are better than flake food, but ideally you should be trying frozen foods like Angel Formula, Formula One, or even raw sea food from the super market, shrimp, squid, etc. Cheers, J -- >

Bristle worms For Dinner Can marine fish eat bristle worms without harm? <Oh yes! For many fishes and non-fishes Sedentariate Polychaetes of many sorts are meals du jour> I have a 180 gallon with fish and soft corals and also a 12 gallon Nano reef.  The Nano reef currently has no fish in it and the bristle worms are becoming quite abundant.  I bought a trap to catch the worms.  I have a 7 inch Formosa Wrasse and a 4 inch Imperator Angel in the 180 (among others).  The Wrasse and Imperator chomp the bristle worms if I throw them in (worms up to 1 1/2 inches).  Will the worms hurt the fish internally if they eat them? <Not at all> Another question regarding the Imperator.  My Imperator likes to lay around on his side.  He snuggles up to pieces of live rock and lays on his side about a 1/4 of an inch over the rock.  When I come up to the tank, and he sees me, he'll swim right over to me.  He is about 3 years old and is in excellent health, he is starting to get his adult color pattern.  Why does he lay around on his side and hover over the live rock? <Some specimens "just do this"... perhaps this laying down behavior has some "survival value"... that is, perhaps acting so confers advantages, like being less visible or palatable to potential predators. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Dave

Rumble On The Reef (Round 2) Here is an interesting follow up.  I used to only feed a wide range of frozen food (Mysis shrimp, enriched brine, plankton, squid, etc.). To reduce nitrates down, I experimented with dried food because I have read that is has less nitrates.  For the last couple of weeks it was only dried food (twice a day).  A couple days ago, I switched backed to frozen food (twice a day) and the aggression has noticeably dropped.  What happened? <Wow...ya got me on that one...Maybe, the fishes preferred the frozen foods, and after a week of flakes, they became more interested in the frozen food than they were in beating the crap out of each other!? Or, it could simply be a coincidence...The longer that these fishes were together, the more "used to each other" they became...Either way, lets be thankful! Glad to hear it! Regards, Scott F.>

Managing A Busy System Hey guys, <Scott F. your guy today!> Hamish here from the U.K. You've given me invaluable advice in the past, and I'm back for more! Got a 70 (U.K.) gallon system, tank & sump, biological filters, fish only system, 4 of them: red-tooth trigger, lipstick tang, rock beauty & maroon clown. Had the system for a year now, lost only a couple of fish to stress initially, do 10% water changes every 10 days, and pretty much do all the necessary work on a daily basis. <Sounds like a formula for success...Glad the Rock Beauty is doing well! Not to harp- but I'm sure you know that a larger system is gonna be required down the line for these fishes...They do grow to substantial sizes!> My Dad, who lives in Florida, called the other day to say that he'd met a guy with a huge system, invertebrates and small fish, who said that regular water changes were a thing of the past, he merely topped up each day to replace evaporation; not sure when he does any water changes. So what's with that? <I have to quote Anthony on this one: "Even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes..." Basically, just because this guy seems to have his system working without following one of the basic aspects of aquarium husbandry. So what if he has a light bioload...Sure, that helps keep nutrient accumulation down somewhat, but we're talking about a closed system here. Even with some forms of nutrient export (i.e.; protein skimming and mechanical filtration), water exchanges will be required to maintain a viable system for the long term. Trace elements get depleted, organics accumulate, etc. I really think that this guy is luckier than good...I certainly wouldn't follow his lead.> Also, the trigger and tang are about 6 inches long, the other two a bit smaller. I feed them: 3 1/2 cubes of  omega+ brine shrimp each day (3 sep. feedings), the tang gets a leaf of lettuce, then in the afternoon some dried seaweed, the trigger and the other two get half a cube of squid, and half a cube of mussel. For a treat, the trigger occasionally gets a prawn to wolf down. This all happens on a day when I'm around to do all this, it's usually a little less, but is it still too much? The reason I'm asking is because I've just noticed a coating of what appears to be white dust-like spores over some of the rocks, with tiny little thread-like worms climbing around. Phoned my dealer, he said it wasn't immediately serious because they weren't on the fish, it was just a result of excess food in the tank. I do monitor their feeding, they finish everything I put in there, little and often is my policy. But are leftovers inevitable, and are these worms going to jeopardize the health of the fish? My dealer also suggested just giving the rocks a scrub to remove the bulk of the parasite, but some are easier to move than others. The rock isn't live. Any advice here would be much appreciated. Yours, Hamish. <Well, Hamish- I agree with the "small and often" feeding regimen. So important to keep heavy eaters fed well. However, the equal obligation is to engage in strict husbandry procedures. Keep up those regular water changes (perhaps you might want to consider my semi-obsessive rule of two 5% water changes per week?), clean all mechanical filter media regularly, and make liberal use of aggressive protein skimming. As far as the "worms" are concerned, it's hard to be 100% certain what these are without a photo. However, I agree with the dealer, in that these (probably harmless) creatures are multiplying rapidly as a result of increasing nutrients in the system. You certainly can remove them manually if they get to be annoying. However, I'd like to solve the "root problem", which is nutrient accumulation. Simply continue or enhance your good husbandry techniques, and you'll see an improvement...Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Frozen food is all they'll eat! I have a trigger clown fish, a Naso Tang, a yellow Foxface, 2 damsels, and a blenny. <I hope you have a large tank!> All they will eat is frozen food (Brine Shrimp is by far the favorite). The guy at PetLand Discount told me that the tang MUST eat the Spirulina in order to be healthy, but it won't eat the flakes, only the frozen food! <Your LFS guy is on the right track, tangs do need lots of algae in their diets to stay healthy. Spirulina is just one of the many different kinds of algae that you can feed them. If the tang actively grazes, buy some dried seaweed from your LFS or some Nori from the local sushi bar. A small sheet of this stuff can be rubber banded to a rock for the tang to graze on during the day.> What should I do? The fish eat like CRAZY!!! It's like they are always hungry, but only for the meaty foods! <Try an algae based frozen food> I do see the tang nibbling at the algae on the live rocks from time to time. Is the brine shrimp enough nutrition for them? <Alone, no. Brine shrimp is pretty nutritionally deficient by itself. SFBB has frozen Spirulina gut-loaded brine shrimp called "Spirulina enriched brine shrimp" that your shop could easily get. Please, do find several other varieties of food that they will like including Mysis shrimp and plenty of algae based foods. If your store only has brine, you need to find another store! Happy reefing, -Kevin>

- Fish Food - Crew people: <Good day, JasonC here...> There is often comparison of fish to humans, as far as basic nutritional needs, stress and disease. I have seen fish refuse food that they don't seem to like. Using that line of thinking, do fish also spit out/refuse food that has gone bad/stale/rotten? <I prefer the comparison of fish to dogs myself... some fish will eat most anything, regardless of the food's quality. Some fish, as you noted are finicky... hard to predict.> Also, what is with the fish food sizes in the industry? <I don't follow...> I know it is all about money, but come on! <?> I haven't even put a dent in some of my smallest purchases of frozen, pellet and flake foods and they are near of past expiration.  <Or perhaps you are just conservative. I've never had any frozen food that long... but then again, my dog typically gets the daily excess.> No wonder overfeeding/algae problems are in the daily FAQs, well, almost daily! <Perhaps.> Thanks, Rich. <Cheers, J -- >

Carnivores love the Nori! Greetings crew! <Back at ya, Emerson!> I recently added a 2" Coral Beauty Angel to my 55g and started placing Nori on a clip in the tank daily. The Beauty has yet to take a liking to the Nori, but seems to be plumping up never the less on the 75lbs of LR. On the other hand all my other fish (2 bar gobies, 2 Firefish gobies and 2 female carpenters flasher wrasse' which I understand are all predominantly carnivorous) can't seem to get enough of the Nori. I place folded strips of Nori about 1"x 2" in the tank a few hours after lights on and remove any remaining, and feed an alternating routine of about 1/4 tsp or 1/3 cube of frozen Mysis/blood worms/Marine Cuisine Carnivore mix a few hours before lights off. My two main concerns are:  Are the carnivores going for the Nori because I am not feeding them enough meaty goodies? By behaviour and appearance they seem to be very healthy to me...very active and aware with great color and no outward signs of stress.  Will the addition of Nori to the carnivores diet have negative effects in the future? <Just because a fish is listed as carnivore does not mean they exclusively eat meat. My Firefish love a mixture I make that includes Nori. I would not worry> In your opinion have I overcrowded my tank?   Id like to possibly add one more 3-4" fish but I'm afraid I would be pushing it.  Weekly water changes of 10g and addition of Lugol's are the major maintenance performed as well as the monthly skimmer/filter cleaning. Specs: 55g; 75lbs LR; 4.5" sugar sized aragonite DSB; Remora Pro w/Mag 3; Eheim 2217 w/ the ceramic good stuff (I know...it's a freshwater filter, but I had it laying around and like the spray bar's effect on surface gunk); Emperor 280 used for carbon placement only; and 2 Rio 800's for circulation. Lighting is CSL 4x65 running 2 actinics and 2 8800K...soon to be replaced with 3 10,000K and 1 actinic (bulb a week of course). Livestock: 2" Coral Beauty, 2 x 4" bar gobies, 2  x 3" Firefish gobies, 2 x 2" female carpenteri flasher wrasse, Skunk cleaner shrimp, Peppermint shrimp, Blue Tuxedo urchin, 10? snails and 5 red/blue leg hermits...more limpets and *pods than you could shake a stick at, oh and don't forget about that creepy 4" bristle worm I see sometimes. Some Zoanthids and mushrooms are also reproducing like mad. water: ph 8.1-8.2,  s.g. 1.023 at 80F, dKH 10, calc 350, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are all zero. <I would say you are at the limit. Besides, this just gives you a reason to start planning that 125 eh? <G>, Take care, Don>  Thank you for you time! Emerson

What is Nori? What is Nori? Who makes it? Is that flakes? Pellets? <<Is an algae, Porphyra... dried, formed into sheers by aquaculturists in Asia. RMF>> <It comes in strips and can usually be found at your LFS or grocery store.  Cody> Thank you, Luke

Cucumber as food for marine fish? I was told today at local pet store that fresh, pealed cucumber slice is a great treat to marine fishes... Is that true? <I have never heard of this but I would stick to foods of marine origin.  Nori is good green source and many herbivores will go crazy over it.  Cody> Thank you, Luke

Re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nutr.htm >Hello everyone at WETWEB. >>This crewmember, Marina, says hello. >This letter to you today is to let you know how much I learned about feeding my reef tank. The link above was wonderful! So many questions and answers on one page gave me so much to ponder, and as a result, my tank received a very nice dinner tonight consisting of silversides, plankton, fresh shrimp, a bit if Spirulina and some vitamins, all finely minced to a nice mush. All my fish and inverts 'danced' with joy! I will only feed this about 3 times a week because my population is low. Just wanted you to know, I appreciate the site and all the info! Pam >>Great, we're all glad to hear it.  Let the joy of happy feedings ensue!  Marina PS~ There will be times however, when I just want to talk to you lovely people instead of surfing through your pages!!

Is it ok to feed marine fish with bloodworms (Hikari brand) ? Thank you, Luke <Yes, do "mix them in" with other foods at first... so your livestock gains familiarity. Bob Fenner>

Garlic and algal foods <Hi Edwin, PF here again.> I was wondering if adding garlic to the food would help to whet the fish's appetite. <Maybe, I know mine like it.> Would appreciate your comments. Also, as my tank lacks natural algae ( I only have brown algae on the rocks), I need to supplement my fishes some leafy matter for a balanced diet. Besides lettuce, what other greenery would you suggest that is cost effective and able to satisfy my fishes? Spinach? <Well, freeze it first. Same with broccoli. If your grocery doesn't carry sushi Nori, try to get to an Asian grocery. There are many varieties of dried seaweeds there. Dried seaweeds are perfectly acceptable as food. Better dried seaweed than fresh terrestrial.> I have tried the method of cultivating natural algae by placing some rocks from the main tank under indirect sunlight. However, instead of getting green algae, I get a sticky black tar like substance growing on them. What are these? <Sound like Cyanobacteria. You could try growing macroalgae (you can buy it online), but that can be tricky.> How can I get the desirable green algae to grow in my main tanks? I tried strong illumination a few hours everyday but I only get the brown algae. <Green hair algae is really not the answer. As for macroalgae, that has to be seeded into the main tank.> Tks in advance. <I hope that helps Edwin, if not, we can continue our conversation. Have a good evening, PF>

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

Nutrition and clean-up >Greetings to you! >>To you as well, John! >I first want to thank you for the countless questions you have answered.  My three fish are doing well, in large part because of your advice.  I also want to apologize again for the length of this question. >>Apology accepted. >My first question relates to nutrition.  After reading about the potential pitfalls of food that uses gelatin, I decided to try to make my own.  My current tenants include a solar fairy wrasse, true percula, and a citron goby.  I made a concoction (much to my wife's chagrin) of raw shrimp, scallops and squid, with some sushi Nori and Kent Zoe supplement.  Is this a varied enough diet for long-term sustenance?  It was rather economical, and I was able to freeze it in 2oz portions using those small restaurant containers.  They also really enjoy it. >>I should say so, it sounds delicious.  I would also offer Nori on a clip for those who might like to graze, as well as Spirulina algae--it comes in flakes, frozen, and in pellet/wafer form.  You can also vary what they get by adding things such as clam, fish, silversides, and marine algae every once in a while.  Be sure not to make the batches too large, as nutrient content can be lost with prolonged freezing. >Next question.  I have decided to eschew crabs for clean-up.  I currently have three Turbos, one queen conch (which will be traded when it gets too large) and six Nassarius snails.  I've been adding them a couple at a time, based on perceived need.  How many Nassarius do you believe would be ideal for this size tank (30 gal)?  Are there any other non-crab denizens that would co-exist with the snails?  Brittle star, perhaps? >>Brittle stars are wonderful, I also like serpents.  I can't give you a hard and fast rule for the stocking of the snails, however.  In my opinion it would be better to be a bit understocked, and it's your own observations that help make that determination. >One more:  As stated above, one of my residents is a red-headed fairy wrasse.  I bought him because he didn't look like he would make it too much longer in the LFS (not a good reason, I know, but I can't help it - my wife and I feel like we have to rescue every animal).   >>Well, not much we can do to change either of you, is there?  ;) >I rearranged the rock to provide a lot of caves and underpasses for it.  I have observed the tank for hours, and I have yet to see a single aggressive movement among them.  In fact, the three often 'hang out' together in the same part of the tank.  I would hate to have to lose the wrasse - for practical as well as personal reasons.  What is the long-term prognosis for this arrangement? >>Long term, expect to find certain tasty small mollusks and arthropods to become wrasse-candy.  I'll suggest you don't replace what's eaten. >My tank readings have remained stable and ideal for two months (except a slightly low pH at 8.0-8.1,  and the 0.1 PO4 readings - slowly working on that).  Thanks again for all the advice!  JPM >>You're quite welcome, and hopefully you'll get a handle on those phosphate readings.  Good luck!  Marina

Faulting Foul Food? "Pollution in a Bottle" 3/24/03 Hi again guys Well...I am writing this with head hung low....I have written to you all and have received great info from you concerning problems I've been having with my tank and my corals dying. After all I have asked, it all came down to one very very stupid mistake on my part. Did you know that just because a bottle of invert smorgasbord sits on a unrefrigerated shelf, that it can't continue to do that after you open it. <actually.... even refrigerated, such products have earned the moniker "pollution in a bottle". The bigger surprise for you might be that very few if any corals actually eat such meaty suspensions... most of the product is wasted and simply contributes to nuisance algae. The main problem (among many) is particle size with these bottled algae fertilizers :p> Well it can't and the bottle clearly states that in the instructions. I guess for the last few months I have been polluting my tank as I alternated my feedings of the smorgasbord <pollution yes... toxic, doubtful in small quantities. It was simply degraded> and my plankton (which by the way I do keep in the fridge). <excellent> So from someone who has learned the hard way, please make sure in you continuing great advise that you include the " please read the instructions" notation on anything you put in your tanks. Thanks for all the help Robert <will do, my friend... and let me strongly suggest that you save your money on such bottled food supplements... it is better spent elsewhere (refugia, water changes, etc). Anthony>

Dried Sponges For Food? Hello there, <Hey there! Scott F. with you today> I am the proud owner of a Majestic angel who is doing very well as the sole inhabitant of a 120 gallon tank. Unfortunately in the UK few people have heard of Angel Formula type foods based on sponges and as far as I know there is no retailer stocking any. I spoke to the main wholesaler in the country and they told me that there are restrictions re the import of such foods, therefore I can't have it imported, particularly in its frozen form. I want to try and give my angel some sponges and I read somewhere that I can get dried sponges/tunicates from an oriental food store. Questions: Is it worth my trying? Are dried sponges good enough? Do they make an adequate substitute? <Honestly, I don't think that it is necessary or worth the effort to secure dried sponges for this fish. Number one, I'm not sure what types of sponges they would be, and, number two- I'm questioning what, if any, nutritional value dried sponges would have. Also, P. navarchus does not eat a great deal of sponge material in nature, when compared to say, the Rock Beauty or Regal Angel, so it should be very easy to get this fish to eat other prepared foods. Hikari makes an excellent "Angel" food, which seems to be more "tubeworm based" (although it does include sponge in the ingredient list), and is a great food that may also be available in the UK. Also, Gamma frozen Mysis is one of the best foods you can feed to angels, IMO, and is eagerly accepted>   Do they (the sponges) have a special name, in other words can I be sure that they have not been treated for human consumption? <Honestly cannot say- which is yet another reason to pass on these items, IMO> Thanks for your help, Massimo, Brighton UK <And thank you for stopping by, Massimo! Enjoy your wonderful Majestic Angel! Regards, Scott F>

Re: first time questions (foods for marines) Hi Mike from VA here <Hi Mike you got Cody today!> this is my first salt water aquarium and I am doing good so far. I am two months into set-up. I followed most of what I read in CMA (sorry Bob but soon as I cycled I couldn't stop buying fish). other than adding fish too fast everything is fine. I purchased a yellow tang, Sebae clownfish, coral beauty, and then a Humu trigger. everything has went fine other than the trigger getting cloudy eyes which is going away after small water changes, he is becoming very active. ok, my main question is feeding these living creatures I have adopted. I have been feeding ocean nutrition/prime reef. The tang loves it.  The CB eats it but I can see it in his eye's he is hoping I drop something better next time. The Sebae eats anything, the trigger eats everything . I need a good routine to get into. So if I could get some advise on what when and how many times to feed I think I would be well on my way to having an excellent aquarium. thx 55 gallon FOWLR 60lbs. LR 4'' DSB skimmer OTB filter 200w submers. heater 1  48'' actinic 1 48'' 20k full spectrum <  Try feeding some frozen foods like Mysis shrimp and other frozen preparations.   I feed my fish twice a day, one meal is frozen and the other is dried.  Also make sure the tang is getting lots of algae in his diet, Ocean Nutrition's formula 2 and dried algae strips are good foods for this. Cody>  

Feeding, vitamins and water additives Thank you for your prompt reply yesterday.  being the worry-wart I am, I have a feeding question for you.  In my 55, I have 35 lbs of live rock, 25 lbs of base rock, 2 false Percs (1.5"), 1 royal Dottyback (2"), 1 3 stripped damsel (pioneer from day one of the tank and oddly my favorite), 1 spotted watchman goby (4"), and a colony of brown Zoanthids.  Anyway, in the AM I feed a good pinch of omega 1 flakes, a small amount of brine shrimp, and a capful of reef solutions.  I put mix in a 12 ounce glass of pre-made ro/di freshwater and pour it in.  Additionally, the goby gets a small chunk of krill (fed by hand).   In the PM, they get frozen foods (1/3 emerald entree, 1/3 frozen brine, 1/3 marine medley?) all San Fran. Bay products. The tang in qt (Ick recovery) gets the same, but on a much smaller scale, as well as a small piece of seaweed under an inert rock in the qt.  Is this a good regimen, and could you recommend liquid vitamins that I could include on a regular basis. <Sounds fine if not overdone. I might sub Mysis for brine, which offer nothing nutritive. Most folks are happy with Selcon.> (I supplement w/ calc, iodine, Stron/ Moly, trace elements)  thank you!!! John M. McCarty <Just make sure you are dosing these according to good quality tests/actual use as needed. Also test for carbonate Alk/buffer needs, esp. with constant 12 ounce per day unbuffered RO water. Enjoy!  Craig>

Skimmer Quick questions: 1. I'm following your advice and gradually removing media from the canister filters, moving towards LR and efficient skimmer. , <Awesome> All the media from the Juwel internal filter removed, no rise in nitrite. New skimmer seems to be working fine except when I feed the tank (very little at present), the foam collapses and takes ages to build up again. Actually delivery of skimmate to the cup can stop for at least a day. Is this normal. I'm assuming this is due to some constituent of the food coating the cone of the cup and causing the bubbles to burst early on contact.  <Check to make sure the skimmer is adjusted properly and every time you empty the cup wipe off the cone also.> 2. In your opinion is purchased frozen fish food (I try to feed a variety, with only a small amount of the ubiquitous brine shrimp) good, or is a trip to the supermarket and a quick, if messy, food processing of shrimp, squid, clams, cockles etc. to freeze myself, better. When I last kept marine fish (early 70's) store bought do-it-yourself  food was a big no no because of disease.  <Either will work, just make sure you are getting the right food stuffs.  Cody> Thanks Brian

Feeding The Fallow Tank... Scott, thanks for the info.  One more question.  When I let the tank run fallow, what and how often do I feed the inverts in the tank? <I would continue your "normal" feeding schedule> I have a brittle star, sand sifter star, various hermits, cleaner and peppermint shrimp, sally lightfoot, colt, green star polyp and polyp rock.  Should I just add the phytoplankton? <As above- I'd feed the same foods/quantities to the inverts tat you were doing previously> I know the critters have been scavenging when I feed the fish, so should I continue to feed small amounts? <Yep...I'd try to "target" the feedings to the "cleanup crew"; as always, try to eliminate the possibility of excess food from hanging around the tank! Don't forget to carry out all regularly scheduled maintenance activities (water changes, media replacement, etc) during the "fallow" period> Thank you for your assistance, YET AGAIN!!!! Scott <My pleasure! Hang in there! Regards, Scott F>

Feeding And Adding To A Growing Population Thanks...how concerned should I be with uneaten frozen food and how long should I leave it in the tank? <Good question. First, when using frozen foods, I like to let the food thaw out first in some cold water, then discard the water, and feed the food to the fishes carefully with a toothpick or other implement. This way I can verify that all of the food is being consumed. I strongly advise just dumping the food into the tank, ice and all. These foods contain concentrated juices from the manufacturing process, which can contribute to excess nutrients in your water (phosphates, for one), which, in turn, can lead to nuisance algae growth.> Also was thinking of 1 more fish for now...clownfish family or flame Hawkfish...thoughts on this or a better suggestion?...thanks <Well, there are literally thousands of possibilities here. I like small fishes, such as blennies, gobies, and smaller wrasses! The Hawkfishes are fine, as long as you don't intend to keep many small fishes, snails, hermit crabs, etc. They tend to be predatory, so do keep this in mind. Clownfishes are fine, too (no anemone needed). I tend to favor the smaller species, such as the ocellaris and percula varieties, myself...Take a good look at the many articles and FAQs on fishes and fish selection available on the WWM site. Take your time, have fun, and choose your fishes carefully. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Frozen Food Preparation 2/11/03 WW Crew, <Howdy partner> Thanks for all the support/advice you give us wanna-be conscientious aquarists.   <our great pleasure, and in the same boat as you <G>> I would appreciate an explanation of how you strain, or otherwise, prepare commercial frozen foods before feeding.  I understand that the "pack juices" should not be added to the aquarium but am unsure of a good technique to remove same.   Respectfully, Barry <good question, my friend. The pack juice from thawed frozen foods allowed into the aquarium is a significant source of nutrients and potential pollution. Although usable and nutritive to sponges, Fanworms and other filter feeders... most aquariums have more than enough dissolved organics already to feed such creatures. This juice from daily or several times weekly feedings is an even bigger cause of nuisance alga than trace contaminants in source water IMO. For whole prey foods (krill, plankton, mysids, etc) simply thaw the frozen portion of meat in cold water (never warm water aquarium or tap as this denatures food value... no room temperature either for the same reason). After it is thawed sufficiently, simply strain the meat through an aquarium net, bit of cheese cloth or one of those handy little tea strainers. You can even squeeze a little of the juice out. I've seen Japanese's aquarists that feed frozen food heavily actually take it a step further and aerate their portion of food in cold water for more than an hour to strip proteins very efficiently... this is only necessary with extremely heavy feedings though. Gelatin based foods cannot be treated this way... of course, gelatin based foods are also catch-22 and arguably not the best fare either. Best regards, Anthony>

Polluted Lion Food? Hey Crew, love your work, <Greetings, JasonC here...> Just a quick one, I have just added two 4-5 inch Volitans  ("Tezza" and "Jonno") to my recently set-up (six week old) 150 Gallon saltwater Tank, also housed are two yellow-tailed blue damsels and a small (5inch-ish) black Angel of some description (Guy at the fish shop said it was a Black Angel but I cant seem to find one in my book - anyway). <Perhaps the Centropyge nox - more on that fish here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/centropyge2.htm >            Filtration is an Eheim wet/dry (2229) for biological filtration and a small Eheim canister for Mech/chemical filtration (2224), I also have 100lbs live rock and am awaiting a Tunze 240/3 Skimmer from deep sea gallery (paid for). Water parameters are Ammonia - Nil, Nitrite - 0.12 (and falling), Nitrates - 10ppm, SG - 1.022. The question I have relates to feeding the boys (Lions), I have read here on your site that you categorically dislike freshwater Feeders and so am looking at alternatives. I live near the ocean in the middle East and find it pretty easy to catch small Minnow/silverside (I think) fry in tidal pools (just using a plastic shopping bag left on the bottom). I've fed them to the Boys and it was like Happy hour at the Pub , even the Damsels got involved but I'm a bit worried as to possible pollutants carried by the Minnows and getting passed onto the Lions, the Ocean water quality here is not good (due to oil spillage and sewerage) and I was wondering if you thought it may be a problem??, can it be tested for contaminants?. <Well... one of the broader issues with feeders is gut impaction from the skulls - so feeding any type of whole fish could be an issue. Secondly - the pollution can for certain be a problem for your fish because of what's called bioconcentration - the tendency for pollutants to be at their highest level at the top of the food chain, which is where your fish would be. If you know this water is not safe, I wouldn't feed your fish with stock from it. Getting the water tested might prove costly, but it could be worth it for peace of mind.> Also what can I feed these Minnow fry so they get bigger as my Lions grow and require larger Bite-sized Morsels??. <I would consider a trip to the seafood market and obtain some squid, shrimp, prawns, and similar fare, cut into bite sized chunks - this food will be similarly devoured as so many pints down at the pub during happy hour.> Thanks in advance, all you guys do a great job and show excellent Newbie tolerance. Karl. <Cheers, J -- >

Re: Feeding Question Hi Again,<Hey Bobbie!  Phil here!> Thanks for setting me straight on my last question.  Perhaps, I should look around for a better LFS.  Based on your reply, I plan to get some Sweetwater Zooplankton for my green hairy mushroom and my Firefish.  Daily feeding, right?<Ya, once a day w/ a varied diet.>    I'm also going to track down some Nori and algae tablets for my yellow tang.  Is this alright for daily use?<Yes, but include some (not a lot) of meaty foods.>  Can I feed the tang the same pellets as the Clarkiis?<You can try some... but remember the Nori!>  Got some frozen Mysid for twice a week for all.<Good choice!!>  Am I doing better?<You have a good feeding plan!  You are going to have VERY happy fish!!> Thanks again for helping.<No problem!! Phil> Bobbie

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>

Feeding Corals and Clams Ammonium Anthony- What sort of regimen would you advise I use if I began using ammonium chloride?   <I personally like using nitrate better... no idea of ammonium is better though> Is there any ay to test the level present in the tank? <not as easy as nitrate <G>.> Darrell <Anthony>

Reef feeding question (copper as an ingredient in foods) I have a 120 gallon reef system and have been feeding primarily frozen Formula One for some time.  All species of fish in my tank have done very well on the Formula One.  I recently purchased a new batch and noticed on the label that one of the trace elements listed in the ingredients is copper sulfate.  Should I be concerned about copper buildup in the system?  I've trusted the reputation of Formula One and am not sure what other frozen options should be considered.  What would you recommend? <No problem. The copper amount is of no consequence here. You won't be able to measure it> I appreciate all the help and good advice I find in your forums every week. <Ah, good. Be chatting, Bob Fenner> Thanks, Scott

Tetra's Antiparasitic Food Hi Craig please.  Bet you are sorry that you mentioned you had a source for the Tetra medicated Antiparasitic food!  I have searched to no avail.  Please tell me and the other thousand people reading this your secret.  Do you recommend using this food while the fish are still in quarantine? Thanks <No problem! Yes, I used it while in QT and afterward until those last few spots were history. I like it for the time after moving out of the QT which is stressful and can cause another outbreak.  Seachem also makes a Metronidazole product for soaking your own food. To get Tetra medicated food call Bill at Aquarium Warehouse in Olympia, Washington. His number is (360)357-9654. Tell him I sent you. Let me know if you need more assistance! You can get the SeaChem product from our WetWebMedia.com sponsors.  Craig>

Anything For HUFA's! Couldn't find Selcon in my LFS, however, I picked up a couple of Omega fatty acids from my mom's health cabinet.  She has everything. <So you can make a papaya/avocado/cod-liver oil/Spirulina smoothie? Dude- what's your home address...?  :)  > I already have Boyd's Vita Chem and I'd like to add Omega 3/Omega 6 fish oil to it.  I just don't know how much.  The gel cap has about 900mg. and the total bottle volume is 4 ounces. <I'm afraid that your going to have to experiment with that stuff to get the correct amount. I have friends who do this kind of thing themselves with much apparent success. Obviously, It will be easier if you're preparing a larger batch of this stuff...> I picked up some garlic oil capsules too.  What do you think? <Well, in principle, it sounds good. I'm sure that there is no harm in trying this DIY recipe. Go for it! On the other hand, you can get Selcon from a number of internet-based suppliers (such as our sponsors, here) for a reasonable cost, so if this experiment fails-you can always buy it online! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

- Do silversides have silver linings? - <Good morning, JasonC here...> Where can I get silversides? <Should be able to find them at a decent fish store... as frozen food. If you do locate them, consider getting some other frozen items like shrimp, squid, and similar items as it's very important to offer this fish a balanced diet.> It's why I went with the smelts cause I couldn't find any...pet stores that carry them? <Yes... some do.> Bait stores etc where? thanks Trisha <Cheers, J -- >

Feeding intervals here I am reading an article on reefs.org about hair algae and the author writes this..."Another thing to do is to check out your skimmer. It should first of all be big enough for the tank, and secondly, it should be pulling out a really dry foam.; This will help to get out some things before they can break down and cause problems. Also cut down on overfeeding. You should only feed about twice a week. Kalkwasser will help too. You should dose that stuff every other night, and mix it fresh every other time (actually, every time would be better).".....the part of question is the twice a week feeding bit, little generalized, in my ongoing battle with hair algae I assume I don't overfeed, marine flakes (HBH, Ocean Nutrition and "rich mix" for something diff.) a couple times a day (very small amounts that the fish immediately consume), as well as blood worms at the end of the day (or brine shrimp, I know of no value), some raw tiger shrimp every few days, few pieces of freeze dried krill here and there (lately), is this overfeeding?. with testing all else I'm still researching the solution, with my fish (if you remember, should I cut back as this article suggests?...thanks......Riot.... <Do agree with the overgeneralization of the quoted statement. My opinions on the topic can be read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/feeding.htm Bob Fenner>

Proper Diet Hello again to the Crew.... I know there is something wrong with the diet I am feeding and probably with the water quality.  But after reading the FAQ's I feel like I should buy twenty different foods and supplements... and I doubt that would be the correct thing to do. The Particulars: Tank: 29G, Eheim 2233, CPR BakPak2, 22W fluorescent, and a power-head.  No LS or LR yet.  Substrate is 2 inches of mixed gravel and crushed coral.  System established and upgraded over the last 4 months.  Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 5ppm, Phosphate 0.2ppm, PH 8.3. Inhabitants: 4 turbo snails, 2 three stripe damsels, 1 true percula clown, 1 cleaner shrimp. Current issues:  One of the damsels has been pecking on the scant amount of algae in the tank - then today I finally recognized that it is developing HLLE.  The snails originally came home with dark green coloration on the shells - after two months one has expired, two have shells that are now white and they have both become inactive. Q1:  What diet should I be feeding?  Currently feeding frozen brine, tropical flake food, and pellet food. <I would recommend a more natural approach to your fishkeeping, starting with your substrate, (I recommend deep sand beds of aragonite sand), filtration (I prefer live rock and sand) and lighting (22 watts is not sufficient to maintain the algae needed by the snails, fish, for food.) The best foods are those most resembling natural foods. Many of these come frozen. Brine shrimp is useless as a fish food, like white bread without the bread. Try replacing them with Mysis Shrimp. There are some good natural food recipes available on-line and in several of the books out there. I would also recommend some of the live macroalgae like Caulerpa for your grazers.>   Q2:  What vitamin additives would you recommend? <Most people use and recommend Selcon.> Q3:  What in the water or lighting quality (lack of) would be affecting my snails? <I don't know about your alkalinity, calcium, etc. but snails require these to be in the normal range and enough light to grow algae, their main food source. Your coarse substrate is also a trap for wastes and detritus that will drive your nitrates higher and higher, not good for snails. I would resolve the substrate issue by removing the old substrate and addition of live sand in sufficient depth.  1" is fine, but please see Live sand at WetWebMedia.com. for more info.> Q4:  What other water parameters should I be monitoring? <It is advisable to monitor ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, phosphates, pH, calcium, alkalinity to start.> Q5:  Which would be the first recommended change to the setup: A) add some LR or B) change the substrate to 1 in of Aragonite? <I would do this in combination, some rock and some sand (live from your local fish store tanks. It is best if the LFS tanks contains no fish (avoid Ick, etc.) so the rock and sand has no or few parasite cysts, eggs, etc. Purchase live CURED live rock with as much life on it as possible. This will help with your "grazing" fish. Once you have enough LR and LS, I would removing the media from the Eheim, and run it with carbon on occasion.> Sorry, I didn't realize I was struggling with 5 different questions until I composed this email.  Thank you again for your help and advice. <Perhaps surf over to WetWebMedia.com and check-out the marine set-ups pages and sort through some of the more natural approaches to fish husbandry, I think they will help.  Craig>

Pellet food Hello crew, may I wish all you guys a happy new year, <Cheers, Paul> I certainly hope that you all had a good xmas break and if your like me you should all be on a diet by now and thinking about exercising strenuously, <Ughh... don't remind me... I gained 12 pounds over the holiday and am debating whether I want to diet or just buy new clothes <G>> (but what the hell, he say's as he pours another cold Guinness). <<ooh, that does sound good. New clothes it is then> Anyway my question is this: I want to buy some small pellet Vibra-Gro food, I have heard that its really quite good, <it is fantastic food! Very high quality and vitamin rich for being extruded at lower temps than most baked pellets and flakes> but like all things in life that are really that good I can't buy it over here in good old Blighty, do you know of any on line shops in the US who would post to me without charging an arm and three legs in additional costs because they've got to walk 200 hundred yards to the post office. <hmmm... there are many possibilities, but are you quite sure it is not distributed in the UK? (The manufacturer is BioAquatics). I'd be very surprised if not. Do contact a friend of mine in England named Tim Hayes of Midland Reefs. He is the distributor of my books, a fine aquarist and man in the know. E-mail at midlandreefs@inverts.demon.co.uk If that doesn't pan out for you, do try www.marinedepot.com or www.customaquatic.com > As always your response will be treated with the utmost gratitude and this email will definitely self destruct in 5 seconds (Jim) or is it Anthony, anyway I've just finished my Guinness so everything is kind of m-e-l-l-o-w. Paul, Manchester, England <best regards, mate. Anthony>

Re: Growing out Juvenile Fish Howdy, Tim here from Fiji   (not sure who I am saying hi to?) <Hey Tim, it's Bob (Anthony didn't cut in on my mail this time!)> FYI    for some time now I have been working towards growing out Tiny Perc's and Blue Tangs in our warehouse , which are available in very high numbers during the season. My goal is to have stock all year around, collecting during a brief season/period, and to discontinue purchasing Adult fish. <A worthy goal> The goal is have operators/collectors leaving the adults in the ocean, and collecting for a short period only while the Juveniles are in high numbers -which should aid the ecosystem. A % will also be released back to the Ocean. <Wow> For the hobbyist-they will have a fish we know is healthy, eating artificial food and used to an artificial environment. Shipping mortality will be reduced …… more importantly I believe will be the reduction in losses that occur at the retail /hobbyist stage 1-2 weeks after capture of the organism. <Win, win, win all the way around> Its our first steps towards serious post larval recruitment, and breeding programs -small but significant . <Yes. Am sure you know of the French Polynesia post-settling larval fish operations of the last few years> I am now able to produce saleable fish with low losses and grow them out in reasonably high stocking density's . We have now grown out around 2,000 Blue Tangs, and 100 Perc's. We currently have 500 Perc's 6 weeks into what should be a 4 month grow out program , and they look very good. The question      Can you look at what we feed them, and give some advice on getting the right nutrition cost effectively into them please. Currently we feed 5 times/day Blue Tangs      Nori , local Macro-algae (yet to find one they really like ) and some fish flakes. <Do bolster this with some meaty/blended foods... can be gelatin stuck-together> Perc's             Alternating between Fish flakes, Brine Shrimp-dried or grown out on Micro algae from our lab, and a blended concoction based on Bob's recipe of:-                 Fresh Fish                 Fresh Macro Algae (Gracilaria sp. and others)                 Fresh Clams                 Gelatin  (Davis)                 Multivitamins (Neovita fortified syrup ) and Vitamin B1. <Yum!> Its time to go more commercial/cost effective … ..so let me have your thoughts. <Mmm, what you have is fine... so much the better if it can be delivered several times daily in small increments. I would offer some of the gelatin food listed to your Tangs as well. Bob Fenner> Thanks  Tim
Re: Growing out Juvenile Fish
Thanks Bob, Yes...the Polynesia post-settling larval fish operation has had my attention for some time now. I liked everything about getting involved with it...other than the US$50K he wanted for information (I think he was going to throw in a bonus plankton net though) <Oh boy. Have heard their help was steep. Yikes> All the best...and as our new South African Manageress keeps telling me......stay well. <Will do. Hello to Flower and the children. Hope to see you soon. Bob Fenner> 

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