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Related FAQs: Anemone Feeding, Coral Feeding 1, Zoanthid Feeding, Mushroom Feeding, Soft Coral Feeding, Cnidarians 1, Cnidarians 2, Cnidarian Identification, Cnidarian Behavior, Cnidarian Compatibility, Cnidarian Selection, Cnidarian Systems, Cnidarian Disease, Cnidarian Reproduction, Acclimating Symbiotic Reef Invertebrates to Captive Lighting

29 Biocube... stkg., foods for "corals",     3/22/13
Hi there, First time writer.
<Ahh; you are a stranger here but once. Welcome>
I am new to the hobby and love it! I have a 29gallon biocube. I have been doing this for about three months now. The tank was set up for two years before I bought it. I have Ocellaris Clownfish, Yellow Watchman Goby, Purple Firefish,  and Kaudern's Cardinal fish. I have a few pieces of lps, sps, and one small toadstool leather.
<This last; Sarcophyton, may prove problematical in time... get very large (much bigger than this tank), and produce/release copious amounts of five carbon compounds that can be toxic to other life... esp. if "challenged">
 Everything is healthy, but has seemed stressed lately due to Nitrates.
They have been running around 20ppm. I feed new life spectrum pellets and Mysis. Pellets in the morning and Mysis at night. I feed very light small pinch of pellets which they consume in about 15seconds. The Mysis I feed maybe a quarter of a cube a day. Coral feedings. I feed a small piece of a algae sheet twice a week for my snails at night and remove what is left in the morning. Normally its all gone in the Morning. I feed my corals twice a week. Kent marine ZooPlex and marine snow.
<These foods aren't worthwhile... the one is a source of pollution, the second a placebo. I'd leave both out, count on foods fed to your fishes alone here>

 I target all my corals twice a week. I do five gallon water change the next day after second feedings of corals. Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Calcium 420, Carbonate hardness 10dkh, Ph 8.2, and Magnesium at 1250ppm.There are three chambers in the back of the biocube. In the first chamber I have a AquaticLife Internal Mini Skimmer. It seems to do well. Fills the collection cup with nasty brown stuff every other day. the second chamber I have rock and charcoal with filter pad over the top of the rock that comes with the system. Third is my pump, uv and heater.  So I have been reading all over the internet and saw a few post of people having the same problem.
People told them to remove the rock from the chamber that it was not needed and that was where all the Nitrates were coming from. I thought of doing that slowly and vacuuming the chamber, but isn't that where all my bacteria to keep my sweets alive is at? Hope you can help? Becky
<Leaving out the bunk "coral foods" will highly likely solve the NO3 issue.

Bob Fenner>
Re: 29 Biocube    3/22/13

Hi Bob, Thank you for such a fast response. So far the Cardinal fish seems stressed free and not bullied. I will keep a eye on him for sure especially as he gets older. So do I target feed the lps corals?
<You can offer them some "extra" Mysis a couple/three times a week if you'd like>
Do I keep feeding the same amount I have been? I have tried target feeding some of the lps I have, and the Mysis seems to blow right past them.
<Mmm, try temporarily turning off the pump/s, using a dedicated turkey baster (or eq. commercial petfish tool) to blow the meaty items onto them... after offering some, juice to the tank ahead for a few minutes>
 lol The only thing I seen take it well is my Duncan coral.  I also do feed them at night when lights or off and tentacles are out.
<All can/will be trained to accept foods with lights on in time>
 Are there any corals food that is good?
<Depends on what one calls/labels as "corals"... There are very few purposeful foods sold in the ornamental aquatics interest that are specifically of use for Cnidarians... However, "loose", and used "fish foods" are often of great use, as are in situ produced single celled algae for some species, some small animals..., bacteria and more>
 Thanks, Becky
<Ah, welcome. BobF>
Re: 29 Biocube    3/22/13

Bob, I will start trying to feed them tonight. Tomorrow is water change day so tonight will be a good training day. So should I  disregard worrying about removing my rock from the chamber? I will leave you alone now. I know your busy. Becky
<I would leave it in place. B>

Can you feed corals like you feed dogs   2/3/13
I just fed my dogs. I always think that this is the perfect way to eat.
All they need, scientifically formulated, is in a bag of dry food. They are getting a balanced diet, and it takes no time to prepare. I wish there was something like that for me that came in large bags. Instead I have to fuss and prepare a meal with no guarantee that will be balanced and complete of even taste good. If I am lazy I can eat fast food and junk food, and be worse off than my dogs.
<Yes; tis so>
Corals are like that too, but even more complicated because the diet depends on what coral you have and are back to the same problem of getting a balanced diet they will accept. It would be so much easier to feed them like I feed my dogs.
<An apt comparison>
Well of course there are prepared commercial foods for corals. Looking at the products online there is Seachem zooplankton, phytoplankton and reef plus, and probably others. So the question here is whether these pre-packaged products are as good as dog food in a bag, or the equivalent of junk food. Do you really need to go back to the kitchen pull out the recipe book and come up with a properly balanced meal if you want to feed corals?
<I think these prepared commercial foods are approaching such standards of being completely nutritious. I would still have a large RDP refugium, count on fish food feeding and some supplementation (the SeaChem line is excellent here as well) to round out captive Cnidarian nutrition>
Michael Lomb (thinking of what to prepare for dinner) :-\
<Heeeee! Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Feeding Corals    7/2/11
Greetings Crew!!
I have an 80 gallon refugium with a few mushrooms, two feather dusters, and now a colony of blue anthelia with two pulsing xenias mixed in. I have been target feeding DT's Live Phytoplankton daily as well as putting in just a few spectrum TherA pellets that I feed my fish so the crabs and snails have enough to eat. My refugium is only a month or two old so this seemed necessary to build up the source of food for the clean up crew and for the algaes to have enough to work with. My question concerns my corals. I am new to the invertebrates and had absolutely no idea where to start looking for such general information.
<Mmm, here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/CnidIndex1.htm
scroll down to the Cnidarian feeding area...>
I am wondering if it would be good to make a mixture of Cyclopeeze and mysis shrimp that is finely ground in a blender with phytoplankton and garlic guard or some other additives to give them a more full diet.
<Well... not for Xeniids/Pulsing Corals...>
I have been researching live rotifers and copepods and I can assure you, after upgrading my system this coming week they will be joining my tank hopefully to reproduce and provide a live natural food source. But in the meantime would the aforementioned mixture would be good for anything in my tank?
Thank You In Advance
<Do read through the area suggested... I do have some as-yet un-run articles I can/will attach if you want/need more. Bob Fenner>

Coral Macro And Micro Nutrient
Good day
I'm Syafiq from International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM).
I'm doing a research on live rock composition.
<I see>
The title of my final year project is 'Study of Mineral and Element Composition of live rock in Pulau Redang and Pulau Perhentian'.
<Ahh, I have been to both these places in Malaysia>
I need your help in finding an information regarding the nutrient of coral. The function of each macronutrient and micronutrient involved for the growth of coral.
Really appreciate if you could reply soon...thank you...
<You need to do a computer bibliographic search. Please read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

LPS ID and phytoplankton product use  -- 10/26/09
Hi Grew,
I'm one more person, who would like to say how great and informative your site.
<We share!>
I'm new in the hobby. My tank is 6 mo, however thanks to all your advices, everything is doing well. I read your articles almost every day.
I have a question regarding LPS ID. I found it in one local fish store under name Neon Green. A salesman could not give me any additional info. It covers a life rock, polyps a small about 3 mm in diameter and 2-3 mm tall. They retract when disturbed. Is it kind of Turbinaria?
<Mmm, need either better vision (no doubt actually) or a bit larger, more-resolved image here, but I am pretty sure this is a Goniopora (commonly called "Flowerpot") coral. Please see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/gonioporapix.htm
and the linked files above re this genus' care>
And one more question. In most of your articles you mentioned that corals eat zoo-plankton.
<Most all do to extents... along with no to some variable amount of photosynthesis>
What kind of coral eat phytoplankton?
<... actually very few of what passes as "corals", definitely not Scleractinians/Stonies consume much of any phyto>
An instruction on bottles with phytoplankton says, that it is food for filter feeders and corals.
<... A good point, statement... Most all such material is of limited (to the extreme) use in hobbyist systems. The bulk is taken out via skimming... Some soft coral groups (Alcyonaceans) consume "some" species, sizes of phytoplankton... and adding such products can lead indirectly to "better conditions" in captive systems... but most of it is a placebo>
Thank you for you time.
<And you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Coral Feeding Help Please 7/26/09
Hey Guys,
<Hello Garrett>
Glad to see you guys are still here to help us reef geeks out. I've used you guys plenty in the past, with success, thanks to you, and need your help again.
<You're welcome.>
This is probably an easy question for you guys but I need to re-vamp my coral feeding schedule. Lately, my tank has been maintained, but not thriving. I have a 72 gallon reef. 2x250 MH HQI Hamilton, 1 1/2 year old reef. I have a baseball sized frogspawn and would like to you know your opinion on the best food for it. I also have some bright green Acro...doing okay...white tips and all but it's apparent I need knew <new> bulbs (on the way). The rest in the tank are a few fish and an impressive crop of macro growing from the rock. I've been using Combo Vital from Marc Weis. I've only been feeding once every 3 weeks.(target feeding) The Acro and frogspawn actively catch particles and move it to their mouth but I've also heard a few bad things about this food. Before I get more aggressive with feeding I was wondering what you think about this product.
<I've tried a few of Marc's products in the past and I wasn't very impressed with the results, felt I had wasted my money.
They make exaggerated claims with little or no data to back them up.>
I also just purchased Reef Nutrition's Oyster feast. 1-200 microns for oyster goodness. I will be trying that for this first time tonight. With more Acropora and clams on the way( I want to stock my reef ) what is your
preferred sps/lps/clam food.
<Personally, I do not do any scheduled feeding of my corals/clams, but rely on photosynthesis and have gotten great results. Occasionally, I will feed freeze dried Cyclopeeze for the Flasher Wrasse (loves it) and I'm sure the corals capture some of this nutrition. As for the clams, I do not feed anything, again relying on photosynthesis and dissolved nutrients. Clams seem to do better when a small amount of nitrate is present in the water.
Do read articles/FAQ's here.
Thanks for all the time and help.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Re Coral Feeding Help Please 7/27/09
Great info, thank you for the help.
<You're welcome.>
I understand you rely on the lighting, but if you wanted to target feed your frogspawn twice a week just for insurance ( filtration is great and nitrates are zero with Salifert test) what would you go with?.
<I'd likely go with DT's Live Phytoplankton and/or oyster eggs. The eggs are small enough (45 micron) whereas small polyp corals such as Porites, Montipora, etc, can capture them.>
The tank is lightly stocked and has room for "extra" feeding. You said you don't like Combo Vital... I've heard good and bad.
<Just my, and other crew member's opinion.>
But when I target feed the frogspawn, he actively moves the large black particles to the mouth and consumes it. I know it seems obvious but doesn't that mean that he likes it, and that I should feed more often.(once a month right now). Just wanted to bounce this last question off ya...
<Combo-Vital is not a coral food to begin with, isn't advertised as nutrition for corals.>
thanks for the links to the clam info.
<You're welcome.>
That's next on the purchase list. Have a good one!
<Ditto. James (Salty Dog)>

Rotifer Feeding 4/27/09
Hello all again,
< Hello Gary >
my new tank setup is almost finished and I was going to be adding a phyto producing area that feed a rotifer tank to feed my corals.
< Can be beneficial if stocking filter feeding inverts and properly monitored. >
I will be producing new phyto weekly and then using a drip line dripping it into a rotifer tank at a correct drip rate to keep the culture at max efficiency.
< I would in no way directly connect the rotifer and phyto cultures. I learned from personal experience how easy it is to turn phyto cultures into rotifer cultures. If possible store the phyto above the rotifers to remove the chance of contamination. >
My main question is that most articles I have read about rotifer feeding states to use a micron net to pull out the rotifers and feed them directly to the tank.
< I would suggest the same. >
Since I am making fresh water to feed to the phyto and only feeding the phyto to the rotifers when it is fully cultured. I will then completely feeding the phyto within a few days keeping it fresh.
Why can't I use a drip line from the rotifer tank to drop straight into my main tank? I currently add phyto to my main tank at ¼ cup a day right not and does not seem to harm it. I have a 200 gal tank with plenty of live rock/sand and a massive skimmer. I don't currently have any algae problems. Do you think the water that the rotifers live in is that dirty if I am dripping it on a timer each night at a rate of refreshing the entire 5gal tank every week or so with new phyto water?
< Yes, it is that dirty. >
Are rotifers that messy?
<Yes, rotifers are extremely messy for their size. I would definitely strain them before adding them. Massive skimmer or not, I see no reason to knowingly risk water quality when there is a simple solution. >
I know they have ammonia but I can't imagine that they produce more than my fish do and that my tank cant handle it.
< Although your system may have no trouble processing the extra nutrients, I honestly see no reason to add the extra burden. >
Thank you for any advice,
< You are quite welcome. G A Jenkins >

Re: Torch Coral, foods  01/22/09 What is it about the Kent Microvert you don't like? What do you recommend? <I just don't think it actually feeds much of anything (except maybe some of the more indiscriminate filter feeders). Oyster eggs and live phytoplankton probably work a lot better. But this depends on what you are trying to feed with it. The particles are likely too small for the torch coral. For feeding corals in general, these links might help: http://www.asira.org/feedingyourtanks http://www.wetwebmedia.com/feeding.htm Best, Sara M.>

Candy Canes/Caulastrea... Allelopathy In A Nano Tank   8/13/08 Thanks Mich. <Welcome! I'm very sorry for the long delay. I'm away from home.> I got rid of the star polyps a while ago because of what I read here. <Smart.> Also started using carbon a couple months ago. <Even smarter!> I do change 1 gallon a week. <Good, you could do 2 gallons if you wanted.> As far as feeding the sick Caulastrea I am not sure if I can. So far I have not seen it send out any tentacles. <You don't need tentacles, just the mouth. You should temporarily shut off your circulation, It may take an hour or so.) and gently place very finely chopped food (I would try mysis shrimp soaked in Selcon.) on the mouth and hopefully the mouth will expand and accept the food.> I have not fed them in the past but am reconsidering. <They would benefit.> One of the Caulastrea that I bought recently from a fellow hobbyist had over 50 heads and they were really big. Most were two and some with three mouths with many heads bigger that a quarter. <Sweet!> He said he did feed them once a week. That colony was way to large for me so I broke it up and kept just 8 heads. It was a shame to break it up but no one else wanted to buy the colony from him. <Well hopefully all will thrive! Cheers, Mich>

Re: Candy Canes/Caulastrea... Allelopathy In A Nano Tank, Cyclop-Eeze fdg. to corals   8/13/08 One more question, please. <Of course!> I use freeze dried mysis and Cyclop-eeze for my fish. Can these be fed to corals or does it have to be fresh or frozen. <These can be used, if it were me, I would soak the mysis in Selcon.> Thanks <Welcome! Mich>

High Nitrates/Algae problems, & fdg. "corals"   2/29/08 Okay, I guess I should have gone to school to become a marine biologist because the more I read about maintaining a reef tank, the more confused I get. Anyway, here are some questions. My system: 160 gal tank w/20 gal sump, no refugium yet, about 150 lbs live rock, 3-4 " DSB, various corals and fish, protein skimmer, UV sterilizer, chiller, high end coral lighting with metal halides, filter currently inop and being sent for repair. <What sort of filter?> I was paying someone to maintain tank but had to let him go. So I am now learning. Water is testing great except for nitrates being 20-40 ppm. I read from Bob Fenner that "...there are two common ways of expressing nitrate concentration by various assay methods. Nitrates as ppm, and nitrogen as nitrate in ppm. Due to the latter's consideration of the three oxygen atoms atomic weight per molecule, measuring nitrate ion by itself results in 4.4 times as much. Do check your test kit though almost all are nitrate ion types on the market nowadays... ". So, with that said, I checked my test kit, API, and it does read the ions. So, what does that mean? When it tests out at 20-40 ppm, does that mean my result is really a lot less than what I think it is? <Mmm, no... really is this range> All my fish and corals seem to be doing well. Since I was paying someone else previously, I don't know if my nitrates are different than before. I think that I may be adding to my nitrate problem when I clean my tank. I have a lot of algae sitting on the top of the sand, so I have been cleaning the sand and I am wondering if I am stirring it up too much and disturbing the denitrification process. <A possibility> I have read about it on your site but get too confused. Too much detritus on top of sand is a bad thing, but isn't disturbing the sand too much also a bad thing? <Yes, can be> I have a lot of detritus in places that I can't get into with the vacuum. I've tried reaching it with a slim tube or stick to stir it up for vacuuming but not sure if this is the best thing. <Mmm, I'd hasten on to adding the refugium, increasing your circulation in the main tank... perhaps some internal pumps... Look into the Koralia, Hydor brands...> Also, any advice on the algae bloom problem? It is only on the sand and was rust color at one point, then pink, and now mostly dark and bright greens. <See the above> I am also totally confused on what to feed my corals (sea fans, Zoas, Shrooms, colt coral, torch coral, flowerpot coral, brain coral, sun coral). My tank guy had me feeding only Marine Snow. <Garbage... the emperor's new fish food... Of no nutritive value> Everything was thriving fine, except the sun coral which I learned to feed mysis. I've read and have had many folks tell me Marine Snow is only "fish poop" <More like wall paste> and that I should be feeding something else. Since I have 3 bottles of Marine Snow stocked up, I have been mixing it with Kent's Phytoplex and some Liquid Gold. I was feeding twice weekly and lately have only been able to feed once weekly. If the Marine Snow is only "fish poop", could that be adding to my nitrate problems? <Yes, definitely> Thank you for your time. Wouldn't know what to do without you guys. <Do take a read re the "corals" you list on WWM. Their foods/feeding/nutrition is gone over there. Bob Fenner> DT's Phytoplankton and Purple Coralline growth (revised)!   2/17/08 Hello everyone! Thanks to all for everything you do for us :) I have a quick question. I'm sorry if it has been answered already, but I cannot seem to find anything that relates to my specific question. I started my tank 2 months ago. I have a 65 gallon with wet/dry filter, protein skimmer, UV sterilizer, and total 288 watts of lighting. A combination of 1/2 blue actinic and 1/2 10000k daylight. 75 lbs of live rock. I also have (2) 300 gph circulation pumps along with my return pump for circulation. Fully cycled with 0 readings on ammonia and nitrites. 5-10 ppm on nitrates. My tank is currently housing: (1) Dwarf Coral Beauty (1) Six Line Wrasse (1) Lawnmower Blenny (3) Green Chromis (1) Red algae eating starfish They told me a Red thorned Starfish <Do you have a scientific name for this asteroid?> (1) Green Serpent Starfish <Mmm, Ophiarachna? Watch out with this predator> (1) Skunk Cleaner Shrimp about (10) Zoanthid polyps (1) green feather duster (3) green mushroom polyps (1) Rose Coral attached to a Turkey Wing Oyster? That what the LFS told me it was . It is alive, I know that! <Not uncommon attachments...> I feed Spectrum granules in the a.m. and frozen cube mixes at night. I only shave of about and 1/8 to 1/4 of the cube and thaw it in tank water. I hand feed my Green Serpent in the evening with a few small pinches of scallops or shrimp. I also purchased some DT's. My questions are, how much DT's should I feed to the small amount of corals and Feather duster I have? <Mmm, not really a source of nutrition here, for this life, but of value nonetheless...> I was told to draw up 1cc in a syringe and add 2cc of tank water to that and target feed about every third day. Is that right? <Okay> Should I turn off all of my pumps, skimmer, and UV? Also, how much should I feed my fish and others during the day? Is this too much food or not enough??? <What you list is fine. I would leave your gear on... more likely more trouble that you'll forget to turn it back on... though timers can be a real asset here> Oh one more quick question! I have a small amount of purple coralline on some of my live rock. I want to have it spread. I was told not to use Purple Up because it will raise my alkalinity and calcium too high. What can I do to encourage more purple coralline?? <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/corallinealg.htm and the linked files above> Thank you in advance for your help!! <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Feeding corals 1/6/2008 To the WWM Crew: Do you have an opinion about TMC products? <I do... have visited these folks, known them for decades... Their company is the apex of value in our trade> The ones I want specifically to know more about are the food products named Gamma NutraPlus, Complete Feed for fish and inverts and Reef Feed just for inverts. I use to feed the LPSs and SPSs with hydrated Cyclop-Eeze "powder" and frozen Mysis shrimp. Do you think it would be a good idea adding another kind of food like that of the TMC? <I VERY much like the Gamma food line... IF your "corals" (this is a too-wide descriptor used by home hobbyists for a disparate group of animals... not all even Cnidarians!) actually eat such size, type foods, this will be of nutritional value> Thank you very much for your site and help Best regards Fl?io <Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Zooplankton vs. Phytoplankton, food, coral nutr.   - 07/18/07 Hi, I've read on you very informative website that it is preferable to feed corals zooplankton as opposed to phytoplankton like DT's brand. <Well, that's because the corals we keep don't eat phytoplankton. However, if you have a deep sand bed and/or refugium feeding phytoplankton like DT's will likely increase your tank's ability to produce it's own zooplankton.> I cannot find any zooplankton products for use in my aquarium. Can you possibly point any out for me? <Coral Frenzy is supposed to be pretty good. Cyclop-Eeze might also be considered zooplankton. Liquid life's "coral plankton" has rotifers. Zooplankton is basically just the portion of plankton that consists of tiny (microscopic or nearly so) animals and larvae rather than eggs and algae. So, urchin eggs would be plankton, but urchin larvae would be zooplankton. Copepods, rotifers, shrimp larvae and small crustacean larvae, etc. these are things that could be considered zooplankton. Newly hatched baby brine probably qualify as zooplankton. Another easy way to get zooplankton in your tank is to have some peppermint or other ornamental shrimp that regularly produce larvae in aquariums. Of course, I do wonder if the fish don't eat up all these larvae before the coral get a chance at them.> Thank you so much! <Hope this helps. Best, Sara M.>

Living Overseas And Searching For Good "Non-Refrigerated" Coral Foods - 06/28/07 I have somewhat run into a problem with feeding the coral. <<Oh? What genera/species?>> I am currently living in S. Korea, and quality items are few and far between. <<I see>> This being my first SW set-up outside the US, I've had to order equipment from the States. <<Lucky we have the Internet these days, eh?…wish it had been around during "my" overseas tours>> I have been reading on your site continuously with no avail. <<Okay>> My question for you: Is there any dry coral food that is actually good? <<There is…and I will elaborate shortly>> All the reviews from everyone make dry invert/coral food a bad idea. <<Opinions differ>> Since I cannot get shipped "live" items, makes this even more difficult. So my choices are finding a quality dry food, un-refrigerated liquid (which from what I read is a bottle of crap), <<For the most part, yes, I agree>> or trying to find something on the Korean market (fingers crossed). Currently all I have now is a few small feather dusters on the LR, and a medium size piece of Alveopora (Branch) Coral (along with two small clowns). What suggestions for food do you have, and what path should I take? <<Well John, there are a few manufactured products I think can be useful/will fit your criteria and I will go over these in a moment. But what you need here is an in-line plankton-generating refugium. This would be your best and most economic source of "coral food"…along with the other benefits such a system provides (lots of info re to be found here and among the links in blue: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/refugium.htm). There are several refugium methodologies you could employ, but I think a reverse-daylight vegetable refugium with DSB would work just dandy here. As for dry/non-refrigerated packaged products… I like and use Polyp Lab Reef-Roids. This is a "fine dry powder" product that seems to illicit good feeding responses in my SPS dominated reef system. You can find this product here (http://www.aquariumspecialty.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=783&osCsid=b5a1cb93cf978ad7d489575f88b0d8f1)…the owner of the site (Scott) is a friend of mine, you can tell him I referred you if you like. For corals AND fishes requiring larger food items, the saltwater variety of Sweetwater Zooplankton is a good choice. This is a very good vacuum-packed "wet" product that does not require refrigeration until opened. A third item that will benefit both fishes and corals is freeze-dried Cyclop-Eeze. The use of these products in unison should give you pretty good "coverage"…especially if you employ the refugium as well. And if you should ever find yourself with animals that need/require Phytoplankton, the ESV spray-dried product would suit your circumstance>> Thanks! John <<Ah, one last thought…I have found that placing a few "shrimp pellets" in some tank water and waiting a few minutes to let them crumble/dissolve also provides some nourishment/may fill another niche in the reef food chain. Good luck with your search. Eric Russell>>

Coral Frenzy  3-13-07 Hello Bob, <Ken> We were wondering if you would be interested in trying out Coral Frenzy? It is an all in one coral food. We list out everything that is in CF on the label and on our website.  We also stamp the date that it was manufactured right on the jar, so you know how exactly when it was made. <Have heard and read good things about your product... But, don't tell anyone... I actually only have a couple of good-sized African Cichlid systems going nowadays... Heeee!> We know that nothing is more nutritional than live and then the next is frozen.  The problem is that the majority of people who keep reef tanks don't have the time, desire or discipline to feed those two ways.  That is where Coral Frenzy comes in, nothing on the market currently has as many different ingredients, and for some reason none of them care enough to tell you what is in their products.  Then to top it off, you don't know if that product was made last week or last year. <Yes> We are constantly improving our product.  We are always working with our suppliers to improve their ways of processing in order to achieve higher nutritional values. We have wanted to contact you for some time now but we didn't know how you would be. <Heeee! About the same ole!> Scott Groseclose from Aquarium Specialty told us that we should drop you a line. <Hello to Scott!> Have a great day and we hope to hear from you soon. Thank you, Ken Easter www.coralfrenzy.com <Thank you for your kind offer. Bob Fenner>

Coral growth, lack thereof... nutrient limited?  3/6/07 Hello all!     Thanks for your help with previous questions! Very helpful!   I am having trouble with coral growth in my tank.   15 gallon refuge with Chaeto, <"Algae that goes "crunch"") live sand and a little bit of live rock.   diy skimmer that works well. A few hermits and Nas. snails.   Main tank;   104 pounds of live rock,   2 to 3 inches live sand   hermits and various snails   closed loop system with four outputs (great idea! thanks!) about 12x tank volume per hour.   two 12k 65 watt pcs, two actinic 65 watt pcs, and two 175 watt 20k metal halide.      Alk 11   P.H 8.4   calcium 480   nitrate .05   trite 0   am 0   mag 1400   S.G. 1.026 to 1.027   This is what my hydrometer reads. my temp is 79 to 82.   Is the salinity too high? Is that too high of a temp swing? <Both are fine>   Inhabitants;    gold banded coral shrimp pair    emerald crab    Atlantic cucumber <Mmm>    one green toadstool    one red open brain    one red/brown Sinularia    no fish   I have noticed very little growth in my coral. <Do you feed them? Oh, I see this below> They seem, otherwise, to be doing well. Full polyp extension and color. I feed the open brain bits of shrimp or salmon every other day. It eats well! I do not feed the leathers. I have a great population of Amphi and copepods. Many tiny white brittle stars and other L.R. hitch hikers. The Chaeto in the fuge is multiplying like mad. I use store bought R.O. water. I am replacing 4 gallons a day from evaporation.( drip method over a period of several hours, DAILY!!) I do 8 to 15 gallon water changes a month.   Should I feed the leathers something? <Maybe... by offering a cultured mix of mono-cellular species of phytoplankton you just might supply some missing chemical/s... e.g. the popular soluble phosphate...>   Are my temp, S.G. swings daily causing a lack of growth? <Nah> Please help! Wanting to start another tank, but not until I fix this one!   Thanks in advance for your help!   Rob <I'd try the "Phyto" route here first... Bob Fenner>

Coral feeding   1/24/07 Dear Crew, <Hey Glen, JustinN with you today.> Thanks for all of your help in the FAQs!  The advice given has helped me establish my first reef tank which appears to be well-established for about 8 months.   <Excellent, we always love to hear of the successes.> Up until last month this had been a FOWLR tank with only a few fish & inverts. <Ok> Last month and this month I have slowly been adding corals to the tank and things still appear to be going well, most thanks to you guys.   <I would disagree here, my friend. We simply present the facts, in a form that its tangible and understandable to the layman. We provided the spark, you ignited the fire.> I am currently feeding my corals a mixture of the following frozen treats by a turkey baster 2X/week: Baby brine shrimp, reef plankton (red Calanus), daphnia, Spirulina enhanced adult brine shrimp, Cyclop-Eeze and mysis shrimp.   <Quite the Cnidarian treat!> The corals are Goniopora (missed the advice on this one), Sarcophyton, Euphyllia paradivisa, metallic green Rhodactis, small xenia frag, small green sea mat Zoanthid frag, small yellow polyp frag.  My goal is to provide a mixture of foods to these animals in order to provide maximum nutrition and simulate the diversity of food sources available in the wild.   <And you are doing a mighty fine job of it, my friend.> Can my feeding regimen be enhanced in any way?   <Perhaps the addition of a HUFA-enriched vitamin supplement such as Selcon. Beyond that, all reads excellent here.> I don't really target feed the xenia.   <Is not necessary, they are largely photosynthetic (and if I recall correctly, no one has specifically identified a food consumption mechanism with them).> Instead, I blow around the rocks and sand a bit with the baster to resuspend any leftover food and hopefully get some bacterial plankton into the water column. <Excellent here, also serves to stir up wastes in and around you rockwork, directing them towards filtration devices.> -Glen <I think you've already got the right idea, Glen. Keep it up, my friend. -JustinN> Amino Acid Supplements For Coral   1/12/06 Hi Crew, <Hello Mohamed, Mich with you today.> I will like to know what is the benefits of using amino acid for corals and has anyone from the crew done experiments with amino acid? <The benefit is providing nutrients that are not easily synthesized from the environment.  Many extol the use of vitamin supplements such as Selcon, which contains amino acids.   Eric Borneman mentions in his book Aquarium Corals on page 58 that "Some of the products required by corals and zooxanthellae that are not supplied by photosynthesis include vitamins and long chain fatty acids.  These compounds are supplied by diet only.    Glycine is also a compound the many coral do not easily synthesize, and it, along with some carbon, may be obtained in the wild by living in proximity to the released photosynthetic products of certain macro algae."   In a home aquarium this association may not be possible.  Therefore addition of amino acids via a vitamin supplement may be quite advantageous. Thanks Mohamed

Re: Amino Acids Supplements For Coral    1/17/06 Hi Mich, Thanks for a speedy reply. <Welcome, sorry this one isn't quite so speedy.> On the same subject.  What are the types of amino acid that is required by corals? <Hmm, varies with differ organisms, thus the multivitamin recommendation (and also a high quality mixed diet).> Is there a formula for amino acid similar to iodine which can be mixed? <RMF says Aminoplex, a veterinary product, may be of benefit if slowly dripped into the tank during daylight hours only.> Thanks <Welcome, hope that helps! -Mich> Mohamed

Re: amino acid supplementation for Cnidarians  - 1/18/07 Hi Mich, <BobF now> Thanks for the reply, its never to late. Who is RMF and where can I read of what he/she says? <Is an acronym for my name, Robert Milton Fenner, sorry for the confusion> I found 2 type of Aminoplex, Aminoplex Light and Aminoplex Forte which 33 times more concentrated with amino acids, sounds good. <Yes... this is "the real thing"> What is the procedure of dosing?   <Mmm, unknown to me for this application> Some info on the product, what do you think? Aminoplex Forte      Composition Dextrose, calcium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium sulphate, sodium acetate, L-Histidine HCl, DL-Methionine, DL-triptofane, L-cistein HCl, L-Threonine, DL-Isoleucine, L-Arginine, DL- phenylalanine, DL-Valine, L-lysine HCl, L-leucine, monosodium glu Description High concentration amino acids Indications Its amino acids concentration is 33 times higher than Aminoplex Light. Treatment of severe conditions of convalescence, of weakened animals, or under intense strain, stress, shock, chronic diseases, parasitosis, preparation for competition, high production Contra-indications none Side effects none Dosage 1 mL for each 5 kg of body weight, from 1 to 3 times per day. Intravenous, intramuscular, subcutaneous or intraperitoneal routes. Withdrawal times none Packing Glass vial of 100 mL, glass vial of 250 mL, glass vial of 500 ml.s Thanks    Mohamed <A bit of experimentation needed here... perhaps trying to calculate the weight of your biota (sans abiotic skeletal mass)... and applying some smaller dosage to the water itself... during a period of rapid metabolism... later morning, early afternoon of light phases... Do be aware that the addition of simple sugar (Dextrose... common ingredients in "Vital" products) may cause a slight algal bloom for a while... Bob Fenner>

DSB's/Coral Food - 01/10/07 Hello, <<Hello Ronnie>> I have heard recently that DSB's are not suggested in SPS reef tanks?  Any thoughts or advice? <<Hmm... I have 1000 pounds of sugar-fine aragonite in a flourishing 375g SPS reef tank, along with another 300 pounds in the in-line 55g refugium, that might suggest otherwise.  Perhaps it is thought the efficient denitrification process deprives the corals of this important/required element.  I have heard of advanced hobbyists adding Potassium Nitrate to their SPS systems to boost health/color/vigor.  I myself prefer a heavy (within reason) fish load coupled with generous feedings>> I read Deep Sand Secrets and found a lot of great info on it. <<A good/interesting read, agreed>> I have always used one with good results.  In my new 75 gallon SPS only tank, I am researching different ways to set it up. <<Excellent!  I have kept myself, and have seen, many successful tanks using differing methodologies.  But I must say, my greatest success has come when utilizing the DSB methodology>> Also, any thoughts on the new food line called Reef Nutrition? <<Ah, yes...am feeding the Arcti-Pods to my system now.  My Anthiines seem to like it fine, as well as the other small planktonic feeding fishes.  Can't really say whether the corals are feeding on it, though it does appear to be "small enough" for several of my Acropora species utilize>> I have always used Cyclop-eeze and DT's oyster eggs and phytoplankton for feeding my corals? <<Good selections, but the phytoplankton is of little utility here as most all SPS corals will be carnivores...though it is beneficial for feeding many of the planktonic organisms/micro-crustaceans which "do" provide a rich food source for your corals...and many of which are cultured/generated from/within a DSB>> Thanks, you guys rock. <<Thank you...thank you very much (in my best Elvis impersonation voice)>> Ronnie <<Regards, Eric Russell>>

Feeding cap for feeding TWA anemone et al. cnidarians  - 4/24/2006 Afternoon Crew, I was wondering about the storage of a feeding cap (2 liter bottle cut off at top with a tube in it). I am planning on feeding my anemone (Haitian pink tipped) and corals (candy cane and some Zoanthids I had Mr. Fenner ID as a possible Isaurus sp.) with this feeding cap. (I just found about this great piece of equipment today, great concept love things that follow KISS) I was concerned about the fact that cnidocysts tend to stay on things it comes in contact with. Should I use a separate cap for each one and also concerns for myself where should I store this so I do not get stung? <... I would use separate ones per species/colony (and label for/as such)... can be stored most anywhere... A good habit to use tongs, try to keep your hands, arms out of the system... utilize arm-length gloves...> Should I clean it well with hot water every time? <Mmm, no... not likely necessary> I would assume I don't want to use ammonia on something I am putting in my tank. <Uhh, correct... if anything, just a quick freshwater rinse> Thanks for all the help you guys and girls are the best, Homerj <Welcome. Bob Fenner> Base Rock/Feeding Corals  - 02/20/06 I have a question about using base rock to help stock an aquarium.  I'm planning on setting up a larger (125-200 gallons) reef system in the near future.  To offset some of the costs I would like to use base rock (probably completely devoid of any life, dry) along with Fiji live rock.  Is there a rule/guideline as to what percentage should or ought to be live versus base?  I want to save money, but don't want to get too cheap and under stock the aquarium with the bacteria and "seed" source the live rock provides. <I would use base rock as the lower layer of the display, no rule of thumb as to weight, all depends on porosity of the rock. In time the base rock will become "live".> I also have a question about feeding corals.  From the articles I have read on WWM it sounds like phytoplankton and other bottled filter feeding formulas aren't the way to go. What then would you recommend for corals such as mushrooms, Zoanthids, and gorgonians?  I've been reading but haven't been able to find a clear answer. <I switch between DT's Live Phytoplankton and Cyclop-eeze myself.  Keep in mind that most corals produce much of their own food supply.  Do read FAQ's here for more information.  http://search.isp.netscape.com/nsisp/boomframe.jsp?query=coral+system+lighting&page=1&offset=0&result_url=redir%3Fsrc%3Dwebsearch%26requestId%3D704879f5ada710e7%26clickedItemRank%3D1%26userQuery%3Dcoral%2Bsystem%2Blighting%26clickedItemURN%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.wetwebmedia.com%252Fcorllgtg.htm%26invocationType%3D-%26fromPage%3DNSISPBoom%26amp%3BampTest%3D1&remove_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wetwebmedia.com%2Fcorllgtg.htm> Thank you for your help.  <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Coral Health/Feeding 7/27/05 Hello crew, <Hey, Mike G here> This e-mail is more for my peace of mind so please pardon my ignorance as I am a new to this hobby/obsession (3 months) and just want to make sure I understand what I have been reading and am doing things right.   <The mark of a good hobbyist> I have a 54 gallon tank <A nice beginner size> 150 watt MH light w/ 2 65 watt blue actinics <very nice.> ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 0, PH 8.3, calcium 450, alkalinity 6.0, water temp 79 degrees <Your parameters are all in order> Fluval 304 filter <I doubt this is necessary. In fact, some would argue it is merely a Nitrate Factory.> protein skimmer <I'd keep this and ditch the filter.> I have a giant mushroom, orange Ricordea (who never stays in one spot), and the newest addition is a branching hammer.   <A nice assortment.> I currently have no fish and some crabs and shrimp.  I plan on adding other LPS corals such as bubble, frogspawn, etc.  The guy at my LFS informed me that the corals I have would be fine with just moderate lighting, addition of iodine once a week (I use Lugol's), and DT's phytoplankton every other day.   <Sounds about right. Phyto is really unnecessary here.> I have been reading your site for the past 3 days and from what I am reading, the addition of phytoplankton for the corals that I have and am going to get is pretty much useless.  Correct?   <Yep.> I am going to begin feeding with Mysis shrimp tonight and will probably feed the hammer 5 times a week and the mushroom and Ricordea once a week.   <Be careful, great water conditions coupled with strong light and heavy feedings will result in many, many "baby" corals magically appearing.> Any additional information is greatly appreciated and I thank you for your help and knowledge. <Actually, it seems as if you did not need my help. You're off on the right path. Kudos for starting out right!> Danielle <Mike G>

Coral Food and Supplementation Hello,   I have two questions. Sorry.  You guys are very informative and your website rocks. 1)  My question is about supplementation and food for corals and invertebrates.   I have the following animals in my tank. Corals: Green Bubble Candy Cane Mushroom Zoos Kenya tree Invertebrates Feather Duster Hardware 46G Bowfront 30-40 lbs of LR 2 96W PC Rena Canister Filter Fluval 404 Filter -  with Bio Material only Aqua C Remora Internal MaxiJet for additional flow I have been looking for some good advice at what to feed my corals and invertebrates.   There are about 4 LFS within 30 mile radius from my house. Each time I go to them for questions they always try to sell me stuff.  Which after reading your site, I realized that I don't really need them.   One of the LFS told me that since I have my skimmer running 24 X 7,   I need to constantly replenish my trace elements, thus selling me the Reef Solution, and Coral Vite solution.  As for food, they sold me Krill, silverside, Marine Snow, Kent Filter feeders.  I just had enough from them.  I also went to them with the question of Iodine. I read that mushrooms needs a supplement of iodine and again they tried to sell be the Lugo Iodine.  Even after I told them that the Reef Solution already contained Iodine and No, I do not have a test for Iodine yet.  I am tired of going to my LFS store with the feeling of being taken advantage of. <I can sense this> After I started going to your website, I stopped asking them questions and started to go to the LFS knowing already what I need.   So could you please point me to the right direction as to a brand of supplements and food you recommend? <... you need, test kits... for whatever it is you believe you're needing to add... I would get/use something for alkalinity and calcium and leave all else out here... Along with water changes, careful feeding, you don't need, nor likely want more.> I feed my Green bubble coral silverside and chopped squid.  Frogspawn, Zoos, Candy cane, Feather Duster I am not sure that filter food brand to give. <Best to add a live sump, aka a refugium to this set-up, and rely on this as a principal food provider for your filter feeders. Many other benefits as well...> 2) Question I have a feather duster that lost its crown last week.   I have not removed the tube in fear that the worm may still be alive.   At the same time I am afraid that is the worm is dead then the tube may decomposed in my tank thus creating a bioload nightmare from hell. <Not to worry... In a system of your size, make-up, no big deal> I have hermit crabs in my tank and the hermit crabs has not jumped on the tube yet.  Thus is my indicator that the tube is still alive.  I know that the hermit crabs will know that the tube is decomposing thus they will try to eat it.   I am I correct with these assumptions?  Or should I try to grab the tube to check if the worm is still alive? thank you Louie <I would leave it as is. Keep reading, chatting with other hobbyists... and maintaining a skeptical mind... you'll do fine. Bob Fenner> Should I add nitrate to my reef tank? My water consistently tests 0 nitrates. I have a crocea and a couple of soft corals. I read in Anthony's book that there should be some level of nitrate, and recommends preparing a solution of sodium nitrate and using it to raise the level to 2ppm. Since the "state of the art" is always evolving, I want to make sure that recommendation is still appropriate.  < I think that is a terrible idea. I'd prefer to just feed my tank before adding nitrate. >  I've searched around the web and can find "laboratory grade" sodium nitrate from Sergeant-Welch in small quantities at a reasonable price.  < A local chem. shop should have this item in stock. But again, I wouldn't do it. >  I've not had any luck in finding it at garden supply stores. Now I just need to hope that ATF isn't tracking sodium nitrate purchasers!!  < Take a look at your fish load and feeding schedule. If you are feeding once per week, maybe feeding 3 times per week would accomplish what you are looking for. > Thanks Ken Baker < Blundell > 

Feeding Corals Hi, I'm pretty new to this . Just started a reef tank. I started off with A fish Only tank. Then decided to do a reef. I have a Cabbage leather coral, Kenya tree coral , button polyp. What should put in the tank to feed them? 55 Gal, 60 lbs Fiji rock.  <Here is a link to an article on just what you're looking for.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/growingcorals.htm. James (Salty Dog)>

Coral feeding I was reading through the site today and discovered the section on feeding corals. I looked on with stupidity because my LFS has always told me that they get everything they need from light. <It was probably a mistake and it happens.>  I have to admit I am still not sure how to feed my corals. I bought some frozen Mysis shrimp, but now what? I have never even seen sweeper tentacles. I have a frogspawn a torch, and a xenia, any suggestions as to how I should feed them (turkey baster method, etc.) or what to feed them (zoo/phytoplankton) is greatly appreciated.  EY <Hello, well you are on the right track from what I see. Knowledge is power. You should feed based on the needs of your corals. The frogspawn, and torch will probably take the Mysis depending on size. The best time to feed them is at night using the baster method. The xenia will take the phytoplankton. I want you to remember this. Although you should be feeding your corals, a big beginner mistake is to over feed them when they first start. Start feeding little amounts and work your way from there. Good Luck. MikeB.> 

Monti Feeding II Hello Crew,<Hey,> On the following response to a question that I asked I am a little confused. I have read on your site that Phytoplankton is not very useful with SPS corals. <There are pro's and con's to using this product. Basically, there could be better food sources out there, such as refugiums. But, in a bind DT's can get the job done if used correctly. Let me stress the word CORRECTLY.>  So I question the recommendation of DT's Phytoplankton. I have found BioLife's Coral Plankton and the SPS's seems to eat it (Polyps Expand), I am not sure about the particle size of Cyclop-eeze and will also add the DT's if it is eaten. Otherwise, I look at it as algae food. I do like to feed as much of a variety as possible since I do not want to get into a refugium. Also this is becoming a SPS tank eventually (my favorite) however I do have BTA's with very happy Clowns and one Galaxea, is this a problem? Thank you for all the help!  Rich <Rich, the BTA will be a problem eventually and so will the Galaxy coral. They will sting and bother the SPS corals. The problem with feeding food for the SPS corals is that people generally feed too much to the tank. This then causes a spike in water quality and degradation of the corals. I would remove the BTA and the Galaxy coral to another tank if you want to keep the SPS corals long term. Also, use what ever phytoplankton you decide that works best in moderation. Good Luck. MikeB.>

Monti Feeding III Hello Mike, Thanks for the reply. The way that I have been feeding my SPS's is to stop all pumps for an hour or so and target feed just enough food to cloud the general area around the coral. I do this twice a week. I think that this is minimal pollution and hopefully (?) enough nutrition for the coral. How does that sound to you? Thanks again for the advice! Rich <Rich, your method sounds fine. I wouldn't consider the food as pollution though. It will provide the sustenance your corals and microfauna will need. Keep it up!!! MikeB.>

Soft Corals 3/28/03 Good day WWM Crew, <cheers, mate> I have a Toadstool Mushroom Leather (Sarcophyton) and a Thin Finger Leather (Sinularia) and I just want to ask about some observations I made: 1 ) I have noticed that every morning when I wake up, before any lights come on, that both of these guys have long sweeper tentacles waving all over the place. Do they use these to feed, or are they just used to keep other livestock at bay? <the latter if that's what they truly are... purely defensive> I have noticed that their tentacles and polyps are out in the morning before lights come on, but when I get home from work (5:00 ), the tentacles and polyps are retracted and stay retracted the remainder of the evening. I'm not sure why this is. <because these soft corals feed very little organismally. More so by translocation (of nutrients from photosynthesis) and absorption. Some nanoplankton too... but they really cannot eat any large plankton or prepared foods> It seems to me that the light would stimulate their polyps and tentacles. <not really... the tentacles are a very small part of the photosynthetic tissue overall> 2 ) Do they have to have their tentacles and/or polyps out to feed? <nope> 3 ) I also have some Corallimorphs ( Actinodiscus, Discosoma ). I believe they are called Green Fluorescent Mushrooms. How do these feed? <all of the above: organismal, absorptive plus perhaps by mucous too> I have never seen any kind of tentacle or polyp. Most of them are also "folded up", instead of laying flat. What does this mean? <they've been watching depressing news coverage> Note: I just got these corals this past Saturday. <time needed to acclimate for certain> 4) I have been feeding all of the above including a bunch of Palythoa (Green Button Polyps) a frozen algae. I can't remember the name, I think it's Reef Treats. It's not just frozen algae, but has many meaty foods such as brine shrimp, Mysid shrimp, sea urchin, squid, clams, oysters, and scallops. <ahhh, yes... the fine meaty fare is better here> Anyhow, I realize these are filter feeders, so I soak the food in garlic and put in a small blender and use a turkey baster to target feed the corals and coral polyps. I have only fed them twice since I have had them.  Is this a good practice, or is there something better to feed? <truly depends on the species. Some like more phyto- than zoo-plankton> As always, thanks Charlie <best regards, Anthony>

Guillard formula I've been putting some of f/2 Guillard (1tbsp/week in my 125gal tank) in my tank to induce algae blooms to feed my dwindling copepod population. I seem to have an interesting side effect however. since I've been using it I've noticed that some of my corals have become richer in color, perhaps due to stimulated growth of their symbiotic algae. now I haven't been logging any progress or doing any formal investigations but I'm sure that the f/2 is enriching these algae. here's the question, do you know of any work that has been done on this topic? maybe you know someone who does. regardless I could just be 'seeing' things. I hope I'm not, perhaps I could have stumbled onto something here.... <Am sure such works can be found through a computer bibliographic search... go to the college library and search with such key terms as "coral", "color"... Bob Fenner> Jon Trowbridge

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