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FAQs about Stony Coral Foods/Feeding/Nutrition, DIY Formulas and Making 

Related Articles: Coral Feeding, Food/Feeding/Nutrition, LPS Corals, True or Stony Corals, Order Scleractinia, Propagation for Marine Aquarium Use

Related FAQs: DIY Reef Food FAQs, Coral Feeding 1, Coral Feeding 2, Coral Feeding 3, & FAQs on Stony Coral Feeding: Rationale, Types, Amounts, Frequency, Techniques, Commercial Products... & Cnidarian Feeding, Growing Reef CoralsStony Coral IdentificationStony Coral Behavior,

See Also: Marine Foods/Feeding/Nutrition in the lower tray of Marine Maintenance:

There are quite a few simple "make it at home" recipes for coral et al. foods (See books, the Net, WWM!)... If you use a bunch, you'll save an equal amount of money by devising, buying the raw ingredients, grinding, freezing... making your own. RMF

Feeding corals minced foods 2/22/04 Hi Anthony, <hi Rick.  Adam here today.> Is it ok to buy an entire package of Pacifica plankton and Mysid shrimp, thaw them out, mix them together, mince them in a blender, then refreeze them?  I want to do this for my corals, so I don't have to mince them a couple times a week when I feed them.  I was going to mix them just to vary the diet a little, I guess.  Bad idea? Regards, Rick <Generally, thawing and re-freezing foods is quite damaging to their nutritional value.  That is why most DIY fish food recipes recommend only fresh seafoods be added.  Adding small amounts of thawed foods to a recipe of mostly fresh foods is probably fine.  Best Regards.  Adam> Coral feeding 11/21/04 Hey Anthony, After reading the section here and your book "Coral Propagation". (My favorite book a must read for all) <ah, thanks kindly!> I have made up a batch of food for my corals: Fresh seafood, Nori, marine flake, baby brine, Selcon all blended together and frozen. I have mainly soft , Gorgonians & candy cane corals. <very thoughtful to make the mix, but few soft corals can eat large particles as with homemade food... the gorgonians the same (needing nanoplankton). Only the candy corals (Caulastrea) listed above can eat the mix> The tank is a 90 gallon with 3/4" of live sand (No DSB or refugium...sorry) About 125lbs of live rock. I seem to see more feeding tentacles when the lights go out (Unfortunately this is very late at night because I'm trying to kick start Coralline growth. I just switched to Deionized (sp?) water for make up and water changes) Do you think it would be a good idea to set up a drip using my prepared food ?(taking the larger pieces out) Thanks again! <I do believe the nature of the mix and ingredients overall is very well suited for larger polyped stony corals and anemones, but not for soft corals and gorgonians. Feed this sparingly in your tank if only for another DOC source assuming you do not already have nuisance algae problems. kindly, Anthony>

Coral Feeding I have a question regarding foods for my corals. I went out and purchased some fresh shrimp (from grocery store), some frozen Mysis shrimp (Ocean Nutrition cubes), and some frozen krill (both from LFS). I would like to blend these together to feed my corals, but I would like to know if it is ok to blend the frozen cubes, which will unthaw them, and refreeze the blended mix? I know meat that we eat can't be thawed and refrozen (and still be eaten), and would like to know if this applies to the cubed frozen fish food also? <I am guessing the same thing may apply. I would just keep the foods separate. Much easier to watch how much you are feeding using the little cubes.> Just trying to get a good variety of food for my corals. <I understand, but you can get the same results by just alternating what they get each time.> Thanks for your help. <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

"Special food"... from LFS Hey WWM Crew- Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!(a little early) <thanks kindly... same to you, my friend> I may have a problem, I have a "branch" of Torch Coral I've had it for almost 2 years, it was my first coral), that I feed everyday small amounts of shrimp from the market.   <very fine... that is to say, the feeding of it is fine, and hopefully the size of the matter is too. Even though some corals and anemones will sting and draw in larger chunks of meat (greater than 1/4"), most are rejected or regurgitated after your lights go out (and the animals actually starve in time). Always feed very finely minced matter for safety> I went to my LFS today to get some stuff, long story short; I told the manager this and he blew up at me.  Told me I should be feeding my coral the store's "special" food.   <Heehee...ahhh, yah. Right. "special Food". I'm sure that I know what's special about it: the profit margin. The LFS clerk that told you that is mistaken (or an ass... not sure which yet). Market produce is usually fine or better. Always buy raw and frozen. Avoid fresh because it usually isn't (some risk of disease transmission here because we don't cook it for our fishes). Of course you can freeze fresh meats yourself to be safe. Frozen foods instead are quickly flash frozen right after collection which reduces the likelihood of pathogenic communicability> It's made of krill and shrimp.   <big deal <G>. Overpriced and you are also paying for frozen water in the pack. What you should seek at the LFS that you can't get form the market is unique marine prey like Pacifica plankton and mysids. Else, raw shrimp and squid from the market are very fine and safe. Unless the LFS product says "gamma-irradiated", there's no appreciable difference beyond price> WOW, what a price difference!   <oh, ya!> Is market shrimp ok, or should I go out and get the special "food".   <if you buy the "special food" I'm gonna buy you a "special hat" and then try to sell you some swamp land :)  > Thanks for the advice! Phil <my pleasure... really <G>. Anthony>

ID Help & Feeding Aposymbiotic corals On the chili coral frag I was given, there is an anenomish (guess I just made up a word, Webster's here I come!) creature growing from the base. It is about 1", with a 1" crown there are approx 18 tendrils around the crown. the body is clear (which made me think Aiptasia) but the crown is fluorescent green, is this a colonial polyp or the dreaded Aiptasia? <doesn't sound at all like an Aiptasia but nothing definitive without a photo at least. Do a search for a picture of Anemonia majano ... a prettier nuisance anemone than Aiptasia:)> speaking of the coral... I've been feeding it golden pearls (brine shrimp that have been ground, a zooplankton substitute),  <OK for this animal, but too large for most filter feeders> I've also seen it feeding off of the particulates in the water (looks like the ecosystem filter is doing it's job of producing critters). is there something else I can feed it? <rotifers are easy to culture and excellent food... fishless upstream refugiums really do the trick too> I've also seen sun coral for sale, what would be a good food for that, or should I avoid it? <if Tubastrea, then it is quite hardy and can even be spawned (asexual planulae). Much work has been done with this beauty. It just needs special care like your chili coral: direct feeding (see my book bud on target feeding "food storms" Tubastrea in a cup) and not easily kept with traditional photosynthetic inverts> in my homegrown food I've been putting in phytoplankton (DT's)  <remember to whisk the DTs in an electric blender first/ALWAYS to reduce particle size> along with vitamins (E, A, beta carotene, HUFA [Argh! can't remember the brand, it's a common one] and C), garlic [everybody "pops tall" when I add garlic juice to the food, I figure it doesn't hurt anything and provides a strong smell to ring the dinner bell] and several commercial phtyomixes. I also put in finely chopped shrimp, fish, clams, carp roe, flying fish roe (love those Oriental Groceries), and several kinds of dried seaweed. should this provide enough food for these corals?  <the main thing would be to blend this mixture to ultra puree... particle size is everything. The smaller the better for most of the aposymbiotic inverts. I personally wouldn't have the discipline you've shown to home make food :) My vote is for large fishless upstream refugiums to generate natural plankton (perhaps a seagrass refugium for phyto as well as zoo-) and supplemental rotifer culture> I generally put the cube right in and let it thaw (the water component is dechlorinated FW). <I'm guessing if the food is not whisked in a blender before feeding that most of the particles are too large... still, Chili's are very hardy. Best regards, Anthony PS: do you have your proofreaders goggles handy? Two new books ready in the next 4-6 months :)>

Feeding Open Brain Anthony, Last week I asked a few questions about my now two week old T. radiata. It has acclimated to the tank nicely, and it's feeding tentacles are now easily apparent in the early morning. Here's my question. This evening (around 5:00 pm) it regurgitated some of it's food. I define 'food' as: Equal parts squid, clam and shrimp. Each is finely chopped. They are then mixed together.  <all good> The mixture is blotted dry with a clean white paper towel. <interesting> The mixture is then placed in a small plastic tea cup, to which 10-15 drops of Vita-Chem are added  <Whoa... "Houston... we have a problem."> (enough to soak whatever quantity of squid / clam / shrimp I just chopped). This is then placed in the refrigerator and is allowed to sit for at least six hours.  <Yikes... "Ground control to Major Tom..." > It is then placed in some tin foil and frozen.  <Doh! inert or not... do avoid metals of all kinds with salt water/ foods> I break off and defrost what I need each day. <ice cube trays bud... plastic...easy... get the tiny party cube size and drop the trays into plastic zip-locks... no metal foil please> I have fed this brain each of the last three days. I give a good pinch of food to each half. <Ok... I'll concede the foil may not be that big of a deal... but the super-saturated vitamin soak is noxious if not toxic in these concentrations. Not so much of a problem with the fishes... and fine in the water (better) for corals to draw on by absorption. But the super-soak is no doubt offensive beyond unnatural for the coral> I am quite careful to finely chop the food.  <I believe that you are... no worries about particle size here> I suspect that these animals have rather slow digestive systems.  <nope... quick... hours or less> It is possible that three straight days of generous feeding were simply a little too much? <nope... the food just tasted lousy <G>> I will *not* feed this brain tomorrow morning., even if it's feeder tentacles are out. <please continue to feed... some brains really should be fed daily... and all at least 3-5 times weekly. My advice is to simply stop the vitamin enemas> Sincerely, Mark Schwartz <ciao, bub... Anthony>

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

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