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FAQs on Frozen Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

Related Articles: Frozen Foods, Feeding a Reef Tank: A Progressive Recipe by Adam Blundell, Foods/Feeding/NutritionCulturing Food Organisms

Related FAQs: Foods/Feeding/Nutrition 1, Foods/Feeding/Nutrition 2, Foods/Feeding/Nutrition 3, Foods/Feeding/Nutrition 4, Coral FeedingBrine ShrimpAlgae as Food, VitaminsNutritional DiseaseCoral Feeding, Growing Reef CoralsCulturing Food Organisms


Re: Yellow Flank Fairy Wrasse “Hovering”; now (marine) fish nutrition, foods      2/11/19
Your deep history and understanding is why I bug you so often! I appreciate that.
Bob, in your experience, what can I feed to make sure the fish get enough fibre/fibrous material to help keep them happy. I feed frozen krill, Mysis, both soaked in Selcon. Also feed omega 1/2 flakes and NFS pellets. I guess I’m asking about wrasses mostly given my other fish eat nori and everything else.
<Am a huge fan of modern formulated diets... for ease of provision, absence of disease pathogens, offering nutritionally complete diets, and value. I greatly favor the Hikari and Spectrum pelleted brands and San Francisco frozen offerings>
Hope that is good variety?!
<Most important is simply providing a good mix of useful molecules, in a service-able format of high palatability. Doesn't need to be "live".>
Thanks Bob!
<Welcome Anik. BobF>

Shelf life thawed frozen foods in fridge      9/22/18
Hey crew.
How long can I keep frozen foods that have been thawed in aquarium water and stored in the fridge in a small plastic bottle?
<Mmm; likely a few days. Some foods are gamma-irradiated, others flash frozen w/ liquefied gasses... that sterilize the contents, slowing down decomposers; some types of "ingredients" are more/less susceptible to such... If it smells fine, I'd still use it>
I've found it more convenient to put a chunk of Mysis along with a chunk of Cyclops in a small plastic pop bottle mixed with some aquarium water and then store it in the fridge. However, after a week or so, it stinks when I open the bottle, even though it's stored in the fridge. I'm thinking it gets spoiled and the fish don't care for it too much.
<I'd agree>
I've been using a small turkey baster to suck out from the bottle and add to my two saltwater aquariums. I'm thinking my efforts to work smarter and not harder are not necessarily paying off here.
<If you're a nutrient limiter, I'd freshwater rinse defrosted foods before offering>
Thanks, Jason
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Toss or not toss... Oyster eggs left out      5/13/16
Hey Bob,
Prior to work today I fed my idol roe (real oyster eggs). I left the bottle out in the room for approximately 9 hours.
The bottle cap was down, or sealed during that time, in my basement, at say about 65 degree ambient room temp.
At 25 bucks a bottle, would you toss it , or refrigerate it and use?
<The latter>
I.smelled it, and it doesn't appear or smell rancid or foul.
<I would very likely keep using. B>
re: Toss or not toss... food left out     5/14/16

Thanks. Hate to throw away money like that.
<Me too>

Feeding and Nutrition                        ‏            11/9/14
I hope all is well. I have been reading quite a bit of literature on freezing temperatures required to kill parasites. Most sites say that -20 or -31 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 hours is sufficient. I am still feeding Hikari brand frozen mysis, Rods food, and PE mysis, as well as tilapia. However, I'd like to make my own saltwater blend using ingredients from the grocery store. It sounds fun and healthy! However, I don't want to jeopardize my fish... I don't have a deep freeze freezer that can reach temperatures of -31 F, so I thought of another idea. Do you think setting the food in dry ice (-110 F) for a day would be sufficient to kill single-celled Protozoans, like Cryptocaryon? Bacteria are not quite as much of a concern, but I have avoided any outbreaks of ich in this tank and want to continue that trend! I'm finding that Hikari has not revealed what their "3 step sterilization" process is. This makes me a bit suspicious that Protozoans might survive it.
It’s all about probabilities. Is a temperature that kills 95% of parasites as useful as a lower temperature that kills 99% of the parasites? And is either of them “safe” enough for tropical fish use? Sub-zero Celsius temperatures usually kill multicellular organisms quickly enough if used for sufficient time, but eggs are often much more resistant, and as you seem to understand, bacteria even more resistant. So far as human food handling is concerned, freezing is deemed sufficient for neutralising seafood parasites but not sufficient for killing bacteria. Hence, we don’t sterilise food by freezing it.
Provided you’re using foods sold for either human use or animal use, they should be safe enough. If you worried too much about the (say) 0.05% risk, neither you nor your tropical fish would eat anything that hadn’t been cooked above temperature X for Y minutes. (X and Y vary for the type of food being used, but it’s invariably high enough to denature proteins and so render bacteria inoperable. Unfortunately even in really hot conditions some bacteria can survive if not heated for long enough, most notoriously perhaps the bacteria in rice, which makes reheating cooked rice one of the classic risky foods.)
I think you’re looking for an absolute answer. But when it comes to cold, there isn’t a set protocol known to kill all pathogens in all foods with 100% safety; at least, not a practical one you can do at home. Hence freezing food keeps it safe for weeks or a few months, but doesn’t keep it safe for years or indefinitely. Contrast that with canning food, which uses heat, and which does indeed keep food safe for a very, very long time.
Brielle, one last thing. While I’m happy to answer questions, it’s really helpful if you send them via WetWebMedia. New content is what helps to pay the bills there!
Cheers, Neale>
Feeding and Nutrition                  ‏            11/9/14

Hello Bob and Crew!
I was talking to Neale Monks more about the possible safety concerns of preparing my own fish food recipes. Here is what he said! Feel free to add your own input. I would love to read what you think:)
-Lil Bri
<Ah yes; thank you. He (Neale) sent this note to my personal email; and I concur with what he has stated.
Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Feeding and Nutrition                  ‏            11/9/14

> Of course, yes, Bob. Thought more useful on/in WWM than sitting o my hard drive.
> Cheers, Neale
<Ah good. Thank you, BobF>

Feeding... reefs, frozen food       9/14/14
My name is Rob, and I own a large marine maintenance company on Cape Cod.
<Ahh! Have a friend; Steve Allen, thereabouts>
I've been around for almost 30 years, and know that in this business you can never "know it all."
<Ah yes; agreed>
I spoke to Bob Fenner at the University of Mass. Symposium in Maine last year, and thought I'd reach out to you guys for your input.
<Oh yes; am still about; visiting down in Bali currently>
I am a firm believer that you get more nutrition and more "substance" with frozen food, and that flakes are just like cheese puffs when it comes to food. A lot of my accounts have auto feeders on their tanks, but I recommend frozen feedings twice a week.
<Me too>
That being said, I have a pretty knowledgeable friend who tells me that frozen is bad for a tank because of the amount of "juice" and small
which leech into the tank with frozen.
<Ehh! Sometimes this liquid and bits are of great use in supplying the tank with necessary chemical nutrients... Unless they're over-fueling pest algae; I'd not be concerned. Oh, and I'll mention (having been in the aquarium maint. biz for decades as well) our huge use of Boyd's Chemipure in our service accounts... which largely eliminated all such issues>
He suggested cutting way down, and using a dropper to "spot feed" fish and corals. He also suggested that quality flakes and pellets were safer for a marine system than frozen.
<Well; to each their own... Myself; I would not change what you do>
Just looking for your thoughts on this. we have fish-only setups and reef setups, and feed quite a bit less for our reef tanks than our fish-only tanks.
<I'd bet most anything that with your frequent partial water changes there are very few problems that could be traced back to some "packing juice/s" and particulates from the frozen/defrosted foods... IF worried, you can/could rinse these in a net under a freshwater tap before feeding....
Myself? Nah>
Rob Shain
Seascapes Aquariums
_www.seascapesaquariums.com _ (http://www.seascapesaquariums.com)
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re Reefs     9/15/14

Thanks for the response, Bob!
<Ah, welcome Rob>
Actually, the friend critiquing my new fish room was Steve Allen. He's a great guy, and very knowledgeable.
<I do agree>
I know that he knows quite a bit about the hobby, but after 43 years of owning saltwater tanks, and now with a 3,000 gallon marine livestock
showroom, I find it very hard to just listen and be quiet. Some of the things he tells me I don't agree entirely with.
<Heeeee! I would hope there's always some room for differences... with folks able and willing to witness for what they believe in and the
reasons/rationale for it. Even Scott Michael and I disagree a good 5% or so; and likely about this amongst all of us here at WWM>
My line has always been that if you ask five guys the same question, they'll all give you a different answer......primarily because there are
many ways to accomplish the same thing.
<Ah yes>
Anyway, I know that the main reason he spoke about the frozen is that I have a very tough time with reef tanks. I'm a fish guy, and reefs are not my forte.
<I see>
My reef tanks have mushrooms and a couple of leathers, but nothing, seems to do well in them, and part of that is because of flow, part of it is because I over pack with live rock, and part of it is that my nitrates are up.....hence the frozen food comment.
<Can/could be quite a few "other things" as well>
I think that the basic problem I have with reefs is that they don't have enough flow......and that my employees change too much water when they service my tanks. I'm going to cut water changes down to no more than a 5% to 10% water change per visit. Also, I will definitely decrease the food going into my reef accounts.
<Practically speaking, systems cannot have too much (non linear) chaotic flow. Am out diving in places where the water "turns over" about every second... yeah, like 3600 turns per hour!>
We also have customers out there with reefs, and I'm wondering if it's physically possible to keep a reef going with service only every two
Steve says no, but I'm not giving up! My customers don't have the means to hire us to service every week.
<Can be done... with good gear, including auto-feeders... and likely remote sensors, sensing>
I guess that's about it for now.
Here's a link to a virtual tour of my showroom, in case you're interested.....
<Thank you>
Again, thanks for your response. If I have questions on anything in the future I hope you don't mind me asking you for the answers!
<Certainly. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Rob Shain

Hi Bob
When I reed books about feeding my fish there's often the word 'enriched' use especially when the author mentions brine shrimp.  Do I need to 'enrich' the frozen brine shrimp I give to my fish?

Mark Graham, Liverpool 

Thank you for this question Mark. I have a quite long and involved 'past' w/ Artemia salina (Brine Shrimp). A gentleman (Bill Soderberg, San Diego Brine Shrimp) in our town in CA, gets credit for developing much of the technology for collecting, preserving their cysts years back'¦ And another friend and his family (Andy Schmidt, San Francisco Brine Shrimp) used to live in town and did a good deal of the R & D for captive production away from the sea'¦ I've had discussions w/ many folks in the ornamental (petfish) and mainstream aquatic culture (which uses a HUGE amount of Artemia worldwide) re the issue of 'supplementing' live and not Brine Shrimp'¦ and on the larger question, it's at times highly variable food value period.

            As we used to say in the High School paper and test grading business, 'When in doubt, count it out''¦ Hence, I do default to encouraging supplementing Artemia regardless of its supposed nutritional value, frozen/defrosted and live.  What to use? Two items: HUFAs (Highly Unsaturated Fatty Acids like Omega-3s) and Vitamins. There are quite a few commercial (aquarium) products on offer that are one or both of these: Aquarium Marines' Selcon, GVH Series by H20 Life Aquarium Foods amongst several others.  Ocean Nutrition and others even offer pre-supplemented 'Enriched Brine Shrimp' if you'd rather. Some folks endorse the use of other materials like DHAs'¦

            Best to apply these supplements by soaking the food organisms, both rinsed and strained whether live or frozen first'¦ a few minutes ahead of each serving. The rinsing is for removal of undesirable liquid pollutants, but the supplement 'carrier' liquid is safe, even useful to introduce into marine systems.

            Lastly, a needed comment re Brine Shrimp use; do limit this. Artemia have a 'mild laxative' effect and its over-use can be detrimental. It's best to consider offering Brine as simply a 'treat' really; rather than a staple food item. Feeding it excessively, as with letting small children eat naught by sweets can result in poor behaviour and nutritional deficiency.

Hi Bob,

This may be a silly question, but should I be washing the frozen food that I'm feeding to my fish? I have read on forums that some people do this religiously, putting the frozen cubes in a sieve and rinsing them through with cold water. To me this seems way over the top. Surely if the fish need this type of precautious attention they are too delicate to keep?

At the moment I just fill a cup up with aquarium water and throw the cube in. After it has thawed I pour the solution into the aquarium. It seems to work fine for me. Should I be taking more care when introducing food, or are the people on the forums a little too anal in their approach?



Actually Chris, rinsing frozen/defrosted foods is not so much a measure to prevent biological disease transfer as it is to rinse out a good deal of possibly unwanted chemical pollution. Though there is some chance, even through a freezing process, of some undesirable microbe contamination, a far greater concern to folks with a desire to keep nutrients in check is restricting their introduction through such sources.

                Now, not everyone has such a need to limit nitrate, phosphates and more from their marine tanks, and indeed these are really absolutely required nutrients for what we keep as reef life, live rock et al.. Yes, this means that if you keep 'corals', macro-algae and other mixotrophic and chemo-autotrophic life, you do NOT want 0.0 NO3, HPO4 levels'¦ On the other hand, one does not want to have grossly more ready/soluble nutrient levels as they can lead to nuisance algal and other maintenance issues.                So'¦ to rinse or not to rinse? As too often the answer is, 'it depends''¦ IF you have a nutrient-hungry system, with low levels of nutrients, it may be to your advantage to 'pour it all in''¦ Likewise if you have a fish-only set-up, with a good deal of chemical filtration, a heavy hand for water changes, diluting liquid waste water with defrosted foods may be unimportant. But for folks who go through pains to procure clean freshwater to make up their expensive low-nutrient synthetic seawater, going to other means to keep nutrients out, rinsing such foods makes enormous sense. I suggest the employment of a good fine meshed 'brine shrimp net' of 10 cm. width for this practice.

                One note concerning disease transmission'¦ Irradiating foods, as the Gamma frozen food line by Tropic Marine Centre, eliminates this possibility altogether, in addition to greatly slowing spoilage once the packaging is opened.

Accidentally thawed wet-frozen food!    1/4/12
Hi crew,
Quick one for you tonight. I've searched the site but can't find an answer.
I accidentally left my wet-frozen daphnia and brine shrimp out on a bench for about 30 min.s today.
The foods thawed inside their little ice-block compartments but were still cool when I put them back in the freezer.
Am I able to use the foods still, or should I throw them away?
<Not to worry; this food is still fine>
Cheers and thanks for a great website,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Blonde Naso Tang, frozen foods  11/16/11
Beautiful fish about 7" 220 gal tank, frozen brine shrimp cube slipped from my hand tang took cube hole appeared stressed afterward died during the night, was the death possible caused from frozen cube?
<Appears so. I advocate soaking such frozen foods in freshwater to defrost and rinse out unwanted soluble nutrient... limiting eutrophication. Bob Fenner>
Re: Blonde Naso Tang
, frozen foods prep.  11/16/11
<Welcome. BobF>

Fish food safety, DIY    8/29/11
My mail is related to fish food this time:
1) How safe are frozen food. Parasites like ich, velvet infections, viruses...survive freezing. Have not been able to find this info anywhere.
In spite my intents, of asking (through the suppliers web page) of their knowledge about transmissible diseases in frozen foods, nobody has answered.
<Mmm, as far as I'm aware all parasites are killed via freezing, but not all bacterial issues on down... Hence TMC and other's use of Gamma radiation>
Do you consider H2O, San Francisco Bay Brand and the popular brands of frozen food to be reliable as parasite free food for reef and salt water fish ?
<Indeed I do. Have visited their facilities years back and know the owner/operator Andy Schmidt personally>
The only mix I cook at this time is the 50-50 one since it has brine, blood worm with I do not trust. I believe that brine ( at least live ) is to be avoided at all cost?
<Mmm, no; not at all costs... Artemia are employed by the millions of pounds annually in various aspects of aquaculture...>
2) Are home Hatchet brine safe?
<There have been some comments that "other" organisms, some protozoan, have "made it through" cyst drying, rehydration... But relative to other sources of loss (vitality, mortality), I consider this a very minor concern>
3) Would it be a good idea to set a discussion thread of best home prepared food ( recipes ) to share between us Wet Web Media followers?
<Certainly. There's a smattering of such on the site:
and the linked files at bottom>
My experience in the SW Aquarium has thought me the hard way about diseases and if that can be avoided for all new enthusiasts it will save a lot of
fish lives...
<I agree...>
That's for your time and help on this matter.
<Thank you. Bob Fenner>

Shrimp for food -- 08/22/10
Hello bob and staff,
Have a question about the shrimp below and all "from the H2O" type of foods. First, I bought these shrimp at Sea Food City in Mira Mesa.
<Oh! I live in Mira Mesa... on the edge of the Penasquitos Canyon... and have at times shopped at this fine (but often stinky) large Asian market>
They didn't know if they were fresh or salt water shrimp. I guess my ultimate question is can I feed these to my saltwater fish?
<Yes, but in moderation... as these animals have a good quantity of Thiaminase to them>
Does the shrimp being from fresh or saltwater really matter?
<At times, in some circumstances, yes... but generally, using such as just part... ten or so percent let's say... of foodstuffs, not much>
Can you help me identify these shrimp? Thanks so much. Josh
P.S. ---Package said "Baby Shrimp Corros Frzn. Vietnam/farm."
<Mmm, nope... Might be a Penaeid, even Macrobrachium... Bob Fenner>

Effects of feeding unthawed foods 5/18/10
Hi Guys, I remember years ago reading somewhere on the net that feeding frozen foods to fish without defrosting it first could lead to injuries including exophthalmia. What's your take on this? Thanks Rebecca
<Hello Rebecca. There's an argument among some aquarists that not thawing and rinsing off frozen foods allows a lot of liquid and particulate organic material to get into the aquarium that isn't consumed by the fish. This ends up as nitrate and phosphate, and that in turn affects water quality.
Whether this is actually significant is difficult to prove either way. If nitrate control is a big deal for you, e.g., you have a reef tank or some Tanganyikan cichlids, then by all means thaw off food and decant the "slurry" before using the food. If it's not a big deal, then don't lose any sleep over it. It certainly isn't going to cause fish to develop Pop-eye!
Do read here, and linked articles above:
Cheers, Neale.>

Rinsing Frozen Food (Managing Phosphate) -- 04/06/10
I have been having a bit of a struggle maintaining a low phosphate level. I even have a phosphate reactor and it's difficult to stay below 0.5.
Most of the time it's right at the 0.5 level -- unless I have recently changed the media. Then I can get 0 to 0.25 for a week.
<<Then this would seem to dictate the frequency at which you need to swap out the media (yes'¦expensive)'¦it may also indicate the reactor is 'undersized' for your system>>
I only use RO/DI water and test it to ensure the filters are doing the job.
<<Very good>>
Could it be that I am introducing phosphates as I feed frozen Mysis shrimp?
I don't do anything special -- just add tank water to thaw the cubes
<<This is what I do as well>>
and then feed with a turkey baster.
<<Some authors consider the thaw-water for frozen foods to be 'rocket fuel' for nuisance alga and the like due to the high nitrate/phosphate content. How much of this 'fuel' is present is likely variable among the differing manufacturers/brands available. The only way to truly know 'if' or 'how much' will be to test for such'¦but yes, the thaw-water is very probably a source of phosphate to your system. Try 'rinsing' for a week and see how this affects your phosphate level>>
Thanks for your comments.
<<Quite welcome'¦ EricR>>

Frogfish and frozen foods -- 3/14/10
I finally got my 4" Painted Frogfish to take frozen food instead of feeders (Mollies and Goldfish). I understand frozen shrimp are not good to use on a regular basis because of a vitamin B1 deficiency.
<Correct. The same for crustacean meats generally. Fine as part of the diet, but should be in the minority.>
How about calamari heads?
<Squid varies; some species contain thiaminase, some don't. You'll need the Latin name of the squid being sold in your grocery store, and then use that to compare against thiaminase content as published in the scientific literature. As a general case, treat ALL fish and seafood as thiaminase-rich unless you know for sure otherwise.>
<Lots of thiaminase.>
Small sardines?
<Contain thiaminase.>
And crab meat?
<Yep, contains thiaminase.>
Thanks in advance for your assistance.
<Do read Marco's excellent piece, here:
For my predators, I find tilapia fillet the best cheap, thiaminase-free
fish meat, and then supplement with squid, mussel, etc as treats.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Should I rinse frozen food to remove phosphates? 8/2/09
<Hi Jim, Jessy here>
I'm hoping you can help resolve what has become a HUGE disagreement between my wife and I. We have two tanks: one 65 gallon that houses our seahorses, that we've had for about three years, and one 210 gallon fairly new reef tank with numerous fish (9 chromis, 2 clownfish, 1 flame Hawkfish, 1 yellow tang, 1 lawnmower blenny, 1 rusty angel, and 1 Banggai cardinal) established about 3 months ago. The seahorse tank has a chronic massive problem with nuisance hair algae. I very much want to avoid having this same problem with the reef tank. Both tanks are regularly fed various frozen foods:
San Francisco Bay brand Marine Cuisine, Spirulina- and Omega3-enriched brine shrimp, and various brands of frozen mysis. The fundamental question that is the basis of our disagreement is whether or not it is important and beneficial to rinse these frozen foods after thawing them. As the person who has to clean the algae from the glass, rockwork, and every other surface of the seahorse tank, and the person who does all of the testing for nitrates and phosphates, and regularly replaces the phosphate adsorption media, I maintain that it is important to rinse the thawed frozen food in order to remove as much phosphate as possible before feeding the fish and seahorses. As the person who regularly feeds the fish and seahorses, my wife maintains that the "juice" from the frozen food contains important nutrients, and that rinsing the thawed food would remove essential nutrition that was specifically added by the manufacturer for the benefit of the fishes and other filter-feeding creatures in the tanks. We recently asked the local "expert" at our LFS, who said he personally doesn't rinse these types of frozen foods, because it helps feed the filter feeders. I'm hoping that you can help settle this disagreement we're having. I've been unable to get my wife to take the time to actually read the numerous sources I've located online, all of which state the importance of rinsing thawed frozen foods to remove phosphates. What does wetwebmedia.com have to say on this issue? To clarify: not asking for marital advice, just whether to rinse or not to rinse!
Thanks in advance,
<Absolutely yes, you should be rinsing your frozen food. You can do something as simple as putting it in a brine shrimp net and holding it under cold tap water to thaw and rinse it at the same time. The things that
you are rinsing off are mostly the binding agents for the frozen food... and yes it can lead to phosphate problems. Your filter feeders will benefit much more from a dose of phytoplankton or Cyclopeeze than they will from the little particles found in that frozen mush. I'm a huge proponent of PE Mysis, (who also suggest to rinse their product) and I noticed that a lot of the pieces and parts that get rinsed off are the lighter scrap, like tails and legs. When added to the tank, none of the fish even attempt to eat those pieces, passing them by for the meaty portions. I said all that to say, that by not rinsing you're putting unnecessary binding agents in your tank and particles of "food" that are just going to go unused and add to a high nutrient problem. By the way, with the hair algae the best way to combat it is to remove it with your fingers (yes elbow grease is
unavoidable) and I've always had success with large turbo snails. Every time you walk past the tank and they are not eating a patch, just pick them up and plop them on top of it. With continued water quality monitoring and a little bit of time, every hair algae problem treated that way has been solved for me. Now Bryopsis, is a whole other ball of wax. Make sure you're identifying it correctly. Hope that helps. Jessy>

Ocean Nutrition Frozen Formula 2. Marine Tank Feeding Applications, Gel-Binder Foods  3/3/07 Hi Gang. <Hello.> I have been a salt water aquarium hobbyist for a little over one year now. <Cool.> I have been using your book (The Conscientious Marine Aquarist) and site for information since day one when I started the tank. <Great.> Thanks to the crew and their wealth of information, I now have a healthy 72 gallon reef tank.  The FAQs are so complete that I was always able to find a question that someone else already asked. <It does work!....> Well, finally here is one that I can't find on your site.  What is the best feeding method for Ocean Nutrition frozen formula two?  I can't find any instructions on the packaging or on their website.  Is it better to thaw and drop the cube in and let the fish pick at it or crumple the cube using your hand and let the small pieces drop into the aquarium.  The cube doesn't break up easily because of the binder material. <I find it easier to cut with a sharp knife when it is frozen and then to allow it to defrost, the smaller chunks can then easily be fed to the animals.  For smaller animals, put the chunks into a cup of water let them get very soft then break it up with a turkey baster (in the cup) and administer tot he fish this way. There are also small mesh clips that allow the fish to pick at leisure: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=4441&N=2004+112972. I have never used the latter though.> If the method depends on the type of fish then the fish in my tank are a Regal Tang (4.5"), a Yellow Tang (2.5"), two Ocellaris Clown (1.5"), two Neon Goby (1"). Your experience opinion will be greatly value by me and the livestock in my tank. <And do keep in mind that not every specialty food will fit every animals needs, variety is key when dealing with diet.> Kind regards, <To you as well.> Vincent <Adam J.>

Marine fishes getting "pumped up" on bloodworms!  9/27/06 Dear Crew, <Brad> I have read, in your frequently asked questions, that it is alright to feed blood worms to marine fish as long as they are part of a varied and balanced diet of true marine foods.  In a 130 gallon reef tank, I have a Lawnmower Blenny, a Yellow Tang, and 6 Blue/Green Chromis, lots of filter feeders (fan worms, jewelbox clams, turkey wing mollusks, porcelain crabs, tunicates, hydroids, alligator sponges...) and I have serpent stars and peppermint shrimp.  I also have various SPS corals, and a beaded anemone that came with my live rock.  I normally feed: hand-shucked deep sea clams (minced for the anemone), frozen Hikari rotifers, zooplankton, DT's Phyto plankton, DT's oyster eggs and Hikari Marine S on a rotating basis.  By mistake, I ordered some bloodworms, so I have been feeding these a few times a week lately. <Sounds good> Now for the questions:  Since introducing the blood worms to the tank my Lawnmower Blenny and my Yellow Tang have both become wildly carnivorous.  The now eat all the above any time I feed the tank (every evening about 7 p.m.).  The poor Blenny has become to fat that I fear for his health.  Have you seen this before?  Will the meaty foods harm these two herbivores?   <Mmm, not likely harmful> On another topic, one of my largest Blue-green Chromis has red tissue showing in the area just in front of the exit port for his left gill (ignorance - I don't know the proper term for this part of the fish).  It appears that about a dozen scales are missing, and a few are hanging loose.  It looks as though he has been wounded to me, <Agreed> but I am a sorry judge of such things.  Are there any diseases that would produce such an appearance? <None that I'm aware of, no>   My Tang has become more aggressive since eating meat, and often flips his scalpel at Blenny (but never have I seen him draw blood). <Normal... shouldn't be a problem>   We also have one remaining Mantis Shrimp that has been seen but not apprehended. <Might be the perpetrator of the damsel injury...> Whether sick or wounded, I would really appreciate your thoughts on how best to care for my poor little Chromis. Thank you as always for all you do, Brad in Basalt <I would just leave as is... but try to remove the Mantis. Bob Fenner>

Frozen Rotifers as a Replacement for Live Cultures? - 09/09/06 Hello Ladies and Gents. <<Hey Amanda!>> Hope whoever gets this is having a fine day/night. <<So far so good <grin> >> It seems I have yet another question that I'm hoping someone there has an answer to. <<Let's find > For a bit of background.  I've been breeding my pair of black morph of Amphiprion ocellaris for about three years now.  I have had great success doing the age old green water rotifer culture then feeding the rotifers to my hatchlings. <<Okay>> Never really thought about how much time I put into maintaining these cultures, until my fianc?gave me a colt (as in a little baby horse). <<What?!  Another hobby/interest that's not aquatic related!!!  Just razzing you Amanda...  What you say is true...my wife tells me I spend way too much time with my reef, and not near enough doing chores/working around the house.  Hmm, maybe that's not quite the same...>> No don't get me wrong, I was tickled pink when he gave him to me, and I love him right to death, but I just don't seem to have enough time in my day anymore. <<I do understand>> (Just in case you wanted to know how my day goes) I get up at 5:30, walk the dogs, check on and generally potter about with all the fish tanks, shower, drive to work (this all happens before 7:30).  Work from 7:30 to 4 usually skipping lunch to try and get everything done so I can make it home to potter about with the green water/rotifer cultures. <<Hee-hee!>> Pick the fianc?up from work at 6 drive out to the property, feed brush and train my colt, get back home round about 8:30ish and pick up some nasty disgusting fast food on the way (I HATE FAST FOOD).  Walk the dogs, wolf down my now cold nasty disgusting fast food, and if I'm really lucky I make it to bed by 11:30.  This has been going like this for about 2 months now and I'm EXHAUSTED!! <<Mmm, I think I see the problem...you need to find a fianc?that can drive and cook!>> Just in case you thought I could sleep on the weekends, oh no, I can't. <<But of course not...>> My weekends are just as full.  So now that you know more then you ever wanted to know about my life I'll get to the question. <<Thank you for sharing <grin> >> It got to the point where I was going to stop my clownfish breeding.  I just couldn't find enough time in the day. <<Mmm, yes...decisions>> Then it hit me FROZEN ROTIFERS!!!!!! <<Indeed!  I feed these to my reef tank daily>> And I want to know if my plan might just work.  My clownfish larval tank is circular so there are no dead spots, <<Ah yes, and no sharp corners for larvae to be trapped in...smart>> I have a slow pump (fine filter mesh over the outflow so I don't lose my little fish) emptying the tank from the bottom going through all the filter media pumped up into a trickle filter resupplying the tank diagonally from the top so as to produce circular turbulent flow. <<I see>> Now if I rigged up a slow drip container with bubbler filled with frozen rotifers (that was surrounded by a sheath which could hold ice to keep the rotifers from going off) that dripped into this tank would the larval clownfish hit the rotifers or do they feed on a motion response. <<Mmm, a good point/question...but one I think you'll only answer with some experimentation>> And if they feed on a motion response would the circulation in the round tank keep them suspended for long enough and provide enough turbulence to give the rotifers a semblance of swimming to entice the larval clownfish to strike? <<Is possible.  You may also want to consider adding a bubble-wand along the bottom of one long side of the tank.  This would provide a "gentle" flow pulling water (and rotifers) off the bottom and pushing to the top where it "rolls" across and down the other side to be pulled back across the bottom and then back up again.  This is a method used on DIY "Kreisel" tanks>> Is it possible will they take the frozen rotifers so I won't have to maintain my green water and rotifer cultures anymore?  Or is it bye-bye to baby clownfish?? <<Hard to say...but worth a try I think.  The only real downside I see to this is the possible fowling of the larvae tank from an excess of frozen (dead) rotifers in the system due to the high rotifer-to-larvae ratio required for successfully raising the fry.  Maybe turning off all flow will allow the rotifers to be drawn to/collect on the filter screen for easier removal>> Thanks, Amanda <<Happy to assist.  EricR>>

Cyclop-eeze question   1/22/06 Hello Crew, <Hi Vince> First let me say your website is great!  Thanks for all of the posts and advice. <You're welcome> I picked up some Cyclop-eeze (freezerbar.com) today and by accident left it outside of the freezer at room temperature for about 7 1/2 hours.  On the bag it says "Keep Frozen!  Do not allow product to thaw.  Will I harm my fish and corals if I use it now or should I throw it out and buy a new bag?  I've never used this stuff before and the warning seemed strange. Thanks for any insight you can give. <Much like meat, would you make a Hamburg if the meat was sitting out for 7 1/2 hours?  To be on the safe side I wouldn't use it.  James (Salty Dog)> Vince

Freezing live bloodworms 12/10/05 Hey! I am from Bombay, India. In here we don't get Mysis or any other frozen food too frequently. I was wondering if t is safe to purchase live Blood Worms and then freeze them in the freezer and feed the salt water fish once or twice a week. <If they accept the food, then this would work.> <<Many saltwater fishes, butterfly fishes for example, go BERSERK when they see these worms hit the water.  Marina>> Just a variety in diet would be good for the fish. My question is will the freezing help in getting rid of the unwanted infections present in the gutter born blood worms? <It should get rid of most parasites. I would soak them in saltwater first before freezing.> Thanks in advance. <Welcome! Best regards from Shanghai, John.> 

Frozen food question 8/3/05 Hello, <Hi there> Been researching your site for the last couple of years as I've set up my marine system.  My question regards feeding frozen food with gel binder in it.  Normally with Mysis or a food like that without gel binder, I thaw it in RO water, drain the excess and feed.  The shrimp all separate and pour in as individuals.  If I'm using formula one or two with gel binder, am I supposed to leave it as a whole thawed cube and let the fish pick at it? <You can... some folks advocate leaving out a few minutes, swishing in a net to defrost. Most binder residue is removed through vacuuming, water changes...> I've searched the archives and can't find anything on this.  Thanks for all the help. Brian <Thank you for writing. Bob Fenner>

Frozen brine Hi,  <Hello Sara> I am soaking my frozen brine shrimp cubes with Garlic Guard (by SeaChem) for my new very small blue regal tang. Can I thaw the shrimp and mix in the garlic guard and vitamin supplement and leave it in the fridge? And if so for how long?. Also can I refreeze the shrimp after mixing the supplements?  <Sara, yes, you can mix the supplements in and leave it in the fridge, which is what I do. I wouldn't refreeze it, like anything else, not suppose to refreeze. James (Salty Dog)> Thanks  <You're welcome>

Feeding Questions <Hi, MikeD here> Thanks for all your help in the past, but of course the questions keep coming!<THAT'S often what keeps us hooked on the hobby for decades as it's an ongoing learning process that's always a challenge to improve.> In reading your PufferFaqs, it says we should freeze shrimp, clams, etc for 1 week to get rid of any bacteria.<There is a huge danger in generalizing, but basically this is correct, and often freezing can kill things far more detrimental than bacteria, such as true parasitic worms, flukes, etc.>  You also state that Puffers, mine is a dogface puffer, love live crawfish.  Is there any danger of bacteria if I feed Scooby Doo (my puffer) the live crawfish?<Here the answer is close to a definitive no. By being a freshwater crustacean, the odds of harboring a parasitic organism that can make the switch is almost nil, thus actually safer.  With many marine fish there is a real danger in feeding them freshwater foods due to a difference at the molecular level in fats, lipids and proteins, but this doesn't appear to be anywhere as severe in crustaceans as in fish. An added benefit is that a puffer's teeth grow non-stop, like those of a rat, hamster or other rodent and actually NEED to be constantly worn to prevent them from overgrowing and causing eventual starvation. In short, a good basic diet of frozen marine shrimp, crab, squid and mollusks with live treats such as the crayfish will keep the animal healthier and probably even happier.> Also, our Naso Tang will only eat seaweed and we've been giving her Seaweed Selects (adding additional Selcon).  You have mentioned using Nori Seaweed and I was wondering if one was better than the other.<Actually, this is a yes and a no.  As much variety as possible is usually the key to the greatest success as in nature these fish browse on literally hundreds of different foodstuffs and we, as hobbyists, are trying to provided a suitable substitute.  A good flake would likely also be in order and I'd suggest trying so angel formula cubes w/sponge occasionally as well. In general tangs belonging to the genus Naso seem to include a much higher percentage of plankton than some of the others, thus need additional protein.>  Also, just as an FYI, when I originally started giving our Naso the seaweed, I was not putting Selcon on it.  She seemed to start losing some color and was developing white blotches.  It did not look like any illness and she was eating fine.  I think these were different than the spots Nasos get when stressed, since they were always there.   However, once I started adding the Selcon, her color came back and I believe the little white she has is just part of her coloring.<All of the Nasos are capable of some rather startling color changes, and in the wild it's been noticed that they often turn white or at least drastically lighten when approaching a "cleaning station" to be serviced by parasite removing animals like cleaner wrasses, gobies and shrimp. It's also just possible that you were seeing early warning signs of HLLE or "hole in the head/lateral line erosion" which is a condition resulting from improper diet rather than a true disease and you "nipped it in the bud"> Thanks for all your help.  I think I've become a WetWebMedia addict.<It also sounds like you're becoming an accomplished fish keeper and developing very nice powers of observation as well. Something many never learn is that there is a HUGE difference between looking at your charges and actually "seeing" them.   While it may sound corny, I feel that fish communicate  through both body language and coloration and once you start "listening" with your eyes they'll have quite a lot to tell you.> Carol

Is this food good for my fish? Hi WWMC, <Hello Ron> My wife recently purchased a package of frozen seafood at a grocery store.  It contains a combination of blanched octopus, cuttlefish, squid, shrimp and cooked mussels.  I won't give them the cooked mussels, but would it be alright to feed them the blanched food? Thanks in advance, Ron <Should be fine... take care to make sure the pieces are small (chopped up maybe) enough to swallow... and not overfeed. There are formulae for making foods by grinding up or using a blender with these sorts of seafood medleys... plus binder/s, terrestrial and aquatic "greens" as well. Bob Fenner>

Books, Aquariums, etc. Morning Bob; Just where were you 25 years ago anyway? **grin** <Here in S. Cal. teaching H.S. science for a while> Things kept rolling around the old noggin all night so I thought I'd throw a couple of balls your way and see which way they bounce. Are you familiar with the SCUBA diver identification books by Paul Humann and Ned DeLoach? <Yes. Have even met them at trade shows in the field (DEMA), and a friend in town (John Jackson, Odyssey Publishing) is the one who put them up to the "Pacific Fishes" title along with Gerald Allen and Roger Steene> When I first started catching things and throwing them in aquariums, the only book I had of any consequence was "The Fishes of the Northern Gulf of Mexico", now out of print and I honestly don't remember the author....no [photos, lots of line drawings, but good enough I could identify a 1/4" transparent fry as a Great Barracuda (I raised it in a tank just to be sure!). MUCH later, the Humann books started coming out and IDing the fish became a little easier, but I was always stuck with the same problem.....great, now know WHAT it is, but how do you keep it alive? <Yes... you can see a review of one of the earlier Kuiter TMC books in which I made the (to him) irritating comment that the works ought to have more "aquarium husbandry" material... after all, they are being published, distributed by an aquarium co.> Which is pretty much what I've been doing for the last 25 years and seems like a natural! "The Great American Marine Aquarium" or some such. In 1969 I thought any fish with 6 "legs" that runs across the bottom like a lizard would HAVE to sell good, even if it wasn't as brilliant as some of the reef fish that were dominating the market at the time, so when I went back to Michigan and ended up managing a LFS I had a buddy send some up, and I was right...they sold like hotcakes! My point here, of course, is that the fishes from the Gulf of Mexico are a largely unexploited market whose time may have finally come, not just the reef fish, but many other warm water species as well, not to mention marine snails, invertebrates, macroalgae, etc. (That's why my clean up crew works so good....there are some GREAT scavengers that are rarely imported to the trade but work much better than what is currently sold.) Another thing about the hobby is that the foods offered in LFS are woefully inadequate for fish that have grown up. Silversides, for example, are some of the worst food for marine predators as a staple diet in the ocean, as they are way too high in fats and oils. The majority of marine predators offered for sale in the trade would rarely, if ever, see a silverside in their life...mackerel, jacks, tuna, etc., yes, but not most reef fish. The reason silversides are offered for sale is because they can be easily trawled in large numbers using existing technology already in place for sardines and anchovies, NOT because they are a good food for marine aquarium fish. Their natural prey is "rough" fish...grunts, pinfish, croakers, etc, that are dark fleshed, low oil bottom species. For 5 years I've been researching and experimenting and believe there's a huge, unexploited cottage industry laying here that would bring in $50,000-$100,00 the first year (no time in the red required) in packaging and selling frozen feeders of the correct types, and a market actually BEGGING already in place as well. <Interesting possibility... you know of course the "reason" silversides et al. are sold as such... easy to catch (by others)...> I even went so far as check on packaging and marketing costs.....zip lock bags, styro freezing containers, cardboard boxes and such. I also found what licenses were needed, the cost, etc., restrictions and so on. I had two major problems, 1) This old body just can't do it......I'm on 100% disability and heavy pain meds as a result of the spinal injury while with the local PD, plus it's complicated by nerve damage from Agent Orange, which the government still denies (there's an interesting story there sometime), and 2) I can't find anyone with enough brains to listen to me when I try to GIVE them the idea. <Sometime let me relate to you how the "dried algae" concept came about in aquarium foods... friends at Tideline had dried product (Nori) going past human consumption quality/date... asked Chris Turk (Ocean Nutrition) to try out, a big hit, lifted by Julian Sprung (again)...> I had one guy, a .com whiz kid that almost went into it with me on a partnership, but ended up backing out because of the manual labor involved. OK...hope you had your coffee already when you opened this. Care to share any thoughts? Any and all would be appreciated. Mike D. <I could/would solicit the idea about... maybe someone would "bite"... I too am otherwise too busy, don't need the money to start, participate in such adventures... Instead am very happy with "content provision" (magazine writing, photography, spieling, and books in our and natural history interests... and for money, established investments). Do like the idea, but sense that the current players in the fish food field would just lift it. Bob Fenner>

Re: Books, Aquariums, etc. <I could/would solicit the idea about... maybe someone would "bite"... I too am otherwise too busy, don't need the money to start, participate in such adventures... Instead am very happy with "content provision" (magazine writing, photography, spieling, and books in our and natural history interests... and for money, established investments). Do like the idea, but sense that the current players in the fish food field would just lift it. < Hey Bob; If I sounded like I was soliciting funding/assistance or whatever, I'm not. <Nope... thought you were just asking for feedback, input> Been there/done that, and while I think it's A) an extremely viable opportunity for a cottage industry, more importantly, B) I believe it would highly benefit the aquarium industry as a whole, pertaining to keeping and feeding any/all of the medium and large predatory species. I've attached a photo of what I feed MY carnivores and I find I have LESS obesity with MORE feeding and far less problem getting new fish to eat these than frozen silversides or anything else on the market. If somebody I know could profit, it would be nice, but if not, screw 'em, and let the fish food companies steal the idea. Once SOMEBODY markets the damned things 95% of the "how do I get my.....to eat" are solved. New fish survive longer and old fish stay healthier. Whether it has anything to do with breeding success, who know, but they're far better than silversides IMO. Thanks,
Mike D.>
<Will post... good idea/s. Bob F>

Rough Feeders Thanks Bob; While hanging out at Reef Central I actually ran a test, took applicants based on type of fish they had (groupers, lionfish, eels, anglers, triggers, etc.) and sent enough frozen wild rough feeders to 25 people across the country for 6 months each and had them e-mail me how their fish did and reacted at the end. <Good market testing> All sent positive results, and liked them 200% better than foods available at the local LFS For preds. which I expected, as I'd been doing it for 25 years! LOL! I've got all I need anytime I want them and it's just frustrating when people keep asking what and how and no-one will collect and market the answer! Go figure. Tanks again, Mike D. <How about hiring some local kids to bag all up, some old freezer/refrigerators... getting an assistant to help you with orders... do you have fishermen/folk that provide you with a steady supply? Bob F>
Re: Rough Feeders <How about hiring some local kids to bag all up, some old freezer/refrigerators... getting an assistant to help you with orders... do you have fishermen/folk that provide you with a steady supply? Bob F> LMAO As for me, I collect my own...it's called hydro therapy. Without doing it my legs get worse, the muscles atrophy and I'll be in my wheelchair all the time. Sure, it hurts like a bitch and gets harder every day, but my fish are happier, healthier and I get the occasional exotic that's a hell of a perk. As for hiring kids, freezers, etc., get real Robert.....in this day and age, without a bar code and the appropriate licenses, nothing's going to happen. Hey, I did my bit in several areas...let somebody who's not crippled show some initiative for the whole damned hobby.....so far, everyone I talk to is too damned lazy! <Or busy> My fish are doing great and if they keep feeding goldfish because that's all the LFS carries, I'll tell them, but I'm not losing too much sleep over it. The answer's right there for anyone who wants to look, and profitable enough to make it worthwhile. Not only is the resource not utilized, they're not even used as cat food! When the shrimper hauls up his net, he collects the shrimp and all the rest that's dead by then is dumped back overboard. I can categorically prove, by the way, that some Snowflake eels eat fish....I still think it's the males!**grin**
<Bob F>
Apologies Hey Bob; If that last reply sounded cranky, it wasn't meant to. Honestly, my day is 10 min. standing, 1 hr sitting, 1 hr. laying down, then start all over again and that's on heavy drugs. <No worries> I can walk maybe 50 yards, 100 in the water hence the hydrotherapy)**grin** On most days I've got all I can handle just to take care of the house, my animals and me.....the rest, even that's too much. I'm not complaining, I've had a great life, even if too much of it WAS on the Jerry Springer show!**grin** It just irritates me when I find a way someone can work 4 days a week, 10 months a year, make probably $50k and they are too lazy...and NO, I'm not referring to you, my friend. But man, these things do make keeping preds SO much easier and everyone keeps talking about "for the good of the hobby and all the fish in captivity"....uh huh. Sure. Sorry...no more soap boxes...I promise!!!!! Smile, Mike How's THIS for getting animals to get along?*grin** <Would you like to chat with Pablo Tepoot (Spectrum fish foods, New Life Publishing et al.) re this possibility? He's down in Homestead, still very active in the trade. Bob F, who spoke with him today on the phone>

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>

Cyclop-eeze distributors? 2/13/04 Anthony, Were can I buy Cyclops-eeze at? Have been looking everywhere.  Thanks  Charlie <It is  really an outstanding product... a great contribution to mariculture of fishes and invertebrates. It is dense and nutritious food and tiny enough for many coral polyps (unlike baby brine). Produced by Argent, it may be best to contact them for a larger list of distributors. But a keyword search on google turns up fine mail order companies like Premium Aquatics: http://www.premiumaquatics.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=PA&Product_Code=CYCLOP-FR2OZ&Category_Code=Mysis note that it can be purchased in frozen, freeze dried or flakes... each has merits and disadvantages. For sps corals and inverts, seek the frozen... for LPS corals and small fishes... FD... and for the biggest mouths, the flakes. best regards, Anthony>

PO4 in Frozen food -An Informal Experiment >Hi Marina/Bob, >>Hello Jorell.  Marina today. >I hope you guys are well... >>Indeed, and yourself as well. >I do not know if you should publish this as it may be half$$@& job, but, I just read something on the FAQ's just now talking about draining frozen foods to lower the risk of contaminating the water.  About a couple of years ago, I had a algae bloom in my tank and was trying to source where the PO4 was coming from (I found out eventually it was the bio load, duuhhh, missed the obvious).  Any way I started testing various things including the frozen food I had been feeding my fish by diluting it in a fixed measure of water.  While I know every batch may be different I did this over a few months and averaged the results so I have some kind of guideline to go by. >>Interesting, and I like the idea. >I used to feed my fish a mix of: 1) Hikari - Mysid Shrimp 2) Hikari - Brine Shrimp 3) Sally's spirulina enriched Brine Shrimp 4) A mixed frozen pack of Shrimp Mussel and squid. I will have to find my book where I have the (brand name of the Mixed food pack) and figures, but I found that, the Sally's Brine Shrimp had the highest Po4 content followed by the Hikari Mysid shrimp and surprisingly the Hikari - Brine Shrimp had very little PO4, all tests were done with a Salifert test kit. >>Yes, if you do find your results it would be interesting to see.  Thanks for the input!  Marina >Regards, Jorell

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>

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 Petlands 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>

-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

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? Thanx <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>

Frozen Food & Skimming Dear WWM Crew, Hope everyone had a good holiday. I have a question about some frozen foods I had ordered. I decided to stock up on some frozen foods from an online retailer and everything had arrived defrosted. Probably not a good idea to order in 95 degree heat. The Formula One, Two, Spirulina and Angel Formulas were still cool, but they were almost like soup. The clams and squid were pretty much thawed as well. The dry ice was completely evaporated also. I have re-froze everything and it looks fine but I called two pet shops and they both told me to dump it. So, valuing your advice more I'm asking: Can this food be salvaged or should I dump it? <Dump it my friend.> One more question if you would. I started using a Polyfilter about a month ago, and ever since my skimmers produce very little skimmate now. Would I be better off not using the Polyfilter and let the skimmers go to work? <This maybe unrelated. Do try cleaning your skimmer and its pump thoroughly, including a run in a hot water and vinegar bath to remove deposits. This usually vastly improves performance on skimmers that have been running for over six months.> The Polyfilter is not necessary so I'm wondering if it would be better to let the skimmers take the crud out before it has a chance to break down. Thanks in advance, Mike <Have a nice evening. -Steven Pro>

Feeding with frozen food I currently put a cube of Formula 1 in a plastic container in the refrigerator to thaw out before feeding it to my fish.  <a good idea> I usually takes about a week to go through 1 cube due to the fact that I only have a couple of fish. Is this ok?  <it is a bit of a long time... and it really sounds like underfeeding no matter how small your fishes are> Will the food go bad in the refrigerator if left in there to long?  <I suspect that you are OK, but I'd honestly suggest using a little more food or just by the flat packs in stead of the cubes so that you can break and thaw smaller pieces daily. It just sounds like a bad idea to keep it thawed that long> If this is not good what is the best way to feed my fish and corals with frozen food? Shaun Nelson <best regards, Anthony>

Thawed Fish Food Mr. Fenner, I've emailed in the past about more serious fish matters, but this is a minor one. I thank you in advance for your help. I seem to have a bad habit of leaving frozen shrimp packages out. This evening, I left a full package of frozen plankton, and a mostly full package of brine shrimp out for ~5 hours. They thawed through, but are packaged in plastic bubbles with aluminum foil sealing them. In the past I've thrown them out, but is that really necessary? <In general not in my opinion. Unless there is obvious "rot" as in smelly decomposition, I suspect marine and freshwater animals encounter such states of "freshness" in the wild> I feel silly about having to ask, but with the frequency I do this, it could get quite costly. Thanks very much, John Sanders <No question asked in sincerity is silly. Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner> John M. Sanders

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