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View Full Version : Would like to try continuous feeding with dried coral foods


droog
08/26/2014, 03:55 AM
Hi,

I'd like to setup up a continuous feeding regimen for my 120g mixed reef.

Unfortunately I can't buy live foods (pods, rotifers, zooplankton etc) where I live, so I'm looking at products like reef rods, cylopeeze powder, FM / TLF products etc. I have some of these already and can dose a few times a week manually, but
I have a beautiful pink flower tree (sclenonepthya) that seems to need constant plankton source to really thrive.

Has anyone tried adding the powdered foods on a continuous basis, and if so could they please share their method and experience?

I thinking of making up a dilute mixture in RO/DI water enough for say one week at a time, and adding over the course of the day with a dosing pump that I already have setup. I'll need to figure out a way to keep the particles in suspension in order to maintain an even level of feeding, considering

a) putting an airstone in a liquid storage container to agitate the mixture
b) adding (say) sodium alginate to my mixture to keep particles in suspension
c) using some kind of automated agitator or stirrer before dosing pump comes on

I don't really think a) will work. In fact this whole idea could be a waste of time - if so please tell me! If there are other ideas do please let me know. I will happily share my results if I'm able to get this setup.

-droog

GreshamH
08/26/2014, 12:33 PM
Just search this forum... plenty have walked this path before you.

droog
08/26/2014, 08:12 PM
I searched the forum and read all the continuous feeding threads before posting.

Most of these setups involve live food which in turn requires refrigeration. I've seen all the setups with mini-fridges, wine coolers etc. Perhaps if I lived in the states and could buy your reef nutrition products I'd be copying one of those setups.

I've not found anyone dosing only artificial food with regular dosing pump, hence my question.

-droog

noy
08/27/2014, 05:54 AM
I use an apex feeder with dry coral foods inside. The feeder dumps the food onto the tank and I have a powerhead situated under the feeder to propagate the food. I also use live foods. You need a pump to "suck" the food from the surface of the water.

dry foods once it is mixed in water spoils fairly quickly and you will have to refrigerate it anyways so I don't think just a dosing pump will work. If you want to see who fast it spoils - mix up some dry foods like reef roids in a small dish/bowl and just leave it out for 5-6 hours - it will smell horrible and full of NH3.

A 120g tank is a huge tank to get the food saturation levels for continuous feeding (imo). If all you have is one nps soft coral - you may want to just target feed.

droog
08/27/2014, 07:20 AM
I use an apex feeder with dry coral foods inside. The feeder dumps the food onto the tank and I have a powerhead situated under the feeder to propagate the food. I also use live foods. You need a pump to "suck" the food from the surface of the water.


Cool I could definitely do that. Either the pump, or program the Apex to turn off the skimmer & return pump for 15 mins. I guess the food would start to sink before the food went into my overflow. Don't have an AFS yet but was thinking of getting one for fish food.


dry foods once it is mixed in water spoils fairly quickly and you will have to refrigerate it anyways so I don't think just a dosing pump will work. If you want to see who fast it spoils - mix up some dry foods like reef roids in a small dish/bowl and just leave it out for 5-6 hours - it will smell horrible and full of NH3.

A 120g tank is a huge tank to get the food saturation levels for continuous feeding (imo). If all you have is one nps soft coral - you may want to just target feed.

I see, that makes sense. Hadn't thought about coral foods decaying but once hydrated it would make sense they would start to go bad quickly.

You are also probably right about the amount of food I would need to add for continuous feeding too. Mine is not an NPS dominated tank. Only other NPS is colony of Sun corals, but they are thriving and multiplying like crazy already in my tank. Only the Sclenonepthya is unhappy.

Target feeding is probably the way to go. I could do the cut off coke bottle trick I read about here to give it a dense food environment for a while. Just seems like an ugly fix and needs constant manual attention where I was hoping for something a bit more automated.

I had no idea it was an NPS coral, it was given to me by the guys that helped me setup the tank. They didn't tell me it was NPS (if they even knew themselves). Now I do the research before adding anything...

Cheers!
-droog

noy
08/27/2014, 09:22 AM
You have the idea with the AFS. I programmed a virtual outlet which turns on 6x a day. It spins the drum of the AFS 3x on each session. The return/skimmer stay off for about 30 minutes. The powerhead are cranked to max so the food stays whirling around.

Just a note - powdered foods will sit on the surface of the water and won't break the water tension unless you have a powerhead that creates a bit of a whirlpool effect.

Target feeding is the way to go for your setup. The coke bottle only works if you have a means to agitate the water column in the bottle - otherwise the food just sinks to the bottom. I just use a squirter and makes sure the food gets squirted evenly to all the polyps.