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View Full Version : help me pick the "right" food for gorgs. and sponges.


Devaji108
01/04/2016, 11:15 AM
Hello friends,
so after a few years out of the hobby am back back and slowly setting up a 40br that will have quite a few photosynthetic gorgs. and some sponges. once I have sucess with these. i would like to try my hand at a few NPS..

so my question is what what is the best supplemental food?
tank will be ran just a bit "dirty" no skimming only using ATS and h2o changes.

thanks guys!

Devaji108
01/04/2016, 01:49 PM
what do you guys think of reef chilli with a home made smoothie everyonce in a while?

Limestone maker
01/04/2016, 02:00 PM
Hello,
I would not mix Photosynthesis and NPS gorgs. they have different requirement.

one wants Light and clean water [so algae wont cover it]
and the NPS needs dirty water and no light.

best supplement food for Photosynthetic gorgs ? Light ! they are photosynthesis, and grow fine given low nutrients and alot of light and good flow.

if you want to go NPS, try it with a dedicated system. you will be disappointed otherwise.

Devaji108
01/04/2016, 04:27 PM
ok my bad I thought you could mix the 2...
I know they need light i just want to make sure the sponges live a long a heathy life...and figured it would help the gorgs. some too. :)

Treed
01/05/2016, 09:15 AM
I have to say, I'm mixing photo and non photo gorgs with great luck. Both are growing and happy. And the photo gorgs love the extra food.

Saxman7
01/05/2016, 10:58 PM
I have to say, I'm mixing photo and non photo gorgs with great luck. Both are growing and happy. And the photo gorgs love the extra food.

Treed, I agree with you entirely!
Personally I have noticed that every photo-gorg that i've kept in a lower lighted system along side nps gorgs- even the Eco-gorgs which I have a quite a few different species of, grow extremely well in high nutrients systems with less light. Now that's not to say that can't be grown well under light like there name implies, cause they do. and very well too. It almost seems as if they just substitute the two sources of energy with one another as provided. if you want to get the best of both worlds, get creative with your aquascaping and design it so there are over hangs , crevices, and lower light areas that will have strong flow(with variation is even better!) along with being part of the "Natural Path" that broadcasting foods will travel through consistently when dosed into the tank. these are the ideal types of spots to place nps gorgs in a more mixed reef setting and also add a cool artistic aspect because they can be placed upside down or what ever direction you please as long as those requirements are met (and you know how to use glues and expoxys to mount the corals) along with making sure you design a system that can run stable with more feedings.

Devaji, the important thing to understand is sponges are kind of in there own separate group aside from Nps coral. now that said, they are a group of organisms that GENERALLY do better in a system like one designed more specifically for Nps as there is more nutrients, the frequent use of carbon sources(there bacterias always seem to benefit sponges) and lower light as most sponges are not typically photo synthetic, but there are exceptions.

My best recommendation Devaji would be to start adding some more common "Lps" type Nps corals-(large polyp stonies that are non- photo) such as species from the Tubastrea family like sun corals and dendros. most of the species are generally a good place to start as you build a good discipline for feeding and maintenance regimen with things such as target feeding and water changes. It will also help tremendusly with improving your observation skills like knowing what to look for as far as health,feeding response, being able to gauge NO4 and PO4 levels eye and knowing it's wc time and really learning the thresh holds of how much nutrients your tank can stand. from there you can figure out how much food the tank can stand and come up with a good balance as far as amounts of target feeding to broadcasting ratios, how much and how often of each. Start trying some easier nps gorgs and see how they do with those conditions and then really figure out what you want to gear your tank towards (do you want to do more filter feeders or target feeders like tubastreas and other Lps Nps corals?) try some different sponge species along the way and see how they fare aswell!

Hope this info helps Devaji!, check out the Sticky thread that mike began titled something around the lines of "common species to stock a non-photo tank" and the other sticky thread the other Austin posted about sun corals

noy
01/06/2016, 05:56 AM
Nothing wrong with mixing photosynthetic and NPS gorgs. Its a very natural combination. I'm fairly convinced some of the photosynthetic gorgs require feeding in order for them to be sustained long term.

As for foods, the sponges require bacteria sized foods. I am not sure the bacteria from carbon dosing is taken up by sponges - this is just a theory that has been suggested. Most people use phyto - oyster feast for sponges. Its a bit hit/miss whether a particular type of sponge will take in your system. Some are even photosynthetic (like the blue sponges).

For the gorgs, live foods are the best - freshly hatched bbs, rotifers or even frozen versions of these. Oyster feast is also great.
The dry foods like reef roids, reef chilli are good supplements. I have been using a ground up mysis and this seems to work for the gorgs.
Photosynthetic gorgs are not always easier - some like the purple ribbon/blade (pterogorgia) are quick hard to keep.

Don't be afraid to use a skimmer - you may derive more benefits from using a skimmer (in a overflow/sump setup) than not.

Good luck and post photos.

calk me Q
01/06/2016, 08:30 AM
Agree with noy and Saxman

laga77
01/06/2016, 01:14 PM
I have been using a ground up mysis and this seems to work for the gorgs.


How do you grind the mysis up? Like in a mortar and pestle? If so this should work with other fresh foods like clams and oysters.

Saxman7
01/06/2016, 02:10 PM
How do you grind the mysis up? Like in a mortar and pestle? If so this should work with other fresh foods like clams and oysters.

I've been using a fine cheese grater over a red solo cup, works pretty decent!

Limestone maker
01/06/2016, 02:42 PM
interesting ! how do you guys manage to keep the nutrients low enough, so the photo Gorgs dont get covered with algae ?

I originally wanted to try the same Idea, about 4 years back, but after a year of trying, I gave up, moved all the Photo ones to my SPS tank and made the separate system NPS only and removed the lights.

for me FM food works the best, but I could personally never get the balance of feeding enough to keep the None Photo ones open and growing, and water clean enough for high light intensity !

photo is somewhat old
http://i1084.photobucket.com/albums/j416/bigray1002/Mobile%20Uploads/IMG_6495_zpsirarkz0o.jpg (http://s1084.photobucket.com/user/bigray1002/media/Mobile%20Uploads/IMG_6495_zpsirarkz0o.jpg.html)

http://i1084.photobucket.com/albums/j416/bigray1002/Mobile%20Uploads/IMG_6513_zpsjulzfup7.jpg (http://s1084.photobucket.com/user/bigray1002/media/Mobile%20Uploads/IMG_6513_zpsjulzfup7.jpg.html)

http://i1084.photobucket.com/albums/j416/bigray1002/Mobile%20Uploads/IMG_6515_zpstvkbfzni.jpg (http://s1084.photobucket.com/user/bigray1002/media/Mobile%20Uploads/IMG_6515_zpstvkbfzni.jpg.html)

laga77
01/06/2016, 04:09 PM
[QUOTE=Limestone maker;24234174]interesting ! how do you guys manage to keep the nutrients low enough, so the photo Gorgs dont get covered with algae ?


AWC`s and vodka dosing. I also vacuum the gravel once a month. The vacuuming really helps in keeping the phosphates down.

Saxman7
01/07/2016, 01:32 AM
I agree with Laga- Wc are key and dosing is sometimes needed too.
Limestone, I will be honest, sometimes when I have a spike in phosphates and the gorgs aren't managing to keep the algae off themselves, I just lightly rub it off with my fingers. I've had to do it from time to time but generally I put a small blenny like a tailspot in, some tiny BL hermits and just focus on keeping the levels controlled.

if it's always a re-occuring issue, I relocate the gorg(s) and see how they do in a different location- sometimes lower light, or higher flow. sometimes an area with both. Personally though if I can find an excuse to place a gorg upside down to see how it does, I will- its fun!

Treed
01/07/2016, 12:23 PM
I'm doing WC and bio pellets plus GFO.