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Old 05/08/2012, 02:26 AM   #1
A. Grandis
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Artificial food study for corals.

Hello all!!!

I had some time today and decided to search more about zoa/coral feeding (I fed my zoas today) and came across this interesting article about SPS corals:

http://www2.hawaii.edu/~cbird/files/...%20farming.pdf

The paper shows an interesting comparison with artificial coral foods and I thought would be good to share with you here in the zoa forum. The three species of SPS in the article responded differently in growth to the three aspects of the study (light, flow and artificial food).
That could be true for different species of zoanthids also, as I personally agree, due to my own observations.
Most of the zoanthids will grow faster and healthier when exposed to moderated to strong flow and light, as we know. Some species will show better color under lower light/flow too. Most of the zoanthids will have some benefit from particles and nutrient absorption directly from the water, I believe.

Once more I would like to bring here that zoanthus spp. do feed upon small sized particles and if you try to target feed Coral Frenzy or Tropica Marin Zoa Food you can see that they will close and eat them. They close with the food inside and when they open, the food is in their guts.
It is very hard to observe such behavior with the tiniest zoanthids though.
It is really easy to notice with Palythoas and Protopalythoas!!!

Another thing I've noticed was that if you have two frags, of the same species, from the same mother colony, and you feed one and don't feed the other, the one you are feeding develops better colors and healthier appearance than the one you don't feed.

Again, some people say that if they don't feed their systems with coral food their corals/zoas are great, so it's hard to know if they would be much better if they were fed.

Target feeding would be the best for corals and zoanthids. To simply drop food in the system won't have the same impact and advantage.

Skimmer is a must to remove excess of small particles/organics.
Partial water changes are part of the maintenance schedule to keep the system healthy.

I've been trying some foods during the past years and have noticed some improvement in growth/reproduction of most zoanthids.
I'm not here to defend any theory of mine, but to learn from you guys.
Please expose your experiences with the two artificial foods in the article: ReefRoids and ReefChilli. I didn't try them yet!
I guess I better order some to try.

I've heard couple times about those foods here, but I was still waiting for my other food to finish (Tropic Marin Zoa Food and Coral Frenzy), so I could order them.

Please use this thread to show your experiences with such foods, if so!!!
If you don't believe in feeding please let us know why. That would help us understand your point of view too.

Sorry for the huge post!
Hope hear from you...
Thanks, and have fun reading the article!!


Grandis.


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Old 05/08/2012, 10:26 AM   #2
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ive always fed my zoa/paly tanks... with my next build i plan on doing even more so... better growth, better colors, happier tank....


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Old 05/08/2012, 12:19 PM   #3
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what are you feeding and what is your technique? I figure only the large Palys can handle a mysis shrimp.


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Old 05/08/2012, 02:36 PM   #4
A. Grandis
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I turn off the skimmer first, but some times I don't.
Then the powerheads in the display.
I target feed them.
The best foods I've found, as I've said before, were the dry foods, Tropic Marin Zoa/Acan food and the Coral Frenzy.

The foods I've tried before were:
Coralife Invert foods.
PhytoFeast, RotiFeast, TiggerPods, MacroFeast and OysterFeast (all from Ocean Nutrition).
PhytoGold-M and PhotoChrom (from Brightwell Aquatics).
I didn't notice really any changes with those foods and I've used the Coralife for years.
The others I've used for only a year or so.
I therefore no longer use them.
What I've found out is that if you feed just a bit more than should you'll pay a price with excess algae growth!!! And that is not only with the liquid invert foods, but with the dry foods as well. Well we all know about that since the early 80's anyway.

I still dose small amounts of CoralAmino (Brightwell Aquatics) and I think it does help the system somehow.

I was long time without feeding anything to the zoas and I can tell that they can grow too, probably because there is the organics in the water, and of course the good light, but when I target fed them it was different.

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Old 05/08/2012, 03:28 PM   #5
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77 views and 2 replies ??????????? wow.

Anyway.... A.G. the Zoa Gods have answered my prayers. Great post my friend, excellent post man, great job sharing some substance, I applaud you for taking the time to share it. I so wish we had more of this. One can actually learn something from these types of post.

I will take the time to actually read and digest the entire PDF file before I reply, but just wanted to stop by and say again, thank you for sharing this and I would hope these types of threads would garner the same or as much attention and feedback as ID, picture, naming, what's your favorite polyp and pricing threads do.

Two thumbs up buddy

Mucho Reef


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Old 05/08/2012, 03:56 PM   #6
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Great!
I sure hope to learn some with this!!

Thanks MUCHO!
Gradis.


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Old 05/08/2012, 06:45 PM   #7
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very nice article AG i feed heavily on my reef tank mainly zoa and lps dominated. but i broadcast feed not target feed as it would take me 2+ hours to do so or it seems like it lol.

thanks for posting this article


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Old 05/09/2012, 12:21 AM   #8
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You're welcome, j.p. harrington!

I think you should consider to target feed parts of the tank each time you do. That way you'll get much better results. Plus, doing that, you'll still broadcasting feeding, once not all the target feeding goes to their guts.
It would be good to target feed once a week a quarter of the tank. In a month you'll broad feed four times and target feed one.
It doesn't take too much food to fill them up anyway.
Just trying to help...

Grandis.


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Old 05/09/2012, 12:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. Grandis View Post
Sorry for the huge post!
Hope hear from you...
Thanks, and have fun reading the article!!


Grandis.
There is absolutely no reason at all to apologize my brother for your post lenght or any post with content such as this.


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Old 05/09/2012, 02:16 PM   #10
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That was a great read, thank you for posting a link to it.

From what I could understand from the experiment is that over feeding will cause your corals to slow growth. Feeding the artificial food that was tested will only effect certain types of corals and even then the growth isn't that significant.

Please correct me if I am wrong.


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Old 05/09/2012, 11:59 PM   #11
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Hi Jarred1,
You're welcome. I'm glad you liked it!!

It is important to remember that the study was done with SPS corals, not zoas.

My suggestion to bring the discussion in the Zoa forum was with the intent to pay more attention to artificial coral foods and how they could help us to maintain cnidarians in close systems.

Overfeeding won't help any organism. In our case, as we already know for decades, it would be detrimental to the water quality, so we could skip that part. The polyps of corals would take only what they could fit in their guts.

Feeding the quality artificial coral foods will add nutritious particles to be digested by the organisms. Target feeding is crucial to keep the food where it needs to go without waste/pollution. Balance artificial food particles would help the organisms and the balance of nutrients of the system. Same for fishes.

There is a difference among the SPS in the article, yes. I do believe there is differences between zoanthids for their needs also. I actually believe there is differences between, say different Zoanthus spp. Those differences include basically what the text tried to explain since the beginning with SPS coral. Those are the response to light, water motion and food particles.
Indeed it's not as simple as we wish, is it?

I've been noticing those three important fats for years with zoas, but never found any studies bout it. It actually makes sense and is true.

You missed understood about this part:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarred1 View Post
That was a great read, thank you for posting a link to it.

From what I could understand from the experiment is that over feeding will cause your corals to slow growth. Feeding the artificial food that was tested will only effect certain types of corals and even then the growth isn't that significant.

Please correct me if I am wrong.
The paper actually states the opposite of your affirmation, and I quote:

" Some artificial foods resulted in a significant increase in growth in Mc and Pd, but not in Pc. These combined results suggest that Mc may be more heterotrophic than Pc. This study illustrates that each species has unique requirements for optimal growth conditions that can be determined by relatively simple and low cost experiments, but that ideal conditions for one species might not be generalized to others."

The ideal conditions for one species might not be generalized to other zoas too. That would include light and water motion, besides food particles.

It would be great if we had a similar study for zoanthids.

Thanks for your comments!!

Let's wait for others to put their experiences/ observations.
This topic is very interesting!

Grandis.


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Old 05/10/2012, 12:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MUCHO REEF View Post
There is absolutely no reason at all to apologize my brother for your post lenght or any post with content such as this.
Thanks MUCHO!
I agree! The article has very good info for all of us.
I'm so glad I've found it.

Grandis.


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Old 05/10/2012, 04:55 AM   #13
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The article also says "Some of the most commonly available and inexpensive coral foods in the aquarium trade were found to have no significant effect on coral growth at rec- ommended dosage, and increased doses resulted in decreased coral growth". That's why I put what I put.


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Old 05/10/2012, 11:32 AM   #14
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Well, yeah.
Hard to tell what "most commonly available and inexpensive coral foods" are.
Perhaps the article wasn't referring to Reef Roids or Reef Chilly, when affirming that?
That's a good point too!

I personally would refer to the other ones that I've tried in the past and didn't notice anything significant, but algae growth, like some of the liquid foods.

Very good observation...

Grandis.


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Old 05/10/2012, 04:14 PM   #15
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I have never tried any of the foods they used for the study, I have watched some of my zoas eat the frozen cyclopeeze but they won't bother with the freeze dried stuff. I wish you could buy frozen zooplankton, I bet that would be the best food ever.


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Old 05/11/2012, 10:48 AM   #16
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Great post.

I am still new to reef keeping so I dont have a lot of experience with using different methods, but this is what I have noticed.

I first started with a few small colonies of zoas in my tank, I did nothing with them, just let them do their thing light and any filder feeding they might do.
They staying like this for a few months, looked fine and opened everyday. There was little growth however.

I started target feeding with ReefRoids maybe 3-4months ago and the difference is amazing. Visible growth, larger polyps and a richer color. Each feeding the polyps close around the food and when they open their mouths/bellies are puffed up and happy looking.

I'd have to say there is a markable difference when spot feeding


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Old 05/11/2012, 01:54 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TjwBlake View Post
Great post.

I am still new to reef keeping so I dont have a lot of experience with using different methods, but this is what I have noticed.

I first started with a few small colonies of zoas in my tank, I did nothing with them, just let them do their thing light and any filder feeding they might do.
They staying like this for a few months, looked fine and opened everyday. There was little growth however.

I started target feeding with ReefRoids maybe 3-4months ago and the difference is amazing. Visible growth, larger polyps and a richer color. Each feeding the polyps close around the food and when they open their mouths/bellies are puffed up and happy looking.

I'd have to say there is a markable difference when spot feeding
Are you target feeding or broad cast feeding? Do you think they have grown more because they are now used to your tank? Have you stopped feeding to see what happens? Could the polyps just be irritated when you feed them?


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Old 05/12/2012, 05:57 AM   #18
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I am target feeding the zoas and other coral in the tank. That is a good point about them getting used to the tank but I dont think they are irritated, they do close around the food and I can watch them open up and the food is gone, so based on that I can only assume that they are actually ingesting it.


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Old 05/13/2012, 01:58 PM   #19
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I think only if you never fed your zoas long enough you would think that it doesn't make any difference in reproductive/growth rates.

The right food, size and target feeding is the key for the success (without excess algae nutrients/ingestion/digestion).
The system has to follow the rules for good maintenance and health of the organisms.
Feeding is extra, not basics.
Overfeeding is what dives you out of the idea.
Balance is a must.

Yesterday I've tried to feed my palythoas and zoas some LPS pellets from Fauna Marin for the first time.
They loved them!!!
They are kinda too big for the zoas though. Some of the zoas lost the pellets for the fishes because they couldn't swallow them as fast as they needed to.
The pellets were softer than normal ones we give for the fishes.
Good quality.

I still need to order the Reef Roids and Reef Chilli...

Grandis.


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Old 05/13/2012, 07:38 PM   #20
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Hi Jarred1,

The "irritation" that some talk about is when we blow the food (target feeding) on the polyps and they close...
If one try to drop the food on the poly without much water flow, will see that they actually grab the food particles and close.
When they open the food is gone, as I've posted before...

Irritation is caused by algae and other organisms. When there is irritation the polyps close and don't open until the organisms is not touching them anymore.

If you blow only water one polyps they close, yes, but they open fast. That's just a reaction from the blowing on them.
When a hermit crab touch the polyps, for example, same thing happens... they will open as soon as the hermit goes away.

Grandis.



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Old 05/13/2012, 07:58 PM   #21
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I have heard a lot of great things about the Fauna Marin foods, do you know what it is made of? It's weird that its purple. I am thinking of buying some of the Fauna Marin Zoa Acan Food, it is probably better suited for their mouths.

Recently my local fish club had a speaker from AlgaGen and he talked a lot about the different kinds of copepods and how they were the next step up from phytoplankton in the food chain. He fed a tank with a few baby lyretail anthias, the fish went NUTS for the stuff even though you couldn't see the pods from where I was standing. They were very tiny, about the size of a grain of sand. I believe if a company grew their own and froze them and sold them they would be the best food we could add to our tanks.


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Old 05/14/2012, 07:34 AM   #22
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on occasion I have even mixed in a cube of frozen brine shrimp with the roids, i get a great reaction fromthe larger zoas and often when they open up there is a little bit sticking out of their mouths. The smaller ones dont seem to be able to handle anything larger than the powered foods.

I have some GSP that has a great reaftion to the roids. I spray some over the whole colony and watch as each individual tentacle curls and snakes around grabing bits to bring into it's mouth.

It stands to reason that even though they mostly get their food from sunlight, the fact that they do still filter feed would mean that small amounts of target feeding would only benefit them in the long run in order to assure the introduction of good nutrients from other sources.

But like Grandis said, its about the balance


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Old 05/14/2012, 08:15 AM   #23
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Great article Grandis Thanks! I used to target feed when i first got my tank but I only had like 10 corals. And growth was awesome. I feed phyto and rotifers every few days and my fish daily but never target feed anymore, i think it would take me like 2 hrs to do so. But i will give it a try and let you guys know.


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Old 05/15/2012, 02:24 PM   #24
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Check this link out, shows and talks about SPS eating. They have way smaller mouths than zoas.

http://webcache.googleusercontent.co...ankton-capture

Here is a link on how to feed corals:
http://webcache.googleusercontent.co...ow-corals-feed

I couldn't find the original links, their site might be down. I haven't read the second link yet but I plan on doing so tonight.


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Old 07/18/2012, 10:26 PM   #25
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This thread died to soon.

Hey Jarred, great stuff man. Thanks for sharing that.

MUCHO REEF
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