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Old 01/03/2012, 08:53 AM   #1
Paul B
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Feeding Stations

All fish in the sea know how to find their food and in a tank it is even easier for them. The problem is that in the sea Mother Nature supplies food all day, every day. We as humans have other lives and usually don't want to feed our fish continousely. At least I don't. Also some fish are just designed to eat a tiny bit all day because that is just the way their digestive systems were designed. Fish like pipefish and seahorses don't even have a real stomach, just a short tube that acts like a stomach and intestine. These types of fish can not store food as other fish can. Other fish with similar digestive systems are mandarins and any other fish that normally lives on tiny food such as pods. These fish can not even eat a large meal if it were offered to them which is also the reason for their tiny mouths.
For this reason I am a big advocate of feeding stations.
My tank is old and loaded with pods so I really don't have to do this but sometimes a certain fish needs a little help even if the tank is full of pods.
I recently aquired a baby female mandarin that is very skinny. I am hoping she matures to mate with my large male.
I hatch and feed live baby brine shrimp to my tank every day and most of the fish eat them, even the larger gobies but this food disappears in a few minutes. Some of it gets skimmed off or caught in powerheads and the rest migrate to the surface because baby brine shrimp are attracted to light.
Most fish that would eat pods, live on the bottom so that food is lost to them.
This feeding station is designed for baby brine shrimp. It is just a plactic container with a mesh over it that barely passes baby brine.
It also has a tube running to the surface so I can fill it with shrimp.
I fill it in the morning and fish just hang around it all day sucking out shrimp.
Many shrimp also escape to be caught by the corals.
About 15 years ago I designed and patented this type of feeding station for adult brine shrimp.
http://www.breedersregistry.org/Arti...l_b/paul_b.htm (I do not sell these)
I have also used a different type of feeding station to feed moorish Idols.





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I used to get shocked when I put my hand in my tank. Then the electric eel went dead.

Current Tank Info: 100 gal reef set up in 1971

Last edited by Paul B; 01/03/2012 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 01/03/2012, 09:27 AM   #2
tebstan
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That is very cool! Thanks for sharing.


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Old 01/04/2012, 09:00 AM   #3
Paul B
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I love this stuff. I modified it a little by adding a better funnel on the top so I can just pour in the baby brine and I added a tiny hole at the bend at the bottom of the acrylic so the air comes out of the tube before it goes in the feeder container.
I also sealed a couple of lead weights in it just for the heck of it.




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Old 01/04/2012, 10:03 AM   #4
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Try some magnets instead of weights so you can retrieve it without getting your hands wet. Assuming it's near the glass of course.


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Old 01/04/2012, 10:37 AM   #5
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What size mesh? I'd love some more details so I can make one!


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Old 01/04/2012, 10:49 AM   #6
Paul B
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Quote:
Try some magnets instead of weights so you can retrieve it without getting your hands wet.
I don't get my hands wet, it is connected to a rigid acrylic tube so It comes right out.
I will try to get a picture of the mesh, but I just tried a few nets and found one where the shrimp can come out but not all at once, so the holes in the mesh are about the size of a baby brine shrimp.
I cut this from an old fish net.



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Old 01/04/2012, 11:04 AM   #7
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There are travel pill containers I could use to make the bottom. But what did you use for the nifty little funnel at the top?


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Old 01/04/2012, 12:33 PM   #8
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Actually I just changed that nifty funnel for a larger one. This was a plastic container that ink comes in to fill your printer cartridges. I cut off the bottom and drilled a hole in the cap then filled the space with glue gun glue. Now I can pour in the shrimp. It is a little bigger.




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Old 01/04/2012, 12:49 PM   #9
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Very cool concept! By any chance do you have video? I'd love to see it in action.


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Old 01/04/2012, 12:51 PM   #10
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No, I don't have a video. If I figure out how to do that I will take one.


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Old 01/07/2012, 08:13 AM   #11
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I built the thing mainly for this young skinny female mandarin. Up unitl now she has been afraid to go on top of it and would just suck up the shrimp around the edges but now she hangs out on top of it and sucks out dozens of shrimp. I need her to grow a little so she can mate.




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Old 01/07/2012, 09:21 AM   #12
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Awesome!

I've been too lazy to hatch brine shrimp since none of my fish need live food, but this piqued my interest. I know they love the treat, so I might try making one of these.


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Old 01/07/2012, 09:40 AM   #13
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Thats pretty neat, I always wanted a Mandarin but never got one due to feeding requirements.


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Old 01/16/2012, 11:37 AM   #14
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I took a short video of the thing working.



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Old 01/16/2012, 11:55 AM   #15
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I made one! Just waiting for some shrimp to hatch to try it out.

What did you use for the dish?


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Old 01/16/2012, 11:56 AM   #16
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The "dish" is a plastic container that electrical tape comes in but anything will do.


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Old 01/16/2012, 12:06 PM   #17
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Dang, we just threw one of those out recently. I used a Dole fruit cup. It works ok, but I would have liked a lower profile. The lid didn't fit as snug as I would have liked, so that took some work to correct too.



Did you use a regular net? It looks like a brine shrimp net. I tried that... and I might as well have poured the shrimp in the tank. They went right through it. I'm trying pantyhose next, hopefully the shrimp will be ready before lights-out tonight.


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Old 01/16/2012, 01:10 PM   #18
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Awesome video, Paul B. Must be the mandarin's favorite hang-out spot now LOL.


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Old 01/16/2012, 03:01 PM   #19
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The mandarin hang out there all day and the bluestripe pipefish also check it out all day.
Iused an old fish net, you have to experiment to get a net where the shrimp can get through but not all at once. You want them restricted a little.


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Old 01/21/2012, 10:58 AM   #20
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On my first try I used a "brine shrimp" net. I might as well have just poured them in, they all swam right out with no restriction.

Next I tried pantyhose, but that was too fine a mesh so no shrimp escaped.

Third time's the charm, I still used the pantyhose but just stretched it out a bit.

I used a Dole fruit container, some pvc, and a funnel. I used shrink wrap to attach the funner, and a gromit to get the pvc to attach to the fruit cup.







Thanks Paul B!


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Old 01/21/2012, 11:22 AM   #21
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Looks great. And I think your scooter bleeny is smiling


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Old 02/11/2012, 07:49 AM   #22
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It's been a little over a month since I installed this thing and I love it. My tank has 3 bluestrip pipefish, and two mandarins along with some small clown gobies and shrimp. They all hang around this thing for a few hours that it has shrimp in it. In this tank I really don't have to supliment their diet because there are plenty of pods but I like everything to spawn and the only way fish will spawn is by eating more food then they normally can and food with a high oil content such as new born brine shrimp are even better than pods.
Two of the pipefish are to young to spawn but I feel that in a couple of weeks they will be ready. Also my female mandarin is to young so this will fatten her up.
My copperband is a regular visitor here although he gets live worms every day.
It is just another thing for me to get facinated about.




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Old 02/11/2012, 08:05 AM   #23
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I'm going to give this a try ! Thanks for sharing.
I just need to find out how to Grow my own brine shrimp.

So this just stays in the tank all the time ?


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Old 02/11/2012, 09:31 AM   #24
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You don't have to grow, just hatch them


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Old 02/11/2012, 10:04 AM   #25
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Lol, well that's what I meant.
I don't think my wife will like sitting on those eggs though..lmao


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