Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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onefish2fish 06-25-2009 11:44 PM

I thought this would make an interesting topic. Lets talk about food kinds, feeding techniques, food brands and anything food related.

There are alot of things to feed fish and personally i think a mixture of foods is your best bet. I know a guy from my local reefing club that has been into saltwater for i think 60 years and has had his current tank for 40 something years! According to him back in the day the food selection was slim to none and he was pretty much stuck feeding flake. He claims his fish broke out with ich and disease all the time. He then started experimenting with other foods of more nutrition and the fish showed no health issues. He says his secret is the occasional fish roe, which are fish eggs. He carefully rinses them not to break any and feeds but does not do this often as they are very rich. Fish that naturally have alot of oils are best avoided but others make a great food source from time to time. Some fish markets and stores will give you the fish eggs for free when asked.
There are lots of different food sources.
Flakes, which i personally dont use. Pellets which ill drop in every once in awhile. All my fish, except the copperband ( that ive seen ) eat Hikari Tropical Marine-S, which i used only from time to time. Frozen foods are good foods IMO but they need to be pre-rinsed in tank or RO/DI water a few times until they water is clear and dont hold as much nutrition as live foods. Live foods are a good food source but need to be cultured or purchased and so forth. Home made foods are good too as you can regulate what goes in them and make them to fit your needs. Fish stores and supermarkets have alot of things for this and there are plenty of recipes on the web.
Personally when i feed, which is every 2-3 days give or take and certain things in between or longer i put a small amount of food into the water and shut off the pumps. I then go rinse and prepare whatever im going to feed. By the time i get back to the tank the corals have their mouths open ;-) I then feed watching who is eating how much and then whatever food doesnt land on a coral i was going to feed, i use a arm glove and pipette to feed each one seperately. I usually use pre-rinsed frozen mysis which i blend some with selcon/garlic and add it to whole size mysis (which are still small) so its in different sizes. Frozen and live brine shrimp get used from time to time too, however their nutritional value isnt great. Live black worms are what my copperband loves along with mysis. I use small pieces of silverside/mysis/brine to feed the bubble tip anemone. I feel its important not to feed to much or to large of pieces as it will take more energy for the nem to digest its food then the energy it will recieve. Ultimately degrading its health. After about 30 minutes or so, or when the corals seem to be chewing with their mouths closed :lol: I then turn on atleast 1 powerhead to blow any food that has reached the sand/rocks. Sometimes i will turn on both powerheads but usually leave the return pump to the sump off for the time being. I then monitor how much food is blowing around in the flow from the powerheads. If i feel alot of food is still in the tank i will net some out. The return pump gets plugged back in depending on the feeding. This is because it increase flow/could make the food overflow down to the sump/is connected to the skimmer, so it depends on what is being fed and so forth.

Garlic algae sheets (green and red) go in my tank every so often. I currently have no tangs or heavy algae eaters so this isnt overly important but i like to offer choices. The aglae gets eaten too. My flame angel, im sure snails, and ive seen my wrasse picking at the algae on the clip.

Just thought i would put some ideas out there. Thoughts?

Pasfur 06-27-2009 07:34 PM

This is an interesting discussion. My feeding routine is very different.

In my 58 reef I feed the fish 2 times daily, small feedings. This is almost always flake food, but I feed a wide variety of different marine flakes. I think the key to flake is to feed fresh flakes. I don't buy large bulk sizes because the nutritional value declines after the can is opened. I feel that feeding 2 times per day is important for the overall health of the fish, especially having a Coral Beauty Angel in this aquarium.

In my 180 FOWLR I feed 3 time per day, very healthy amounts of food. In the morning they receive all they can eat flakes for 2 minutes, followed by garlic pellets, and then a 1/2 sheet of algae on a clip. They receive more flakes and garlic pellets at 6pm, and another round of flake food at 9pm. I alternate frozen foods into the routine several times per week. Over the years I have come to believe that many marine fish respond better to the captive environment with frequent feedings, especially in non-reef environments. My 180 is loaded with grazers, such as the Tangs and Rabbitfish, so I feel that multiple feedings per day is critical to their overall health.

I should also point out that I feed smaller more frequent feedings, as often as 8 to 10 times per day, for the first few days I have a fish in quarantine. Sometimes fish are shy to eat in their new home, and I figure the more opportunities I give them to eat, the more likely they are to begin eating quickly. Eating is such an important step for newly acquired fish that I want to do everything possible to support its transitions to a new home.

onefish2fish 07-02-2009 01:00 AM

i have to agree when keeping anthias, tangs or grazing fish that it is important to offer foods more frequent.

onefish2fish 07-03-2009 01:45 PM

i made 2 batches of my own food today. all i did was just use foods i had laying around that i use, samples from fish shows, and so forth. one batch is mostly meaty and the other is 50/50 meaty and veggie.
a few things used:
brightwell garlic power
zucchini slices
nori ( green, red, purple algae sheets )
freeze dried bloodworms, plankton and krill
marine S and A pellets
mysis shrimp
and a few other things

pretty much everything got pre-rinsed in RO/DI water.
this is the 50/50 batch
i then put into bags and smoothed with a spoon and froze

mullinsd2 07-08-2009 04:09 PM

I have not purchased any food yet for my aquarium; no fish yet. However, I will be buying a watchman goby and pistol shrimp tomorrow! :). I would liek to go ahead and purchase some foods while at the lfs, so I am not making another trip. I can see that opinions differ, but what do you think I should purchase with this stocking list. pistol shrimp and goby pair. 1 false clown. 2 bangai cardinals. 1 royal gramma. If any of this stuf can be had at pet smart or another common store, please let me know; my lfs is very, very expensive!

onefish2fish 07-08-2009 05:08 PM

a big mixture of different foods is best. even the supermarket can be a good place to pick up some foods for your tank, asian food stores and fish markets too. online is another good place to look for foods.

Pasfur 07-08-2009 06:09 PM


Originally Posted by onefish2fish (Post 213145)
a big mixture of different foods is best. even the supermarket can be a good place to pick up some foods for your tank, asian food stores and fish markets too. online is another good place to look for foods.

Agreed. Regardless of the fish you are keeping, I would suggest feeding a large variety of foods. At any given time, I am rotating between 7 to 10 different foods, often feeding several different foods at teh same feeding.

onefish2fish 07-08-2009 06:15 PM

and on the subject of an expensive LFS, your in an expensive hobby. it may also be more expensive because they dont get many customers which naturally would spike the prices.

mullinsd2 07-08-2009 07:13 PM

onefish2fish, I do understand this is an expensive hobby; I am buying the fish and should be ready to spend what it takes to help them flourish. I have a responsibility to them, but my lfs does not seem to offer any alternatives to anything!!! They get plenty of customers from what I have witnessed, and they are known as the expensive fish store (even a guy down in myrtle beach running his own little sw store mentioned how expensive they are). I am just asking for a little help. If there is any food I can buy at a bi-lo or anywhere else besides Fintastic (lfs), I want to do it. Just a f ew prices: hk 3 $67; live rock 10.50 lb. Anything to save a few bucks in today's economy... Thanks for the help guys.

mullinsd2 07-08-2009 11:21 PM

Idk why I did not think of this before, but I work at a seafood restaurant!!! I could easily get some left over foods and what not on a daily basis. I can get fantail, scallops, pop corn sized shrimp, flounder etc etc etc! Would these work? My work throws out a lot of fresh fish that is to mooshy to be friend and pieces of fantail.

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