Guide to Newbies: How to train, and feed Nori to our tanks

Teaching tangs to eat nori is relatively simple. If one fish in a tank know how to eat nori, the rest of the herbivores will learn in short order. However, if this is a new tank, and none of the tangs have seen nori before, they need to learn how to see nori as food. I normally put the nori clip in the tank. As the nori stay in the water for a day or two, it will start to come apart and low in the water. Eventually the tang will take a bite and find out that this is food and goes after the nori on the clip with gusto. This method has never failed me. All my tangs eat nori and graze the algae in my tank as primary food.

Almost every reefer who keeps tangs and other herbivores feed nori to their fishes so this is nothing new. However, I am always into doing things quick, cheap and easy. Over the years, I have change the ways I feed my tank nori. This is the way I currently do this. It is very efficient, quick, and easy and does not, ever, result in loose nori flowing around the tank. It does not get my finger wet other than the very tip of my finger. All of these are very important reasons for me.

At this time, my fish eat two 10X10 sheets of nori per day. Once in a while, or sometime I asked my wife to get sushi nori, the largest pack for me. The cheapest is bulk nori that comes in 100 sheets per pack. I get the roasted dry nori with no additive that is for sale at various Asian Markets. In the past these cost around $10.00 but lately the price have increased to about $16.00 or so. The mark up for various fish food company to take these and repack and sell them as fish food is enormous.

I use the all plastic suction cuff attached clips that are common sell at LFS, Petco in my case. The clips I use are Ocean Nutrition clips, pictured below. First I removed the suction cuff. The use a heavy, 10 lbs or so, fish line to attach to the hole where the suction cuff attached to, use enough fish line to suspend the clip up to about 2 inches deep from the surface of the water. Shorter, shallow has a big advantage over long, deep suspension. The clip stays where you want it and does not tangle with other things in the tank. With light exposure lighter fish line tend to not last as long.

Pictures worth thousand words, this is how I fold the nori. Through experiences, by the end of the day, all the nori is gone, other than the small piece in the clip. When I put the new piece of nori in, I just drop the leftover nori into the tank and the fishes will go after it and eat it in a few minutes. There is no nori wasted. For refill, I just pull the clip up and attach the new nori. Suspension with a fish line has a huge advantage over attach to a solid structure because this keep invertebrates from grazing on the nori. I have a large number of snails and sea urchin in my tank. I used to have a huge abalone. Abalone and snails are smart, they remember where the food source is at and once they know, they keep on return to the same place to graze. They also sleep at the same place during the day every day so I know that they don’t just randomly move around the tank.

Ocean Nutrition clip, but any all plastic clip with ways to attach a fish line into it would be fine:

I use multiple clips for my tank. This defuses aggression between the tangs and the most aggressive on will not monopoly the clip, all fish will get heir share. If the clip stays wet all the time, algae will eventually grow on it, and the fish line to make it look unsightly. I never pull them out to clean them, rather, I have several clips and just leave each clip and fish line dry every few days for a day or two. This will keep algae grow on it and thus it will look clean all the time.

Regarding how to attach the nori to the clip, one can do it anyway they like, however this is how I choose to do this and it works. I don’t want a large sheet hanging loose and flab in the current because it will break loose and float. As I attached it, the fish will rips small pieces off it at a time. Never large chunks they cannot swallow.







Finally, the results. Here are a few pictures of my tangs. These pictures are taken to try to show how fat they are. My very very dear PBT goes from the first picture to current picture. And my Yellow tang is fat and happy.


About author
Reefer in Corpus Christi, Texas
Keep aquarium all my life, marine aquariums since 1980 and reef aquariums since 1996.
Passionate about Clams, Anemones and clown fish, Tangs, Angels and Wrasses

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Corpus Christi, Texas

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