Finally found a food the chromis will eat that's not frozen

kwirky

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Based upon reading I wasn't expecting to be able to find a food the chromis will eat that's not frozen. A few books of mine say they're "advanced" and various sites say they're picky eaters, too. It's been about 6 months and while they eat frozen hikari mysis fervently they turned they spit everything that I've tried which was dry, until yesterday. I now have an assortment of dried pellets of various buoyancy, flavour, and composition, and the chromis would gulp the spit. They were even spitting flake. My tank's heading towards a nutrient defficiency and becuase an automatic feeder turned around the cyano I was experiencing in the planted tank, my spouse suggested an automatic feeder for the reef. I'm never one to hesitate when the other half agrees to budgeting for a good idea, so I headed to the store to get an automatic feeder on the go and I also came home with with 3 more foods to try:

  • Reef Roids because I've witnessed them try to gulp it up in the water column, triggering some sort of instinctual planktonic feeding response, but it's low in nutrience and would mostly end up as algae sustenance. It'd help with the nitrates and phosphates constantly heading towards zero though.
  • Omega One freeze dried mysis, because it looked small enough to fall through the mesh top and hoped they'd eat them since they eat frozen mysis. I was expecting it to go uneaten, since they often spit frozen mysis if they're not soft enough (they don't like heads & tails) and these are dry to the bone. If they go uneaten they'd be less likely to be swept up into the overflow than the reef roids.
  • Another flake food, this time a new life spectrum. My freshwater tank is being fed flake in an automatic feeder, to give the plants nutrients on top of the pellet feeding. If it didn't work I needed more flake for the freshwater soon.
I've ran reef roids in an auto feeder before and considered it a last resort since the fish don't eat enough of it to prevent it from getting caught on things & forming algae. The flake was liable to get caught in the mesh top so I sprinkled a little bit of the freeze dried shrimp to see if it'd get through the mesh. Huzah! It didn't get caught and what's this? The chromis are checking it out so maybe this is something we can work with? It was floating so I turned off the return and put a full pinch in the water, with the powerheads & gyres left on to hopefully waterlog it enough. Then came the surprise.

Everything in the tank, except the copperband, picked up on the scent and gobbled it up from the surface, before it could even become waterlogged! Success! I found a dry food the chromis will eat! Even the shy rusty angel came to the surface, which is a region of the tank I never see him enter. Everyone was excited except for our copperband, Wall-E, who was skittish and hid behind the rocks, try to ascertain why the water flow changed (usually means it's time for a water change and he has the best memory of the group).

So I programmed the apex with a virtual outlet I named "ReefDump" which turns on for 8 minutes at 14:00 and 20:00. The return is programmed to turn off when ReefDump is on. The heaters & skimmer are programmed to turn off when return is off (with 10 minute delay for the skimmer to turn back on). The feeder turns on when ReefDump is on, with a 20 second delay, equalling the time it takes for the overflow to stop oveflowing. The large chunks are eaten up within 1 minute and the remainders are given a few minutes to become waterlogged before the overflow kicks back in.

So now I can rest assured that everybody but the copperband are getting more calories and I can hold off on dumping fertiziler in the tank to bring the phosphates above 0. Win win! It was an exciting day, yesterday.
 

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