Lets talk about Pod eating fish

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nutrition' started by Paul B, Sep 17, 2017.

  1. Paul B

    Paul B Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Spotlight Award Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Lets talk about Pod eaters. We aquarists call anything small a Pod, but a Pod or copepod is a real animal unlike Pee Wee Herman or Weiner who are other things, but not pods. We also have amphipods which are much larger. If our tanks are healthy and the paired fish are spawning, like they should be, there will be tiny fish fry all over the place also. For this discussion, we can also call them pods because fish will eat them. (although they are not really pods)
    Again, if your tank is healthy and has some age to it, it will be loaded with "pods" or pod like animals and this is a good sign as they are the beginning of the food chain. If you keep moray eels, triggerfish, groupers, lionfish, whale sharks, manta rays or elephant seals pods are not that important.
    I personally like to keep smaller fish such as mandarins, pipefish, shrimpfish, ruby red dragonettes and an assortment of smaller cardinals and bleenies. All those types of fish really need something like a pod. Not an I Pod.
    Living pods are much better than make believe pods like frozen foods due to the fact that they reproduce on their own and are available for most of the day unless they are on a coffee break.
    Those types of fish need to eat all day and if you have no pods but you try to feed them a few times a day using frozen foods, those fish will slowly starve and more importantly, they will hate you.
    If you feed those fish I mentioned correctly, and they are paired, they will start to spawn in a couple of weeks.
    A fish such as a mandarin should live at least ten years and it will if it is fed correctly.

    If those fish are not spawning, you don't have enough "wild" pods in your tank and you should supplement them. I have plenty of wild pods but because I have about a dozen pod eaters so I supplement them every day using new born brine shrimp which I add to a feeder.
    New Born brine shrimp can just be added to a tank but the shrimp have a bad habit of being attracted to light so they will immediately head to the surface where they will get a nice tan, but at the same time, be hiding from the pod eaters which for the most part hunt at the bottom where real pods live.
    The feeder will keep the shrimp at the bottom where the fish can easily get to them.
    The thing is simple to build and it is almost self explanatory.
    It's basically a flat container with a nylon stocking on top. I found that inside a used RO cartridge there is a plastic mesh that works better as the sea urchins don't chew it up. A tube, no larger than 3/8" goes to a funnel on the surface. Shrimp are added with a small bit of water than washed down with another tablespoon of water. The shrimp stay in the container and try to get through the mesh where the fish pull them through and eat them, then they smile. The fish, not the shrimp which I would imagine are not smiling and probably have some sort of grimace on their face, but I try not to look at them too closely.

    Eating from the feeder





    Here they are eating New Born Shrimp just "squirted" in the water.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
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  2. jsker

    jsker Reefing is all about the adventure Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Thank you sir.
     
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  3. Paul B

    Paul B Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Spotlight Award Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Your welcome Sir. Or Maam. I am not sure what sex Jsker is
     
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  4. sfin52

    sfin52 Valuable Member

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    How do you keep your pod population up with so many pod eaters. I know you supplement with baby brine or sea monkeys Do you raise your own pods too?
     
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  5. Robin Haselden

    Robin Haselden Turtle R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Paul, awesome fish as usual, sir.
     
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  6. Paul B

    Paul B Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Spotlight Award Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    sfin52, I don't raise pods on purpose but I feed heavily so the pods reproduce on their own. I feed clams almost every day and clams have juice, that juice is composed of tiny bits of clam which feeds my corals, sponges and pods.
    I care more about the fish, pods and other life than I do about water parameters which I think are over rated. My nitrates are 160, too high for delicate corals but perfect for what I like to keep and the fish don't seem to mind.
    If I wanted more delicate corals I would still feed heavily but I would have to take other steps to reduce nitrates. To keep fish immune and spawning, they need to eat correctly and a lot.
     
  7. rioreef

    rioreef Member

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    Food that makes it to the bottom and rocks is a feast for pods. I observed this this morning. Amphipods fighting over pellet food occurring (fight...fight)

    Restarted my tank in late July and no predators to the pods so the population keeps growing.
     
  8. JaihWill

    JaihWill Member

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    Paul did you ever start making & selling the feeders?
     
  9. Paul B

    Paul B Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Spotlight Award Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    No, I just built it for myself and explained how to make them as they are very simple. :D
     
  10. Cornerboy

    Cornerboy Active Member

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    Wonderful tutorial Paul!! Thank you
     
  11. Paul B

    Paul B Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Spotlight Award Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Your welcome. :cool:
     
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