Live Food Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nutrition' started by leahfiish, Aug 31, 2017.

  1. leahfiish

    leahfiish Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I wanted to start a thread to discuss different types of live food, culturing info, pros and cons, and how to.

    I am interested in all aspects of live feeding, but I figured I would ask some questions to get this discussion started!

    Do you feed:
    (I don't expect anyone to answer all of these questions, it's mostly just meant as prompts to get discussions started.)

    Do you culture your own live foods or purchase them? How much of the live foods do you feed and how often? Do you target feed or broadcast? Are there any noticeable feeding responses from your corals, fish, or inverts? How long have you been feeding live foods for? If you culture them yourself, how much time does it take every day, every week, every month? Do you use DIY stuff or a pre-made product? Pictures? Have you noticed any cons to feeding your tank live foods, such as degrading water quality, cloudy water, etc? Have you noticed better growth from your fish, corals, or inverts? Are you feeding like as part of a breeding project? Have your fish started spawning more since feeding live foods?
    Looking forward to any input!
     
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  2. leahfiish

    leahfiish Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    To start things off, I've recently started to feed my mixed reef tank live blackworms, and my fish seem to really enjoy it. Even more corals like them, I've noticed my blastos and gorgonians grab any pieces that go by them. I have 2 jawfish, 2 wrasses and 2 Clownfish and I plan to have a lot more wrasses as well as some small gobies including a mandarin. I primarily feed frozen food but I want to try more live foods, just because I feed like it is overall a more natural and healthy diet for them. Plus, having more biodiversity in the system is always a good thing, and the fish can still forage for food when I'm not home to feed them. My concerns are overfeeding leading to poor quality, but I believe in the power of carbon dosing...
    I am considering start with phyto an feeding the phyto to pods. That way I'll have a good supply for the mandarins. But it seems like the info is all over the place and I've seen mixed results about feeding live phyto to your display so I would love to hear from everyone.
     
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  3. bif24701

    bif24701 Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I've started adding just a small amount of BRS Reef Chilli and Reef Roids to my frozen fish foods. The amount of pods in my display, sump, and fuge have shot up by 1,000x's!

    I do feed some live black worms when the wife has them to fed her Discus.
     
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  4. Flippers4pups

    Flippers4pups Fins up since 1993 R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Well, funny you posted this!

    Just started my first culture of tisbe pods today! 3000+ just got them acclaimed a few hours ago and fed. Hungry little suckers!

    I have plans on culturing phytoplankton soon as well. [​IMG]
     
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  5. leahfiish

    leahfiish Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Looks good, where did you get them from and what are you feeding them?
     
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  6. S-t-r-e-t-c-h

    S-t-r-e-t-c-h Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award

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    Regarding black worms; they are EXCELLENT at getting stubborn benthic feeders, like angels and butterfly fish, to eat. They're not saltwater endemic, so there isn't any risk of introducing parasites. The downside is that it's not really nutritionally correct for saltwater fish. It is ok to feed occasionally, but it's not really a good "all the time" food for our fish or inverts...
     
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  7. leahfiish

    leahfiish Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    How can I learn more about the correct nutritional profile for saltwater fish? I'm assuming it varies by species, but even looking at a lot of the most popular foods such as lrs, pe mysis, and Hikari mysis it seems to vary considerably.
     
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  8. leahfiish

    leahfiish Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks, I've been think about target feeding those foods too, I've seen a lot of good results from them, and I like the variety of ingredients.
     
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  9. Paul B

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

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    I culture white worms in soil and have been doing that about 8 years. Blackworms I feed every day and have been using them about fifty years but only 46 years in my reef. I don't raise them because they reproduce to slow so I buy them every 2 weeks or so.
    I hatch brine shrimp every day for my pipefishes, mandarins, queen anthias and a few others. I don't know when I started that but it must have been 20 years ago.
    I also collect amphipods by the thousands in a bay in the Long Island Sound and dump them in. They breed and live under all my rock.
    It takes about 5 or 10 minutes a day to hatch the shrimp and separate the white worms from the soil. The blackworms I just suck up with a baster looking thing that I make and target feed them. I would never just put any food in my tank without a baster.
    Because of this food (including clams) all of my paired fish are spawning including the pipefish, bangai cardinals, clown gobies, mixed cardinals, mandarins, fireclowns, watchman gobies and ruby red dragonettes

    Here are some of the pipefish eating new born brine shrimp.
    [​IMG]

    Here are some amphipods I collect. (video)
    [​IMG]

    Here are some of them eating live blackworms. All of these fish are spawning except the copperband.(I would love that but that aint happening) The copperband was very small here, he is much larger now and needs more than worms. (Video)

    [​IMG]

    I also use this feeder every day filled with new born shrimp mainly for the mandarins and other dragonettes but the pipefish feed from it also. The mandarins have been spawning for many years.
    I believe live food is needed every day. (video)

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Flippers4pups

    Flippers4pups Fins up since 1993 R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Got them from algae barn. Ocean magic.
     
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  11. keddre

    keddre Well-Known Member

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    I culture and feed live phyto and "tigger pods"

    For the phyto, I started with the traditional 2 litre bottles and now have a ten gallon tank. In the two liters I had no heat source but in the tank there is a heater. Both I gave them 16 hours of light and the same water mix (1 gallon 1.019 salt water, 1 ml of essential elements, 5ml of miracle gro). I broadcast feed 1 cup /day and dump a gallon a week.

    I have seen an explosion in mushroom corals and pods, it sustains my own ornamental feather dusters and it might be helping my flame scallop.

    For the pods, I started with one bottle for a 10 gallon tank. Put in full strength sea water and about 2 gallons of phyto. About two weeks later, I see an explosion in growth but have yet to harvest. It also gets 16 hours of light

    Edit: for the phyto a dump out a gallon weekly and add a new batch of water mix. I will post pictures when I get home and will probably add a diy auto top off
     
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  12. Flippers4pups

    Flippers4pups Fins up since 1993 R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    As I ramp up for phytoplankton, I've been reading on the food for them. I read conflicting information on "miracle grow" fertilizer that it has copper in it and isn't good because it gets absorbed up the food chain. Many breeder forums say to use Gillards f/2 fertilizer, because it doesn't have copper.

    What's your take on this?
     
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  13. keddre

    keddre Well-Known Member

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    I haven't used F2 but from the research I did before I believe that it is better because that's what it was designed for. That said, I haven't had any problems with the miracle gro yet, and haven't heard stories of period having problems so I'm comfortable with using it. But that's just my opinion
     
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  14. litenyaup

    litenyaup Valuable Member R2R Supporter

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    I grew my own photo and my tank loved it! Super simple as well
     
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  15. Flippers4pups

    Flippers4pups Fins up since 1993 R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Anybody doing rotifers? What about amphipods?
     
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  16. leahfiish

    leahfiish Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I got almost all of my supplies for culturing phyto. I forgot to order fertilizer (oops) and I was going to order it from florida aqua farms.. but then Irma happened so I just placed an order on Amazon for Fritz brand fertilizer.
    I'm not sure whether I should culture the pods in my spare 10g or maybe do a 5g bucket or 2l bottle, or something else.
     
  17. leahfiish

    leahfiish Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    20170908_235514.jpg

    Here's my setup area, under my blue tongue skink's home. I have a very old 6 bulb t5 ho fixture that I zip tied to my stand. I just need to switch out the bulbs (only planning on using 2). I have lots of room for more 2l bottles for expansion. I still have to adjust the wiring a little bit and possibly get another air pump and more tubing but I'm pretty excited. 20170908_235654.jpg
     
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  18. WesleyC

    WesleyC Active Member

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    I prefer smaller tank. Easier to get higher food density. Yet, big enough to have places for them to clang on and hide.

     
  19. WesleyC

    WesleyC Active Member

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    I tried both. First the first couple of months, you may not see much difference. For long term, the miracle grow tends to grow more "other" type of algae that you don't want in your culture. I have no information about the copper part though.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
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  20. WesleyC

    WesleyC Active Member

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    I'm doing amphipods now, and I did rotifers before while rearing fish larvae. Rotifers are quite easy to culture. Just need to watch out for how much you feed them. Has to be super consistence in every meal. If you happens to feed more, their density increase shapely. It'll easily crash. If you feed too little, they'll stave to dead and spoil your culture. Easily crash again.

     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
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