Reef Nutrition vs. AlgaeBarn

BRS

Homey D. Clownfish

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 22, 2022
Messages
64
Reaction score
120
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Santa Clara
Hello, and Happy Labor Day to all!

I plan on starting a pod population in my new display/refugium 50 gallon—I’ve narrowed it down to these two companies as they both seem to have good reputations. Just wondering what experiences others have had with them? Also, there seems to be quite a variety of copepods available and wondering which ones are best? This will eventually be a mixed reef with fish, lps, and soft coral. I currently have 50 lbs of KP Aquatics live rock and 50 lbs of caribsea Fiji pink live sand.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics
Tenecor AIO Conversion Kits Now Available!
OP
Homey D. Clownfish

Homey D. Clownfish

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 22, 2022
Messages
64
Reaction score
120
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Santa Clara
Reef Nutrition is way denser. AlgaeBarn is quite watered down comparatively. Does that make one better than the other? I'm not sure that can be definitively answered.

I can get Reef Nutrition locally so that is a nice perk
Yeah, I actually live close to the Reef Nutrition headquarters in the Bay Area so I was kind of leaning toward supporting the local business. I’m kind of like Gobyguy—want the biodiversity and natural food source for my reef. I’ve already noticed some tiny pods/bugs for the last week on my glass—I assume it’s from the live rock. Tank has been up for almost 3 weeks.

C97C4C21-1AEC-488D-9D99-B129CBAA9E82.jpeg
 
Tenecor AIO Conversion Kits Now Available!

MarsReefer

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 12, 2022
Messages
193
Reaction score
238
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Pittsburgh PA
Reef nutrition seems to make a visibly better product of single species pods. Much higher quantity of adults.

their tigger pods don’t reproduce well in the tank, so they need to be regularly added. Their new apex pods reproduce much more readily but are smaller and again only a single species.

all high quality products that give you exactly what they advertise.

algae barn pods are typically seen as much lower density. When looking at them under a microscope I’d say really you just get more juveniles. Algae barn also has a mix of 5 pod species in their packs all of which reproduce in the tank and cover a range of sizes. If you are only going to add pods once and not regularly I’d definitely recommend going this way.

both are great companies offering slightly different things.
 
OP
Homey D. Clownfish

Homey D. Clownfish

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 22, 2022
Messages
64
Reaction score
120
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Santa Clara
If you already bought live rock from KP Aquatics, then don’t waste money on copepods. It would have zero impact. Focus on phytoplankton, not the pods. For a young system, food availability is going to be the weak link.
Actually, I was looking into the phytoplankton as well. I’ve started dosing a little benepets benereef in the aquarium just to “feed“ the system since I haven‘t added fish or coral yet. Do you think the phytoplankton is a better option than the coral food?
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

homer1475

Figuring out the hobby one coral at a time.
Review score
+1 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
10,225
Reaction score
15,396
Review score
+1 /0 /-0
Location
Way upstate NY
While I have ordered from both companies in the past, and both offer a great product....

But......

There are many hobbyist on these forums that sell much denser populations of both phyto, and pods at a much cheaper price then the "big box stores" of the reefing community.

Just check out the "For Sale" section on these boards.
 

Jesse571

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 26, 2021
Messages
77
Reaction score
28
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Vancouver Island British Columbia Canada
Reef Nutrition is way denser. AlgaeBarn is quite watered down comparatively. Does that make one better than the other? I'm not sure that can be definitively answered.

I can get Reef Nutrition locally so that is a nice perk
I find you get more Pods in the Reef Nutrition then any of the other brands (I have tried them all I think...lol!!).
 
BRS
OP
Homey D. Clownfish

Homey D. Clownfish

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 22, 2022
Messages
64
Reaction score
120
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Santa Clara
OP
Homey D. Clownfish

Homey D. Clownfish

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 22, 2022
Messages
64
Reaction score
120
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Santa Clara
While I have ordered from both companies in the past, and both offer a great product....

But......

There are many hobbyist on these forums that sell much denser populations of both phyto, and pods at a much cheaper price then the "big box stores" of the reefing community.

Just check out the "For Sale" section on these boards.
Yeah, I think I’ll eventually look at that, too. I just got back in the hobby after a long absence and I’ve never bought pods before so my first dabble will probably be one of those “big box stores” till I get some experience with keeping them. Thanks for the info.
 

GarrettT

Well-Known Member
Review score
+1 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
743
Reaction score
485
Review score
+1 /0 /-0
Location
Austin, TX
Do you think the phytoplankton is a better option than the coral food?
Yes. Live phytoplankton is what I prefer. I would avoid coral foods personally. When culturing copepods in a dedicated container, I’ll add reef roids, but will not dose it to my main tank, which kind of renders the whole separate copepod culture as useless. If you build up enough copepods to feed 1/8tsp per 2 days, yet fail to add the same amount to the display, then the copepod population will just dwindle down. With live phytoplankton, I can add a ridiculous amount of food for the pods without all the repercussions of overfeeding. They will need detritus too though, so it will be best to add fish into your system. Keep in mind, there are many types of pods that aren’t sold, many of which will outcompete the ones being sold on the market, for this, I prefer not to culture and just let the dominate type prevail, as it’s going to happen regardless.
 

LordofCinder

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 14, 2021
Messages
2,295
Reaction score
2,593
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Toronto
wether you add a hundred pods or a million pods, the population will reproduce or die according to the conditions in your tank.

Adding pods more than once is a waste of money IMO, the best method, as mentioned above, is to feed phyto to the tank.
 

wmb0003

Active Member
Review score
+3 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 3, 2020
Messages
264
Reaction score
303
Review score
+3 /0 /-0
Location
Auburn AL
Actually, I was looking into the phytoplankton as well. I’ve started dosing a little benepets benereef in the aquarium just to “feed“ the system since I haven‘t added fish or coral yet. Do you think the phytoplankton is a better option than the coral food?
Check with @Eldredge is an expert when it comes to phytoplankton. I think he cultures like 8 different species. He has sold me some in the past and helped me when I had questions regarding culturing my own. 10/10 would recommend
 

Eldredge

Valuable Member
Review score
+12 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
1,056
Reaction score
422
Review score
+12 /0 /-0
Location
Eagle, Idaho
It would probably be helpful to consider your specific needs when determining which phyto is "best". If you are raising a specific organism, you can likely find information on it's nutritional needs if it is commonly raised. Different organisms have different nutritional needs. Since we have many organisms in our systems - and we really know very little about many of there dietary needs - there are a few things you might want to consider when choosing a source of phyto for dosing a reef tank.

- Is the phyto dead or alive? For some organisms, it won't matter, but for others it is critical to have live feed. It is also very difficult to overdose healthy, live phyto while dead phyto requires caution like any other dead food.
- Is there a variety of cell sizes? Different organisms have different requirements as far as cell size goes.
- Is there a blend of phyto species that have different nutritional profiles. Certain species have certain nutrients and lack others. Varying organisms need varying nutrients to thrive.
- Does the mix include motile and non-motile species. Again, some organisms don't care, others need motile cells, and some need non-motile cells. It is also important to know that the cells of the motile species are still motile and actually "swim" around.
- Does the mix include green and brown algaes as well as diatoms. In my opinion a good blend should have all three.

I believe that dosing phyto is one of the best things you can do for your reef. Properly dosing any good phyto will be beneficial, and dosing a top-quality blend of fresh live phyto is ideal in my opinion.
 
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock

TangerineSpeedo

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 8, 2022
Messages
660
Reaction score
834
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
SoCal
Thanks. I’ll check that out, too.
They do have bigger bottles also just shoot them a email if you need bigger. I bring quart glass milk bottles to them and put them on the window sill and when the bottle gets about half way down I just put some tank water in there except the CHA that needs silica so that is just IO mixed with tap because we have high silicate here.
 

beesnreefs

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 23, 2020
Messages
489
Reaction score
449
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Firestone
It would probably be helpful to consider your specific needs when determining which phyto is "best". If you are raising a specific organism, you can likely find information on it's nutritional needs if it is commonly raised. Different organisms have different nutritional needs. Since we have many organisms in our systems - and we really know very little about many of there dietary needs - there are a few things you might want to consider when choosing a source of phyto for dosing a reef tank.

- Is the phyto dead or alive? For some organisms, it won't matter, but for others it is critical to have live feed. It is also very difficult to overdose healthy, live phyto while dead phyto requires caution like any other dead food.
- Is there a variety of cell sizes? Different organisms have different requirements as far as cell size goes.
- Is there a blend of phyto species that have different nutritional profiles. Certain species have certain nutrients and lack others. Varying organisms need varying nutrients to thrive.
- Does the mix include motile and non-motile species. Again, some organisms don't care, others need motile cells, and some need non-motile cells. It is also important to know that the cells of the motile species are still motile and actually "swim" around.
- Does the mix include green and brown algaes as well as diatoms. In my opinion a good blend should have all three.

I believe that dosing phyto is one of the best things you can do for your reef. Properly dosing any good phyto will be beneficial, and dosing a top-quality blend of fresh live phyto is ideal in my opinion.
@Eldredge can you offer advice on who sells quality phyto? I’ve been using OceanMagik from AlgaeBarn but open to switching products if you think there is something better out there…
 
BRS

Does it matter to you whether your fish are captive-bred or wild caught?

  • I only buy captive bred fish.

    Votes: 41 13.4%
  • It matters, but I will buy either captive-bred or wild-caught.

    Votes: 228 74.8%
  • I think wild-caught fish are the better option.

    Votes: 4 1.3%
  • I don’t care where the fish were bred.

    Votes: 32 10.5%
Queen Anne's Corals
Top