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Refugium food

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Zack

Enjoy the reef!
Joined
Jul 6, 2003
Messages
188
Location
Bellevue
Hey
I recently got an anthias and just finished a good article on them in aquarium fish mag. They talk how they need to be fed often and how they enjoy food like pods and phyto. I have a fairly large refugium and would love to start to grow plankton or other food that these fish will eat.

I am looking for help on how to go about setting this up, and starting to grow food down in my refugium. Any ideas help?
 

G~

Super Gobie
Joined
Jul 25, 2003
Messages
133
this is a very difficult thing to do. the biggest hurdle is the fact that pods and anthias are on different activity schedules. pods are active at night while the anthias are active during the day.

then there is my favorite question: why would a pod want to leave the refugium? pods very seldom travel further than a few cm from thier LR. which brings me to another point. how are the pods going to get into the display? they stay close to the LR so how are they going to get sucked into the pump, or if the tank gravity fed, how are they going to get near the outlet when they are near the LR.

using a refugium as a source of food for a fish in ANOTHER display is wishfull thinking. they are great for algae filters/cryptic filters, but not as a source of food for larger predators.

another problem is that anthias are open water feeders. they only go into the coral heads to hide or sleep. they feed on plankton in the water column. i have never seen a pod in the water column. :D

G~
 

Zack

Enjoy the reef!
Joined
Jul 6, 2003
Messages
188
Location
Bellevue
Hey
Thanks for your reply, i was not just thinking pods,
have a fairly large refugium and would love to start to grow plankton or other food that these fish will eat.
So what about growing phyto in there, or something that will be in water column? Any thoughts on that?
 

DonW

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Dec 15, 2003
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Tacoma, WA
Phyto and rotifers are easy to culture. You need vessels for each some people use 2l coke bottles (clear). You will need twice as many for phyto to feed the rotifers. You need a 10w light, a cheap under counter light from HD is fine. To much light is a bad thing, remember it has to be long enough to light all the phyto jugs. Now you need a air pump and gang valve, dont go all out here either the petco stuff works fine.
Go to Florida Aquaculture supply web site and get phyto cultures, rotifer eggs and fertilizer/food for your phyto.
Mix up fresh ro saltwater to 1.22sg fill the phyto jugs 3/4 add the phyto cultures, fertilizer and air hoses on low no stone. Turn on the light and wait. After about two days you have phyto growing. Now start the rotifers the same way but with no light (its not needed ambient is fine).
Once they hatch you need to feed them phyto to keep them going.
DONT USE TANK WATER ANY WHERE IN YOUR SYSTEM the critters from your tank water will eat your entire phyto culture. Be carefull not to use a rotifer air line in a phyto jug (mark them).
Pretty simple If you want to spend money on vessels and save lots of space you can get a phyto light reactor and one non lit reactor. I have a twin chamber unit, one chamber for each.

Hope this helps
Don
 

G~

Super Gobie
Joined
Jul 25, 2003
Messages
133
the problem with growing phyto is that it is like having pure phosphate in the system. this will lead to algae problems. also phyto is to small for the anthias to eat. phyto is generally used for feeding filter feeding organisms.

anthias do need to be fed several times a day, at least several times a week. they can go a day without food, but it is not something that should occur on a regular basis. if you are able to put just a little bit of blender mush in the tank in the morning and then again in the afternoon, you should be fine.

G~
 

DonW

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Blender mush is satured with phos. Unless you collect the stuff yourself you will still be adding phos. The key is not to over do it. The rotifers is really what your after not the phyto. Since you are collecting them with a net your not pouring in phos saturated water.


Don
 

Cougra

Active member
Joined
Mar 29, 2004
Messages
42
Location
Ontario
Phyto is best grown in 1 litre containers outside the tank and add what you need as you need it, otherwise you are going to have a green tank which most people avoid!

You can get culture starter kits from:
www.florida-aqua-farms.com

Here is some instructions on how to culture Phytoplankton:
http://www.sjwilson.net/reef/phytosteps.html

If you really want to get serious, you can also get some Rotifier cultures as well once you get your phyto going.
 

G~

Super Gobie
Joined
Jul 25, 2003
Messages
133
DonW- i agree. i was posting at the same time you were.:D so my post looks like i was being obnoxious instead of helpfull.

G~
 

DonW

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Messages
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Tacoma, WA
G~ said:
DonW- i agree. i was posting at the same time you were.:D so my post looks like i was being obnoxious instead of helpfull.

G~
Not at all! Phos is a touchy subject and can be a real problem. I was reading an article at Garf that was saying phos was needed and should be added so that coral could properly use all the calcium we stuff into our tanks.
Rotifers are easy to hatch if you dont try to supply the entire neighborhood. Phyto is even easier my problem is over production and end up dumping most of it.

Don
 

G~

Super Gobie
Joined
Jul 25, 2003
Messages
133
phosphate is needed in all living things, the problem is that it is needed in far lower amounts than we are generally able to keep in our systems. it generally ends up as a fuel for problem algae and cyano.

sorry Mojo, do not know how strict you are about keeping threads on topic over here.:lol:

G~
 

Ritz

Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2004
Messages
13
Location
Anytown, U.S.A.
www.ipsf.com has pod breeding kits, as well as sea bunnies (if you're on the west coast you can buy them). The sea bunnies supposedly mate like rabbits (hence the name bunnies) and their constant reproduction will add some additional food to the tank.
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
sorry Mojo, do not know how strict you are about keeping threads on topic over here.
No problem here G~! The fact remains that when using phyto, you need to be aware that phosphates are an issue, and also decide on what you are feeding when adding phyto. Here is a recent thread: Is Phytoplankton a necessity...

As far as blender mush goes, you can reduce the amount of phosphates added by soaking the components in RO/DI water for an hour or so, this will get rid of any "phosphate coating" that was added when the food was caught and put on display at the store. IMO, blender mush would be a better source of food than prepared foods.

Don, you stated:
I was reading an article at Garf that was saying phos was needed and should be added so that coral could properly use all the calcium we stuff into our tanks.
Phosphates actually decrease the calcification of corals....here is a quote
Or in simple terms if it is present it will not allow and/or will severly decrease calcification of corals.
(taken from the thread: Discussion of the week ~Phosphates~

Another good thread that gets into detail of phosphates and calcium:
Let's talk about ~Reef Chemistry~. The first page starts the discussion on phosphates.
 
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