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Inappropriate Feeding—Not Just Overfeeding—Kills Marine Fish

Everyone knows it’s feeding time in the aquarium!“We lose a lot more fish to overfeeding than we do to underfeeding.”I’ve read or written that sentence—or some variation upon it—more times than I can recollect. While I still consider this statement to be true on balance, I think placing undue emphasis on overfeeding versus other forms of inappropriate feeding can lead to some false conclusions. Among them: Fish have uniform needs when it comes to the volume and frequency of feedings. Good water quality takes precedence over keeping fish properly fed. Fish are secondary to corals in a reef system. Quantity/frequency of feeding is a more important consideration than the types of food offered. The risks to our fishes’ health are greater with overfeeding than with other forms of inappropriate feeding. Let’s take these points one by one and briefly examine where they go wrong: 1) Fish have uniform needs when it comes to the volume and frequency of feedings Nothing could be further from the truth.

Orange ghost shrimp-Corallianassa longiventris

Good morning friends, I had a few people asking about my pet Ghost Shrimp so just for you I went out and shot some new photos. This little thing is dripping with personality and expression, I really enjoy spending time with him on the sand. I always bring him a fresh handful of algae and dangle it over his little hole. Upon seeing the algae he will race to the surface and take them out of my hand, he is really not very shy! I will sometimes lay a pile of food next the hole and he will grab it and somehow drag it all down inside his home?? If you saw how much food he is taking down you would think he lives in a giant cave or something, I would love to see the burrow this guy has built!

Mystery Circles on Seahorse Solved? Watch out for the Asterina Stars

Asterina seastar on glass. Photo by Vishal BhaveCC BY-NC-SA When are spots on a seahorse not spots? When they’re starfish bites. Recently, a fellow seahorse keeper Adrienne Smith asked about some unusual markings on her seahorses.

Larval Rearing of the Purple Mask Angelfish

3 day old P. venusta larvae.  Photo credit: Karen Brittian. Larval rearing trials began with the spawning of a Paracentropyge venusta pair in the summer of 2013. The first successful larval rearing trial started with a small spawn on November 13, 2013.  This was the fifth larval run with this species and the focus was on food density and consumption at different developmental phases.  The diet consisted of both cultured copepods and wild collected plankton with all food items being less than 100 microns in size.  To assess consumption rates, five random samples were taken for initial food counts at the start of each test period. All food items added to the larval tank during the test period were counted while maintaining a density of 1 to 2 food items per ml in the water column. At the end of the time period counts were again done to determine larval consumption. At this point a 75% water change was carried out. I was surprised at the amount of food these little larvae could put away and as an example, at day 28 post hatch the larvae consumed approximately 2,150 food items each over a 12 hour period, (5:00am to 5:00pm). 32 day old P. venusta larvae.  Photo credit: Leighton Lum.   At one month of age the larvae started targeting larger prey items and ignored the food items less than 100 microns in size. At this point newly hatched and enriched Artemia were added to the diet along with adult cultured copepods.  The larvae also began to display benthic behavior by associating with the corners of the tank, the air stone and airline tubing.  A piece of dried coral rubble was added where the larvae took shelter.   The larvae continued to grow and develop; they were moved into a growout tank at 57 days old.  At this point we had 17 larvae remaining which equates to 6% survival from hatch. The development of juvenile colors came slowly. On day 95 they had black pigment on parts of their fins and tail.  A month later at 130 days old they were the beautiful blue and yellow of the adults. 115 day old P. venusta juvenile.  Photo credit: Leighton Lum.  Larval rearing of this species proved relatively “easy” in their first few weeks of the larval stage after which point larval development and growth seemed to slow. This could be attributed to the type and amount of wild plankton collected and fed out at that time. I feel that the larval phase could be shortened and improved upon in the area of diet. After metamorphosis the larvae were again slow to develop with a reluctance to accept non-living food items and this is also another area for improvement. The Reef Frenzy and Herbivore Frenzy frozen foods were the first choice of the juveniles when they began to accept non-living food. Currently these juveniles are fairly bold and are consuming frozen and dry foods with gusto.

Sharknose Goby, Gobies, Small Cleaner Fish

I guys and gals, I have a cute little Sharknose Goby, Gobiosoma evelynae resting in a little pocket of brain coral for you all today. These little fish as you may or may not know are known for engaging in symbiosis with other marine creatures by providing them cleaning service that consists of getting rid of ectoparasites on their bodies. In return, the Sharknose Gobies obtain their primary source of food, ectoparasites. Sharknose gobies are very small, torpedo-shaped fish. Although sizes vary slightly by species, they are generally about (1.5 inch) long. They have dark bodies with iridescent stripes running from the tip of the nose to the base of the caudal fin.

Mr. Saltwater Tank TV Friday AM Quick Tip: The Best Advice For Fish Food

Your college days may be filled with memories of living off just Top Ramen. Your fish don’t need the same memories.

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Free Swimming Caribbean Reef Octopus at Night

Hi gang, I know I’m late again, what can I say?? The first thing I did this morning was to setup my camera and take off the sea for an hour and a half dive, what a great way to start the day. My goal for the dive was mainly to test my newly fixed camera housing that had a broken electrical connection last week but thanks to Bruce (one of our sub pilots) it’s working again like a charm. Bruce is our “Master of everything” around here!! He not only pilots the sub, he fixes and repairs any and everything on it, runs the crane, does electrical repairs for me all the time, he’s a crazy great diver, and on and on!! So while on my dive this morning I spotted a Peppermint Basslet at 75 feet and once he saw me he went into hiding somewhere deep in the reef and I never saw him again!

Reef Threads Podcast #156

One of those little fairy wrasses.We return once again, this week to discuss progress with Christine’s tank, the typhoon in the Philippines, Dana Riddle’s lighting research, flow, food, photographing coral with flash, and reef logs. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine Christine’s tank Riddle’s lighting Flash and coral photography

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