Coral Feeding Tips
Best Coral Food
Growing and maintaining a reef tank can at first seem difficult. There are lots of things to consider and more questions come up as newbies begging to learn and develop the aquarium skills.
Knowing the basics of coral, including what to feed them given their delicate nature deserves careful consideration. Finding the best coral food isn’t hard, but it does require wading through a few options that aren’t suited for you.
Coral needs a balance of nutrients like any other living creature. It’s important that you understand the food options and why one is better for your tank than another option.
What to Feed Coral
If you are a new aquarium enthusiast, you might wonder what exactly does coral eat? The short answer is that they eat plankton among many other foods available to them in the wild. The full answer is a bit more complicated, however many companies that specialize in aquatic pet food have built up nutrient-dense options. Coral Max has developed a great alternative
These options are available so you don’t have to go through all the scientific research and construct a food choice for coral yourself. Not every aquarium owner is a marine biologist.
Bu if you’re looking for a greater understanding of your tank’s newest addition, we’re happy to help! Most of the time coral eats phytoplankton.
Phytoplankton is small, occasionally microscopic, plants or algae. In other words, they’re the floaters, drifting aimlessly through the tank. Coral will generally eat anything that is easy to catch. Sometimes this includes larvae or floating plankton that doesn’t settle the way that phytoplankton does.
Zooplankton is occasionally taken in by the more aggressive corals. The large polyp stony doesn’t have any issue grabbing onto this type of plankton.
One plankton type that is important to coral for its nutrients is bacterioplankton. This is also referred to as reef snow.
How to Feed Coral
Coral needs a signal to know that it’s time to eat. The trigger for eating time is usually:
· Change in light
· Change in temperature
· Change in oxygen levels
· Water movement
All of these can stimulate the coral to know that it’s chow time. This goes back to coral’s roots because in the ocean these triggers occur naturally and signify an increase in plankton in the area. Plankton usually comes out when the light fades, so when it is dark the coral opens its polyps to begin taking in any plankton that wanders by.
A barb kills any plankton that it comes into contact with and then little tentacles pull it into the coral’s mouth.
The coral uses stingers to draw food into them, which work similarly to jellyfish or sea anemones. Their tentacles can be microscopic, and hide inside the coral skeleton through the day. Because they rely on stimulation of light to know when to feed and when not to, they’ve begun adapting to aquarium habitats.
From the info above you’ve probably already figured out that feeding coral is not as easy as feeding fish. The different type of coral requires some special treatment. The time you spend getting to know your tank will help you understand which options are best for you. There are two methods to use when feeding coral.
With your coral food and the pump on your tank, you dispel the coral’s food throughout your tank. The stirred-up water spreads the food throughout the tank in an even layer. Many experienced aquarium enthusiasts prefer this method because it also nourishes the fish. By mixing the coral’s food throughout the entirety of the tank everything in it has the chance to benefit.
Whenever you are using the broadcast feeding method be sure to use not only the right food but also, the right amount. Because there is less control here, any food that goes uneaten will cause your tank’s nitrate levels to increase.
Using a syringe, you hand deliver the perfect blend of food for your coral. The plankton is delivered within reach of the coral’s barbs and the coral has an effortless meal. Aquarium enthusiasts use this method to preserve the health of their water longer. The water appears clearer with this method also because there isn’t the excess plankton floating around.
Finding the Best Value in Coral Food
Finding the best coral food is about more than just the coral. Because their food affects the entire tank you have to consider the health of the overall aquarium. Using the right feeding method with the best food for you will help your coral thrive and nourish the rest of the tank.
The two common types of coral share a number of similarities; however, the few differences are major. The differences between the small and large polyp stony are what will direct which food is best for them and your tank.
While the large polyp stony or LPS are known for stinging and their aggressive nature, small polyp stony varieties or SPS are recognized by their flowery appearance. The nutrients each need are essentially the same.
However, the feeding method can severely affect them. For LPS, the preferred method is target feeding. This ensures that each coral is getting nutrients and not being killed by its neighbor.
While the SPS corals aren’t aggressive and the whole tank can benefit from the broadcast feeding method. Take both of these into consideration when choosing which food is best for you.