Feeding photosynthetic corals

simpp88

New member
I have been faithfully feeding my LPS and palys with mysis shrimp. How necessary is this? Others seem to rely more on photosynthesis.

Paul
 

Spyderturbo007

New member
I posted about this a few weeks ago and didn't get much of a response. I started to feed my Hammer coral once a week. I give each head a pea sized piece of a deli shrimp. I don't know if it's the right way to do things, but it eats what I give it.
 

Palting

New member
My general rule is "Feed it if it has a mouth and/or feeding tentacles". As an example, my SPS corals just have polyps and no mouth, so no feeding, just light and flow. My LPS generally have mouths and/or feeding tentacles (duncans, acans, candy canes, favia, favites), so I target feed them. Same thing with feather dusters and coco worms. I used to feed my anemones with silversides and shrimp since they have mouths, but I quit doing that about a year ago and they continue to do fine.

Hammer corals I do not feed. Here's a pic of my hammer, it has about doubled in size in almost 2 years:
IMG_0601.jpg
 
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Spyderturbo007

New member
My general rule is "Feed it if it has a mouth and/or feeding tentacles". As an example, my SPS corals just have polyps and no mouth, so no feeding, just light and flow. My LPS generally have mouths and/or feeding tentacles (duncans, acans, candy canes, favia, favites), so I target feed them. Same thing with feather dusters and coco worms. I used to feed my anemones with silversides and shrimp since they have mouths, but I quit doing that about a year ago and they continue to do fine.

Hammer corals I do not feed. Here's a pic of my hammer, it has about doubled in size in almost 2 years:

But if you feed any coral that has a mouth and feeding tentacles, doesn't that include the Hammer coral? Mine has a mouth and feeding tentacles.
 

Palting

New member
But if you feed any coral that has a mouth and feeding tentacles, doesn't that include the Hammer coral? Mine has a mouth and feeding tentacles.

That's why I said it's a "general" rule. Most photosynthetic corals will do just fine without feeding, thriving quite well on just good lighting and good flow. My hammer is an example. You can do pretty much whatever suits you style of reefkeeping, as well as what coral you want to keep. In my reef, I do have a lot of SPS, and they like low nutrient levels best. So I play around quite a bit with this "general rule" of mine, trying to achieve this lower nutrient levels but still keep a mixed reef type of aquarium. I'll follow the rule at first with target feeding, then later see if I can get away with not feeding. The hammer did fine without feeding, as did my anemones, but some, like the acans and brains, became slow growing if not stagnant. When that happens, I go back to target feeding them. It's all about the fun, figuring out and playing to find what's good for your specific tank and coral! :)
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
HEre's the breakdown: lps (things with tentacles or just mouths) plus the softies (ranging from mushrooms, buttons, to the leathers) all feed from the water column.
SPS have very tiny mouths, but they only eat particulate the size of bristleworm poo-particles, leading one expert to suggest they have a relationship to the worms. Whatever the truth of this---they mostly feed off light and don't like particulate clouding up their water, for that reason.

I can't speak to softies, but I know that a diet of mysis for the fish and crushed jumbo dried krill, plus calcium-feeding, has enabled wild growth of hammer coral in my tank, with a fairly weak to non-functioning skimmer and strong lighting.

SPS and LPS MUST MUST MUST be fed calcium constantly. A kalk drip can do this in a tank under 75 gallons. Above that, ultimately a calcium reactor is necessary.

Best not to combine these corals unless you're experienced, because a tiny tank can't be all things all at once. Experimenting around to find out what your tank does best is sensible---just don't kill a coral: if you see it's not thriving and you've done what you can, try to trade it back for one you succeed at.
 

Spyderturbo007

New member
I guess I'm falling into what most new reefers do by over feeding. My hammer has its sweeper tentacles out all the time, so I just figured it was hungry and I would feed it something. :D

So you don't think that I'll be able to keep SPS and LPS in the future because of having soft coral as well? I figured that as my tank matured and my skills were developed, I would be able to keep them down the road.
 
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