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FAQs on Foods/Feeding/Nutrition, By Product, Brands, Manufacturers, DIY  

Related Articles: Foods/Feeding/Nutrition By Bob Fenner & Marine Nutrition, Probably the most overlooked component of proper fish keeping By Aaron Loboda, Feeding a Reef Tank: A Progressive Recipe by Adam Blundell, Culturing Food Organisms

Related FAQs: Foods/Feeding/Nutrition 1, Foods/Feeding/Nutrition 2, Foods/Feeding/Nutrition 3Foods/Feeding/Nutrition 4, Foods/Feeding/Nutrition 5, Foods/Feeding/Nutrition 6, & FAQs on Foods/Feeding/Nutrition: Kinds, Amounts, Frequency, Feeding Methods/Techniques/Tools, Automated Feeding, Holiday/Vacation Feeding, Medicated/Augmented Foods/Feeding, Feeding/Food Problems,  & Brine ShrimpAlgae as Food, VitaminsNutritional DiseaseFrozen Foods, Coral Feeding, Anemone Feeding, Growing Reef CoralsCulturing Food OrganismsButterflyfish Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

Learn what essential macro- and micro-nutrients your given livestock needs, can use... in what formats, times, amounts, social conditions... Read the labels on foods you are thinking of buying, using... there are some "placebos" in the trade... others that are more "pollution in a bottle" than nutritious.

Brands/Manufacturers: Cyclop-eeze: http://www.argent-labs.com/, http://www.argent-labs.com/argentwebsite/frm3news.htm Hikari: http://www.hikariusa.com/ New Life Spectrum: http://www.nlpublish.com/, http://www.nlpublish.com/dealers/ Ocean Nutrition: onsales@saltcrk.com, SaltCreek(.com) Omega Sea: http://www.omegasea.net/best3.html Piscine Energetics (Mysis): http://www.mysis.com/ Tetra: http://www.tetra-fish.com/TetraFish.home

For "fish food cultures"... Carolina Biological Supply: https://www2.carolina.com/ Tang Heaven/Indo-Pacific Sea Farm: http://www.ipsf.com/ Inland Aquatics (http://www.inlandaquatics.com/detritivore.htm) sells Mysis, amphipod, copepod, etc.  

Response to Neale Monks comments... FW fish (et al.) foods/Spectrum (RMF, feel free to chime in) - 2/7/10
With regards to .....
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwfoods,fdg.htm
Re: Picky Eaters, N. Am. Natives
(comments on Bob's PowerPoint show about fish foods) 4/16/09
With all due respect to Neale Monks, not only will many North American natives eat pellet food (specifically New Life Spectrum food) many owners of these native species (such as myself) feed this food exclusively.
<At least one of the species listed by the querier, Enneacanthus gloriosus, is notoriously fussy, and really does need live food (if my experience of Enneacanthus chaetodon is anything to go by).>
I'm at a complete loss as to why Neale would state; "Even if they do, it shouldn't be the staple".
<Multiple reasons, but the main is simply my maintaining a variety of foods, you avoid fish either becoming bored of one thing.>
My Lepomis megalotis (Longear Sunfish) are fed New Life Spectrum food exclusively, and I seriously doubt that one could find healthier specimens swimming in the wild.
<Indeed. Not arguing that some fish can do perfectly well on pellet foods. But I personally don't recommend it. If nothing else, providing some fresh green foods in the diet avoids problems with constipation, which if you look over the messages we get here at WWM, is a fairly common problem.>
Pellet foods such as New Life Spectrum are far more nutritionally complete than any of the foods that Neale mentioned,
<Yes, but that's true about the food we humans eat too: no single food is complete. I do stress VARIETY, for example augmenting pellets with earthworms, brine shrimps, spinach, cooked peas, bloodworms, chopped seafood, etc. While any one of these fresh or live foods might lack something, the mixture balancing out in the end. In other words, precisely what medics tell us we should do with out own diet: a little bit of everything, and everything in moderation. Very few medics recommend people take vitamins; instead, they stress people have a healthy, varied, diet. I do have some ethical issues with pellet foods to do with the use of fish meal and chicken meal, but we'll put that to one side for now.>
and while every native species may not be successfully trained to eat pellets or flakes, those that do have amazing color, superb health, and will breed on a continuous basis.
<No doubt. But not all the species listed by the questioner fall into that category.>
With regards to http://www.wetwebmedia.com/foodsppt4.htm , I would suggest that perhaps you ask Bob what argument he was attempting to make, as I'm rather certain it had nothing to do with "general fishkeeping", as Neale
suggests.
<I cannot speak for Bob.>
Bob Fenner has seen the results first hand of feeding New Life Spectrum exclusively, and with species of fish that make keeping most North American native species seem like mere child's play. (ask Bob about Pablo Tepoot's
fish!)
<<Seeing is indeed believing, and I have fed my own fishes (African Cichlids and Fancy Goldfishes, Corydoras, Odd Livebearers... Spectrum almost exclusively... since there was such product. RMF>>
<Not arguing that either of these gentlemen should keep their fish my way.
Merely offering advice to that particular querier.>
Whether a fish is wild, or what that a fish eats in the wild, seems to make little difference once that fish ends up in a glass cage in captivity, if
it is fed a well balanced nutrient dense food such as NLS.
<Actually, I'm not sure that this is true. Fibre and ash content are very important, and these aspects are often overlooked in dried foods. Marine fish are often carnivores, but many, perhaps most, freshwater fish are omnivores, so some plant material is important. Barbs, livebearers, most cichlids, Synodontis, Plecs, Corydoras are all examples of fish that feed extensively on algae and decaying plant matter in the wild. I think that's important to acknowledge. I'd argue much the same holds for herbivorous marines such as Angels and Surgeonfish, and I cannot image keeping either of those without at least some plant matter in their diet, regardless of how "complete" the flake food offered might be.>
<<Neale, if you have occasion, visit the London Aquarium... they feed Spectrum to almost all their marines... The product is nutritionally complete and amazingly palatable... yes, even for Acanthuroids>
Whether that fish eats tunicates in the wild (such as Moorish Idol), sponge (such as Majestic Angel) coral (such as Parrotfish), algae (such as Clown Surgeonfish), or fish, (such as Volitans Lionfish) .... the single common denominator amongst all those species is, that in captivity they will all thrive on an exclusive diet of New Life Spectrum fish food.
<I'd argue this in the case of Surgeonfish, which in my experience do immensely better when given access to suitable green foods. But I'm not holding myself out as a marine authority since that side of the hobby doesn't interest me very much. I write here on the topic of feeding freshwater fish.>
Is Spectrum unique in this? I would have to say yes. I know of no other commercial pellet or flake food on the market that will keep fish such as some of the marine species previously mentioned thriving for "years" in captivity.
<It's not a brand I've used, so I can't comment on its quality. I will accept that some foods, like Tetra and Hikari foods, are highly palatable to a wide range of fish, and seem to keep them in good health.>
Kieron Dodds, from Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine wrote an article on the Moorish Idol in 2008, titled; "Still Impossible After All These Years - Keeping Moorish Idol". He clearly admits that the main intent of his article was to discourage anyone from acquiring this species, as he feels that Moorish Idol have almost no chance in being kept alive in captivity beyond a very short duration.
<Agreed.>
At one point in the article he states "Pablo Tepoot is perhaps the single individual who has had the most success with this species" - unfortunately Pablo lost his last group of Moorish Idol to an electrical failure during a hurricane, at that point Pablo had kept them thriving in captivity for 5 years. Something that most people would have considered impossible 15 or 20 yrs ago.
<I'm sorry to hear of this incident. A remarkable achievement.>
<<One of many I can relate. I've been to Pablo (and Carol's) home a few times in Homestead, Fla... and seen the "plant" where the foods are made, packaged... used the food/s extensively for years, seen them in use in dozens of countries around the world. Like a few other brands in our interest (e.g. PolyFilter), this food is "the real thing". I rarely "do" such "endorsements" but I will state that Spectrum brand is excellent. RMF>>
If feeding the same pellet day in and day out equates to my being a "casual fishkeeper", as Neale Monks suggests, then I guess that places me along side some pretty good company!
<Nope, you're misunderstanding me. A "casual fishkeeper" is someone who considers their fish just a pet, not a passion. Someone who buys a few colourful fish from the shop, and does their best to keep them alive.
That's my audience. For the most part, aquarists keeping a community of Platies, Corydoras, Danios and a Plec catfish will do best offering a mix of a good quality flake, some wet-frozen foods like bloodworms and Artemia,
and some suitable green foods such as blanched lettuce or cooked peas. Hope this clarifies things. Cheers, Neale.>
<<I thank you for both your comments. BobF>>
Re: Response to Neale Monks comments (RMF, feel free to chime in) - 2/8/10
Neale,
<Hello,>
I believe that part of the problem is that you are not at all familiar with New Life Spectrum products.
<I don't have shares in the company, no, and I've not used them. Honestly, I use hardly any dried foods. Perhaps a pot or two a year. Almost all my fish foods come from the grocery store, my back garden, or the freezer.>
I am not advocating that fish should not be consuming plant matter in their diet. All NLS products do in fact contain kelp, seaweed, Spirulina, several micro-algaes, along with a plant & vegetable extract.
<Ah, well, "extract" does mean fibre; indeed, usually means the reverse.>
Personally I shy away from vegetables sourced from terrestrial matter due to the anti-nutritional factors involved, especially those that are in a raw uncooked state - such as peas, but that's a whole 'nuther discussion.
<And irrelevant to freshwater fish, which is what I'm talking about. Most plant material in freshwater ecosystems comes from terrestrial sources: bog plants, forest leaves, fruits, seeds, etc.>
Your argument about fish becoming "bored" is a rather weak one, especially if your target audience is the casual fishkeeper, such as you stated in your response.
<Oh?>
In captivity, many marine Butterflyfish that only consume coral polyps in the wild, would rather starve to death than switch food. Harlequin Shrimp eat only the feet of the Starfish, Monarch Butterflies (caterpillar) only eat milkweed, and Koala Bears typically only eat Eucalyptus leaves. Are they all dying from boredom?
<Actually, specialists like these are the minority situation. Most animals most of the time feed on a great variety of things. Do spend a little on Fishbase reviewing "Food Items" for example.>
I think not.
<Hmm...>
At 50+ yrs of age I can't say that I have ever seen Platies, Corydoras, Danios, or Plecos (even wild caught specimens) become bored with their diet, if it is in fact a nutritionally complete diet.
<Perhaps not. But at the same time, including green foods in their diet is a good thing. I think we're at cross purposes here. I'm not saying you can't keep fish feeding them nothing by Goldie Fish Flakes every day, but at the same time, there's nothing to be lost by offering a variety. And it may do some good. Costs nothing, so what's to lose? Besides, my Pufferfish aren't that impressed with flake! And things like Panaque need wood. So there are plenty of exceptions.>
(or any species of fish that the "casual fishkeeper" would be inclined to keep)
<If you say so.>
Did Robert T. Rickett's Figure 8 (Tetraodon biocellatus) puffers get bored from eating nothing but snails for 10-15 years? Hmmmmm.
<"Snails" is a class, Gastropoda, not a single species.>
Yes, I wholeheartedly agree that fish do require a varied diet, but if one single food is made from a *wide variety* of high quality raw ingredients, the varied diet that you speak of can indeed be found in one single formula of fish food.
<But without fibre, which is important. Few "complete" diets include fibre
in adequate quantities, which is why we see so many constipated Goldfish!
Look, each to their own. I'm not saying everyone should keep fish my particular way. But I am saying that way I was describing works, is safe, and is inexpensive. You and I are (I'm assuming) reasonably expert fishkeepers, so we've no doubt developed our own habits, good and bad.>
If I took all of the various raw ingredients found in your typical *wide variety* of fish foods, and created a food that contained all of these various ingredients in a proper ratio and balance, would it not be the same as feeding all of these foods separately?
<Perhaps, but fibre for the herbivores, shell for the puffers, wood for the Panaque -- all these things are more easily provided fresh. Plus, hand feeding my puffers and pike characins little strips of tilapia fillet and prawn is simply more fun than throwing in some pellets. As I say, each to their own.>
If only high quality premium ingredients are being used, in many cases that single food might actually be much better for the fish. (as everything is fed in a controlled balance)
<May well be.>
You are looking at this all wrong, this isn't just one single food stuff, it's a single formula of food, made up from numerous raw ingredients - my fish are eating every bit of the nutrition that your fish are, I simply discovered an easier way to get the job done! No constipation, and no diarrhea!
<If you say so.>
You now state that you can't speak for Bob, yet that is precisely what you did when you inferred that Bob's PP presentation on fish nutrition, and New Life Spectrum, was an argument made in regards to "general fishkeeping".
I can assure you that there are hundreds of species of fish being fed New Life Spectrum, many exclusively, that fall FAR from the scope of general fishkeeping, or are kept by casual fishkeepers. Some of these fish can fetch hundreds/thousand+ dollars, for a single specimen!
<Good for them.>
A recent comment posted by Bob with regards to New Life Spectrum .....
NLS Pelletized Food FYI 1/6/2010
Bob,
James
Was reading one of the posts today re a gent feeding NLS pellets to his fish. I really cannot say enough about the product. All my fish are eating the NLS pellets and they are certainly more colorful and healthier looking than I've ever seen them. This is the only food I feed now and was reluctant to do this as I believe in variety, but the results certainly eased my mind as well as my wallet. I may add variety down the road, but so far it certainly appears the nutrition level is present.
James
<I do hope that folks reading this will realize our sincerity... This product is... amazing. Fully nutritious, and obviously... delicious... to fishes (watch out Longfellow). Have seen it in use, and used it almost exclusively myself for years. BobF>
I'll let Bob explain to you how Surgeonfish do after being raised exclusively on New Life Spectrum for over a decade.
You stated; "It's not a brand I've used, so I can't comment on its quality."
...... which is the only real point that I am attempting to drive home.
As a long time reader of Bob Fenner's, and the entire WetWebMedia site, NLS fish food is one of the few commercial products out there that is constantly been endorsed by the WetWebMedia crew. There's a reason for that, and considering the fact that you've never used it, you might not want to knock it, until you have given it a proper go. :)
<Fair comment. But at the same time, I'm not feeling the loss, either.>
In my humble opinion, suggesting that someone keeping native Sunfish shouldn't feed NLS as that species staple food, certainly wasn't doing them any favours.
<Or any harm, either. Moreover, good luck trying to get Enneacanthus to eat any kind of flake food.>
Just a little something to keep in mind ....... much of the scientific wisdom today, began as the heresies of another time.
<Indeed.>
Respectfully,
NRW
<Nordrhein Westfalen? Cheers, Neale.>
<<Again, I thank you both for your civil discourse here. And I DO encourage Neale to seek out, try Spectrum... of appropriate size pellets et al. with his fish stocks. It has been my experience that in a remarkably short number of trials, ALL fishes take this food. Really.
BobF>>

Amblygobius Phalaena/Feeding 1/4/10
<Hello mystery writer.>
Read the FAQ, still have a question, Amblygobius phalaena or Dragon Goby.
<Is a Sleeper Banded Goby.>
He pretty much completely cleaned the sand bed within the first 24 hours and the number one issue I've heard of with these guys after my research is that they tend to starve in many tank situations.
<Yes, many are lost in captivity from starvation and jumping out of tanks.
They are continuous feeders in the wild, feeding on filamentous algae, various crustaceans, nematode worms, etc.
They are best kept in reef type settings with adequate fauna.>
Mysid and brine shrimp are the primary supplemental feeding alternatives with occasional meatier fare like squid, clam bits. My concern is that I gave him a cube of Mysid shrimp today and he gulps them into his mouth then does the standard lower jaw vibration filtering process, but then spits out the Mysid via his gills. I'm worried that he is not taking in the food. I'm going to try WWW advice for New Life Spectrum pellets and see where that gets me but I'm worried that he just not getting the supplemental feeding philosophy. Common problem? Not a problem?
<Try the NLS pellets, it may help, but these fish do best in larger reef type systems with a populated live sand bed.
James (Salty Dog)>

Re Amblygobius Phalaena/Feeding 1/9/10
Update, the New Life Spectrum is working great and he eats well now.
Success story there I guess.
<Is a very nutritional product and is actually all I feed. You may want to visit their web site and watch
the video, is truly amazing. Thank you for sharing with us.
James (Salty Dog)>

NLS Pelletized Food FYI 1/6/2010
Bob,
<James>
Was reading one of the posts today re a gent feeding NLS pellets to his fish. I really cannot say enough about the product. All my fish are eating the NLS pellets and they are certainly more colorful and healthier looking than I've ever seen them. This is the only food I feed now and was reluctant to do this as I believe in variety, but the results certainly eased my mind as well as my wallet. I may add variety down the road, but so far it certainly appears the nutrition level is present.
James
<I do hope that folks reading this will realize our sincerity... This product is... amazing. Fully nutritious, and obviously... delicious... to fishes (watch out Longfellow). Have seen it in use, and used it almost exclusively myself for years. BobF>

New life spectrum/ New era
New Era Dried Food    5/15/09

Hi Crew,
<Hello Simon>
Do any of you have experience with New Era dried foods? I have been using these (flake and then the slightly soft marine pellets) for the past 2-3 years or so, along with the spray (that I spray on Nori) and have had very
good results. http://www.new-era-aquaculture.com/prod-tn-marine.html
Can you tell me how you think they compare to New life Spectrum, a product that I know you rate highly?
<I'm not familiar with New Era products, but have been using New Life Spectrum for the last year with great results in improved color and health of my fish. Take a look at their video here.
http://nlsfishfood.com/>
Thanks,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Simon 

Moorish Idol Feeding/New Life Spectrum Pellets 2/12/09 Hello Miss SaraM, or any other crew member for that matter. <James with you today, Kai.> Would like to apologise for writing to you almost everyday, <Not necessary, is why we are here.> including today, and as Sara mentioned, I have found a local forum where I can share questions and doubts, besides here. However, this one question that I have for you today could not be answered by my local forum people (if that is what you call them), so really sorry to trouble you, (again), but would really appreciate your help :) Besides my small 3 feet tank, my dad has a larger 5 feet reef tank with mainly LPS and a few softies. Despite my advice, he came home today with a Moorish Idol... <Yikes. I might mention that Hawaiians call them Kihikihi, and don't ask me what that means. Bob more than likely knows.> Well, I guess the only consolation was that it is a very healthy specimen, and began eating during quarantine. <A good sign.> So far, he is eating live brine shrimp, frozen mysis, human shrimp meant for human consumption, and a special home-made blend of seafood and Nori seaweed. Ok, firstly, in all your years of experience, do you know if Moorish Idols consume LPS/soft corals? <Oh yes.> I have seen it pecking on some Zoanthids in the quarantine tank, but the Zoanthids look perfectly fine, the polyps are closed, but they are not damaged. Perhaps it was just going after food that got caught on the Zoas. I did notice, however, it obliterated every sponge there was in his quarantine tank. <Seems to be one of their favorites.> Which is good? As I hear they consume sponges in the wild, and my dad has a more than healthy growth of sponge in his tank. <Not for long.> Regarding the New Life Spectrum pellets which you guys mentioned will give Moorish Idols greater chance of success, there is one LFS in my country that sells it. So far, only seen it being sold there and there only. Is there any special blend I should go for? Or just any kind, so long as it is New Life Spectrum? <I'd try to get the one for finicky fish, but if not available, you will have to settle for the marine blend.> The Idol has not taken any pelleted food so far, and my main question is, even though the New Life Spectrum food is so highly sought after, if the Moorish Idol will not take any regular pelleted food, will it go for the New Life Spectrum? Or will it not, considering it is still a pellet kind of food, and the Moorish Idol as of now, does not take any pellets. Or is there some magic in the food that will make the fish eat it? <The New Life Spectrum site has video showing Idols' eating the pellets like gangbusters but is no guarantee yours will. The are one of the most difficult fish to acclimate to prepared food. Getting it to eat is half the battle. I'm thinking your father's tank may be little too small for keeping an Idol. You don't mention the size, just the length, but regardless, I wouldn't attempt to keep one unless I had at least a 72" x 24" tank.> It is a shame that such a beautiful fish wound up in my house....where it could have a much brighter future in the sea. <Yes it is, I wish they would be banned from collecting as a very, very small percentage live more than a couple of months in closed systems. Hopefully we will learn what it takes to keep these beauties successfully.> Well, since it is eating well now, perhaps there is a slight chance of survival? <I do wish you luck here my friend.> Do advise on the pellet food and I will get them ASAP. <I have.> And yes, sorry for troubling you busy people with my incessant questions...my school holidays are almost over and I need to burn off all the excitement :) Will try my hardest to get all my queries answered from my LFS, and the people at my local forum, as I know you guys are real busy. <Again, this is what we do.> Thanks for all the help thus far! Well wishes for you and your tanks. <Kai, do read here and related FAQ's. Will give your more insight to this beautiful fish. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/moorish_idols.htm And if you like, visit New Life Spectrum here, watch the video and hope Dad's turns out this way. http://nlsfishfood.com/ Do keep us posted with your hopeful progress on the Idol. James (Salty Dog)> Cheers! Kai

Re: Moorish Idol Feeding/New Life Spectrum Pellets 2/13/09 Thanks James. <You're welcome.> I have just bought the New Life Spectrum pellet. They only have a few types....I bought the one that says "all purpose formula, for herbivores, carnivores and omnivores" I read the ingredients, looks delicious! <I wouldn't eat them.> Contains algae, Spirulina, garlic, etc etc...and copper sulphate!? Ferrous sulphate!? Is this safe for my fish!? <The levels are extremely low, no problem.> Anyway, I guess even though it is not the ideal one for the Moorish Idol, it is still better than nothing as it is <n>ew <l>ife <s>prectrum, <Kai, please capitalize proper nouns, names of companies, etc. I don't like doing that.> and according to the advertisement I saw, all their products are good! <They are, use them myself.> I took some new life pellets and threw it into the quarantine tank with the MI. Did not eat....then i <I> went to take another kind of pellet and threw it in too, and it did not eat again. <Not surprising.> Went to the kitchen for a drink of water, came back, and saw it eating the pellets at the bottom of the tank!! AMAZING! But....since I threw both kinds in, I have no idea which one it ate...guess I will have to try again this evening :) <He is eating, the main goal here.> I am also pleased to find my corals in my quarantine tank untouched and uneaten. Hope this keeps up. <So far, so good.> I hope I can squeeze in another question. My 3 feet tank currently has 2 Banggai Cardinals, they are very established and have been here for months. Will it be ok if I add 2 more cardinals? <Should be fine.> I kinda want to add the yellow striped ones. I am unsure of the exact name, but it has vertical stripes, a neon ring around the eye and a spot on the tail area. Will look up Cardinalfish in WetWebMedia later. <OK> Just updating you on my MI venture. Even though it is my dad's, seems like <I>'m helping him take care of it while he goes to work XD. Really hope I can e-mail you few months, or years down the road saying that my MI is doing really great. Beautiful fishes. I guess when the buying stops, the killing can too! Here's to successful reef keeping! Cheers, you have been nothing but help thus far. <Good luck with the Idol. James (Salty Dog)> -Kai>

Re: Torch Coral, foods  01/22/09 What is it about the Kent Microvert you don't like? What do you recommend? <I just don't think it actually feeds much of anything (except maybe some of the more indiscriminate filter feeders). Oyster eggs and live phytoplankton probably work a lot better. But this depends on what you are trying to feed with it. The particles are likely too small for the torch coral. For feeding corals in general, these links might help: http://www.asira.org/feedingyourtanks http://www.wetwebmedia.com/feeding.htm Best,
Sara M.>

New Spectrum Fish Food  3/10/08 Hi Bob, <Jimbo> I purchased a small jar of this food a few days ago. Was skeptical as I am with any dry food claims. The first time I put the food in the tank I was amazed. Once the fish got a taste of it, they went into a feeding frenzy...unbelievable. It has definitely become their favorite food by far. After four days of feeding this formula, I see a bluish tinge on the anal fins of the False Lemon Peel and the Tomini Tang has also developed accented color. Boy, I don't know Bob, this could very well become the only food I use, no more freezer full of foods. As for their website, there certainly was much time spent in research to publish about an eight page article on nutrition and benefits of their product. The video is quite awesome also, same feeding frenzy I observed in my tank. Thought I'd share my feelings on this product. Regards, James <Heeeeee! Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/foodsppt1.htm I too am a giant fan. BobF>

Re: Spectrum   3-11-08 How do you feel about this food as the only food the fish will need? Jim <Is nutritionally complete... as stated in the prev. linked ppt. pres. B>

Lawnmower Blenny/Feeding New Spectrum Pellets 3/8/08 Hey Guys/Gals, <Hiya Joey> Just a quick statement. On 3-6-08 someone wrote in and asked what to feed their Lawnmower Blenny because it was not getting enough food. I have a solution. New Life Marine Spectrum sinking pellets(1mm). My lawnmower loves them. Have tried other brands and they do not accept them. Have also heard of many other success stories. One bad thing, the fish will get spoiled and not eat as much micro-algae. Most other fish will eat them too. <Thank you for sharing this info Joey. I too am trying this same food and indeed it is amazing how well this food is accepted by all fish. Moorish Idol's eagerly accept it also. Do watch the video at www.nlpublish.com. Maybe this is the bridge we needed for keeping finicky eaters.> Thanks, <Thank you. James (Salty Dog)> Joey

Aquadine Duraflakes Hello there Crew, <Hello,> Just curious...has anyone here ever tried Aquadine Duraflakes? Not I, said the Little Red Hen.> I just ordered a free sample of their Freshwater Fish blend, I'll see how the fish like it before I make an order for some additional kinds. <Sounds worthwhile.> The concept seems to make sense, a fish food made without additional heating to ensure the nutrients stay further intact. Also, the idea of feeding less since the food is more concentrated. <Hmm... while picking good quality food is important, variety is also important. Few things keep fish in as good health as varying the diet so that they get a range of things across the week. Plant foods of some sort one day, bloodworms the next, Daphnia the next day to keep them "regular", and then something algae-based the next to get the best colours. In other words, don't tie yourself to a single brand or type of food, but rotate things. Pots of flake food especially lose a lot of their value a month or two after opening -- oils simply don't stay stable at room temperature for much longer, and when the oils go, the oil-soluble vitamins go too. So buying small pots of different brands is a great idea: not only do you keep the freshest flake food to hand, but you make sure your fish don't get bored.> I still plan on continuing to use New Life Spectrum, but as they say, variety is the spice of life - and I was just wondering what your opinion of this product was, if any. <None. That said, flake foods comprise less than 5% of the food my freshwater fish get across the year. I find it cheaper and more effective to "be creative" and use stuff from the grocery store, the freezer, and the garden.> Thanks! Nicole <Cheers, Neale.> <<This food... is bunk... poor acceptability, stored in air... lost nutrition. RMF>>

Foods, Feeding & Nutrition? - 6/1/07 <Hi Jeff, Mich here.> > While flipping through one of my Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazines I stumbled across this page that said. " This experimental 2000 gallon aquarium is owned by Pablo Tepoot, developer of New Life Spectrum fish food. > The above aquarium has been fed New Life Spectrum Exclusively for over 7 years. (fish from varied habitats simply thrive on one single food). No supplement of any kind has been added to the water. Could this actually be true. <Reportedly true...><<Is so. RMF, who knows Pablo, has seen this system a few times over the years>> I mean, in this aquarium there's various species of angel fishes, butterfly fishes, trigger fishes, surgeon fishes, and so on.. I've done quiet > a bit of research on WetWebMedia, books, and other websites on the nutritional requirements of my fish and find it hard to believe that one single food could sustain them.. New Life Spectrum is one of the pellet foods that I feed to my fish though. My Emperor Angel, Yellow and Blue Tang, Auriga Butterfly, False Perculas and Gramma all love it. <Have heard many good/great things about this food.> But, I've always > fed other fresh and frozen foods soaked in Selcon also. I guess My question is could I get by with just feeding New Life or would that be to good to be true. <I don't know if it's too good to be true, but I think the additional fresh and frozen with Selcon will benefit your system.> I certainly wouldn't do anything to jeopardize the health of my fishy friends. <Most excellent!> Although it would be nice not having to defrost everything and soak foods anymore. Anyway, I was just wondering what all of you at WetWebMedia think about this claim. > <I have heard many positive things about New Life Spectrum... I think it can be used as the primary food, though a varied diet is a good thing, so I would continue to supplement with the fresh/frozen with Selcon, but I don't you need to do this daily if you are using the New Life Spectrum foods. Perhaps supplement with fresh/frozen as a weekend treat...> Thank you, Jeff <Welcome! Mich>

Reef Chili? Hi Bob, < Bob at IMAC, Blundell here. > Are you familiar with Reef Chili, a zooplankton/phytoplankton formula for coral feeding? < Yep. > It comes in a very, very fine powder-like form which is to be shaken seriously with tank water (a blender would work well) before feeding (includes a tiny spoon for precise measuring).  I believe this product was originally available in a frozen formula but the expense of shipping drove it to the "powder" formula.  The feeding response appears to be good, but it's obviously difficult to determine actual consumption. < Indeed, be careful to not overfeed as small particles can become trapped in filters and breakdown. >   Others appear to have had good results (daughter colonies on LPS's, etc.)  Care to opine? < I think it is great food.  Nothing bad to say about it.  However, I think you can get better food, or cheaper food, or just make your own.  But as for convenience and small size it is great.  I'd probably also use golden pearls (brineshrimpdirect.com) or Cyclop-eeze or rotifers and things like that as well. > Thanks. <  Blundell  >

Cyclop-eeze question  8/27/05 Hello and thank you for this fine resource, <Welcome> I just purchased a can of freeze dried Cyclop-eeze after reading about it on the forum.  The only thing I cant find is exactly how to use it.  Should I mix it up before feeding or drop a "pinch" in like flake food? <Can, or could be fed directly if your livestock can use such small foods... or it can be made into homemade gels, frozen food concoctions...> Also should I refrigerate it? <Is a good idea to refrigerate all such fish foods> Sorry for the simple questions, but the can has no directions concerning feeding method/amounts, or anything.   Thanks, Brian <Good point... the manufacturer should provide an insert, point folks to a website re. Bob Fenner> Feeding for Community Marine Tank 3/11/06 Thanks for all the help. I have a question about feeding. What foods would you recommend for the following fish: yellow tang, velvet damsel, yellow tail blue damsel, percula clown, blue spotted watchman goby and a horned Heniochus? Thanks again. <<In general, choose foods of marine origin.  I am a fan of Omega and Ocean Nutrition as well as Piscine Energetics Mysis shrimp.  I am especially fond of Ocean Nutrition's frozen "Pygmy Angel Formula" because it contains marine algae as opposed to terrestrial vegetables.  Also.. when choosing dry foods, pellets are preferable to flakes since it takes longer for water to penetrate the pellets and dilute the nutritional value.  Best Regards.  AdamC.>>

Monosodium Glutamate in Fish Food - Is it Safe?  7/19/06 Greetings WWM Crew, <Cindy> I recently began feeding my Pleco Hikari Tropical Sinking Wafers and now it's the only food she wants to eat.  I read the ingredients and discovered it contained monosodium glutamate.  No wonder she loves this stuff so much, MSG makes everything taste good.  I try to feed my fish only the best foods (although I confess I throw in a few so-so brands, occasionally, for variety).   I decided to read the ingredients on all the brands on my shelf (New Life Spectrum, Ocean Nutrition, Omega One, HBH, Tetra, Marineland Bio Blend, and Hikari).    Every Hikari label I have (Tropical Sinking Wafers, First Bites, and Tropical Micro Wafers) contain MSG.  I get terrible migraines from MSG and know there has been a lot of controversy about it and was wondering what your thoughts are about feeding this to fish? <Not much of a problem if any in aquatic use as far as I'm aware. Is indeed added as an "appetite stimulant", as well as an essential amino acid source (glutamine). Bob Fenner>

Feeding New Life Spectrum Foods...Solely? - 06/27/06 Hi Crew, <<Hello Tom>> I started feeding Spectrum pellets almost a year ago after reading about the product on WWM. <<Ah yes, an excellent food indeed>> Had also been feeding Mysis a couple of times a week along with Nori, for variety...sometimes other frozen foods. <<As is usually recommended...>> Their label claims best results are obtained when feeding Spectrum pellets exclusively, so as an experiment I started doing just that about 3-4 months ago, a pinch 2-3 times a day. <<Glad to see you feed small amounts multiple times per day>> The livestock seems to be in excellent health, basically fat, very active and colorful.   <<Excellent>> The fish are a purple tang, pacific blue tang, flame angel, 2 Percs, yellow watchman goby, royal Gramma, Twinspot/yellow hogfish, yellow Foxface. <<Lucky for you they all take to the pellets>> Tank is a 2 year old 125G reef with around 150lbs live rock, mostly SPS, some LPS, cleaner shrimp, hermits, serpent stars.  Also feeding phyto 2-3 times a week for a 5" derasa and other inverts.  Here's the question:  What is your opinion of long-term fish & invert health when feeding only Spectrum marine pellets? <<I have to admit Tom, I am skeptical that a single food source/formulation can provide for long-term health for "every" marine species...at least until "proven" otherwise (maybe you're on the way to doing that!)  I think the New Life Spectrum foods are an excellent, high quality product and use them myself.  I have a friend who claims to have kept healthy breeding pairs of cichlids fed solely on this product...and the seeming successes with Zanclus cornutus fed these pellets speaks very highly.  But even so, I still provide other foods to my fishes...as well as vitamin/HUFA/amino supplements>> It's a lot easier (almost too easy) than frozen/meaty foods, but sure seems to be working well. <<Agreed...but perhaps best used as a "primary" staple, supplemented with the occasional and varied frozen "treat">> Thanks, Tom

Fish and star question, Marine Snow food opinion   7/22/06 Hello,          Great site!!!!! I have a 100g reef tank with mushrooms, a torch coral, a frogspawn coral, two devils hands and tons of clean-up crew. I have a purple and yellow tang, one powder blue chromis and a clown goby. I want to add another fish that is cool looking and beautiful. I don't know what to add. Any angel fish? <A few possibilities... likely a Centropyge... or Genicanthus species> any other cool tangs. <Mmm, not likely a good idea> I would love an achilles tang or sohal tang. <Not good choices here... see WWM re temperament, hardiness, size...> Also, what is a cool starfish that would be reef safe? <These genera, species are listed on WWM> What do you think of "marine snow" by two little fishes? <It's "The Emperor's New Fish Food" (like the story of the emperor's new clothes)... A scam... non-nutritious, a waste of time. Don't know why Danny and Jules of Two Li'l Fishies are involved in this gimmick> I would love your opinion. You guys have been a great help in the past.      Thanks,      Jeromy <Glad to proffer them. RMF>

Flake Food Question   9/17/06 Gentlemen, <And some ladies...>               I have been having trouble getting my Coral Beauty and my Tomato Clown to eat anything other than "Omega One Marine Flakes", and "Marine Plankton Gel".  The fish turn their noses up at Mysis shrimp, "Nutrafin Max morsels", and "Angel Formula". <Interesting> My question is, is this enough? <Nutritionally... likely so... If you have live rock in/with these fishes I would not be concerned> I originally had four damsels in the tank left over from the cycling, but I have since removed them due to aggressiveness.  They were pretty, but not so nice.  Well, when the damsels were in the tank, the clownfish would eat the shrimp, but now, not so much. <Ahh!> Both the clown and angel seem healthy and active.  My tank is a 55g FO, sg 1.022, ammonia, nitrites both 0.0, nitrate around 5.0, pH 8.3.  I am running an Emperor 400, plus an 75gal wet/dry with skimmer.  I think my parameters are O.K.  My problem is not that they won't eat, but that they seem very finicky.        You guys have a great website, I could (and have) spent hours going over all the info presented. Thank you, Drew    <Thank you, Bob Fenner>

Catching own fish food   12/16/06 <Hi Kevin, Mich with you today.> I was wondering if bait fish that I can catch myself can be used to safely feed a moray eel and lionfish.   <Possibly.> I go saltwater fishing quite often and we commonly catch jumping mullet, shrimp and small minnows that resemble silversides to use as bait. If I catch a few fresh ones right before we leave our fishing grounds, and then bring them back home alive in aerated buckets, I was wondering if I could then package and freeze them to use for feeding at a later time.   <Sounds good in theory.> I have read that freezing fish for a length of time will kill saltwater fish parasites, but perhaps not all micro-organisms.   <This is true.> It seems that I have read where it is an accepted practice for feeding these types of fish fresh seafood from the local fish market, so I don't know what the difference would be between my netting some fish or a commercial trawler doing so.   <Yours would be fresher!  I imagine that food quality fish may go through an inspection process of some sort, but I am unaware for any other significant differences.  RMF please comment.> <<Can indeed be done... is worthwhile freezing to remove chance of pathogenic introduction. RMF> But perhaps it is not a good practice to feed your fish food from the local fish market either, I read a lot of mixed opinions on this......as with everything in this hobby it seems.     <Yes, sometimes it seems inconsistency is the only constant.> These bait fish are taken from good waters, not from the Hudson river!   <What, you wouldn't eat fish out of the Hudson? Hehehe!> Thanks for any opinions you may have to offer on this. <Welcome -Mich> Kevin

Question: Sweetwater Zooplankton is fresh water Daphnia.   12/25/06 Any thoughts on feeding freshwater plankton to Marine creatures ? I've been using it for 4 years and my fish seem to like it. <Is useful for marine use... has a similar "laxative effect" if fed too often, exclusively... But nutritious, pathogen-free... BobF> Thank you, Chris WetWebCrew Rules !!!

Regal Angel HLLE 3/19/07 Hello Wet Web Crew. I hope all is well. <Quite well, thanks.> I wanted to provide some input (maybe beneficial to some reader out there is the same boat) about a recent experience I had with a Regal Angel and IMO a 'miracle product'. <I usually hate that term but I cheated and read ahead, and am in agreement.> About 6 weeks ago, I obtained a regal angel from a tank at a restaurant that I frequent. The little guy was not looking healthy and had the beginning signs of HLLE. I spoke to the owner of the establishment and provided my observations. I told him that these fish are difficult at best to care for. He explained to me that they have a company come in every two weeks to service that tanks and he would let them know. I went back a week later and the situation was the same. I spoke to the owner and asked if I could take the fish. He agreed and I went the next day (before opening) and got the fish. <Good for you and the owner.>  I brought him home and placed him in QT for 3 weeks. <Good to hear.>  Initially, I could not get him to eat anything (I believe this also to be the problem at the restaurant). I tried Mysis, frozen angel formula, Nori, flakes, Formula products, fresh shrimp, clams, and squid. He would not eat anything. He would pick at LR, but that is about it. I was out of options, until I was cleaning out a cabinet where I store my dry products and came across some New Life Spectrum Marine Formula pellets. I think that these were about a year old, as I had not been feeding them to any of my tanks at the time. I had nothing to lose at this point and dropped a few in the QT tank. I watched them sink to the bottom and the regal was uninterested. I came back a while later, and noticed that they were gone. I dropped a few more in the tank and the regal went nuts. I started feeding him 3 times a day with the pellets. He was doing so well on the pellets, that I started feeding all of my tanks the pellets. He has now been in my 210 gal main display tank for 3 weeks now and is doing awesome. His color has returned, no signs of HLLE, and he is now eating Cyclop-eeze along with his pellets. Aside form that, all of my fish never looked so good.  IMO, the New Life Spectrum line is absolutely amazing stuff. This food should be a staple for anyone who owns a marine tank period. I have also started feeding my sun polyps the small fish formula and they seem to love it also. This stuff is truly incredible. I hope that someone from the New Life Company reads this. They should be proud of this product. Best Regards, Dean Oliver <I agree, I really love this food.  All our tanks, both fresh and salt water get this line.  Makes a great staple food, some even claim to feed it exclusively, although I still won't go quite that far.  But don't minimize your work either, the QTing allowed the fish a chance to start eating which would not have happened if competing with tankmates.  Congratulations on your success with this difficult fish and thanks for sharing your story.> <Chris>

Re: Some revisions on my article <Fish foods, Pablo Tepoot... New Life Enterprises... Spectrum>  03/23/07 Good article, much to ponder there.  You can tell he genuinely cares about what he is doing, which I'm sure is not unrelated to why he has such a great product.  Do you know when/where this will be published? -Chris  <Pablo is passionate... about the trade, his work... life en toto... He had told me where this would go first, but can't recall... Pablo? BobF> Bob, The watered down version will be published on Oct. issue of Aquarium fish magazine, only 1/3 of the length, as you know average readers might have a very short attention span. After it is published, it will be an honor to put it on your site with the more complete version. Remember 2 years ago you asked me to write an article about fish food? Well, this is the article. Pablo <Yes I do... and I do thank you for allowing us to post it after AFM. BobF>

Picky feeders and Ich 2/13/04 What is the FW Sweetwater plankton?  Where can I mail order it from?  I have not heard of this before.   <a keyword search if you'll try it on any search engine (Google, Yahoo, etc) will turn up hits from various mail order companies like Custom Aquatic and Marine Depot: http://www.customaquatic.com/customaquatic/listcatbrand.asp?CatID=fo&brandID=SW http://www.marinedepot.com/a_food_swz.asp?CartId= > Is it a liquid?   <a suspension... rather like a slurry. Do order some Selcon too while you are at it.. excellent HUFA rich supplement for fishes and inverts> Also, my LFS doesn't have any FW clams...any idea where I may order or get one of these?   <if they are fresh, you can also use live FW food clams from the grocery store. Just make sure they truly are fresh (iced and not gaping) and rinse them well> I'm in Riverside, CA.  Lots of stores around by you see the advise I have been getting. Thanks for your help. <very welcome my friend... we sincerely want to see all participants succeed. Hobbyists, retailers, etc> Could you expand on the siphoning idea for Ich?   <its as easy as it sounds... decades ago it was proven/demonstrated that fishes in bare bottomed tanks could be cured of ich without medications with a daily water change from the bottom of the tank which siphons larval/waiting parasites. Must be done strictly for 8 consecutive days to break the cycle though. I have repeated this myself and learned of the technique from a Fish Pathology course at the U. Of Georgia, Athens by the world renowned Gratzek and Blasiola> I have Ich in the main tank for sure.  It has to go fallow for 6 weeks right?   <at least 4 weeks> But you said I could get rid of the Ich in the QT in 2 weeks by siphoning the bottom?   <correct... or rather... it can be kicked in 8 days... but the fish cannot be freed until an additional 2 weeks of disease free symptoms have been logged>> Should the bottom be bare glass only?   <always and without exception in QT tanks> Do you recommend the Formalin?   <yes.. I use it in preference to copper most always. But like copper, it can never be used in tanks with substrates (else it will pollute the substrate)> I want to stop dosing the tank with anything if I can.  I can't see any Ich flying or floating around like I could in the main tank. <Ich cannot be seen floating my friend... that was something else surely. And if the main tank has been dosed with copper, it was A) ineffective as absorbed by the calcareous rocks, ornaments and/or decorations... and B) has polluted the substrates from ever being used with invertebrates like anemones, some starfish, snails, etc. It has also killed a lot of desirable microscopic life forms. Hence the need for dosing in QT always (and better... running all new fishes through QT before adding them to the display). Alas, you have learned this the hard way like most of us. With a 250 gallon tank investment... I pray that you never repeat the mistake> How long should I run the poly filter? <a day or 2 is enough> It's completely blue now.   <yikes!> Been running it for about 12 hours I guess. <another PolyFilter may be needed... wait another day, do a water change, and then add a new PolyFilter> You and your site are incredible and I'm overwhelmingly thankful.  You can come have dinner on me anytime you are in my neighborhood. <ahhh, kind thanks indeed! Your success will be as satisfying as your company over a shared meal. kindly, Anthony>

Cyclop-eeze distributors? 2/13/04 Anthony, Were can I buy Cyclops-eeze at? Have been looking everywhere.  Thanks  Charlie <It is  really an outstanding product... a great contribution to mariculture of fishes and invertebrates. It is dense and nutritious food and tiny enough for many coral polyps (unlike baby brine). Produced by Argent, it may be best to contact them for a larger list of distributors. But a keyword search on google turns up fine mail order companies like Premium Aquatics: http://www.premiumaquatics.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=PA&Product_Code=CYCLOP-FR2OZ&Category_Code=Mysis note that it can be purchased in frozen, freeze dried or flakes... each has merits and disadvantages. For SPS corals and inverts, seek the frozen... for LPS corals and small fishes... FD... and for the biggest mouths, the flakes. best regards, Anthony>

Cyclop-Eeze fish food Could you please tell me who manufactures  'Cyclops Ease'  and there web address if possible or an e-mail contact. regards,                     Norman.  S.  Hampson    <Mmm, well, Argent Chemical produces the "raw product" (Cyclops is wild-collected in Canada) and a few people (including them) make same into products... Randy Reed, Liquid Life... you can use your search tools for finding their URL's, email addresses. Bob Fenner> Nanoplankton and other food stuffs Thanks for all the info you all have provided me with, I have followed all instructions and my tanks are thriving, 2yrs. now. I think I've been searching and reading this  site for 4 hours now and have to call it quits for the day. I have a couple of questions that I was unable to find an answer to, I'm sure it is here some where but I need to give my eyes a rest. So, here they are: What are some sites you can recommend that will explain what nanoplankton, <Small... in practical terms, smaller than you can see with the naked eye... there are actual size/descriptions, and a bunch of other terminology as you might assume... "macro", "zoo", "phyto"... plankton> epiphytic material, <epi= upon, phytic= plant (or algae)... organisms or even abiotic material found on algae and vascular plants.> floc, <light mass and density material, biological and not, found floating, eventually sinking in an aqueous solution like the sea... this material is generally attracted to each other by a central charged mass... not tightly bound> and colloidal material <are ionically charged solutions with relative consistency... like your blood and intracellular matter... that eventually "settle out"... in making products (beer, ice-cream et al.) colloidal emulsifiers are often employed.> are, and if they are found in certain salt water food products such as liquid life, DT's, etc.. SHAUNA TOLLER <Indeed they are. My understanding of DT's is that this is a mix of cultures of small (nano) phytoplankton... like Nanochloropsis... and Liquid Life's product line includes phytoplankton and zoo-plankton mixes. Bob Fenner>

Re: Nanoplankton and other food stuffs and info. on a Feather Star Thanks for the info. Better than what my dictionary gave me. <Interesting. I gave my "best explanations" for these terms> Would any of these products, or others that you know of, contain the other materials. i.e.. flock, colloidal, epiphytic? <Mmm, yes... that is to state, many commercial products, including fish food prep.s, utilize flocculants, are colloidal solutions... and a few (not many) capitalize on epiphytic materials> The reason I ask is that I've been also doing searches on feather stars. We bought one, green, a few months after we started reef keeping  and didn't know any better. That was almost two years ago and 6 months in to the hobby we found WetWeb and many other informative sites like this one and boy have we learned a lot and changed our ways. <Ahh, pleasing to me to read of your progress, enjoyment> Since then I've been kicking myself for being so ignorant. Any way, I've read info from several sites referring to these types of material that the feather stars might consume. <Yes... and likely does consume... in your system... from live organisms principally located in your substrate and live rock> I try to provide a variety of feeds for it, since know one really knows what it eats, and I'm constantly on the look out for new things to try. So far we've had it for almost two years, since then part of it was broken off during an earth quake. The rock it perches on all of the time tipped a bit and sliced of a small section which is still alive, about 8 months now. Arms on the original star have started to regenerate. <In good health, these animals are incredibly tough> The severed segment has moved to a perch close to the larger one and exhibits the same behavior as I will describe. I'm hesitant to submit this info as I don't want to encourage others to try to own one after reading this and thinking I have been successful, but I would like to get any feed back that may make the chances of this little creature surviving a little better. <I understand, and think others will too. I thank you> But then again, what is better, a slow death or a short one. <Are these the only choices? Hee hee!> As of now, it is target fed a mix of DT's and Liquid Life Bio plankton. I feed this in small amounts 4 times daily until it curls up its little arms. When feeding begins, it unfurls its arms and the little pinnules wriggle about then, it either gets all of what it can use in the mixture, or it gives up looking, and curls up its arms. When curling up it's arms, it will do one of two things, curl up one arm at a time hold it there for a few seconds then unfurl it again or close them all up slowly until it looks like a green ball of yarn. It usually does the first of the two. Just in case it can get any nutrients out of the other tank feeds that I use for the fish and other inverts, I spray a little on to the feather stars before feeding it to the rest of the inhabitants. The particle size is probably too big even in the broth that the frozen foods make but I figure may as well give it a shot since it's going in the tank any way. I also "dust" my LR. <Both good practices. Even the liquid component of these foods is nutritive> I've attached a turkey baster bulb on to a larger piece of plastic flex tubing and gently blow off, with tank water, sediment that has accumulated on the LR and the acrylic shelving it is on. The feather duster immediately opens up and starts the curling and unfurling arm motions until the water has cleared for a few min. Then it either remains partially open or closed. It resides in a 125 gal. reef tank with a 60 gal. sump/fuge which has a fine DSB as well as the Main tank. It has anchored it self to an immovable piece of LR a few inches in front of one of our pumps we use for current. We have also implemented the bi-weekly 5% water changes, Scott Fellman recommended and the tank parameters are excellent. I hardly have to add any supplements for the inverts/corals as he said would probably happen. Any helpful advice is welcome. <Outstanding. I would change none of your routine, set-up. I would like to encourage you to record your observations, perhaps make a few images and submit them as an article to the electronic and print magazines. If you would like help with this placement, please make this known. Bob Fenner> Pablo Tepoot's Spectrum Food Hello all.  1st time writing in, but a long time lurking and learning on the site.  I am just curious if the "Spectrum" food by Pablo Tepoot that you constantly mention is the same as the New Life "Spectrum" food that is on the market? <Yes. The same>   I am looking to get some for a juvenile Pomacanthus imperator, but want to make sure it is the correct food that you rave about.  Thank you kindly. <Amazing stuff... Have been friends with Pablo for years... and he IS a character... nonetheless this/his food IS amazing in its apparent palatability, nutritional value> Sincerely, Mehran J. Marashian Jr. P.S.  If you could respond directly to this e-mail, I'd greatly appreciate it.  Sometimes I have the darndest time navigating the site. <Ah, we respond directly to all. If you have suggestions re improving the navigation, layout of WWM, please send these on. Bob Fenner>

Looking for Spectrum fish food in the UK Hi Bob, I have tried all the aqua shops in Edinburgh and nobody sells the pellets, could you please let me know where I can get them.  Thanks again Jim. <I'd try finding a distributor of "New Life Enterprises" products in the UK... contact them directly and ask who distributes their products there... or there are a few yank ebusinesses that would likely ship... One: http://www.customaquatic.com/ Bob Fenner>

New Life Spectrum Food Greetings Mr. Fenner and crew.  I wrote you about a week ago asking if New Life Spectrum was the same food as Pablo Tepoot's Spectrum food that you rave about. This was for the juvenile Pomacanthus Imperator. Well, she now has a 2 1/2" Flame Hawk that shares her tank, and they get along great. What characters! After 18 years in the freshwater hobby, this was my first foray into Marine Aquatics. A MUCH simpler transition than I expected. Sorry for the babble, but here is my question: I am looking at Spectrum Thera-A formula (Anti-Parasitic) and Spectrum Marine Fish Formula. I am hoping to quell any parasite outbreaks before they occur, as well as prevent HLLE on the Imperator. <The anti-parasitic food will do nothing for HLLE>  Is one better than the other? Will they both do what I am looking for, or should I get both types of food?  <Mehran, For better results I would suggest soaking some Sea Veggies or similar dried algae product with Garlic Elixir, Selcon or VitaChem. Use one or better yet, alternate between two or all three of them. This will boost their immune system, improve color and often prevent or even cure ich problems. I will suggest you email Johnny at Premium Aquatics for questions on the Spectrum food. They are very knowledgeable in this regard as they spare no expenses on their fishes diet.>  Again, your expert advice is always appreciated, and from a new marine hobbyist, I offer a big THANK YOU for sharing your wealth of knowledge with the masses.  <You're most welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Tetra's Antiparasitic Food Hi Craig please.  Bet you are sorry that you mentioned you had a source for the Tetra medicated Antiparasitic food!  I have searched to no avail.  Please tell me and the other thousand people reading this your secret.  Do you recommend using this food while the fish are still in quarantine? Thanks <No problem! Yes, I used it while in QT and afterward until those last few spots were history. I like it for the time after moving out of the QT which is stressful and can cause another outbreak.  Seachem also makes a Metronidazole product for soaking your own food. To get Tetra medicated food call Bill at Aquarium Warehouse in Olympia, Washington. His number is (360)357-9654. Tell him I sent you. Let me know if you need more assistance! You can get the SeaChem product from our WetWebMedia.com sponsors.  Craig>

Anything For HUFA's! Couldn't find Selcon in my LFS, however, I picked up a couple of Omega fatty acids from my mom's health cabinet.  She has everything. <So you can make a papaya/avocado/cod-liver oil/Spirulina smoothie? Dude- what's your home address...?  :)  > I already have Boyd's Vita Chem and I'd like to add Omega 3/Omega 6 fish oil to it.  I just don't know how much.  The gel cap has about 900mg. and the total bottle volume is 4 ounces. <I'm afraid that your going to have to experiment with that stuff to get the correct amount. I have friends who do this kind of thing themselves with much apparent success. Obviously, It will be easier if you're preparing a larger batch of this stuff...> I picked up some garlic oil capsules too.  What do you think? <Well, in principle, it sounds good. I'm sure that there is no harm in trying this DIY recipe. Go for it! On the other hand, you can get Selcon from a number of internet-based suppliers (such as our sponsors, here) for a reasonable cost, so if this experiment fails-you can always buy it online! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

- Do silversides have silver linings? - <Good morning, JasonC here...> Where can I get silversides? <Should be able to find them at a decent fish store... as frozen food. If you do locate them, consider getting some other frozen items like shrimp, squid, and similar items as it's very important to offer this fish a balanced diet.> It's why I went with the smelts cause I couldn't find any...pet stores that carry them? <Yes... some do.> Bait stores etc where? thanks Trisha <Cheers, J -- >

Faulting Foul Food? "Pollution in a Bottle" 3/24/03 Hi again guys Well...I am writing this with head hung low....I have written to you all and have received great info from you concerning problems I've been having with my tank and my corals dying. After all I have asked, it all came down to one very very stupid mistake on my part. Did you know that just because a bottle of invert smorgasbord sits on a unrefrigerated shelf, that it can't continue to do that after you open it. <actually.... even refrigerated, such products have earned the moniker "pollution in a bottle". The bigger surprise for you might be that very few if any corals actually eat such meaty suspensions... most of the product is wasted and simply contributes to nuisance algae. The main problem (among many) is particle size with these bottled algae fertilizers :p> Well it can't and the bottle clearly states that in the instructions. I guess for the last few months I have been polluting my tank as I alternated my feedings of the smorgasbord <pollution yes... toxic, doubtful in small quantities. It was simply degraded> and my plankton (which by the way I do keep in the fridge). <excellent> So from someone who has learned the hard way, please make sure in you continuing great advise that you include the " please read the instructions" notation on anything you put in your tanks. Thanks for all the help Robert <will do, my friend... and let me strongly suggest that you save your money on such bottled food supplements... it is better spent elsewhere (refugia, water changes, etc). Anthony>

Dried Sponges For Food? Hello there, <Hey there! Scott F. with you today> I am the proud owner of a Majestic angel who is doing very well as the sole inhabitant of a 120 gallon tank. Unfortunately in the UK few people have heard of Angel Formula type foods based on sponges and as far as I know there is no retailer stocking any. I spoke to the main wholesaler in the country and they told me that there are restrictions re the import of such foods, therefore I can't have it imported, particularly in its frozen form. I want to try and give my angel some sponges and I read somewhere that I can get dried sponges/tunicates from an oriental food store. Questions: Is it worth my trying? Are dried sponges good enough? Do they make an adequate substitute? <Honestly, I don't think that it is necessary or worth the effort to secure dried sponges for this fish. Number one, I'm not sure what types of sponges they would be, and, number two- I'm questioning what, if any, nutritional value dried sponges would have. Also, P. navarchus does not eat a great deal of sponge material in nature, when compared to say, the Rock Beauty or Regal Angel, so it should be very easy to get this fish to eat other prepared foods. Hikari makes an excellent "Angel" food, which seems to be more "tubeworm based" (although it does include sponge in the ingredient list), and is a great food that may also be available in the UK. Also, Gamma frozen Mysis is one of the best foods you can feed to angels, IMO, and is eagerly accepted>   Do they (the sponges) have a special name, in other words can I be sure that they have not been treated for human consumption? <Honestly cannot say- which is yet another reason to pass on these items, IMO> Thanks for your help, Massimo, Brighton UK <And thank you for stopping by, Massimo! Enjoy your wonderful Majestic Angel! Regards, Scott F>

Nutrition and clean-up >Greetings to you! >>To you as well, John! >I first want to thank you for the countless questions you have answered.  My three fish are doing well, in large part because of your advice.  I also want to apologize again for the length of this question. >>Apology accepted. >My first question relates to nutrition.  After reading about the potential pitfalls of food that uses gelatin, I decided to try to make my own.  My current tenants include a solar fairy wrasse, true percula, and a citron goby.  I made a concoction (much to my wife's chagrin) of raw shrimp, scallops and squid, with some sushi Nori and Kent Zoe supplement.  Is this a varied enough diet for long-term sustenance?  It was rather economical, and I was able to freeze it in 2oz portions using those small restaurant containers.  They also really enjoy it. >>I should say so, it sounds delicious.  I would also offer Nori on a clip for those who might like to graze, as well as Spirulina algae--it comes in flakes, frozen, and in pellet/wafer form.  You can also vary what they get by adding things such as clam, fish, silversides, and marine algae every once in a while.  Be sure not to make the batches too large, as nutrient content can be lost with prolonged freezing. >Next question.  I have decided to eschew crabs for clean-up.  I currently have three Turbos, one queen conch (which will be traded when it gets too large) and six Nassarius snails.  I've been adding them a couple at a time, based on perceived need.  How many Nassarius do you believe would be ideal for this size tank (30 gal)?  Are there any other non-crab denizens that would co-exist with the snails?  Brittle star, perhaps? >>Brittle stars are wonderful, I also like serpents.  I can't give you a hard and fast rule for the stocking of the snails, however.  In my opinion it would be better to be a bit understocked, and it's your own observations that help make that determination. >One more:  As stated above, one of my residents is a red-headed fairy wrasse.  I bought him because he didn't look like he would make it too much longer in the LFS (not a good reason, I know, but I can't help it - my wife and I feel like we have to rescue every animal).   >>Well, not much we can do to change either of you, is there?  ;) >I rearranged the rock to provide a lot of caves and underpasses for it.  I have observed the tank for hours, and I have yet to see a single aggressive movement among them.  In fact, the three often 'hang out' together in the same part of the tank.  I would hate to have to lose the wrasse - for practical as well as personal reasons.  What is the long-term prognosis for this arrangement? >>Long term, expect to find certain tasty small mollusks and arthropods to become wrasse-candy.  I'll suggest you don't replace what's eaten. >My tank readings have remained stable and ideal for two months (except a slightly low pH at 8.0-8.1,  and the 0.1 PO4 readings - slowly working on that).  Thanks again for all the advice!  JPM >>You're quite welcome, and hopefully you'll get a handle on those phosphate readings.  Good luck!  Marina

- What About this Food? - Also, I'm feeding a pellet food called Vibra Grow from Red Sea. Angel seems to like it but the problem is the pellets are so small that they are hard to spot, often breaking up into smaller pieces upon entering the aquarium. THAT'S CAUSE THE BOTTLE SAYS LARGE PELLETS ha ha. I doubt the few that he actually spots and eats is enough for him. Is this food healthy? <Well, only if it's getting eaten I suppose... dry pellets are better than flake food, but ideally you should be trying frozen foods like Angel Formula, Formula One, or even raw sea food from the super market, shrimp, squid, etc. Cheers, J -- >

Bristle worms For Dinner Can marine fish eat bristle worms without harm? <Oh yes! For many fishes and non-fishes sedentariate polychaetes of many sorts are meals du jour> I have a 180 gallon with fish and soft corals and also a 12 gallon nano reef.  The nano reef currently has no fish in it and the bristle worms are becoming quite abundant.  I bought a trap to catch the worms.  I have a 7 inch Formosa Wrasse and a 4 inch Imperator Angel in the 180 (among others).  The Wrasse and Imperator chomp the bristle worms if I throw them in (worms up to 1 1/2 inches).  Will the worms hurt the fish internally if they eat them? <Not at all> Another question regarding the Imperator.  My Imperator likes to lay around on his side.  He snuggles up to pieces of live rock and lays on his side about a 1/4 of an inch over the rock.  When I come up to the tank, and he sees me, he'll swim right over to me.  He is about 3 years old and is in excellent health, he is starting to get his adult color pattern.  Why does he lay around on his side and hover over the live rock? <Some specimens "just do this"... perhaps this laying down behavior has some "survival value"... that is, perhaps acting so confers advantages, like being less visible or palatable to potential predators. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Dave

Bioblend Where can I buy more BioBlend Tropical Fish Food in Miami, Florida?  I can't find it at my local stores.  My fish love it. Thanks, Daniel Bandklayder <Mmm, either call around to your local stores (you can find them in the "Yellow Pages") and ask if they carry Marineland's food line, or take a look on the Net for etailers of aquarium supplies re the same. Bob Fenner>

Cyclop-eeze for Boxfish? Hi Bob <Sal> Thanks for the idea. Maybe I could follow in your footsteps and write a book. <Of a certainty yes> I do have a new question ( of course ). I' m reading about a food that I just heard about called Cyclop-eeze. Have you heard of them? <Yes, saw it fed at a local marine club meeting just two nights back. Has a very good reputation> Do you think it could be fed to adult fish ( cowfish )? <It's tiny... but worth a try... you could make it into "cubes"... with a binder... other materials... homemade> The website says food size is 800 microns. Sounds like a very good food source. Id like to know what you think. As always thank you very much.     <Worth trying. Bob Fenner>    

-Frozen food juice, does it do a body good?- While reading the daily FAQs this morning, I came across a response by Kevin to a phosphate question that suggests draining the juice from the Hikari Mysis shrimp the person is feeding the fish. <Well, if the incredibly handsome and intelligent Kevin said it, then you better believe it. ;) > I feed my fish different foods but one type is Aqua-Yums Mysis shrimp.  Is the draining of the juice an across the board technique or just for Hikari brand foods. <It's always recommended that you ditch the packing juice.> I had never considered draining the juice before and was also wondering if this techniques is supposed to be performed on all foods? <It would be a good idea, but I've been a non-juice drainer for years and have had no problem. That said, I don't use Hikari Mysis shrimp. I believe in that question, the aquarist couldn't figure out where the po4 was coming from, and he had apparently done everything right except that he fed an entire cube per day.> My water parameters have always been acceptable NH3 and NO2  0, NO3 10, ALK 10,  Ca 400, pH 8.2, temp 79-80, and salinity 1.023 - 1.024 but I don't test for phosphates or any of the other more specialized parameters as I just keep fish and a few crabs. <There's nothing toxic about phosphate to your critters, it's just an algae fuel and a problem for people with calcium depositing inverts. Have your LFS test your tank for phosphate, you could be on your way to an algae bloom and not even know it! -Kevin> Thanks, Ray

Robbed by the bandit (angel) Hi Bob, I have acquired a black banded angel from a fellow fish fancier. He has given me the angel in hopes of ME being able to keep it alive. <A real challenge> The fish is about 3 month's in captivity and has now stopped eating regularly. <Typical... actually, not so... this one has lasted much longer than most all> I have had my best friend build me an acrylic tank (155 gal) to house this treasure that should have been left in the ocean. I am going to put 175 pounds of Fiji premium live rock in with a mixed sand/crushed Puka substrate. I have designed a filter and it should be completed Thursday.  The angel will be housed only with a cleaner wrasse, and 5 cleaner shrimp. I am going to put a Beckett style skimmer and lightly ozonized in the column. I have access to all the local wholesale houses and have asked for their help in acquiring sponges, clams, small shrimp, mussels and a cleaner wrasse (just in case). My question for you is, in your vast knowledge can I get this beauty to eat again. I have tried your tried and true method of the "FENNER BLEND" to no luck this far. Any suggestion would be appreciated. I know leave the damn fish in the ocean where it belongs!!! Thanks <May seem strange, but do look into the larger pellet sizes of Pablo Tepoot's "Spectrum" fish food... have been friends with Pablo for years, and this past weekend made it down to visit him at his farms in Homestead (FLA) and see firsthand the types of fishes he is keeping solely on this food... including Parrotfishes, some finicky Butterflyfishes and Tangs... even some very nice Apolemichthys spp. angels... Training this fish onto this basic food might "do the trick". Otherwise your plan for the set-up, providing sessile invertebrates to graze on sounds good. Bob Fenner>

Looking for New Life >Hi guys, >>Hi, Marina tonight. >Dr. Fenner >>Hee..!  "Dr." is it? >had answered an e-mail about food sources for angels.  He highly recommended I get SPECTRUM pellets from Pablo Tepoot's in Florida. I am in Minneapolis I do not have a dealer within 500 miles. I need a store or a contact to purchase this food before my banded angel checks out. PLEASE HELP.  Thanks and Keep up the great work. >>Well, my friend, it took me all of two minutes of doing a Google search to learn that the brand name is "New Life", Spectrum food, and you're right, you DON'T have a dealer within many, many miles.  However, go to these links, or Google it for online ordering and tell them "Get this to me POST HASTE!"  Marina http://www.nlpublish.com/ http://www.nlpublish.com/dealers/

Sea sponge Source Dear Sir             We are the one of Aquafeed manufacturer in Thailand. We are interesting to do research and development about sea sponge application in Aquafeed. Could you advise me about the supply sources of frozen fresh sea sponge or supplier? We really need to know good supplier and well established company.  I am looking forward to hear your reply soon.             Thank you in advance for your support Yours Sincerely, Ronnachai Mhordee Procurement Manager INVE (Thailand) Ltd. <Unfortunately I don't know where I might refer you to directly. Perhaps SaltCreek(.com) in the U.S., makers of Ocean Nutrition formulated foods (they use sponge material in some of their products). I would try the World Mariculture Society for leads on supply sources. Bob Fenner>

Feeding Fresh Foods Hi Bob, I have two questions. 1. Do you need to feed fresh seafood to your saltwater fish?  <can be very nutritious, is recommended for many fishes and corals> If so do I just go to the local store and buy fresh shrimp, clams and squid and put it in a blender and then freeze it?  <sounds good... be sure to freeze it as you have stated. Never feed raw fresh for risk of disease transmission. In fact... studies have shown that previously frozen foods have less bacteria and more nutrition because they are frozen quickly after catch and "preserved" whereas fresh raw foods are kept chilled only for an extended time> I assume you wouldn't cook it because it's not cooked in the ocean and it would be too hard to chew.  <actually no cooking because it destroys nutrients> I have the following Saltwater fish so you know a little about what I'm trying to feed. A pair of Maroon Clownfish, a Purple Tang and a Scott's Fairy Wrasse in my 55 gallon. In my 46 gallon I have a Coral Beauty Angel and a Foxface rabbit fish.  <you have a mixture of omnivores and herbivores> I'm concerned about my Fairy Wrasse because I want him to have a good meat based diet.  <exactly... try Gammarus and mysids froz from the LFS freezer too. Also, fresh (jar) Sweetwater Plankton... a find for Anthiines> I feed Formula one and two flake and some tetra flake. Seaweed sheets once a week and the frozen Pygmy Angel food along with Frozen Brine Shrimp.  <all fine but the brine (a hollow useless food)... do add some higher protein crustaceans to the diet like krill, shrimp, mysids, Pacifica plankton, etc> I'd appreciate any advise on the fresh frozen food you can provide.............Thanks again........Chet Get more from the Web. <best regards, Anthony>

Golden pearls (dry rotifers) Hey there, I just received my order of Golden Pearls, active spheres and clusters, and I was wondering what I should be looking for in the way of polyp expansion etc. Should I be feeding these at night when the LPS and SPS are sending out their feeding tentacles? Hope you can give me a hand, there are absolutely no feeding instructions on anything I received. Thanks, Charlie <Greetings, Charlie. The product you have mentioned has been received with mixed results in the industry. I am hopeful of this or a like product being viable as a zooplankton substitute but do have my concerns about particle size and delivery of "prey" to coral predators. You are correct that a night feeding is recommended for the LPS and SPS (possibly) that may accept it. A slurry or suspension can me made with the product (whisked in a blender is best) and poured into a strong stream of water in the tank. The mfg claims to have microbubbles in the product which help to keep the food in suspension longer. Curious. I need to work more with the product myself to draw a more specific conclusion. Do seek the smaller sized items in the product line. See mfg info here: http://www.brineshrimpdirect.com/brineshrimpproduct5.htm#goldenpearls Best regards, Anthony>

Cyclop-eeze Hello Steven, Do you know where I can buy the Cyclop-Eeze? I have had a heck of a time finding anything on the web and nobody sells it here in Kalamazoo. Thank you, James Wesley <the master distributor is Argent labs: http://www.argent-labs.com/ and it can be ordered direct here (small link at bottom): http://www.argent-labs.com/argentwebsite/frm3news.htm or you may want to simply contact Argent for advice on the closest local distributor. Best regards, Anthony Calfo WWM>

Food recipe Hi, I have a Huma trigger, a gold stripe maroon clown, a dog face puffer, and a Volitans lion. I am interested in making my own fish food so I went to my LFS and bought some items. <Most make your own food recipes are based on buying items from the grocery store. They are safe and cheaper.> My lion is trained to eat raw shrimp from a prong, so this is mainly for the other three (although the puffer and trigger will take raw shrimp from my hand). Here is what I bought. Frozen brine shrimp, <Junk> Mysis, formula one, and silversides. <All excellent, but kind of a shame to spend the money at the LFS for raw ingredients. Silversides are sold at pet shops, but the same thing is found at fish markets called smelts. The Formula One is an excellent food on its own. The same thing goes for the Mysis Shrimp, but maybe to small for your fish except the Clownfish.> I also bought mixed sea veggies (a variety of dried seaweed), <You can buy the same thing at an Asian grocery called Sushi Nori seaweed wrap.> Selcon, <Excellent!> Garlic Extreme, <Don't know if this is a food or extract. Still experimental in my opinion for parasite control.> PhytoPlan, <Green water supplement? Not too useful for fish.> and Omega One marine flakes. <A fine brand of flake food.> Is this selection ok? <If sounds fine, but not the best use of your dollar.> What particular measurements do I need? <Nothing to specific, just some of each, if you decide to go this route.> I want to make this about once a week and just refrigerate it. <It must be frozen.> I will be adding a yellow tang and a panther grouper soon. <I don't know how big your tank is, but unless it is pool size, you should pass on the Panther Grouper. They get to three feet long.> Thanks <Take a look here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/feeding.htm to start. -Steven Pro>

Looking for Ocean Nutrition Hi <Hello> I don't know if you can help me with this one. I was looking for a mail address for someone at Ocean Nutrition to enquire if their flake food (Formula Two) is available anywhere in the UK. I used to get Formula Two but haven't been able to get it for a while. (or any Ocean Nutrition product) I've tried lots of shops and mail order places. It went down very well and would like to get some more. I went to your business pages and got the URL of their homepage but that just says under construction. <Their site is still under construction. The best way to reach them is onsales@saltcrk.com Bob Fenner> Thanks, Phil

Flame angel and Trachyphyllia Dear WWM Cheers, my friend> In the new year I am thinking of trying a Trachyphyllia brain coral. <very fine, hardy, low light, sand-dwelling (free-living- never place on rock), feed 3-5 times weekly minimum with minced meaty foods... long-lived> I have one that has been reserved at my LFS for 2 weeks. I am going to pick it up in the new year. However I have a flame angel in my tank. He has been resident for about 5-6 months in my tank <hmmm... I see. Very good to hear about the hold on the livestock. Goes a long way for acclimatization into captivity (rather that frequent moves on import)>> I have read that a few other reef keepers have had trouble with this species nipping Trachyphyllia. I also currently have pulsing Xenia, Favia and Caulastrea (candy cane) coral in there. <yes... all are somewhat at risk of dwarf angels in general> These have all been left alone by my flame. Is there a chance he will nip my Trachyphyllia? <no guarantee, alas> Also I might like to add that I feed my angel on granular food in the mornings. <A Very concentrated source of food... good to hear> Its called tetra prima granules (red granules). if you need to wean marine fish onto dried food, this stuff is really excellent (if you guys get it in the USA). <agreed! An excellent staple and color enhancer. I believe that this product has gone through a marketing evolution of changed names over the years. First it was called Discus bits, then color bits... now prima? Perhaps I'm mistaken. Still... Tetra makes some very good dry foods. Thanks for sharing the tip!> Here's a pic of the tank by the way. Cheers for all your help. Regards, Jim <Happy holidays :) Be chatting soon. Anthony>

Shelf Life of Sweetwater Plankton? Hey Guys; <Scott F. with you today> Don't wanna keep e-mailing you but I have a question . I bought some Sweetwater zooplankton, and was wondering just how long this is good for after opening and refrigerating . I've heard 2 weeks from LFS and read 6 weeks on a message board. Any ideas?? looks to big for just two weeks unless I have a hundred fish. Thanks so much ... <Hmm- I was kinda thinking about this myself the other day. Love this stuff! I have a bottle that's been in the fridge for a few months(!) now, and I've been feeding it with no catastrophes yet! It still smells "good" (if you could call the smell of this stuff when its fresh "good!")-but don't take my word on it...I'd contact the manufacturer on this one. Sorry I couldn't provide more information on this one. Do keep in touch when you get the answer! Regards, Scott F.>

The Real Bob Sneaks In... for Gelatin Bob, I read on your Foods/feeding/nutrition FAQs that you recommend "alginates" as a substitute for gelatin on food preparation. You also mention that the alginates are not necessarily too easy to find, that you need to order them from chemical companies. <Yes> I was wondering if you ever heard of this... Though I don't remember the name, I remember buying it at the natural foods store, a gelatin substitute, made out of a seaweed. <Yes... "these are them"> I remember it being some colorless flakes that you would mix with fruit juice or whatever it was you wanted to have gelatinized. I thought it was worth mentioning, unless you already know about it and I am just trying to re-invent the wheel. David <Thank you much... the company "Kelco" here in town (Used to belong to Merck) makes a few tons of these glucoproteins a day for beer foam (yum), emulsifiers for ice creams, cosmetics... many more products. Bob Fenner>

Reef Vital DNA Do you guys know what is in the Marc Weiss product Reef Vital DNA. <yes...fairly well> Unless my nose has deceived me I fear I have paid $20 for a bottle of prune juice. I don't have a hidden agenda, I just want to buy the best food per dollar ratio.  <we are agreed. I personally will not put anything with unlabeled ingredients into my tank> I have heard good things about Liquid Life BioPlankton, and have just started dosing it. Is this the best food for filter feeders on the market, or am I believing the hype again? Thanks, David. <depends on your filter feeders... phytoplankton substitutes are all the rage now but very few popular invertebrates can actually ingest it (many complications about preparation and dosing). If you have a lot of gorgonians or Neptheid soft corals...fine. Do experiment as per mfg dose. But be more judicious if you have more of the popular zooplankton feeders. Again, all dependant on the specific invertebrates that you keep. Kindly, Anthony>

Carolina Supply I saw that you recommended Carolina Supply to someone else for purchasing amphipods, copepods, etc. Any firsthand experience with their products?  <Yes... mostly waaay back as a High School science teacher> I also noticed that they sell brine shrimp eggs minus the shells, which they claim can be added directly to a marine aquarium with good results. Do you think this is a good idea. <Mmm, an "okay" one. I'd rather the cysts be hatched out, fed nutritious media, then IN TURN be fed to a main system> Last question, I never see to much info on raising baby brine shrimp to adults for feeding. Is it because of poor nutritional value, marine H2O not salty enough or what? <Mmm, principally economics... It's not profitable (really) for shops to sell such to the public. But can have considerable nutritional value, bring delight to animals eating them, their keepers> Do you think they could be raised in a refugium alongside amphipods and copepods?? <Mmm, not practically... do require higher density water> Thank you for all of your wonderful help to all the unwise amateurs like myself. Nathan <But getting "wiser" all the time! Bob Fenner>

Tetra Anti-Parasite Flakes Bob, I have a saltwater tank and recently was told to try to use Tetra Anti-Parasite flakes to treat an ick problem with a Orange Shoulder Tang. Do you know if this product will affect any corals or inverts I have in my tank. Thanks for any help you can provide on this product. William <It will very likely not affect either the ich infestation or your non-fish livestock. Please read through WetWebMedia.com re parasitic problems, their treatment. Bob Fenner>

DIY Selcon? Sorry if my previous e-mail finds its way to you and this is a repost. <Haven't seen it> I found this recipe for DIY Selcon on a message board. Is this comparable to the brand name? If not, is it safe as an additive to frozen/dry foods? <Mmm, yes to the latter. Not exactly the same components, formulation.> 125ml pure cod liver - menhaden oil (or a mixture of omega 3 fatty acids such as DHA/EPA) add 12 ml lecithin 2 grams Spirulina powder (20 microns) and 100 ml RO water. Blend all this until its like a pudding consistency. Thanks in advance. Ted <Bob Fenner>

Fish Food Questions >Dear Bob, >It was good to see you and your guests last week. Please let me know when you want a behind the scenes tour. I'm happy to serve. <Great. Thanks Fernando> >I was hoping to get some of your advice on an idea I had. Recently I've been playing around with a recipe for a gel food, geared toward surgeon and angelfishes (heavy on the algae side). I've tried it with fishes here at the aquarium and it seems to be well liked, not only surgeons and angels but other families (damsels, some B'flys, Serranids). <Okay... you may not know, the original formula foods (later by Ocean Nutrition) were at one time formulated/tested underneath the old pier at SIO...> >Anyway, I have basically two questions: First, is it a worthwhile endeavor to try and get into marketing fish food? (I could start with samples to local stores). <Yes... IMO/E... still a viable possibility... many folks have come out with foods in the last few years... and have made money doing so... I do think it can be done> >Second: One of the ingredients is "Cyclop-eeze" copepods. Is it possible to include a brand named product (Cyclop-eeze) within my brand of gel food? I guess I would have to find out from Argent but thought would ask you. <Do ask Argent Lab.s re... some variation could likely be worked out/in if they have reservations> >Any thoughts you could offer would be greatly appreciated. I've been thinking of call Chris Turk as well but thought I would get your insights first. <Will you make these extruded types? Drops? Have you looked into packaging as yet? Let's chat this through and make some visits together with samples and see what others say, think. Bob Fenner> >Best Regards, >Fernando Fernando Nosratpour Senior Aquarist Birch Aquarium at Scripps

Re: Fish Food Questions Thank you Bob! I haven't thought to far ahead as how to package. I'm still working on getting the balance right (gelatin vs. food). Will keep you posted! <Do look into other binders like alginates rather than gelatins... We can talk this over... but the bulk/ier local product as an emulsifier is much more palatable to the whole system. Experiment here, and with some other formulas for resale (like Sanjay's).> Thanks again. I value your opinion greatly! Sincerely, Fernando Sr. Cabana Boy Birch Aquarium <Hah! Now I can't get the Copa Copa Cabana song out of my head! Bobaloo!>

Sweetwater (brand) zooplankton Hi there, I recently purchased a small bottle of this product from a reputable e-tailer just to try it out. When I received the bottle , it showed no instructions as to how much, how little, when, where...... you get the idea!  <its fish food, dude <G>... what kind of instructions are you looking for? Every tank's fishes sizes and stocking level is different and so every feeding portion will be different. Generally feed only enough food in small frequent portions so that your fish can consume most at or near the surface. Avoid allowing much to settle to the bottom (an indication of feeding too much or too fast)> Are any of you guys familiar with this product?  <yep... all of us and several of us absolutely rant and rave about how much we love it. A great product in my opinion> If so, please enlighten me as to the proper use, or non-use of said product. The only instructions that are on the bottle are refrigerate after opening, well duh!!!! <it is a fresh food product... very important to keep refrigerated and use within just a couple of months> Any insight will be greatly appreciated. thanks again, ce <best regards, Anthony>

Where can I get live food? Do you know of any places on the internet where I can get live food for my reef tank? I'd like to get/raise some brine shrimp, or other types of food. I'd love to have a Mandarin Goby, but they require live food, copepods I think. Where can I go to find information about getting these types of things? Will live food make my fish more aggressive? I have a flame angel, Coral Beauty, bi colored Dottyback, and 4 perculas ( sp? ) clown fish. They all get along for the most part, would live food change that? >> Start with cultures from Carolina Biological Supply... you can find them and similar suppliers through your search engines using keywords like "fish food cultures"... And no to the question, possible problem of enhanced aggression... there should be no discernible difference with these fishes.... including the perculas. If they're getting along now, they will get along when better fed. Bob Fenner

By the way..... I saw a question on your site from someone looking for a starter supply of copepods & amphipods and wanted to give you a couple of sources. Inland Aquatics (http://www.inlandaquatics.com/detritivore.htm) sells Mysis, amphipod, copepod, etc. packages. Also, Indo Pacific Sea Farms (http://www.ipsf.com/) sells amphipods. Just thought you might like to know. >> Thank you very much for the input... Will send along to FFExpress, and post permanently under "Foods, Feeding, Nutrition FAQs sections of my site, www.wetwebmedia.com... Appreciate it. Bob Fenner

Home-made frozen foods Bob, I'm interested in putting together some frozen foods at home for my tangs, French Angel and trigger. What will work as a gel binder? Is it a good idea to make these foods at home or is it better just to buy them already made? Are there any good articles on the subject? Thanks, Tony >> Good idea... very high cost savings per unit.. and fun to do. The best binder in my opinion are alginates (derived from marine algae)... they are completely digestible by microbes and bigger livestock... Down from there is... nothing! Just blending and freezing your components in little blocks (we, including a few commercial fish food manufacturers, used to do this using "egg-crate", aka Louver that you can buy at large home improvement centers... for overhead lighting... with 1/4" gaps... Lastly, the use of gelatins for human use... some of these are of a dubious destiny in a captive aquatic system... mostly removed by skimmers, and periodic vacuuming of the substrate. There are a few old articles on this subject, as well as a mention in Stephen Spotte's works (see Fish and Invertebrate Culture in Closed Systems), or my Conscientious Marine Aquarist. Bob Fenner

Sourcing Alginate Binders Question: Hi....I noticed in FAQ #104 you mention alginates as the best binder for creating your own frozen foods. Where can you find alginates? >> These common emulsifying agents may have to be special ordered through a chemical supply house. If it were me, I'd first take a look through your local "Yellow Pages" directory under the term "Chemicals", and call them for sodium alginate (most commonly used form as food binder). If there is no local source, try a larger) college (the biochemistry, biology departments) and ask them if they have some, can give you their source. Next, I would try the inserting the name: biological supply and alginates in your computers search engines... and following the sources it leads you to. Bob Fenner

So what are you saying re gelatin use in foods? < Jules wrote to Jim > >>did you say that the Prime Reef food had a gelatin base? Fenner says at P 131 that Gelatin Based frozen foods should never be used.<< Bob, correct me if I am wrong but most Ocean Nutrition frozen foods do contain gelatin as a binder ? if so why the negative comment towards gelatin ? did you and Chris Turk have a falling out ? Jim Stime Aquarium Design http://www.aquarium-design.com <Hey Jim, nah to any falling out, but haven't chatted with Chris in months. On this issue, he did/has at times used other binding/emulsifying agents (principally alginates... made here in San Diego BTW), but we/I do have a disagreement with the continuous use of gelatin in fish foods... but all else being equal (which it never is), if folks have decent maintenance protocols (water changes, vacuuming, skimmers...), there's little chance of "gelatin deaths". Bob Fenner>

So what are you saying ? >From: "Robert Fenner" <by Bob Fenner> >there's little chance of "gelatin deaths". < Bob, I pondered about your message a bit more..... so is gelatin a resulting maintenance issue or a ( lack of ) nutritional issue ? <Much more a maintenance issue... not much useful as a nutrient to fishes, other aquatic life... but gloms the substrate together... Bob Fenner> * sending this message as I look in my freezer full of Ocean Nutrition frozen foods * < lol > Jim, Aquarium Design

Re: so what are you saying ? >From: "Robert Fenner" <by Bob Fenner> Much more a maintenance issue... not much useful as a nutrient to fishes, other aquatic life... but gloms the substrate together... >Bob Fenner> Bob, that makes sense. I have another customer who uses the ON Frozen foods quite a bit and it explains why her gravel is always got lots of stuff that clumps it together. <Yes... it's the gelatin> so, what frozen food do you like ? <Lines? You know this situation/game Jim... because these msg.s go who knows where am leery of unintentional endorsements... The best are those imported ones from TMC that are irradiated... but most any/all that don't involve gelatins are fine...> Jim, Aquarium Design <Bob Fenner, WWM>

Re: Fish Foods, Brands, branding  <Yes... you know, or I thought you did... that ON's food is made by ex-Tetra worker Denny Crews (along with the other flake foods they make, package in very similar canisters... in Alaska...< Bob, nope, I was not aware of that. can I assume that the frozen food is also made by the same person for ON ? <<Ah, no. Sorry for the confusion... In my attempts at not wanting to impugn friends trade associations I may have inadvertently strayed... Omega One, from Omega Sea make ON's dry foods... Chris makes all his/their own frozen products as far as I'm aware.> ><Ok... you'll likely find they've reverted (for a long time now) back to human-food gelatins... and yes, that their foods are losing mkt share galore to Hikari, among others... and that indeed their foods are not as "good" or economical as others.... < interesting. well they will most likely loose my frozen food business. for the moment I am switching to the flake foods by ON...although I get the impression that your comment above refers to ON loosing their Flake Food business to Hikari ? I have only seen pelleted food from Hikari. <Not likely... ON has good market penetration, good frozen foods per se... However, there are many good competitors... In particular, have you tried Pablo Tepoot's New Life foods? Unbeatable value... very reasonable per unit costs, high, consistent quality... and really apparent benefits (palatability, color, vigor...)... no discernible mal-affects (cloudiness, algal proliferation...). Winners> >Bob F. sorry to have to state it... and not wanting to hear same spread over the Net < don't worry. I am not big on the chat room gossip, and when I write the article for my web site on feeding it will not make any reference to anyone other than my own personal experience via my service business....but I understand and appreciate your concern < s > Jim, Aquarium Design <You are wise in this my friend. Bob Fenner>

So what are you saying (about flake food brands) ? Bob, what are your feelings on the ON Flake Foods ? they don't have gelatin do they ? (not looking for an endorsement, just your thoughts < s > ) Jim <They're very nice... the same (made by) Denny Crews in Alaska <Update, 2003, no longer. Now made by the parent co. SaltCreek(.com)>... All-natural ingredients, fresh, palatable... winners all. Bob Fenner>

Haute Cuisine Lorenzo,  Thank you so much for your reply in Bobs absence...I hope he is having fun! :)  What do you recommend food wise...I have been trying the formula one (which the angel LOVES).....funny he wont eat the brine shrimp...:)...the blenny wont touch it (the formula 1)...  the shrimp and stuff mixed with algae...no one really likes that...I have tried some kind of gel goo that has algae in it but it doesn't break apart...no one but the hermit will eat the Nori...and they all hate the squid.  specific suggestions...I need to get algae in there for the blenny...the scooter eats the brine too! but I want to make sure everyone gets nutrition and lives...btw before I read the web site about the cleaner wrasse...I got one...he was at the LFS for a month before I got him and he seems to be doing well...working on everyone...he also seems to be feeding fine but if he has special diet needs let me know...oh We also feed the hermit crab pellets...he seems to love them is this ok...???  again I thank you ...my wet friends thank you. :)  Gina < I wouldn't stress out too much over feeding everybody the right stuff. All those commercially prepped foods are quite fortified, and the frozen gumbos include so much variety... if they all eat, they're all fine. Actually, you can more easily feed too much - a lot of very successful aquarists only feed their animals 3 times a week...What kind of hermit crab do you have there, that needs pellets? Big one? If it's just a little blue or scarlet legged hermit, you should let him get most/all of his food from scavenging...Cheers! Lorenzo>

Re: hippo tang Thanks for the answer. I had looked through the FAQ and Articles, but I missed the picture. There it is though. Thanks for direction. The article mentions gelatin based frozen foods as a source of DOC. I have been using Ocean Nutrition's Formula One and just added Formula Two when I bought the tang. Are these gelatin based frozen foods and should I discontinue using them.  <A tough call... and I do wish I would have convinced Chris (Turk) by now to switch to more user-friendly binding agents than gelatins for his formulated foods> I also plan to add one or two more powerheads, replace two household fluorescent bulbs with full-spectrum bulbs, increase water changes, and try again at physically removing the algae. <Good ideas> Any idea on the trapped gas below the algae? <Yes, oxygen mainly... caught twixt the bio-slime/film layer of the life above> PS. I believe you gave me the wrong URL for "tang heaven". I believe it should have been http://www.ipsf.com/ <Will check this, thanks. Bob Fenner... in Singapore on the way to KL> Thanks again. Jeffrey P. Schulz

Re: feeding a Naso tang Thanks. Check this site out. http://www.animalnetwork.com/fish/data/foods.asp <Have seen this, heard Ron Shimek present same... amazing what little food value there is in "vital", other noted products, eh? Bob Fenner> Allyson



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