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FAQs on Azooxanthellate Stinging-Celled Animals

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Oysters in the Sump (Not the answer here) -- 11/29/10
I thank you for a wonderful website and excellent moderators.
<<A collective effort'¦we are pleased to serve>>
I tried but was unable to find any info on stocking oysters in the sump.
<<Not practical, really -- extremely difficult to sustain for any length of time>>
I currently run a 50 gallon tank with a 15 gallon sump. It is stocked with Carnation Corals
<<Mmm -- about as difficult as the Oysters. The challenge here with both types of animal is the feeding of them - both are very likely to starve to death. Please do read here (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dendrofaqs.htm) and here (http://www.thesea.org/carnation-coral/ )>>
I picked up under the docks in Kochi, Japan. I have been feeding them with PhytoPlan and ZoPlan,
<<Here's a link to a 'recipe' for azooxanthellate corals (http://stonyreef.com/blog/2008/feeding-azooxanthellate-corals/). Even with an accepted supply of food(s), providing this in sufficient quantity without overwhelming your system is a challenge. It can be done, but takes a special dedication and attention to system setup and husbandry>>
but they have shrunk to about half their size in 6 months.
I have read that feeding them oyster eggs would be good, but frozen oyster eggs are not available locally.
<<Can be found on the Net (http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=21981) >>
There's an oyster farm about 10 miles from my house so I picked up a few and put them in my sump.
<<Hmm'¦perhaps you could also check to see if the farm harvests/will provide eggs for purchase>>
Water temp is 24.5 C, pH 8.0, dKH 11 and Ca 410. Filtration is a trickle filter with a coil denitrator, Beckett skimmer and ozone.
<<Do search the net re Azooxanthellate systems for tips on configuration/lighting/water flow/husbandry needs et al. One in particular that might be worth researching is the 500L non-photosynthetic reef by Dutch aquarist Pieter van Suijleko>>
Would 5 or 6 oysters spawning overload my biofilter?
<<I think the bigger question is 'will they spawn?''¦and if they should, 'would this be sufficient' to meet the nutritional requirements of the Carnation Corals? In both instances, I think the answer is 'not likely at all.' Such a 'self-sustained' non-photosynthetic system as you describe is not practical in my opinion, especially one as small as yours. It would take a much larger number of Oysters kept in peak condition and spawning on a continual basis -- something at least, if not more so, challenging than the Carnation Corals. Better to expend your time and energy on researching alternate feeding methods (e.g. -- producing your own 'live' Phytoplankton and Rotifers for a 'continuous-drip' feeding system, etc.) for the carnation Corals, as well as system and husbandry requirements'¦and to make sure you have the time, resources, and dedication to the keeping of these beautiful but 'extremely challenging' organisms>>
James Miller - Okayama, Japan
<<And to you in kind... Eric Russell - Columbia, South Carolina>>

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