Zooplankton & Phytoplankton

Discussion in 'Reef Fishes' started by NewbReefer, May 16, 2008.

  1. NewbReefer

    NewbReefer

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    Which coral types eat what? is it typically sps eat Zooplanketon, and LPS and softies eat Phytoplankton?
     
    NewbReefer, May 16, 2008
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    fatman

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    Filter feeders such as tube worms and sponges eat the phytoplankton. Pods eat the phytoplankton, corals eat the pods. Pytoplankton is eatten by some softies and Gorgonaians (sea fans) but not SPS. SPS have been known to regurgitate phytoplankton after consuming it. SPS like to eat baby brine shrimp or Rotifers that are fed phytoplankton and SPS eat some small pods, detritus and absorb some dissolved organic compounds as food. Very-small polyp corals will eat phytoplankton.
     
    fatman, May 17, 2008
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  3. NewbReefer

    NewbReefer

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    Thanks fatman, thats easy enough to understand.
     
    NewbReefer, May 17, 2008
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    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    And generally, zooplankton eat the phytoplankton too. And larger things eat the zooplankton.
     
    Bifferwine, May 17, 2008
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    reeffreak

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    There is some debate if corals actually consume phytoplankton.Zooplankton/copepods do consume phyto,in turn feeding the corals.I would use phyto sparingly and in most cases never really needs to be use.

    I haven't use phytoplankton in years now.
     
    reeffreak, May 17, 2008
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    NewbReefer

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    sounds like something you'd maybe benefit from turning off your return pump and dosing a small amount every 2 weeks or so into your fuge for the pods to eat.
     
    NewbReefer, May 18, 2008
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    fatman

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    A lot of commercial coral growers actually use a peristaltic pump to pump small amounts of phytoplankton water into their tanks with deep sand beds to feed the pods continuously which then feed the corals. Depending on what the specific tank is holding some of the phytoplankton feeds the corals also. Commercial growers in general do not keep fish in their commercial coral tanks so there is a continual process of pod development going on with the continual feeding. They also typically feed rotifers and brine shrimp napuli phytoplankton which they also feed to the corals. Several times after the lights go out would be better for the pods. Say after they go out and before they come back on, which times should both be when your display tank lights are on, if your growing algae in a reverse lighting cycle. Bottled Phyto would work well enough.
     
    fatman, May 18, 2008
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    Altohombre The Tennis Pro Reefer

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    nobody is really talking much about zooplankton. I have Kent Marine Zooplex and according to the bottle everything likes it.
     
    Altohombre, May 19, 2008
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    fatman

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    Plankton is the floating or weakly swimming animal and plant life of a body of water. Zooplankton is just a more specific term meaning the animal portion of plankton,versus vegative. The above mentioned are all plankton, with all being zoo plankton but the phytoplankton. Copepods and amphipods are both zooplankton, just different sizes with the first being smaller. There are really large plankton sized more as we humans would eat, they are krill and are the primary food of baleen whales.
     
    fatman, May 19, 2008
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    sen5241b

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    Isn't the phytoplankton available in bottles really dead phytoplankton? I would assume live is better and possibly the dead phytoplankton is useless.
     
    sen5241b, May 19, 2008
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    fatman

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    :bounce: Corals are blind, they go for the chemical indicators (equivalent to smell) and they decide whether to digest or regurgitate after eating. It matters not whether it is dead or alive. They will often take in food that they then deem is too small or too large and regurgitate it after taking it in. A good way to get them to feed if they are being stubborn is to stir up the top of the substrate a little right before feeding. This puts both pods and organics which they feed on around them and triggers their feeding instincts. They really do not care if the food is live or dead. The food is more nutritious when live, especially when fed Selcon and Phytoplankton or Rotifers that are fed brewers yeast, Phyto and Selcon (Lipids: fats and oils). Such things are usually above what home reefers are willing to do though. To set up a really good feed growing operation would take up more room than most display tanks and involve probably at least 30 minutes every day minimum. That is going beyond the level of just culturing phytoplankton, rotifers and brine shrimp though. That would easily fit in the bottom half of a coat closet, cost half as much to run, a lot less to set up but would take the same amount of time. It is the pod culturing in steady large amounts that cosy more and take more room. You would need at least 50 to 100 corals or more to probably save money growing that many pods over the cost of purchasing. Or be actively involved in at least fragging a dozen frags per week or so. I have not seen or heard of anyone being able to grow all the pods they need to feed many corals just with a simple refugium. Most stoney corals only get 70 percent of their full nutritional needs though photosynthesis. Enough to barely do more than survive. There are few corals other than Xenia and Clavularia that do not need to be fed at all. :^:
     
    fatman, May 19, 2008
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    reeffreak

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    Your right,most corals prefer zooplankton.I always find the concentration level poor in the liquid zooplankton they sell.The cubed and freezer bars are so much better.
     
    reeffreak, May 19, 2008
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    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    You can buy bottles live or dead phytoplankton. The live is more expensive, but I like it better :). The live just needs to be refrigerated and the bottle shaken every few days.
     
    Bifferwine, May 19, 2008
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    NewbReefer

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    so many corals would enjoy some target fed Zooplankton every now and then? the reasons why i was asking what corals eat what is because i have a couple bottles of both phyto and Zoo, im going to pick up some rotifers or something but haven't gotten around to the LFS to pick any up. i've got a few acros i wanna target feed and then some softies i wanna target feed once a week or so to help em keep growing in full and healthy.
     
    NewbReefer, May 19, 2008
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    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Softies and acros usually don't benefit from target feeding... They feed from what is already in the water. I don't know anyone that target feeds SPS corals.
     
    Bifferwine, May 19, 2008
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    NewbReefer

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    so SPS and softies get all there food from lighting and whats already in the system? i know they get most there food from lighting and stuff in the water but i would have thought they would benefit from target feeding them something every so often, so SPS or most softies dont benefit from target feeding them anything?
     
    NewbReefer, May 19, 2008
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  17. NewbReefer

    fatman

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    :bounce:Target feeding usually means squirting food at the coral or placing large pieces of food in their grasp. SPS (as are Acros) have symbiotic algae, zooanthellae, to provide nutrition needed for survival. They still need to feed though to grow much though, as the amount of its needs provided by their algae is only about 70 percent as an average when growth needs are taken into account. SPS will retract their polyps if you try to feed them in typical target feeding methods. They feed when they sense the right chemical indicators (like smelling). They will except small pods and usually most SPS can capture and feed on Rotifers and like sized zooplankton such as worms larvae and microcrustaceans. They will usually take in and then regurgitate phytoplankton. Acros need approximately 20 to 30 percent of their food from feeding and through absorption of nutrients. That is a problem though as artemia nauplii (baby brine shrimp) and copepods are to large for their feeding. At this time the best feeding of Acros is through zooplankton, bed stirring and through nitrogen absorption. Fish less coral tanks must be fed some sort of dissolved or solid organic matter (nitrogen) if maintaining Acros. Very few softies receive all their food from their symbiotic dwellers and must also feed. Xenia and a few others get all their food from their symbiots and through nutrient absorption.
    You must realize though that there are more than 400 recognized species of Acros so feeding can not be standardized for all Acros as if it were one species. In a nut shell to feed SPS is to flood the tank with food or nutrients and then filter it out of suspension. Meaning, gross excess of foods and heavy circulation and skimming skimming afterward.:bounce:
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2008
    fatman, May 20, 2008
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  18. NewbReefer

    NewbReefer

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    thanks fatman that helps.
     
    NewbReefer, May 20, 2008
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