Measuring LPS feeding response

Discussion in 'Large Polyp Stonies' started by CenlaReefer, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. CenlaReefer

    CenlaReefer Harlequin Tusk LARC Supporter

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    In order to have more time with the wife and kids, I downsized from my 75 gallon display to keeping a 20 gallon frag tank with 30 gallon sump and a 20 gallon softy display tank. I also went bare bottom for everything. I also ditched the idea of keeping difficult SPS corals. I only keep hearty SPS corals like stylos and montipora. I'm very happy with the current set up for now. Everyone else is happy as well except for my five-year-old autistic daughter. I believe she misses our tomini tang and the much larger display tank. She is slowly getting over it. Last week she said she wanted a Yorkshire terrier as a pet. This week she said she wants an animal with large tusks or "one that goes roar." She is having a hard time understanding that not all animals are safe as pets.
     
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  2. CenlaReefer

    CenlaReefer Harlequin Tusk LARC Supporter

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    Final feeding- thawed frozen mysis shrimp
    Prior to feeding:
    image.jpg

    7 minutes after feeding:

    image.jpg

    I plan to add some comments tomorrow. Good night everyone. Please feel free to post your thoughts.
     
  3. clsanchez77

    clsanchez77 Reefkeeping Extremist Global Moderator

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    This was a great write up and I look forward to your final comments. Since switching my tank to 24/7 automated feeding, I have noticed some very neat things about the tank. Specific to LPS, I am getting nice inflated non-extended polyps during the day and good polyp extension at night. LPS corals that were previously receding have now regrown over the skeletal formations, with only one exception. I do have some growth - its very hard to measure visually as LPS is slow growing and encrusting, but there are some spots were I no longer see the frag plug and my kalkwasser is no longer maintain Ca/Alk. Where I previously was starting to bleach LPS from high lighting, I have fully restored colors with little adjustment in lighting.

    Other benefits include less aggression in my fish, especially the chromis but the downside is macro algae production in the tank is up and the refugium is not keeping up. Nitrates remain at 0 though. I was hoping to start experimenting with defrosted frozen foods in place of the Reef Nutrition foods but the mini fridge does not adequately hold temperature and I currently speculate this will make things worse at the moment. On the plus side, I have very little nuisance micro algaes with exception to the sandbed. I do not want to go bare bottom but I am considering making annual sand bed replacement part of my maintenance routine. I only use one bag anyway. I may go live, feed it in QT it for 45 days and be able to provide pods as well.

    Cool starfish btw
     
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  4. CenlaReefer

    CenlaReefer Harlequin Tusk LARC Supporter

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    One note regarding my technique for each of the 4 feedings: I have been trying my best to allow the coral to take as much food as it wants. If tentacles remain extended, I try to keep spot-feeding until they draw in or the tentacles appear coated with the food. Sometimes this happens yet the coral does not pull them in even after 5-10 minutes. Notice in the picture below that the bottom front polyp did not pull in all of the shrimp. This is even after 7 minutes:

    IMG_0288.JPG

    Perhaps my shrimp could be more fresh? One thing is for sure; the coral took in way more milligrams of shrimp than any of the other food. This may be because the shrimp is less nutritionally dense compared to the other stuff as mentioned prior by Chris. Over all the coral seems to show the best response with the Fauna Marin pellets designed specifically for LPS corals.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017 at 1:56 PM
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  5. clsanchez77

    clsanchez77 Reefkeeping Extremist Global Moderator

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    I'm not convinced the corals have any way to "know" what they have captured, much less it's nutritional composition or freshness. Understanding how they digest food, I would expect less fresh food would be better for the coral, albeit to the demise of the tank. Could it possibly be as simple as the whole shrimp is simply too big (especially for several) to fit in the polyp but a compacted pellet fits nicely? Kind of like comparing a small cup of gumbo to a large bowl of pho.
     
  6. CenlaReefer

    CenlaReefer Harlequin Tusk LARC Supporter

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    You are right. Whatever response the animals have to differentiate food is by instinct rather than by "knowing" of some sort. Still, it shows better responses to various foods than others. If the coral has not been fed in more than 4 days, I am certain that I can feed any of the larger polyps a shrimp double that size. I plan to try that with shrimp from the grocery next week! I will post pics. It may not have pulled that last shrimp inside because it was already "full."

    I think very dense food or even decaying shrimp cannot cause the "demise" of a tank if spot-feeding is careful done; however, that would be a gross and stinky chore. Yuck! Broadcast feeding is another story!
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017 at 3:51 PM
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