All fish in the sea know how to find their food, and in a tank it is even easier for them. The problem is that in the sea Mother Nature supplies food all day, every day. We as humans have other lives and usually don’t want to feed our fish continuously. At least I don’t. Also some fish are just designed to eat a tiny bit all day because that is the way their digestive systems were designed. Fish like pipefish and seahorses don’t even have a real stomach, just a short tube that acts like a stomach and intestine. These types of fish can not store food as other fish can. Other fish with similar digestive systems are mandarins and any other fish that normally lives on tiny food such as pods. These fish can not even eat a large meal if it were offered to them which is also the reason for their tiny mouths.
For this reason I am a big advocate of feeding stations.
My tank is old and loaded with pods so I really don’t have to do this but sometimes a certain fish needs a little help even if the tank is full of pods. I recently aquired a baby female mandarin that is very skinny. I am hoping she matures to mate with my large male. I hatch and feed live baby brine shrimp to my tank every day and most of the fish eat them, even the larger gobies but this food disappears in a few minutes. Some of it gets skimmed off or caught in powerheads and the rest migrate to the surface because baby brine shrimp are attracted to light.
Most fish that would eat pods, live on the bottom so that food is lost to them. This feeding station is designed for baby brine shrimp. It is just a plastic container with a mesh over it that barely passes baby brine. It also has a tube running to the surface so I can fill it with shrimp. I fill it in the morning and fish just hang around it all day sucking out shrimp.
Many shrimp also escape to be caught by the corals. About 15 years ago I designed and patented this type of feeding station for adult brine shrimp.
LINK (I do not sell these)
I have also used a different type of feeding station to feed moorish Idols.