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Advanced Reefer
Warren, OH
Hey Reefers! Lets talk Spot Feeding Corals!

One of the most crucial parts to owning and maintaining a successful and thriving reef tank is spot feeding corals!

While many corals get their nutrition from photosynthesis, through their zooxanthellae, most species also benefit from supplemental feeding. They require directly applied nutrients, because they cannot effectively filter feed for themselves inside a home aquarium, like they could out in the ocean! Spot feeding involves directly feeding individual coral polyps with food, rather than broadcast feeding an entire tank. It ensures that food lands directly on a polyp, giving it a better chance of successfully feeding!

To spot feed corals effectively, it's essential to understand the dietary needs of each species. Some corals, such as LPS and certain soft corals, prefer small meaty foods like mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, or finely chopped seafood. Others, like SPS corals, prefer foods such as phyto and zooplankton. It's important to know the specific needs of each coral species in your aquarium to provide effective nutrition! We usually feed a mixture of blended mysis and brine shrimp, along with Benepets powder! There are plenty of awesome products on the market that are great for spot feeding corals. Check out this Reef2Reef thread on what other Reefers are spot feeding! HERE

We spot feed our corals using a normal kitchen turkey baster or pipette. Turn off all your flow and squirt the solution of food directly onto the coral's mouth or polyps! This helps to deliver food precisely and directly, leading to maximum nutrient intake by the coral and the most effective feeding strategy! We typically spot feed our corals 2 times per week, as to not overfeed them, and allow ample time for digestion!

Before spot feeding, sometimes it is best to distract, or feed, your fish and inverts! It can be difficult to chase away hungry fish or shrimp, that will steal food out of corals mouths before they have a chance to consume it! We feed in the mornings and evenings while lights are off to accomplish this, the fish are usually quite timid during this time of day! Isolating the coral you are choosing to spot feed, or dusting them with a light amount of food so they can open up to feed, are also good tactics. To ensure they can quickly, effectively, and safely consume their spot fed food! Be sure to check on your corals after spot feeding them. Any food left on top of a coral that did not feed, can have adverse effects, burning or irritating your coral's flesh! Always blow off any remaining food after your hungry coral has finished up their meal!

Spot feeding your corals can be a very rewarding experience! Watching your corals flourish and grow knowing you are giving them the proper amount of nutrients to thrive in your home reef! Some meatier corals such as Acanthophyllia, Scoly, Cynarina, and others are a spectacle to watch eat during spot feeding! They open up, turning almost inside out, revealing hidden tentacles that capture food and bring to their mouths! Check out an awesome timelapse video HERE of an Acanthophyllia reacting to spot feeding and opening up to feed!

We have lots of corals in stock right now that are great choices for spot feeding! Below are a few highlights of some of our favorites! Click any of them to shop instantly, we hope you enjoy and have a great weekend!

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