Just rambling about feeding “stuff”

by | May 16, 2012 | Corals, Fish, Invertebrates, Opinion | 0 comments

I keep reading about corals and fish dying all over the place and people can’t keep mandarins, bubble coral, twin spot gobies and armadillos but I don’t think we are really addressing the root of the problem.

The first thing everyone asks are what are your parameters? How much water do you change?  Do you quarantine?  How old is the tank?  Is your sister good looking? If most of your corals and fish are doing well, guess what?  Your parameters are good.  If, like many people, you change water every 5 minutes, then again, your parameters are good.

I feel that the biggest problem with almost all of these creature deaths is food.

If you dive and look closely you will see tiny “stuff” floating by. That stuff is almost all food (“Marine Snow” is made from this). Much of the “stuff” you see is living organisms that eventually, if lucky, will become lobsters, crabs, corals, starfish, and almost everything else in the sea that is not a large fish. Have you ever seen bluestriped pipefish babies? They look like this ——-> . <——– only smaller. This “stuff” is what feeds many of the corals, and it feeds them 24 hours a day. Some of this plankton is much larger, and that is what feeds gorgonians and LPS corals. This tiny “stuff” even eats tinier “stuff”.

There are many animals from the sea that we just can’t keep so we have to get over it. Sea fans come from areas where the current is so strong that I can’t swim there; they are always facing perpendicular to the current and they vibrate from the water flowing through them. We can not supply this current or this amount of food in a tank.

As for fish, something like a mandarin is the easiest, lowest-maintenance fish there is. You don’t have to feed it and it is not usually eaten by other fish. Most very colorful animals look like that because they taste bad. I never tasted one but I am guessing. But you need a tank with a lot of pods. A new tank only a couple of years old usually will not work. So don’t get a mandarin. Bubble corals eat fish. They would eat Oscar Meyer Weiners but they usually can’t find them so they eat fish. They are also lousy at catching fish so I would imagine they just get lucky and eventually a piece of fish falls on them, I really don’t know, but I do know that they grow well with a diet of fish or clams but don’t ask me how they open clams.

People mention copperbands, yes you know what I will say: worms! Those fish need worms, why? Because that long stupid looking snout was built for worms. A fish like that evolve over tens of thousands of years developing a nose like that so it could poke it in a hole to pull out a worm, but people still want them to live on mysis, brine shrimp, angel formula #42 or Kosher hot dogs. Feed the thing worms.

You can’t get worms?

Keep cats or dogs. You can give them the hot dogs. And if your dog is Jewish, you can give him those left over Kosher hot dogs.

OK I’m done.

  • Paul B

    I hate to say it but I have been keeping fish from about 1954 or so. I Was drafted in 1969 and was in the Army until 1971 and when I returned back from Viet Nam I bought my first salt water fish started a tank, that tank is still running. I Did my first SCUBA dive in Sydney Australia while I was on R&R and became certified in about 1979. Most of my dives were for lobsters in NY waters with about a quarter of them in the tropics. I am also a boater and a Lisenced boat Captain. I made my living as a construction electrician foreman in Manhattan from which I recently retired.

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