View Full Version : Feeding Corals

10-24-2011, 04:53 AM
I had received a few questions about how I feed my corals so I thought I would post a few pics to show what I do.

Almost all corals (with a few exceptions) that when are provided with the proper environment within a mature set-up will do well without being feed. Feeding corals will accelerate their growth.

When it comes to feeding, I will place corals into one of two groups, those with mouths, and those without mouths. Each is very different to feed.

When it comes to feeding corals without mouths, like leathers or stony corals with polyps, there are food additives you can add to the water in the tank. I will use these additives minutes before lights out and turn the skimmer off for the night. I have found once or twice a week feedings work best. Below are inks of the products that I use. Although these product are made for corals without mouths, all corals as well as filter feeders will also benefit from these products. You do have to be careful not to over dose these additives in your tank or it will affect your water quality



When it comes to feeding corals with mouths, there are two other options (other than the above mentioned) that seem to be the most popular and work.
The first is feeding meaty foods, like frozen Mysis shrimp. The below link shows how I have feed meaty foods to my corals. This is the most natural method to feed foods to coral with mouths such as brains and plates. The only problem that I ever came across was that the rest of the fish and CUC in the tank really really like the meaty food as well and were relentless in trying to steal the food right out of the coralís mouth. That and these food do not sink easy so you have to carefully place the food directly on the coralís mouth with tweezers.


Recently, Iíve been feeding my corals with mouths pellet food specifically made for corals. It is a lot easier to feed and the fish and CUC are not as nuts over it. Based on what I have read, it can be harder for the coral to digest, so I will soak it in food additives like the below to keep it soft and healthy



I will start by making sure I can see the coralís mouth. On a plate coral that is usually very easy to do as itís mouth is usually centered on the top.


I will take a ĹĒ pc of plastic pipe cut to length so when it is placed on the substrate it will still be a few inches about the water


10-24-2011, 04:54 AM
I will soak the coral food in a liquid vitamin supplement for at least a few hours. When ready I will take the plastic pipe and lower one end in the tank just above the coralís mouth. I will put the pellets in the other end of the pipe so they fall directly on to the coralís mouth and the fish canít steel them on the way down.
As it can take a few minutes for the coral to take the food and swallow it, I will cover the coral with the top Ĺ of a plastic juice bottle. That way, the fish and/or CUC will be able to steel the food away from the coral while it is still eating.

There are other options to feeding corals, but I have no experience with them .

10-24-2011, 10:54 PM
Great write up!

I'd just point out that nearly all polyps have mouths (=oral cavities), with the exception of some xenia. The 'mouths' of the leathers and SPS polyps are just smaller (they're actually capable of capturing very tiny particles).

To feed these corals with very tiny 'mouths', they will need to be provided smaller sized foods ('larger' small stuff such as cyclopeeze or micro-sized foods such as oyster eggs and the like which are in the 40-50 micron range in size).

I used the tweezer method that you mentioned to feed my LPS corals. For corals requiring smaller sized foods, I'd mix the food in RO/DI water and squirt it directly on the corals (such as mushrooms and zoanthids) using an eye dropper (with aquarium circulation turned off for about an hour so the food wouldn't be swept away in the current).

Also it's important to note that if you have a copepod, amphipod, or mysid shrimp population in your tank, the corals will eat these too.

I recall one night I was observing my tank with a flash light and a cloud of pod larvae and young mysids were attracted to the beam of light and moved toward it. An LPS coral lay between them and with feeder tentacles extended captured many of these. On a nightly basis there's no telling how many of these tiny crustaceans fall prey to corals.

While feeding is usually optional for photosynthetic corals, it's important to note that these corals (for those that have them) expend energy each night to extend their feeder tentacles in hope of capturing edibles.

10-24-2011, 11:59 PM
Great write up!

I'd just point out that nearly all polyps have mouths (=oral cavities), with the exception of some xenia. The 'mouths' of the leathers and SPS polyps are just smaller (they're actually capable of capturing very tiny particles).

Yes, you are 100% correct. I should have worded it as large visible mouths, one that you can feed easily, and ones with really small mouths not always visible or easy to feed by hand. I did not word my original post very well at all

I haven't really looking into feeding live foods yet until a a week or two ago. I am currently researching that so I could potentially expand my stocking list to some of the more difficult corals.

10-25-2011, 12:14 AM
Great write up Cliff. I remember feeding my s/w creatures with a couple of straws to make sure the food got to where it should. Including my seahorse. Getting a baby guppy to the seahorse was tricky in a tank of fish.

This should be a sticky!thumbs2: