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Old 05-09-2011, 05:21 AM   #1
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How often to feed corals?

Hi there,

I have a 60 gal reef tank/15 gal sump which I keep lots of corals, mostly mushrooms polyps, xenias and others for about 2 months now. I have a good set up, with good light(120W LED's), chiller, good protein skimmer, phosphate reactor... All water parameters read fine on a constant base, nitrates and nitrites are 0( I do not have fish at the moment, I moved my 8 y.o. maroon clown to a hospital tank after he showed some ich spots-thinking the ich came with some coral frags, not sure-). All corals(specially xenias) have been showing very good health, and have good color and size.
I have been feeding them phytoplankton/zooplankton/reef snow in moderate quantities everyday(the reef snow target fed). I also have been dosing Seachem AquaVitro's Fuel 2x a week. I have been feeding that often because I have for a while now not seen any sign of nitrates in the system.
Is that too often to feed the corals? Would there be any issues feeding them everyday other than nitrate levels to rise?
Based on the amount of skimmate that comes from the protein skimmer, I think there is not that much "waste" in the system, compared to when I had fish...
Anyways, any opinion would be very appreciated! Would like to know what are the feeding schedules used by others with good results!

Thank you for the hand!
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:10 AM   #2
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You do not have to feed any of the corals you mentioned above. They should survive off lighting and the water column. I don't know much about the new LEDs, but it looks like you have a 2W / G (Not that the corals you mentioned require high lighting either....)
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:32 PM   #3
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Thats interesting. I thought xenias needed some target feeding....the led's are very bright, the module is comparable to a 250w MH, but Ive compared them both and I think the led is way better. The led's do not follow the same w/gl rule, since they put out a lot for way less wattage. I will do more research and do like you said to allow light by itself. Maybe that will do the trick
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:42 PM   #4
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The watt per gallon rule is outdated now with the current lighting systems. those corals should be fine with just light and the water column. just a word on the xenia, some people cant keep it at all and they have pristine aquariums while others wish they couldnt keep it either because it does a little too well in their aquariums.
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reefcowboy View Post
...I thought xenias needed some target feeding...
It's my understanding that xenia lack or have very under-developed nematocysts and digestive systems and rather than capturing and engulfing particulate matter, instead directly absorb dissolved nutrients from the water column.

I've got a huge (border-line invasive) xenia colony that is never directly fed.

I used to feed my corals two to three times a week for perhaps the first 1.5-2 years I had them. It's been been about 3 years since I fed them like that and I haven't noticed a decrease in growth rate. Any food they happen to capture these days is the food I feed my fish which they may happen to seize.
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:35 PM   #6
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Wow very interesting about the xenias yetee, I happen to have gotten 2 frags with a couple of heads and just a week ago I had to take it apart and move it to the back of the rocks, because it is growing so fast that was blocking the light from the corals underneath...I will keep them with just light the water column food like you guys have been mentioning.
I will post a pic of the tank
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:05 PM   #7
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i ordered a xenia frag along with a toadstool leather this will be my first time keeping xenia where do you guys have them middle of the tank and high flow?
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:19 AM   #8
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Mine are on top, with high flow because I did not have room to place it elsewhere. It seems like they do well with strong light. The pieces I bought were for a couple of days at the LFS i go to and they were always on the bottom, half closed. After placing them in my tank they opened fully the same day, and in a few days I noticed the arms were getting very long, and then the "trunk" attached to an adjacent rock from where a bunch of new heads popped up... I hope it wont keep growing at this rate, because if so I might have to take pieces out.
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:29 AM   #9
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i heard gsp was like that too ive had my gsp for about 3 weeks and its doing great but not showing any signs of spreading yet i guess thats a good thing because i heard it can get out of hand heh
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:19 PM   #10
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I originally placed my xenia mid to upper-level (with medium flow). However they seem to thrive anywhere.

They're also mobile and will 'go' and spread where ever they like (if conditions permit). I've got some growing on the side glass right up to the water surface; they've even colonized the powercord of one of my powerheads.
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