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Old 05-28-2009, 12:34 PM   #1
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Too Much Food or Just Right???????

Hi All,

I'm relatively new to the saltwater aquarium hobby, but did acquire a 55g tank from a friend that is complete with live rock and two fish ( clown and yellow tang). He has had the tank (and same fish) for right at 15 years...so I am just continuing what he had been doing as it obviously has worked well.

I do have some questions....regarding feeding. I have found alot of bristle worms living in the rock (just a guess, but probably twenty or thirty...mostly small), and at the time of the move he was very suprised to see them...he didn't like what he saw. We discussed possibly pulling the food back a little to see if it helped, but don't want to harm the fish. Here's what we're feeding them..... three frozen cubes from the foil packs every evening and a leaf of Kale clipped to the inside of the tank at all times. Does this sound like too much food for the tank load, or is it about right? If I pull the food back to say two cubes, and the fish are needing more food, what signs should I watch for?

I have searched this site and read lots of threads regarding bristle worms...and I find it interesting the opinions are so varied. Some say they must all die immediately, some say they are just ok, and some say they are beneficial to the tank. I don't mind them...actually think they are kind of fun to watch. My only concern is that I want to do a couple of things to my tank.....add a sand bottom (it's just glass now), and maybe add some other invertibrates. I would also like to add a fish or two, but as my two have been together for so long, I'm hesitant to give them any "new" friends. Right now I'm leaning toward adding sand to the bottom and just leaving everything else alone. If I add sand, could this cause the worm population to grow????..just wondering if the sand will give them alot more "room" to expand their domain...... I need to research them some more.

Thanks in advance for any help...I love this site.

Jeff
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:13 PM   #2
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IMO that seems like an awful lot of food to be feeding just two fish. Do you feed every evening? I believe you are only supposed to feed what the fish can eat in 3-5 minutes. You would probably be fine feeding only 1 cube and the seaweed daily.
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:14 PM   #3
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Hi Jeff. Welcome to the site!

I'm by no means an expert, but that does sound like a lot of food everyday. Just for comparison, I have 2 fish (smaller than your's) and a few shrimp and feed 1/4 of a cube of mysis per day. I also occasionally skip a day. As far as the bristle worms are concerned... the opinions do vary a bunch! lol I personally think they're cool (we have a purple and red one), but my wife hates it. That could have a lot to do with the fact that she has been pricked by it and I haven't yet. :p
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:23 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick replies...

Two replies and they both are saying the same thing.....too much food. If it helps, the tang is about 4 1/2" long and the clown is about 3" long.

Please keep the advice coming!!!
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:43 PM   #5
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If it was me I would feed very sparringly on the cube maybe half a cube every day or every other day and feed a piece of dried seaweed on the off days for the tang. He`s a herbivore and needs plenty of greens anyway. As far as the bristle worms I really dont mess with them as they are good janitors and help clean the tank but maybe later on I might have to do something as too mush of a good thing can be bad also. Welcome aboard BTW
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Old 05-28-2009, 04:21 PM   #6
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OK... I'll throw out a different opinion, but with a "but..." at the end.

I'd just keep doing everything the same. I'm a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" type of guy, and if the previous owner has had this tank AND fish for 15 years (!), and has been feeding like this, then I'd just keep on the same routine. You don't mention any problems with algae, and it doesn't sound like a reef tank (which would want pristine water), so if it ain't broke...

BUT...

I agree that you're overfeeding. One cube a day is probably about right, and the greens for the tang. I'm guessing your nitrates are pretty high, which in a reef tank would be a problem. But with a fish-only... not so bad.

Regarding the bristle worms, I see them as cleanup crew. If one wanders out and presents itself as a super easy target to pluck out of the tank, I'll do that on occasion. But not normally. If you add sand to your tank, you'll end up with more bristle worms. More places to hide, as well as more places for food to accumulate for them.
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Kurt_Nelson View Post
OK... I'll throw out a different opinion, but with a "but..." at the end.

I'd just keep doing everything the same. I'm a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" type of guy, and if the previous owner has had this tank AND fish for 15 years (!), and has been feeding like this, then I'd just keep on the same routine. You don't mention any problems with algae, and it doesn't sound like a reef tank (which would want pristine water), so if it ain't broke...

BUT...

I agree that you're overfeeding. One cube a day is probably about right, and the greens for the tang. I'm guessing your nitrates are pretty high, which in a reef tank would be a problem. But with a fish-only... not so bad.

Regarding the bristle worms, I see them as cleanup crew. If one wanders out and presents itself as a super easy target to pluck out of the tank, I'll do that on occasion. But not normally. If you add sand to your tank, you'll end up with more bristle worms. More places to hide, as well as more places for food to accumulate for them.
Thanks, Kurt.

You hit the nail on the head......I'm struggling with changing anything as it's worked well for the fish for so long. You're right...the nitrates are pretty high, and I don't seem to have much problem with algae. I am concerned about how large the worm population will grow if I add sand. That and the fact the previous owner didn't like what he saw with the worms is what got me to considering reducing the food level.

Do I leave it alone....do I try to reduce the worm pop. before adding sand.... I don't know. I finally got a saltwater setup and I want to have fun with it and change a few things...

I'm leaning toward reducing the food slightly....maybe start by feeding 2 cubes (33% reduction), and trying to remove some of the worms manually. I think I will try the two cubes tonight and see how long it takes the fish to finish it.... I'm told to just supply enough food for them to eat for 3 or 4 minutes.....that sound right? I'm quite sure they're eating longer than that with 3 cubes...

Thanks again, and guys/gals....please keep the suggestions coming!

Jeff
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