Going Dark - Feeding azoox corals.

Against what may be considered better judgment on my part, I’ve been picking up a few azooxanthellate corals as of late. Having recently plumbed in an additional display area to the main tank, it needed to be filled with something. Some of the current resources available (articles / info from Stottlemire, Kallmeyer, Torsten, Matthews, Dame, the Fauna Marin & Reef Nutrition products, etc…) are very encouraging, as is the feeding response I get from a mix made based on Danny Dame’s recipe. More photos / info later as time permits, but please follow the links at the end of this for some very good information on these animals & their care.

I used 1/8 of Danny’s recipe - so in 500 mL I put 1 capful of UltraPac. You have to mix it in slowly if mixing by hand otherwise you end up with a single gelatinous clump, not a nice syrupy concoction. When that mixed I added 3 ml of MinS. He uses a blender, but my wife would have my ass were I to be caught blending this stuff in her kitchen…

Danny Dame’s non-photosynthetic coral food recipe

Here’s the consistency of the Pac (artificial coral mucus).

Danny Dame’s non-photosynthetic coral food recipe

In another container, I put the following

3/8 tsp frozen cyclopeeze
1/8 tsp DT’s oyster eggs
3/8 tsp UltraLife
3/8 tsp Ultra MinF
3/8 tsp Ultra Sea Fan
3/8 tsp Ultra Clam
1 ampoule Prodibio’s ReefBooster
A few drops of UltraBio
5ml of Reed’s Roti-Feast
5ml DT’s phytoplankton
2.5ml MinS
Smells disgusting.

Continuing to follow Danny’s method, mixed it up, and let them sit overnight in their separate containers. The next day, they were mixed together and let to sit another 24 hours. I found some cool mini ice cube trays on Ebay, 90 mini cubes per tray, so then poured the finished mixture into the trays and froze them. So far, I’ve just been tossing in a cube or two before work, then after work and a couple times through the evening / before bed.

Here’s a photo of the Dendro when I was just trying to feed it Reed’s rotifeast and DT’s phyto… you can see very little polyp expansion.

This is what the dendro looks like now that I am using Danny’s recipe. I will try for better photos later, but the polyps are expanded 24/7 (yes, I have seen it even at 4am :))

I’ll work on a way I can feed it constantly. Check out Dame’s conversion of a kalk reactor at the bottom of the marineaquarium.nl page. I don’t have the space or means to do this, so am exploring other options. I’ve also looked at a syringe pump, but that also requires considerable space.

Eric at Glassbox Design suggested a similar set up to the kalk reactor involving a Nalgene-ish size bottle - that may be better suited to my space constraints. For the meantime, I am hanging a 30cc tapered syringe upside down so I can just toss a few cubes in and have them melt / drip as I leave for work, and before bed.