Coral Feeding - Part 1
This is a topic thats always fascinated me and I always make it a point to list to talks delivered by Julian Sprung who i believe is an authority on this topic. Here are some of high level points that i feel would benefit hobbyists at all experience levels.
What are the main Chemicals do corals need to eat? Carbon, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Trace Elements, Amino Acids
Pic Source - https://floridakeys.noaa.gov/corals/coralseat.html
Dissolved Chemicals in water is absorbed by corals. This is the easiest way to feed coral.
Mucus aka the Slime on coral is a molecular net that traps the dissolved chemical in water. The mucus net cultures bacteria which breakdowns the dissolved chemical and the coral feeds off it
In captivity protein skimmer can sometimes skim this slime/mucus out. But in nature it traps bacteria and falls back on corals as Marine Snow and is eaten by the coral.
Coral Skin has microscopic "hairs" which helps moves mucus that has the food to the mouth of the coral.
Acro specific --- Particle feeding not as effective as dissolved chemicals for SPS. Particle feeding works for LPS more
Zooxanthellae also helps feed the coral via photosynthesis. It’s actually a dinoflagellate.
Fun Fact 1 -- Xenia feeds thru skin. Polyps moving isnt eating
Fun Fact 2 - Zoox isn't an algae but a dinoflagellate (thats why when we try to get rid of dino, sps sometimes dies too)