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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


  • 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)





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