Feeding Coelenterates

By filtering the water, the Coelenterates trap small suspended particles, particularly the crustacean zooplankton. Collecting, keeping, and distributing plankton is not a task to be taken lightly, and it is best to look for other solutions. However, it must be made clear that commercial foods on the market provide little more than a stopgap. It is possible to use rotifers or freshly hatched brine shrimp nauplii, normally used as the main food for fish, but not everybody breeds these animals. There is another food which is available to all hobbyists, as it is inexpensive, easy to make, and can be frozen: it is usually called mussel choppy. Mussels are not only cheap but also rich in proteins, carbohydrates, mineral salts, and vitamins. Other possi-

FOOD FOR SPONGES AND COELENTERATES: A RECIPE

Ingredients:

- mussels or cockles;

- shelled shrimps in cans (optional).

Cook the mollusks and fish. Put the shrimps in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Remove the mollusks' shells.

Mix all the ingredients thoroughly. You can add a vitamin solution, flakes or granules of fish food, boiled spinach, or the special foods for invertebrates available commercially. If the paste is too thick after mixing, thin it with sea water.

Pass the mixture through a sieve. What is left behind in the sieve can be distributed to anemones or small fish; this puree can also be frozen. Allow the puree to stand for several hours in the refrigerator, then discard any excess water.

The resulting paste can be used straightaway for feeding, or can be frozen. It is best to put the food into the aquarium at night, 1 or 2 hours before switching off the lights. Switch off the filters, pumps, and aeration for a moment. Thaw the food, if necessary, and distribute the equivalent of one tablespoon of the prepared liquid for every 200 liters of water. Deposit the food above the invertebrates with a narrow, rigid tube. The filtration and aeration systems can be switched back on a few minutes afterwards.

Coelenteratescan cohabit with algae - encrusting or otherwise - and even with small fish.

Coelenteratescan cohabit with algae - encrusting or otherwise - and even with small fish.

bilities are cockles, the flesh of lean fish, or cans of shelled shrimps, which are produced in large quantities in Asia, cost little, and are readily available. The other problem is establishing a feeding schedule. It must be remembered that the majority of organisms being fed play host to Zooxanthellae, which often satisfy a significant proportion of their dietary needs, and so a weekly feed is more than sufficient. Do not forget that the best time for this is the night before a water change, to reduce the risk of pollution. The larger anemones feed on adult brine shrimps, small pieces of mussel, fish, or shrimps or a mixture of these.

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