RSS Terrible Advice Tuesday: The Newest Non-Photosynthetic Corals

Discussion in 'RSS Feeds' started by MASA Admin, 19 Aug 2014.

  1. MASA Admin

    MASA Admin Moderator

    Posts: 9,997
    8 May 2007
    Likes Received:

    Terrible Advice Tuesdays: Most soft corals including zoanthids and gorgonians depend almost exclusively on phytoplankton for their nutritional needs.

    (In case you didn’t know, phytoplankton is one type of food that is commonly fed to corals)

    The rest of the story: Where is the head-hanging-and-shaking-head emoticon when I need it? This advice couldn’t be farther from the truth. Zoanthids (a.k.a. zoas) and gorgonians are known for being easy keepers that don’t require supplemental feeding of phytoplankton.

    Zoanthids are commonly kept in saltwater tanks and here’s what Julian Sprung, author and one of the most respected names in the saltwater aquarium industry has to say about them, “Zoanthus spp. do not need to be fed directly, since they obtain much of their nutritional requirements from their symbiotic zooxanthellae. They must therefore be provided with adequate illumination to thrive. ”

    Julian continues to talk about Palythoa spp., commonly known as palys and often confused with zoas, “Protopalythoa spp. have symbiotic zooxanthellae and must be kept under moderate to strong illumination to thrive.” [source]

    There are a few types of non-photosynthetic zoas and these are not commonly kept in saltwater aquariums.

    Moving onto gorgonians, non-photosynthetic gorgonians do exist which obviously need supplemental feeding. Photosynthetic gorgonians, however, get nearly all their nutritional needs from zooxanthellae and require little, if any supplemental feeding ,  “When illuminated with sufficient light the Caribbean photosynthetic gorgonians do not require much feeding to grow in captivity…” [source] Having kept several photosynthetic gorgonians in my tank as well as my client tanks, none of these corals were given supplemental food and they grew quite well.

    If someone asserts that most gorgonians and zoas need to be fed to survive, feel free to share this article with them to set them straight. Oh, and watch for the attempted sale of some kind of coral food supplement to go along with the bad advice.

    Click here to view the article....
Recent Posts