Corals - Carnivores?

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by deadmeat2016, 4 Mar 2013.

  1. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Wouter

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    Hi all
    Are corals classed as carnivores?

    Yes they get nutrients from the symbiotic relationship with the zooxanthalle, but this doesn't make the actual coral photosynthetic.

    Remember that there are many corals which do not use light and in the phylum of coral, Cnidaria, includes anemones and jellyfish which are definitely not herbivores.

    Being carnivores, they would only eat zooplankton as opposed to phytoplankton right?
    My zoas do not react when i try feeding them phyto, they only respond to the zooplankton.


    googling the question results in conflicting arguements. Especially when i wanted to grow my own live phyto which i gave up because i read that corals do not actually consume the phyto themselves.

    Clams, featherdusters and other non coral inverts benefit from phyto absolutely but some claim the only relation feeding phyto and corals is that the phyto is consumed by the present zooplankton which are eaten by the coral, thus making it beneficial indirectly.

    So are they classed as carnivores? scientific proof is what i am looking for
     
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  3. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator

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    Nice question, I will look as well, I see the class clams as filter feeders, and since filter feeding is indiscriminate I would assume that that implies being carnivorous or omnivorous

    Corals use the glucose created by the algae, but can eat zooplankton and fish/inverts as well
     
  4. RocketRooster

    RocketRooster

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    They're facultative carnivores.
     
  5. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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  6. OP
    deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Wouter

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    rooster - faculative carnivores, this suggests they are infact carnivores, eating animal flesh and that they also can obtain nutrients from non-animal flesh, the products produced by zooxanthalle.

    Thankyou Ivan, but to conclude, soft corals have been shown to consume phyto and have the right enzymes to digest it, so sessile Cnidarians are in fact omnivourous as a class depending on the species?
     
  7. Mewik

    Mewik

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    I can feed a snail to my elegance coral and take a pic if that counts? I just assume they'll eat anything they can catch with their polyps and fit through their mouth opening. Lps obviously just have bigger mouths
     
  8. OP
    deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Wouter

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    This question is really bugging me recently again! Need some help from biologists.....

    The phylum Cnidaria are mostly carnivores, right? corals nennies, jellies, sessile coral etc

    their photosynthetic side is symbiotic relationship with the zooxanthalle which is only present in some(or most) coral, thinking of all corals as a whole, including the corals in arctic waters(yes there are) and deeper dark water. therefore the symbiosis is a evolutionary by-product with the corals themselves not being photosynthetic.

    So.... where do softies like xenia fit in? evolutionary species by-products? can you feed xenia?

    Yes some corals have the correct enzymes to digest phyto and extract the proteins but are there corals which do NOT in any way or form chow zoo-plankton?
     
  9. Nur

    Nur Starz

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    add some Phyto to your tank and watch the Xenia go balistic.
     
  10. OP
    deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Wouter

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    Only phyto though? do they react to zoo? speaking of small zoo though, not like brineshrimp etc but powdered zoo
     
  11. Trevs

    Trevs

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    I once found my brain coral "eating" a dead moth that fell in my tank.
     
  12. Trevs

    Trevs

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    Just had two little wings sticking out:eek:
     
  13. OP
    deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Wouter

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    Hahahahahahahahaha, :biggrin: ok but we know brains like meaty foods like krill etc....and insects
     
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