What's better than looking at your reef tank? Feeding it, of course! For years, hobbyists have shared a mutual fascination of animal response to a variety of foods offered. When guests visit, often they will request that we feed our livestock to see greater activity, or to lure out those animals that typically stay out of sight.  

Corals, fish, and invertebrates all eat, but not necessarily the same type of food nor at the same time of day. Many corals tend to injest food nocturnally, extending their polyps to capture morsels from the surrounding waters while the fish sleep. Others are happy to eat any time something drifts into their general area. Fish may assist the hosting coral or anemone, luring or even bringing food to it. Some corals will actively seek out food, stretching their polyps out to sweep the area for a tasty snack.

While some hobbyists have incredible self-control and feed very little to their systems, the majority are happy to indulge their reef with a plethora of food on a daily basis to keep their animals happy. Some theorize that a fat fish will have better resistance to disease compared to a leaner fish. SPS corals are only fed the tiniest particles of food (dry, frozen, or in liquidized form), while LPS corals are offered meatier morsels (mysis, chopped krill). Fish get the largest variety of meat and vegetation offerings, and some commercial foods include sponge, terrestrial plants, vitamins and more.

Ironically, some reefs eat better than their owners when one begins to add up the varied foods purchased on a regular basis. Not that there is anything wrong with that, as it shows loving husbandry on the part of the reef keeper.

For the past two months, members of Reef Central have submitted a large sampling of feeding images, including some sequence shots. The default for the slideshow below is set to 2 seconds - choose whatever speed works best for your viewing pleasure. Please note the variety of feeding tools being used: pipettes, turkey basters, clips, tongs, magnets, nets, sections of PVC and even by hand.

Additional Reading

Do-it-Yourself Frozen Food
How to Harvest and Feed Baby Brine Shrimp to Your Tank
Coral Feedings
Healthy Feeding Methods

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Many thanks to SDguy and JessyCat77 for their assistance with this project.
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