While every single one of us feed our fish, not everyone is aware of the importance of feeding the corals in our aquariums. Corals are animals and while most of them obtain a majority of their energy from photosynthesis, it is also very important to feed them to ensure they have the necessary building blocks to grow and thrive.

All corals have mouths and there is a good reason for it. Many corals exert a lot of energy and have developed a significant portion of their biology to capture food, even SPS corals that are highly-dependent on light for survival can benefit greatly from feeding.

Hobbyists are often  pleasantly surprised to see how well their corals respond to feeding. The coloration becomes much more vibrant, the corals grow quicker and their flesh becomes meatier and healthier.

Different types of corals have different sized mouths and benefit from getting the appropriate sized foods. LPS corals along with colonial polyps typically have larger mouths so they can easily consume pellet or frozen foods such as brine and mysis shrimp. Many soft corals and SPS corals have much smaller mouths and will require liquid or powder foods with smaller particles.

Here are some of the Marine Depot staff's favorite coral foods:

  • Polyp Lab Reef Roids is an extremely economical powder food: a small 4oz jar will feed a 100 gallon tank for 3 up to months! Simply mix with tank water and feed to your corals.
  • Coral Frenzy Reef Pellets are great for feeding LPS corals because they have a hefty amount of nutrition packed into a tiny pellet that corals seem to love. They use very high quality ingredients so you are getting the maximum amount of nutrition and fish also really crave these pellets too!
  • DT's Phytoplankton is live phytoplankton and although it can be costly, it is a live product so nutritional value is maximized and there is very little risk of over-feeding. It is great for clams and SPS corals. It will also help increase biodiversity in your tank because it will feed many of the microorganisms in your aquarium and refugium.
  • Rod's Food is one of the best frozen foods available and is awesome because you can feed your fish and corals at the same time. The regular blend includes food particles ranging from 5 microns up to 3/8". The high-quality ingredients include scallops, oysters, seaweeds, cyclops, fish eggs, rotifers and more which are frozen to preserve nutritional value better than powder or liquid foods.
  • The Brightwell Aquatics line of liquid foods are a great choice for those of us who like options or may not have the time to spot feed. They offer a wide variety of different sized liquid foods to suit any type of coral. These products are easy to store and easy to feed which makes them perfect for hobbyists on the go or for those of you using a dosing pump to feed the aquarium.

Spot feeding with a bulb syringe or feeding device is the best method to deliver food to your corals. This helps reduce leftover food in your aquarium which is pretty much inevitable when feeding your corals so be sure to keep an eye on your waste parameters. More frequent water exchanges and regular maintenance of your mechanical filtration will be important when you start feeding your corals regularly.

We generally recommend feeding coral 1-2 times per week when keeping photosynthetic corals in the evening after your aquarium lights have turned off. If you are keeping Gorgonians, Sea Fans or non-photosynthetic corals, you will need to feed much more frequently as these types of corals rely heavily on food to produce most of their energy.

Coral feeding is yet another great way to interact with your aquarium and the results can be amazing. If you are looking to stock up on coral food or have questions about feeding your tank, our team of aquarium experts are available to answer your questions via phone or email.

Until next time, take care and happy reef keeping.

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