Live Food

Live Food

Feeder Fish

It’s a tough call on whether feeders should be fed to larger fish, but here are some tips to using feeder fish in the safest way possible.

Some aquarists think watching a predatory fish hunt down and devour its prey to be entertainment. Others think it is barbaric. Many hobbyists think that it is just the circle of life, and are indifferent to the practice of feeding live fish to larger aquarium inhabitants.

The facts are that some fish need to eat smaller fish to survive. Some of these fish can be weened off of live prey, yet others will refuse to eat anything but feeders.The nutritional value of feeder fish is debatable, and feeder fish can be rife with, and spread, disease. What is an aquarist to do? The problems associated with feeding feeder fish to other fish can be mitigated so that the risk of disease and malnutrition is kept to a minimum.


​In the aquarium trade there are 3 types of copePODS that tend to get bottled and sold; Harpacticoid (benthic), Calanoid (pelagic) and Cyclopoid (that can exhibit both benthic and/or pelagic characteristics). CopePODS in general are small, not be confused with amphipods which are bigger, comma shaped PODS. We do not call CopePODS microscopic because they can be seen with the naked eye, but the nauplii (babies) are.  CopePODS play a very important role in the aquatic ecosystem. The bottom line is that they are critical in the cycling of carbon. CopePODS eat detritus, phytotplankton, dead, decaying matter, each other, and turn these items into important fatty acids. Calanoids tend to eat phytoplankton; harpacticoids tend to eat detritus; Cyclopoids are similar to both, and depending on the species some eat fecal pellets of other copePODS. Regardless, these fatty acids produced by the copePODS enter the food-chain when the copePODS are eaten. This is an oversimplification. The marine food chain relies on the copePOD as an important source for EFA (Essential Fatty Acids ).  CopePODS are a key source of nutrition in the aquatic food chain.

Adding copePODS repeatedly to a stocked reef tank is very important. Many tanks are overstocked and no matter how big a refugium is, or how much live rock there is, or how many hiding places there are, it is questionable as to how well copePODS survive because they are being grazed ferociously by corals, fish, other PODS, you name it.


PhytoPlankton are single celled “plants” that are important to the health of a reef tank. PhytoPlankton take excess nutrients such as nitrates, phosphates, heavy metals, iron, sunlight, carbon dioxide and create fatty acids that are critical to the health of many marine organisms. The way it works is that PhytoPlankton produce Essential Fatty Acids(EFAs) and are either consumed directly by a filter feeder or by copepods that are in turn eaten by fish or corals.  In this way these super important fatty acids enter the food chain. At best guess there are over 100,000 different types of PhytoPlankton in the oceans-they are not all the same; “Phyto is not Phyto”.

AlgaGen has assembled blends of PhytoPlankton in a line called PhycoPure™. These blends are live, nutritious, are convenient and easy to use. We do not use preservatives in our PhycoPure™ line. All of our PhycoPure™
products have lot numbers along with a freshness date. Your success is our success-check the dates.

Post Your Comment Here