Exactly 6 months ago, I was able to start my new coral reef aquarium. I knew from the beginning that I would construct my rockscape using a mix of dead rock and live rock and that the tank would be run without any substrate. With my generously sized protein skimmer, it did not take long for the aquarium to reach low nutrient levels. Despite stocking the aquarium with fish that have a high metabolism, e.g. Pseudanthias bimaculatus, the levels were still low. To compensate for this, I had to dose Potassium Nitrate and Fauna Marin Ultra Organic. During this time, Fauna Marin was in the process of developing a new type of coral food that did not yet have a name. Claude Schuhmacher, owner of Fauna Marin provided me with this new food for testing purposes and from Day 1 of adding my first pieces of coral, I started feeding this food.
What I experienced along the way, you will learn in this article.
The name of the product is Coral Sprint.
For about 2.5 months, every morning before the lights came on, the coral food was mixed and fed to the corals. The mixing process was almost alchemical. I dosed 1/2 a spoonful of Coral Sprint daily into a small screw-on cup. The powder itself could evenly be distributed by shaking the bottom of the product container. With my portion of Coral Sprint in the cup, I then add 2-3 drops of Fauna Marin UltraMin S and 2-3 drops of Fauna Marin Ultra AMIN. I then screw the cap onto the cup, shake vigorously until a porridge-like consistency is formed, and then let it sit for 1-2 minutes.
Afterwards, the cup is filled to 3/4 full with aquarium water, re-screwed, and vigorously shaken for at least 60 seconds. Before pouring it into the aquarium, I let it sit for about 1 minute, then pour directly over the flow pump to distribute the food throughout the tank. Shortly thereafter, I switch the pumps to feed mode, feed the fishes, and let the corals take-in the Coral Sprint particles from the water.
After a relatively short period of use, I noticed a gigantic increase in planktonic life. I also noticed an increase in the number of sponges and sea squirts throughout the tank which is something I’ve never seen before in a tank restart, it was impressive. My goal has always been to maintain a stable environment for SPS, even if sponges took form in the process. Coral Sprint seemed to not only support this goal, but also support the growth of sponges enormously. With this I have already noticed two important positive effects which can be considered as guarantors for the stability of a saltwater aquarium.
Examples of some sponge colonies which are rapidly becoming established and rapidly growing:
Plenty of surviving polyps after a “polyp bailout” thanks to Coral Sprint?
Here’s an interesting observation. One of my first test corals for measuring photosynthetic activity by means of a PAM was a Pocillopora damicornis. This piece was given to me some time ago by a friendly coral dealer. I chose to use this piece for testing because unfortunately such measurements often lead to the coral not surviving or at least end up battered from the procedures. For that reason, I did not want to use my own corals, hence the Pocillopora was a perfect candidate.
As you might expect, the stress from the measurements seemed to add even more during the measurement and pulses of light fiber which always impinge on a small spot of actinic light; that was 3 months ago. In today’s inspection of the coral’s health, I noticed a lot of new polyps. At first, I only saw it on living rock and thought, “Okay, very nice, let’s see what grows out of this”. I later then discovered more loose polyps on the dead rock and realized what had happened. The new small polyp groups were likely dropped by the Pocillopora damicornus. This kind of behavior is also known and documented (see, for example, Polyp bailout in Pocillopora damicornus following thermal stress [version 1] Alexander J Fordyce, Emma F Camp2, Tracy D Ainsworth1)
Examples of some new polyp groups of the suspected bailout:
Some polyps without a skeleton separate themselves from the parent colony and drift throughout the reef until they settle again in a favorable place to form a new colony; this is likely what happened here. For this to be possible, the polyps must be supplied with adequate food of correct density, especially in places where there is partial light.
Even on coral branches I can find new forming colonies. Without the right nutrient supply however, effects of this scale are rather unlikely. Since no other coral dedicated food was added, I suspect that the results of this great development was due to the positive qualities of this new coral food.
Another indication that supports this thesis is the survival and positive development of two polyp residues (2-3 polyps) of Montipora samarensis. As you can see in the picture, these have now become two stable colonies.
Further uses for the targeted coloration of corals.
For my presentation this year at the Fish & Reptile show in Sindelfingen, Germany, I chose to present on the feasibility of coral dyeing a’la the well-known Walt Disney coral. This type of coral was previously only known in the USA and was critically eyed by many of us. As recognition spread, many quickly suspected photo manipulation via Photoshop. I immediately took interest in this coral and wanted to know more about it and dealt more intensively into this topic. Without anticipating my lecture, I can tell you that coloration is not just about having the right light settings and lighting systems. The food supply of corals is also crucial.
Whoever wants to know more about this topic is cordially invited to the mentioned lecture – Coral Sprint in my indicated dosage has become a key role in my feeding practices. Here are just a few examples of coral photographed under daylight and actinic lighting. These photos reflect the current state of my coral.
Overview shot of some multicolor Acropora tenuis taken under actinic settings:
Macro shots of some especially beautiful corals:
Here is a tenuis “Orange Passion” photographed under daylight settings:
More multicolor tenuis, also under daylight settings:
The other corals also clearly increased their color and health:
With the new Coral Sprint, Fauna Marin has succeeded in creating a groundbreaking product. The diverse positive effects on the marine life in aquariums could be evident and traceable here. We can therefore recommend the product fully to every ambitious seawater aquarist to out there.
For more information on this product, please visit the manufacturer’s website:
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Autor Immo Gerber
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