Many of the reef aquarium animals you have in your tank are phytoplankitvores. This means they filter feed and eat the tiny single-celled algae called phytoplankton.
If your aquarium dwellers were in their natural environment, they would likely feed on a lot of this phytoplankton. However, they may become pickier in a tank regarding the food particle size and type they eat.
While this is true, it is still imperative that you have some type of phytoplankton available for your tank dwellers. Keep reading to learn the phytoplankton benefits available.
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Keep Aquarium Dwellers Alive
Since the creatures in your tank are often picky about what they eat, you must provide them with the nourishment they need.
In most aquarium environments, there will not be enough of this food source to meet the needs of the animals in the tank. If you don’t supply the needed phytoplankton, you may find that some of your creatures, such as cauliflower corals, basket stars, and flame scallops, wind up starving.
All this can be avoided by ensuring you provide the right food in the right amounts in your tank.
Avoid the Disadvantages of Dead Food
Since live-packaged phytoplankton is growing in popularity, they are now more widely available to reef aquarists for this reason.
It’s important to note that live phytoplankton products are superior to the dead, bottled, and refrigerated options. In the dead products, vital but easily degraded compounds, such as enzymes and lipids, may be lacking. That’s because of the processing and decomposition process.
If you use dead foods, you may also have to stimulate your filter-feeders to feed. With live foods, they are always present and growing. This means that filter feeders will always be ready to feed.
Live foods will stay suspended in the water column; however, the dead foods will probably float to the surface and wind up in the filter or sink to the bottom, where they can cause detritus.
If too many dead products accumulate in the water, it can seriously impact your tank’s water quality.
Adding live phytoplankton to your tank can help remove unwanted substances, such as silicate, phosphate, and nitrate.
As they grow and begin to multiply, the live phytoplankton will serve as nuisance algae control. While this may seem weird since phytoplankton is algae, it’s important to note that not all algae are equal.
The right phytoplankton can control the “bad” algae that may begin to form in your tank, helping to keep the creatures living there healthy.
Understanding Phytoplankton Benefits
From the information above, it is clear there are more than a few phytoplankton benefits. Each of these will help your tank, and the creatures in it remain healthy and happy.
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