Sunday, January 02, 2011

Wine Country Reefers Study Group

The 300 gallon circa 2000
Happy Holidays!!
 I hope this year brings lots of beautiful pieces of coral to your aquariums. 

So about six years ago I took a class online through MACO Coral Biology. With Eric Borneman as the instructor. It was a very informative class, he was able to bring in highly complex biological concepts and make them easy for the hobbyist to understand. He also put together a number of fun labs for the students. One of the first ones was on feeding.

So now I want to take that lab with some modifications and use it for the first Lab for the Wine Country Reefers First study group. 

Wine Country Reefers
Reef Study Group
Lab #1

Materials needed:
Various foods of your choice
Camera or video camera (optional)


Choose any coral in your tank. Using a syringe, rigid airline, turkey baster , your hand, etc., supply the coral with fixed amount of food. Choose six different foods of your choice (or even non-toxic, non-food items like tiny plastic beads. Try to vary the type and size, meat and plant material, etc. Feed one type of food per day at the same time of day or night each time.

Using a stopwatch, closely observe an individual polyp which has captured food. Make notes of the behavior of the polyp and answer the following questions:
  • How did it capture the food?
  • Was it by tentacle adhesion, trapping and folding tentacles, mucus net production, excursion of mesenterial filaments, etc.
  • Was the food swallowed or released?
  • Was the food item, if alive, able to swim away?
  • If dead, was there a food size above which the polyp could not capture?
  • Did water currents force food out of the capture attempt?

Using a stopwatch or the second hand of a clock or watch, time the polyp’s behavior.
  • How long did it take for the polyp to envelop and swallow the prey?
  • How long, once retracted, did the polyp remain contracted before expanding its tentacles to feed again?

Keep observing the polyp till it has re-expanded.
  • Was the food item swallowed or expelled?

Once you have ascertained an appropriate food source, repeat the above experiment at three different times for the same food- night, dusk or dawn, and the middle of the day. Note any changes from the first record above.

If anyone is interested, I'll bring some Data Sheets to the next Wine Country Reefers Meeting.     I have Coral Growth Lab. I will try to post it by the middle of the week.

Another shot of the 300 circa 200


1 comment:

Edward said...

It's really an amazing post,.
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