Every year a multitude of companies introduce their ‘new’ reef aquarium and coral foods which are often little more than an assortment of finely ground ingredients. But aquarium fish food veteran New Life Spectrum has recently released a new line of small particle coral foods are much more sophisticated than simple food dust.
New Life Spectrum is well known for making some of the best and most trusted fish food pellets around and they’ve applied their know-how to create what the company is calling ‘microcapsules’. Reef Cell in two particle range sizes, a large microcapsules version for fish with a micron size of 400 to 600 microns – about half a millimeter – and a smaller version for corals which is about one tenth the size, at around 30 to 80 microns but most of the particles are being less than 50 microns.
Upon close onspection of both micropellet sizes it’s clear that these little food particles look different from other foods we’ve tried. but they ‘perform’ differently as well. The slightly buoyant nature of Reef Cell Microcapsules actually keeps them suspended in the water column for a ridiculously long time.
After soaking the Reef Cell Microcapsules in tank water for just a couple minutes, the mixture was added to the tank with the return pump turned off, but all of the circulation pumps still on. Since the food was added while the lights were off, there were no fish awake to gobble up the microcapsules – this is when I realized that even after 15 minutes there was still plenty of food particles suspended in the water column.
Being small and just the right amount of buoyant, both the small and large Reef Cell Microcapsules made for an impromptu water flow indicator, especially the large microcapsules which are easier to see. Having small food particles that stay in suspension is the perfect way to feed filter feeding reef life, especially soft and stony corals but it might not be the best for target feeding large LPS corals.
Also, the encapsulated nature of these micro-pellets will prevent them from leaching too much nutrients into the water column before they are consumed, and retain as much nutrition until they are caught by a hungry coral tentacle. The combination of small particle size, excellent buoyancy and encapsulation makes Reef Cell quite a unique kind of food for reef fish and corals, and it makes a very worthy addition to the reef aquarium feeding routine.