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DIY Herbivore food ideas

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Hey Nano Reef!


I'm looking for a way to make bulk food for herbivorous invertebrates and possibly fish at home. Living where I am I have a lot of access to various washed up kelp and macro algae and I was wondering if i could process them and turn them into food pellets or sheets for urchins and such, maybe drying/ freezing them. If anyone has any ideas please pitch in!

A side note is that I could probably use the scraps to make reef and garden supplements as kelp contains most everything needed. 


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You would definitely need to wash it somehow.  Algae washed in to the shore will be loaded with pollution.


Then you'd want to figure out if you wanted to dry it for flake or pellet, or maybe process it to be frozen in sheets or cubes (maybe with a gel binder).  I'm not sure about veggie sheets.


Finally, you'd probably want to enrich it with some other foods.  Here are a few ideas:


If you search around, you can find some fish food recipes here on Nano-Reef.com:



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Awesome, Thanks so much for the help @seabass, all great resources. The urchins I'm after live in an incredibly polluted beach that is commonly fed by an estuary, so they should be fine with the food I make from algae sourced down the coast, I'd intend on cleaning thoroughly with freshwater. I could probably use a bland jello or agar mix. I've done some more research and the native Ulva Lactuca should be a great addition. I did some research with some bits of giant kelp and after a few days in the sun drying, the roots revived fully oddly enough. I wonder if they would be a good slow release feeder. Another option is to make a huge in-tank algae scrubber with ulva algae that would provide constant food as well as some filtration for a couple purple urchins. Thoughts?

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1 hour ago, Lypto said:

The urchins I'm after live in an incredibly polluted beach that is commonly fed by an estuary, so they should be fine with the food I make from algae sourced down the coast

I'd be as, or more concerned that pollution would build up in the tank with repeated feedings. Although, rinsing might end up being sufficient.


You may be able to grow enough algae in a refugium or with an algae scrubber.  You might even be able to culture something in a separate container.  I can't imagine that it'd be drastically different than culturing phytoplankton.

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Biomagnification is certainly something to be aware of, totally slipped my mind. I think culturing it in a separate container would be a better alternative. it's a little different in that I'll be using roughed up nylon knitting mesh and blending some starter Ulva to get it nice and populated, using some organic liquid fertilizer. it's also an excuse to break out the kessil A80. The eventual idea is to have a 50 gallon barrel as the main tank that would rest buried outside to keep the temp low enough and warm enough in winter tidepool style, with a solar panel and 12v air pump acting as a source of flow and oxygen.

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