As reef keepers, we are all too aware of how intricate the ecosystems of coral reefs are. And at AlgaeBarn, we are mindful that every living organism on the reef, regardless of size, plays an important part in the food chain. From the earliest days of the hobby, reef keepers have been attempting to mimic these food webs. However, recreating the nutritional profile on the coral reef is a tall order.
Our newest feeding system, The Ultimate Galaxy Pack, includes a hand-picked assortment of live foods. Making it simpler and less expensive to properly nourish your reef! Live phytoplankton and bacterioplankton in this system are more than just food. These organisms also clean up after themselves! This is just one of the reasons why we are so excited to announce this feeding system.
In this article, we are going to highlight PNS YelloSno and talk about its role in the Ultimate Galaxy Pack. We fully believe that this product will revolutionize the way we look at reef tank nutrition.
What is marine snow?
Suspended particulate organic matter (POM) are a food supply for many filter feeders like clams and feather duster worms. Other inverts that rely on POM for nutrition include hard and soft corals, and anemones.
The fragments of dead phyto and pod exoskeletons (mainly chitin), or other debris may make up POM. And because microbes have colonized this material, it has been fortified. The particles cling together as they are coated in bacteria. As they cling together, the particles multiply and eventually sink out of suspension. Marine snow is the term for the clumps of enriched particulate organic matter that sink down through the water column.
Many filter-feeders have adapted to capturing specific particulate organic matter (POM). POM is typically made up of remains that tend to be low in nutrients. The major exception is marine snow.
These particles can undergo significant biological activity that causes their surfaces to have a lack of oxygen. Purple non-sulfur bacteria (PNSB), which prefer anoxic environments, now have the perfect place to set up shop.
How does PNS YelloSno work?
PNS YelloSno imitates a marine snowstorm with each dose. This product is made from a natural chitinous substance that is colonized by live PNSB. PNS YelloSno is flash pasteurized to preserve its partially photofermented state along with protein, B vitamins, and amino acids.
The sizes of the particles have a very wide range for a liquid product. Particle size ranges from tiny microbial cells to larger clumps. Depending on the individual needs of the reef tank, this product can be agitated more vigorously to break up any larger clumps. Soft corals and tube worms ingest PNS YelloSno it while it is in suspension. While pods, sand-sifters, and other species consume it when it has settled down into the substrate.
There are only few foods that truly replicate marine snow from a nutritional standpoint. But the technology used to create PNS YelloSno gets us closer than ever before. Purple non-sulfur bacteria (PNSB) have been added to the chitin-based substrate of PNS YelloSno. After a live curing procedure, the batch is pasteurized is used to preserve nutritional content.
PNS YelloSno is genuinely rich in protein, B vitamins, vitamin A, and carotenoids. It can greatly enhance growth and color in a variety of coral species. This is especially true when combined with PNS ProBio because these two are designed to work as a team!
As we have discussed in previous articles, the microbe R. palustris plays a big role in the coral reef ecosystem. As a purple non-sulfur bacterium, R. palustris performs a variety of tasks which promote stability and diversity. Both PNS products, ProBio and YelloSno, contain R. palustris.
As a reef tank food and microbial supplement, each brings something special to the table. They can be combined or used alone. But they are both designed to work cooperatively!
R. palustris has a well-established reputation as a genuine probiotic. In addition to promoting microbial stability, it extracts nutrients and waste compounds. For instance, it has applications in reducing Vibrio infections in commercial shrimp farming. R. palustris has also improved digestive health and waste reduction when added to fish diets. It is known to survive for a long time in the gut and can be put supplemented with any fish or coral food with no risk.
R. palustris is also a fantastic coral food. Corals preferentially consume rhizobial bacteria like R. palustris. Due to its great digestibility, corals, clams, sponges, and many other fine filter-feeders benefit from R. palustris supplementation. It has a very high protein and amino acid content. Additionally, this microbe has significant levels of carotenoids, which serve as healthy antioxidants and frequently improve color.
Coral reefs in nature have nearly transparent waters surrounding them. This is due to the lack of bacterioplankton and phytoplankton. Corals and other filter-feeders are great at capturing suspended particle organic materials (POM) in these crystal-clear waters. But not every POM has the same nutritional value. While certain POM is essentially inert, marine snow is extremely nutritious.
Bits of POM that have been covered in microbial biofilms are what makes up marine snow. Both the microbes and the biofilm are what generates nutrients. In calmer waters, the particles will begin to cling together. As the water conditions change, so will the density of the particles. They might group together, disperse, and group together again, and so on. Larger clumps of particles will drop more quickly and can resemble little snowflakes.
How do I feed YelloSno?
PNS YelloSno is designed to replicate marine snow. It is created with chitin obtained from organic sources and fermented by PNSB. This product is flash pasteurized halfway through the fermentation process to stop the microbes from completely digesting the particles. However, unlike ProBio, YelloSno is not a living product. Although it has a longer shelf life, refrigeration is still necessary for storing it.
The PNSB do not bother with photosynthesizing to generate their own food. And they don’t generate much pigment due to the availability of organic material in the culture. This is why YelloSno contains a lot less carotenoid than ProBio. Although the culture medium in YelloSno is abundant in B vitamins. This is essential because B vitamins are often in short supply in reef tank systems and R. palustris is unable to synthesize them on its own.
OceanMagik, PNS YelloSno and ProBio can also be used to gutload and enrich other live foods. Gutloading is a method we use to pack as much nutrition into live food just prior to feeding.
Nano Brine makes a great candidate to gutload! Before adding the brine shrimp to the tank, gutload them by aerating them for about an hour in a gallon of tank water containing PNS ProBio, YelloSno and OceanMagik.
Just like any food, PNS YelloSno can be overfed which can lead to a decline in water parameters. However, combining feedings with ProBio can minimize a buildup in nutrients. This works because the live PNSB microbes eat up excess nutrients and POM from the YelloSno.
AlgaeBarn is constantly looking for ways to enhance reef tank nutrition. This is what motivated us to create the Ultimate Galaxy Pack. The Galaxy Pods, OceanMagik, and the PNS ProBio & YelloSno all work in tandem to form this complete live feeding system.
Purchasing these products as part of the Ultimate Galaxy Pack gives reef keepers even more options and flexibility with their feeding regimen. And it provides the complete foundation of the coral reef food web. We included heterotrophic bacteria, marine snow, four different kinds of phytoplankton, and five species of pods!
It is “ultimate” because no other feeding system even comes close to providing this type of nutrition. The Ultimate Galaxy Pack meets the requirements of many corals, fish, and inverts naturally and economically.
Every living organism on the reef, regardless of size, plays an important part in the food chain. AlgaeBarn’s Ultimate Galaxy Pack includes a hand-picked assortment of live foods. PNS YelloSno imitates a marine snowstorm with each dose. It is created with chitin obtained from organic sources and fermented by PNSB. YelloSno is rich in protein, B vitamins, vitamin A, and carotenoids.
We hope this article has helped to explain more about how PNS YelloSno works in the reef tank system. Drop a comment below and let us know your thoughts on this amazing product!