The Ultimate Galaxy Pack: A Reef Food Web at Your Doorstep
A natural coral reef ecosystem is, as you might guess, incredibly complex. With some of highest biodiversity on our planet, coral reef inhabitants collectively consume a huge variety of foods. A mature, well-stocked reef aquarium may be nearly diverse; that’s why just one species of copepod, phytoplankton or bacterioplankton simply won’t suffice. The Ultimate Galaxy Pack includes a select array of live and prepared feeds to provide a balanced nutritional profile and broad range of food particle sizes–making it easier and less expensive to properly nourish your reef! More than just a food, the live phytoplankton and bacterioplankton in this unique kit actually clean up after themselves, improving water quality as you feed, while the copepods eliminate detritus and film algae. See below for more information.
Galaxy Pods are the crown jewel of the Ultimate Galaxy Pack, containing a mix of five select copepod species. Each differs from its cohorts with respect to size, ecology, etc. and therefore occupies its own niche! Because this premium product includes all life stages (i.e., all sizes), it may be consumed by a diversity of zooplanktivores straight from the bottle.
- Euterpina acutifrons. This mainly planktonic harpacticoid copepod is a non-selective herbivore loaded with a variety of proteins and amino acids that are perfect for boosting health and longevity of fish and corals. A nutritional powerhouse when gut loaded with a variety of phytoplankton such as OceanMagik!
- Tigriopus californicus. A relatively large copepod. This harpacticoid is an excellent addition to the clean-up crew and is rich in color-enhancing carotenoid pigments!
- Tisbe biminiensis. Also a harpacticoid, but much smaller than the above, it cleans the tiniest cracks and crevasses of live rock, substrate and macroalgae.
- Apocyclops panamensis. Larger than Tisbe and smaller than Tigriopus, this cyclopoid rounds out your tank’s copepod size range. It spends some of its time swimming in the open waters where it is available to zooplanktivores. It recovers rapidly from heavy predation, as is roughly twice as productive as Tisbe and Tigriopus (laying eggs every 4-6 days).
- Oithona colcarva. Like Apocyclops, this hardy pod is a cyclopoid; this species spends even more time swimming in the water column, though its nocturnal nature helps to protect it from predation. As it prefers tiny food particles, it is excellent for turning over bacterioplankton biomass (e.g., after carbon dosing).
Phytoplankton are the pasture of the reef and therefore are a key component of the Ultimate Galaxy Pack. A special blend of four live phytoplankton species, OceanMagik is formulated to provide your corals, pods and filter-feeders with the perfect balance of fatty acids, proteins, vitamins and amino acids. While lingering in the system before they are consumed, these phytoplankton improve water quality by reducing excess nutrients, thereby competing with nuisance algae.
- Nannochloropsis gaditana. Brown, non-flagellated, 1-5 microns. Even for a unicellular alga, this is a very tiny species (as small as some bacteria!). It is, however, an incredibly fast grower, rapidly consuming excess nitrate and phosphate.
- Thalassiosira weissflogii. Unflagellated planktonic diatom, 5-32 microns. Capable of forming long chains, this is the largest species of phytoplankton in the Ultimate Galaxy Pack; its coarser particle size is ideal for many corals and fan worms. It assimilates silicates and so competes with unsightly benthic diatoms!
- Tetraselmis sp. Green biflagellate, 6-10 microns. Rich in amino acids, this species is especially wholesome.
- Isochrysis galbana. Brown biflagellate, 10-14 microns. Particularly great for bivalves (oysters, clams, mussels and scallops), this species is also useful for enriching zooplankton such as copepods and brine shrimp. Contributes to the health of all animals up the food chain with its high DHA content.
PNS Product Combo:
The PNS Product Combo completes the Ultimate Galaxy Pack both nutritionally and ecologically. Each product of the combo (PNS ProBio and PNS YelloSno) contains the photosynthetic purple non-sulfur bacterium (PNSB) Rhodopseudomonas palustris. However, PNS ProBio is a live culture whereas PNS YelloSno is a prepared feed that replicates marine snow. These nutritious and ecologically important bacteria may be found among the plankton, but typically colonize anaerobic areas such as deep sand beds and porous biomedia such as MarinePure. Naturally occurring on the coral reef, and even inside corals among their symbiotic bacteria, the proven benefits of PNSB are many:
- Rich in carotenoids such as astaxanthin, which act as antioxidants and enhance animal coloration as they are passed up the food chain!
- Remove ammonia and nitrite without producing nitrate!
- Carry out denitrification, helping to reduce excess nitrate!
- Consumes dissolved and particulate organics, including hard-to-digest cellulosic detritus (e.g., dead macroalgae).
- A proven probiotic that enhances digestion/feed conversion and synthesizes antibiotics (such as anti-Vibrio streptomycin).
- On marine snow, nutrition from these microbes can be delivered in wide-ranging particle sizes (<1 micron to >1 mm) to diverse filter-feeding invertebrates. Further, the particles in PNS YelloSno are rich in vitamin B12, which is required by both corals and zooxanthellae for health and growth.