Coral Foods: the Ultimate Nutrition Guide

There are a lot of opinions about how and what to feed SPS and LPS corals. An online search reveals so many ideas that it can be hard to sort out which information is correct.

The truth is there is no one right way for all reef aquariums. Each reef tank is set up differently. Your reef tank is not exactly like my tank. The lighting, water flow, and coral population is unique.

Best Coral foods ultimate guide

Reef hobbyists, commercial coral farmers and marine biologists have been raising SPS and LPS corals for many years. One would think that a standard feeding regime would have been developed. The truth is everyone feeds corals differently, many times with great results.

One thing all successful captive coral growers understand is nutrition is key to strong growth. They’ve developed several time-proven feeding techniques that will work for you. We’ll take a close look at the latest and best corals foods you can use in your reef tank. Then we’ll explore what is known about coral nutrition and feeding behavior.

Best Coral foods for LPS and SPS

1. PolypLab Reef Roids

Polyplab - Reef-Roids

Reef-Roids is a blend of naturally occurring species of marine zooplankton. PolypLab developed Reef Roids for hard-to-feed Goniopora corals but soon discovered all filter-feeding invertebrates liked to the food.

Zooanthids, mushrooms and other filter-feeding corals all responded positively when offered Reef Roids.

The formula does not use ordinary fish meal as a protein source. Reef Roids takes a proprietary blend of naturally nutritious high-protein plankton and processes it into 150-200-micron particles which are the ideal for all types of filter-feeding corals. Each particle contains protein, lipids and trace elements. Reef Roids are rich in astaxanthin, a natural color-enhancing carotenoid found in zooplankton.

The nutritional and natural color enhancing ingredients are said to stimulate vigorous coral growth with more intensive coloration. Reef Roids can be target fed, broadcast into the water or blended with other foods.

2. Fauna Marin

Fauna Marin Ultra LPS Grow and Color

Fauna Marin is one of the largest coral farms in Germany.

The company raises thousands of LPS and SPS corals in addition to other invertebrates and marine fish.

Fauna Marin Ultra LPS Grow and Color is specially formulated for feeding LPS and AZOOX corals. The food is in pellet form.

Fauna Marin recommends feeding twice a week by placing an individual pellet into each polyp. This is a high-protein food (75%) consisting of marine proteins, lipids, Omega 3 fatty-acids, marine oils, antioxidants and trace elements. The company recommends turning off water flow until the corals can ingest the pellets.

3. Two Little Fishies Marine Snow

Two Little Fishies ATLMS2 Marine Snow

The Two Little Fishies company was started by famed reef-keeper Julian Sprung. Julian has been keeping corals for over twenty years. His aquarium experience led to the development of Marine Snow liquid coral food.

In nature phytoplankton, zooplankton, bacteria cells and other organic particles stick together with natural polymers. These particles form a nutritious matrix that floats through the water like snowflakes. Marine snow is consumed by filter feeding invertebrates like SPS, LPS, giant clams and sponges.

Two Little Fishies Marine Snow is a liquid suspension of sea-based phytoplankton, zooplankton and dried seaweed meal. The microscopic particles range from about 20 up to 150 microns. The food particles mimic the planktonic food web found in coral reefs. Each particle is a nutritious packet of vitamins, trace elements, enzymes and fatty acids that provide corals the energy they need to thrive in a reef aquarium.

The recommended dose is 5 milliliters for every 20 gallons. You can add Marine Snow near the outlet of a water pump or use a target feeder. It may be helpful to turn off your protein skimmer when feeding Marine Snow.

4. Kent Marine Phytoplex

Kent Marine PhytoPlex

Kent Marine Phytoplex is a liquid suspension of natural, aqua-cultured phytoplankton. The food consists of Nannochloropsis, Tetraselmis and Isochrysis algae species. The algae range in size from 2 to 15 microns.

Phytoplex is formulated for feeding SPS corals, sponges, clams, scallops, bryozoans, tunicates, sea fans, filter-feeding sea cucumbers, and many annelid worms such as feather dusters and Christmas tree worms. This is a low-nutrition food containing 0.4% protein, 0.2% fat and 0.02% Omega-3 fatty acids. Kent marine Phytoplex is best fed with a target feeder but can be broadcast into the water flow from a return or flow pump.

5. Coral Frenzy

Coral Frenzy - The Ultimate Coral Food

Coral Frenzy is a fine powder made from marine fish protein, salmon roe, krill meal, Paracoccus bacteria, Schizochitrium microalgae, arctic copepods, spirulina, artemia, rotifers, Dunaliella salina algae, Bacillus subtilis bacteria and Bacillus licheniformis bacteria.

The company claims a 45-gram jar can feed a 100- gallon reef tank for 2-3 months. The protein level is (min) 53.7%. Fat is (min) 18%. The particle size ranges from 53-1700 microns.

Coral Frenzy is recommended for SPS, LPS, zoanthids, softies, and other filter feeding reef organisms. The powder is mixed with water to wet it then either target fed or poured into the water stream.

6. Red Sea Reef Energy

 Red Sea Aquarium Supplement

Red Sea Reef Energy is a unique 2-part liquid diet for filter-feeding corals.

Reef Energy is formulated to be a complete coral nutrition feeding formula that provides amino acids and vitamins corals utilize for coral growth and coloration.

The Reef Energy A liquid stimulates extension of the polyps and soft tissue, helping the coral to optimize nutrient uptake by expanding its surface area for absorption.

Energy A is a blend of carbohydrates, amino acids, fatty acids and suspended protein flocks which are filtered out of the water by the corals. The suspension of protein flocks stimulates the natural bacteria that naturally populate the coral tissue. Reef Energy A will increase mucus production for better capture of food particles.

Every ingredient is said to be metabolized in the processes of coral protein production and soft tissue regeneration and therefore does not introduce any unnecessary organic material to the system. Reef Energy B contains vitamins and amino acids needed by SPS and LPS corals. Red Sea states Reef Energy B replenishes the exact vitamins and MAA (marine amino acids) produced by Zooxanthellae. Reef Energy can be target fed or poured into the water flow.

7. Benereef


Benepet’s Benereef is a powdered formula consisting of Lactobacillus, Saccharomyces, and Bacillus bacteria species blended in with salmon fish meal, freeze dried planktons, brine shrimp, rotifers, copepods, yeast, corn starch and calcium powder.

Astaxanthin and Spirulina are added for color enhancement. The ingredient list also includes “super foods.”

Benepet says that the bacteria in Benereef are eaten by the coral. The bacteria are said to remove ammonia and phosphate, lowering the chances of algae problems in the aquarium. The powder size is 3 to 3000 microns. Benepet provides a feeding schedule for using Benereef. The powder is wetted to activate the bacteria then dispersed into the aquarium.

8. Hikari Coralific Delight

Hikari Coralific Delite

Hikari, best known for their fish foods, is a Japanese company specializing in aquarium foods. Coralific Delight is a unique food that can be fed in two ways.

When mixed with a small amount of water and allowed to thicken, the food can easily be target fed directly into the polyps. This method is recommended especially for LPS corals.

Hikari’s “Squirt & Go” method involves a more dilute mixture that is target fed close to the polyps. The idea is to let the food drift into the polyps. The main ingredients are Krill meal, xanthan gum, krill extract, cassava starch, lecithin and wheat flour.

The xanthan gum is what makes the product thick when added to water. The formula also contains a variety of vitamins and minerals including ferrous sulfate, magnesium sulfate, zinc sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate. Hikari promises your corals will grow faster and have bright coloration.

9. Seachem Phytoplankton

Reef Phytoplankton

Seachem’s liquid Phytoplankton product contains Thalassiosira weissflogii, Nannochloropsis and Isochrysis algae. The blend is said to contain the proper ratio of fatty acids, carbohydrates, and proteins. The algae cells range in size from 1-20 microns. The solution is fortified with ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Astaxanthin, a synthetically-produced color enhancer and anti-oxidant is also included in the ingredient list.

Seachem recommends pouring one capful (5 ml) for every 50 US gallons as a broadcast feeding. Seachem does not recommend target feeding this product. The manufacturer warns that target feeding may overwhelm the corals.

10. Oyster Egg Feast


Aquaculture Nursery farms (ANF) raises many types of live and prepared foods for marine fish and reef invertebrates. Their Oyster Egg Feast contains ovarian tissue and oyster eggs. The ovarian tissue is 1 micron and the eggs are 200 microns in size. Aquaculture Nursery Farms recommends Oyster Egg Feast for LPS, SPS and Zooanthids as well as fish.

The company recommends storing the oyster eggs in the refrigerator. It has a six-month shelf life. Oyster Egg Feast is used at a rate of one tablespoonful per 100 gallons each day. A high flow rate is recommended to keep the eggs suspended in the reef tank. Corals will capture and consume the eggs. The food can be used with other corals foods too. Alternate between foods every few days.

ANF says that after three months of feeding with Oyster Egg Feast your corals will show a dramatic increase in growth and coloration. The product label contains no guaranteed analysis of nutrient levels.

11. Nutramar Ova

nutramar ova

Nutramar ova, formerly known as TMC Gamma Lobster Eggs, is a popular fish food for hard to keep species like dragonetts, pipefish, anthias and seahorses. But it’s also a great food for LPS and SPS corals. Nutramar Ova is made from all-natural prawn eggs. The eggs are naturally high in nutrition and are an ideal size for feeding corals.

The frozen food pack contains millions of tiny eggs. The flat package is frozen, containing only water and prawn eggs. Break off a small piece and thaw in tank water. The eggs can be broadcast with high water flow or target fed. The eggs contain a minimum or 31% protein.

Coral nutrition 101

Corals need more than light

Too much light can hurt your corals

Feeding corals live foods

Commercial live foods for corals

What about fresh and frozen foods?

Prepared coral foods

Does feeding corals really make a difference?

How to feed your corals

When to feed corals

Can I over-feed my corals?

Should I turn off my protein skimmer?

Final Recommendations

There are a lot of corals foods to choose from along with a variety of coral-feeding philosophies. All of the foods reviewed have their place in a coral feeding program.

Oyster eggs are natural, but they’re not really like tiny plankton. Some corals love them, others find the eggs too large. A powdered food like Reef Roids is easy to disperse into the water and will be captured by SPS corals.

It’s a good idea to experiment with target feeding too. Try placing small amounts of food directly onto the colonies and see if the coral grows and colors up. Don’t expect instant results. It will take several months to see which foods work with specific corals.

Part of the fun of a reef-keeping is experimenting with a variety of foods. With careful observation you soon find out which foods are the best for your reef tank.

As always, if you have questions or comments, please post them below!