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Giant Feather Duster
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How to Care for Giant Feather Duster
written by Dave Burr
Giant Feather Dusters come in a variety of colorations ranging from tan and white to purple and tan. Feather Dusters use their radioles, or "feathers" to filter plankton and small floating organisms from the water into their mouth located at the center of the crown. When disturbed, the Feather Duster can retract quickly into its tube for safety. If severely stressed it can discard its crown (feathers) completely and can grow a new crown.
Placement: When placing Feather Dusters in the aquarium you may bury them in the sand with the crown end of the tube protruding from the sand, or stick them in a hole in the rocks with the crown end facing outward. If they are retracted and you don't know which end is which, lay them on the sand bed until they open and then place them into position.
Feeding: Offer the Giant Feather Duster phytoplankton and marine snow.
Care Level: Easy
Reef Compatible: Yes
Water Conditions: 75-80° F; sg 1.024-1.026 (1.025 is ideal); pH 8.1-8.4 Ca 420-440 ppm, Alk 8-9.5 dKH, Mg 1260-1350, Nitrates <10ppm, Phosphates < .10ppm
Water Chemistry: It is important that proper calcium (420-440 ppm), alkalinity (8-9.5 dkh - run it 7-8 if you are carbon dosing) , and magnesium levels (1260-1350 ppm) are maintained. Raising magnesium levels gradually up to 1400-1600 ppm can help to combat algae outbreaks, just keep CA and Alk in line as you raise the Mg. Nitrates should be below 10 ppm and phosphates should be below .10 ppm. We recommend doing a water change when Nitrate levels rise to 10 ppm. It is important to replace your phosphate media when phosphates rise to .10 ppm. Media Reactors make the most efficient use of your phosphate media by fluidizing it.
Dosing: Vivid Aquariums uses and recommends dosing pumps to automate the dosing of additives and keep your levels more constant. A dosing pump can alleviate the chore of manually dosing your aquarium with Ca, Alk, & Mg 2,3, or 4 times per week and will benefit your aquarium by keeping your levels constant through frequent small additions of Ca, Alk, & Mg. Our tanks all progressed when we switched from 3 manual dosings per week to 70 automatic dosings per week and we got a lot more work done.