Aquaforest Coral Foods: AF Amino Mix, AF Build, AF Energy & AF Vitality

In this ongoing [CVtv] series we explore and demystify the Aquaforest method.  We will cover Aquaforest products, how they work, what is needed to get started, but more importantly, how to properly and safely implement Aquaforest into our tanks and how to read and monitor our tank inhabitants to ensure success. 

The Aquaforest method is a proven system that naturally boosts bacterial population that in turn reduces unwanted nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates.  It then supplements corals with food, major and minor elements that are specifically targeted to develop characteristic in a coral such as increased growth and coloration.  In essence, you are putting your corals on a very strict diet to obtain desired results.

In episode one, we covered Aquaforest Core components like bacteria and salt. Our goal was to reduce unwanted nutrients from our system.  In this second episode, we will explore what to do after we have reached our desired nutrient levels.

Keys to Success

As with any method, there are rules that we must follow.  These rules are in place to ensure proper implementation and greater success.  We call these rules our Keys to Success!

  • Make sure that your phosphates and nitrates are at the recommended levels. This is extremely important, as we will be introducing food source into the tank.  If nutrient levels are still high, then there is a very good chance that the food we introduce will not be consumed by corals but instead, it will feed unwanted algae and even cyanobacteria. 
  • Start slow.This is a marathon and not a race. Start with only one quarter the recommended dosage and then slowly (over the lapse of several weeks) make your way up to a dosage that works for your system.  This does not mean full dosage…  it means that you monitor your tank closely and determine the optimal quantity needed before you start to see overdosing signs such as unwanted algae or cyanobacteria.  Remember that every tank is different so the full recommended dosage is a rule of thumb and should not be considered a requirement for success.
  • This is such an important key that it should be considered the mother of all keys to success! Not being patient is probably the one main reason why we hear and read negative stories online. We jumped the gun and introduced something when the tank was not ready and experienced an issue that could have been easily avoided if we waited just a little bit longer.

Before we proceed, there are a few things that we will need that most of us probably already have.

We need a good protein skimmer that is properly sized for our system. 

We also need good water flow and proper lighting.

Now that we have successfully stripped our tanks of unwanted nutrients, we noticed that we hardly have to clean the glass, all unwanted algae is gone and our aquariums have a very crisp feel to them.   At the same time, we also noticed that our corals are starting to get a little pale and the growth has slowed down a bit. 

This is due to the lack of food. The combination of increasing bacterial population and a good protein skimmer have not only removed unwanted nutrients from the water but also stripped good nutrients needed by corals.  Now it is the optimal time to introduce a well-balanced food regiment that will allow corals to not only grow and thrive but also display those amazing colors we all desire. 

Aquaforest Coral food consists of 4 core products that work together to provide corals with a well balance diet of vitamins and amino acids that promote excellent health, growth and coloration.

Aquaforest Amino Mix

AF Amino Mix contains carefully selected amino acids that promote the reproduction of zooxanthellea, which in turn increases photosynthesis allowing corals to derive more energy from the light.  This makes for healthy corals that are more resilient to deceases and bleaching. 

The recommend full dosage is 1 drop for every 27 gallons of water every other day just after the lights go out. 

Aquaforest Build

AF Build is a mix of iodides, carbonates and calcium that accelerates calcification in hard corals. In addition, AF Build also helps increase the pH level in reef aquaria, which is also known to aid in calcification. AF Build also helps reduce algae and inhibits the growth of pathogenic cyanobacteria. 

The recommend full dosage is 1 drop for every 27 gallons of water every other day just after the lights go out. 

Aquaforest Energy

AF Energy is a mixed bag of fatty acids, vitamins and amino acids all carefully selected with the sole purpose of increasing coral coloration. We suggest to dose AF Energy the same day you dose AF Build. 

The recommend full dosage is 1 drop for every 27 gallons of water every other day just after the lights go out. 

Aquaforest Vitality

The use of ozone reactors, activated carbon and protein skimmers can lead the sterilization of water and vitamin deficiencies.  AF Vitality replenishes our aquariums with much needed vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, D3, E and K3.   Such vitamins aid in coral health, growth and coloration.

The recommend full dosage is 1 drop for every 27 gallons of water every other day just after the lights go out.    We suggest to dose AF Vitality on the same day as AF Amino Mix.

In addition to the core food supplements, Aquaforest also offers a selection of foods that are targeted to more specific organisms.

Aquaforest Phyto Mix

AF Phytomix provides a well balanced diet of proteins, carbohydrates and fatty acids targeting soft corals, gorgonians and other non-photosynthetic organisms. 

AF Phytomix is also a great supplement for a healthy zooplankton population.

The recommended dosage is 10 drops for every 27 gallons of water every other day.

Aquaforest Ricco Food

AF Ricco is a powder mix of carefully selected plant food ideal for mushrooms.  Use one spoonful for every 27 gallons of water and dissolve 20 ml of aquarium water. Pour directly in tank or target feed individual corals.

Aquaforest Power Food

AF Power food is a powder mix of plankton and marine algae formulated to feed all corals but especially SPS.  It supports coral immunity and enhances coral growth.   Use one spoonful for every 27 gallons of water and dissolve 20 ml of aquarium water. Pour directly in tank or target feed individual corals.

FAQ File

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions…

What is the best way to add the supplements to my tank?

You can add them directly do the tank or you can mix them in tank water and then pour directly into a high flow area.  You can also target feed your corals. 

What is the best time to feed my tank?

Nighttime just after the lights turn off is the best time.  This is when corals are in hunting mode and receptive to particulate food.

I started feeding Aquaforest food and now my tank has nuisance algae and cyanobacteria.  What is happening?

The most common issue is overdosing.  Stop supplementing and wait until the tank clears up.  Resume dosing only after algae and cyanobacteria disappear.

Also, it is very important that your tank has proper levels of phosphates and nitrates.  Please refer to the first video of this series to learn about the proper nutrient levels.

I am starting with Aquaforest foods.  How much should I dose?

Start slow.  We suggest you start with ¼ the recommended dosage and make your way up to full dosage over a long period of time.  Always monitor your tank and corals as they will tell you if you are going to fast or too slow.  They will let you know if you are dosing too much.  The beauty of the Aquaforest method is that it encourages us to learn to read our corals and tanks instead of just relying on a generic recipe. 

Well, this is our video for today.  On our next episode of the Aquaforest series, we will explore Balling Method and what is needed to maintain proper levels of Alkalinity and Calcium as well as other micro and macro elements! 

If you have any questions or issues with the product, don’t hesitate to visit our support portal at  Our friendly support reps are eager to help you with any questions or issues you may have. 

Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to stay up to date on all our latest products reviews and tutorial videos. You can also follow us on twitter @CoralVue and give us a like on Facebook at


Author: Carlos

Share This Post On