Why a Pod Hotel? Seems like being a landlord is a hassle. Pods late on rent, AC out, building inspections, liability insurance... But seriously,
If you have Pods and no Pod Hotel, that means they are homeless. That makes you a mean uncaring host. Don't be a jerk, give them a high rise to live in like the Jeffersons.
Pods are an important part of your clean up crew, not just food for fish and corals. Pods take detritus deep inside your live rock where it breaks down closer to anaerobic zones where bacteria that process nitrate live. Show me a tank with a ton of pods and I will show you low nitrates. They are the unsung hero of your clean up crew!
Say you have a nice premium sump like one of our custom sumps, or Synergy Systems, or Trigger etc.. You're not putting rocks and sand into that beautiful sump to create a cryptic zone for pods. Or maybe your sump only has a skimmer chamber and no refugium. Again no rocks or sand in the skimmer compartment.
If you have detritus and other goodies in your sump, why would pods make the treacherous journey through the bubble trap, sponge and finally return pump? Not to mention possibly a skimmer or UV. Nope, they are going to stay put, except for the occasional oddball Lewis and Clark type. Certainly not enough to maintain a display tank over time, especially if you have Mandarins or Wrasses.
So how does it work?
Simple, sink it in your sump. If you already have Pods...GREAT! If not pick some up at your local fish store and seed the sump. Insist they carry Coral Reefing Products Pods, Rotifers and Phyto. It's what Pods crave!
When you are ready to harvest, turn on a light source, like a fuge light about 15 minutes prior. Pods will scatter for cover in the hotel. Now pick up the pod hotel, move it into the display tank and shake vigorously. You can also place the hotel on the bottom sand near rock work and wait an hour or more. Then return the hotel to the sump. Now that you have evicted most of the pods, others will move in. Note we purposefully block the top and bottom channels so you never dump 100% of the pods into the Display tank, leaving some for grow out when returned to the sump.
The Pod Hotel has several floors with elevator shafts between, allowing for significant surface area for pods to colonize, move around and host killer rave parties. One hotel is sufficient for up to a 75g tank, 2 will cover through 150g and so on. Of course if your sump or refugium is healthy and teaming with pods, you could harvest daily, otherwise twice a week is a good start.
And now a word from our resident Chubby Ginger Mad Scientist about the Pod Hotel.