You've mastered reef lighting, perfected your water quality, now realize the amazing potential of adding a diverse live plankton community to your ecosystem! Copepods are a major component of marine zooplankton, and play a significant role in the oceanic food chain. Establishing active zooplankton populations in the home aquarium is the final key to ultimate aquarium success, and now it's easier than ever.
We're pleased to offer six new zooplankton starter cultures for use in marine aquariums and ornamental fish breeding. Experiment with different combinations of pods for different types of feeders. Mandarins and Seahorses, Anthias and Gobies, NPS Corals and Gorgonians, Acropora, Crinoids, Basket Stars, and more.
Tisbe biminiensis is an excellent all-purpose aquarium copepod owing to its role in the natural environment as a detritivore. An opportunist feeder, Tisbe can be used as a tank cleaner consuming uneaten food and wastes as well as phytoplankton in the tank and refugium. Tisbe is capable of producing many eggs during its adult life span that hatch into nauplii which will enter the water column as food for your filter feeding reef inhabitants and replenish the adult population vital to tank hygiene. Tisbe adults and juveniles may also enter the water column and be tasty and nutritious treats for your reef fish!
Acartia tonsa is very useful in ornamental aquaculture for feeding larval fish and crustaceans, seahorses and invertebrates such as corals. It is recommended that a separate culture be maintained from which to collect nauplii for adding directly to aquariums or to tanks of larval fish or crustaceans. Acartia's nutritional profile makes it ideal for feeding both photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic corals. It has wide ranging potential in developing techniques for breeding many ornamental species that cannot be raised with rotifers.
Pseudodiaptomus pelagicus is an excellent live food for all smaller aquarium inhabitants and filter feeders. An interesting habit of the adults is their ability to cling to tank surfaces. Try adding Pseudodiaptomus to your aquarium refugium where the adults can continue to produce nauplii that will enter the water column and be nutritious live prey for all your sessile invertebrates such as corals and feather dusters. Nauplii that escape predation can help replenish the adult population when adequate levels of microalgae are provided as food to support growth and reproduction. Pseudodiaptomus can also be added directly to aquariums or to larval tanks as an excellent live food. It has been successfully used as a larval fish feed where rotifers have proven to be ineffective.
Parvocalanus crassirostris is recognized by top aquaculturists and aquarium breeders as one of the best live foods for the smallest and most difficult of the marine fish larvae due to the small size of the nauplii. This small pelagic copepod is rich in essential fatty acids and provides good nutrition for developing larval fish. In aquariums, the small size is optimum for capture by the finest filter feeders such as feather dusters and Christmas tree worms, SPS corals and sponges.
Tangerine Pod is an excellent species for directly feeding to hungry fish and seahorses to observe a feeding frenzy. The nauplii of Tangerines are excellent food for filter feeding invertebrates and for juvenile seahorses and for larger sized or staged fish larvae and invertebrate nauplii. Juvenile and adult Tangerines are an excellent replacement for less nutritious brine shrimp.
Moina salina is an excellent species for direct feeding to plankton-eating fish and seahorses and can cause a feeding frenzy triggered by their hopping swimming motion. The juvenile Moina are the perfect size for feeding young seahorses. Moina are an excellent replacement for brine shrimp or as a transitional live food before introducing flakes or frozen foods. Moina can be enriched and gut-loaded with microalgae or formulated enrichments prior to feeding. The swimming motion of Moina triggers feeding responses from almost any predator. It will entice even the most finicky eaters and is a good choice to encourage species that refuse to eat at first.
Copepod cultures can be introduced and maintained in aquariums several ways. Harpacticoids can be added to a sump or refugium preferably with a suitable substrate such as rock, sand or algae. It is suggested that the protein skimmer be turned off when adding the culture. Calanoids can be added to the main tank, most effectively at night when they won't be quickly predated by fish. Populations can be periodically enhanced by adding more culture as needed, typically about once a month. ReefPods can live together so multiple species may be added at the same time. Pod populations can be fed in culture or in tanks with
PhycoPure Copepod Blend, a specially prepared microalgae feed. All of the AlgaGen ReefPods are herbivorous species of copepods that prefer the tropical temperatures of reef tanks.
Copepods can also be grown outside of the aquarium system in a culture vessel and then harvested to feed the aquarium. Pod culture can be tricky, some are easier than others, but with some simple equipment and a little dedication pod cultures are achievable.
Copepods are maintained at 78°F and at S.G. 1.020 with low light and very low aeration. We strongly recommend acclimating your copepods into your culture vessel or tank.
Adult size: Acartia 1.0 - 1.2 mm, Moina salina 2.5 mm, Parvocalanus 0.8 - 0.9 mm, Pseudodiaptomus 1.2 - 1.5 mm, Tangerine 2.5 mm, Tisbe 0.7 - 1 mm.
ReefPods are guaranteed to arrive alive but are exempt from our extended guarantee after their arrival. 8 oz bottles contain 100 to 200 pods and 16 oz bottles contain 200 to 300 pods.
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