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FAQs about Copepod Crustaceans

Related FAQs: Micro-Crustaceans, Microcrustacean Identification, Microcrustacean Behavior, Microcrustacean Compatibility, Microcrustacean Selection, Microcrustacean Systems, Microcrustacean Feeding, Microcrustacean Disease, Microcrustacean Reproduction/Culture,  Amphipods, Mysids, Hermit Crabs, Shrimps, Cleaner Shrimps, Banded Coral Shrimp, Mantis Shrimp, Anemone Eating ShrimpRefugiumsCrustacean Identification, Crustacean Selection, Crustacean Behavior, Crustacean Compatibility, Crustacean Systems, Crustacean Feeding, Crustacean Disease, Crustacean Reproduction, Mandarin Feeding,

Related Articles:  'Pods: Delicious and Nutritious By Adelaide Rhodes, Ph.D, Copepods, CrustaceansAmphipods, Mysids, Isopods, Shrimps, Coral Banded Shrimp, Cleaner ShrimpP. holthuisi Pix, Mantis "Shrimp", Lobsters, Slipper Lobsters, Hermit Crabs, Squat Lobsters, Crabs, Arthropods, Pycnogonids (Sea Spiders),

"Mmm, yes, tasty zooplankters"

Can pods attach to saltwater fish?    11/19/12
Hello WMV Crew,
<Jae>
I have an Allardi clownfish and a Neon Goby in my 26 gallon tank which is crawling with tons of pods. My allardi usually sleeps attached to one of the walls and facing upwards, while my neon goby is always seen either on the back wall of the tank or live rock. The weird thing is, from time to time, little white dots can be seen on both allardi and goby. At first I thought they were Ich, but numerous times I've seen allardi shaking the dots off himself, and then I can see the dots swimming in the water afterwards!
<Not Crypt>
 I don't think fish can just "shake off" Ich parasites,
<No; cannot>
 so I'm guessing these white stuff are pods that attached to my allardi and goby when they were sleeping. Can pods really attach to fish? Thanks! -Jae
<Mmm, some can indeed. In fact, the group (Copepoda) has such diversity as to span virtually all nutrition types... There are some quite
large/prominent truly parasitic species, many free-living, and some that can/do "cross the line" to chew on fishes, other life when they can. Not generally an issue as long as the fish livestock is healthy. Bob Fenner>

copepods / amphipods, culture, lambda    6/9/11
You guys are the best. I couldn't find this info anywhere else, so perhaps you can help me out. I'm setting up a refugium and the manufacturer of the light I'll be using says it is ok to leave the light on 24/7.
<Nah... better to have a definite "dark period"... See WWM re...>
I've read that the Chaeto I'll be placing in the refugium can thrive in a setup like that and it needs no day/night photoperiod.
<... not fact. Of genera available, only Caulerpa fits this description>
However, I've not been able to find any information on how that might affect the other organisms (pod
species of different sorts) in the refugium. Any knowledge you can shed on the subject would be greatly appreciated.
As always, many thanks.
Carter
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_2/cav2i1/Pods/pods.htm
and the linked files at the bottom. Bob Fenner>
Re: copepods / amphipods   6/9/11
Thanks!
Welcome!

Copepod ID? 11/17/10
Hi WWM,
<Hi Mike, Misty here>
I recently started supplementing my tank with brine shrimp eggs and a week ago or 2 I began noticing swarms of little critters around some parts of my tank (much to my surprise with 2 dragonets in the tank and other copepod eating fish). Seeing as how I don't supplement phytoplankton I didn't think that they would grow, but now they are swarming around the darker part of the tank which is great since I wanted to introduce a pair of pipefish. So I tried to take a photo to ID them since they are always moving and they look like copepods to me, not baby shrimp. What are these little critters?
<Looks like a copepod to me. I didn't supplement phyto for years (and only do now when I remember :) and still have plenty of copepods. That's always been the most amazing thing to me about having a reef tank - the stuff that grows that I didn't "put" in there! Also sometimes frustrating when it comes to pests! Not sure how big or how new your system is, but make sure those dragonets are eating frozen/commercial/prepared diet if it's under 150 gallons on the conservative side, or keep a close eye on them. I've had a 120 display tank with a 30-gallon sump/fuge up for over six years that still only fully supports one pod-eating fish (mandarin right now) at a time. Another thing you can do is add some rubble piles that will function as pod refuge to the main tank to help sustain the population.
<Cheers, Misty>
Thanks,
M

Parasites in Reef Tank-- Nope, Just Copepods. 3/27/2009
Hello,
<Hi>
My question is about a parasite outbreak in my reef tank.
<OK>
Most of the questions on your site in this category involved fish, but I do not have fish in my tank, just cleaner shrimps and snails.  My tank is a Red Sea Max 250 (65 gallon) with a built-in protein skimmer and has been up and running for three months now with a mix of Fuji and Tonga live rock, and a live-sand base.
<Ok so far.>
The other day I noticed a white out of dust-like particles all over my tank. These things are also moving on the back of the tank and in my opinion appear to be a parasite.
<No, just Copepods, read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_2/cav2i1/Pods/pods.htm and here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/copepodfaqs.htm >
They are also suspended in the water due to the robust water circulation.  Will they cycle-through and just die off in a few days or do I need to medicate the tank (which everything I have read screams NO for reef systems).
<Do not medicate, since they have no predators in the tank, the population has exploded. It will settle down in time.>
I do not plan on adding fish and will only have a few corals. Thanks for any advice you can give me.
<Patience is all that is required.>
<Mike>

Mandarin vs. Firefish (Copepods) -- 03/25/09
I'm interested in a Mandarin for my 70 gallon reef tank.
<<Mmm, this tank is marginal in size for keeping a Mandarin'¦but if the tank is mature, not populated with food-item competitors, and supported with a plankton producing refugium it might work out>>
I have about 100 lbs of live rock and 80 lbs of live sand. My little Firefish is always fat; I assume he's been feasting on Copepods in my tank.
<<Probably so'¦the Firefish also readily take to prepared foods in my experience>>
Would a setup this size have enough pods for the two of them?
<<Likely, no'¦>>
I have looked at the glass and haven't seen any pods, but my eyes aren't what they used to be!
<<Ah, can relate>>
I have no refugium; other tank mates are an Ocellaris, Royal Gramma, and a pair of Yellowtail Damsels.
<<Hmm'¦and all likely adding to the burden on the copepod population. I don't consider your tank a good prospect for the addition of a Mandarin'¦especially considering the absence of a plankton generating refugium. The good news is, Matt Wittenrich has proven captive propagation of these fishes is possible'¦perhaps captive bred specimens that can be maintained more easily on prepared frozen or pelleted foods will soon become available>>
My reef tank has an array of zoanthids, xenia, starbursts, shrooms, hammers etc. and has been running for about five years now. Thanks guys!
<<A nice 'mature' system...but still lacking when it comes to providing enough natural prey food for the Mandarin, in my humble opinion. Cheers, EricR>>

Copepod ID w/pics   1/8/09 Hello to All of you at WWM, <Brian> I snapped a shot of these pin-point sized copepods in my 2 yr old 80 gal Invert/ LPS tank. <Neat!> ( I have much higher resolution pics if needed! ) They are ALL over, but seem to be algae eaters. Is this correct? <Many of the thousands of species are> By the looks of some of them, they eat coralline algae as well. I want to make sure these are not so-called "Redbugs" <Mmm, are not, assuredly> and IF they are, is it a problem for a tank that has no sps in it? <Not a problem... are the species Tegastes acroporanus... many chew on Acroporas...> Thanks for this site. Best, Brian R los Angeles, Ca <Thank you for sharing. BobF, San Diego, till Friday>

Re: NovAqua dechlorinator question... actually Copepod culture, Mandarin fdg., comp....   12/11/08 Hello to whomever gets my questions today (and I am sorry in advance as there are many). My questions are listed numerically below: 1) I currently have a 125 gallon FOWLR and am planning a 175 gallon reef. My wife did not give me permission to buy the new tank yet, so I have many months of research until I can annoy her enough to let me get one. <Mmm, worthwhile ploy to try> Anyway, in that new 175 reef, I intend to get a Green Mandarin (Synchiropus splendidus) or a Spotted Mandarin (Synchiropus picturatus). I realize these guys need A LOT of copepods. My question is can I just buy A LOT of copepods for the Mandarin rather than reproduce them? <You could, but...> 2) If I can buy copepods, how many do I need to introduce daily (or weekly) to sustain him. <Depends on the species of Copepods employed, what else is eating them...> 3) I realize that I can just reproduce copepods in the live rock or in a refugium, but I would still need to buy them in order to introduce them to my tank. So, my question is can't copepods (as all living things) introduce diseases into the tank? <Mmm, strictly speaking/writing, yes... but in actual practice this is exceedingly rare... These crustaceans are raised in exacting conditions... sans fish/hosts that would harbor parasites> Should I (can I) quarantine them (this sounds incredibly silly, I know). Is this a reason not to introduce them on a daily/weekly basis to feed the Mandarin? <No need to quarantine... though I'd just grow these in a large, tied-in refugium with a good deal of Live Rock, a DSB... macroalgal culture there...> 4) Can I add 2 Mandarins to a tank? Will 2 males fight - even in a 175? Would there be sufficient food? If not, I go back to my earlier question of introducing more copepods daily/weekly. Could this work? <Yes, maybe, likely, uh huh> 5) Can I also introduce a scooter blenny (Synchiropus ocellatus) into the mix? Does a scooter blenny also feed exclusively on copepods? <Can, and can live on some types of Copepods... see the Net, even WWM (!?) re this group....> 6) Would a Mandarin be compatible with a Coral Beauty Angelfish (Centropyge bispinosus) or a Flame Angelfish (Centropyge loriculus) or would either Angelfish be too aggressive for the docile Mandarin? <Both/either would very likely work out fine here> 7) I also plan on keeping corals (I have not done my research yet, so I can't tell you which ones, but I don't want to limit my options, so I am considering SPS, LPS, softies...). But generally, can you tell me if the Mandarin can get along with all corals (or vice-versa) and if not, which types of corals are off limits? <Some... e.g. Catalaphyllia, might ingest the fish> 8) I also have a question regarding my FOWLR tank. As mentioned above, it is a 125 gallon. The inhabitants are a 2" Rectangle Triggerfish (Rhinecanthus rectangulus), a 2.5" Purple Pseudochromis (Pseudochromis porphyreus) (I know, the trigger might eventually eat it), a 3" Tomato Clownfish (Amphiprion frenatus), and a 4" Imperator Angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator) (I will upgrade the tank eventually). I also plan on getting a 3" puffer (have not decided which one yet) and a 5-6" Blue Hippo Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus) (Yes, I will upgrade the tank in the future). My question is can I add a 5-6" Yellow Goatfish to the mix or is the Goatfish too docile for the above fish? <Would likely get along... but all need more room... soon> 9) Last question, I promise. Do you recommend wearing gloves when sticking my hands into the aquarium (to clean, move rocks, etc.)? If so, what kind of gloves? It's just that I always worry that some residue from my hands will harm or kill my fish (I wash my hands with plain water before touching the aquarium, but I still worry that there might be soap residue somewhere on my hands). <Long-length gloves, and keeping ones arms out entirely (using tongs, other tools) is recommended... as is washing, rinsing ones hands, arms entirely right ahead of sticking them in a system> Thank you so much for your help. I hope you don't blacklist me for asking too many questions. <In future, please cluster questions per subject category... much easier to refer you (do see WWM re Copepods/culture, Mandarins period...), post for others use... Bob Fenner>

copods and polyps... comp.?  12/1/2007 Hi all, <Zac> So I have an abundance of copods <... there is no such thing> in my 24gal tank, I have seen a slow decline in my daisy polyps, meaning that they have been slowly disappearing from my once large and healthy colony to a very small colony. My water quality is <20ppm nitrates, 0 nitrites, 0 ammonia, 8.1 ph. I do 5gal/25% water change every two weeks, so I don't think that it is my water quality. Anyway, I keep seeing tons of copods in my tank, seeing that they have no predators, because I only have 1 sandsifter goby in my tank right now. I see the copods all over the daisy polyps at night, and also on some red zoos that I have, which are also starting to diminish. On the other hand I also see some tiny blue star fish that are on the daisies and the red zoos, so that might also be the problem. But I have no clue. Thanks, you guys are great. Zac <... What else is in this system stock-wise? What re your supplementing, feeding practices? Could be that these small crustaceans, copepods or otherwise are predaceous... BobF>

Jawfish and Pod QT!  4/27/07 You have a fantastic site and very worthy of the days (yes, days) I've spent reading during the past couple months since starting a 55 gallon SW tank.   <Thank you.> My setup is:  5-7" DSB, 60# LR, 360gph canister (bio-balls removed), <Good…> two powerheads, SeaClone 100 skimmer, <not my first choice, or second. third…but better than nothing.> 130w PC 50/50 actinic & 10k daylight; and water data is:  PH 8.2; Ammonia & Nitrite 0; Nitrate 7.5; Salinity 1.025; Alk 13dKh & Calcium 375.  Inhabitants include 2 Percula clowns, 3 Chromis, 2 damsels (going back to the store as soon as I catch them), <Also Good.> 2 BTAs, <Clones of each other I hope?> several hermit crabs, feather dusters, various snails, mushrooms, zoas & a couple leather frags.  All seem to be doing well, better now since I caught & took 2 very ornery damsels back to the store. <Sounds functional.> I have a 10 gallon quarantine tank that has sand and shells on the bottom for two Jawfish I just ordered. <Neat.> I have wanted these since I started the tank; also the main reason for the DSB in the display, although after research here, the DSB is worth much more than just a substrate for the Jawfish!   <Yes.> A couple of quick questions on the Jawfish - are they hermaphroditic?   <As far as I know, they aren't.  Breeding behavior is different depending on the species. You can usually distinguish the male of a pair during mating events by their more distinguished markings and color.  To my knowledge there have been a few successful breeding reports but almost all seen in the trade are still wild caught.> I'm guessing that they are not, but was curious & haven't been able to locate that specific info.   And I understand that the Jawfish need some shells for structure of their burrows - <…Don't count out vanity,,,,,yes fish can be arrogant too.> do I just put in a couple handfuls of crushed shells in a few places on top of the sand where I would prefer that they burrow? <Just place them randomly around the tank, they will put them where they want them…and may occasionally steal shells from each other as well….which as long as no one gets hurt is actually fin to watch.> I also ordered a group of copepods, and am wondering about a quarantine procedure for them.   <Most people forgo it, but there is no "standardized" way to do it really…> I'm trying to go forward with the "quarantine everything" adage, <Good!> but when I previously purchased some copepods for the display tank, the instructions were to add the entire contents of the bag directly to the tank, water and all (which I did with no ill effects).   <You don't mention which company you are getting them from, but typically the reputable folks who market these are very meticulous with their products.  Keeping the strains pure….literally down to a "science", hehehe.  There aren't (again typically) any pathogens or micro-organisms that would be a threat to your fish.> The new copepods are planned for the 20 gallon refugium I am setting up, which is not attached to the display tank yet. <Perfect, if the fuge is offline, go ahead and add the 'pods directly to the fuge, and wait a week or two before plumbing it inline….if you have the space/ability to do so.> I plan to put refugium mud as a substrate covered with crushed coral, with red mangroves for nutrient export. <Mangroves are rather poor in comparison to other organisms when it comes to nutrient export, read this by Mr. Calfo: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-12/ac/feature/index.htm .> I have planned on hooking up the refugium to the display tank as soon as I get it put together in order to let the display tank cycle it.  I understand (from reading here) that there are different opinions about whether the refugium should be cycled separately, but since I didn't plan to add any bioload right away, I figured it would be okay to add the refugium to the display as soon as it is set up.   <I did this, had to compensate with extra water changes. It should also be noted I precured the rock in a separate container though.> However, if I need to quarantine the pods, I would need to do that in the refugium area before I hook to the main tank, and probably before adding the substrate, right?   <Yes, as I mentioned above that would be a good way to go……it will also give the pods sometime alone (without being preyed on) to populate the refugium.> The big question is:  Do I need to quarantine the copepods, <Probably not, but it wouldn't hurt.> & if so, what is the procedure? <See above.> Thanks for all your help. <Anytime.>   Lillian <Adam J.>

Mandarin Question   4/16/07 Hello Everyone!! <Andrew> I read through your site but my problem seems to be an odd one. I have a green mandarin ( Sir Podley )who is my 36 gallon tank. I have had him about 15 months now and he is very plump. However he only eats flakes food soaked in vitamins which is fine but about 6-7 months ago I added a few bottles of copepods  but he will not eat them at all. They have multiplied and are becoming a nuisance! I have tried to catch him and put him in my 125 gallon tank but I give up, that should be an Olympic sport. <Mmm, best to systematically remove most all else...> Can I put another dragonet in there with him or will they just fight? <Too likely the latter> Is there anything else that will eat them? <All sorts... a small Damsel (my choice? Mmmm... A Talbot's, An Allen's...) or tank-bred Pseudochromid... or...> Thanks for the help! <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Copepods... a huge, diverse, important group... not all suitable for tropical aquariums for sure   4/12/07 Dear Bob (or any of the other talented staff), <Jason> I purchased some Tigriopus californicus - Live Copepods from reef-store.com which I found on your site. My question is I purchased the 6 oz bottle and wanted to know where to pour all of its contents. <Mmm... an interesting Harpacticoid; with high salinity range/tolerance, other interesting bio. (amazingly large mitochondrial DNA variation w/in resident populations...), but a cold water species: http://www.racerocks.com/racerock/eco/taxalab/2005/harpacticoid/harpacticoid.htm> I have an 180 gallon reef tank (24x24x72) that's cycling to replace my 55 gallon tank. It has been cycling for  3 weeks and although I see a presence of pods, worms and nice size arthropods it  is very few and my past experiences with tanks have been after this length of  time I typically see them flourishing and consuming the tank sand bed. I have  placed live rocks in the tank and have a 20 gallon mud sump with mangroves.   Should I split the contents between the main tank and the refugium or place everything in the refugium. <I'd place all in the latter... some will make their way through the pump in time to elsewhere> I've had a mandarin for 2 years now and I do not want  him to have problems feeding in the new tank. I plan on cycling the tank an  extra week or two once I add the pods to allow them to flourish. <Mmm, okay> Also I have the wet/dry and the refugium as two separate entities. Both taking in their own water and pushing it out. Is this the best setup or should I find a way to plumb the two together? <Either can/will work... I often like to suggest to keep these components individual, to allow slower circulation more easily through the refuge> Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I've been in the hobby for 14 years now (3 marine) and I've never had any tanks remote to this size before. <Heeeee! More fun!> Its a 180 gallon tank (with a 1000 gph pump), 30 gallon wet/dry trickle filter, 20 gallon refugium (with a mag drive 700 pump), 3-250 MH with actinic bulbs and night lights, 20 watt UV sterilizer, 150 gal protein skimmer Thanks, Jason <Thank you for sharing... Only time will tell whether the new copepods can/will adapt to your thermal et al. regime... But other life forms will definitely do so. Bob Fenner>

Copepods Killing My Fish? Unlikely  3-13-07 Hello! <Hi> I have a problem here.  My harlequin Tuskfish and hepatus tang are sick and I have no clue with what.  The other creatures in the tank is an arc-eye hawk, small snowflake moray eel, chocolate chip star, and an Atlantic anemone, at least I think that's what it is. The past couple days they (harlequin tusk and hepatus tang) have been acting somewhat strange and yesterday morning and this morning both were covered in white spots that looked like ich.  However, by about 10:00am yesterday (when I went back home to get a water sample to take to the local fish store) both fish had shaken or scraped most of the spots off.  <Normal lifecycle for this parasite, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm .> Yesterday afternoon and evening the harlequin tusk stayed in his hiding spot and seemed like he had difficulty breathing. <Ich effects the gills.>  From the way he is moving his gills it looks like he's gasping for breath. <A usual symptom, action needs to be taken soon.> He was still that way this morning as well. Here's what's very interesting.  It looks like there are little white bugs on the glass, most likely copepods (and that may be what's on the fish as well). <Highly unlikely, think your first diagnosis is the correct one.> If you look closely, you can see them move around and NOT with the current.  They move from place to place and change direction too so it looks like independent movement rather than movement from the powerheads.  I wiped the vast majority off of the glass last night, but they were all back this morning as well.  <Yep, sounds like copepods.> What can I do to restore the harlequin tusk and hepatus tang to health?  <QT and appropriate treatment.  See here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm .> This is a relatively new tank.  It's been set up for 2 months.  I understand that the copepods are/can be beneficial to the aquarium, but is it a case of too much of a good thing? <Unrelated to your fish's illness.> Any help would be MUCH appreciated!  Thanks a ton!! Sincerely, Aaron Kowal <Need to get the fish treated for ich, which is usually copper administered in a hospital tank.  However with the tang I would treat with hyposalinity since they are quite sensitive to copper.  Check out the articles and FAQs in the marine disease section for details.> <Chris>

Coocoo for copepods?  Peppermint shrimp... comp./fdg.  3/1/07 Hey crew! <Hi>    Quick question: do Peppermint Shrimp eat copepods?  <Yes, quite voraciously actually.>   I have set up a 6gal refugium, and has been going well. <Good.>  I'd begun to culture up my own copepods to aid a friends voracious Mandarin, and all was well. <Very kind of you.> 3 days ago I discovered a small Peppermint Shrimp in the 'fuge, and can only guessed that he hitched a ride in (which totally amazes me).  <Very nice, a little surprising though since they do so poorly after being exposed to air, must have found a nice spot for the trip.>  I did not have time to try to catch him, and left him alone for the last few days.  Yesterday I notice not a single copepod anywhere in the refugium.  I'm hoping that they were not gobbled! <A shrimp could make quite a dent, but I'm sure the population will rebound once you get a chance to remove him.>    BTW: 2 Catalina Goby fry are doing well!  One of the parents mysteriously passed, but my other 2 seem to be doing just fine! <Very nice, always good to see marine fish spawn in captivity and a tribute to your efforts in maintaining a healthy tank.  Do be aware that they are not a tropical species though, preferring cooler water, may be the cause of the parent.> <Chris>

Moving Copepods - 02/26/07 Hi, <<Hello>> Great site. <<Thank you>> I love it. <<Me too!>> I'm an intermediate reef keeper with a 135g, 29g, and a 20g hospital tank. <<Neat!>> I have great copepods in the HT and want to distribute them to my other two.  What is the best way to move the pods?  Capture them, etc? <<Hmm...likely just siphon to a container and transfer to the other systems.  If your goal is to "seed" these other tanks then adding the copepods after "lights out" should prevent a fishy feeding frenzy>> Thanks for your help in advance.  I appreciate it, as I know you are very busy. <<No worries mate...always happy to share.  Eric Russell>> Scott Damschroder

Algae Bloom and Copepods   9/1/06 Dear Crew, <Paul> When many of my green star polyps died off, my 75-gallon reef aquarium developed high nitrate and phosphate levels that contributed to an algae bloom. <Happens>   I believe that the overhanging polyps and mushroom corals on top of the live rocks had shaded the polyps on the sides of the rocks. <Could have> After halving the fish population to nine small fish, the water chemistry has just returned to normal.  I expect my skimmer and my 29-gallon refugium with Chaetomorpha and reverse-daylight photosynthesis to maintain the water quality. Unfortunately, my 4-inch deep aragonite sand bed is discolored with micro-algae and diatom growth and I am considering siphon-cleaning its surface.  Will maintaining high water quality cause the micro-algae and diatoms to disappear? <Over time... possibly> Are there any detritivores, such as copepods, that can clean up the micro-algae on the surface of an aragonite sand bed? <All sorts> It has been my goal to introduce copepods into my reef aquarium for possible Mandarin husbandry but I would like to know if I should siphon-clean the sand surface first. <Will help... along with other in-fauna, possibly the addition of other organisms that scour the surface (e.g. some Sea Cucumbers), and turn the sand/gravel... see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsiftfaqs.htm> Thanks very much, Paul. <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Where to Buy Copepods to Feed a Mandarin? - 06/19/06 I have a mandarin and can't find any copepods anywhere.  Sorry to bother you but can you suggest a website? Thanks Eli Ramos <<Indeed I can, try Reed Mariculture ( http://www.reed-mariculture.com/copepod/live.asp)...though I think you will find this to be an expensive proposition...and possibly futile in the end as these are difficult fish to keep, with most starving to death in the typical marine system in less than a year.  Best to keep these fishes in large mature systems with suitable substrates and plankton (copepod) generating refugiums.  Please do some reading on our site re these fishes and their care.  Start here and be sure to follow the indices in blue at the top of the page (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mandarins.htm).  EricR>>

Mandarins and Copepods    5/24/06 Hey guys and gals, I recently purchased two mandarin gobies (male and female) under the premise that I'd had my tank set up for 6 months with 260 lbs of live rock etc. I've seen a few amphipods (am I getting this the right way round? They're the larger ones, right?) <Generally, yes... many species of...> in the tank, but I want to keep a separate culture of copepods etc as a "back up" just in case the mandarins deplete the population too far... ... but here in the UK I can't find any copepod cultures! <Really? Try the listings in the back of Marine World Magazine...> I've regularly been using live phyto/zooplankton supplements for my corals, will this help? <Yes> Or is there another way I can start a copepod culture? <If you have a refugium (and even if not in these listed circumstances) you very well likely have such a population going... along with many other useful live food organisms...> Is it a simple case of adding a refugium and providing the right conditions for copepods? <Yes... especially a dearth of predators there> The mandarins had been at the LFS for the past few weeks (around a month) and still seem quite happy and round (i.e. fat!). I've seen them picking at the live rock a lot, does this mean they're actually feeding or is it impossible to tell? <If "fat" and picking about, very likely are feeding> Ugh, paranoia has set in, wondering if I've made the right decision getting these fish, despite having my tank set up for a while with a lot of live rock. My plans for a small refugium are finished, and it should be all set up by the end of the week. Any tips on what I should put in it if all I'm trying to encourage is copepod growth? <Mmm, posted on WWM... under Refugium... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetupindex2.htm> The fish seem happy at the moment, and rarely stray from the one end of the tank where they hang around the live rock all day, is that a good sign? <Oh yes> Many thanks, Ross. <Welcome. Bob Fenner> Copepods - 01/30/06 Dear Eric <<Hi Akila!>> How are you?  Hope everything is fine. <<Mmm...working 65 hour weeks for the past three weeks...otherwise fine...thanks for asking.>> I was wondering whether you can help me with this small problem. <<I'll try my friend.>> After my fish were attacked by the white spot disease two weeks back I treated them with copper aid and when that proved to be a worse case scenario as I calculated the amounts incorrectly the condition of the tank went from bad to worse.  I think you can remember this? <<Indeed I do...but hopefully lessons were learned and you will avoid this next time around <G>.>> After that point I returned all my fish to the LFS and then took out all the water from my tank and filters and then washed the tank with freshwater and started everything from scratch. <<Very good>> About 1 and 1/2 back I reintroduced new water to the tank and also bought a 40 gallon quarantine tank. <<Very good to hear this, you will reap many benefits for it!>> Now my tank is running without fish for almost 2 weeks with the new water. <<A few weeks to go yet...patience...>> Today I again noticed Copepods on my glass, they are soooo tiny. <<A beneficial micro-crustacean.>> First I thought they were small air bubbles from my filtration but then I saw these tiny creatures moving.  I can only see them in the night with the dark background under florescent lighting.  They are white in color.  I read some articles that said these creatures are actually good for the aquarium but there are so many parasitic Copepods also. <<True...though these are usually introduced by not quarantining livestock/introducing pack water to the system.>> Is there a way to identify the bad ones from the good? <<Mmm, some keyword searches on 'parasitic copepods' should yield some photos...but the tiny organisms you describe in your tank right now are fine, I'm sure.>> Do think these will harm my fish when I introduce fish later? <<Quarantine and observe carefully.  Treat only as/if necessary.>> Appreciate your response Thanks Best regards Akila <<Cheers my friend, EricR>>

Corythoichthys haematopterus  9/30/05 Hi Bob Fenner. <Ralph> Just read your article on WetWebMedia.com. Since 2004 I keep Corythoichthys haematopterus (I /THINK /its C. haematopterus...). <A pipefish at any length> Last months 3 individuals probably starved cause lack of tiny crustaceans in my 240ltr-aquarium. Over one year the 6 pipefish, 1 Synchiropus picturatus and 3 pairs of gobies were too much for the tiny crustaceans which they ate. The feeding of newborn brine shrimps seemed not enough, maybe cause of the low nutritional value. <Yes... was chatting with Carol (of Ocean Rider out here in HI... she and her husband Craig raise hippocampines, but not pipes... yet. And we were talking over foodstuffs... they do raise Artemia, but have a similar stance> Now three pipefish (and the 3 pairs of gobies) are left over, and the population of the food-crustaceans seems to recover. Also the daily feeding of hundreds of "nutritional enriched" newborn brine shrimp seems enough for their appetite. <Good> But primarily I want to tell you, that I keep C. haematopterus since about 15 months. Breeding I tried several times, but larvae died after few days. Although I had masses of different copepods for them.. <Mmm, there are a few (actually many!) varieties of copepods that can be cultured for the purpose of nutrifying such young... some are small, medium, to quite large. I strongly encourage you to contact the fine folks at TMC in Chorleyside... get out to visit them if you can... see their operation, culture facilities, including foods... for Pipefishes. Their website you can find here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/AqBizSubWebIndex/tmcpropc.htm> All the best, Ralph Bogusch <Cheers, Bob Fenner> Feeding Finicky Fish (Cont'd.) Thank you so much for your quick reply & advice! =) <Glad I could help!> I will keep you posted on the progress of these amazing fish & the  copepod culturing effort. Rest assured that I will pay close attention to their  health & the health of the tank, and also know that I am willing to setup a  larger system, should the need arise. <Excellent! We'd really like to hear about your progress with this system!> I would also like to take a moment to thank the crew for assisting me with am "ich" problem that I had with a newly-purchased yellow tang. The fish is in perfect health at this time, free of disease & is eating Nori out of my hand. =) Thank you!!! Julie <We have a great group of hobbyists here, and I'm thrilled to be amongst them! Regards, Scott F.>

Copepods in Hawaii 06/08/05 Aloha WWM crew I was wondering what is the best way to seed my tank with copepods?  I live in Hawaii, so most online distributors either don't ship to Hawaii or require some sort of permit to do so.  I've heard mixed stories about the ease/difficulty in obtaining such a permit.  Would it be easier to try to collect them myself?  What would be required?  How difficult is it? <<  The best thing to do is get live rock. With live rock and a nice sand bed the copepods will just produce naturally.>> Thanks for any help. Yun << good luck.. EricS>>

Keeping Copepods I have just found out that I have copepods in my tank...which I have been told is a good thing... <Yep, that it is> I see them on my glass where I have some algae growing on so I haven't cleaned my glass because I'm scared to kill them... <Don't worry about killing any. They are rather fast and agile, and can escape the cleaner sponge/magnet/whatever you use. Besides, by the time you see copepods, you already have quite a number of them.> I would like to keep them going so what kind of food do they eat?... <They scavenge. You need not worry about feeding them.> Info on my tank: 30g, 20lbs of live rock, 2 clown fish, 1 shrimp goby, 1 cleaner shrimp, 5 hermit crabs, 3 snails, 1 yellow tang, 1 coral beauty... Prizm skimmer, Rena xp1 filter, 2 powerheads Rio 600 and Maxijet 900... <Good luck with your tank, and check the following link for more Copepod information: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/copepodfaqs.htm  Mike G >

No pods! Good day crew Dave G here in good ole blighty - boy its cold! <Hi Dave, MacL here. I'm in Kentucky USA and the weather here keeps going up and down.> Quick question hope you can answer. Currently have 50USG FOWLR (will be upgrading in a 6 months or so to a 150USG with 60USG sump) but one thing that bothers me is I seem to have a lack of pods in my tank. <Okay just so you know pods can and do die out naturally but my guess is that you have fish eating them.> I have around 50lbs of LR, tank has been setup for 18 months with Flameback angel, common clown, purple Dottyback, yellowtail blue damsel, 2 x fire shrimp, scarlet hermit, blue leg hermit and 6 x turbo snails, mushrooms and BTA, all are thriving and plenty of coralline algae and sponges. Substrate is crushed coral in pieces about say 1/4" diameter (new tank will be aragonite sand). Readings are 8.2ph, Nitrite 0, ammonia 0, nitrate less than 30 (can never get this any lower), temp 74F <I'd really suggest you raise your temperature to 78 Degrees F.> I spend a lot of time reading your FAQs and use your site as a reference and solution to problems/queries and really don't know what I would do without it. <Very kind of you to say.> Back to the question a lot of your FAQs say they have loads of pods moving over there rock and substrate, I look at mine and see jack... can you shed any light? <I would suggest that you buy one of the numerous pod cultivating packages you can buy.<I know www.inverts.com has a great one. Once you have your sump it won't be a problem because you will have a separate area where they are being cultivated.> Thanks for reading DG ;)

Pod control - wrassalicious 8/28/04 Which type of wrasse can be considered for cleaning all types of pods in the tank. <most wrasses prey heavily on microcrustaceans. Focus first on their sometimes aggressive personalities for find a species with an adult size and temperament that is compatible with your present tankmates> My tank is completely filled up with these tiny pods which sometimes irritates my fishes. <they do not irritate fishes, my friend. There must be something else at play here> Can u suggest me a suitable wrasse ( one which is found in Indian Ocean ). I stay in India and the one found in Indian ocean will be easily available. Regards Rajesh    <Halichoeres species overall tend to be well behaved and good predators on pods. Best of luck, Anthony> Temperate amphipods 7/13/04 and Puget Sound Aquarium clubs Hello again... <"...hello, just called... to say... hello." Ah, Neil Diamond in my head now. On to 'Cracklin Rose' in minutes <G>>   I have just one quick question.  I live in the Pacific Northwest, along the Puget Sound.   <very nice region :) I was just out at a reef club there some months ago and am returning for some big to-do next August. A multi-club marine meeting and coral frag swap. Do look into some of your local clubs if you don't already belong. PSAS, SRS, etc. They have club forums on some of the bug message boards like ReefCentral.com which make them easy to find> I have a 125 gallon reef tank.  I was recently tidepooling with my daughter and noticed that the amphipods look the same.  Could I capture these amphipods and put them in my reef tank, after ample acclimation?   <Hmmm... not easily. Beyond the valid risk of commutable diseases and pests, these amphipods are temperate species. They will never acclimate. But if kept and fed in a cold isolation aquarium for some weeks ahead of time, they can be used as food for your fishes and corals. Feed only in small amounts> The tidepools on a sunny day get well over 80 degrees.   <understood... but long-term, they will not survive/acclimate MO> I am concerned about my spotted mandarin.   <a bigger concern here... the mandarin does not eat Amphipods. Just copepods my friend. Its one of the many reasons why these dragonets usually slowly starve to death in captivity <sigh>. Its easy to grow amphipods in aquaria... but somewhat challenging to grow copepods. If you do not have a refugium, please do consider one ASAP> The bugs seem to be thinning.  I know that I can purchase amphipods on mail order, but am wondering if the mail order companies would be selling me the same thing I could just go get at the beach. <different, but no more useful for your mandarin. Get thee to a refugium, my friend. "Attica, Attica!"> Thanks -  Mike <cheers, mate. Anthony Calfo>

Refugium Question Hello, <Hi Scott, MacL here.> I have a 75 gallon tank and am buying an on the back refugium, so I could try to keep a mandarinfish. <Mandarinfish require a very large amount of copepods to keep them alive. Theoretically, you could keep the pods multiplying in the refugium and feeding the tank, but should this stop happening you will need to have an idea of where you can buy new pods to start a new colony.  With all the trouble, I think you'll find there are plenty of other wonderful fish that are much easier to keep.> What should I grow though in the tank. <So much to choose from Scott.  Lovely live rocks, some of the more light tolerant corals. Caulerpas or other types of sea grasses.> Such as what sand, plants, etc. <Its really all a matter of choice.  Most people use Caulerpas or sea grasses in the refugium as a place to encourage the pods to grow so they can keep some of the more difficult fish.> Thanks a lot. <You are welcome> Scott. <Good luck Scott, Sound like you are on the right path. MacL.>

'Pod Potluck (6/17/04) Hi Crew, <Steve Allen tonight.> Today I am looking for help with feeding my Synchiropus picturatus.  Since I know these fish require an ample supply of copepods, I waited more than a year for my 180g FOWLR aquarium to become established. <Patience is a generously rewarded virtue.> Additionally, about three months ago, I added a 20g refugium with red Gracilaria, Chaetomorpha, Caulerpa prolifera, feather Caulerpa and a starter supply of 'pods.  (I have read WWM postings as well as Anthony's "Reef Invertebrates", which caution against Caulerpa but Cyano was taking over all other macro algae so I needed something to assist with initial PO4 problems). <Caulerpa isn't all bad, but is high maintenance. I doubt you will succeed long-term in maintaining more than one species of algae in a single refugium.> About a month ago, I began adding corals and I finally added my Synchiropus picturatus. My concern now is that there still might not be enough copepods to support this fish. <Do you see scores/hundreds swimming about?> He is looking a little thin to me but he is not wasting away like some fish I have seen (i.e. I am unable to see outlines of ribs) so maybe this is his normal, healthy appearance.  I have read to looked for a "pinched" abdomen but I am unsure how much "pinching" represents a problem. There is a slight indention in the abdominal area but nothing extreme. <Could be OK. A sure sign of starvation is wasting of the dorsal paraspinal muscles (along the back on either side of the spine.) Sadly, I have seen many examples of this on Dragonets at the LFS.>   This leads to my main concern:  how successful will copepods be at moving from a downstream refugium, into a sump, through a MAG 18 pump, through an 18W UV sterilizer, to my aquarium? <Most will be dead from this combo, and Dragonets may not eat dead 'pods.> Ideally the refugium would simply spill into the display tank but I have found no way to make my ugly refugium appear to be an intended piece of furniture, sitting above but matching my display stand in my living room. <It can be one by keeping it nice. Check out Todd Rose's set up here: http://wetwebfotos.com/Home?actionRequest=userview&userID=1566 > (My wife tells me I have reached my aquarium limit in our house.) <Not much chance of changing that, I'm sure.> Do you have any recommendations for improving the 'pod output from my refugium to the display tank? <Well, you might consider not running them through the UV. Also, a good live sand bed and rock in the display ought to go a long way toward feeding a single Dragonet.> I had originally attached pictures of the mandarin and the tank plumbing but my email was being continually rejected <attachment too big probably>, so I am attempting to send this email without the file attachments this time. <No problem. Do see my other reply on how to avoid bounces.> Thank you, in advance, --Greg <Hope this helps.>

Yellow wrasse and flatworms 2/17/04 It has been a couple of weeks since  I got a yellow wrasse to take care of some flatworms. I am happy to say that I  can not find any flatworms anymore so either they're all eaten or they are in hiding. <once in a while I'm right about some things <G>> Anyhow, along with the flatworms, the wrasse has also eaten all the little white pods on the glass and rocks (and I had LOTS). <heehee... yeah, they are funny that way. Most wrasses are this thorough on microcrustaceans> How do I go about re-introducing pods into the tank without a refugium? <there is no other way to sustain them with active predation in the tank. That's one of the reasons why refugiums are so very beneficial. I feel most every tank should have one> I was told by my LFS that the wrasse shouldn't be able to eat ALL the pods. <ridiculous> Was wondering if perhaps I don't feed enough. <nope... no worries. This wrasse and so many other fishes would have reduced the pods just the same (Pseudo's, mandarins, etc)> Tank is 55G with also 2 ocellaris and 1 cleaner shrimp and snails/hermits. Feeding is 2-3 times a day alternating between Cyclop-eeze and Spirulina flakes (I think there's enough at each feeding because they stop eating even tho there's just a little left). I also feed 2-3x/week some SF bay frozen food (the Marine cuisine blend). Is this feeding regime good enough for them? Thanks. <emphasize frozen foods like the Cyclop-eeze (and mysids, minced krill, fish roe, etc) rather than the brine shrimp based products (weakly nutritious at best). And do look into getting some of the internal refugium kits to help with pod growth. Anthony>

Copepods... 1/24/04 Hello - I have read quite a lot about these critters on your fabulous site. <Great!  Glad you have found benefit.> I'd just like to know what is the best use of a 10 gallon tank with copepods? Background info: I have a 25 gal seahorse tank (with two gobies as clean-up crew, a starfish, live rock, coral plus hitching posts) and a 40 gal tank with anemone, pair clowns, damsel, wrasse and flame angel, with live rock, coral). I feed all frozen Mysis and occasional live brine shrimp. The 10 gal tank was leftover after an upgrade for the seahorses and I thought it is a shame to close it down so kept the filter running to keep the biofilter medium alive (just in case...) - and lo and behold a population of copepods pop up. Everyone says they're a good thing but what do I do with them? Do I let them live happily ... do I scoop 'em up and feed to the seahorses? Do I put water and all into the seahorse tank? Will they actually keep breeding and living in this small tank with no help from me? <Copepods will make great food for your seahorses or many small polyped corals.  You can get a fine net and net them out, or just remove some copepod laden water and replace it with water from another tank.  To keep them going for the long haul, you will need to add small amounts of food.  Congrats on having a nice little copepod culture!  Best Regards!  Adam>  THANKS for your time...

Copepods eating my algae? This time I have some questions about copepods, algae and fishes: My reef tank is three and a half months old and I have different kinds of macro algae: Halimeda, Padina, Caulerpa Racemosa and Dictyota. <wonderful> Recently the Dictyota seems to be eaten by "something" and day by day it has reduced to the point that there is no more of it on the LR. It had small holes on it all over and a part of it got detached from the LR every day. <many possibilities here... snails and urchins are the lead guess> On the other hand the other species of macro algae are ok and show no signs of problem. In my aquarium there are hundreds (may be thousands) of copepods on the LR and on the side glass, some of them even swim in the water, trying to get attached to the LR. I suspect they have eaten my Dictyota. Can it be the case? <they do have a taste for the greens> Is the rest of my macro algae also in danger? <not necessarily or even likely> My Ocellaris Clown seems not to be interested at all in eating some of the copepods. I have also bought a Yellow Tang (Zebrasoma Flavescens) and I keep him in my sump. Will he eat some of the copepods when I place him in the main tank? <nope... more for small tube mouthed fishes... some wrasses too> Do I have to control the population of copepods at all or the more there are in the tank the better it is? <they will likely be controlled naturally in time... even if only by rate limitation> I have seen a Nemateleotris Decora in my LFS. I know that it feeds on micro-crustaceans. Can I buy it now, that I have such a big population of copepods? <yes... perhaps so. Although the yellow tang is almost certainly too aggressive to keep with such fishes (your ocellaris clowns too)> (I have also moved a piece of LR in my sump in order to cultivate them with no predators). I have no DSB at the moment, there is an aragonite oolithic substrate of 3/4''. I would like to keep Macro algae in my sump, but I want to keep my LR on the main display. Is there a technique, a way of moving or having macro algae in the sump without moving the LR in it? I see pictures of refugiums that have only macroalgae and no LR and I wonder how this is done. <some macroalgae naturally live free-floating. Seek Chaetomorpha as a good candidate for this> Thanks in advance, Thanassis <best regards, Anthony>

- Where to Find Copepods - Crew: I noticed the question and Paul's reply regarding buying copepods. I wanted to put in a good word for Inland Aquatics in Terre Haute, IN. They sell a wide variety of aquacultured products, including amphipods, copepods, Gammarus and Mysis.  I have bought his fauna kit before & was very satisfied. It helps to call rather than e-mail if you're desperate for something. I called yesterday at 11 AM MST and received 4 bags of excellent algae at 9 AM this morning. <Yes, Morgan runs a good operation there... just recommended him a couple of emails back.> BTW, I have found that it is easy to get these creatures to grow in a refugium. I suction-cupped a few of those plastic dish scrubbers to the wall of my refugium as suggested by Anthony. I then added the fauna kit. I soon had hundreds of 'pods & shrimps in the refugium. When I wanted to transfer some 'pods to my new 25" CPR AquaFuge on another tank, I tried to catch some and could not. Instead, I removed one of the pads & shook it in a bowl of saltwater. I was amazed to find at least a couple of hundred 'pods & shrimps in there. Now the AquaFuge is full of them too, This is a great product. I put a 65 watt PC (10K/actinic combo) over it and threw in a wad of ISPF's Tang Heaven Red (red Gracilaria). A month later, I've gotten at least 500% growth. I have tried other means to grow Gracilaria, but this is the first time I have succeeded. <Sounds good.> Steve <Cheers, J -- >

- Pod Source - Good Morning, I am trying to locate copepods for sale.  The only thing I found were some amphipods at IPSF.com.  I ordered their $99.95 mix & match special, but they haven't responded and it's been a week.  They didn't take money from my account, but I need the pods. I've searched your website and found the link to buy copepods products, but again was unsuccessful at finding copepods for sale.  I've searched through copepods.com with no luck. I'm sorry to take your time, but I would appreciate it if you could get me in contact with a company that can get me some of the pods pretty soon. <Check with Morgan Lidster at Inland Aquatics - he sells detritivore kits very similar to the IPSF, and he will sell complete kits or individual organisms.> Thanks for your time and the great website. <Cheers, J -- >

Need copepods NOW - 11/25/03 Good Morning, I am trying to locate copepods for sale. <Try Randy Reed of Seafarm.com. I contacted him and he will do his best. He is expecting your call. He said there is a chance he could get them to you by Friday.>  The only thing I found were some amphipods at IPSF.com. <A good company but Gerald can be well....sometimes......overworked and sometimes gets behind. A great resource, but this is not the first time I have heard of him not responding>  I ordered their $99.95 mix & match special, but they haven't responded and it's been a week. <Send email everyday>  They didn't take money from my account, but I need the pods. <Give Randy a try> I've searched your website and found the link to buy copepods products, but again was unsuccessful at finding copepods for sale. <really??> I've searched through copepods.com with no luck. <www.seafarm.com????> I'm sorry to take your time, <No problem> but I would appreciate it if you could get me in contact with a company that can get me some of the pods pretty soon. <If you have any problems with Randy shoot me another email and I will divert. I have one other source that I will try tomorrow.> Thanks for your time and the great website. <Our pleasure. Thanks for your time and helping us (me and you) to build the best marine website on the net!!! ~Paul>

White Micro-Organisms: Copepods or the like 10/29/03 Hello gentleman, thank you for your wonderful website. Cutting to the point, I just noticed over 50 white spots on the inside of my aquarium along the glass. The spots are almost not noticeable to the naked eye. The spots mostly stay in place but some of them are moving along the glass. Any idea of what the spots are? I can not make them out. My tank is about 2 months old and I have a Domino Damsel, 2 tomato clowns, a Dottyback and 2 anemone's in a 95 gallon Hex. I appreciate you advice. TIA, Tim <your critters are almost certainly microcrustaceans... probably copepods. At any rate, they are desirable zooplankton and certain to not be pathogenic (not parasites... to large if they can be seen this way/place). No worries. Anthony>

EEK!! PODS!! Hi, I started a 55g reef about a month ago and on my live rook only at night I have noticed that there are these little white creatures crawling on it. Going in and out of all the holes. Is this bad? What are they? Should I get rid of them and how?  Thank You <No worries, probably just copepods doing their thing, they are a good sign.  I am sure you will see all kinds of other weird stuff coming out of your live rock in the future, it is crazy stuff.  Check out this link for some more info -Gage http://www.wetwebmedia.com/copepodfaqs.htm >

Creating Copepods 10/21/03 Hello, All! <howdy> It was just recently that I came across your forum, and I am finding it very informative already! I have been looking for, but have not yet found, any information on growing copepods within the marine aquarium itself. <do consider reading our new book "Reef Invertebrates" Calfo/Fenner... much info there on refugiums, microcrustaceans and more> I have set up a refugium with the little critters and Kent Marine Phytoplex (for food). I had plenty of these guys in my display tank, but their numbers seem to have reduced drastically since the addition of a scooter blenny. So, two questions: 1) Is there anything wrong with adding the Phytoplex directly to the display tank in hopes that the copepods will reproduce faster with more abundant food (no corals or anything in the tank that will eat the Phytoplex, just live rock)? <there are some folks who sharply criticize such warm, undated supplements as having dubious value. Perhaps you would be better served by a dated, refrigerated product... or better still, live phyto (easy to make DIY reactors)> 2) Is there anything else I should add to my refugium to help the creatures to grow faster (other than appropriate water, Phytoplex and an airpump for circulation)? <I personally am not inclined to use Phytoplex. I'd suggest much better water flow (approach 10X water flow... yes, even for fuges) and look at some natural substrates for a living ,matrix to encourage their growth (various sand grades)> Thanks so much for taking the time to answer! Stephanie <best regards, Anthony>

Copepods attacking my fish??? 10/18/03 WWM crew,   <cheers> I had bought a pair of perculas and placed them in a 20 gal quarantine tank.  in the tank there were just a few rocks for hiding.  they showed signs of ich, were treated with formalin/malachite green (1drop per gal every day for five days).  cleared up after that.  but while waiting out the parasites life cycle they seemed to be hit with another round.   <FWIW, daily water changes from the bottom of the aquarium for 8 consecutive days can break this life cycle even without meds (removes larval cysts).> so I re- administered the formalin, but it didn't seem to help.  upon inspecting the tank I found lots of harpacticiods, some amphipods, and a few worms.  in the morning I found them dead, swarmed with harpacticiods, but nothing else.   could they have been attacking the clowns while the fish were still alive???   <nope... merely scavengers> I noticed a similar situation developing in my main tank as well.  I'm at somewhat of a loss as to what to do.   <enjoy them... they are desirable natural plankton and most aquarists don't have nearly enough of them. They are unrelated to your clowns pathology> Any help would be very appreciated.  Thank you in advance.   Kurt Petty <best regards, Anthony>

PODS!! Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!! - 10/15/03 Have 72 gal saltwater with wet dry and UV sterilizer.   set up for 8 weeks. got tank started with damsels and hermit crab. added 5 fish after tank cycled.  water tests are fine.  I have small white specs on glass and swimming through water.   fish store says that are copepods.   how can I get rid of them? <I'll take 'em if you don't want 'em. Seriously, these are one of the most valuable incidental addition you could hope for. Please read about them here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amphipodfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/copepodfaqs.htm They are very valuable! -Paul> thank you Blaine

Copepod breeding question Hi <howdy!> Anthony gave a great pair of talks here in Madison this last weekend for the WRS, which I got a lot out of [beyond respect and realizing he's a great guy]. <aha! So its true... bribery does indeed work <G>. Thanks kindly, mate :) > So I guess this is a follow-up question for him, based on his suggestion in the talk. Talking about breeding copepods in a `dark' fuge or sump, there was the suggestion to use foam of some sort [like pond filter] or `scrubby pads'. Would this be the 3m green `scotch Brite' scrubby pads? <Hmmm... if they are simply plastic (plain) and soapless... then yes, my friend> I have some spares, just a little concerned on whether they'll kill my tank or anything or if these are what he was referring to. <lets play it safe and suggest that you buy a pond filter pad for the Supreme Pondmaster tray filter... very common mail order and in LFS shops. About $5 and very safe. Well worth peace of mind> He also talked about I believe Aquaclear foam filter inserts. <another good choice> I guess I'd just love to hear a little more detail about this as I'm sure my SPS could always use more copepod food. <yes... truly a simple and inexpensive way to generate zooplankton for our beloved cnidarian carnivores> Thanks for the response, and thanks again for the great talk and many answered questions.  Both my fianc?and I [in front row, she had `reefer?' shirt on, me reeffreaks.com shirt]. got a whole lot out of your talks and appreciate your coming and speaking for us. Mark Felten <Ahhh... yes, thank kindly :) Wishing you both the very best! Anthony> --- 58g oceanic w/ 175w MH and 110 actinic03 pc, remora pro, roughly 1100 gph flow, and one packed coral `garden' soon-to-be 40g breeder soft-coral/propagation tank with BakPak, 220w pc, and about 750 gph flow [half through SCWD] 15g QT

Microscopic white spots on the tank glass II >Thx for the reply.   >>You're welcome, sorry for being so long with this next response, death of a friend and all, had to take some time off. >What's PODS and why is it good?  I read other PODS related articles on your site, but am still not 100% clear on PODS.  Since they stick to the glass, how do I clean the tank glass w/ scrub without killing these beneficial bacteria/(what's the right name for them)? >>"Pods" is actually the tail end of bigger words that describe the different families of "pods".  There are isopods, arthropods, copepods, many many pods.  They are not bacteria, they are.. "their own thing", little critters.  They are good because they can indicate a general health of the system (being invertebrates), and they feed many creatures we like to keep in our systems.  You won't kill them when you clean the glass, the vast majority will be living in, on, and around your live rock and sand. >Can the Vermetid worm grow big and be harmful to the fish/crustacean in the tank? >>No. >Thank you very much for your advice.  Adrian >>You're welcome, Adrian.  I hope this has helped.  Marina

Parasites with pic (you guys have to see this thing!) >Here is a pic.  This monster is a about 6 weeks old.  There are around a dozen of these large adults.  You can see  hundreds of white specks on the glass.  They grow very fast.   >>I have NEVER seen anything quite like this.   >I have the hospital tank cycled and coppered with butterfly and damsel in there.  Do you think I could put them in the reef tank in a month? >>Assuming the copper does the trick, yes.  Be sure to give them a dip in freshwater before placing them in the tank, and use a different net or rinse it first just to be safe. >Also I am thinking of putting the few crabs in with my Huma-Huma, with tank divider of course so they don't get eaten.  If no problems occur with the trigger in a month, would they be safe to put into the reef tank?   >>The crabs shouldn't be carrying any of the parasites at all.  Then again, as I said, I've never seen anything like this before.   >If you need a sample of this parasite I can send you one.   >>I'm sorry, but I wouldn't really know what to do with it.  What you COULD do is get a jar of rubbing alcohol and place some of them in it, then take that to the biology department of your closest university--they *may* be able to definitively identify them. >I don't want to tear this tank down and start over till I know what it is. >>I wouldn't either.  It might be premature to do so at this point.  Are these things *also* on the fish?  Do they appear to go through any cycle that you are aware of?  Sorry I can't be of more help.  I think that, besides copper, you may want to consider instead using hyposalinity--1.010 or less (as low as 7ppm for boney fishes) is usually effective, and should kill of *most* invertebrates (so don't do it with the crabs).  30 days should do the trick.  Marina

What is it? (Pods) Hi Guys, <Hi! Ryan with you> I could write you emails all day with all the questions and concerns. <Wish I could do this all day too!> I am so sorry, but I am so nervous of screwing things up.  Too many failures in this hobby for me.  Too much wasted money.  And I want to succeed. <And you will, my friend.  Time and knowledge.> So last night I received a shipment of cleanup critters via FedEx.  The peppermint shrimp didn't make the trip.  I am very upset. <Very hot in my area last few weeks, not the most ideal shipping time of year.> I received and added to my 55 gallon tank 10 Nassarius snails, 10 Astrea snails, 5 Cortez Ceriths, 2 Black Turbo snails, 2 marguerite snails and a brittle star.  No fish at this point only LR. <OK> So I return home from the office tonight to find these white pinhead size dots stuck to my glass.  Some are separated, others in small groups.  What do you suspect they are?  What do I do? <Pods!  They populate healthy tanks.  It's a very good sign.> Next, as well on my glass are even tinier little white things that seems to be moving all over the place.  Actually they appear to be running!  Very fast moving and very tiny.  Almost the size or smaller than a tiny flake of dandruff.  These suddenly appeared since last night and now they are all the glass surfaces and even in the algae fields on the substrate.  What do you think?  What shall  I do?  Am I infected? <you're fine.  Read these FAQs for more info: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/copepodfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amphipodfaqs.htm You're on your way to a great tank.  Keep asking questions, and the success will continue. Ryan> Thanks guys, Louis

Where to get copepods... (06/21/03) Good evening crew, <Hi! Ananda here tonight...>0 Do you guys know where i can buy copepods & amphipods live kits so i can grow them on my own??? <Yup. The two that I know about are Indo-Pacific Sea Farms, at http://www.ipsf.com, and Inland Aquatics at http://www.inlandaquatics.com/prod/prod_detrit.html cater to the aquarium trade. You can also get them from companies who supply college biology programs, though those are often higher-priced.> Thank you. <You're welcome. --Ananda>

Where did all the Copepods go? Hello <all of PF here tonight> and thanks for a great site.  O.k., this is going to sound crazy, but it seems that all my Copepods have died off or something.  I have roughly 100 lbs. of live rock and have always, for the past year, had a huge Copepod population.  I haven't seen one in over a week.  On any given night, I could shine the flashlight in my tank and see those things running all over my tank like a colony of fire ants.  Has this ever happened to anyone.  This is probably a stupid question, but do Peppermint Shrimp eat Copepods? <I wouldn't doubt it. On the other hand though, massive population booms and busts do occur in such small systems. It's possible your population reached a critical mass and then imploded. 'pods have to eat too, and if you weren't increasing your food supply to match there numbers... Hopefully as eggs hatch/larvae mature you'll be seeing more 'pods.> I put four small Peppermint Shrimp in my tank about a month ago.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks, Bryan <You're welcome Bryan, have a good weekend, PF> Regarding Copepods Hi, >Greetings from the U.S., Anka!  Marina here today. Your web site is really awesome - I've already spent hours perusing the articles and FAQs (it's a good thing my net connection is no longer on the pay-per-minute basis!) >Yes, much information on site. I have a little question, though, for which I couldn't find an answer.  Most people seem to be interested in getting rid of the "little white bugs on the glass/rock etc" - but I am concerned about their survival. >Yes, they are, and, for the life of me I don't understand why!  They are a GOOD thing, not at all bad.  Food for the fishies, and a sign that inverts (which they are) are happy. The situation is like this: I have a tank almost 2 months old, fully cycled, full of live rock, and ready for some action :) However, for the next two months I will be traveling often, so I have to postpone adding livestock (when I add a new animal to a tank I like to keep an eye on it for a while). >Prudent, absolutely, and I wouldn't recommend you do it any other way. Will the tiny fellows survive on what they can find on the live rock, or should I be adding something - a bit of flake food, for instance, or some plant matter - to make sure they thrive? There are tons of them at the moment, and I would like to keep it that way (especially as my heart is set on feather dusters). >I don't see why you couldn't add a wee bit of flake food.  This won't keep their numbers up, as you'll only have as many as the system can support, but adding a bit of food will certainly keep enough of them around that when you're back home you'll be able to bring the culture back up. I *was* thinking of squirting in some liquid fry food from time to time to provide ammonia for the de-nitrifying bacteria; will that be enough for my little white friends, as well? >It will, but I'll suggest an even easier route--throw in a piece or two of shrimp (the kind we'd eat ourselves). Thanks in advance! Anka from Poland >You're very welcome, and I am quite pleased to see that we're garnering international recognition!  Good luck, and please keep us posted.  Marina

What are these?  Sand mites?  Some kind of insect in my saltwater aquarium? Sorry I have no pictures!  I am new to Saltwater aquariums.  I have had a 55 gallon tank up for about a month, with 40 lbs. cured live rock, 2 blue hermits, 3 turbo snails, and 1 Damsel.  All levels are perfect and everything going great.  BUT... Last night I came into the room and flicked the light on.  Across the surface of the crushed coral there were many little bug like, creatures scurrying for cover.  They must be nocturnal because I've never seen them before and they are no where to be seen today.  It scared me.  I mean, they look like lice.  Can you tell me what these may be, and if they could be harmful to the tank?  I assume they were eating algae and detritus off the surface of the crushed coral, so maybe the are beneficial.  But I have not read about anything like this in the books I have read, including yours (Conscientious Marine Aquarist)!  Could they have come out of the live rock?  Or from the crushed coral? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.   <My advice? Sit back and enjoy! You likely saw a number of 'pods'. A type of crustacean, all a good sign that you tank is progressing normally. Actually part of the biodiversity that makes rock/sand live. These little workers will help keep things clean as well as provide a snack for the fishies! Ummmm <G>. These came in on your live rock. Congrats! BTW, I have actually been known to creep around in the night with my Miner's hat on with a red filter on the light to watch these little critters! Don't tell anyone though OK? Don> Thank you, Mark

Can pods do that? A second opinion - 2/20/03 I have some white bug like things on the back of my tank <Sounds like some type of desirable zooplankton perhaps maybe an amphipod or copepod. Is it possible to get a photo? If not see here: http://www.museum.vic.gov.au/crust/amphigal.html http://www.nmnh.si.edu/iz/copepod/ If it is an amphipod or copepod then consider yourself very lucky as these are a very valuable addition to your tank. The links above may not have a picture of exactly what is in your tank but I believe they will give you a general representation.> also I had a rusty angel just die so I'm wondering if I need to worry and what they are? <Well, in my experience, these two things are unrelated. I would look first to identify what type of animal is on the back of your tank. Then I would look into your Rusty Angel dying. Check into your water parameters, acclimation procedures, think back to the overall health of the animal, What were the signs of distress, do other fish exhibit problems, and so many other things can lead to the death of your Rusty Angel and other fishes. Do some research, as  knowledge is half the battle.> thanks for any help <No problem, Alex.> Alex <Regards, Paul>

Pod cultivation - 2/18/03 First I need to thank you for your help with my flower anemone. I had written in a couple of weeks ago about it not eating. Since I got the new bulb it started eating again so all is well! Thanks!!<Not a problem> This time I'm just mulling things over here.<Paul here, mulling with ya'> You see, I have a mandarin in a 55g that is doing extremely well,<Glad to hear. This fish can be very difficult to maintain.> I've had her for a little over a year, and she is nice and fat. <Very good> The pod population is high in this tank due to the LR, an in tank refugium and several pod piles.<again glad to hear> The thing is that I was thinking about getting her a mate.<Cool. Tank bred Mandarins would be a very useful endeavor for this hobby. Do be sure to keep a log and procure a very reputable place for rotifers and other live foods for the fry just in case there is not "fry size" food i.e not enough "pod" larvae> Even though the pod population is good, I realize that adding another mandarin to this setup would most likely wipe it out.<Probable> I have read about a pod raising tank over at seahorse.org <great site> using a bare bottom tank with sponge filters,<I find this to be the best way!> but I'm wondering if using an undergravel filter with crushed coral on top might not be a better idea, give the pods more areas to move around in and breed? <Well, they don't necessarily breed within the gravel. Porous, cave like "housing" seems to be preferable and additionally some Caulerpas and alga can serve as well; more specifically Turtle weed and Bryopsis and in some cases thick "forests" of racemosa. Some experimenting wouldn't hurt and keep the alga trimmed if you use them.> I would also add several pounds of small rocks that could be removed and added to the main tank. <I see the genius in this idea. A few live rocks will serve you well. I just don't know if I would add them back and forth. I guess if they were small enough I might do that. Overall I would just use the sponge on a bare bottom as it is so easy to catch them.> I was also wondering if you would skim this tank or would it reduce the pod population if you did? <Not necessary in my opinion. (But one could argue that all tanks regardless, should be skimmed) Remember to feed you pods. I have noticed a few Spirulina pellets do the job quite well.> You should know that if I did try this pod tank, I would run it for several months to see how it works out (see if I can keep it going basically). <Very well. I think this a good idea. Actually, there is a bit of a market for live amphipods and copepods out there. Maybe a new business venture? Also, why not just add a large in line refugium to your setup? There is a great deal of information to be had on this subject here on WetWebMedia. Take a look around and see if it is something that might interest you.> Thanks for your input! Sam  

Growin' 'Pods! Hello crew, <Scott F, your Crew member tonight!> Just a general question about starting an Amphipod tank. I have a mandarin fish, it seems like the pod population in my tank is getting smaller and smaller and I want to make sure it does  not starve. <Good thought!> I want to basically set up a 10g tank since I do not have a refugium or sump on my tank. Is there anything you can recommend in terms of getting good reproduction? Substrate, temp, lighting, food, etc? <I'd go for fairly coarse crushed coral substrate, add a few small rocks, lots of macro algae, such as Ulva and/or Chaetomorpha, which serves as a great "breeding ground" for these creatures> I was thinking about getting the "Amphipod Breeding Kit" from Indo-Pacific sea farms. They say "under the right conditions, amphipods mate and reproduce readily in captivity." Just wondering what those right conditions are. They say there preferred habitat is green mat of Ulva macro algae. Any input would be greatly appreciated, thanks for your help. Angelo <Well, Angelo-that basically covers it! Use "standard" reef tank temperatures, moderate to minimal water flow, and moderate lighting, and nature (and the 'pods) will do the rest! BTW, Indo Pacific Sea Farms is a great company (I'm a bit partial to them, 'cause they're based in Kailua-Kona)... It's owner, Gerald Heslinga, is one of the pioneers of captive propagation of marine animals, and is extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I would not hesitate to recommend Gerald and his company. Good luck with your 'pod propagation efforts! Hope that you're successful! Regards, Scott F>

What's this critter in my tank? Hi I have had  a system set up for about 6 months know. I have 2 clown fish 2 feather dusters 1 crab 1 snail, I had a chocolate chip star fish ( the newest addition ) but it died. Now the weird thing is that today I forgot to turn the light on the tank, when I got home form work I noticed this and turned it on. Then some things started to move and hide. Now I think I would notice them faster than I did (as I have not added anything in about 8 weeks) but then I figured what ever they are they must be nocturnal. But what are they almost look like brine shrimp (or what i think them to look like ) from feeding. But they are almost all white with little black lines on them. The are no bigger than 4-5mm about the same size of a frozen brine shrimp. There were about 10-15 of them and they all hid. Know that the light is on I cannot find any of them they must be hiding in the rock holes. But what could they be are they dangerous, should I find something to kill them. or are they harmless and should I just leave well enough alone. Thanks for you help and time. <Ahhh...the elusive creature that you describe sounds very much like copepods. These are great critters to have in your tank...It's also a sign of a healthy tank. David Dowless> (btw just in case my tank information) 40gallon hang on side filter Skimmer 1filter/pump for circulation and all test show normal   

Snail Babies? Hi, I have a 29 gallon saltwater aquarium with a Clownfish, a Yellowtail Blue Damsel, a Green Chromis, a Chocolate Chip Starfish, a Peppermint Shrimp, a Pink-Tip Anemone, and a Bumblebee Snail. Recently, I noticed white dots on the glass that moved. Under magnification (5x), they look like a tube with 2 antennae. They seem to be surrounded by a "halo" that looks like clear hair algae. There are about 30-50 of them, and they move pretty quickly. My speculation is that they are larvae from the bumblebee snail (recently purchased.) Is this true? <It could be, but I would guess they are copepods (very tiny beneficial crustaceans).> Any information you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Nathan in PA <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

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