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FAQs about Micro-Crustaceans Stocking, Selection

Related FAQs: Microcrustaceans/"Pods" 1, Microcrustaceans 2, Pod Identification, Pod Behavior, Pod Compatibility, Pod Systems, Pod Feeding, Pod Disease, Pod Reproduction,  Amphipods, Copepods, Mysids, Brine ShrimpHermit Crabs, Shrimps, Cleaner Shrimps, Banded Coral Shrimp, Mantis Shrimp, Anemone Eating ShrimpRefugiumsCrustaceans 1, Crustacean Identification, Crustacean Selection, Crustacean Behavior, Crustacean Compatibility, Crustacean Systems, Crustacean Feeding, Crustacean Disease, Crustacean Reproduction,

Related Articles: Micro-Crustaceans, Amphipods'Pods: Delicious and Nutritious By Adelaide Rhodes, PhD, Copepods, Mysids, Hermit Crabs, Shrimps, Cleaner Shrimps, Banded Coral Shrimp, Mantis Shrimp, Anemone Eating Shrimp,

Some Net Sources of Culture Material: http://www.seafarm.com/
Morgan Lidster at Inland Aquatics
Carolina Bio-Supply 

Collecting Copepods 'in Hawai'i -- 07/13/11
Aloha from Hawaii-
<<Greetings from South Carolina>>
As you probably know we are not allowed to import any copepods into Hawaii.
I have avoided getting a Mandarin for that reason.
<<There are 'captive bred' specimens now available that accept a variety of prepared foodstuffs>>
Can you please explain to me how I could successfully collect some from the ocean (which is a block away from me)?
<<The fact that you are also not able to collect live rock makes this difficult 'though it is possible you could obtain copepods from simply collecting sea water and adding it to a refugium for culture>>
I have been told to just shake off some rocks into a bucket but am afraid that I'll get more harmful critters than beneficial.
<<Shaking/swirling gathered rock in a bucket of water (assuming even this is allowed) will certainly yield more biota than collecting water alone>>
How do I know it's copepods I'm harvesting and not parasites?
<<or 'parasitic copepods'¦>>
Especially since they're microscopic?
<<Valid concerns'¦ But the bigger issue here is that you seem to expect that harvesting/culturing copepods will allow you to keep a Mandarin. Though copepods are certainly a primary food item, it is very unlikely that, even should you be successful in obtaining these, that you can collect/culture enough to sustain a wild-caught fish 'especially if there is other competing life (finned or otherwise) in the system. A very large and mature system 'might' be able to do such, assuming a dearth of food competitors, but even this is not a guarantee. I strongly feel your best option here is to obtain a captive bred specimen. Aside from the usual frozen food offerings, it's reported these fish will even accept New Life Spectrum pelleted foods'¦a definite advantage! Obtaining a captive bred specimen will likely entail waiting/working with your LFS to make a special order, but they are available>>
Mahalo- Tor
<<A hu'i hou'¦ EricR >>

Copepods/Foods 8/31/09
I have a 120 tank with 2 trickle filters and about 130 lbs of live rock and base rock. I have 5 Emerald Crabs, 8 Peppermint Shrimp, about 20 hermit crabs in the tank. I have about 4000 copepods/ amphipods that the LFS gave me with the purchase of my protein skimmer. What should I do with them?
I did not want to put all 4000 in the tank as it may be a month before I put a fish in the tank.
<I would suggest putting them into your 120 and they will reproduce with proper feeding. When you do add fish, they will provide an excellent source of nutrition.
Do read here.
James (Salty Dog)>

Amphipods & Copepods, sel.    8/10/09
<Hi there>
I have searched the web and am unable to find the answer to a couple of questions. First, if a fish eats amphipods will they eat copepods instead?
<Many will/do, not all>
My local store said my Yellowtail/Spotted Wrasse
<Mmm... this common name is applied to at least species of Anampses and Macropharyngodon... neither easily kept by casual hobbyists>
will eat copepods, but as I was looking up more information on the fish it seems they like amphipods.
<Likely will/would eat some of both depending on size of respective parties>
Second, I have a 60 gallon tank
<Too small a volume>
with plenty of live rock, coral, and live sand (as the attached picture should show). Recently I've acquired a Yellowtail/Spotted Wrasse, a Spotted Mandarin Goby, and a Hector's Goby. The tank has been established for a year. I added a bottle of copepods (it said 2000 copepods on the bottle)
to the tank prior to adding the fish. How often should I add another bottle to replenish the copepods?
<... how to put this... The Copepoda encompass a huge assemblage of disparate species... Some tropical, some very much cold water, some surface dwellers to abyssal depths, some tiny to quite big, quite a few palatable to a good deal of the life hobbyists attempt to keep... others not desired at all... A bunch of species outright parasitic. These varying species "like" differing conditions... have you noticed any still about in your tank? Do you have a refugium for them to populate, prosper in... to be periodically (accidentally) pumped into the main system? You may need to keep adding some sort of live foods here indefinitely. I'd be looking into a living sump to tie in, provide foods on a continuous basis here>
I don't want the fish to starve.
Thank you for your help and information,
<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>

Crazy For Copepods! Hi. <Hi there- Scott F. here today> I was wanting to eventually add a mandarin to my tank.  I have a 90 gallon tank with 90 pounds of live rock from FFExpress.  I have searched at night for copepods but have never found any?? I thought that copepods for the most part always came with live rock?? <Not always> I have looked in all the crevices of my rock with a flashlight late at night but still nothing. am I missing something here? <Just the copepods! LOL....> Well, because of this I was looking at adding a detritivore kit to my tank to help seed it with these little creatures.  I was looking at IPSF 9 for 99$.  my sand bed is only about 1.5-2 inches deep. <I'd increase the sand bed depth to at least 3 inches-better for denitrification and biodiversity> So would this be beneficial to me or should I skip the kit and aim more towards something that is just copepods??  The IPSF kit would be different things other then the copepods like worms, tiny bristle stars, and other things like that that are associated usually with deep sand beds.  What's your opinion??? Will the other creatures am getting with the IPSF kit be any real benefit even though my sandbed isn't deep?? Get the detritivore kit or just copepods??? <I'd get the "mix and Match" special that IPSF offers. IPSF and its owner, Gerald Heslinga, are great to work with! You'll get great service and products. I have dealt with them many times and am very pleased with them! All of the life forms that you mentioned will be beneficial to your system. You may want to purchase an additional starter culture of amphipods from them as well> Also one more thing since I have your attention.  My live rock is getting this green algae that looks like tiny cotton balls.  None of it is more then like 1/8 long.  Its almost like a moss.  I have what I think are Astrea snails (12), 2 fighting conches, and a lawnmower blenny.  None of them seem to like it?  What would u suggest I add to help get rid of this.... <If it's really getting to be a nuisance, overrunning desirable life, then you may want to actually manually extract it as well as you can. This type of bloom is common in newer tanks where higher nutrient levels are the norm. With diligent attention to husbandry (water changes, aggressive skimming, good feeding habits), this algae will go away in time, replaced by more desirable forms. Really keep that skimmer cranking- you'll be fine!> Thank you so much. Matt <And thanks to you, Matt, for stopping by>

More about 'Pods - 11/26/03 Crew: I noticed the question and Paul's reply regarding buying copepods. <Oh yeah!!!> I wanted to put in a good word for Inland Aquatics in Terre Haute, IN. <Yeah, that was my second choice, but having not bought from them before I was unsure of their abilities. Now I know! (and so will everyone)> They sell a wide variety of aquacultured products, including amphipods, copepods, Gammarus and Mysis. <I do like their site and their mission statement>  I have bought his fauna kit before & was very satisfied. <Great!!> It helps to call rather than e-mail if you're desperate for something. <Unfortunately, Gerald doesn't make that very easy with IPSF. His policy is email only in my experience> I called yesterday at 11 AM MST and received 4 bags of excellent algae at 9 AM this morning. <From IPSF??> 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. <Great information. Similar to how I do it as well. Good on ya, mate. Be chatting ~Paul> Steve Allen

Plankton supplies 11/22/03 Hi guys, does anyone know where to purchase a net for collecting wild plankton?  I'm talking about one of those long nets you tow or set in a drift.  Thanks-  D <do try Florida Aqua Farms (do a net search, or look in the bibliog. of our books)... a fine place for such supplies. Else try biological supply houses (like those used by science educators). best of luck. Anthony>

Re: plankton net 11/23/03 Thanks, didn't see it on the FAF site but you were right about the other, Carolina Bio-Supply has them.  -  D <outstanding... best of luck. Anthony>

Lack of pods - 11/17/04 Good day crew Dave G here in good ole blighty! <Paul, back from hiatus> 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. 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) <Likely due to trapped detritus in the crushed coral. This is a common issue found with crushed coral substrate>, temp 74F <If it ain't broke don't fix it but I like a tropical saltwater tank around 77-79 degrees Fahrenheit. That's just me! May not work for everyone but it definitely works for me.> 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. <Agreed.> Back to the question, a lot of your FAQs say they have loads of pods moving over their rock and substrate, I look at mine and see JACK! Can you shed any light? <Well, likely your Dottyback and Flame are likely depleting the supply. Which means no adults to breed. Check in the dark and see if you see some. You can always supplement them. I get my "refreshers" from either Reed Mariculture (http://www.seafarm.com/) or Sach's Aquaculture Supply (http://www.aquaculturestore.com/) Either way, a refugium would go along way in helping you maintain a high "pod" community with little in the way of them being predated on by fish who find part of their natural diet.> Thanks for reading DG ;) <Thank you for reading and participating ~Paul>

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 ;)

What kind of pods do I want in my refugium? Hi gang: I recently (90 days ago) purchased a refugium fauna kit from Morgan Lidster at Inland Aquatics << I love Morgan and his fauna kits. >>. . . all my stuff from him, mostly hard-to-find varieties of macroalgae has been great. I already had an up-and-going refugium with lots of pods, Gammarus, etc. . . but wanted to add Mysis shrimp to the mix. . . and this was the only way I could figure out to do it. The shrimp are thriving nicely and reproducing well. . . but I was surprised that they're MUCH smaller than the frozen Mysis I've purchased for feeding to my other fish. Probably only 20% of the bodyweight of the 'big guys' I'm used to seeing in prepared form. Does the term 'Mysis' refer to a whole family of shrimp? << Yes it does.  However, smaller Mysis is probably a better variety to have.  They are typically desired for their small size and nutritional value.  I recommend getting a big cup of sand from a friend's tank.  It will also provide a great variety of other invertebrates for your tank. >> Chuck <<  Blundell  >>

Got Ostracods? Hi: <Howdy> I have been searching for a few weeks on the internet for dried Ostracods. I found one place but they are sold out until October! I am wondering if you can refer me to any individual or company who can supply this product on a regular basis. Thanks, Blake <Mmm, not as dried, but I encourage you to try your hand at culturing these: http://www.aquaculturestore.com/fwinverts.html A lot of fun, and more nutritious. Bob Fenner>

Copepods and Amphipods 8.10.05 Hi There, <Howdy> I first want to say thank you for your website, it has been incredibly helpful in setting up my 100 gallon tank. <Fabulous to hear, thank you for saying so> I have a question about pods. After two months (one month for the cycle) I just don't see any copepods or amphipods in my tank. I even used a flashlight at night to see if that would show them, but no luck. <No worries... they are very slow to establish. Often so. They may never establish too if you stock the tank too soon with fishes, or lack a refugium> Is it a bad thing not to see these pods? Is there anything I should do to get them in my tank without buying them? Should I just be patient and wait longer? <I do encourage the employ of a refugium and seeding it with a clean culture purchased from the likes of Oceanpods.com> I keep hearing that having these are a sign of a good maturing tank. My tanks parameters are: Ammonia: Undetectable Nitrite : Undetectable Nitrate: <10 PH: 8.4 Alkalinity: 3 meq\L I have 90lbs of Tonga Deepwater Live Rock that was sent to me uncured form LiveAquaria.com which I used to cycle the tank. 25% of my live rock is now covered in coralline algae. I have a 100 gallon tank with a sump (30'x12'x14'), and an ETSS Reef Devil Deluxe Skimmer. The only livestock I have in my tank are blue-legged hermit crabs which seem to love it in there. I know I can purchase these pods to add to my tank, but I so badly wanted them to come with my live rock. <no worries... this is just the way it goes sometimes with shipping> Any answers would be greatly appreciated. Thank You <Have no reservation about seeding the tank. It's good to get worms, microcrustaceans, etc from friends/other tanks to periodically (re-)seed your tank in time. Anthony>

Buying Copepods  9/27/05 Hello again! <Howdy Mike, Adam J. with you.> Do any of you know where I could buy copepods to stock a refugium? I know inverts.com used to sell them, but I was just on their site and they don't have them anymore. <See here: http://www.essentiallivefeeds.com/ > Thanks
<No biggie, Adam J.>

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