View Full Version : Culturing copepods

07/01/2017, 05:30 PM
So I am currently attempting to culture come copepods for a future mannerian goby. There is a lot of information out there but I can't seem to answer a few questions. I am culturing phytoplankton to feed them and have a piece of live rock in the culture.

First: how green should the water be for them?
Second: if I add to much phytoplankton plankton to the water will it cause an ammonia spike and kill them all?
Third: how can I do a water change without taking pods out of the culture?

I can provide a picture if needed.

07/02/2017, 02:54 PM
do you know what species of copeods you're culturing?
i'm assuming they're harpacticoids..mandarins hunt harps. you can culture them without phyto. although having phyto in your cultures is definitely a bonus. you're gonna need to give the culture a few whiles, like a coupla months to get it up to a harvestable population. if you're seeding your culture from the live rock, remove it after you see at least two pods. there will be hydroids on it and they will eat your pods, killing your culture. also, don't use the same water that the rock was in unless you filter it. you'd be surprised what's swimming in there that you don't see until it's too late.

using a bacteria food base i find is far more productive than phyto. phyto seems to regulate the water chemistry more so than being a food source for harps. i discovered this leaving bs cyst husks in my bs cultures. the harps feed on the bacters and bloom... give it a try... set up a bottle of sw, add bs cysts and a few drops of phyto. introduce some harps. you'll be harvesting the bbs first, then let the bottle go until you get a decent population of copepods. you'll need a few bubbles a second to roll it over but not too bubbly.
ammonia wlll encourage a phyto bloom. ammonia is a phyto food. it is nitrogen.
another food source is bakers/brewers yeast. but yeast is easy to overfeed and kill your culture. make a 1 ounce solution sw and a few grains of bakers yeast out of the packet. the sw will kill the yeast, yet preserve the cells for you pods to eat. use a few drops to lightly cloud your culture water. easy to over feed this stuff unless you're polycuturing brine shrimp with the pods.
this is where the phyto comes in handy. it feeds on waste and will provide a veggie food for your pods at the same time. green water is good. not dark green. dark green means you've got too much waste, although i've never really let my cultures go too dark.
you're gonna need a rack of these cultures to sustain one mandarin that is not trained to take other foods.
this might discourage you. it discourages a lot of folk.
harvest is easy... but a pita.... use a syringe with rigid air line attached. you'll have to suck up a few hundred a day to keep your mandy fed.

if this is discouraging, i suggest obtaining a mandarin that feeds on frozen foods, or live baby brine shrimp. if this seems too much, perhaps trying another fish.
but i do suggest culturing pods and other planktons for your reef.
hope this helps you and others interested in culturing copepods.

07/03/2017, 10:58 AM
What type of bacteria would be food for copepods? Would bacteria from vodka dosing or biopellets work as food for copepods?

07/03/2017, 02:46 PM
What type of bacteria would be food for copepods? Would bacteria from vodka dosing or biopellets work as food for copepods?
i'm not sure chris. probably a lot of differing bacters are food items... and i think we're talking about the harps here. calanoid copepods will eat bacteria as well.
the bacteria that grow on the leftover artemia cyst husks produce sulfurous compounds, i would like to say from anaerobic bacters, but my cultures are fully aerated. so... there's a lot more going on in there than i can guess at.
i've never used vodka dosing so i wouldn't try to guess.
i've used 'white' cloudy water, that has a high ammonia smell from leftover foods in my pod cultures before as a food source. with no problems. i'm not sure if nitrosommas/bacters are a food source, but i'd probably say yes, but without a higher powered microscope, i can't definitely say yes.

if you're serious about culturing copepods, try differing controlled experiments to see what works for you. just be careful and wash your hands... if you end up with a dose of you know what, you know you've got bacteria...lol

07/23/2017, 07:51 AM
Will mandarins and pipefish eat tigger and tisbe pods?

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08/10/2017, 12:23 PM
Could cloudy water from vacuuming DT sand be a reliable food source? I started with realreef rock and tropic eden sand, QT'd all fish and inverts for four months in separated QT tanks and purchased all new equipment so thus far I am pest free. Plus I always feel bad about the gazillion pods I see swimming in the waste water as I flush it down.

08/10/2017, 05:30 PM
Mandarins and pipefish will eat tisbe and tigger pods, but you'd need a lot of them to keep them eating.

I believe there is a nice copepod culturing doc on melev's reef (it's a website) that y'all should look at. Harpacticoid copepods just need hella surface area, as well as lots of primary food (bacteria and algae). I think algae wafers might work for this one as would seaweed sheets, but you also need to have free floating phyto and such to feed the nauplii.

I don't think that cloudy water from vacuuming the sand would be a reliable food source. That stuff is either small sand granules/dust, or waste from the fish...something you don't want in your cultures. You can, however, pull the copepods out with a sieve of a certain micron size (I'm tempted to say 200 but I'm not sure).

08/10/2017, 05:36 PM
i wouldnt say reliable, supplemental maybe.....maybe decant or 'filter' it.
i use nylons super glued on a top&tailed 2.ltre pop bottle to filter out the trds n stuff.
youll get smaller pods grow out in the strained waterafter a week or two. you can strain the new pod culture with a 56 silkscreen seive. use a turkey baster-syringe to put the copepods back in your display